I usually stay out of any sort of gay marriage debates other than to state that I support it, and the few ‘debates’ I’ve participated in with work friends have been very, very civil - mainly because we all respect one another. I may not agree with your opinion, but I will defend your right to hold that opinion.
However, we attended the yearly BalloonFest here in Ohio to kick off the Football Hall of Fame. Any ‘protestors’ are supposed to be 1000 feet away from the event. So why the hell were these people right inside the grounds, accosting people to sign a petition to bring a ban on gay marriage to the Ohio legislature?
I will preface this by saying that I am in an incredible amount of pain due to arthritis, which is flaring up this week, so I’m slightly irritable. However, I DO respect choices and it still takes a lot to make me speak up in public when it comes to situations like this.
We were pretty much accosted by them when we walked in, and both mr. avabeth and I said “We support it, no thank you.”. As we walked off, they started yelling stuff at us about Corinthians, how horrible it is, etc, and I was nearly pushed over the edge (in fact, every single argument for gay marriage I’ve ever read on the Dope immediately flew into my mind). I made a comment about separation of church and state and rolled my eyes, mr. avabeth grabbed me by the hand and yanked me up the hill, and they were STILL yelling at us. (At that point, I did mutter something about ‘assholes’ under my breath and went to get a margarita to calm myself down…I don’t think they heard me and I didn’t want to say it loudly because there were a lot of children around.).
On the way out a couple of hours later, we purposely moved to the other side of the hill to get out (we would have gone another way, but the only other exit had a large hill with a down slope, and I can’t handle it with my arthritis). They saw us and STILL started shouting at us to sign it. At this point, mr. avabeth knew I was about to blow, so he just pulled me away and we started walking out to our car. Whether it was purposely or not, one of the men from the group ended up behind us - there was no one else around us besides this man. And we were discussing it - I made a comment about ‘protecting the sanctity of marriage, and wanting to talk to Jennifer Lopez and Brittney Spears before looking at gay marriage’ (keep in mind, this was a private conversation between the two of us, our voices were at a simple speaking level, and we were NOT purposely trying to offend the man behind us - in fact, we didn’t even really make the connection between him and the other folks.). He ended up pushing past us and shooting us incredibly dirty looks. Don’t like it? Too bad. We’re allowed to have our opinions, too, especially in our own private conversation.
Now, I totally support their right to be against gay marriage. WE are not. I do NOT support their right to spew their filth on public grounds when the LAW says they are not legally entitled to do so. I do NOT support their right to spew their filth at us when we were very respectful to their first attempt at getting us to sign. That’s just about where my patience ends. Do NOT start yelling at me. That’s the worst way to get me to change my mind, and in fact, it just seriously pisses me off. And my mind isn’t going to change anyway, especially not about this issue. So you’re just wasting your precious breath.
So now I’m sitting here with a package of frozen orange roughy up against my leg to make my leg feel a bit better (we’re out of ice) and the local paper is getting a scathing letter to the editor from me on Monday. What should have been a lovely evening was half-ruined by pushy protestors in the wrong place. And next time, I will not be quiet when they choose to accost us. They want a debate, they will get a debate. I tried to take the high road and be polite, but that’s gone now. (And they will be out again, as this is the 3rd time mr. avabeth has seen them around in the past week and a half).