Yesterday was an utterly wonderful day. The morning was quiet and peaceful. I spent most of it being as lazy as possible, just snoozing and watching tv and occasionally puttering around doing tiny little chores.
Then came the afternoon. KidThree and I got ourselves ready and out the door and headed over to the county seat to celebrate Gay Marriage!! We didn't know anyone involved but wanted to help ensure the pro-love people outnumbered the anti-love people. KidTwo was out of the country and KidOne was in class (first one of the summer session, so she couldn't miss it and hope to keep her seat), so we had to represent all of us.
It was wonderful. We got to the county admin building, where a friendly man directed us around the side to the wheelchair ramp and then met us at the door at the head of it to let us in. (As it was after-hours, all side and back doors were locked.) There were plenty of police, all set to protect gays instead of harass them--what a lovely turnaround in our society. The protesters were pitiful. Just five of them. The happy celebrating folks outnumbered them by a large margin.
Inside was equally nice. Sometimes the wheelchair can come in handy. A news photographer saw KidThree and me behind him and moved out of the way so KidThree could be right in front of the windows of the room used as a wedding chapel. We watched the entire first ceremony, finding a friend of a friend in the crowd to visit with. This man was friends with the brides, so he took us right to the reception in the foyer and got us cake--how nice!
Someone had had the foresight to prepare a lot of signs for people to carry when they left, to help counter the protesters' signs. After thoroughly enjoying the reception for a bit, we gathered up a set of those signs and went outside to enjoy the sights and welcome couples and hold up our signs. Again, we got a special escort so we could get out of the building via a door near a ramp.
Outside, we parked ourselves right by the path used by the happy couples to enter the building, just a few feet from the protesters. KidThree had fun engaging one of the protesters for a bit, an older man who looked maliciously satisfied at the thought of her spending eternity in a lake of fire. What a lovely advertisement for a religion that promotes 'love of all.' This same man spent quite a bit of time trying to convince the cops next to him to go in to arrest our county recorder, or to let him go make a citizen's arrest. No go. The cops were friendly but determined and didn't let him disrupt things.
One thing I did notice about the protesters that I think bears out the idea that a lot of anti-gay sentiment is from suppressed thoughts or proclivities on the part of the anti- folks. Four of the five protesters were men. They dutifully ranted away at the female couples, but then when a male couple came in, they got really animated. The two men horrified them much more than the several pairs of women who had preceded them. It was interesting to see. (The one female protester was a teen who had apparently been brought there by her father; she dutifully held up a sign but otherwise stood back by the safety of their truck and didn't say a word.)
Several groups entering the building thanked us for being there. KidThree is so cute and was so front and center in her wheelchair that she got lots of personal thank you's. We ended up giving some of our sign collection (we had gotten one of each) to some young girls who wanted to get signs but had missed the chance. There was a pair of young boys there on their funny bicycles holding up signs with us and making lots of responses back to one of the protesters. We had a good time joking around with them. Down the block by the other building entrance was a group of teens who had seen on the news that this all was happening and that protesters were there; this terrific group of kids got immediately to work, fixed up some big bright signs of their own, and came down to counter the protesters. What good kids--I was so proud of them.
It was a lovely day. The protesters were so few in number, the police were so good at keeping them relatively contained, and the engaged couples with their families and friends were so very joyful. It was wonderful to be able to go share in that, even just a little bit. Good for my state, good for my county, good for my county recorder, and most of all, good for the happy couples.
I am vehemently pro- everything that makes the world a happier place, that brings more joy, that celebrates love and family and honor and commitment. The more people pledge themselves to each other, the better.
KidThree was impressed by the number of news trucks outside and by the number of news people she recognized from having seen them on tv. She even saw one who had come to the scene when she was shot. I told her to enjoy seeing a bit of history being made and that when her kids were grown, they would be totally befuddled that this had ever been an issue.
O Happy Day!