One Week, Two Protests

17 November, 2008 at 11:31 pm (Civil Rights, SuperGay)

As [I would all hope] you know by now, California passed Prop 8 (aka the Take Away 18,000 Persons’ Marriage Proposition). Personally, I thought the uproar was a little late, seeing that, before November 4, 27 states had already passed anti-gay marriage amendments (Oklahoma, for the record, passed their’s in 2004). Where was the outrage for all that? However, I do get why California’s was a big deal. One: it was a vote that actually took rights away from people – bad stuff. Two: as someone recently put it, “As goes California, so goes the rest of the country”. The important thing is, though, that this vote lit a fire under people’s butts. All of a sudden, the quote-unquote Gay Community recognized that it was getting shat upon, and decided that maybe it was time to stop settling for second-class status.

So, with this newfound motivation, protests began. Here in New York, there were two biggies. The first was geared towards the Mormon Church. No, it was not against the Mormon’s beliefs. It was against the fact that Mormons from all over the country funded about $20,000,000.00 towards the “Yes On Prop 8” campaign (about half of its total funding). This involved the LDS prophets telling the members to give money to that campaign. And yet the Mormons still have their tax-exempt status…not cool. Plus, one person’s religious beliefs should not dictate the personal life of another individual. Period.

So the rally was on a Wednesday night. We met at the big Mormon Temple on West 65th, and then (either impromptu or not, I’m not sure) we all marched down Broadway to Columbus Circle, waving signs and chanting. It was my first protest, and I have to say – it was pretty great! And it was completely peaceful; honestly, the vibe was pretty upbeat. I think everyone was just happy to be out and feeling like they were doing something.

I took photos of the event, thanks to my handy-dandy iPhone…

Joleen, Leslie, and Brent

My fellow protesters: Joleen, Leslie, and Brent

A fraction of the 10,000+ strong crowd

A fraction of the 10,000+ strong crowd

fighting oppression with wit since 1969

Gays: fighting oppression with wit since 1969

Another sign

Another sign

*In case you can’t read them, the signs above say “Don’t Get Your ‘Temple Garments’ in a Bunch, I Just Want My Civil Rights!” and “Marry Me Now and U Can Baptize Me When I’m Dead” (and yes, the Mormons really do this – they’ve been posthumously baptizing those who died in the Holocaust). The best signs I didn’t get good photos of…one said, “Et Tu, Donny and Marie?”. The other said, “Legalize Marriage, Ban the Electric Slide”.

The following Saturday was the nationwide Join The Impact protest. Cities in every state in the U.S., and in numerous countries around the world, joined together and all protested for equality at 1:30 EST. It was pretty huge – I never heard the exact numbers for the one in NYC, but it seemed much bigger than the protest on Wednesday. To me, it didn’t feel as empowering (we didn’t march, we stood and listened to speakers), but it was still really good. Here’s the art!

The view of the crowd behind me...

The view of the crowd behind me...

...and the view of the crowd in front of me.

...and the view of the crowd in front of me.

No More Mr. -or Ms.!- Nice Gay

No More Mr. -or Ms.!- Nice Gay


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