My gorgeous B and I are voting for a Republican this election. Not only are we voting for him but we have dedicated our weekends and evenings to campaigning for him. It's a strange twist for us, but one we have embraced and learned a lot from.
The most important thing we have learned is that when voting for a candidate, look at that candidate - not just the party affiliation. This past weekend we had the pleasure of blowing up hundreds of balloons in support of the judge, and once again standing at the Republican booth (not our favorite activity). While standing with the Republicans, we decided to put our newly adopted mantra (important to look at the candidate, not just the party) to work. We first spoke to Steve McLaughlin - Father, Businessman, Leader - who is running for state Assembly. He also looks a little like George Clooney.
B: Hi, I am Brenda. S: Hi Brenda, Steve Mclaughlin B: Nice to meet you. This is my partner, Leah. S: Hi Leah, Steve McLaughlin L: Hi B: Leah and I are getting married in California and we want to know what you are going to do to bring marriage equality to New York. (L swooning over B's directness) S: Oh, well, congratulations...blah, blah, blah, let me ask you a stupid question. What will you call eachother? B & L: wives. S: Oh, OK. I belive in equal rights for all people, I just don't want to call it marriage. L: Why? What's the difference. If you want us to have all the rights of all others, why not just call it marriage? (B swooning over L's intelligent question) S: I will keep an open mind. I don't have a problem with rights, just with the word marriage. B: By calling it marriage, it takes nothing away from your marriage or your neighbor's marrige, or your parents' marriage. L: We want it to be called marriage because of the social implications. Everyone knows what marriage means. Nobody knows or cares what a civil union is or means. L, B & S: blah, blah, blah, all of us saying intelligent thought provoking things.
In the end B and I were pleased with our discussion and with Steve's open-mindedness. We enlightened him on a few issues and we appreciated his openness, his questions and the fact that he really did engage us in conversation. We aren't voting for him, but we thoroughly explored our new mantra.
We then spoke to Roy McDonald - ummm ick. We began the conversation in the same way, asking for his stance on marriage equality and his answer to ALL of our questions is that disabilities is a big issue. What? We asked about lesbians getting married. He continued on and on... The disabled don't have rights, they need help, I am here to help.....blah, blah. Yes, but we are asking about us - issues that concern us, STOP ignoring us, we are standing right in front of you, asking you questions. The disabled can get married and they have the Americans with Disabilities Act on their side, Roy. They have federal legislation protecting them, Roy. We don't. Of course the disabled have issues, but we weren't asking about them, we were asking about us.
So, Roy, you will not be getting our vote. You did not listen to our concerns, you seemed to think that we would think you were a great guy because you have compassion for people with disabilities, and you looked uncomfortable. Just be honest with us and tell us your don't support marriage equality and we would have all been happy to end the conversation much sooner.