Edward Fox

Spend Two Dollar Bills Until We Win!

Filed By Edward Fox | August 29, 2005 1:36 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement

The Two Dollar Bill Campaign was launched several months ago by the Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality at a time when Rock Indiana was in transition. As a result, the Two Dollar Bill Campaign suffered from lack of follow up. It had some success and there is evidence (not only in my billfold) that people continue to spend two dollar bills. The Rock Indiana endorsement runs out at the end of this month and I have no idea if they have any plans to continue it.

I am writing on behalf of the “Two Dollar Bill Campaign Committee” which is a direct descendant of the Rock Indiana Two Dollar Bill Committee, but has no continuing relationship with Rock Indiana. The Two Dollar Bill Campaign Committee is entirely grass roots, having no special relationship with any other group, but open to collaboration with any and all. The committee is presently composed of Darien Tropf, Lorella Nardini, Abby Odgen and Edward Fox.

We support the campaign because of its powerful potential to encourage and facilitate face to face discussions with strangers. If our community wants to stop the marriage discrimination amendment in the coming years, we must all talk to as many people as possible to persuade them to support equal rights for everyone, including GLBT folk. Most leaders of our community agree that we must all, as we are each able, get out and meet people we do not know; talk to people we have been silent with and let them know who we are and what “equal rights for everyone” means. Only when the discussion progressed far enough that they are able to listen, we must explain why “equal rights for everyone” necessarily entails the right for each of us, not just the privileged few, to marry the person of their choice.

Spending two dollar bills is a powerful way to facilitate such conversations and to come out of the closet as supporters of equal rights. If we can persuade enough people to make the effort and spend two dollar bills in support of our campaign, we will start to have a visible effect on our environment. You cannot tell, usually, as you stand in the line at Kroger's or Target, who is supportive and who is not. There are no foolproof signs. But if the person in front of you pays in two dollar bills, you know you probably have a friend.

Our committee has no money and no infrastructure. Darien is preparing business cards that explain the campaign for those who want, as we all do sometimes, to leave their two dollar bills and run. They explain the campaign in a few words. We will try to have some at Out Word Bound book store, and will make the text and format available to those who want it via email. You can design or make your own. We will try to collect and disseminate stories of other spenders. We hope to have a simple web site to post news and ideas for the campaign. But this is an effort that you can make without our permission or help, and we urge you to do so. It is important that, as you spend your two dollars bills, you persuade others to do so too.

Spend two dollar bills; talk to people. Think up ways to make yourselves heard, and encourage others to join us. The committee will be available to encourage, speak, support and brainstorm. Contact us at [email protected]. Let us know how you are doing.

Remember that it is fun to spend two dollar bills at Aesop's Tables or English Ivy's, we encourage you to do so, but it is not going to come as a surprise to them that they have gay and lesbian customers, and few of their customers are going to need much encouragement to favor equal rights. On the other hand, many of them probably could use prodding to join us in spreading the word beyond the safety of gay bars and gay owned businesses.

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