Truthful, clean, focused

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Truthful, clean, focused

Post by T on Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:19 pm

Truthful, clean, focused

I would like to congratulate the participants in/supporters of the recent NO ON 1 campaign. Although they lost the vote, each and every one of them should be extremely proud of themselves for the truthful, clean, focused and very respectful campaign that they were all a part of. None of which can be said of the opposing YES ON 1 campaign and/or its participants.

The NO media campaign used words like family, love, equality, commitment. Unlike the YES campaign whose media ads stirred an atmosphere of hate, distrust, fear, etc. More often than not, their ads contained information with no factual basis, used only to create their hate-mongering, fear-inducing atmosphere. Media behavior aside, YES campaigners should be very ashamed of themselves for the individual behaviors I witnessed personally as a NO supporter and campaigner.

For example — At an outdoor rally I attended in South Paris, there were approximately fifty other NO folks, including some young children supporting their family/families. There was also one lone YES person. That YES person stood side-by-side with NO supporters during the entire event without incident. NO supporters at the rally were very respectful of his right to be there and to voice his opinion — regardless that it is/was different than their own — as long as he was willing to also afford them that same courtesy. NO supporters who passed the group of campaigners honked their horns, smiled, hollered encouragement to the NO side, gave the “thumbs up” signal. Not once did I see or hear any NO supporters even acknowledge the YES supporter and/or his sign, much less react to him.

Had the shoe been on the other foot, as the saying goes — and there had been fifty YES supporters in a group, I’m not sure that a NO supporter would have been “allowed” to show/voice their personal opinion on the issue. Based on the behavior I saw from the YES supporters at that rally and elsewhere, I’m positive that a single NO supporter would not have even dared to stand alone, toe-to-toe in a group of fifty YES supporters.

At this particular rally, passing YES supporters, instead of supporting their one lone campaigner, chose to ignore him and make obscene gestures, roll down their windows and spit, scream rude and obnoxious things like “faggot,” “die,” “queer,” “death to all faggots,” “no fags allowed,” “queer lovers” to name just a few. Charming, huh? With kids very obviously in the group! And to think they actually eat with those same filthy mouths? Their mothers should be so proud!

Just so folks don’t think my previous experience was a “fluke” or an “isolated incident” or only “some YES people” — On the day of the vote, several other NO supporters and I, were carrying NO signs near a voting venue right here in Rumford. Two YES supporters with signs were across the street. Again, the same behavior pattern on both sides of the issue. NO supporters honked, smiled, hollered support, etc., while YES supporters once again chose not to support their own, out-numbered campaigners but, instead focused their negative comments and rude behaviors toward the NO crowd — derogatory terms, spitting, “one-finger salutes,” etc. One car full of younger males actually pulled over and told the group of NO supporters they should “ ... do everyone a favor and just jump off the bridge while they were already right there, rid the world of at least a few of the [fags, queers, one of those derogatory terms, not sure exactly which one]” I was livid when I found out about it! One of those "@#$%*#%" was my daughter! And every single one of them standing on that bridge was and still is someone’s daughter, son, sister, mother, brother.

Anyway, so no one thinks the obnoxious behaviors of the YES supporters that I saw were simply peer pressure, group-induced behavior or just some YES people. I was by myself, putting up NO signs near where I live. At one stop, I noticed a lady come down out of her driveway and watch me. When I went across the road to put up another sign, the lady tore down the one I had just put up. When I got in my car, she tore down the second one. Rather than waste more signs, I moved on. At that point she called me some of the usual lover names and damned my soul to hell. Sweet, huh? Nice “Christian” lady. Oh! By the way, did you know there’s actually a fine for tampering with political signs? Just thought I’d give ya heads up in case the cops come knocking at your door.

At another stop, a woman yelled quotes from her Bible while she threatened to sic her dogs on me. At yet another, I was called “disgusting,” an “abomination” and was actually spit at. Nice, huh? The woman there told me she “didn’t want those disgusting, queer-loving signs on her property” although they were at the edge of the road and across the street on what was very obviously public domain. So much for freedom of speech, only if you wanna pay for it, I guess. Or as long as you only speak their language.

So what, you might ask, is/was/has been my response to all of this? I’ve come up with a standard, truthful reply to anyone who may try/have tried to impede my right to express my opinion. Think maybe I’ll have ‘em printed up kinda like a business card. Hand ‘em out next time. “I’m sorry that you’re upset sir/ma’am. I respect your right to think and support whatever you choose to around this issue. If you don’t like my NO signs/pins/whatever, I fully respect your right to put up a YES one right beside it/wear a YES button of your own/whatever. You have the right to have and are entitled to express your opinion that is different than mine. What you don’t have the right to do is try and take away that very same right from me.”

I’m sure some folks who read this will recognize my name and say “ ….. yeah, she has a gay daughter.” (Pursed lips, folded arms, big sigh and eye roll.) Well, they would be right, I do. I love her very much and I am/always have been/always will be very proud of her.

I’m planning her wedding for this summer. Yup, the dress, the church, the flowers, the limo, the whole sha-bang. Why should she be denied the right to get married? Why should I be denied the right to plan and host the wedding of my only daughter just because she happened to be born gay? (Gasp and clutch your chest!) Oh, I know, she chose to be gay, right? Yeah, she chose to be disliked? Chose to be distrusted? Chose to be discriminated against? Hated? Bashed? Beaten? Murdered? It’s ridiculous!

So, in August my husband and I will walk our daughter down the aisle and because of that dislike, distrust, discrimination she will become a “Registered Domestic Partner” instead of a wife. However, when the law finally does pass in Maine — and it will — she will marry that partner because she loves her. Because they want to spend their lives together. Because they want to raise their children together and work and pay taxes and fight and make up and grow old together just like every other couple in love wants and not because they want to teach your second-grader about same-sex marriage!

Diane Farnum

Roxbury

The Bethel Citizen

T

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Registration date : 2008-06-23

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