Church and Wine Go Hand-in-Hand for Marriage Equality
June 1, 2009
Ed. Note: an update from our field staff out on Long Island - Karl Bach, Terry McGuire and Tony Wagner Yesterday we wrote that you didn't want to miss this, so here it is... We woke up early this morning and put on our best organizing gear for church. We're staying in Sag Harbor on the South Fork of Long Island and the Unitarian Universalist church we were attending this morning was in Southold - midway up the North Fork. So we piled into the car and headed around the bay. Now, when I tell you we're attending church, of course what I mean to say is that we're canvassing progressive congregants to get them to write a letter of support - as a person of faith - to their state senator. Once we arrived in Southold, we went inside and met the minister who advised us that next Sunday would be better for the congregation and ultimately better for us too. A bit bewildered, we asked why that was and much to our pleasure the minister told us next Sunday was LGBT issues day at the church. That's right - Gay Day at the UU Church in Southold! After we left the church empty handed (for now) we decided to act on a tip from a friend at the East End Gay Organization, who told us we should get support from the wineries on the North Fork. Now, we didn't realize just HOW big a deal wine was on the North Fork, but we quickly learned. Dozens of vineyards and wineries line Main Rd. from Riverhead all the way up to Greenport. Its definitely a staple on the North Fork. Our first stop was at the Croteaux Wineries just outside Southold. This family owned business was very supportive and gave us our first hand-written letter of the day. After stopping in at a few more wineries, we started to realize that weekends are not the best times to catch the owners with free time. We headed back to Croteaux, where our new friends gave us the scoop on supportive businesses further up the road in Greenport. No worries though, we'll be back to catch the wineries (and their owners) during the week this week. Arriving in Greenport, we knew this was our kind of town. Harley's running through the streets, huge boats docked at the local clam bar - perfect for organizing for same-sex marriage. Well, almost. It was really all the gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses that line the picturesque streets here that attracted us - not to mention we were sent by our new friends from the winery. Stop #1 was Clawflowers, a local gay-owned flower shop. It didn't take long before we had another letter in hand and a ton more of intel on shops we should visit. One by one, we stopped in and collected a letter. By the end of the day, we had nearly 20 letters of support from business owners and residents of Greenport. So that's how we role here in eastern Long Island - get a tip and check it out, then develop the contacts throughout the day to produce the letters. It's all about the people...
May 18, 2013