Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Big Fat Change Day: Much Ado About Nothing

So all my worries about Yes on 8 ugliness turned out to be unfounded. My day working the polls for No on 8 turned out to be remarkably civil, rather hopeful, but ultimately sedate. I got up way too fucking early this morning, and me and my poll partner headed out to Antioch, the ass-end of Pittsburg, the ass-end of Concord. This place is seriously gangsta, and I expected a heavy turnout of religiously-oriented minorities backed by the occasional Central Valley redneck. There was more than a little of that, but in truth, it felt like more than 50-50 between the No vs Yes on 8 supporters. And as for those Yes on 8 supporters, when the banner-wavers figured out what we were doing, they quickly brought some folks over to wave their signs beside us and not do to much else. While I often left my perch to approach folks, hand out pamphlets, and engage them in conversation on Prop 8, the Yes'rs were very docile, doing nothing more than waving their signs and not really stepping forward to hand out materials to voters (we suspected they didn't have enough literature on them to share it). We had conversations together, mostly on non-Prop 8 stuff because whenever they tried to convince us that disallowing gay marriage was somehow not discrimination, I only had to bring up all the joy and love I witnessed in City Hall, and how Prop 8 would ruin that for people, to render them dumbfounded.

About the only bit of ugliness was a man, driving out of the polling place, yelled out to Yes on 8'rs that what they were doing was bigotry and that it paralleled the hateful legislation that banned interracial marriage before activist judges struck those laws down with Loving v. Virginia. I agreed with the man, but there was no reason to scream it from a moving truck to people that were behaving civilly up to that point.

There was an early morning rush, but by the time my shift ended at 2pm, the polling site was virtually deserted. So, with my legs utterly ruined from standing for so long (these legs of mine are meant to sit on an ottoman, not stand), I bowed out for the day. Due to the heavy number of people that confirmed they were voting No on 8 in what should be a relatively conservative part of the Bay Area, I felt optimistic if not convinced that we might win the day.

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