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The Gift of LoveSeptember 16, 2005

So here's my idea.

The signers of the anti-gay marriage petition in Massachusetts (the so-called Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage) are listed here and are a matter of public record. It's a hateful, unloving thing to put your name to, although I support their right to do so.

It's just that I'd like them to make a positive difference, if only in spite of themselves.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest non-profit organization working for the rights of all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals. They do a bang-up job, and they have a HUGE fight to fight on a state and a federal level. I throw money at them when I can, but it's not often, and it's not as much as I'd like.

But I'd like to donate a gift subscription in the name of the first signer of the petition. For $35, she'll receive in the mail a cuddly equality bear, and for $50 she'll get not only the bear, but a nice equality baseball cap, too! I get to include my own (very nice and loving) note to her, as well. I will refrain from asking her what the eff she was thinking, promoting the deliberate stripping away of her fellow American citizens' civil rights, and instead thank her for opening my eyes to the fact that the divide between people like her and people like me is so wide that I need to take positive action. I will thank her for prompting me to donate to HRC, and wish her love in her life, which is what we all want, right? I just want to marry my girlfriend.  It's just about love, compassion, and respect. That's all.


There are thirty original signers. I'll donate $50 in a gift membership for Lois C (although if you can't afford that, $35 gets the bear). Would you like to buy a gift membership for someone else on the list? Grab a name, in order please, and let us know in the comments section who you're donating for. (And yes, husband and wife couples who are happily and legally married to each other deserve two separate memberships and their own equality teddy bears.)

1. Lois C.
2. Ronald L.
3. Nancy A.
4. Robert H.
5. Tom E.
6. John
7. C. Joseph
8. Raymond L.
9. Anita W.
10. Patricia M.
11. Richard F.
12. Bronwyn E.
13. Kristian M.
14. Lura L.
15. Roberto S.
16. Carole A.
17. Philip D.
18. Joseph R.
19. Jossie E.
20. Leonard L.
21. Richard W.
22. Thomas A.
23. Madelyn M.
24. Alana L.
25. David G.
26. Gilbert A.
27. Philip
28. Hope-Constance
29. Walter H.
30. Kathleen W.

Go HERE to give a gift subscription. Addresses of signers are here.

Work from love, and have fun.

[Added later - I just pledged, and here's what I wrote (they don't give you much room). "Thank you for helping me realize that for our laws to reflect equality for all American citizens, I must begin to take concrete actions, donate money, and raise awareness. I do know we both believe in love and respect, and I wish you both in your life."]


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» Sat Daily Tab from At My Knits End
The Gift of Love. Rachael has the BEST idea I've seen in awhile. Go check out her post. I just sent off an equality bear and cap from the Human Rights Campaign to Robert H. Bradley, III of Wellesley aka... [Read More]

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Remember the website that publicly outs the hatemongers who signed the Massachusetts antisame sex marriage ballot petition? There were all sorts of suggestions as to what might be done with that information from sending nastygrams to... [Read More]

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The best idea in All The Land...The signers of the anti-gay marriage petition in Massachusetts (the so-called Constitutional Amendment to... [Read More]

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» I'm All For The Gift Of Love from The Knitist!
Rachael recently posted about the anti-gay marriage legislation in the works.  The signers of the anti-gay marriage petition in Massachusetts (the so-called Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage) are listed here and are a matter of public record... [Read More]

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One of my key issues in life is gay marriage. I'm not gay, but I have a hard time understanding why I can marry a man in the eyes of the state, but I can't marry a woman. Sure, it's [Read More]



Excellent idea. I'm going home to check my piggy bank.

BTW - Raymond L - he's the former Mayor of Boston and Ambassador to the Vatican.

Such a great idea! I'll have to wait until I have some money, but thanks for encouraging people to "work from love" and build some bridges--we'll never get anywhere if we just say "oh those right-wingers are a lost cause! Let's stay in the bay area!" heh.

I love having such a smart friend. =) Exceptional plan. I heart it.

Sheer brilliance and the content of the note--that their signing prompted your donation--will drive them nuts. Excellent!

Although, we already give monthly to HRC, I'd like to do this because I want to marry my girlfriend too, someday.

Since nobody else has called it, I'll take the next one in line, Ronald L.

What a splendid idea, Rachael! *giggle* Oh, what to say in my little gift-note...

I don't have anyone to marry, but I want you to get to marry your girl! I think this is a gret idea, and I just wish I had some money to help...three days of work in the past six months doesn't cut it, though.

I want you to get to marry your girl as much as I want to marry my man! Though at the rate we're going, you'll probably beat us to the altar, despite our three-year head start.

Sadly, I can't take a name, since I donated all I could spare for a while to Katrina relief.

Brilliant. Simply brilliant! My money lately has gone to yarn and to Katrina relief, but I can probably scrounge up $50! I'll keep you posted.

I don't want to marry my girlfriend. a) I don't have one and b) even if I DID have a girlfriend, I ain't marrying anyone ever again (twice is good, thanks). That being said, who in the purple screaming fuck thinks they have the right to say that two people who love each other can't get married just 'cause they're both innies or both outies instead of one of each? That's just all stupidy-like.

I think this is a fantastic idea, however the $ are thin on the ground (so thin as to be invisible) these days. I'll link to this on my blog though!


Man, you are so effing cool. :) Stuff like this from people like you is what's *right* with humanity, ya know? Mwaaah.

I'm still all about the TP, but this is an excellent alternative. ;-)

LOVE the idea Rachel! It might be a while tho before I can squeeze a whole $50 out of the budget. =(( Any chance other folks out there in my shoes would like to combine forces and together donate a subscription or two????

If LaLa doesn't marry you, I will.

3.) Nancy Bradley

Yippie Rachel!!!
Your message was way nice.
I want you to marry your girl friend!
Good Luck!

What a great idea. I'll take the next name (Nancy A.) but I'll have to wait until the 1st to have the money. I'll be sure to send a nice card from my DH and I. Best of luck to you and LaLa.

I'll take Robert H. Bradley, III, baby! Ooooo, he's in Wellesley, "The Town Where Old Republicans Go to Die." Seriously. It's also where I went to get my evil liberal education.

Awesome idea, Rachael!

You all freaking ROCK.

Tom E's been taken, now who's up for John, #5 on the list?


I got it. My friends, who both happen to be women, are getting married in Boston next weekend and I think that this can be more worthwhile and meaningful than buying another kitchen gadget. (They already have a LOT of kitchen gadgets!)

Great idea, Rachael.

I got it. My friends, who both happen to be women, are getting married in Boston next weekend and I think that this can be more worthwhile and meaningful than buying another kitchen gadget. (They already have a LOT of kitchen gadgets!)

Great idea, Rachael.

i wanna marry my partner, too. and i wanna do it in a country where we don't have to choose between signing on to hypocrisy or standing with the men and women we love. We got C. Joseph (#7), and you got us.


here's the note i left for "CJ", as we've affectionately call him:

Thank you for showing me that my country is in danger of being overcome by hate and intolerance. I pledge to do all I can to keep my queer brothers & sisters safe from hate and fear. Thank you for reminding me that gay rights are human rights, Mr. Doyle.

I've been lurking for a while, but I'm coming out of hiding to say that I've got # 9, Anita M. You so ROCK!!!

I love the idea, I love the blog. I love Lala and her blog and I wish you both love and happiness forever and the right to have that love legally recognized.

Thankful to have been allowed to marry the person I love,


You have to be the coolest person alive for this. What a fabulous idea. I'm happy to say that since Same sex marriage became legal in all of Canada, the brouhaha seems to have died down pretty much entirely. People are realizing that the decision of two consenting adults to publicly pledge themselves to one another harms absolutely no one. One of our federal party leaders says he'll have it reviewed if he wins the next election, but he's just so odious in other ways I'm hoping that won't happen.

Hooray! #8 is still available and numbers 10 through 30 are up for grabs! I can't believe how cool you all are. I'm gone until tomorrow, so make me proud!

I think this is a great idea, but as I don't live in the US I'm not sure I can directly comment. However, I would like to get a membership on behalf of one of you who currently doesn't have the funds, but would like to send one of these people a message. I will get in touch with the first person who claims the next idiot in line and comments that they would like me to help them protest. I will then get the membership on their behalf with their message. I hope that makes sense?

I don't have more than $5 or $10 to spare, but I've put the call out in my blog for my friends to join me in pooling money to contribute to this cause. Hopefully enough of them will take me up on this to follow through, because I think it's the Coolest!Idea!Ever! My cousin Thomas couldn't come to my wedding because of an ice storm that basically closed the highway...I won't be able to go to his wedding because he's gay and can't have one. I think that sucks, and until a huge change is made, I will work to make that change.

Much love to you & LaLa.

Jeez, I hate being broke! What a great idea.

Grateful (most of the time) for 38 years of marriage and wishing the same and more for you & LaLa.

I am just blown away by how cool and classy your idea is. Will be sorting through the finances soon to see what I can do....

Absolutely wonderful idea. So much more constructive and fun than hate mail.

I just wish we could all be there to witness the looks of utter confusion.

You make me cry. Usually, blogging for me is such a light hearted thing, and then there are times when something grabs your heart and won't let go. Thank you for being an example of what is, I think, at the heart of us all as human beings - but too often forgotten, too often pushed down by social mores or misunderstanding - the ability to love, no matter what.

I've got #8 - Raymond L.

#10, Patricia M, is the next one up for grabs!

You people are amazing.

Nothing annoys me more than people who think they have the right to make decisions about other peoples lives - if they don't like the idea of same sex marriage, then they shouldnt be involved in one. WTF ever happened to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES in this country? It shouldn't be about trying to control everyone else! How about living *your* life in a way that is in line with *your* beliefs? NO ONE has the right to demand anyone else follow *their* lifestyle, religious, sexual, or otherwise.

I can't cover a membership now, but possibly next pay period I can. I think this is a fabulous idea and will be sure to share your link both on my blog and thru email. Way to go Rachael! All the best to you and LaLa!

PS - Trackback didnt work - got an XML error (This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it.) so I just linked to it instead

Rachael, I love your style. What a way to make a difference!

What a great idea -- it reminds me of Russell Shorto's piece in the NYTimes magazine this summer, which ended thus:

"That means changing hearts. How difficult that will be was illustrated by a single vignette. When I met Polyak, she told me how, when she first testified before a legislative committee, an anti-gay-marriage activist, a woman, confronted her with bitter language, asking her why she was ''doing this'' to the woman's children and grandchildren. Polyak said the encounter left her shaken. A few days later, as I sat in Evalena Gray's Christmas-lighted basement office, she told me a story of how during the same testimony she approached a blond lesbian and talked to her about the effect that gay marriage would have on her grandchildren. ''Then I hugged her neck,'' she said, ''and I said, 'We love you.' I was kind of consoling her to some extent, out of compassion.''

I realized I was hearing about the same encounter from both sides. What was expressed as love was received as something close to hate. That's a hard gap to bridge."

You got class, girl. I'm proud to know you.

You have so much more class than I do. The vignette posted above makes me BURN with hatred; like an anti-gay-marriage activist would have ever approached a lesbian, hugged her, and said she loved her? I simply can't believe it possible; it sounds like a right-wing spin.

But at the same time, it's possible. It's possible. Is it forbidden to get angry in this comment section? I can afford the membership, but I can't bear the thought of them making a bonfire of those cuddly bears. :(

A friend referred me to your post. I am a Massachusetts resident who has been working hard here in MA to keep marriage legal. A great state group that has been leading the fight for marrigae equality in MA (more so than the HRC) is MassEquality. Their website is www.massequality.org. You should consider giving donations to them rather than HRC - although I love the HRC and support them (both financially and through volunteering), I believe that MassEquality is the best group to fight this amendment. They have been working at the grassroots level and they have been changing hearts and minds throughout MA - they have a great volunteer base, relationships with many of the state legislators and an amazing canvassing team. Check them out.


That is the best idea EVER. I'm not sure my finances will support it right now, but my heart's with you. What an amazing way to deal with appalling behaviour...as someone else said, you are one classy babe.

Patricia M, #10 is next, right? I got her. Oh yeah, do I ever got her.

Rachael, I'm so proud to have such a clever friend, and one who is creative enough to turn hate into something good.

And here's the greeting she'll get with her bear and hat and magazine:

Thank you for helping me realize just how much work remains to be done to ensure that all Americans can enjoy equal rights in their pursuit of happiness, and thank you for encouraging me to assist in that work.

I swear I'll stop commenting soon, but I had to mention that today I also read about a PA Planned Parenthood chapter that, in the same spirit of turning hate into action, is running a pledge drive where people donate for every anti-abortion protester who shows up at the clinic, and signs will be clearly posted at the clinic to make sure the protesters know exactly how they're helping the pro-choice cause.

Great idea. I'm adding a link at my site Intous. I post GLBT news and info. I have also created a T-shirt to protest the Protect Marriage Sunday blitz in MA on Oct. 2!

I'll be back!

Hey, it's me - is #11, Richard F., the next one on the list? if so, I would like to send him a $35 teddy bear. I think I will use some of the wording you used on your note, if that's okay. Otherwise, I might be tempted to be all mean-spirited, and that's just not the right way to give someone a teddy bear.

Hon, right now the finances are too tight for me to spend the bux on the cause... however, if you've been to my blog, you'll see that I'm a member of Friends of Queerknit webring, and proudly display my PFLAG emblem. My DD#1 (Christy) and her partner, Terri, (our 'extra daughter') are planning for a baby AND a committment ceremony in the very near future. We are behind them 100 percent, and wait impatiently for the day they can and will be MARRIED!
Noreen, pflag mom of one, and AirForce mom to DD#2.

Okay - a few of us knitgrrls here in the big D (er, Dallas, TX) have gathered our bills and coins. We'll be hookin' up four lucky signers with gift memberships. They are 12. Browyn E., 13. Kristian M., 15. Roberto S., and 16. Carole A. (Skipping #14, 'cuz I don't think that receiving two in the same household from the same group would be the best message. Instead I'll leave #14 for the next friend.)

Our message will be similar to yours and others that were posted in the comments. It's a damn good thing that you're doing, and we wish you and Lala the best!

XXOO - Rogue Knitters!

Okay, you've got me. I'm sending one to #14, Lura L. It hurts, but I'm doing it. Blessed be.

Wowie! Woot! Who's got #17, next on the list?


I love it! This is the perfect blend of biting wit and honest, gentle activism. Citizenship as it should be. Such a good idea. I hope to raise a bit of cash so that some fusty old guy can be shocked and appalled by an equality bear.

Hee. Hee. I've always liked the number 17 for some reason. One equality bear on its way from me and my S.O. to the charming Philip D.

This is the greatest idea! I love the “kill them with kindness” approach. All my resources are going into my AIDS Walk LA team and Hurricane relief right now, but I’ll keep this in mind for later.

What a great idea! I sent a membership and teddy bear to Joseph R, #18 on the list.

Best wishes for you and LaLa. I hope you have many years of wedded bliss.

Love is a thing that knows no boundaries. Gender and sexuality should not play a part in defining who we can and cannot marry. I wish you the best in your endeavours, and hope you will soon be able to legally marry your true love.

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