In front of the House this morning while holding the "MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS OVERDUE" shower curtain, a teenage girl who was a member of a small group of girls asked if my sign meant that I was for or against gay marriage. When I answered the affirmative, she said, "Me too!"
Later, while I was using the same sex equality graphics shower
curtain (pictured), a small group of teenage boys led by a middle aged, mom-looking woman stopped in front of me. She directed the boys' attention my way and told them that the sign was about gay marriage, at which point she gave me a thumbs up and said, "Good for you!" Then, she went on to explain to the boys what each symbol represented. One of the boys must have quietly expressed disapproval to her because she then said, "Well, you may not agree with him but it is his right to stand here with a sign and try to influence what people think." She thanked me and the group moved on with some of the boys looking rather glad to be leaving.
A young police officer (I didn't notice the jurisdiction), new to the scene at the Capitol passed by, and with a rather wry grin, gestured his approval with several nods.
After while, when I was in front of the Senate, a large group of about thirty to forty teenagers made their way up the Senate stairs. The young woman I assumed was their teacher came up to me and said, "I'm so glad you're here." She wanted her students to see real protesters, so I told her I was happy to be her exhibit. She gathered her class around and asked me to explain to them what I was doing there. I started to say that I was in favor of gay marriage equality when the security guards began freaking out because the stairs were totally blocked from one side to the other. The teacher and security tried to get the kids over to one side but it was hopeless so they moved on.
After a few minutes, the teacher appeared before me with a small group of kids and asked me to present my case to them, which I started to do, but security freaked again so I took them all to a vacant corner away from the Senate entrance and made my case. When the teacher came back, I learned that all her students were from the Interdisciplinary School in Minneapolis and that the group I was talking to were members of the school's GSA (gay/straight alliance).
Having made my point about marriage equality and the politics surrounding the issue, I stressed to the group that they are not guests at the Capitol. I told them that the Capitol belongs to them, that their taxes and their parents' taxes pay for the building and everyone that works in it and that they should never be afraid to show up and make their voices heard.
Labels: Interdisciplinary School