Saturday, October 22, 2005

Thanks, June.

The other day, while canvassing for MassEquality, I met a woman named June. I was asking people in her neighborhood to sign postcards to their Senator Brian Lees and Representative Gale Candaras, asking them to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment that would take away the right of marriage from same-sex couples at the upcoming constitutional convention. She reminded me a great deal of my mother's mother. Despite her small stature, she is a brash woman of opinion, with a somewhat gravelly voice, and brutal honesty. She interrupted my initial greeting and statement of why I was there, saying (I am paraphrasing) "Well, I think people should just be able to do what they want! It doesn't concern me." It was clear that she didn't know a great deal about my cause, nor did she care about it at all. She obviously thought it was ridiculous that I should be asking her to sign a postcard about somebody else's marriage. Fortunately, she didn't seem to think I was the one being ridiculous, but rather, the people who proposed this amendment who had pushed me to her door, asking a completely disinterested stranger to help me protect my family.
She took my clipboard in, where she and her husband and their two friends were waiting for the Red Sox game to come on the TV. She walked about to different points of the sunroom, debating aloud, not so much with her husband who doesn't support equal marriage, but really with herself. She seemed quite sure that she thought people should just be able to get married if they want to, but was trying to decide whether or not she should sign the postcards. She read the statement of support for equal marriage and wanted to know "why isn't there any place on here that says I think people should just be able to do what they want, and I don't care?" I explained that opposing the amendment is saying just that. She finally decided to sign it, much to the chagrin of her husband, and I'm sure toward a lengthy conversation after I left, saying "well, it's not for me `cause I'm, you know... but if some other people want to, who am I to say they shouldn't?"
I thanked her very much for her time and signatures, and wished everyone a good baseball game, and was on my way. She really made my night. Thinking about her later on, I concluded that she- a person for whom my wedding will not matter a whit- is the most valuable signature I got because she had no reason to spend her time on me and really thought my being at her door was preposterous, but she values the freedom that her country truly stands for and she made her small effort to defend it. So, in return for a really hilarious conversation and her signatures on my clipboard, I'd just like to say thanks to June.

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