Prop H8TE

protest

We boarded the METRO, packed to capacity, and lurched from stop to stop with hundreds of others.  Gay, straight, man, woman, black, white, asian, hispanic, babies, and animals, no one was left behind. Like Noah’s arch, individuals from all walks on life made this public pilgrimage. We were on our way to voice our anger and frustration, all prepared to fight the good fight.

Exiting from the underground, we ascended into daylight as a unified front. We marched in unison up stair after stair with nothing but good will and positive vibrations in tow, leaving the darkness behind. For a moment, it felt as though we were entering the gates of Heaven, preparing to see our names on the list presented by Saint Peter.

On the street level, everyone gathered around the base of City Hall, standing in vogue with rally signs in hand. Some witty, others profound, many silly, these statements became each protester’s freedom of speech. At a glance, they communicated how each person felt about being stripped of his/her rights; and upon further examination, they gave insight into each person’s struggle with what recently just happened. 

Nearby on an adjacent street, anit-protesters protested homosexuality and chanted things about how gay people are among the worst sinners on earth. Unaffected, our congregation pressed forward, past the hatred, and managed to stay focused on the task at hand: To stand together for something we believe is wrong on a human level, wrong on a brotherhood level, and wrong on a neighborly level. Something, to us, as clear and simple as the Golden Rule. 

In my entire adult life, I have never felt that in Los Angeles a sense community existed, or even that the other 5 million inhabitants who live here cared about each other. I always wondered if underneath the glossy exterior existed a communal thread that weaved together the people of this great city. And if so, what was it?

A pulse, an energy, a heartbeat — something that drives the life and synchronizes those who call this place home. 

On Saturday, after years of searching, I finally felt that connection to the city of Los Angeles, to my friends, to my neighbors and to the thousands of supporters who gathered to protest Proposition 8.

“What do we want?” one rally goer shouted. “Equality!” we shouted back. “When do we want it?” he continued.

“Now!”

Being a native Californian, I hope one day we can stop the hate and all marry equally.

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7 thoughts on “Prop H8TE

  1. On election night I felt as a nation that we took a big step forward… and then came the California’s results… with its big step backward.

    I have always had a hard time trying to figure out group hatred and prejudice. Perhaps the Change Now anthem will continue to ring out and we no longer will sit quietly on the sidelines and do nothing.

    My marching and protest days may be behind me, but I can one on one be vocal and let people know where I stand on issues and why. I will no longer sit and be silent, but speak up and out to those around me.

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  2. Although I wasn’t out in the streets this weekend, my heart was with you guys all of the way. The passage of Prop. 8 is the only thing that has every made me disgusted by my fellow Californians.

    The problem with fighting the haters is that they don’t see what they’re doing as hateful. They just think they’re fulfilling God’s laws, and the idea that it could be anything else is such a foreign concept to them. How can you fight that mindset?

    I’m fully confident that gay marriage will be completely legal across (most) of this country sometime in the next 20 to 30 years. It’s just that these bumps in the road on the way there are so frustrating.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. It touched me to hear the experience straight from your heart. The way you expressed your experience is going to be what changes minds, not the fighting or hate speech. Have a great day!

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  4. Anonymous – On this blog and in my life, I welcome perspectives and opinions, whether they’re different from my own, about all things going on in the world. Generally, I encourage people to take a stand and have an opinion because I believe it’s important to have a voice.

    I won’t go on and on about why I disagree with what you wrote, but I will say to you this: If you’re going to take a bold stance against an issue that carries so much emotional weight as this one does, you should be brave enough to announce who you are to the rest of us, rather than hiding in the shadows of anonymity.

    Being a coward about what you feel and what you believe is like having no opinion at all. I hope one day you can be brave enough to say what you mean and mean what you say out in the open.

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