November 15th, 2008

gemini.

It's not that I disagree with the message, but is this the best way to go about it?

On the one hand, if you wanna protest Prop. 8 I totally support going down to City Hall and going nuts.

On the other hand, I feel like it's totally barking up the wrong tree if you're protesting in front of a church. I mean, yeah, a lot of the people who go to church voted Yes on Prop. 8, but waving signs and yelling at people as they walk by (and disrupting church services, which is really uncool) doesn't really help anyone 'see the light.' I mean, how effective are pro-life protests outside of Planned Parenthood, right?

A lot of Christians I know were conflicted about this issue going into the election. It's not like all Christians think gay people are the Ultimate Evil, but there was a lot of misinformation floating around and pastors were telling people to vote 'Yes' on 8. So I think that at this point, the gay activist community should be working to educate, not intimidate people. Like, instead of these mob protests outside of churches I would recommend just having two or three people outside, just asking if they can talk to people for a minute and then sharing just how Prop. 8 affects them and impacts their lives, that would actually go a lot farther to helping the cause along then the divisive shouting.

I'm reminded of something that happened here in San Jose a few weeks before the election. A man put a very large "YES ON PROP 8" sign on his house. A lesbian couple parked their car in front of his house with the words BIGOT painted on the back, and left it there for a few days. That was a childish, foolish move that did not help the situation at all. Politically, it accomplished nothing. Well, I take that back; I guess it might have helped rally those opposed to Prop. 8.
But did it make the Mormon voters change their minds? No, it pissed 'em off. And I worry that ultimately, that's what these protests in front of Saddleback Church and Mormon churches are doing: just making the people inside angry. Angry people just dig deeper and close up instead of listening and potentially changing their minds.

The ugliness will only continue to escalate on both sides if someone doesn't let up.

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Edited Nov. 16th: This letter printed in the Mercury News this morning is a perfect example of the backlash from the protests:

BULLIES DISGUST PROP. 8 VOTER
I am a moderate conservative who believes in less government and not policing the world. I am also someone who was on the fence relative to my vote on Proposition 8. In the end, one of the actions that convinced me on the way to cast my vote was highlighted in the Mercury News on Oct. 21. The article told the story of someone who felt a need to call out on a parked SUV "bigot's live here," "stop bigots" and "God hates haters" in front of a home that supported Proposition 8. That type of strong-arm harassment and intimation is exactly what convinced me to vote in favor of the proposition. Even after voting, I was not completely sure I had done the right thing. However, since then I have seen wave after wave of backlash, hate mongering and intimidation toward those that helped to support and pass the proposition. My resolve is now even stronger that I voted properly. Trying to bully or threaten opponents of same-sex marriage will only strengthen the forces against them.
Y. D. Conn, San Jose


Had Y. D. been reached out to differently before the election, he/she may have changed their mind and voted 'no' on the Prop. 8. But now, because of everything that's happened, Y. D.'s position on the issue has been cemented.