It's half an hour before the hearing starts. They just allowed those of us who will speak back into the room. The crowd gets larger and larger. I spent my time in the hallway talking to a number of marriage supporters. Roberta Short, 32, lives in Cranston, a beautiful strawberry-blond married woman with two kids. She works part-time as a book-keeper. She found out about the hearing because of NOM's facebook page. I asked her why she was here. She told me, "I think Rhode Islanders have a right to vote on marriage. 113 people shouldn't redefine marriage for everyone in Rhode Island." I asked her if she had a chance how she would vote and she told me, "I would vote for traditional marriage because children need and deserve a mom and dad."
I was leaning over to speak with another marriage supporter, and realized I was rudely talking over a rather colorful gay-marriage supporter named Edgar. Edgar is 77. He has a long white beard, and was wearing a blue plaid shirt over a rainbow t-shirt. The aging hippie look, I'd call it. He told me that he likes men and women: "I slept with a woman for three years but I couldn't marry her becuase I also like men." I paused and said to him, "Well, gay marriage isnt going to solve your problems is it?" And we both chuckled. He agreed and told me, "I'm too old for military service and I don't think I'm going to get married. It's not personal with me."