So, speaking of Facebook, an interesting thing happened the other day online.
A person I am hardly friends with (the younger sister of a friend from elementary school) sent me and a group of others a message on Facebook with the subject line: This is about our future as citizens of the United State of America!!
Being a good citizen, I of course care about the future of my country, so I open it immediately.
"Ok so I never do this. I had to email you because I think this issue is one that will affect us for the rest of our lives. I know I haven't talked to many of you in years [...] whatever the story, it doesn't matter. What matters is what is going to happen if we, as citizens of the United States of America, don't get out and vote on November the 4th"
Instantly I can tell that it's a message that she has copy and pasted from somewhere and is forwarding it to her friends. But am delighted in it's patriotic intentions. I read on:
"It doesn't matter what denomination you are, what religion you are or aren't, what political party you belong to, what matters is what happens if we don't unite to pass Prop 8. Prop 8 is a proposition protecting Marriage saying it is between a man and a woman."
I had to stop and reread that last sentence "between a man and a woman?!" This girl really sent me a message urging people in California to vote Yes on Prop 8 which would take away the right of gay and lesbian people in California to get married?!
The scary truth is, she did send it. The message goes on to talk about this and that, how gay marriage is wrong, how our children will suffer, etc. No need to go into details, we've heard them all before. [Just in case you don't know, recently in California denying gay marriage was ruled unconstitutional by it's Supreme Court. So, since you can't undo that, anti-gay groups are now trying to change to constitution of California itself, so that it defines marriage between a man and a woman, making the ruling void. See No on 8 for more details. (I'm also originally from California, which is how I know this girl, and likely where I would get married since my family is there.)]
To say the message upset me was an understatement. It threw me for a curve. I of course know that there are people out there who don't like the idea of two people of the same sex getting married, I know that.
But now it had a face. It was this friend of mine's little sister. She was saying it. Not some faceless evil people I don't know, but someone who's family I grew up with. It was unsettling. And because I felt that I needed to say something, I did. I couldn't just let that hang out there.
I resisted the urge to hit "reply all" and sent her a private message explaining my opinions and that I think she is entitled to hers, and we can agree to disagree, but to please not include me in any more anti-gay emails.
I did not get a reply from her and I figured the matter was done. Until a person who was included on that email replied all and wrote "I agree."
Those two words were so scary for me. This person agreed with her. And again, I know there are LOTS of people out there who agree with that, but this is more personal. Then another agreed. And another. One person did stand up for it, but was such a bad writer, I couldn't let them be the sole voice for my side.
I had to chime in. I ended up writing a mini essay (which was not what I wanted to do. I'm sure I came across as one of those angry gays) and I was expecting a fight...
To my surprise no one responded to it. Either I'm the best debater in the world and I won (yeah right!) or they were equally off put (as I was) by my side having a face; an actual person who this proposition would affect. Not faceless couples who they are denying marriage to, but to me. Of course I'll never know, but I wonder what went through that girls head, and the others who responded, when they read my messages.