Most every night I talk with my dad on the phone. Nine-thirty, after the kids are asleep and the house is cleaned. Â Or should be. Â It’s a little late for him to stay up, but it’s the only time we can be assured of no interruptions on my end. It’s kind of like how I tuck him in at night, in return for all the years he tucked me in.
Tonight, Pops told me about his experience on the street corner earlier today with my sister, her son, and a spirited group of No on 8 people.
“I wore navy blue trousers,” he volunteered. Â “And snappy white shoes. Â And a necktie, so as to indicate that I was serious.” Â A brief pause. Â “I think I was the only one wearing a necktie.”
“That was a great idea, though, Pops. Â Lends you moral authority.”
“I thought so,” he replied. Â “It was a wonderful experience, you know. Â People would honk and wave. Â It was really quite something.”
At eighty-seven, I think it’s possible my father has never stood on a street corner and proclaimed anything. Â Not like this. Â I mean, he went to war, landed on Normandy beach. Â But he’s never stood in public, in his community, bearing witness to a harshly contested, deeply held belief like this.
“One fellow had to leave for a moment, and I held his sign. Â It read– now how did it go? Â Let’s see… Yes. Â It read, ‘Everyone should have the freedom to marry.’ I like that.” Â Another pause. Â “I mean, it has a different impact. ‘Right to marry’ is forceful, but ‘freedom to marry,’ that’s… That’s inspiring.”
[next in this marraige equality series: Prop 8 update the gazillionth: the day before]