Monday, November 3, 2008

See the thing is....

I don't mean to beat a dead horse (is that the worst expression or what?)...but ....

I did something I've never done before on Saturday.

I stood out in the rain holding a sign on the street corner. It was a busy street corner because it was near Target and Costco and those are very important stores in my life and the lives of others.

Now, you are probably wondering what this sign said.

And what would coerce me to leave my three children and husband on a Saturday for?

And how did my hair do in the rain (well, it did very poorly to answer you, but fortunately I hadn't done it that day and took it as a small miracle that my hair doing efforts weren't in vain)

Well, The particular sign I was holding said, "Prop 8 = religious freedom". And I am all about religious freedom. That is why this beautiful country was founded. But other signs around me said "Yes on 8" "Prop 8 = parental rights" "Prop 8 = less government" "Prop 8 = free speech"

Go check out the link of the right if you want to know what prop 8 because I am not going to go into it that much.

Here is the backstory: My friend Julie (a beautiful red-head who talked me into my first and only triathlon last year...that girl could talk me into anything) called at 9:45 a.m. and said, "Quick, we are trying to get 50 people at the corner of...(insert very busy intersection) to hold Prop 8 signs" Well, at first I was like, "uhhhh...". And then I was like, "Yeah". And then I felt all good and warm inside and knew that this was right for me to do. Don't you love that feeling? And so I went. I did apply some makeup first and kissed my family good bye. And called a few more people to rope them in as well. A sign holding party if you will.

So I showed up. And nobody was there. So I'm speed dialing that cute Julie and she said she is coming. And so I did what any resourceful mother would do. I pulled out my red marker and my 1/4 piece of white posterboard and started making a sign. It said, "Yes on 8 " and then I added, "I love gay people". Because that is true.

So to further the story, some ladies passed me in my car, and they saw me drawing my homemade sign and pointed. Turns out they were there to hold signs too. So we bonded. Strangers. Ready to work and probably get flipped off. (I did get called a douche bag (hopefully my children don't read this) once, but mostly it was very positive).

I found Julie. And others came. The sign guy brought real signs. And so I used both. and then we got poured on. And I really wished I had an umbrella or a hat. I had to ditch my homemade sign after that because it was dirty. And we got lots of honks (honks are good in case you are wondering. honks when you are holding signs mean you support, not like the honks I get on the freeway).

So what did I do for two hours? I held that sign and smiled. It was really fun. And felt like I was contributing to my little piece of America. I imagined that if I ever run for office, will they have photos of my sign holding like they do of 60s protestors and flag burners? Maybe. And debated with my friends who were also holding signs and made me defend my argument for yes on prop 8 ("Don't give me a religious answer...give me some logic").

But mostly I wished to convey in my smile that I am not a hater. I don't hate anyone. I wish everyone happiness and love. California has equal rights for all couples even if prop 8 passes. I think that is right. Some of the most wonderful, lovely and talented people I know are gay. This one couple when I apartment managed were the kindest neighbors who were the few (of my tenants) who treated me so nice. My friends who happen to be gay have influenced me and enriched my life. You can still have gay friends and love them and want to protect the definition of marriage. I am. Or is it I do? (Jason correct my grammar please!) But I also am a firm believer in that we are not all the same. And you can't change the definition of something because it doesn't fit you. Jason and I don't have a domestic partnership or a union...we are married. And we can bring children into the world (I know nobody likes that argument, but that is true and there is a responsiblity with that). Remember I am a stay at home mother and regard it as my 'profession' if you will.

But let me tell you about the Mormons. We are a misunderstood bunch. The whole non-Christian polygamist charade is old and ignorant. One thing about us that is true (okay, most of you already know this because you are mormon so humor me) is we are not complacent. We are sign holders. I read in the LA Times that 40 percent of the 65 million dollars (It was 31 million for the yes portion at that time...the 65 million is combined yes and no totals) is estimated to be from the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons or LDS). Congrats to the Catholics and Jews and other churches for also rallying other funds (those are the dominating religions in my area). Because marriage between a man and a woman is sacred to us. Fundamental to our doctrine. The reason we get married in temples is so that we can be married forever and not just til death do us part. Forever. Which means I will hold up a sign in the rain on a Saturday. And have a sign in my yard and on my car and donate money.

Amongst my friends the thing we are most sad about is that Prop 8 supporters are being portrayed as discriminating hate crazies. That is not true. Because I am one of them.

Okay, this is already way too long and my girls are now awake and need me, but there's something to think about.

please excuse the less than flattering picture of myself, but this required documentation

addition: Since I wrote this a few minutes ago, my sign was stolen from my front yard. How is that for free speech?


Arlene and Chris said...

that's awesome AND brave of you to go out there!!! Part of me would love to go out today (ventura and white oak) from your email but the other part of me that, that is my front yard and I have gay tenants in my building. I don't want to cause any tension in my home. Bad excuse but I commend your courage!

Pam said...

brooke you are an inspiration to us all! and props to you for listening to the spirit and not going to the garment district with us saturday morning. it feels good to know that your prompting was for real! i hope people who aren't mormon read this and "get" mormons a little bit better now. talk about discrimination, try advertising your "yes on 8" vote in l.a.

i love that you put "i love gays". i do too, as do all of my fellow church goers!

Brent and Emily said...

Brooke, thanks for being awesome! I wish more people could be like you. It's a hard topic. I get it. But the prophet has asked us to do it and that's the same as coming straight from the Lord. So, thanks for being you and being willing to put yourself out there. I got a text about your sign holding party but I was busy hanging door hangers in Toluca Lake. Tomorrow I'm working at one of the precincts and also at our Stake's calling center. It should be a good day, except for all of the swearing and stuff I plan on hearing. I better practice my "I don't care what you think of me" smile.

In conclusion: Go Brooke! And Yes on 8!!

Crazy Lady said...

dude, this wasn't supposed to be a 'go brooke' post, but thanks for the support.

and i should add it didn't rain the whole time.

beth said...

That's awesome. I love this story and your homemade sign. Here's to tomorrow!

Porter said...

you continue to amazing me brooke. you are awesome. i wish i could have done some sign holding with you. what a fun few hours!
congrats for standing up for what you believe in.

Anonymous said...

I hope prop 8 passes. Just like I hope prop 102 (AZ) passes. I did the phone bank twice. Put a sign in my yard, the first one was stolen, so we put another one in our big bush by our front door. Still there. Rob's going down to the polls tomorrow to hold a sign. I HOPE IT PASSES!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the rain! You stand for truth and righteousness when it is definitely not easy!
Love ya, Erin

Sarah said...

Hey, I admire you, Brooke. I know you said this post wasn't supposed to be about you, but I still admire you. I'm really anxious to see what the outcome will be after the election.

Jon and Stacey said...

Brook...I am really glad that you called me because I feel like this is something that is totally out of my comfort zone, but it felt really good to publically stand up for what I believe in. I was super nervous about going because when Jon went he got a lot of bad feed-back, but I felt like I learned a lot about myself (which sounds totally cheesy). You are someone I really look up to, thanks for getting me out on the street:)

And for the record, your rain hair looked fantastic.

Than, Erica, Pacen & Camry said...

You are so great! I'm so glad that there are people like you out there fighting for this. Let's see what happens today. I'm voting in spirit here in Utah--too bad that doesn't count!

Teresa said...

My friend and I were hanging polling place door hangers when the rain hit. We looked like crazy people running from door to door in the rain. Ooh, giving up the fashion district for Prop 8 sign waiving - I don't know if I could have done that (hehe).

Nathan and Emily said...

I love it! Is my husband trying to cover his face? I'm so glad you guys were there, I am truly nervous about today. I really wish I could have been there.

Lisa -- said...

Way to Go, Brooke! Our stake divided up yesterday, 2 grps of 4 wards, and lined the streets of two major intersection in Riverside with Yes on 8 signs. It was a powerful sight! Did you hear about the ad that ran today about two Mormon missionaries invading the home of a gay couple to tear up their marriage license? The opposition hit a dirty low with that one since it is ALL reglious sects working with us.

sara said...

Brooke, you rock!! Good job holding the signs and thanks for the phone call.

Anonymous said...

Great job. I do have to say that I was so happy to wake up this morning and see that Prop 8 had passed. Living in WA, we haven't been as close to it as you all have. So many of our friends who live in CA have been diligently working to support the Proposition, which is very admirable.

Amberli said...

impressive, you political activist you! i'm real glad i wasn't living in CA during this time. so sad to hear about all the controversy!