Friday, November 07, 2008

Protest

Tonight there will be a protest at the SLC LDS temple.

Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, states "Friday's message will be one of hope for steady progress towards equality and fairness - a message everyone can believe in."

I hope she's right, and I hope the crowd keeps civil. Actually, I'm not really that worried it will get out of hand. We know a lot of those in leadership positions and I think I know that they'd keep it peaceful and I feel near sure it will remain that way.

I wish this all wasn't happening, though, and that we all could just live and let live. I also understand you just can't take it without defending yourself. I know first hand the damage done. They have played a huge part in stepping into the affairs of our homes, lives, and churches, legally harming many of our families. In rhetoric, they have insulted our marriages, our families, and even our children, and made it all worse in then asking for our respect for the incivility (for example: Chedner's blog and isocrat's blog). I could see how a peaceful protest outside their church may be a reasonable response.

But, remember who we are dealing with. They are our families, and they are our neighbors, and most are holding good intentions. Yes, they've brazenly broken the Golden Rule, and there is reason to respond, but it will do no one any good personally or politically if we do what they've done to us and start getting in the way of their rights.

Simply, I hope anyone going tonight will consider some suggestions:

1. Please, please let's do not harass anyone going into or out of the temple. We cannot get in anyone's face and we certainly cannot even touch another person (unless it's for a consensual hug, or possibly even a non-french kiss).

2. Let's keep from using the words "hate" and "bigot" on signs. They do not accurately describe the other side, and we, of all people, should know that telling your opponent what they feel directly when they don't feel it is the best way to shut their ears and tell them you don't know what you're talking about. They are "prejudiced" against our families by definition, and they are making choices that a bigot against us would also make, but they (well, most) are not experiencing the emotion of hate that typically goes with the word. In fact, the cloud and the silver lining here is that they feel they are being loving and good.

3. Let's try instead to tell them what they've done to our families, our couples, and our children, instead of telling them we're angry because of it. They know we're upset, in our satanically inspired rebellion against all that is good :-). More and more, though, I'm sure they do not understand, and this may be one more opportunity to get them to hear us. Or it could be just a PR mess; it's up to us.

4. Let's stay off their property. It's theirs, they own it, and can say who gets to be on it, even on that little bit of Paris where our public main street once ran ;-). Anyone has every right to speak at and be on public property; we all certainly have a right to gather and protest. And sure, I know they fight to take our rights and harm our homes, but let's not get into a tit-for-tat; let's show them, by example, what it looks like to respect the rights of others.

--To assure that end, please, let's leave our anger home. If we cannot go there with our calm wits about us, we should not be there. Sadness will inevitably tag along, and that's fine. Righteous indignation? Okay, but anger will likely end in more sadness. Yes, they are doing wrong and doing harm, but they have their reasons. As I always remind myself, being angry at people is as reasonable as being angry at the weather, the main difference being anger at the weather isn't likely to make the weather worse.

Anyway, I hope this all goes well, peaceful. We do not know if we'll be there or not. I can see reasons on both sides. But, as we'll be having dinner a block away tonight, I probably won't be able to keep my curiosity from letting me peak in. If I do it will be my second time protesting at a LDS temple (please note, the first time was a 100% complete accident :-)).

7 comments:

Dave said...

More and more I'm thinking we, as a GLBT community along with our straight allies, are going to have to do what African-Americans did in order to get equal rights(protests, marches, civil disobedience, etc). Speaking for myself, I have been guilty of expecting equality to be handed to me on a silver platter without putting much effort into it. Maybe the protest tonight in SLC is a step in the direction we need to take.

Cadence said...

scot,
everything you said was very well put... and I agree... I haven't made up my mind if I'll go but I think curiosity will get the best of me too... anyway

Trey said...

Thank you Scot. I think you have said it well. I think a protest is a legitimate response, but I'd like to see it done well. It should have the feeling more of a vigil than a protest. I know some people (including some elderly) who are going, knowing them at least I know it will be respectful but firm. I can hope.

J G-W said...

I'll be thinking of you, hoping it goes in the right spirit.

Scot said...

"More and more I'm thinking we, as a GLBT community along with our straight allies, are going to have to do what African-Americans did in order to get equal rights(protests, marches, civil disobedience, etc)."

I'm sure you may be right. I find myself stunned often that this isn't just a simple case to make.

I missed seeing the rest of the mohos at the event but the crowd was so big it's no surprise. Anyway, we only stayed for the rally at the park, but it went great.

rowanb80feld@yahoo.com said...

Wow Scot.

You must be a saint..I guess is why you are able to do a PHD...

How can you still be so reasonable? Do you not want 'revenge' of some sort for the blatant irrationality and double standards when it comes to 'marriage'?

Longterm thinking-you're on the right path...which is the essence of what should come out of this situation.

Lets hope globally-this becomes a BIG issue about gay rights.

Scot said...

:-) rowan, it's having kids that mellows you out and (energies you simultaneously).

"Do you not want 'revenge' of some sort for the blatant irrationality and double standards when it comes to 'marriage'?"

That's what living well if for ;-). Nah, they have their reasons.