The New Yorker Tags Along With OC Gay-Rights Activists

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Jennie Warren / OC Weekly
OCEC board members (front) Cas Gregory, Archer Altstaetter and Felicity Figueroa with (back) Equality California's Elizabeth Aversa and Daniel shad

Last week's New Yorker magazine featured "A Risky Proposition," an exhaustive, fascinating look at the prospects for the legalization of same-sex marriage in light of a federal lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8.

Make it nine pages into the story, and who do you find? Equality California's Daniel Shad and Elizabeth Aversa, both featured in the Weekly's recent cover story on gay rights.

Writer Margaret Talbot tagged along with Aversa and Shad as they went canvassing door-to-door in Huntington Beach. The story features a few scenes of the two activists at doorsteps, trying to convince skeptical Orange Countians to support same-sex marriage. A taste:

Only one person was supposed to go to the door at a time--two people on your doorstep talking about their sexuality and the meaning of marriage was thought to be a little overbearing--so I waited on the sidewalk while Shad knocked on the first door. A woman who looked to be in her sixties, with a patchwork apron tied around her waist, and a voice that suggested origins in Brooklyn or Queens, appeared on her porch. When Shad told her why he was there, she said, "I'm very opposed--and I'm very passionate about it."

"I'm gay," Shad started in, but the woman cut him off.

"That's fine that you're doin' what you're doin', but that's your choice."

Shad replied, "It was never a choice for me."

The woman wiped her hands on her apron, and said, "I have grandchildren, and I've told them, 'None of you are going to be gay, and if any of you are I'm going to do everything I can to ungay you.' "

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