July 23rd, 2010
As they moved out of the northeast and into more conservative Ohio, it was assumed that NOM’s rallies would begin to pick up attendance. They even brought out Maggie Gallagher, their big media star, to speak to the crowd at the State House south lawn. But the crowd didn’t show up.
The Tour Tracker reports that the NOMbies at the peak were about 30 and that protesters numbered about 120. Of course, NOM will report 60 supporters because it appears that their counting method is to simply multiply by two (the 19 or so in Annapolis became “about 50 supporters in attendance”).
In Columbus, police set up barricades behind which protesters were required to stand. The protesters chanted and blew whistles. While that is annoying to the speakers, I’m not sure exactly what it accomplished. There’s nothing really wrong with the “hey hey ho ho” chants, but I think it would be more effective to sing We Shall Overcome. Or really annoy NOM and get a few powerful tenors to belt out Ave Maria.
But for the most part they didn’t engage in Shocking! and Outlandish! behavior that would frighten the horses (and yes, there were horses; the police were mounted.) One young lady crossed the line and was reportedly confrontational towards the people attending the NOM rally before being arrested. That was unfortunate and if NOM got any pictures or video of her, she will undoubtedly be the star of their next “I’m a victim” video.
The protest was by far the most interesting part of NOM’s event – even to NOM. Their website has no pictures of their own crowd, deciding instead to post one of the marriage supporters.
One odd thing: Brian Brown was missing from the festivities, and rumor is that he flew to California. No one seems to know why. Maybe he was too bored and depressed from no one showing up to hear him speak.
UPDATE: Here are the two sides of the story about the young lady who was arrested:
One woman, before she was escorted out of the rally by police, went through the crowd offering her hand to NOM supporters before ripping it away and cursing in their faces.
Maggie Gallagher’s version:
The protestors seemed a pretty angry lot, but mostly respected the line. (The Ohio cops were going to make sure of that!) One woman tried to incite folks to storm the podium again, but the police made that seem like a pretty bad idea.
I love cops.
Holly Hahn’s version:
This is what happened. I accidentally wandered into the NOM side of the protest. Seeing some opportunity for amusement, I wandered around inside the barricades shaking hands and introducing my self as a homosexual. One older man got upset and grabbed me and tried to wrestle me away, the cops told me to go behind the barricade and i did. Then the cops told me to leave and I refused. They dragged me away, cuffed and charged me with disorderly conduct and obstructing. I cooperated once arrested. I need ANY AND ALL pics and videos, to prove I was shaking hands, not “grabbing arms” please repost!
To clarify” I parked in the parking garage and was unsure which side of the statehouse I need to be. There were NO barricades the way I entered. I didn’t actually realize I was in NOM territory until I noticed the logo on the podium.
p.s absolutely nothing happened to the old man who grappled with me, but i think they recorded me cussing at him to GTFO me, unfortunately. I am truly sorry if my um..unrestrained comments while being assaulted are used in a way that is detrimental to the cause. The fact is I am woman, 5’0 and there was a man grabbing and grappling with me and police yelling at me. I was scared and angry.
p.p.sYes, It wasn’t premeditated. I have done many many protests and actions over the years, but really this time I just wandered into the wrong side and decided to run with it. I can’t let anyone go through their life saying they haven’t met a queer. It’s kind of my policy. So I started shaking hands.
Putting myself in the public eye doesn’t scare me a bit. I am who I am.
I refuse to be afraid and unlike the anonymous donors to Prop 8 and other hate legislation, I am true enough to my beliefs to put my real name on them.
My name is Holly Hahn. I am a lesbian. I am not scared of police, social disapproval or bigots stalking me.
I believe that the time for Mr/s Nice Gay is over. I’m tired of endless attacks against our lives. I don’t want them to feel safe behind the barricade- why should they get the privilege of feeling safe when their words or hate make our brothers and sisters UNsafe?
I will cross barricades again, and I am hoping to organize a courthouse sit in on my court date
I bring you two messages from the National Organization for Marriage. The first is from Maggie Gallagher:
My message to the protestors: Hate is not a family value. The 62 percent of Ohioans who came together across lines of race, creed and color to vote for marriage are not haters, and it’s wrong to portray them, or the American people that way.
The second I bring from NOM’s Facebook page. The site is heavily edited by NOM’s associates and only the messages that the administrators want there remain. What follows is the comments to this post. (I left nothing out so as not to appear to be cherry picking the worst)
Daniel Rowinski: ugh i find out my city of Cleveland will host the gay games of 2014.
Theresa Preece: The Gay Games?
John Ozanich: Gay Olympics
Theresa Preece: Yes, I know. SO many comments….
Danielle Burke: That is extremely disappointing :(
John Ozanich: all about money
Tara J Later: Oh, now that is beyond funny. The thing that comes to mind is the javelin throw on the movie ” Revenge of the Nerds”. Let’s get the aerodinamics right. I’m rotfl, big time.
Minister Dixon: “The Gay Games?” Yeah, now I’ve heard everything. How are Gay Games different from other games?
John Acker: Do the males (they are anything but men) compete in accessorizing and lisping?
John Ozanich: you ever see Jesse Owens do a 500 yard sprint wearing a feathered pink boa ?
Tara J Later: @ Min. Dixon….I think I have the answer to that question. The uniforms are tighter and shorter, to make sure they show every part of the body as much as possible. That’s the difference. And the uniforms will be flaming loud.
Minister Dixon: John do you want my turkey sandwich to come back up? LOL
Minister Dixon: @ Tara, if it’s anything like their parades, you may have a point there :)
Tara J Later: I do have to admit, that everyone of my homosexual friends have great taste in style… Only one is on the loud side, but none of them want marriage. It’s quite interesting that they aren’t on the band wagon.
Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and who can say ‘hey’ the gayest?
Nick Jones: Do these games consist of slapping fights, sex in public and seeing who can say ‘hay’ the gayest?
John Ozanich: no, that’s Congress, Nick…
Minister Dixon: LOL, hey John, you’re not well, hahaha
And now my message to the Maggie: Hate is not a family value. It is true that not all of the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted to deny equality to their gay neighbors are haters, but many of the people who support the National Organization for Marriage and who participate at your Facebook page are.
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