Monday, November 03, 2008

Sign Wars

This last Saturday I managed to get into a "frank and open," high-volume conversation with my pastor neighbor across the street. For the last few weeks he's had a "Yes on Prop 8" sign prominently displayed in his front yard. Just before Halloween his sign went missing (I promise I didn't take it). But on Saturday he managed to get his sign replaced at about the time I showed up with my "Vote No on Prop 8" sign. That's when things got a bit exciting in our somnolent neigborhood. He started with the "you know gays already have domestic partnerships, which are the same as marriage" and I fired back with "that's a separate but equal argument a la Brown vs Board of Education". Then he came back with the 'school kids forced to watch a lesbian marriage', which my wife responded with the kids weren't required to go and only could go with their parent's permission, then I added that the parents of the kids who were there at the ceremony (and I believe the parents were there too) were aghast that their kids were now featured on a Yes on Prop 8 video. Then I asked why did his church have to focus on the gay issue when 99.9% of the bible has nothing to do with gays. He wouldn't stop proclaiming his point of view and my volume had crept up to the point that my wife chose to drag me off the street and that's where we left it.

FWIW, I recommend reading this article which discusses the details of the Yes on prop 8 claims. It is especially worthwhile if you have concerns about how gay marriage might impact religious institutions (it can't). While I don't agree with my neighbor in any way, I would object to his religion to be legally compromised (which it can't be). It may not change your mind, but at least you'll have the facts straight.

At any rate, the real topic of this entry is about the sign wars around town. Every evening, and especially this weekend, clusters of people waving yes on 8 signs have gathered on 4th and San Benito Street, so too have gathered the No on 8 folks with their signs. Around town, the Yes on 8 signs are posted in vacant lots, street corners, and front yards. There's even a truck pulling a trailer plastered with the signs, which gets left at various intersections around town. (I have fantasized about adding a particularly nasty URL to the side of the trailer to highlight the intolerance of the Yes on Prop 8 movement, such that it might shame the proponents sufficiently to quit, but alas never acted on it.) There are a smattering of no on 8 signs as well scattered around town, including the one in my front yard. I pause to wonder if any of the yes or no signs will effect the votes of our neighbors, or are they just managing to annoy. On Wednesday, one way or another, the war will be over and the signs will come down. I look forward to Wednesday.


Blogger cat said...

Well done. I always want to ask people to explain to me why they fear gay marriage. I wish I could find someone to answer that question for me. I promise I would shut up and listen and maybe ask a few more questions. If it's becasue it says so in the Bible then I want to know why it is a problem. Lots of people do all kinds of stuff it says you're not suposed to do in the Bible - pork for instance. It says no pork in the Bible for sure NO PORK but I could openly order a BLT and I suspect no one will be disturbed. I think even my Jewish friends would be okay with me having the BLT because it's my BLT and they figure it's my business. So what I want to know is why is homosexuality differnt than bacon?

11:00 AM  

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