Sunday, August 24, 2008

Talk the Talk... Walking the Walk

The view of Folsom Lake from the million dollar homes we knocked on... we weren't expecting a work out...but with the homes on huge lots... we were getting a work out and enjoying the day.

Yesterday I joined my friends and neighbors walk door-to-door in support of Proposition 8. Proposition 8 is the amendment on the November ballot for the people to vote. A vote yes is a conscious decision to protect and defend traditional marriage, between one man and one woman. It's a chance to say, yes, I believe that marriage is valid, important and valuable to society as a whole.

I did this walk 8 years ago. At that time it was Proposition 22. I was single. I walked with my friend Pam. Since that time we have found husbands, and are each raising two daughters. That proposition passed in 2000 with over 61% of the vote in California. It was a resounding affirmation of the importance and validity of marriage. We thought... that was that.

Then this year - four arrogant judges ruled over three - declaring that the will of the people was worth zilch. I couldn't believe this was happening in a country founded on freedom. Founded because our English ancestors were escaping religious persecution - forced to believe in something they didn't. Eerily... it's as if we are turning into a country that our founders were fleeing. Just check out this article from NPR about how religious freedom is no longer safe.
(That article makes me think of those crazy women who get pregnant to keep a boyfriend, or a cheating husband... honestly... why are they so desperate? It's not like there aren't other boys)

The walk was fun. Weird to say that huh? Despite feeling vulnerable, it was a natural high for me. It reminded me of why I loved doing new business contacts when I was at tech trade shows. I am looking forward to walking again. I walked with a group of folks that are fun, engaging, intelligent and hopeful. Carrie our leader, David and Erin, and Rose. These are all people I genuinely respect.

Yep, it's a vineyard... can you imagine... uh, yeah - let me step out the door into my lovely vineyard.

Can you see the lovely grapes...mmm.

I will admit that the first door we approached, my tummy fluttered. I was nervous because the biased media can seem so loud, so overpowering that I feel like I'm a lone voice in the wilderness. I was nervous because - I am not homophobic, and I didn't want whoever we met at the door to feel offended or hurt. Likewise, I didn't want to be hurt either. I genuinely like my friends who are gay - they are no different than my other friends, except that they choose to live a different lifestyle. I have no problems with equal rights - in California, I'm proud to say - homosexuals have equal rights under the law. My problem is with the process - going through the back door in the legal system, hijacking our democratic system...and forcing people to condone/advocate a lifestyle through litigious means.

I find that when people respond to honest discussion about touchy topics with an inflammatory label - these are people who aren't willing to listen, or have a sincere search for truth. Those kind of people are antagonistic, and want to shut down opposing opinions. That's sad to me. What are they afraid of? If you are sure in your position - talk...

We met many who were not familiar with the proposition. As a result there were many undecided voters. We also had a few definite no votes. We also had many yes votes. I had began that walk feeling nervous, and a little gloomy at our prospects... but after that morning of walking, and finding out where people stood ... I felt my shoulders lighten - it seemed brighter. In fact, my first definite Yes of the day... made me want to jump up, and kick my heels in the air... I settled for a victory raise of my arms... I didn't want to embarrass my fellow walkers. hehe

Here's the deal... no matter what happens - I am proud of myself. I'm proud that when asked, I did something. I'm proud that I am taking a stand - a definite one. I'm proud that the choice to stand up and be counted 8 years ago - is still something I agree with, and that I am willing to stand up and be counted again. I'm proud that I am doing what I can. There's nothing worse than people who piss and moan about one thing or other about the government, or their life - and do nothing about it. What is the point of always talking about something and not doing anything about it. Inaction drives me bonkers. If you feel like you are on one side or another of an issue and you do nothing... that is a vote for the other side... whatever that may be.

Course... I prefer you to vote YES on Proposition 8 - 8 is a lucky number... here I am talking the talk... walking the walk and hoping...

We also saw a Mommy dear and a baby... I seriously had so much fun.


cabesh said...

You're awesome! I admire you for not only believing in something, but being willing to put your time and energy into promoting it. That's the American spirit!

La Yen said...

Texas rules. Why? Because it is not California.

Apparently my brother got assaulted when he was walking the walk...(Maybe Ames will tell it?)

Chino Blanco said...

Just a heads up: Mike Huckabee recently gave an interview in which he holds Mitt Romney responsible for implementing gay marriage in Massachusetts.


Welcome to the coalition.

I wish that more rank and file members of the LDS (Mormon) church would realize: the anti-gay coalition they've joined in California is one that includes folks who - given the chance - would vote their church out of existence.

Folks like Mike Huckabee and his Evangelical buddies.

Amy said...

Way to go! I'm cheering for all of you out there. I am an absentee voter for now, but I have a definite YES for you and the rest of California.

By the way, you walked with my mom!

Queen Scarlett said...

Cabesh - I'm alright... I just have boundless energy when it comes to standing up... I always wonder how electrifying the country could be if people would get up off their couches and do something they believed in.

La Yen - Everything is bigger in TX... ;-) I can't believe what would inspire someone to do that to your brother... we always teach our kids to calm down... why can't adults behave?

Chino - I appreciate your comments. I know we won't agree on this issue. I have to say we are perhaps on two diff't wavelengths re: Prop 8. I am not anti-gay. A label like that doesn't help to foster communication.

The big deal about all this for me - is that as a country - our democratic ideals are constantly throttled by just a few activist judges. I prefer a country which stays true to it's values of freedom, keeping power in the hands of the people, not just the few wearing robes, or sitting in a legislative meeting. I understand Huckabee is a bit nutso when it comes to Mormons, he's not my favorite person to have a meal with... but just because I don't agree with his religious views - doesn't mean I'm going to run when I see we agree on marriage.

Likewise, I'm not going to be antagonistic towards my friends who don't agree with me on Prop 8 - and I would hope they would feel the same towards me. I think open-minded is the ability to separate opinions from truths.

The fact is that my heart aches for my brothers and sisters who suffer with fitting into a society that is imperfect. I don't know what the solution is to help... I am not that wise. However, I'm looking at the bigger picture - about democracy, about freedom of religion... especially in light of all the lawsuits going on against churches and religious folks who are forced to do something they don't believe in. That is not democracy - I believe in democracy. I respect you for standing up for what you believe in - and I hope you respect that of me as well.

Frankly, being LDS (Mormon) is a part of who I am... as much as I like/dislike it... it's not something I can close off in a room somewhere. So...there you go. ;-)

Amy - I totally enjoyed walking with your Mom. I so admire her living the law of consecration with the missionaries living at her home. She's fun lady. Did she tell you about Ms. Stick-up-her-butt? ;-)

Amy said...

Queen, thank you for being so well spoken. I appreciate your ability to express my thoughts on this issue precisely the way my mind would do it...though my fingers and lips never cooperate!

Especially your ability to be bold, but not overbearing. Thank you for standing up for what is right while maintaining the compassion and empathy for those affected by this that I feel as well.

Amy said...
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Amy said...

P.S. The assault.... after giving the simple poll, receiving a "no" answer for both the girl who answered the door and her boyfriend whom she answered for, he replied "Thanks for your time, have a great day." and proceeded to the next door. (I was standing on the sidewalk watching this whole thing take place) As he crosses the lawn to the next listed residence, a man comes charging out of the last polled house and starts yelling, "F*ing biggot. F*ing Christian. I don't appreciate you peddaling your f*ing biggotary here. My neighbors don't want you here either." THis, along with many other expletive laced sentences, was followed by an arm starting to raise and pull back. "You're some fundamentalist CHristian, aren't you?"

Wonderful. Tolerant. Respectful. Great example, bud. I'm only glad my 4 year old daughter had left her papi's side for a moment to come get a drink of water when this dude decided to almost punch my husband out for taking a freaking POLL!

Queen Scarlett said...

Thanks Amy... and... the that guy is a lunatic. That's probably a guy that would argue that red is better than green. Idiot.