While I sit here with an ice pack on my lower lumbar vertibrae because I’m incapable of following directions…figure I’ll make myself useful.

I just got another political call.  I’ve been getting a steady stream of them, mostly automated calls.  The automated ones are the ones that really get my hackles up.  But the one I just got for Proposition 102, the Arizona marriage amendment, made me stop and think.

The Prop 102 signs have seen a spate of vandalization recently that I’m not so cool with.  I don’t agree with vandalizing or stealing political signs, because it shows just how juvenile you’re willing to be to win.  To me, it’s like cheating.  I drove past one on 67th avenue just North of Union Hills that had “NO” spraypainted over the “yes” and the “one man, one woman” x’ed out–and “HATEFUL PEOPLE” in hot pink just above it.  After that, I noticed several others done just the same way.  I even spied someone stealing one on 35th avenue one evening, stuffing it in the trunk and rushing to get back in their silver Honda Civic.

That’s not the way to sway voters.  In fact, to most of the people supporting the marriage amendment, it’s classic persecution and makes them believe that they’re mandated by God to win because of it.  Do you really think you’re going to change anyone’s mind by doing this?  Do you think that getting mad and yelling and screaming is going to be the best way to make your point?

A live person was on the call I just received.  Instead of doing what I know some of my friends–particularly my roommates–would have done, I very calmly said, “ma’am, I understand you have a job to do, but I don’t believe in this law.  I’m a lesbian and I won’t be voting for it.”  I didn’t get into a snit, I didn’t preach, I just said what I think and let it go.  She wasn’t offended, and in fact, sounded surprised that I was so nice about it.  She actually thanked me.

After spending my teenage years getting in peoples’ faces and beating them about the head and shoulders with my bible, I’ve learned that my dad was right–you really do catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.  It’s a lot easier to be pleasant, even with someone you disagree with on this issue, than it is to scream and yell and get your blood pressure up about it.

There’s a time and place for anger.  I don’t think this is the time or the place.  The supporters of this amendment expect us to get angry and indignant about it.  Let’s shock them awake by being nice.


15 thoughts on “BE NICE

  1. Very interesting to hear your perspective. It is not the easiest one to bear, but you seem to do with with grace and tact. As for me, I’m tired of being called a racist, narrowminded bigot. I try to understand different views and even to learn from them, but rarely do I get the same consideration in return. One guy worked at Microsoft, and he had my friend (a French socialist) in tears from the laughter. He basically argued that he had to be open minded because he voted for John Kerry and is voting for Obama, so he’s obviously very open. Just not to conservative opinions, I guess. They also automatically assume that I hate the gay community. I may be a straight conservative sourthern girl, but honestly, what people do consentually with their bodies is not something I should concern myself with.

    I have complained about yard sign vandalism (Obama and McCain), but they seem to advocate it as long as they disagree with the sign..

    I’m sick of being told that I’m the one that has the problem, when it is their ethnocentrism that is doing damage.

  2. My argument goes to the fact that people who vandalize these signs forget that it is a crime to deface them.

    Obviously, they aren’t interested in following the law, so why should I vote against an amendment for people who don’t recognize the rule of law?

    I’ll be voting for the amendment!

  3. Sarah-

    You don’t get that same respect because it’s not really liberals that are open minded. It’s conservatives. Liberals rarely want to hear another point of view unless it’s similar to their own.

    I, like you, believe that what two grown adults do in the bedroom is between them and God. No one else.

    I also don’t care it the POTUS were purple; if he’s going to keep us safe, limit government and stay out of our way, then more power to whomever can do that.

  4. Here in CA we have our own election to ban same sex marriage. Both sides are behaving ugly. It’s shameful. I may abstain on this ballot measure because right now I believe voting on it justifies the behavior I am witnessing.

    As Mel said on a related post I’d rather win my rights with dignity and self respect and not at the hands of am angry lynch mob.

    I could not agree more.

  5. “Obviously, they aren’t interested in following the law, so why should I vote against an amendment for people who don’t recognize the rule of law?”

    Is every person on either side of the issue out there ignoring the rule of law? I would not be so quick to vote one way or the other because of the actions of a few people.

    However, abstaining may be the way to really have your voice heard. A vote not cast can be as powerful as one that was.

  6. Anonymous, that’s not a reason to vote for or against anything. I won’t vote for shamnesty because it’s dangerous and sets a precedent, not because illegals don’t obey the law. I use the fact that they don’t obey the law to vote against things like giving them drivers licenses or other civil priveleges.

    Hear, hear, John. Abstaining can be quite powerful, which is why the Republicans left chambers en masse during the vote on public assistance for illegal aliens last year.

  7. “Hear, hear, John. Abstaining can be quite powerful…, ”

    Thank you. I don’t have the words to describe the disgust at the actions of people who support or oppose same sex marriage in CA. But let me take a swing.

    I’ve seen ordinary people turn into thugs.

    Free speech? Forget it. You can only say things I agree with.

    Freedom of Assembly? No. Just throw rocks at them!

    Spread the truth? No way. That will cost votes.

    My rights at any cost? You bet! So what if my neighbors never ever speak to me again. I’ve got mine. Screw you.

    When this is over we all have to get along and coexist. That won’t be so easy when this is over. It does not matter who wins. The damage is done.

    BTW, both sides are doing all of the above and more.

  8. John, I am voting for the amendment here in Arizona because the gay community decided last go around that they would scare the elderly about losing benefits should they live with a brother or sister, etc.

    It was a scare tactic and it ticked me off.

    I want this issue settled once and for all and the language is clear this year.

    One man and one woman!

  9. “It was a scare tactic and it ticked me off.”

    Devil Dog

    That would piss me off too. I don’t know if it would piss me off enough to vote yes. But, I would abstain. That’s me.

    Here in CA if you own a business and you donate money to ban same sex marriage then your business becomes the target of a boycott. I disagree with such tactics. It is legal to donate to political campaigns. People have a right to their views and lawful actions.

    People who support banning same sex marriage have had their lawn signs stolen, their cars keyed, and some people are too afraid to put up any signs out of fear. This is not what America is about.

    You can’t demand equal treatment under the law and then boycott people for engaging lawful acts, steal their personal property and vandalize their personal property.

    The ends do not justify the means.

    I’ve taken a lot of crap over my planned abstention. I expect to take a lot more. But, I have to look in the mirror every A.M. and respect the person I see staring back at me. Thuggery to win an election is not how I affirm my self respect.

  10. Devil Dog–there were some scare tactics going on, but as Prop 102 was originally written, it specifically would have banned benefits to ANY unmarried couples, gay or straight. That was what killed it then. I read the entire thing (took forever, those damn things are LONG) and the original proposition wasn’t just against gay marriage. It was against any and all benefits for domestic partners of any sexual orientation. I’m not going to cast a vote based on one side’s tactics, because it may well be a single, small group doing it and may have little to nothing to do with the main body of supporters/detractors. I base my opinion on fact and vote accordingly. The facts in this? Arizona law already bans recognition of marriage between people of the same sex. The new Prop 102 may damage a person’s ability to name a same-sex domestic partner in a living will or power of attorney, thus possibly damning their ability to even visit their partner in the hospital in an emergency. Are you okay with that?

    John, I agree with most of what you said. But boycotting is a right, too. It’s a group of people exercising their First Amendment rights. We don’t have to agree with people who boycott, but that’s in our right, too. Keying cars, stealing signs, vandalizing homes, getting into fights–that’s all illegal and should be stopped. However, as it is within a person’s right to donate to a campaign, it is also within another person’s right to publicly disagree and refuse to do business with them as a result.

  11. “John, I agree with most of what you said. But boycotting is a right, too.”

    I agree. I don’t prefer such tactics unless a business is putting out faulty products or services and refuses to do anything about that.

    If I work in a business that is being targeted by a boycott, then I could lose my job. The owner of the business will feel the heat after I get burned. That’s my beef with boycotts. They burn from the bottom up not top down.

  12. Mel, I am proud of you for treating the phone caller kindly. You are totally correct: Neighborly behavior changes opinions faster than any ballot initiative.

    On the other hand, as a fellow AZ citizen, I must admit, I have been fantasizing lately about gathering enough signatures to force a ballot initiative for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a union of two men or two women. Period. Would be hilarious to see the “entitled” couples have to cast a vote to maintain their legal status.

  13. Mel, please stop with the hospital argument. I have been able to visit anyone in the hospital – I have never been turned away. Sorry, but hospitals are a lousy excuse for changing standards.

  14. Yes, Devil Dog, but what if that person is in the intensive care unit in a coma? There’s still rules to be obeyed. I work in that field part time (and will someday be full time) and I see it all the time: some domestic partner is refused access to a patient because the patient isn’t awake to say one way or the other or the family intervenes and says, “no, you can’t come in here,” when in fact it’s because of a personal bias and the patient would have wanted that person beside them more than anything else in the world.

    There’s a lot more here than simple hospital visits. Artists today wouldn’t be able under most laws to pass their intelligence rights and the resulting profits on to a same-sex domestic partner because they can’t legally be married, and it wouldn’t matter what legal will or other document were to be drawn up. Some laws are written a certain way for this particular purpose. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who’ve never had to deal with it don’t understand it.

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