On Saturday I took the kids with me to run some errands. After a week of being cooped up with colds, we all needed to get out of the house. Annie was keeping me occupied with question after question, so when I saw people waving signs on three corners of a busy intersection, I didn’t think much of it. This is suburbia, signs on corners are usually directing you to the nearest car wash fundraiser or lemonade stand. As we stopped at the red light, I hoped the signs were in fact for a car wash, because my car needed one. Then I read the signs:
“Honk 4 God’s Marriage”
“Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman”
A lot of emotions went through me because, well, I do not agree. I believe one man and one woman are just one-third of the possible combinations for a marriage. I didn’t like seeing those signs, but if those people wanted to spend a lovely Saturday getting people to honk at them, that’s their right. I sat in the driver’s seat and scowled behind my sunglasses, listening for honks from the cars stopped around me. I didn’t hear any.
And then, from the back seat came, “Mama, what do those signs say?”
I wanted to lie and say they were for a garage sale. She’s only four, and my instinct is to shield her from upsetting stuff. But this is way beyond that. I realized that she might see signs like this again, when I’m not there. She might read a sign like this in the not-so-distant future, and she might not ask what it means. That’s not okay with me.
I kept it simple. I told her that those people thought men and women should only be allowed to marry each other.
“Like you and Daddy?”
Yes. Do you know who is allowed to get married?
I told her that in California, men can marry women and also other men, and that women can marry other women. I told her that while Tia Leah and Ted are getting married this year, someday Uncle Kyle and Sebastian might get married.
“But those signs don’t want them to get married?”
I confirmed this, and watched her eyebrows scrunch together in the rearview mirror.
I said that when she’s a grown up, she’ll be able to marry whoever she wants.
“I’m going to marry Georgie.”
When we drove by a bit later, the sign-holders were still there. They’d been joined by a woman, waving a rainbow flag.
From the back seat came, “Mama, can we get a rainbow flag, too?”
Yes, I think we should.