November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008
Marching For the Right to Marry

Thanks for stopping by to read about another day in my life. I hope you are having a safe and great Sunday.

In the past month, I have written several times about the right to marry for gays and lesbians. I also spoke about the marriage discrimination amendments in Florida and California which recently passed. Now for the latest news.

Gay rights supporters waving rainbow colors marched, chanted and danced in cities coast to coast Saturday to protest the vote that banned gay marriage in California and to urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed.

Crowds gathered near public buildings in cities large and small, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Jacksonville and Fargo, to vent their frustrations, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.

Connecticut, which began same sex weddings this past week, and Massachusetts are the only two states that allow gay marriage. Thirty states ban the practice, but a handful allow civil unions or domestic partnerships that grant some rights of marriage.

Protests following the vote on Proposition 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, have sometimes been angry and even violent, and demonstrators have targeted faiths that supported the ban, including the Mormon church.

However, representatives of Join the Impact, which organized the demonstrations on Saturday, asked supporters to be respectful and refrain from attacking other groups during the rallies.

Seattle blogger Amy Balliett, who started the planning for the protests when she set up a Web page three days after the California vote, said persuasion is impossible without civility.

Balliett said supporters in 300 cities in the United States and other countries were holding marches, and she estimated 1 million people would participate, based on responses at the Web sites her group set up.

The protests were widely reported to be peaceful, and the mood in Boston was generally upbeat, with attendees dancing to the song Respect. Signs cast the fight for gay marriage as the new civil rights movement, including one that read Gay is the new black.

But anger over the ban and its backers was evident at the protests.

One sign in Chicago read: Catholic Fascists Stay Out of Politics.

In San Francisco, demonstrators took shots at some religious groups that supported the ban, including a sign aimed at the Mormon church and its abandoned practice of polygamy that read: You have three wives; I want one husband.

Chris Norberg, who married his partner in June, also referred to the racial divisions that arose after exit polls found that majorities of blacks and Hispanics supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Demonstrators in Washington marched from the U.S. Capitol through the city carrying signs and chanting "One, two, three, four, love is what we're fighting for!"

A public plaza at the foot of New York's Brooklyn Bridge was packed by a cheering crowd, including people who waved rainbow flags and wore pink buttons that said I DO.

Protests were low key in North Dakota, where people lined a bridge in Fargo carrying signs and flags.

Mike Bernard, who was in the crowd at City Hall in Baltimore, said Proposition 8 could end up being a good thing for gay rights advocates.

Supporters of traditional marriage said the rallies on Saturday may have generated publicity but ultimately made no difference.

I just hope we reach a point in our country where ALL people are treated equally. So much for liberty and justice for all.

Remember to give the special someone in your life a hug and an I love you today. Regardless of whether or not you are allowed to legally marry, it is important to let the person you love know it.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab