Shopping for Marriage Equality on Long Island
June 14, 2011 by Marty Rouse, National Field Director
This past weekend a dozen field organizers worked from sunrise to sunset on Long Island talking to thousands of New Yorkers about marriage equality. Nicole, Dominique, and I spent many hours in supermarket parking lots looking for people to sign postcards addressed to their New York state Senator.
Talking to Long Islanders as they pushed their shopping carts to their cars gives you about 20 seconds to make a pitch and close the deal. While most often the shopper quickly took our clipboards and enthusiastically began signing or politely smiled and kept walking, we did have quite a lot of conversations with people for whom this campaign for marriage equality hit home. Standing there in the parking lot with a cart full of groceries, people shared very personal stories about family members, friends, or colleagues who are gay or lesbian and how their lives have been enriched by knowing them and how proud they were to sign a card to support them.
One woman probably in her 30s was with her son who was around 6 years old. When she agreed to sign a postcard, her son asked what she was doing. Her reply to her son was, "You know your classmate Ryan who has two moms? Well, this man wants it to be OK for there to be more families with two moms or two dads." Her son's reply was, "That's nice." Then he looked at me and said, "Thank you." I then offered him my equality pin, and after getting the approval from his mom, I pinned it on his jacket. I said goodbye and as I walked away he shouted, "Where are you going?" I shouted back, "To find some more people like your awesome Mom."
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