First things first, two of my cousins (both straight; I'm the black sheep) went to the rally in Boise, Idaho. As you can imagine, the turnout wasn't huge, but it was bigger than I expected. Both my cousins, Natalie and Danae, said this was one of the best things they have ever done, and they were so happy to go out and show their support for me and their gay friends.
Here they are at the rally:
And here is the crowd gathered in front of Boise City Hall:
So, I joined the rather large crowd demonstrating in Los Angeles in front of our City Hall. I've read that the estimates of the crowd are in the 12,000 range, but I'm not buying it. That's what they said about the protest the night after the election, and this one on Saturday seemed SO much bigger. When the march started, we covered at least eleven city blocks. I don't know how they figure out the estimates, but I think they might want to increase the numbers a bit.
We got there, and it seemed that the speakers had just started. We listened to a few representatives from the gay community, then Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Then a few more local government officials, and finally some celebrities. Matt Lucas, of Little Britain fame, spoke to the crowd. Then came my favorite part of the speeches (starting at 0:23 in this video):
I'd never heard of that Marissa Jaret Winokur chick before, but she had maybe the best line of the day, and I appreciate her support. I hear that Pink and T.R. Knight were also there, though if they spoke, I missed it. I was never into the Xena thing, but I think Lucy Lawless is great, particularly on Battlestar Galactica. I like her even more for being at this rally.
After way too many speeches in 90+ degree weather, we started to march. The march began at 1st and Spring, went down Spring to 4th, turned left on 4th, then left on Main to continue back toward 1st.
The march was incredible. There were the "What do we want? Equal rights! When do want it? Now!" chants, and there were people holding up signs everywhere. It was a feeling of overwhelming optimism. Don't believe what some in the conservative media are trying to tell you, that we are angry and violent towards those who disagree with our beliefs. Yes, we are angry. But what violence there has been is an anomaly. There are extremists in every group, and they do not speak for the majority of us.
Here that, Michelle Malkin? Quit spreading that "those crying for tolerance are the most intolerant of all" crap and realize that we are a group fighting for rights that have been unceremoniously stripped away from us. Where's your article on the Westboro Baptist Church (you'll have to Google that one yourself; I'm not linking to them again) and their extremist views? I absolutely do not condone violence, but we have the right to the "insane rage" you ascribe to us, and I won't apologize for it. That column you wrote is the best example I've seen of the right wing media pandering to its base. Nice work.
Back to the march. Along Main, we passed a bar. A guy walked out to tell his friend to come inside and said, "It's a gay bar now." We went in for a bottle of water, and probably got one of the last bottles the guy had, since he probably doesn't get a lot of requests for it on an average day.
My fiancé and I broke off when we got back to 1st, because she was sick (diagnosed with some sort of bacterial infection on Sunday) and couldn't walk anymore. But the rally continued at least three or four blocks beyond where we stopped. I don't know exactly how far they went, but there were people everywhere.
Here are the choice moments from the rally, in a handy slideshow format (click to make pictures bigger):
|Prop 8 Rally|
Good stuff happened everywhere. In Las Vegas, Wanda Sykes made one hell of a speech (the quality of the video is not the greatest, but it's the best I could find):
I don't know what good will come of these rallies. I know it's good to get our voices out there, and to let the world know we're not giving up. There's apparently a good chance the courts will do the right thing, but then we'll just deal with the outcry over the "activist judges" crap all over again. The "Yes on 8" folks see no problem with the fact that they were able to vote on the rights of a minority. They have never heard of the tyranny of the majority, I guess. If the judges are the only ones
This amendment to our state constitution took away the rights of a minority. That's the bottom line. There is no way this can be regarded as fair in the eyes of the law. If it takes a court to see that, so be it.
I had friends who went to the rallies in Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, New York, and Gainesville, FL, but none of them have sent me pictures yet. So you'll see those once I pester those friends into submission.