MY VOICE: Why Spencer Pride? (by Ed Staubach)

Ed O'Brien & Ed Staubach are pictured here setting up for the 2015 Spencer Pride Festival

Ed O’Brien & Ed Staubach are pictured here setting up for the 2015 Spencer Pride Festival

While my wife, Joani, and I greatly enjoy participating in and working at Spencer Pride events, the reasons extend beyond the realm of volunteerism as one might devote to other non-profits such as the humane society, service clubs, etc.  It is true that some of the kindest friends we made were at a Pride Festival that we “stumbled onto” on Saturday in June quite a few years ago. After that we were happy to help it grow into the impressive event it is now.  We also enjoy manning booths at the Bloomington Farmers Market, the IU Volunteer Day, etc. to distribute information.

Except for a few active participants, the majority of Spencer Pride volunteers and officers are the ages of our children. meaning they were not around in the 60’s.  We so wish the axiom “One studies history so as not to repeat it,” were true, but unfortunately, as Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

As teens and young adults, we (now with white hair) grew up hearing politicians and ministers pontificating against inter-racial marriages on their soapboxes and from their pulpits.  And amazingly they used the same hateful phrases you hear today concerning same-sex marriage: “It’s an abomination of God’s law;” “It’s a perversion of the Bible to mingle races.”  As today, the politicians used hate to gain votes from fringe elements; I never have figured out why men of the cloth would pervert scripture so shamelessly.

And here we are again.  As teens in the 60s, we could do little more than write letters or campaign door to door for certain candidates.  But for the civil rights issue now facing a significant portion of our population today, we can do more.  We can get involved in educational activities (which is the main purpose of the Spencer Pride festival, I believe); we can help the organization establish support groups in the schools; physical help for youth inexplicably turned out by their parents; and so much more.

So to you “young” volunteers in the Pride groups, some years down the road, your grandchildren are going to be able to brag about you as being involved and on the side of humanity.  On the other hand, were I a grandchild of one of the legislators who supported the now overturned amendment and other bigoted legislation, I would be tempted to change my name.  My apologies if the verbage seems excessive, but keep the faith and keep on fighting!

This post comes straight to you from Ed Staubach. Ed & his wife Joani have volunteers for Spencer Pride Inc. for several years. This post is part of a series entitled “Voices of Spencer Pride” where we share perspectives from our volunteers about topics that they find important. We hope that you find this post meaningful to you and if you think someone else would also find value in it, we encourage you to share it with them as well. THANK YOU!