Sunday, April 19, 2009
(Proudly cross-posted at OC Progressive)
Yesterday, Team Courage OC did another neighborhood canvass. This time, we went south to Dana Point and Laguna Beach to walk. And while many other folks were simply going to the beach to cool off on a warm day, we were there to heat up the movement for LGBT civil rights in California.
We had a few "veteran canvassers" who had walked with us in Irvine join us again in South County, and we had some new faces join us as well. We talked, we got to know each other, we trained, and we paired up. Oh yes, and then we went out to walk!
Most of the areas we were walking in South County were close battlegrounds in the beautiful struggle for marriage equality. Most of South County isn't "easy territory", but it's much closer than most people think. And to my surprise, we were inundated by supporters as we walked and talked! And even though my partner and I walked a slightly friendlier neighborhood in South Laguna, I still wasn't expecting the overwhelmingly positive response we received!
"This is crazy! How did Prop 8 pass?!"
"It'll happen. Marriage equality will happen."
"Of course I support marriage equality!"
"Why must I be treated like a second class citizen?"
These were just some of the responses we received as we were walking. And again, we weren't walking in your typical "liberal bastion" in Southern California. We were in battleground territory in South Laguna and Dana Point, and we were faring much better than I could have imagined.
Believe it or not, this is how we will win our beautiful struggle for equality. We will win by knocking on doors, talking to neighbors, reaching out to the larger community. We will win by winning over millions of hearts and minds, one voter at a time.
So does this sound like something you want to be a part of? I originally couldn't imagine myself doing this back in November when my emotions were still raw and sore, but I look at myself now and am encouraged by all my fellow activists in OC participating in this movement. And if we can do it, I'm sure you can do it, too.
So why not do it? Even if you're not in California, join your local group wherever you are and make progress happen in your state. Oh, and don't forget that we must soon make progress on the federal level as well!
So please support this movement for equal rights. We can't wait any longer. We must start working now to make equality happen.