Prop Hate

Allow me to relive a story from my first day back to work this morning. The following interaction took place at the Starbucks next to my office.

Characters: seated customers, myself, standing customers awaiting drink orders, Starbucks staff

The scene: two guys in their early 50’s sitting at a table adjacent to where customers pickup their caffeinated offerings.

I ordered my beverage and breakfast sandwich and patiently wait for my drink to be announced. While waiting I overhear two guys sitting at the table chatting amongst themselves. At first I tune them out, but it became increasingly difficult to ignore their banter since my drink was a little slow and based on the content of their discussion.

A guy with his back to me says to his friend “some day they will try to make it legal in every state”. Of course this guy is talking about gay marriage. I scan their table and notice his paperback version of the bible.

I butt in and clearly state my objection, “and that would be such a bad thing?”

The man seems a bit annoyed I had something to say. He says, “you bet it is”. I ask why it’s a bad thing again. He points to his bible and says “because this books says so”.

Man, when are people ever going to learn. I quip back to him, “you know not everyone believes in that book”. He remains annoyed and keeps looking over his shoulder. Lucky for him (and probably myself) my grande peppermint mocha showed up shortly after.

Perhaps it was rude of me to butt in on their private conversation. However, these are the same type of people telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. I think I’m well within my right to tell them I beg to differ. What two consenting adults do with their lives behind closed doors is none of my business. I’m not gay, but I’m also not going to let homophobes spread their hate.

Let them get married! It’s not like marriage is a walk in the park, not saying anything bad about my own marriage. I’m simply saying all people deserve to have the same rights, all people. Doesn’t the bible mention something about loving all of god’s creatures equally? Or is that portion ignored or open to interpretation?

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About lessinges

Seattle native, discovering life! I like ice cream, cold cereal, and The Amazing Race.
This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Flirting with Homosexuality, Opinionated, The Vigilante, Who Edits a Blog Entry. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Prop Hate

  1. kelwhy says:

    Good for you! That’s great that you spoke up – not enough people do that!
    why can’t people just let others be…???

  2. egan says:

    Kelwhy – I don’t know. Consenting adults should be allowed to do whatever they want. Whether it’s marriage, adoption, buy a house, life insurance, etc. Thanks for your feedback.

  3. kirk says:

    It is amazing that people still cling to that. Most religious people look past the parts in the bible that also say that eating shellfish is an abomination of the same level as being gay. Or that you should not work on the sabbath. Or that if your kid mouths off it is OK to stone them (and not the good kind of the stoned).
    I’ve always wondered just how these people come off telling others how to live their lives and that they are denying basic rights to others. Who fucking cares if someone else wants to get married?
    I am a big proponent of the separation between church and state. The civil part of marriage — that the government recognizes the status — should not have anything to do religion and vice versa. That utter bullshit that gay marriage threatens straight marriage made me so mad. It is too easy for straight people to get married (half of marriages fail) and too hard for gay people to get married.
    My only disappointment from Tuesday was prop 8 failing in California (and the other states where something similar was on the ballot) but especially in California since I’m from there and will go back. The big myth of California is it is a kooky liberal state, but it is just like the rest of the country where the people in the cities are progressive and the people in the country are behind the times. Take a look at the LA Time’s county by county look at Prop 8. It passed in the heavy rural counties and where McCain did well.
    It used to be that interracial marriage was illegal. Now we have the product of an interracial couple as president. So in time there will be gay marriage. And Anna and her kids will look back at us thinking how backward we are now.

  4. Golden says:

    I am a Christian. There’s a lot of different ways to look at and define that word. So depending on how you define it, I guess is how you’ll define me.
    I saw images of people celebrating the fact that gay marriage is still illegal (or whatever happened there in Cali..). It made me sick to my stomach. It is not our job to dictate what others do, if we do that, we are judging them. That is not our place. I do believe that love crosses gender boundaries, and there’s not enough love as it is.

  5. justrun says:

    As someone who’s felt it necessary to butt in a lot lately, I’m proud of you. It’s a battle worth choosing if you ask me.

  6. I think that you had every right to speak up. I mean, they had that conversation in a public place so it couldn’t have been that private. And also, it’s not like they were talking about something private … this is an issue that is unfortunately being thrust out there. It’s unfortunate because it shouldn’t even be an issue to begin with. I’m Catholic, but I believe that love isn’t something that can only be reserved for a man and a woman. Does that mean the “book” should be thrown at me? If he really wants to spout biblical references, at the end of the day, the teachings are all about tolerance and acceptance. Maybe he shouldn’t focus so much on the old testament.

  7. thistle says:

    ah well, you don’t want me to get started on how fundamentalists mess so many things up (Dubyua are you listening?…)
    and you’re now a super hero in my eyes…well done…

  8. brandy says:

    I just read a book the focused on this and it was an interesting read. According to many people who have studied the Bible (and let me be clear in saying that I haven’t so I’m just showing a different view), the passages from the Bible that people most often quote to give credit to the ‘anit-gay’ belief, aren’t really anti-gay at all. They are anti-abuse, or antipaganism. There’s many examples, one being the most often quoted passage from Leviticus “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination”. Some discuss that in biblical times, woman were not seen in the same way as men- they were viewed just slightly above slaves, so to lie with a man like a woman would have been to disgrace him. (There’s obviously way more to this, I’m just typing up the short version). Though it’s still not pretty to imagine a time where woman and men weren’t respected equally, I thought it was an interesting take on the quote.
    I guess what I’m saying is that even those who believe ‘in the book’, could still believe in gay marriage and use the Bible to support that belief. As for what you did- I definitely think you had a right to speak up. If we become a world where we think it’s only appropriate to interrupt the polite conversations, or ones dealing with who got kicked off Survivor, I think we would be a very boring world.

  9. Amanda says:

    Good on you for butting into that conversation. I believe in many parts of that book but it was written and interpreted by man, so, I guess there are some parts that I choose to ignore. Sometimes, I believe that gays hold marriage to a higher regard than heterosexuals because it is something that is so hard for them to attain.

  10. Maggie says:

    a) these are the type of people who have no qualms about knocking on your door to tell you how you should live, or to voice their heinously wrong ‘moralistic’ (sha right) views whenever they disagree with someone say, on the bus, on the street or anywhere. So don’t feel bad about voicing your opinion. More people should let these Bible thumpers know that they are not the only people in the world.
    b) I just don’t get why they care. Anyone they pal around with is going to be either straight or dangerously closeted and therefore all marrying male/female. So those that wish to marry and live according to another way would hardly ever enter their sphere. And even if they did, like you said, they are no different than any other married couple. They don’t go around spouting dirty secrets of their bedroom to sensationalize their lives. In fact I would venture to say that in large part, that would be making their lives even harder. Why oh why can’t people just be allowed to be?
    c) I think it’s a power trip. Same people (Bible thumping men) have major power trips over women. I’ve been there. It’s disgusting.

  11. Gwen says:

    I would never butt in, just because at that point, I’m not changing anybody’s mind. So I ask myself: what’s the point of the discussion? To make me feel self-righteous? Because isn’t that exactly what the person who is annoying me is doing?
    Understand, however, that I am pathologically conflict averse, so my way isn’t necessarily right.
    The thing that troubles me about the gay marriage debate is that people on both sides end up looking kind of hideously intolerant. The word “evil” gets thrown out by each party. And then everyone just sounds wrong. There’s this strange irony to the argument: “I won’t tolerate your intolerance!” “Well, I won’t tolerate your intolerance of MY intolerance!” Round and round it goes.
    And it’s not like racial intolerance, which has no basis in any religious principles (no it doesn’t, KKK). It’s difficult to argue religion with people because most religions take a relatively narrow view of things. They have to, otherwise how could they sell themselves as being the Way? No one wants their faith, their life’s guiding principles, knocked out from under them, right? So I think that makes the issue even stickier.
    (Am I making sense? I’m not knocking you or your approach, E. Or anyone who agrees with you. I’m just trying to offer a different perspective, born out of a long relationship with conservative, Evangelical family members who I love dearly.)
    To sum: I think change takes a long time. Look at evolution. We’ll get there, to a place where sexual preference doesn’t matter anymore. We’ve just got to be patient, and hopeful, and kind on the way.

  12. churlita says:

    I’m proud of you. I agree with the commenters too. As I’ve said before, i think any consenting people of legal age have the right to marry.

  13. Eunice says:

    As a person who reads the gospels (please excuse the pun) religiously, I’m insulted at anyone that uses the bible as their argument in this discussion.
    I’m hoping that with this new horizon dawning on Tuesday night, there will be a broader crowd beginning to open their minds a bit.

  14. 1. Peppermint mocha is my favorite!
    2. I think people use the bible to justify their hate/intolerance and I believe it is wrong. Didn’t Jesus accept everyone? So if that’s the basis of their objection, it is false. Who the hell cares who gets married as long as it is 2 consenting adults. Why do people care? THEY do not have to marry someone of the same sex, but why deny that right to someone who wants it? People are way too judgey all the time and to me it’s ridiculous. You don’t have to like everything that people do and you don’t have to participate but who gets to decide the person appointed to say what’s right and wrong? Say I don’t like wearing the color purple. Should we ban everyone from wearing it? Ridiculous.
    (end of my rant here but seriously this topic makes me so incredibly mad!)

  15. egan says:

    Kirk – you’re very right about the “kooky liberal state” comment referring to California. I’ve been there a bit. It has many big cities, but with its big cities, it also has many rural areas which aren’t of the same opinion on this matter. I love your point about interracial marriage, let’s hope!
    Golden – there’s a lot of venom surrounding those detractors of gay marriage. It’s very disheartening to me. With all the things going on, you’d think people would have other issues to care about.
    Justrun – agreed, this is a huge pet issue for me. I have very little tolerance for the anti-gay marriage movement.
    Essentially Me – tolerance, that’s what it’s about on many levels. Whether you quote it from the bible, a leader, or your friend. Tolerance. It’s not an easy task, but tolerance towards other beliefs is important.
    Thistle – super hero? I was mixed about doing this. I feel this sort of comment shouldn’t go unchecked, but he didn’t say it to my face. At the time it struck me as the right thing to do.
    Brandy – that’s an interesting quote. This shows my complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to the Book. If I overheard the same conversation I might not say anything. At the time the guy seemed to be baiting a response and I fell for it. I had no clue you loved Survivor.
    Amanda – you have a fabulous point. They’re under more scrutiny when it comes to marriage. I think the same could be said with children in gay relationships.
    Maggie – you have three very good opinions on this. Personally, I don’t believe in the bible. I have my reasons and therefore his pointing to the book means nothing to me. I respect his opinion, but it’s not going to change my perspective on the issue. I never really thought about the power trip angle, but that’s a keen observation.
    Gwen – I read your comment a few times. It stuck with me, especially the “I won’t tolerate your intolerance” part. I want so bad to counter this argument, but it’s tough. I catch myself being intolerant in my comments. I feel like I’m not intolerant, but I then I read my comment and I’m not sure I’m any different. This has me thinking. Perhaps this issue is too personal for me to be rational? Great insight. I do have one tiny tiny bone. Do you still say “sexual preference?”
    One last comment, we may not be able to change their view on the spot. However, I do think it’s possible to get the right person to rethink things. I know it happened with someone I knew in college.
    Churlita – you got to do what seems right. I’m not one to bite my tongue so I butted in. My hope is he at least thought about the issue some more.
    Eunice – Yes, we can hope this we change things. I hope there’s a day where I never have to post about this topic.
    Tori – this is definitely one of my principle hot button issue. I wish it wasn’t, but I got very worked up. Maybe we can all have a peppermint mocha and sing songs about peace around the campfire?

  16. thistle says:

    i’m feeling a need to add a couple more comments here…
    1.the bible ( and other religious texts such as the koran) are really just a collection of parables, stories that are intended to teach us morality and virtuous behaviour such as the old ‘do unto other..’ speech (this is what i like about religion)…
    2. it offends me when these types of documents are used to tell us how we should live and incite hate, or intolerance for those who live outside these ‘laws’ and yes, it happens in all religions(and this is what i hate about organized religion). While blog-surfing a couple of nights ago, i came across a pro-life site that had a video attached which i watched a little of (not too much as i suspected it was going to be full of those lovely graphic images they like to horrify us with)…and what i noticed was that the bible verses they quoted had words added in to aid interpretation of the actual text…which left me wondering ‘who’ had decided on this ‘correct’ interpretation?…hmmm…
    3. the most basic of sociology classes can be a real eye-opener as to what is the real basis of many religious ceremonies and social mores…and it’s fascinating stuff…i’ve always thought a double major in sociology and theology would be a really interesting combination…

  17. kjalopy says:

    I have to say that I do believe in the Bible, however, I do believe that all people should have the same rights as you and I do. I do believe that my gay best friend should be allowed to have the same freedoms as I do with having their partner. They have so many LESS rights than you or I have simply because they don’t love a woman. I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but why can’t they express their love for one another with a ring on their finger. They will find a way around it no matter what.

  18. Think Jacob says:

    I don’t think we should tell people who to marry. I honestly don’t see how gay marriage affects my own marriage. It doesn’t. You love who you love, and no one should tell you otherwise (unless your a goat f-er, then you’r weird.)
    The whole “because this book says so” attitude is what pushed me away from Christianity to Buddhism. I liked the core of Christianity, which is clearly expressed in Buddhism, but our texts are only seen as guides and never used as a step-by-step guide to what you should think. I also didn’t like that we were all very openly called “sheep.” 😀

  19. Chris says:

    I am glad that you had the guts to stick in your 2 cents (hopefully you sized up the situation and so no potential for physical harm in the process). I am a Christian, but I hate wehn people whip out that bible as if it’s a rule book.
    As far as I am concerned, any two consenting adults should be allowed to enter into the bond of matrimony.

  20. sizzle says:

    I’m glad you said something. More people should speak up!

  21. ms chica says:

    Geez.
    You’re right about marriage not being easy. I’ve heard people state allowing same sex marriage diminishes the institution of marriage. With the divorce rate rising, and the number of couples I know affected by infidelity, I don’t see how homosexuals could possibly trivialize marriage any more than heterosexuals already have.
    It’s only love, why are people so damned afraid of it?

  22. Darlene says:

    Amen. :o)
    I think there are people that take the bible too literally. Everyone (and I mean everyone) deserves to love and to be loved – it breaks my heart to see that they have to fight for a right that we take for granted.
    You were a better person than I would have been. Those undereducated backwoods bible thumpers should probably read the bible more carefully.
    (I apologize for my rant – this topic really touches something in me.)

  23. Scarlet Hip says:

    The bible also says it’s OK to sell your daughter into slavery. So is that next?

  24. Scarlet Hip says:

    I meant for them, not for you. Of course.
    Ahem.

  25. Diane Mandy says:

    I agree with you! People can have their religious interpretations, but these need to be kept out of government. I will never understand why allowing all people to have full civil rights is against any religion? These institutions are supposed to be separate, right?

  26. big bro says:

    Nothing to add that hasn’t already been nicely stated. Oh, yeah- repeal tax exempt status for churches who promote politics…keep them separate or lose the status.

  27. Golden says:

    I have to add something here. I realized… I am judging them for their beliefs. That would make me a hypocrite. Sigh.

  28. egan says:

    Thistle – from a socialogy perspective, the elections have to be very interesting. Heck, blogging is rather interesting if you really think about it. I’m glad you made the point you did there in point 1. I’m a believer in the bible as parables too, but I don’t need it to guide my moves. It does provide structure.
    kjalopy – haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Thanks for chiming in on this important issue. I like to get varying opinions and yours is really good. What gets me is how domestic partners really stand to lose when a loved one passes away. How they might not even legally be entitled to shared memories, property, etc. That’s so wrong.
    Think Jacob – I’m 100% with you on this one. I guess even if it did impact my life, it’s still not my concern. Someday I can only hope we’ll be past this.
    Chris – I thought it was appropriate. I did carefully assess whether or not there would be retribution. Thankfully God and this guy had mercy on me.
    Sizzle – thanks, it was a tough call to speak up, but I think it was the right thing.
    Ms. Chica – afraid because they don’t know the situation. They don’t have a personal connection to the issue. Marriage is rough and isn’t in jeopardy of being marginalized, it already has been through the centuries.
    Darlene – this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I really let this guy off pretty easy. I didn’t want Jesus to cry. Love is love, that’s all there is to it.
    Scarlet Hip – the bible says that? I guess I have to rethink a few things.
    Scarlet Hip – phew, your follow-up spared me from doing something very terrible.
    Diane Mandy – what’s that? Separation between church and state? That’s sounds archaic.
    Big Bro – that’s a really good point. If churches are going to lobby against gay marriage, they shouldn’t have tax exempt status should they. I’ve noticed the Mormon church is facing a lot of heat for this now.
    Golden – yes, you are. I caught myself doing the same thing. The comment from Gwen really made me think about this some more. She’s got a great point about the “I won’t tolerate your intolerance”. Hmmm…

  29. I am glad to know that I am not the only person who insinuates herself/himself into a conversation that was meant to be private. 🙂
    I was surprised that it passed but people are afraid of things they don’t understand (not defending ignorance, just sayin’). I also understand that they used double negatives on the ballot which is intentionally confusing.
    You might be interested to read David’s POV. Even though you share his point of view, he put into words how the gays are feeling about now. Or at least how he’s feeling. He’s Midwestern Malaise on my blogroll.

  30. Dagny says:

    Gwen’s comment struck a chord with me. I often find myself re-phrasing things when I realize that I am being just as intolerant as the other person.
    We are all entitled to our own opinions. However, I also believe strongly in the ability to change someone else’s opinion. Starting off the conversation with, “You are so intolerant”? Ummm. Yeah. Really not going to change opinions. I sincerely believe that there are enough folks out there whose minds can be changed — if they are approached in the right way.
    I keep seeing folks talking about their outrage but there’s a couple of things missing, in my opinion. First, when a similar proposition was on the ballot in 2000, it lost by 22%. This time around it lost by 4%. That says to me that a lot of minds were changed. And I think that if more outreach had been done this time around, we would not be having this discussion.
    Secondly, I am getting tired of people talking about their outrage. What are you doing about it? Because if folks keep talking about their outrage without acting, then it just becomes whining. So please, folks, if you’re not happy, DO something about it. I know that I will. And if you’re not sure what you can do, check out stop8.org.
    (Sorry for the long comment.)

  31. egan says:

    Hello Gorgeous – thanks for stopping by, I’m not sure if I welcomed you properly after your last visit. Anyways, I will read the post by David. Another point of view can’t hurt that’s for sure. Yeah, maybe it’s not wise to butt in, however I think it’s okay when it’s this topic. If someone feels the need to butt in and tell gay couples they can’t get married, then I’m going to get in my two cents. Thanks for your visit!
    Dagny – hello and welcome to my blog. I know, Gwen is a bright woman. Her comment was tough to read at first, then I read it again and again. It still sticks with me. I agree about the outrage, if we don’t do anything other than bitch on our blogs or in private, are we really making a difference? As you stated, there’s good that can come from this. Everyday there’s a dialogue about this very topic and why it’s good or bad. That’s a positive. It’s not ignored, the issue is being addressed. This ban on gay marriage will go away, but it might take some time. … it will happen though! Long comments are always welcome.

  32. Oooooo! Fight in Starbucks! I hope you are proud that you spoke up. Awesome. And I don’t think people should be reading the bible in Starbucks. It just doesn’t “go”. Amen.

  33. Pants says:

    I’m glad you spoke up. I am so sick of all this hate.

  34. egan says:

    Movin’ Down the Road – you’re right, bible reading shouldn’t happen in Starbucks. Let’s fight that fight instead. I kid. At first I wasn’t sure speaking up was right, but I’m convinced I did the right thing. I’m a regular at the Starbucks so I didn’t want to look like a dickhead to the staff.
    Pants – yes, the hate is bad. I can only hope some day we can look back at this, seeing how far we’ve come with this issue.

  35. Sicilian Mama says:

    Interesting situation. And interesting comments in response to the situation. It’s tough standing up for what you believe in. Like Gwen said, it’s a fine line with the not tolerating other people’s intolerance and it can easily become a pissing match.
    Personally, I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have wanted to, but I would have bit my tongue, because really, what good would it have done? I know that you said in a comment up there that you have been able to get people to rethink things. But how did you get that to happen? Was that person a stranger that you approached in a public place? Or were you in a more private setting where you could have a conversation with the person to actually get them to rethink things? Or at the very least, see another side to things. But a quip while standing in line for a coffee? To me, it’s not worth my time or energy – I’d rather save it for trying to get things on the ballots and get people to vote for them.

  36. L says:

    AMEN! If they have the right to tell women what they can/can’t do with their bodies, you absolutely have a right to butt into their conversation being held in a public place. And BTW, Bible Thumper at Sbux…the Bible doesn’t specifically ban homosexuality. The belief that it does is a result of a polysyllabic verb: interpretation.

  37. egan says:

    Sicilian Mama – great question about my ability to open someone’s mind. It was my ex-girlfriend’s brother. I told him I had gay siblings and he freaked out. He had a tough time talking to me as a result. Eventually I sat him down and chatted with him about why he’d find a gay person threatening.
    It was an interesting transaction. It opened his eyes a bit to know I had personal stories. I had more time with him than you would with someone at Starbucks. The guy at Starbucks wasn’t so quiet about his disdain so I went in for the kill. Or at least let him know not everyone agrees with bans on gay marriage. It may never change his mind or my voice might hover in his head each time he bitches about gay marriage. As I see it, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Getting things on ballots in no easy feat. You’d hold a petition all day in front of a grocery store? That’s not a job I’d sign up for, no pun intended.
    L – what? the bible doesn’t ban homosexuality? I’ve been told a bunch of lies all these years? Lame. Who’s responsible for spreading the homophobic fears if it’s not God? Jerry Falwell? I kid. Yes, I have the right to butt in and would do it again.

  38. erin says:

    Good for you. (Hi, I stopped over from Thistle).
    I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. I hope I would have spoken up. Regardless of the issue, having a hateful conversation in a public space is just not ok.
    When will people get that we are not on this planet to convince others to believe what we believe? Using faith as a basis for trying to control others can never be a good thing.

  39. Lpeg says:

    Good for you for speaking up. And it’s true – I was listening to the speech by Keith Olberman and he asked of the people that voted against gay marriage – he asked what gay marriage did to them; what difference it made in their life – why they should have an issue with something that isn’t even their concern. Check it out if you haven’t already. I just liked how he worded it.

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