The Fond du Lac County Fair

I immensely enjoy talking with people at community events. Yesterday, I joined our Fond du Lac Action Network folks at the Fond du Lac County Fair.

In the Expo Center, we had a great booth that one of our local leaders, Kris, put together. There were dozens of other booths competing for peoples' attention, so we had to be a bit brave about starting conversations.

During one of my moments of bravery, I asked a woman who was walking through the expo if she had heard about the ban. She looked a bit startled and said she hadn’t. Unsure and suspicious of which side No fell on, she asked, “Are you ok with gays or not?” I answered by telling her that I would be voting No because I think gay and lesbian families should have some sort of legal protections.

“Well that’s good,” she said, “because I’m gay.” She then called for her partner to join our conversation.

Suddenly, there I was explaining to this couple and their teenage daughters that the state would be voting on whether or not to ban civil unions and marriage for their family. They were obviously shaken and upset. They looked at each other with a mixture of sadness and fear, and the woman asked me, with a smidge of anger, “Why do people care about us?”

Kris and I talked to a lot of people yesterday, and most of them hadn’t heard about the ban. People simply don’t pay attention like I wish they would. I hate it because it often puts me in a position of breaking the news to gay families that the state will be deciding their future, their relationship, their family, this November.

Today when I returned to the office, I had an email from Kris that he sent to the Fond du Lac Action Network. He sums it up perfectly:

An amazing amount of deep, honest conversations were made with folks from all walks. While starting out the evening by profiling the crowd a bit and picking out good targets for conversation, it took (for me anyway) encounters with Republicans, mountainous biker couples, and others to affirm what we are talking about: this amendment touches too many people that, if not directly spoken to, are likely to vote in a way that might not truly reflect their hearts.

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