August 6th, 2008 5:33 pm | by Byron Beck News | Posted In: Politics, Gay Rights

RIP: It's Still Mr. Dinsdale's Neighborhood

During the '04 election season I penned a column about an amazing man, my neighbor Mr. Dinsdale.

He was against the war on Iraq and, at the time, an issue that was dividing our state.

Here's what my 82-year-old neighbor had to say about Measure 36, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman:
Mr. Dinsdale...says he doesn't know if he's ever had a close friend or family member who is gay. Yet he is strongly opposed to Measure 36.

"It's a folly to change the constitution over this," he says. "It will lead to other evils. I think personal behavior, as long as it within the law, is nobody's business."

He was infuriated by the phone call he received from the Yes on 36 campaign. "When I told them that I had voted no on the measure, the caller got mad and said, 'In Massachusetts, public-school teachers are teaching a pro-gay lifestyle to children starting in kindergarten.' I told him that I no longer wanted to comment and cut him off."

Mr. Dinsdale says it was his wife, a former legal secretary, who helped him open his eyes to appreciate the reality of discrimination. "She was denied the right to go to college due to the Depression," he says, "but she was smart and she educated me."

You can read the rest of the column here.

Mr. Dinsdale died earlier this week, after a long bout with just about everything.

I will miss him.

But more than that, as progressive old dudes like him pass on into the ether, I think our country will sorely miss out on the voices of those who truly understand what change is all about.

Just thought you should know.
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