October 1st, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage sponsored Vota Tus Valores tour picked up some support yesterday. They had Latinos there to support Carly Fiorina and her anti-gay values in Stocton and in Modesto and in Fresno. Too bad they were all the same people just moving with them from stop to stop. (Courage Campaign)
Day 4, Stop 1: Stockton
Twenty minutes after 10 AM, the Vota Bus finally arrived at Weber Point park in Stockton with three large vans filled with 42 (predominantly Latino and male) members of an organization called Victory Outreach, a Christian men’s group that does outreach in inner-city communities. Three local equality supporters also stopped by to check things out.
Day 4, Stop 2: Modesto
In Modesto, Tus Valores took what they called “a beautiful impromptu stop at a Market in Modesto” with their bus and three vans full of Victory Outreach men.
Day 4, Non-stop 3: Merced
Rather than show up at Applegate Community Park, Tus Valores decided to stop for enchiladas. Which is unfortunate because it looks like they missed the chance to meet a supporter – and with the “crowds” they are drawing, everyone counts.
Four equality supporters stood in a near empty park (one Latino man and his son were there) in Merced.
They even had a few folks show up specifically to see the bus.
Later three women and a young girl (all Caucasian) stopped at the park for the “Susan B. Anthony” event.
“Where’s the bus?” one woman asked. “Why aren’t there any people here?”
Day 4, Stop 4: Fresno
In Fresno, nine members of the Victory Outreach ministry were bused to Vallarta market and received literature from the Vota Tus Valores organizer.
Three counter-protesters were present, although only one was vocal, chanting “no es vertad” (“that’s not true”) as Alfonso and Karyme made their speeches to the small crowd.
One of the few things I know how to say in Spanish is the useful phrase, “¿dÃ³nde estÃ¡n los baÃ±os, por favor?” (where are the bathrooms, please?) So I was surprised to see that the Valores tour would announce an official tour stop at Los Banos.
Well it turns out that this is the name of a town in California. We have some really bizarrely bastardized Spanish place names in this state, but “Los Banos”? Really? I can only imagine what teasing the locals get. (And get your mind out of the sewer, the mascot of Los Banos High School is “the tigers”)
On their was to Los Banos, the bus made an unexpected stop. Karyme Lozano, Mexican telenovela star, was getting off the bus and going home. Karyme was the “celebrity” draw.
Lozano had been a supporter of the community and had even been the “queen” of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in 2008. But then her father died and she had an epiphany. She abandoned her “wild life” and embraced religion. She has since taken on celibacy and is encouraging “her gay friends” to do so as well.
However, it seems that she wasn’t exactly aware the extent to which NOM has taken on the role of oppressor of gay people or the extent to which they fund anti-gay activism. And she was clearly unaccustomed to being thought of as a bigot or hateful. (Funny how people who can dedicate a week of their life to opposing our equality are hurt when we don’t accept them as benevolent or just as having “another opinion”. I wonder how she would feel if I spent a week traveling to deny her rights.)
Once they got to Los Banos, they were greeted by seven supporters. So this was one of their more successful stops on one of their more successful days. But news reports from Santa Cruz suggest that today was not so fun for the Vota Tus Valores tourists.
(Ugh… now I’ve got ¿dÃ³nde estÃ¡n los baÃ±os, por favor? playing in my head to the tune of Do you know the way to San Jose?)
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