Today the National Organization for Marriage held a rally at Granite City Baptist Church in St. Cloud. This is the same church which paid for an ad in a local paper claiming that The Moslems were a threat to America and were trying to “take control” by “supporting the gay agenda.”
According to the Trial Tracker (thanks guys for being the most reliable source of info about NOM’s Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas (and church lawns)):
Today, 73 NOM supporters gathered on a lawn in front of Granite City Church.
There is no report as to whether The Moslems tried to infiltrate the rally, but one NOM supporter made an unintentional statement when they brought their rainbow umbrella.
A handful of protesters stayed on the sidewalk about 250 feet away to maintain a presence, but the main equality event was across town in a park by the university where 89 folks showed up to support marriage for all.
Phyllis told me a community organizer, Justin Michael, spoke to the crowd largely composed of students from St. Cloud State University, the second largest in the state (the rally is being held in Barden Park, next to the University). There’s a lesson here: St. Cloud is part of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s district, a virulent opponent of equality (and many other progressive issues). But this goes to show again that even in the reddest bastions of homophobia, we can find the future in younger supporters of equality like the students from St. Cloud State. We cannot write off areas of the country that may seem more conservative by their representation or character.
The “reddest bastions” comment refers to the fact that St. Cloud is represented by Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman obsessed with opposing civil equality for gay people (on religious grounds). Here are just a couple of her doozies:
If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.
It’s part of Satan I think to say that this is “gay.” It’s anything but gay.
The speakers today seemed to be the same formula: Brian Brown, Catholic Priest, local “family” activist, Baptist Pastor, black person. However Michele Bachmann was not among the speakers on the church lawn. I’m not sure about Satan.
UPDATE: NOM’s Louis Marinelli has blogged about the St. Cloud event. The man is truly delusional.
Like I mentioned, we had at least two hundred attendees today and the best part is that they were an active crowd. You could sense that they were engaged and excited to be there and I know that when they left our rally today they were going to go home and spread the word.
At least two hundred? I guess that doubling the crowd hasn’t been impressive so now NOM is just taking the actual turnout and multiplying by three. Here’s the accompanying photo that Louis provides of the audience.
There are 61 people in this photo, including children.
As for the protesters, there were enough to count on one hand and they stayed closer to the street, held and few signs and kept to themselves. They weren’t an issue.
Yup, because the bulk of theme (outnumbering NOM’s crowd) were across town, in my opinion a wise move.
Although Bachmann didn’t make an appearance, State Representative Steve Gottwalt (District 15A) did show up. Still no word on either Bishop Battle or Satan.