Why is your hatefulness okay, but we're not supposed to disagree?

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).

Ava

First, sorry to hear you’re in pain. I wish you health.

Second, what a bunch of Christo-right-wing fuckers! May they burn in the hell of their own imaginiation!

When you think that Jesus vindicates your position, you tend to do strange things. Forgive them, Avabeth, as they know not what ignorant fucks they are.

Seriously, I do consider myself Christian. But I also believe in Christ’s message of ‘Love Thy Neighbor’. That’s what I try to live by. I do wish everyone could live by that, and I admit, I fail at it a lot. But I think the world would be a much better place if we all tried to live by that message.

What they were supporting didn’t offend me. And even the fact that they were doing it in what’s an illegal place by LAW didn’t offend me. What offended me was being yelled at for having a different stance on the issue, especially when we were incredibly respectful to them at the beginning.

And thanks:) - at least we got to see a whole sky full of hot air balloons - that and the margarita helped a bit with the pain;).

Ava

Ignore me - I keep seeing weird response numbers, but no responses. So this is totally self-indulgent to see if my computer’s just acting up, which I suspect it is.

Ava

Maybe this is an Ohio thing.

I grew up around Columbus, and volunteered at a hospital when I was 16 years old. A lot of people in my family worked in the hospital, and one of my “jobs” was taking paperwork to a nearby clinic owned by the hospital on my way home. It was actually a favor for my cousin who worked in the hospital’s administration, but I digress.

This clinic shared a building and a parking lot with an abortion clinic. Almost every day I had to drop off paper work, this clinic was overrun with protesters. Not ordinary protesters who stand with their signs like human beings. We’re talking rabid, jump-in-front-of-you-and-spit-in-your-face-and-scream animals. Did I mention that they weren’t too bright either? Every time they’d see me (and it was several times a week and always the same people who obviously had lots of time to kill) they’d call me a whore and remind me that I’m going to hell. They’d tell me to keep my legs together and how they hoped I’d die of an infection. Those are the milder taunts they’d yell at the 16 year old Daisy.

I learned to put the paperwork in my backpack or they’d rip it out of my hands. I’d walk with both my hands up in front of my face screaming “You dumbasses, I’m not getting an abortion. I’m going to the hospital clinic to drop off paperwork. Didn’t we go through this yesterday and the day before?” They’d yell that I was a liar, etc etc (like I got an abortion every day! They really must have thought I was a slut.) Finally they’d see me go over to the clinic door and slide my paperwork in the drop slot and only THEN would they seem to all go “Ohhhhhhh, she is dropping off papework.” On my way back to the car, they’d assualt me again but this time just with their “information” about abortions and try to give me all their literature with pictures of (what I know recognize as baby autopsies not aborted babies) to shock me.

The dumbest person out there was me though, because I never complained to my cousin about what went on every day. Finally he took the paperwork over himself one day and witnessed it and forbade me from ever doing it myself again.

/end hijack but had to relate my wacky Ohio protest story.

Well, I’ll help with the response count, but I don’t have a whole lot to add. You’re right. They’re completely wrong, and I’d say, evil.

The only part that I’m going to disagree with is this:

because what they’re supporting is offensive. The fact that you, a heterosexual, happily married Christian, living in an area that is not a stereotypical “hotbed of the gay rights movement,” are still in support of gay marriage, should be ample evidence itself that they’ve crossed the line.

This isn’t just a case of two differing opinions engaged in debate on an issue, hashing things out in reasonable debate, protected under free speech, etc. etc. This is bigotry and homophobia, pure and simple. You are proof that it’s possible to live your life how you want to live it and not be at all threatened by the idea of gay people getting married. You’re not an activist. You don’t have a personal stake in the issue. You’re not part of some big “Gay Agenda.” You’re just able to recognize right from wrong.

But these other people have taken it upon themselves to work to deny people like me the right to get married. And they’re so passionate about it that they ignore legal guidelines and will shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. What could possibly be their motivation? What are they so afraid of? Why are they so filled with hate? Why do they even have a stake in it? And why do so many people still act as if these people have a valid viewpoint that merits debate?

Good luck with your arthritis, avabeth. Glad to hear you managed to have a good time in spite of everything else.

On day two, I would have brought my supersoaker.

This is a recent push in Ohio. Someone must have organized it, because I have been approached twice and this is the third story I have heard. However, I have not heard anything negative like this yet. The two times it happened to me, they were pushy and interrupted a conversation, but when we told them “no, go away”, he walked away.

When my fiance saw them last week, they were fine with him, though. He walked by, the guy asked him to sign, he said “No, thank you, I support gay marriage”, and the guy kind of smiled and said “Well, you could just sign it to get it on the ballot.” very nicely - not pushy or anything. My fiance laughed and walked off, and the guy was fine. So we were kind of surprised to be harrassed this time.

Daisy Mae, that’s just fucked up. Seriously. I’ve only moved to Ohio eight months ago, and it’s gotten to the point where I’m happy in our town, but I can not stand the right-wingers here. I have to turn off the news most of the time because I can’t deal with it. Granted, I lived in NYC for four years, which is just about the most liberal place in the world, and I was and still am incredibly liberal, but I spent a year in VA last year, which was nowhere as bad as here seems to be. I also think I was raised in a very liberal family - my dad is a conservative Republican on most issues, but on social issues like gay marriage and gay rights, he’s just as liberal as I am. So I can see it from both sides most of the time.

SolGrundy, I do agree with what you’re saying, and I understand. And I’ll admit, I do have a personal stake in gay marriage because I have close friends who can’t get married in their states yet, who are just in love as mr avabeth and I are. It hurts to see that they can’t do what we’re doing. So maybe I do get a little angry when I see people like this, but I don’t see the point in getting into a pissing match with them. But you’re absolutely right - I don’t understand WHY this is such a problem for them. How does it affect them? How do two people, of whatever sex, being in love affect them? How does it undermine their marriages? I still stand by the fact that Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez have done more to ruin the institution of marriage than gay marriages ever will. And thanks - we did have a good time. We’ve been so stressed with wedding stuff that it was nice to take a night together and just have fun. We were kind of evil - in his tent for work, we had a great view behind us of this huge hill where people were taking a shortcut - most of the ended up falling on their asses and sliding down the hill. So I laughed:). That took some of the anger from what happened away. (No one was hurt, we watched).

Gamaliel, the next time I see them, and they pull this crap, they’ll probably encourage me to hit the nearest toy store and get one :smiley: . My fiance calls me ‘Gandhi’ because I hate violence in any way, shape, or form, but waterguns aren’t really violent, are they?:).

Ava

Fill one with holy water. You know, just to see.

snark

I’m Episcopalian, my church doesn’t have a font - perhaps I can sneak into the Catholic Church down the street and fill it up from the font?:wink:

Ava

I find this entirely charming. Just wanted to mention that.

Seems to me the best response would have been a quizzical glance and “Funny, I thought protestors were to be kept a thousand feet back.” Then start to move on. When they try to correct you, add “I thought you pro gay marriage people were supposed to be kept away.” Keep walking. If they chase and try to talk to you, say calmly and politely, “That’s okay, I’m not in favour of gay marriage.”

It’s fun. Drives 'em nuts.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

luci, may I bear your child? :smiley:

Oh, I’m not very good at it. I’m getting better because my neighbor’s children mean the world to me, and the last thing I want to do is swear around them. But I try to watch myself in public places. I have a mouth like a fishwife, but I’m careful. My one worst story was with my twelve-year-old cousin on the way to my parents’ house for my brother’s wedding last year from Northern Virginia - I thought she was asleep in the backseat, I was driving, and mr. avabeth was in the passenger seat. A truck was on my ass, and I was saying some not-so-nice stuff pretty loudly. But the kid was asleep, or so I thought. We got to my house, and she immediately says to my mother “You should have HEARD what MANDY was saying in the car! She has a gutter mouth!”. Since then, I’ve tried to watch myself :smiley: .

Hey, EddyTeddyFreddy, get in line:). Luc’s on my good side for the above comment!

And Bryan, that’s a good one. I’m going to try that next time I see them. Along with the Super Soaker.

Ava

Actually, I think I could talk my parish priest into blessing my supersoaker for you, as long as you promise to use only on people protesting in such a way as to make anyone who agrees with them look like idiots. :smiley:
Seriously, sorry to hear that these borons half ruined your time. And I agree 100% about the way that some supposedly adult heterosexual couples have done more to damage marriage than anything allowing homosexual marriage would do.

Oh, and Avabeth, my solution for having a potty mouth around impressionable children is/are puns and Britisms. Most Americans have no idea what a filthy mouth I have when I start muttering in the supermarket, ‘Bugger all, they’re out of the good scones again.’ Likewise, I use ‘Hoover’ in place of ‘D*mn’. It doesn’t really clean up your language, of course - just makes it harder for people to realize just what you’re saying. Besides former sailors aren’t noted for social graces anyways. :smiley: