Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Emotional Election

Yesterday I took the day off (for the most part) and worked the polls during the election to support "Question 6"  Marriage Equality here in Maryland. The turnout was overwhelming.  The people supporting question 6 worked so hard for what straight residents take for granted, the legal protections of marriage.
  My experience at the polls was extremely emotional. I first went to a local Catholic church that was a polling place. The lines wrapped outside the church and around it. I met two great guys named Seth and Joe, both of whom have partners they wanted to marry legally, and both have been together for many years. I brought them both coffee and got to know them a little. Such passionate and caring men, who have both worked hard for the last couple of years for marriage equality.


The opposition was a woman about 45, who stood behind Seth outside. Seth handed people information about how Maryland's marriage law "protects" churches from marrying gay couples. The woman, whom Seth told me was a "crazy," was extremely out of her mind. I spoke with her briefly and she was hostile. I was really aggravated, and decided I couldn't work in that spot, besides Seth had it covered. The woman also BROKE THE LAW by harassing people in line to vote, to convince them to vote "no" on gay  marriage. The opposition didn't just stop there at breaking laws.

I went to Bowie High School's voting place where I saw that the opposition removed and trashed (and hid) all of the "Vote Yes for Question 6" signs. That's Stealing. Further, I noticed that all of the signs FOR Democrats were also Stolen and apparently trashed somewhere. I checked the nearby dumpsters and they weren't there. When I asked someone at the polling place, they said a woman and other people went through earlier and stole all the Democrat's signs and pro-gay marriage signs, put them in their car, and replaced them with GOP candidate signs and anti-gay marriage signs.  That's STEALING. It's also childish, and NOT how the electoral process works.

Tom met me at the polls at 9am and it took us 1 1/2 hours to vote. Our neighbors Paul and Christina were there in the morning when Tom and I voted and were wonderful and supportive.Tom returned to work and I returned to handing out literature explaining the gay marriage law vote. There were 5 others handing out literature. A 21 (Zoha) and 15 (Sabina) year old girl of Indian descent, supporting their relative, Raaheela for school board (whom I met before and was so impressed by).  There was a 31 year old African American man (a big guy, too) named Jonathan and woman, who was a friend of his, supporting the Casino question and all other questions, including 6 (for gay marriage).
  There was also a woman about 60 who was strongly opposed to gay marriage and she was Nasty. She was aggressive and stood at the corner of the sidewalk thrusting her "Vote No on 6" brochure at everyone and telling them "gay marriage is an abomination."
  She caught wind of me, and glared at me. She said that being gay is sick. I told her I was married to a man and wondered how it affected her. She couldn't answer. She said "marriage" is God's word, and shouldn't be associated with "the gays." I asked if she knew gay people and she said "no." I mentioned there are a lot of gay priests and was about to stop talking with her, when she said "all gay priests and gay people are pedophiles."
  The four others standing there handing out flyers were as horrified as I was. Jonathan and his female friend said "You can't say that!  You are so wrong!" The two younger ladies came over and apologized to me for that woman's comment.  Jonathan came over and gave me a hug. I was pretty shaken and the woman was nasty and heartless, so I kept my distance.
    There were a lot of wonderful experiences, though.  Later, Jonathan saw me shivering (I didn't have a warm enough coat or gloves) and he gave me an extra pair of gloves. What a wonderful act.
  Several of our neighbors voted and came out just after that woman's comment - which was SO hurtful. The hatred that woman had for me without even knowing me was really hurtful, and that's the hurt that gay people face with marriage opponents. It was hard not to tear up. My neighbors, Ann, Elvina, Melissa, DeeDee and Bill came out from voting - and all gave me a big hug. It was a much needed, and I'm so grateful for all of them.
   Most of the people that went it to vote walked by me and saw the "Vote Yes on 6" brochures and said "I support you," "it's ridiculous that we have to vote on a basic right," "everyone deserves marriage."  It was encouraging.
  I left and returned with a warmer coat and hat, and coffee for Jonathan and his friend, and hot chocolate for the two girls. They were all so appreciative, and they were a light in my life that day. I didn't bring the nasty woman anything. When I left for the final time, the girls, Jonathan and his friend all gave me big hugs. For the most part people were wonderful and supportive, unfortunately, the hateful ones somehow stick in your memory, too.
  Today, we woke up to find out the Maryland and Maine voted to give gay couples like us the ability to be legally married here, and protected. I can't explain what it feels like to be finally be embraced by the entire state you live in.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next