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More Protests This Weekend

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2008

Andy Towle has been keeping track of all the protests over Prop 8 anticipated this weekend:

PROTESTS – this WEEKEND. I’ve UPDATED the list of demonstrations taking place this weekend. There are now events in San Francisco, Mission Viejo, Palm Springs, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Laguna Beach, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. I’ve added an event for tonight in San Jose, and updated the San Diego protest information. This will be the first non-pride gay rights march in San Jose history.



November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Where was all the effort, organization and passion back in August and September when it could have made a difference? And what does all the street dancing do now beyond supplying the MSM with clips of ‘angry gays’ taunting police and trashing cars because they lost an election? (Putting aside the truth that in a constitutional democracy basic civil rights should not be subject to abrogation by plebiscite.)

November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Tristram, it wasn’t anywhere. You see, gay-rights activism today is dominated by people who think that flooding congressional representatives’ inboxes with mass-produced emails and airing commercials that make faceless please for nondiscrimination will make everything better.

Whether or not a court overturns Prop. 8, its victory at the polls needs to be a message to us that the way we have been trying to gain rights for ourselves has not worked. We need to be more aggressive, louder and nastier. We need to have angry, enraged demonstrations outside anti-gay churches before they get their stupid amendments passed, not after.

November 7th, 2008 | LINK

Please keep us posted if the protests spread to other states.

November 7th, 2008 | LINK

The crowd (estimated at 2000) was downtown Salt Lake City and was peaceful. The former mayor of Salt Lake spoke in support of the rally and said this is a historic occasion which the LDS Church will some day regret.

There was a Jazz game tonight and the traffic was horrific because of the rally.

The Mormon-owned KSL TV first reported there were only 100 to 200 at the rally but they failed to acknowledge the eventual turnout would be far more because of traffic and logistics in getting to Temple Square. (Plus, we Utahns are notorious for being late…or is it gay-standard-time to show up late?)

Anyway, it was historic. And cold. Those in L.A. had it easy. [smirk off]

November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Did anyone catch Anderson Cooper 360 tonight when he reported on the demonstrations?

Tony Perkins was one of the two guests on, and it might just be my bias, but I think he got tore a new one.

It seemed like Anderson couldn’t even help but let his professional commitment to unbiasedness slip just a little bit in his questions.

Chino Blanco
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

Here are the YouTubes from the Salt Lake City protest:






2,000 – 5,000 est. crowd!

November 8th, 2008 | LINK

We need to be more aggressive, louder and nastier. We need to have angry, enraged demonstrations outside anti-gay churches before they get their stupid amendments passed, not after.

Well, that may work to keep you motivated, but it doesnt change any votes.

What does seem to change the debate is average gay couples appearing in public -outing themselves- and showing what their marriages are really like. Banal, simple love, long workdays, dedicated to their children, conjugal loyalty; in short, as generally boring and tedious and wonderful in moments as hetero marriage. As average, reliable, assimilated members of society in 99 ways out of 100.

Marriage rights are about social sanction and recognition of full and proper adult standing in public. To get those rights requires a public demonstration of willingness and competence at that status which the claim of elegibility and worth has been made for. Which, I believe, has been avoided by the promarriage side in California. You wouldnt hire a novice to take responsibility and duties of some job s/he cant demonstrate either competence or willingness for, would you?

If you are willing to publicly out yourself to straight people in demonstrations and such, why not be willing to out yourself in public as same sex married and testify to it?

November 8th, 2008 | LINK

or is it gay-standard-time to show up late?

If youve ever been invited to an informal Indian event on a reservation, you may come to know what is called “Indian Time“. Things might happen on the day you were told they would…or they might not…and no one ever seems to know firmly when much in advance…. :)

Bruno Kravitz
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

cd, I respectfully disagree. The “nice, respectful” part took place before 11/4. The No on 8 campaign attempted to appeal to the voting population’s sense of fair-mindedness. It was not the campaign that pandered to the public’s fears, lowest instincts and that flooded the airwaves with outright lies; that was the Yes on 8 campaign. I get the message: nice does not work; the public does not respond to nice. It is appropriate for us to feel rage for what was perpetrated against us last Tuesday and to express that rage in public, without violence to others or the destruction of property. If you do not feel any rage, then good for you; but do not expect the rest of us to keep it bottled up inside.

November 8th, 2008 | LINK

We had 500 at the Santa Barbara vigil on Friday, with 48 hours notice. That’s amazing by Santa Barbara standards. I think our experience was a bit different, since it was billed as a vigil and was more intimate than the L.A. protests (though we did march up and down State st. with signs and chants — the crowd there was entirely supportive). It was more of a supportive open mike type event.

I think one purpose it served was to give folks a chance to talk about their anger and sadness and be heard, and also to remind ourselves of how broad and diverse the support for marriage equality really is in our town. It was also a way to get fired up to keep up the fight, and to get more people involved who were complacent before. Living in the type of place we do, I think there were a lot of folks who just assumed that no one was buying the H8 argument, and there were plenty of new (and newly disillusioned) faces at the vigil tonight.

Interestingly, the local nightly news gave us about 5 seconds worth of coverage, never noted the attendance numbers, and ignored everything that was said except the Mormon angle. Meanwhile a protest held elsewhere in the county about layoffs (albeit an extremely important issue, and an event I had been planning to attend prior to Wed) that drew about 2 dozen people was their feature story. /shrug

Ben in Oakland
November 8th, 2008 | LINK

It’s not that nice doesn’t work. It’s staying in the closet that doesn’t work.
Pardon me for posting this again– i hope it is all right– but this iwll be published in the BAR next week.

Time. Energy. Money.

As a recently married gay man, I contributed a lot of each against Prop. 8. I’m sad that we failed to beat it. But I’m also angry– and not just about political campaigns fueled by bigotry, conservative religion, and way too much tax-free money– because I could see defeat coming with the inevitability of a slow-motion train wreck.

At the campaign kickoff, I asked Mark Leno personally if campaign leaders were going to do the liberal-tolerance-equality strategy again, pointing out that it has failed repeatedly. Or, were they going to show actual gay people, actual families, and actual lives. You know: reality. He said that focus groups indicated that everybody-make-nice and civil liberties were the way to go. This would move the undecided voters who were so crucial. I made the same point to HRC’s Marty Rouse and several campaign leaders, and got the same response. The approach would be political rather than human, in every sense of both words.

What a concept! Let’s ask straight people who are afraid of gay people about how to win gay rights, instead of asking gay people what has worked in their lives. You can see the result of focus group viewpoints. We have been focused over big-time.

Politics may move undecided voters, but the movement is only as valuable as the last person they spoke to. Human connections move hearts and minds, even minds that are made up. People who know gay people don’t usually vote against them. But it’s easy to vote against someone who is invisible, faceless, a menacing other, instead of friend or family, or even someone you just met on the street. And in No on 8, we were invisible. We saw the supportive, loving parents, but no gay daughter, no grandchildren. No on 8 was uninterested in a speakers’ bureau to reach out to community groups and churches; I gave up asking. They wanted volunteers for phone banking and sign waving, not personal contact with real voters. At a training we were told NOT to use words like children, because Pro-8 people had appropriated the issue. Because we refused to claim it– to claim reality– it was used against us. Likewise, we can’t talk about this ancient and deeply rooted anti-gay prejudice, either, because by calling attention to a reality in our lives, we might offend the very people who call us a threat to family, faith, and country. Newsflash! Our existence offends them.

This all may make sense to professional political people in their world and culture, but not in mine. It fails as a strategy because it embraces THE CLOSET, which is our real enemy. The closet is US. It is making ourselves invisible and unknown, rather than showing the simple fact and humanity of our lives. It is our consent to the lies, our silence in the face of naked prejudice. It is us not standing up for ourselves, and when we don’t, who else will stand with us? I absolutely praise and thank our leaders for their efforts and sacrifices and dedication. But frankly, if our leaders don’t know that we have to stand up for ourselves, as ourselves, then they shouldn’t be our leaders. Because here’s the result: we gay people were barely visible, and more people thought that the standard of living of California chickens was more important than the families of their fellow Americans.

Thirty years ago, I worked against the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gay teachers. A much smaller group of people, with far fewer resources, in a far less accepting time, succeeded against great odds. Maybe I’m romanticizing, but I remember it was because all we really had to show were ourselves and our lives. We said NO to the closet.

I know this fight is far from over. We will be back. However, if future campaign organizations want to continue this losing strategy of focus groups, phone banking, invisibility, and cute but irrelevant ads that look good on political resumes but change nothing, the rest of us need a parallel campaign that comes out of the closet and presents us as who we are.

If you expect me to stay in the closet, then don’t,DON’T expect one minute of my time, one iota of my energy, or one dime of my money.

November 8th, 2008 | LINK

In case y’all haven’t heard yet, next Saturday, 11/15, is being organized for a nationwide protest. This is just barely getting off the ground, and needs everyone’s help to get the word out, and get on the streets:

Join the Impact

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