I said, “I don’t see how you can stand to be doing what you’re doing.” I pointed out that the Mormon church had been one of the largest donors to those who brought Proposition 8 to California. The Mormon church has fought against every advance by the LGBT community in the last fifty years. I pointed out that the men and women who opposed integration in the sixties have been forgotten, because the history of the United States has been toward greater equality and greater democracy since its founding. It was important to see the conflicts around us, and it is necessary to choose a side in these conflicts, and it is necessary to get it right. It is necessary to know what you are doing when you set about trying to control the future, as these churches are doing. I told the young man in the pin-stripped suit that when his church speaks of religious freedom, it causes real pain and real damage to real people.
I was walking back from Home Depot, when I found myself walking almost parallel with a young man in a pin-stripe suit and tie. He wasn’t dressed for Home Depot. We nodded. He smiled. I smiled. We walked on, and then I asked him if he was a Mormon. I pointed out that people in our neighborhood don’t generally dress like that on Sunday. So, I found myself walking across the parking lot of Assembly Square Mall with a Mormon.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
My partner, C, laughed when I got home after my trip to Home Depot and told me, I was “confrontational.” Well, so were the men and women on Christopher Street in June 1969. Look what came from their confrontations. It is necessary for us to fight back, all the time, without ceasing, even when we are tired of it. Polite people never get anywhere.