Tuesday, when I got to the Cannon Office Building terrace, there was a man wearing a sandwich board stating that he was on a hunger strike and asking that the Iraq war be stopped and that Iran not be bombed. The sign indicated that he had been on the hunger strike since October 1.
I unfurled the "GAY MARRIAGE THREATENS NOTHING
" shower curtain at about 1:30 PM, and to my surprise, one of first people to pass by on the stairs was House Republican Leader, Rep. John Boehner (pronounced boner). He was engaged in conversation while hustling by with his entourage and didn't seem to notice the Constitution stuck to the bottom of his shoe.
Later, Michele Bachmann scrambled up the steps in a tailored, military tan pant suit that perfectly accentuated her freedom hating fascist, cover girl image. She was walking and chatting with two other people when I called out, "Congresswoman Bachmann!" She didn't respond but a man that was with her looked over and smiled. Whatever. I tried again,"Michele!" She glanced over and I chirped, "Hi, remember me?" She said, "I do remember you," as she stopped and turned, grimacing. That was enough. We both turned and went back to business. I should have yelled at her until she got in the building, just for old times sake but the Capitol Police had been pretty cool at this location so far and I really didn't want to be tasered.
Before I rolled up the banner and crossed the street to the Longworth Building where I was to meet with my congressman, Keith Ellison, a woman stopped on the stairs and said, "I've been with my wife for two years. Thanks for doing this."
When I got to Ellison's office, he wasn't there but I noticed him on the office television, masterfully giving hell to an errant federal prosecutor testifying at the "Jena Six" hearing. Since Ellison was at the hearing, that was then winding up, and would not be able to come to the office, the receptionist took me down to the hearing room where I would meet Ellison and walk with him to the Capitol building making my argument against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act version that excludes transgender people and gender expression. I wasn't expecting to be treated with such importance and really started to feel some performance anxiety. The Congressman greeted me in the hearing room and after a brief stop in the hall for a big hug from Rev. Al Sharpton (for Ellison) we walked and talked our way to the Capitol. Ellison's position was that he would vote for the bad version of the Act if it came to the floor because he could not vote against a bill that would do some good, but that he would make every effort to make the bill inclusive before its passage. Can't ask for more than that.
After leaving Congressman Ellison, I went back to the terrace for another hour of protesting before heading to hotel to meet Duane and recount the day's events.
Labels: Washington DC