Posts Tagged As: Los Angeles CA

El Coyote Manager Steps Down

Jim Burroway

December 8th, 2008

Frontiers Magazine is reporting that Marjorie Christoffersen, manager at El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeless, is stepping down. She is also resigning as a member of El Coyote’s board of directors. She had been with the restaurant for 26 years.

El Coyote became embroiled in controversey last month when it was learned that Marjorie Christoffersen had donated $100 to California’s “Yes on 8” campaign, which sponsored the contitutional amendment to strip gays and lesbians of their right to marry. This contribution came as a shock to restaurant’s gay clientele which had seen the venerable 77-year-old institution as a welcoming and gay-friendly establishment.

After news of Christoffersen’s donation broke, El Coyote managers agreed to sit down and discuss the donation with members of the community. During the meeting, Christoffersen said that she was proud that the restaurant had been a “beacon of diversity.” But she refused to apologize for her donation, which she said stemmed from her Mormon faith. That led to a boycott of the restaurant.

A Patronizing “Pastoral Message”

Timothy Kincaid

December 6th, 2008

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, has issued A pastoral message to homosexual Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles assuring gay Catholics that they “are cherished members of the Catholic Church, and that we value you as equal and active members of the Body of Christ”.

I know what the Cardinal is trying to say. He just wants gay Catholics to know that this very personal action that he encouraged to harm their life wasn’t personal. It’s not out of some desire to hurt them, you see, it’s just out of Mahony’s absolute certainty about how things should be.

And that while he actively seeks to eliminate any measure of equality for same-sex attracted persons either in society or in the Church, he values them as equal members of the Body of Christ. You’re equal in the eyes of God, you see, but dogma and doctrine require that you be treated as intrinsically disordered, not to be protected from death sentences, and psychologically suspect due to your “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

Frankly, there are times that outright animosity is better. At least you know that the Phelpses are thinking about you when they carry signs saying “God Hates Fags”.

But these folks who campaign to change civil law in some way that impacts only gay people and then turn around and claim that it has nothing to do with gays, well they just infuriate me. It’s not that they declare us evil, per se, but rather that they refuse to consider us at all.

Consider the dismissiveness inherent in the Cardinal’s refusal to even recognize that gay couples exist:

As we have come to learn over these past decades, there are many groupings of people residing under one roof across California. Some of these groupings are related family members, while others are companions and friends. There are now 17 rights for such companions and friends specifically included in the State of California’s legal structure.

Having relegated decades-long committed loving relationships to “companions and friends”, and having declared – in a moment of absolute absurdity – that Proposition 8 never “intended, directly or indirectly, to lessen the value and importance of gay and lesbian persons”, the Cardinal arrogantly assigns the ill intention of the perpetrators of this attack on gay family onto the victims.

We are saddened that some people who opposed Proposition 8 have employed hurtful and accusatory language, and even threatening actions, against those who voted for Proposition 8. This is most unfortunate since such strategies obscure the basic matter at issue: the preservation of the ordered relationship between man and woman created by God.

At no point did Mahony acknowledge, much less apologize for, the hurtful and accusatory language of the Yes on 8 Campaign or the threatening actions against those who contributed against it. I guess the extortion letter signed by the Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference was justified by “the basic matter at issue”.

This is not by any reasonable definition a “pastoral message”. There is no recognition of the harm caused. There is no salve for the wounds in his flock. There is not even an admission that this political endeavor had the slightest of negative consequences on gay people.

There is only self-justification, lies about the intent and result of the campaign, and blame assigned to those who disagree with him – including those to whom this letter pretends to be addressed.

I’m not a Catholic so I cannot speak for those who are part of the Church. But were I one of Mahony’s flock, I would find his smarmy patronizing self-congratulatory “message” to be an offense to me, my family, my friends, my God, and all decent people everywhere.

What Defines a Community Organization?

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of the other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin

Timothy Kincaid

November 25th, 2008

Tonight there will be a “townhall meeting“, a 90 minute online forum to address “Prop. 8: The Facts and the Future”. It is hosted by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and will feature its CEO, Lorri Jean.

At first glace this seems like a reasonable organization and individual to take charge and really address this situation. After all, what could be more representative of the gay community than “the world’s largest LGBT organization”?

But is this really the world’s largest LGBT community organization? And what makes an organization “community”?

I would argue that for an organization to be “community” it has to fit some criteria: it must be where the community is, provide services to the community, be welcoming to all members of the community, and be a home, a place of security and warmth, a shelter.

Sadly, the LA Gay and Lesbian Center fails on nearly all accounts.

The heart of Los Angeles’ gay community can be found in West Hollywood on the corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica. Although today that portion of West Hollywood plays social host to a mostly white male gay crowd of a certain age and dynamic, it is to that location that our community gravitates in time of protest. Yes, there are other parts of the city that play host to various subsets of our community, but West Hollywood is ours. It is our safe spot.

Hollywood is not.

A lone gay man or woman would not feel completely safe at night on Hollywood Boulevard towards the eastern end of the cruise strip. This is straightsville, and not a very safe part of it at that. Yet it is on a side street off Hollywood, three miles from the community, that the LAGLC’s chose to purchase a four story office building. And while it may be safe to wander around the neighborhood streets during the day, parking is only available for a hefty price.

If there is one thing obviously missing from the neighborhood in which the Center is located, it would be gay people.

But they also have another site – used mostly for fundraising. It has an art gallery, a theater, and rooms your organization can rent for occasions. It’s also in Hollywood and has no parking and I’ve yet to meet the person who wanders over to spend the afternoon.

But one might overlook the location if the draw was adequate. If they offered a service that was communal, that drew people together, that created a bond, a common meeting space, a feeling of unity.

Well, perhaps a glance at the Center’s revenues and expenditures can give us some sense as to whether LAGLC has the unification of the community as their primary goal.

According to LAGLC’s Form 990 for the year ended 6/30/07, the Center allocated their program service expenditures as follows: 77.0% as a pharmacy, 5.8% as an AIDS information clearinghouse, 5.7% for health education, for combined health services of 88.5% of their overall expenditures. Perhaps that’s why health care is featured so prominently on their website.

But healthcare is not their only function. They also provide care for homeless youth, free internet access, programs for seniors, and legal advice. All told they spent $32,895,161 doing good deeds.

For which they received reimbursement of $36,711,446 by the state, insurance companies, and fees.

Even after paying all administrative and fundraising expenses, the Center was in the enviable position of being able to reserve 43% of their direct public support away for a rainy day.

As for the average Joe or Jane gay person, for you there is not so very much.

Now you may be new in town and wander down Rand Shrader Place wondering what that brightly colored building is. And you may even go inside thinking it would be cool to maybe meet other gay people. But unless you are here for medical services (what’s your insurance?) or have an appointment, there’s no seating provided in the marble lobby and loitering isn’t allowed. (While once waiting for a friend who was receiving “legal advice” I was informed that there was a bench outside).

If you’re new in town and want to hang out with other gays, try either Starbucks on Santa Monica across from the gym or the new coffee place on the corner of Robertson. Or visit a church, join a club, or have a cocktail in any of dozens of bars scattered throughout the city. But don’t go near the Center.

Now don’t get me wrong. I very much appreciate the medical services they provide to those who are indigent or uncomfortable with another health care provider. And it’s awfully nice that someone is caring for youth and seniors. Truly. We need to better address the issue of homeless gay youth.

But I’m not sure why an adjunct of the State Health Department thinks that it is qualified to speak for me on issues of civil equality or why Lorri Jean has anything to say about the passage of Proposition 8.

What Margie’s Friends Think of You

Timothy Kincaid

November 18th, 2008

Sometimes you never know what someone believes about you until you hear it from someone else. Margie Christoffersen, the grande dame of El Coyote was always there with a smile for gay folk, but that isn’t how her Mormon friends saw it.

A fellow ward member has posted her views about Margie and El Coyote. And if they reflect Margie’s, I’m ill to think I ever spent a cent there. She opens:

I was going to write about the persecution of my friend, Marjorie (Margie) Christofferson, who has been targeted by the gay community for giving 100 bucks to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. But instead of talking about their hatred which we have seen displayed so clearly I want to talk about Margie.

After some glowing praise about what a good Mormon Margie was, she gets in her digs.

To know such a woman is truly an honor. You don’t meet many great people in your life, they are a rarity. I have pledged to do whatever I can to help her get through this. If Margie is willing to sacrifice so much for what she believes, the least I can do is support her and stand by her. The people who are vilifying her don’t even begin to know what kind of wonderful person they are hurting. They will never have the moral fortitude to looks such heated opposition in the eye and not blink. They will never be as good, forgiving or loving as my good friend Margie Christofferson. May God watch over her now. May all those who supported Prop. 8 support her now. She given so much for us, it is time to pay her back.

What a coincidence. Her gay customers also thought it was time to pay her back.


I happened to notice, as I drove by on my way home last night, that El Coyote had significantly fewer customers than is usual for a Monday night.

See also:

El Coyote Boycott – My Observations
The El Coyote Boycott
El Coyote: An Uncompromising Faith
El Coyote Update
Should I Give Up my Favorite Mexican Restaurant?

A Report from the Los Angeles March

Timothy Kincaid

November 16th, 2008

Saturday was both exhilarating and annoying, encouraging and exhausting. What follows are some of my personal observations.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the police reported that between 10,000 to 12,000 of the 40,000 anticipated people attended the rally and march at City Hall. (Personally, I find the LA Times story disconcerting. You don’t have to have “balance” by repeatedly printing the opinions of the Yes on 8 Campaign Manager. Unless, of course, you’re going run opinions from gays every time you run a story on religion. Any why, oh why, did the Times’ videographer find the one and only drag queen – a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence – to focus half their video on?)

The Time’s count may be right, but it certainly felt like more and I heard reports of as many as 30,000 (which was also likely an over-exaggeration). Many of the participants were so far away that they couldn’t see the stage and could only just make out what the speakers were saying. And by my estimation it would be impossible to double the size of the crowd and fit it into the streets that were cleared.

There were a surprising number of straight folks there. I rode the subway with a young couple with a stroller sporting the sign, “my family doesn’t need protection from love”.

I couldn’t help but notice that those who showed up were overwhelmingly white or Latino. The lack of a strong black participation suggests that there is still disconnect in reaching the African American community, both gay and straight.

There was also a counter-protest consisting. The following isn’t the best picture (phone camera) but I think I got all five in the pic.

The day started with some inspirational speeches, but it soon morphed into politicians and “leaders” boring the socks off of you. Nonetheless the crowd was charged up and excited to be part of a national event. The mood was less about anger and more about resolve and determination. (Lisa Derrick has video at her site).

Eventually the march started. And everyone was excited for a while. We chanted “What do we want? Equal rights. When do we want them? Now” and merrily waved our signs.

But then a sense of uncertainty entered the march. Participants began to ask “where are we going?”

Downtown Los Angeles is pretty much dead on the weekends. So there was not that much hope for visibility anyway and we knew that disruption of traffic would be minimal. But it was troubling that the march route led from City Hall, down obscure back streets, across a freeway, and out of downtown in a route that seemed designed mostly to minimize the inconvenience of others.

Yet we all dutifully marched behind the glorified police golf cart.

The only time we saw anyone was briefly along historic Olvera St. and when we waved signs as we passed over the 101. (I will admit to feeling a rush when I heard the horns of semis blaring in support).

As we got further and further from Downtown, I suddenly had the sense that this march was less like a protest of injustice and more like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The police marched all the protesting gays right out of the city.

Disbelief turned to incredulity when we finally ended up in a “park” that had no access to roads or pedestrian traffic or overlooking buildings. Complete invisibility. At the far end there was a stage set up so we could all enjoy some more speeches. Goody

The Cornfield (as this park is nicknamed) is not a lovely shaded green space shared by neighbors and community. It is a big flat dirt lot with no shade. A marcher next to me answered a call from someone back in the march as to where we were going, “Joshua Tree“. It may well have been a great site for a rock concert – so as not to disturb anyone – but it certainly wasn’t effective as a protest venue.

A woman next me looked in disgust, turned around and started chanting, “Take the march back to the city!” This seemed like a good plan to me – or certainly better than standing in the dirt in 90 degree weather listening to someone read a prepared message into a microphone – so I joined her chant. The two of us turned and immediately those around us started walking back out of the Cornfield. Soon, as best I could tell, the entire march had turned around.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t really anywhere to go. The police had reopened the streets and they took measures to corral the crowd onto the sidewalks. While this wasn’t effective, I did seem to lead to the group splintering into smaller marching groups in different directions.

Eventually, what should have been a very effective effort at visibility ended with most folks just going home. But by then it was 2:00 anyway and we were tired and hungry. As a friend said, “This could have ended well with them marching us through downtown in a circle and back to city hall for a final speech. Instead its just chaos and no one knows what they’re supposed to do.”

Some marchers indicated a desire to keep marching through Hollywood, but there didn’t seem to be cohesive leadership and the numbers had dwindled. Maybe they went, I don’t really know. And although I’m not sure, I think some may have stayed in the Cornfield to bake in the sun and listen to activists.

Nonetheless, I have to say that overall this event was a success. We did put on a show of unity and joined the national protest to let our neighbors know that we are not taking their vote on the 4th as a final answer. And that we will continue to fight until we have achieved equality under the law.

Rallies Across America

Jim Burroway

November 16th, 2008

Protesters turned out is scores of cities across America to protest the unprecedented stripping of rights from gays and lesbians with the passage of California’s Proposition 8, as well as the passage of anti-marriage amendments in Arizona and Florida.

Here is a roundup from more than 110 cities across the United States, great and small where people joined the impact. From New York City to Wailuku, Hawaii; from San Francisco to Portland, Maine; from Anchorage to Miami Beach, people everywhere stood up for equality and against the travesty of Prop 8 which summarily stripped a minority of its rights.

Note: This post is a re-creation from the one originally created on Saturday. That post ended up getting corrupted due to the multiple updates I was making through the day. Unfortunately, when the post finally went completely haywire, it took some 20 comments with it.

In Wailuku, HI:

Sandy Farmer-Wiley (left) and Jean Walker participate in a rally Saturday in Wailuku supporting gays, lesbians and transgenders in a nationwide protest against the approval of Proposition 8 in California and other anti-gay initiatives passed in the Nov. 4 general election. The Maui women, who have been together for 32 years, formally declared their commitment to each other during a service at Keawala’i Congregational Church in Makena 15 years ago and were married in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. “Marriage is a civil right, it has nothing to do with religion,” Farmer-Wiley said. “The Bible is being used as a stick to beat us.” A total of about 45 people attended the rally in front of the State Office Building held to coincide with similar demonstrations across the country.

In Sandpoint, ID:

It didn’t matter that it was cold outside. The occasional negative gesture or rude comment weren’t an issue. After all, the dozen or so protesters of a recent California vote banning gay marriage, those things paled in comparison to the lack of equal rights for all. “I’m a strong supporter of equal rights for everyone,” said Dr. Bill Barker, organizer of the Sandpoint protest.

A Sagle-based psychologist, Barker said he helped many people deal with issues of sexual orientation in their families. When the call went out from Join the Impact encouraging communities to hold a day of protest of Proposition 8’s passage, Barker said he knew it was something he wanted to do in Sandpoint. Everyone in the country was asked to take a stand for equal rights

The community is blessed by its diversity, and one of its strengths is its support for others of differing views, Barker said, adding reaction to the protest was mostly positive with only a few negative comments.


In Los Angeles, CA:

In Los Angeles, protesters clustered near City Hall, carrying rainbow-colored flags and signs bearing messages such as “No More Mr. Nice Gay,” “Where’s My Gay Tax Break?” and “No on Hate.”

… The Los Angeles Police Department estimated that 40,000 people would attend the march, which officials expected to be peaceful.

The protests will be a key test for a loosely formed Internet-based movement that has emerged since California voters banned gay marriage last week.

In the last 11 days, advocates have used the Web to organize scattered protests at places, such as the Mormon Temple in Westwood and Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, and mount boycotts against businesses that supported Proposition 8. Those efforts snowballed, and marches against the proposition are expected in more than 300 cities across the country.

In South Lake Tahoe, CA:

At least 100 people, gay and straight, couples and partners gathered at El Dorado Beach on Saturday as part of a coast-to-coast, nationwide day of protest. …Flanked with signs that said “equal rights for all” the Tahoe gathering generated a fair share of waves and honks of support along Highway 50. There were occasional finger gestures by motorists but all-in-all the protest was successful, said organizer Janice Eastburn.

In Stillwater, OK:

More than 50 people braved the cold and wind to wave signs and cheer honking vehicles in protest of California’s recent same-sex marriage ban on Saturday at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Husband Street. The demonstration began at noon with a handful of protesters on the sidewalk in front of the county courthouse lawn, but the line of people facing Sixth Avenue grew throughout the afternoon.

In Stillwater, the mood seemed positive: the crowd, consisting of both young and old, cheered as honking vehicles drove past, including a semitrailer hauling half of a house. Melanie Page, an OSU psychology professor, brought her two sons with her to the protest. Page said she came to support equal rights. “I would hope that the community sees that the majority of people support gay rights, and for couples who love each other to marry and have legal protection,” she said. “That only strengthens America, strengthens families. It doesn’t weaken families. It’s not just gay people supporting gay people.” A number of OSU students also joined in the protest.

In Fairfield, CA:

About 75 people showed up to a Fairfield rally organized by Fairfield High School student Crystal Nievera, 16. “Not everyone voted yes on 8 (in Solano County),” said Nievera, who feared a small showing based on what her Facebook group told her. The protesters met at Fairfield City Hall and marched to Solano County Municipal Court, where they would be more visible on busy Texas Street.

The protesters — many with their children in tow — waved signs, chanted and encouraged passing motorists to honk in support. In a reflection of the youth-driven nature of the national rallies, many in the crowd were teenagers, including 18-year-old Antigone de la Cruz Montgomery VanGundy, who was with her adoptive parents Gino and Chris VanGundy, a married Fairfield couple. “I graduated high school with honors and AP classes and a 4.0 GPA,” she said. “Do not tell me my family does not have good parents.”

In San Francisco, CA:

Thousands of protesters converged upon San Francisco’s City Hall Saturday morning to speak out against California’s controversial Proposition 8.

“And sometimes it feels we felt our whole lifetime digging out the lies that other people tell about us, but the truth is this: we are a movement based on love,” said Reverend Dr. Penny Nickson who spoke during the rally.

In Burlington, VT:

“It’s shameful. It’s un-American,” said one Burlington protester. “This is a very frightening development for all of us,” added another.

A steady downpour symbolized the mood in Burlington. Same sex couples stood in solidarity holding signs while speakers stepped up to the mike to share their fears. In 2000 Vermont became the first state in the country to legalize civil unions for same sex couples. Several other states have since followed suit.

In Minneapolis, MN:

Gathering in front of a banner said “legalize love,” more than 500 gay rights activists gathered this afternoon in downtown Minneapolis as part of a nationwide series of rallies to support gay marriage.

…Reg Merrill, 63, drove 4 hours from Ft. Dodge Iowa to join the demonstration.

“It’s hard to believe that people pass laws that take away rights, ” Merrill said.

Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff highlighted a series of speakers

“From Golden Gate Park to Loring Park, we will step together until this battle is won,” Schiff said.

In Baton Rouge, LA:

As part of the national day of protest Saturday, groups in Baton Rouge rallied downtown. “What I’m hoping is a new chapter in American civil rights history,” says Kevin Serrin with Capital City Allliance. The group raised the gay pride flag and held up signs in protest of the California ban.

In San Diego, CA:

As the march in downtown San Diego to protest the passage of Proposition 8 is taking place, the crowd of participants, which initially was numbered about 2,000, has swelled. As of 11:45 a.m., police estimated the crowd at about 10,000 people. Those participating in the march now stretch about three-quarters of a mile long.

In New York, NY:

Thousands took to the streets of Lower Manhattan Saturday to protest California’s new ban on gay marriage. The rally at City Hall was just one of many scheduled around the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. The cheering crowd stretched for blocks, as demonstrators waved rainbow-colored flags and held signs and wore buttons that said ‘I do.’ By standing here today we send the message we will move over, through and beyond Prop 8,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

In Escondido, CA:

Nearly 500 opponents of Proposition 8, the widely debated initiative voters approved Nov. 4, waved signs and chanted “Repeal 8” Saturday as they marched through the busy streets of downtown Escondido. … Spearheading the march was Jennifer Schumaker, a self-proclaimed “lesbian soccer mom” of four, who held a “No on Prop. 8” sign in front of City Hall for eighteen days before the election. “We’re marching for equality, for progress and for future generations,” Schumaker said.

In Boston, MA:

Four to five thousand people gathered in the rain on City Hall Plaza Saturday to protest the recent vote in California which reversed that state’s legalization of gay marriage. …The Boston rally took on special significance because of Massachusetts’ distinction as the first state to legally recognize gay marriages. The show of support on City Hall Plaza included same sex couples from all over the state who have married in Massachusetts since May 2004.

In Washington, DC:

What looked like tens of thousands (it’s impossible to know for sure) turned out today for the D.C. version of the Join the Impact protest in which gays and their allies voiced disdain for Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that passed last week outlawing same-sex marriage there.

Marchers met at 1:30 p.m. today at the Capitol Reflecting Pool and marched down the National Mall, past the Washington Memorial and to the White House. The length of the marchers appeared to be at least a few miles long. Many carried signs equating Prop. 8 with hate using the numeral 8 with an “h” in front of it to spell “hate” (i.e. H8). Call-and-response chants were heard in several variations.

Intermittent rain — at one point torrential — didn’t appear to deter anyone.

In Chicago, IL:

Thousands of gay marriage advocates took to the streets of downtown Chicago today, hoping to galvanize support and pressure the courts to overturn the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California. .. [P]rotesters gathered at Federal Plaza, carrying rainbow-colored flags and signs with messages like “Fix Marriage, Not Gays” and “Repeal Proposition 8.” Organizers said they hoped to achieve “full marriage equality” in Illinois.

In Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota:

About 200 protesters gathered Saturday afternoon on the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Fargo and Moorhead to rally for equality and against California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state. Josh Boschee, organizer of the F-M Protest for Love, said he was extremely pleased by the turnout. “I was going to be happy with 20 to 30 people,” Boschee said. “There’s a lot of families and allies here. It’s more than just the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”

…The local protest, along with one in Grand Forks, N.D., were among several across the country in which supporters gathered to support gay rights and marriage.

In Honolulu, HI:

Here, more than 300 people crowded the lawn near Honolulu Hale, in protest of California’s newly passed ban on same sex marriage. “We’re out for everybody and it’s equality for all,” Thomas Larabee said.

In Oakland, CA:

Thousands converged on Oakland City Hall on Saturday morning to protest against the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California and to rally for equal rights. “I think as a community and across the nation people are standing up and saying, ‘We are not going backward,'” said Molly McKay, spokeswoman for Marriage Equality USA. “We are only going forward and equality is a proud American tradition for our lives and for our families.

In Salinas and Monterrey, CA:

More than 50 opponents of Proposition 8 are marching through downtown Salinas to protest passage of the measure they say discriminates against gays and lesbians who want to marry. …Carrying signs and chanting messages against the measure, protesters are marching from Salinas City Hall to the National Steinbeck Center and back to City Hall without incident. No Salinas police officers were present as protesters marched.

Opposition is small, with just one person coming out in support of Prop. 8. Another rally against Prop 8 is happening at the Monterey City Hall.

In Portland, ME:

Saturday’s rain didn’t stop people who feel passionately about the same-sex marriage issue from heading out to Monument Square in Portland to have their voices heard. People who attended the rally say they want equal rights for same-sex couples and it’s time for Maine to legalize marriages of gay couples. One supporter held up a sign reading, “My dads are married.” She says she wants people to know that even though she was raised by a same-sex couple, she turned out just fine.

In Albany, NY:

Roughly 500 gay and lesbian individuals gathered in front of City Hall Saturday afternoon to participate in a local section of the national “Join the Impact” protest… Patrick Harkins, the organizer of the event, said that the local rally was to show that local citizens disagree with the California decision, but also that the residents of Albany want equal rights.

In Baltimore, MD:

Hundreds of people gathered outside Baltimore’s city hall to protest the passage of a ban on gay marriage in California. Mike Bernard of Baltimore, who married his partner in Canada this year, is one of several people who shared their personal stories with the crowd. He says in the long run, Proposition 8 may be a good thing for those fighting for gay marriage in the United States. He says many thought a liberal state like California would never ban gay marriage, but now they may be shocked into action.

In Sacramento, CA:

About 1,500 people were gathered across from Sacramento City Hall at Ninth and I Streets for a rally in Cesar Chavez Park. Participants carried signs and listened to speakers railing against Prop. 8.

In Witchita, KS:

A group of about 100 people gathered at Wichita City Hall this afternoon as part of a nationwide protest of California’s ban on gay marriage. … They shared the sidewalk with a small group from the Rev. Fred Phelp’s Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, who were protesting the protest, but there was no conflict between the two groups.

In St. Louis, MO:

A crowd of more than 500 spilled onto the street outside the Old Courthouse this afternoon as protesters gathered to voice opposition against California’s recent ban on gay marriage. A host of activists and politicians, including Mayor Francis Slay, state Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City, and Lewis Reed, president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, spoke in favor of equal rights for gay couples at the rally.

In Nashville TN:

Tennessee may be one of the nation’s most red states politically, but all the colors of the rainbow were important Nov. 15 at a gay rights rally, where more than 200 people convened for a peaceful protest outside the Nashville Metro Courthouse. …The protestors received no negative backlash from local conservative groups or passers by, but police were on hand in case an incident was to occur.

A small crowd began to assemble at noon Saturday and grew quickly as event organizers handed out “Stop the H8” pins. A nearly equal number of GLBT people and their heterosexual allies joined forces to demand equality for all.

In Charlottesville, VA:

People stood out in the rain today to protest the ban right here in Charlottesville. Organizers say it was more of a rally than a protest. People cheered, waved signs and sang at the gathering. Their main goal they wanted to get across was that laws like Proposition 8 are not fair and people should not be judged based on sexual orientation.

“All of us here feel that it’s a civil right and that it should be granted to all citizens in the United States. Prohibiting it on the basis of same sex relationship is illegal, un-constitutional and generally just unfair,” said André Hakes, a protester.

In Palm Springs, CA:

More than 500 demonstrators turned out in Palm Springs for a nationwide rally coordinated at city halls in major cities to protest the recently passed same-sex marriage ban. Today’s event marked the third time hundreds of people in the Coachella Valley had demonstrated against Proposition 8, which overturned a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

In Denver, CO:


Hundreds of protestors turned out today in Denver against Proposition 8, a ballot measure passed by California voters that overrules a state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

… Bob Vitaletti and his partner, Joe Moore, held up a sign with a photo taken of the two in 1984 during Pride Fest held in Denver. The couple have been together for 29 years. “You can’t put civil rights up for majority rule,” Joe Moore said.

In Detroit, MI:

What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW! That was the chant that rang out through downtown Detroit, Michigan today as over 300 hundred dedicated protesters rallied in the freezing rain and sleet as part of the National Day of Protest.

In Philadelphia, PA:

Several thousand gay-rights advocates turned the area around City Hall into a boisterous, rainbow-colored sea today joining others across the country in a simultaneous demonstration against California’s new ban on gay marriage.

… “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Philadelphia organizer Brandi Fitzgerald, looking out at chanting, sign-waving demonstrators on Dilworth Plaza.

At one point, the crowd pressed onto 15th Street, forcing police to redirect traffic by blocking one lane. When that happened, a group of demonstrators fell in behind the flashing lights of a patrol car, and within seconds hundreds had stepped off the curb and into the street for an impromptu march.

“I didn’t know there was going to be a march,” one woman said to a friend.

“Me neither,” the other answered. “Let’s go.”

And they did. At its longest, the march stretched three-quarters of the way around City Hall.

In Louisville, KY:

Several years ago, when Jefferson County was adding civil-rights protections for gays and lesbians in a fairness ordinance, Pam Becker was among those protesting outside the county courthouse. But today, she stood across Sixth Street at City Hall to call for the right to same-sex marriage, joining about 200 mostly gay and lesbian protesters — including her 18-year-old son.

The reason for her change of heart?

“My son coming out,” said the Jeffersonville, Ind., woman. “I have to support my child. ”

The protesters — part of a coordinated series of demonstrations in cities around the country — gathered on a drizzly, gusty afternoon outside City Hall.

In Madison, WI:

Early Saturday afternoon, amidst the throngs of red-clad game day Badgers fans, a river of rainbow colors wound its way up State Street to the Capitol. … Thrown together over the last week and faced with cold, windy conditions, local organizers were pleased with the estimated 500-plus supporters who turned out today in downtown Madison.

In Ithaca, NY:

Hundreds of gay marriage supporters in the Southern Tier are protesting a California referendum that banned same sex marriage last week. Those supporters of same sex marriage say they’re fighting their own battle here in New York State.

…”In New York, it’s important we have marriage equality. The state assembly has already passed a marriage equality bill. The state senate has refused to even let it come up for vote. My rights are not up for vote.” Says Jason Hungerford.

In Santa Cruz, CA:

Chanting, cheering and carrying signs, hundreds of demonstrators gathered on the steps of the county courthouse and then marched to the Town Clock Saturday morning to demand equal marital rights for same-sex couples.

More than 500 people attended the rally, one of many held nationwide as a protest against the passage of Proposition 8, which calls for a Constitutional Amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. Speakers included Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Supervisors Mark Stone and Neil Coonerty and Santa Cruz City Council members Cynthia Mathews and Tony Madrigal.

In Houston, TX:

Hundreds of people gathered on the steps of Houston City Hall this afternoon to protest the passing of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment taking away the right to marry for same-sex couples. Along with the passing of other anti-gay measures across the nation, Prop. 8 made November 4 a day of mixed emotions for many of the progressives in attendance, who say they went to bed ecstatic about the election of Barack Obama but woke up the next morning to find out not everything had changed for the better.

In Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, FL:

Hundreds came to Miami Beach City Hall Saturday afternoon as part of a national Join the Impact movement to protest this month’s passage of anti-gay-marriage laws in Florida, California and Arizona. About 1,000 protested in Fort Lauderdale.

In Allentown, PA:

Calling for unity and equal rights, more than 150 gay rights supporters demonstrated Sunday in downtown Allentown to protest California’s recent ban on same sex marriage. Their anger as fierce as the cold winds that swept around them at Hamilton and Seventh streets, speaker after speaker criticized California’s Proposition 8 legislation, which banned same-sex marriage. ”We have a right to be angry, to be frustrated, to be insulted … because our community’s rights were voted against in the state of California,” said Adrian Shenker, president of the Muhlenberg College Gay Straight Alliance.

In Greensboro, NC:

Brant Miller is an unabashed romantic. He’s picked out baby names. He’s dreamed about his wedding – even designed some bridesmaid dresses for the occasion. There is one catch, however. Miller, a UNCG student, can’t get married because he’s gay.

On Saturday, he stood on the steps of the Melvin Municipal Office building and asked about 200 other rally participants to ask their legislative representatives to expand marriage rights to gay people in North Carolina.

In Indianapolis, IN:

Supporters of gay rights met at at a rally in front of the City-County Building as part of a nationwide protest over Proposition 8 Saturday, November 15, 2008.

In Jackson, MS:

Protests over California’s Proposition 8 spread to the Magnolia State on Saturday. About 50 people protested in Jackson outside the state capitol, upset the measure didn’t pass in California. Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage in that state. … They said they want to draw attention to what they say is a civil rights issue that affects America as a whole.

“So when people see protests happening around the country, they’ll understand that this isn’t just an issue that’s happening somewhere else, this is an American issue happening everywhere, because it affects all of us,” organizer Brent Cox said.

In Seattle, WA:

Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Seattle Saturday afternoon as part of a national protest to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage. Seattle police accompanied the marchers. Police estimated the crowd the number about 3,000. There were counterprotesters.

In Des Moines, IA:

About 100 protesters picketed at Des Moines’ City Hall to challenge voter passage of a measure that banned gays and lesbians from marrying in California. … The state’s first and only legally married same-sex couple attended the protest, as did Iowa’s only openly gay state senator, Matt McCoy.

…Six same-sex couples will go before the Iowa Supreme Court on Dec. 9 to argue for legal same-sex marriage in Iowa. It was legal in Polk County for two days in August 2007. One couple was married before a court ended the practice.

In Atlanta, GA:

At the Georgia Capitol, more than 1,500 opponents of California’s Proposition 8 crowded the plaza and steps, spilling onto Washington Street. Speakers led the crowd in chants during the Saturday afternoon protest.”We support marriage equality,” said Carlton Eden, who attended the Atlanta rally with his wife, Claire, and three daughters. “We believe everyone should be able to marry.”

In Montclair, NJ:

Bernie Bernbrock was born into the Mormon Church. He said he still believes in God and many of the faith’s doctrines but left the church because of its stance on gay rights. Today, Bernbrock, from Glen Ridge, took his 7-year-old daughter, Abby, and his partner of 10 years, Glen Vatasin to Montclair for their first-ever same-sex marriage march. “I don’t think any one family is in any position to judge another family,” he said. “It’s not their right to come into my home and take my rights away.”

He joined over 120 people who chanted through Montclair in support same-sex marriage as part of a national protest against California’s new ban on gay marriage, Proposition 8.

In Kalamazoo, MI:

More than 120 people lined the street in front of the Federal Building Saturday afternoon to protest the recent passage of a California ballot proposal banning same-sex marriage. Signs reading “Stop the Hate” and “Equal Rights for All” attracted honks as passing motorists showed support. The crowd stretched nearly a full block along West Michigan Avenue.

In Dallas, TX:

Louise Young never cast a vote on Proposition 8, but the measure changed her life. Married three months ago in California, Ms. Young and Vivienne Armstrong, her partner, joined more than 1,200 other Dallas-area residents who gathered outside of Dallas City Hall on Saturday to peacefully protest California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state.

“This is not a religious issue,” said Ms. Young, 61, of Dallas. “This is about legal rights. This isn’t right.”

In Duluth, MN:

Speaking out were more than one hundred protestors from all walks of life: young and old, students and professionals, and gay and straight. Tate Haglund-Pagel says “When I met my wife and the happiness we have gotten out of you know being married and being each others partners for ever I don’t understand why two men or two women can’t have the same happiness.”

In Peoria, IL:

In Peoria and across the country today, people petitioned in support of gay marriage and against a recent California vote. Dozens of people bared the cold weather to hold up signs opposing Proposition 8.

…Hector Martinez opposes Proposition 8 and said, “We just feel that you know we need to put a stop or this needs to see a reverse proposition 8. Eventually my partner and I, we’ve been together for 18 years, you know we’d like to see the legalization of marriage for us in Illinois.”

In Phoenix, AZ:

Donavon Goodsell, of Phoenix, celebrated his 67th birthday by marching for gay rights in a rally that drew a large group from the gay community and its supporters. He’s been in a relationship for 42 years, he said, and it’s time for marriage rights.

Goodsell was one of more than 1,000 people who gathered in Phoenix to protest the recently passed Proposition 102, an Arizona constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

In Oklahoma City:

Hundreds of protesters in Oklahoma City joined a nationwide call to protest the passage of a ballot measure in California that banned same-sex marriage. “It’s a huge, huge movement going on today,” said local organizer Bret Gaither. “We’re not asking for, you know, understanding or special treatment. We’re asking for equal treatment.”

In Tulsa, OK:

A group of about 300 activists and protesters marched Saturday through downtown to City Hall, where they held a short rally and observed a moment of silence as part of a worldwide protest for homosexual rights known as Join the Impact. The Tulsa rally was organized by Ashley Butler, who had no intentions of leading any such protest as recently as a week ago. “I sort of fell across it by accident,” she said.

In Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM:

Hundreds of people gathered in Albuquerque and Santa Fe on Saturday to protest the passage of Proposition 8 and anti-gay legislation in other states. About 500 people gathered on Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza with signs that read “What’s so scary? We just want to marry” and “Love and Let Love.” Rally organizer Rose Bryan says the event was about family and people being able to take care of and protect the people in their families.

In Santa Fe, a crowd of more than 100 people braved the chilly wind to speak out against Proposition 8.

In Columbia, MO:

More than 100 people bundled in coats, scarves, hats and gloves gathered on Saturday afternoon in front of the Boone County Courthouse in the ear-numbing cold and a stiff wind to protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8.

…On the steps in front of the courthouse, using a small PA system, [Mark] Buhrmester called the crowd together. He introduced the afternoon’s speakers and addressed the question of why Missourians and others outside of California were protesting an amendment that doesn’t directly affect them.

“The truth of the matter is that the hopes and fears of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community were riding on Proposition 8, and our hopes were dashed, and our fears were met,” Buhrmester said. “So that’s why we are here together — to stand up for our rights with our friends and our community.”

In Pittsburgh, PA:

Speakers in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood shared their personal stories with more than 100 people at the rally in Schenley Plaza.

In Cincinnati, OH:

An estimated 500 people stood in the rain Saturday afternoon in front of Cincinnati City Hall to protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8 … Cameron Tolle, a junior at Xavier University from Missouri, took the lead organizing the event. He admitted it was his first attempt at political action. “Nine days ago this protest wasn’t planned,” Tolle said. He said he and a group of friends decided “through Facebook conversations and convictions” that Cincinnati needed to be involved in this national protest.

Speakers included comedian Margaret Cho, who is in town tonight for her Taft Theater performance, and Victoria Wulsin, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.

In Olympia, WA:

About 300 South Sound residents, spurred to action by a recent initiative that overturned gay-marriage rights in California, gathered today at Olympia City Hall to rally support for the rights of gay men and women to marry. The 90-minute morning rally, organized by Anna Schlecht of Olympia, coincided with similar rallies across the country today. Schlecht said she was pleased with the turnout because there were so many new faces at the rally, people who had attended to show their support.

In Wilmington, NC:

More than 140 people assembled on the steps of the Federal Building in downtown Wilmington Saturday to protest the gay marriage bans recently approved in states across the country. The event was part of a planned nationwide network of protests, from Anchorage to Raleigh, largely organized via online word-of-mouth. Wilmington organizers Kati Heffield and Mary Eller assembled the Federal Building protest in just three days, primarily using the social networking Web site Facebook.

In Raleigh, NC:

Hundreds of people gathered this afternoon for a protest in downtown Raleigh against last week’s vote in California that made gay marriage unconstitutional there. …Braving a brief but drenching downpour, the marchers proceeded from the Capitol to the governor’s mansion — where one of them hoisted a rainbow flag on a pole just outside the gate. Police kept a close eye on the marchers while blocking traffic to maintain safety.

In Buffalo, NY:

150 people came out on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon to show support for same-sex marriage and solidarity with gay and lesbian people in California. …The Buffalo event was organized by Kara DeFranco and publicized through the web site …Protesters gathered at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway with signs that advocated equality under state marriage laws for all people.

In San Luis Obispo, CA:

Opponents of Prop. 8 took to the streets in downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, vowing to fight the measure banning same-sex marriages in California. More than 100 protesters rallied in front of San Luis Obispo City Hall, waving signs with slogans such as “Abate the H8” and “Marriage Equality USA.” The demonstration was one of several such protests that took place nationwide Saturday.

In Boise, ID:

Protests in Idaho were on a much smaller scale than some metropolitan areas around the nation, but even in Boise, the turnout was much bigger than expected. … It was a rally that packed the sidewalk on Capitol Boulevard in front of Boise City Hall. An estimated 400 people gathered to take part in a nationwide protest.

“This is amazing and exciting to see this support and the common grounds that Idaho has,” said Ryan Jensen and James Tidmarsh, married in California.

In Asheville, NC:

There seemed to be two predominant questions at a rally in Asheville Saturday in support of same-sex marriage: Why, and why not? The “why?” had to do with California voters’ decision on Election Day to rescind the rights of same-sex couples in that state to marry.

The “why not?” had to do with rally-goers’ bewilderment that others would deny gay and lesbian partners who’ve been together for decades the right to enjoy the bonds of a committed marriage, just the same as heterosexual couples.

“We don’t want to take anything from you,” said Kathryn Cartledge, one of the speakers at the gathering in Pritchard Park that drew about 400 supporters.

In Syracuse, NY:

Same sex couples across the country including those in Syracuse sent a strong message to California. Nearly 200 people showed up at city hall protesting proposition 8. Scotty Matthews was one of them. Even as a New Yorker, Scotty says he has a lot on the line with the proposition’s passage. “I’m gay. I’m an American. That’s the only stake I need to have in it. I don’t think that institutionalized discrimination is something that should be happening in America and that’s why I’m here,” said Scotty.

In Colorado Springs, CO:

“We are angry, sad, and hurt,” said Kristina Conner, who protested with a group of roughly 100 at City Hall in Colorado Springs. …”We want to take these emotions and use them as a positive driving force for our future so we too can have a unity and equality for our love,” said Conner.

In Tracy, CA:

Patti Armanini and Jackie Snodgrass tied the knot, legally, back in 2004 in San Francisco and again in September, and today, they joined a group in front of City Hall who protested this month’s passage of Proposition 8, which takes away their right to marry. “This is just one step in the whole process of overturning this,” Armanini said. “We’ll get there.”

In Salt Lake City, UT:

Hundreds of demonstrators waving signs and rainbow-colored flags gathered in downtown Salt Lake City today as the fight over gay marriage continued to intensify more than a week after California voters passed Proposition 8.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in the issue has turned Utah into “ground zero” for the gay civil rights movement, Jeff Key, a gay Iraq war veteran, told the crowd gathered at the Salt Lake City-County Building. “You called us out,” Key said. “You did this.”

In Lake Worth, FL:

Gay, straight, black, white: Marriage is a civil right,” chanted hundreds of people on the corner of Lucerne Avenue and Dixie Highway.

Their shouts were met by syncopated honks from passing motorists. Their cause resonated throughout more than 300 cities throughout the country, organizers said.

“Today we’re making history,” said Jay Blotcher, one of several organizers of the Join the Impact event. “This is a chapter in the civil rights movement and we will prevail.”

In Rochester, NY:

More than 150 people stood in the rain outside the Monroe County Administration Building this afternoon, rallying in support of same-sex marriage. …”People are angry, frankly, and this is history,” said Ove Overmyer, one of the local organizers, of the first simultaneous nationwide action in support of same-sex marriage.

The crowd marched along West Main Street, carrying signs that read, “It’s about love,” and “My family matters, too.” They chanted, “We don’t need the state’s permission. We are not second-class citizens.” This rally, like the others, grew out of a grassroots, online effort, mainly using the social-networking site Facebook, officials said.

In Spokane, WA:

In Spokane people gathered outside City Hall to voice their concerns about this legislation. More than 125 people showed up as part of demonstrations in more than 300 cities across the country.

Smack in the middle of the boisterous crowd was Nancy Maloy, she stood quietly with a sign in her hand, a self-described mother on a mission.”My wonderful gay daughter called me last night and said, ‘Mom everybody’s marching tomorrow morning, go and take a sign’,” said Maloy.

In White Plains, NY:

Standing on the steps of City Hall, more than 70 gay men, lesbians and their supporters today protested a California vote banning same-sex marriage and called for all states to provide civil marriage “equality.” … “The whole idea is to go out and tell people that marriage is our right,” said Jean-Charles DeOliveira, 41, an Ossining real estate agent who organized the White Plains rally.

In Long Beach, CA:

More than a thousand peaceful Long Beach demonstrators joined thousands across the nation Saturday to protest California’s passing of Proposition 8, a measure banning same-sex marriage.

Braving afternoon heat and smoke from fires raging around the county, the crowd cheered as more than a dozen city leaders and local activists spoke in front of City Hall.

In Fayetteville, AR:

Hundreds marched from the University of Arkansas to the square hoping to get their voices heard. “They had pushed so hard in California to get marriage there. They finally had it, and then it’s all of a sudden overturned,” explains Anna Center, a protest organizer.

…Fayetteville’s protestors also took time to voice their outrage about the recent passage of Act One. The measure prohibits gay and unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children here in Arkansas.

In Orlando, FL:

Close to a thousand people gathered outside Orlando City Hall on Saturday to protest a recently passed amendment to Florida’s constitution which bans gay marriage. … On Election Day, 62 percent of Florida voters approved the marriage amendment, which defines marriage between one man and one woman.

“They want us to be quiet and not be vocal and not be who we are,” said Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “People don’t understand that by being quiet, by being silent, we have our civil rights taken away from us every day. That’s all we want, to be treated fairly and equally”

In Las Vegas and Reno, NV:

Gay rights supporters rallied in Nevada today as part of a string of protests reacting to the ban on same-sex marriage passed 11 days ago in California. Upbeat crowds of more than 1,000 in Las Vegas and 300 in Reno cried out for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

In Las Vegas, demonstrators gathered outside a gay and lesbian community center just east of the Strip.

In Reno, demonstrators marched through the downtown casino area and gathered around the landmark Reno Arch.

In Austin, TX:

Disappointed and angry about the passage of Proposition 8 in California last week , at least 2,000 people crowded Austin City Hall Plaza on Saturday afternoon to support equal rights and legal marriage for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

Gay rights supporters cheered, chanted and waved rainbow colors in Austin and in cities across the country protesting the vote that banned gay marriage in California. Tens of thousands of people joined protests in Houston, Dallas and Arlington…

In Knoxville, TN:


More than 100 people rallied at the World’s Fair Park amphitheater Saturday afternoon in a cold wind to peaceably protest passage of a California ballot measure that recognizes marriages only between men and women. …Rally organizer Jen Crawford, 24, of Knoxville first heard from a friend that rallies were planned nationwide Saturday to protest the constitutional amendment. After considering going to a nearby city for a rally, Crawford decided to start one here. “I’m happy, as a straight ally, that I can pour into this and show my support,” she said.

In Fresno, CA:

Several hundred people showed up at Fresno’s city hall as part of the National Day of Protest. Several other demonstrations are planned Sunday as supporters of gay marriage take on the religious groups that supported Proposition 8.

Nearly two weeks after California voters approved a ban on gay marriage, members of Fresno’s gay and lesbian community say their fight for equal rights has just begun. They rallied at Fresno’s city hall Saturday, many still holding “Vote No on Proposition 8” signs. “Rights were given to us and then eliminated by the majority of people and although the constitution guarantees the protection of the marginalized and the minority, it was allowed to pass,” said Prop 8 opponent Robin McGehee.

In Medford, OR:

Medford protesters joined a nationwide demonstration for gay rights. …Protesters say the goal of the demonstration was to spark a nationwide push for gay rights. For the people in downtown Medford today, there was a lot of emotion behind the issue. Their chant: “What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!”

James Frank is a father and a grandfather, but he says he’s still fighting to be recognized as husband. “I’m not a two-headed monster; I put my pants on one leg at a time like every body else,” he says.

In Springfield, MO:

They stood In unity Saturday with a message intended to be heard around the nation. Hundreds of signs wrote it out in plain print, for all eyes to see. “It’s not even about being gay. It’s about being equal. It’s about being people, and recognizing that everybody loves just the same as everybody else,” said Stephanie Perkins who helped organize the local protest.

…Yet, some passers by didn’t take so well to the protest. “This is public. If they want to go protest, why don’t they go protest somewhere where there’s not a lot of people around,” said Amber Willis who is against gay marriage. But it was her very attitude that fired up the crowd even more. Within the crowd were dozens of stories, but for some it was a story about hope which they feel they are losing.

In Charlotte, NC:

More than 200 people gathered uptown Saturday to protest California’s recent ban on same-sex marriages and what it means for such couples nationwide. …Holding rainbow flags and braving strong winds, protesters rallied at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg government center and sang protest songs made famous during the country’s struggle for civil rights some 40 years ago.

In Macon, GA:

In Macon on Saturday, more than 50 advocates for Join the Impact, an international organization supporting equal rights for people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, protested the California Proposition 8 vote outside City Hall.

Protesters waved signs reading “What Would Martin Do?” “Fight the H8” and “Would You Rather I Marry Your Daughter?” Gatherers ranged in age and race. Some wore the traditional rainbow colors, expressing pride in their homosexuality. Others wore plain clothes and clergy attire.

In Tampa, FL:

Thousands of gays and lesbians and their supporters across the country – including more than 100 in downtown Tampa – rallied at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to protest bans on marriage and adoption approved by voters in four states.

…Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena told the crowd assembled at Joe Cillura Courthouse Square that “the tide is turning to say ‘we’re all in this together.'” She added: “I think it’s time for the county to revisit the human rights ordinance.” Attempts to add sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination ordinance have been made at least a couple of times since the county commission removed sexual orientation from the law in 2000.

In Sault Ste Marie, MI:

“We’re small but mighty,” said protest organizer Jennifer Rowe today. Rowe, along with Amanda Zuke, Kyle Cardoza, Liz Laplante and two other concerned citizens, gathered outside Sault Ste. Marie’s Civic Centre to protest the recent adoption of California’s Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage. “We’re here to show our support for those in the United States who are fighting to get same-sex marriage recognized and for human rights across the board,” Rowe told

In Bellingham, WA:

More than 100 people rallied on the corners of East Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham the morning of Saturday, Nov. 15, to protest California’s recent ban on gay marriage. Chants of “It’s about love not hate,” and “Hey mister president, what do you say, don’t hate families because they’re gay” filled blocks of downtown Bellingham during the two-hour protest. …The protesters in Bellingham were outside the Federal Building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A smaller group continued the protest outside the Bellingham Farmer’s Market after noon.

In Memphis, TN:

More than 150 people ignored the chilly winds to protest Downtown in front of the Memphis City Hall, bearing signs that said “Love makes a family,” “Support love not H8” and “This is what democracy looks like.” “Because of our history in civil rights we felt it was particularly important for Memphis’ voice to be heard,” said Amy Livingston, a board member with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, which co-sponsored the protest with the Women’s Action Coalition. The gays, lesbians and supporters in attendance were also urged to talk to friends, family and co-workers about the need to for civil rights for homosexuals.

In Missoula, MT:

Jamee Greer took charge of a sizable crowd that united and protested Saturday in favor of gay marriage rights, a group pulled together in Missoula by the Internet and text messages. He gave the group its marching orders, announcing the rules of the road, as the protesters carried signs and prepared to march from North Higgins Avenue to the Missoula County Courthouse.

…In Missoula, Brian Cook wore a picture of his 21-year-old gay son, Andrew Sullivan-Cook, who was in Dallas marching with Join the Impact protesters. “I’m here, not only in support of my son’s rights, but it’s simply the right thing to do,” said Cook. “Even if my son wasn’t gay, I’d be here.”

In Evansville, IN:

Protesters gathered around the nation and in Evansville on Saturday. …One hundred people stood out in the cold in front of the Centre to get their message out.

In Denton, TX:

Horns were honking for several hours early Saturday afternoon, supporting about 120 gay rights activists with signs and flags who were protesting the recent approval of California’s Proposition 8. … There were many supportive honks throughout the afternoon, said John McClelland, president of the Stonewall Democrats of Denton County, a gay and lesbian political organization. However, one protester said she had seen an obscene hand gesture from one driver.

In Providence, RI:

The State House lawn was dotted with umbrellas on Saturday afternoon, as the hundreds of people gathered there maintained a hopeful spirit despite the intermittent rain. …For the duration of the rally, supporters held a rainbow banner with the words “Love” and “Equality” across the State House steps. People held signs with a variety of messages “Straight guy for love,” “Fight the H8” and “Jesus had 2 daddies, why can’t I?”

In San Bernadino, CA:

On Saturday morning, about 30 people gathered in front of Colton City Hall to kick off the rally. …Most carried “No on Prop. 8” signs and some actually wore them. Others had rainbow flags draped across their shoulders. After receiving political statements from Lopez, the crowd walked along La Cadena Drive carrying signs and singing songs with the lyrics: “Hey hey, ho ho, discrimination has got to go.”

As they made their way back up the street, a lone man carrying a sign saying “Homo Sex is Sin” staked out a spot near their final stop, the steps of the old Carnegie Library. The man, Paul Mitchell, described himself as a Christian from Riverside who showed up because of what the Bible says about homosexuality. …When the crowd gathered on the steps of the library to listen to inspirational words, Mitchell heckled them, yelling out “repent” several times, before leaving in a white van parked nearby.

In Gainesville, FL:

Huddled under rainbow–colored umbrellas, Amendment 2 protestors met in the drizzling rain Saturday afternoon with a message: equal rights for everyone. About 150 Gainesville residents rallied for an hour and a half at the corner of East First Street and University Avenue for the repeal of Amendment 2.

In Riverside and other cities throughout inland CA:

At least 250 people rallied and marched in Riverside. … Same-sex-marriage supporters also rallied in places that had no organized gay activism before Prop. 8, including Moreno Valley, Colton, Hemet, the Big Bear area and Victorville.

…In Riverside, protesters set off from City Hall and broke into several groups to march through downtown streets, waving signs reading “When do I get to vote on your marriage?” and “Black, Straight, Against 8.”

In Colton, about 40 people marched in front of Colton City Hall chanting slogans such as “Gay, straight, black or white, Americans for civil rights!” …Nicolas Daily, 19, a black gay man who grew up in Colton, said one reason he attended the Colton rally was to increase the visibility of gays and lesbians of color.

In Pasadena, CA:

About 300 demonstrators crowded onto the steps of Pasadena City Hall on Saturday to protest the passage of Proposition 8. …”I don’t know about you, but I am tired of using the quiet approach,” said 29-year-old Scott Boardman of Monrovia, who spearheaded the event. “I want the fair approach, and if that means knocking on every door or having rallies every week, then so be it.”

In Redlands, CA:

Mike Hinsley and Scott Ruiz have been partners for six years. When Proposition 22 was overturned in 2007, making same-sex marriages legal in California, they held off. “As soon as the Supreme Court overturned it, we heard about Prop. 8, so we were waiting to see what was going to happen,” Hinsley said. On Saturday, Hinsley, 26, and Ruiz, 28, joined about 150 people in front of City Hall to protest Prop. 8. The protest was one of many held all over the nation, organized by

In Stockton, CA:

About 200 people gathered at City Hall late Saturday morning before marching along two of downtown Stockton’s busiest streets in one of hundreds of simultaneous demonstrations in support of gay-marriage rights planned throughout the state and country. …I just think that it was important to bring something like this to Stockton,” said Sarah Amaton, the Manteca resident who coordinated San Joaquin County’s rally. Another is planned for 6 p.m. Monday, also at City Hall.

In Northampton, MA:

Hundreds of demonstrators spilled down the steps of City Hall and onto Main Street Saturday, part of a wave of nationwide protests over the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The rally was boisterous, even by Northampton’s standards, where rallies for social change are a staple of the cultural landscape.

… The local protest drew hundreds of same-sex couples and gay rights advocates of all ages, plus openly gay five-term Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, who sat on the steps and sang with “The Raging Grannies,” a social activism group who led the crowd in a pro-gay rights sing-along. Organizer Kathryn L. Martini, of Greenfield, said similar protests took place simultaneously in all 50 states. She estimated as many as 900 attended the local stand-out.

In Portsmouth, NH:

Supporters began gathering in Market Square at mid-day and a small group of about 15 around 1 p.m. had grown to nearly 100 within the hour. “Gay, straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right,” they chanted. Held on display in the middle of a crowd was a rainbow flag with “LOVE,” written across it. …Passers-by honked their horns in support, which led to cheers from the demonstrators.

In Pomona, CA:

“People tell us, `Go home. It’s over. It’s already been voted on,”‘ said Thuan Nguyen. “I say just because it’s voted on doesn’t mean homosexuality is going to disappear.” The 20-year-old Montclair resident was among more than 400

El Coyote Boycott – My Observations

Timothy Kincaid

November 14th, 2008

I promised to post my take on last night’s protest, so here goes:

I stopped by the boycott of El Coyote Cafe last night just to see if it was on target and effective. I found myself drawn in. While I had not expected more than perhaps 30 activist types, I would estimate that more than 200 people took part (at one point – when you could still get from one side to the other – I counted about 150).

Those who were there knew why they were there and a great many were El Coyote customers. There were a great many hand painted signs and most showed an awareness of the facts involved. And while this was clearly seen as a part of a much larger protest effort by those I spoke to, this was not an irrational response to a rumor.

Unlike the mainstream media reports that Margie Christoffersen is “a manager” or “a daughter of the owner” (some even call her “an employee”), those there knew full well that Margie is the face of El Coyote. She is as much a part of the place as the fattening food, cheap margaritas, and bird cages full of plastic flowers.

And there is little doubt that the boycott was effective. During the period of the protest, only a handful of patrons drove into the parking lot and braved the jeers of boycotters. Perhaps not surprisingly, many were blonde. None were there unintentionally.

And while the parking lot was about half full, most of those cars didn’t move all night and I’m guessing that they did not belong to customers.

At one point a bus arrived and a large group of slightly-overdressed people entered the restaurant through a side door. Lisa Derrick identified them as French tourists, but I’ve not noticed another tour bus stop at El Coyote in the 19 years I’ve eaten there and find the coincidence a bit suspicious. Also, my admitedly limited experience with French people suggests that its likely that in a bus load of random tourists there would be several in the group who would refuse to eat at a restaurant being picketed by gays.

Although I had intended only to observe, I found that for this night, this was a boycott protest I could support. I soon found myself helping hold up a giant “boycott bigotry” sign. It’s not the wording I would have chosen, but it was close enough.

I was approached by a young man leaving the restaurant. He told me that he and his friends had a drink in the bar and while they sat there they realized that they just couldn’t stay and eat. “We decided we had to show our support for you.”

Well over half of the cars driving by honked or waved. A few circled around the block to honk again. Only one hasidic gentleman yelled “faggot” and one elderly man flipped us off – otherwise there was no visible negative response.

This was unquestionably a successful night of boycotting. But it was not a happy victory.

Those who work at El Coyote are the victims of the ownerships decisions – both that of Marjorie to contribute to the harm of her customers and the decision of her family to let her stay the face and voice of the establishment. I fear that unless a change is made quickly, this LA landmark will irreparably lose its base of gay and gay-friendly costomers and there aren’t enough busloads of “French tourists” to make up for that loss. And I feel sorrow that the employees – including Roberto and Isabelle, my favorite waiters – could all be hurt in the process.

And I still consider Margie to be a victim of the situation. Her church put her in an impossible position, fund an attack on those you love or lose your salvation. And while I cannot continue to contribute to her further enrichment (she told us her choice), I know she’s terribly hurt.

The El Coyote Boycott

Timothy Kincaid

November 14th, 2008

I’m terribly busy this morning and so I can’t share my perspectives about the El Coyote boycott last night.

But until then, here is the LA Times write-up. Don’t believe the part about police in riot gear. Four very friendly and cooperative officers showed up in their usual uniform to remind people to get out of the street. There was no confrontation with officers whatsoever.

Here also is a very informative piece by Lisa Derrick, writing at FireDogLake. Lisa is the one who recorded video of the meeting with Marjorie.

LAist has photos.

Gotta run. More later.

All Of Those Gay Friends You Say You Have? They Are No Longer Your Friends

Jim Burroway

November 13th, 2008

Yesterday, Timothy Kincaid provided a first-hand account of the meeting at LA’s El Coyote Cafe to listen to Marjorie Christoffersen explain her decision to contribute to the Yes on 8 campaign. This decision was particularly painful to El Coyote’s mix of loyal gay and straight customers. Now, via Queerty, we have video of the event.

The first video is of Marjorie Christoffersen’s talk before the crowd.

So far, so good.

That is, until they decided to take questions from the audience:

Those who voted to disenfranchise their gay and lesbian neighbors have been stunned at the outpouring of anger over the passage of Propositions 8, 102 and 2 (in California, Arizona and Florida, respectively).

It’s mystifying to me, but they seemed genuinely surprised that people that they thought they knew and loved would be angry to see their rights put up to a vote and defeated. It mystifies me because I wonder how many straight people would put up with the idea that their right to marry should be subject to a vote — and they lose that vote? How would they react?

And now many of those people who voted against us and who gave money to a cause to render us second-class citizens, they fall back on the defense that “many of my best friends are gay.”

Well, that doesn’t work anymore. Here’s a news flash: All those gay friends you have? If you supported Prop 8 (or Prop 102 or Amendment 2), they are no longer your friends. You can safely drop that line of defense.

K-EARTH Morning DJ Contributed to Yes on 8

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2008

Monday through Friday from 5:00 am to 10:00 am, K-EARTH 101 in Los Angeles is DJ’d by Gary Bryan.

After stints in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and New York (on America’s most-listened-to station, Z100), Gary took over the morning show on KEARTH 101. Following in the footsteps of one of LA’s greatest personalities, Robert W. Morgan, is a daunting task, but the loyal and friendly KEARTH 101 audience made him feel right at home. It’s been over 5 years, and each day Gary enjoys working with Lisa, Sammy, Tim and Bob, bringing the music and fun to Southern California.

Gary is married (since he was 19) to June, and they have four children: Jack, Kate, Marie and Grace, and two grandkids, Eva, 2, and Jesse, 1.

K-EARTH is an oldies station currently owned by CBS Radio.

The following information is from the database of contributions (Click to enlarge):

This contribution may well be consistent with Bryan’s listeners. But I will not be listening to KRTH in the morning on my drive tomorrow.

(hat tip to reader John)

El Coyote: An Uncompromising Faith

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2008

The Meeting
About 75 people showed up for the early lunch at El Coyote Cafe to listen to Marjorie Christoffersen explain her decision to contribute to the Yes on 8 Campaign. Most of those attending were men who had been customers of Margie’s restaurant for many years. Some were children of Mormons or had been raised in the faith. And while there was at least one who just wanted to vent his anger, most truly wanted to hear Margie out and, if possible, find a solution.

Before her presentation, Arnoldo, an employee of 28 years, expressed that the management doesn’t share her views and that she doesn’t talk politics or religion with her staff. All were allowed to believe, vote, or contribute as they wish. He received polite applause.

Then it was Margie’s turn.

The Message
Although Margie is usually a spry woman, today she was breathless, and distraught and appeared fragile, not an easy task for a woman of her height. She stood supported between her daughters and read a prepared speech – most of which had already been released.

She praised the restaurant as a beacon of diversity, people from all places and where everyone doesn’t have to agree, where they can get along even with differing views. She credited her aunt for being sympathetic to the plight of the “gay individual” before there was support and how the restaurant became a safe haven for “that community”. She told of visiting sick people and providing “a healing place”.

She explained that she had been a member of the Mormon Church all her life and that she had responded to their request with a personal donation. She shared that El Coyote had contributed to many gay interests and charities.

Margie told of the 89 employees whose families relied on their job. She expressed how customers were part of the Coyote family. She lamented that this situation could harm a place with such diversity and harmony and joy and mutual respect and diversity of viewpoints.

“It saddens me that my faith will keep some from coming to the Coyote. But I cannot change a lifetime of faith in what I believe deeply. And I cannot and will not change my love and respect for your views”.

She did not apologize or express remorse.

The Response
Billy Schoepner, the Maitre d’, announced that the restaurant would contribute an undetermined amount in the neighborhood of $5,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and to Lambda Legal. He also expressed an intention to run full page apologies in Frontiers, a gay magazine, and in LA Weekly, an alternative magazine.

But the crowd was more interested in Margie’s response than that of the restaurant.

The first question to Margie was if she would be willing to make a personal contribution to the efforts to reverse the proposition. She responded, “I have to be faithful to my views and my church”, and quickly left the room. Her daughters remained behind, looking angry, dismissive, and indignant that those there would question their mother or them. They answered no questions nor made any statements.

Lucile, a waitress that is much loved by some there, tearfully told how she felt that God had led her to El Coyote. It was there that she met and learned to love gay people, which prepared her to be supportive when her brother came out. She expressed her fears that if Coyote goes down, she goes down.

But it soon became apparent that those present had not been satisfied by Margie’s response or the concerns of the staff.

Our friend Regan stood and spoke about how she had been subject to many people saying wonderful and loving things to her, a black woman, but once she was out of sight they had a different story. She noted that Margie had entered fragile and trembling but had certainly had the strength to rush from the room. Regan was not impressed.

Many there were distressed to know that a tithe of their profits was given by the owners to the Mormon Church, an organization that planned, organized, and funded an effort to take away the civil rights of those who made her business successful.

An executive with the Trevor Project told how 1,200 to 2,000 kids call the suicide hotline each month and that most come from the Midwest and that many many of them were from Mormon families that kicked them out, ex-communicated them, and left them selling their bodies on the streets to survive.

Several people sought a solution. One suggested writing Margie letters to express how she had hurt them. Others wondered if an ongoing contribution to a gay support organization in an amount equal to the tithe she pays to the Mormon Church would not bring reconciliation. Some expressed a desire to help the staff find new jobs should they lose employment as the result of Margie’s stance.

But there seemed to be a consensus that as long as Margie was a visible part of the restaurant, those present could not eat there. She would have to at least stay home and distance herself from the business. Some insisted that she sell her interest in the establishment entirely.

Some with Mormon families told of the difficulty that comes with disagreeing with the Church. You lose all family and all friends and all hope of salvation. The Mormon faith does not allow for disagreement or dissent. Truly Margie had been put in a position by her church’s leadership that threatened her business and her happiness.

But one man spoke of how he was raised Mormon and his family is still in the church. He said that there comes a time when you have to decide whether to hold onto one particular doctrine of your church or whether you will refuse to harm those you know and love.

And sadly, Marjorie Christoffersen has made her decision.

It was a very sad room that left today. I did not speak to anyone who said that they would continue to patronize the restaurant. They felt that they could no longer profit a woman who used their support to take away their rights. Many felt betrayed, some had lost a home.

No one stayed for lunch.

Micah, blogging at Shut Up! I Know! was also present. His observations were similar to mine.

Earlier today the LA Times reported on the controversy

Bob Montoya, a manager at El Coyote, said customers have called and threatened to boycott the restaurant, but it does not appear to have affected business. Montoya said he thought a boycott, if one was called, was misguided, as the restaurant has a number of gay employees and has always been gay friendly.

“I”m gay and I work here, and I’ve been here for 31 years,” Montoya told The Times. “It’s gay friendly. People have been coming here for many years, gay and straight, families and everybody.”

Perhaps Bob has not noticed a change in business. But I drive home past El Coyote nearly every day. Last night the front parking lot was only about a quarter full, far less than usual.

El Coyote Update

Timothy Kincaid

November 11th, 2008

The consequences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ decision to enter the political arena and seek secular enforcement of their religious doctrines can be measured in part by the chaos and turmoil caused in the lives and livelihoods of their own members.

We know of families who have been torn apart by Mormon theology on human sexuality. We know of suicides and depression. We know of estranged children and miserable holidays. But we respect the rights of churches to select their own articles of faith – even those that bring unhappiness on those adherants who are gay.

But when the Mormon Church decided to spread outside of its own fold, the tragedy expanded to neighbors and employees and friends and customers. No longer can hurt and difficulty be excused as a matter of private faith; now we see and condemn the public policy efforts that have left a trail of victims in their wake.

And not all victims of this agressive effort are gay, some are faithful members of the church that have been caught in the crossfire.

One example of such is Marjorie Chrisoffersen, the family manager of El Coyote Restaurant. Word of her contribution of $100 to the Yes on 8 Campaign has flown by email throughout Los Angeles’ gay community. And with this community – and its friends and allies – as her best customers, this has the potential to severely hinder her business.

Today Margie released a message:

I have been sick at heart that anyone has been offended by me. I have family, friends, employees from the gay community who are treasured people in my life.

I have been a member of the Mormon church all my life. I responded to their request with my personal donation.

For years the El Coyote has financially and generously supported the gay community and its charities.
Please be my guest for an early lunch Wed., Nov. 12th, @ 11:00 am and allow me to personally speak with you.

Please call and make a reservation as seating is limited. (323) 939-2255.

I don’t believe that Margie acted out of ill intentions. I suspect that she was just obedient to a call put out by her church leadership, a leadership that I believe gave no care or concern to the sacrifice that they had requested of those members with gay friends, families, and customers.

But I may be wrong. She may feel that the profits made from catering to our community can then be spent on civil harm towards us – as long as the motivation is religious.

I have made my reservation for tomorrow. I want to hear whether Margie believes that giving to a charity excuses taking away a basic right. I want to hear whether she will provide statements of justification or a request for forgiveness.


From JazzyJeff63’s Flickr site

11/10/2008 – I had dinner at El Coyote tonight. When Marj finished having dinner with her family, I called her over to my table and asked “What was your position on Prop 8?”, She replied with “I love you guys, I would never do anything to hurt you, I wish I hadn’t done it”.

She was sincerely regretful, I could feel her hurt as she probably felt mine.

But from Eater:

“El Coyote is known for being a melting pot, we love and tolerate everyone. This has nothing to do with the restaurant. I donated through my church. We would never tell our employees they couldn’t contribute to political organizations—as individuals, they do and support whatever they want. El Coyote has donated thousands of dollars to the gay community through charitable organizations. As a rule, we don’t do politics. We have too many varying opinions here, and that’s the staff’s right.”

While the former sounds a bit like, “I’m sorry”, this statement sounds like justification. It’s the age old plea that “my personal actions should not have any impact on my business” and “I’m separate from my restaurant, so just ignore that the profits come to me”.

I do not in any way challenge Marjorie Cristoffersen’s right to contribute to whomever she wishes. But she will not use profits made from my dollar to take away my rights.

And frankly, I’m not all that interested in being “tolerated” at the moment.

So I’m quite interested in hearing what Margie will have to say tomorrow.

There are now over 4,000 google hits for “el coyote” prop 8.

For an update to this story, see: El Coyote: An Uncompromising Faith

More Protests Yet To Come

Jim Burroway

November 11th, 2008

The protests against Prop 8 continue without any apparent letup. Here are some more scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, including one in St. Paul, Minnesota:

Tuesday, November 11:
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
1:00 p.m.
Corner of Haven and Foothill.

Redlands, CA
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Redlands Mormon Temple
1761 Fifth Avenue

Santa Monica, CA
5:00 p.m.
321 Santa Monica Pier

Fresno, CA
5:00 p.m.
Fink-White Playground
Amador St and B St.

San Francisco, CA
5:00 p.m. – 10:00p.m.
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr Carton B Goodlett Pl

San Diego, CA
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
San Diego Mormon Temple
7474 Charmant Drive

Los Angeles, CA
6:00 p.m.
La Cienega Blvd and Centinela Ave

Saint Paul, MN
3:00 p.m.
State Capitol (Meet on Old Main Lawn)

Wednesday, November 12
Encinitas, CA
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Corner of Saxony and Encinitas Blvd.
Phone: 5305759264

West Hollywood, CA
7:00 p.m.
Santa Monica & San Vicente

New York, NY
6:30 p.m.
Manhattan Mormon Temple
125 Columbus Ave at 65th Street

San Diego, CA
7:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
2728 Sixth Ave.
For more info, contact Chris Harris at (619) 298-7261 or

Should I Give Up my Favorite Mexican Restaurant?

Timothy Kincaid

November 10th, 2008

I just received a very distressing email. It started:

I wanted to share with you that the owner of El Coyote, Marjorie, donated $100 to the Yes on 8 campaign…

El Coyote Café is a Los Angeles landmark. Over 75 years old, and still family owned, it is perhaps best known as the site of Sharon Tate’s last meal.

Locals know it as a favorite of many of who just want a meal and a drink, and don’t want to pay much to get it. A taco and enchilada with rice and beans is $9.50; pair that up with a margarita and you’re out the door for less than twenty bucks.

El Coyote is also delightfully tacky with a vast collection of “art”, the kind that includes paintings with windows that light up and frames made of shells. The waitresses wear huge Spanish dresses with lots of frills and most have been there for decades. It’s loud, it’s high in fat content and calories, it’s unsophisticated, and it’s always always busy.

But what makes El Coyote a delight is that its one of those places that are loved by straights and gays alike. On any given night, a quarter to a third of all patrons are gay and the rest are singles out together, birthday parties, families with kids, or old married couples.

A search of the website via the LA Times shows that Marjorie Chrisoffersen did contribute $100 to the Yes on 8 Campaign. And Marjorie is the daughter of Grace Salisbury, the owner.

But what do I do with this information? I’ve been a faithful patron for many years, sometimes as frequently as weekly. So it is for me a particularly distressing dilemma.

Do I boycott the establishment? If so, for how long and to what effect? What would alleviate my concern, what can I demand? Is it enough that Marjorie (who runs the place with her husband) gave though Grace did not? Is $100 enough for me to view the establishment at “anti-gay” when I know full well that several of the staff are gay and that the environment is always welcoming? What would I say if Marjie came by with her water pitcher asking how everything was?

I think this is but an example of the sort of conflict that we are going to each have to resolve as we find that friends, family, and service providers that we had thought of as supportive actually do not believe that we are entitled to equality under the law.

Mounting Protests Against Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 9th, 2008

Protests continue to mushroom across California in the wake of last week’s passage of Proposition 8, which eliminated the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

In Los Angeles:

Police estimated that 12,500 boisterous marchers converged about 6 p.m. at Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards in Silver Lake near the site of the former Black Cat bar, which the city recently designated a historic-cultural monument for its ’60s role as home of the local gay rights movement.  Police guided the demonstrators through the streets for more than three hours without major confrontations. No arrests were reported.

…Steering the crowds, several hundred officers were on scene, riding horses, motorcycles and bicycles. Others on foot were sprinkled through the crowd. Mario Mariscal, 20, and his mother, Delia Perez, a 45-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, stood on the Sunset Boulevard sidewalk. Mariscal came out to his mother as gay when he was 16. She held a sign saying, “Give my son his rights.”

In San Diego:

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people marched from Hillcrest to North Park behind a giant rainbow flag in protest of Proposition 8. The measure, approved Tuesday by 52 percent of voters, overturns the state Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized gay marriage.

“I don’t want anyone to take away my right to marry,” said Ken Hagen, a University City newlywed who marched down University Avenue alongside his partner, John Young. Chants for equality were sometimes drowned out by drivers honking their horns in support of the passing crowd. Signs waved and bobbed in the air with slogans such as “We Shall Overcome” and “Not Gay, Love You Anyway.”

In San Francisco:

Thousands of demonstrators marched down Market Street in San Francisco on Friday night to protest the passage earlier this week of Proposition 8, which effectively bans same-sex marriage in California.

The march began around 5:30 p.m., as the group worked its way west toward its final destination of Dolores Park. A large group remained around Ninth and Market streets, holding signs, chanting and jamming traffic. About a dozen Muni buses were stuck in the traffic mess.

In Oakland:

Backlash to the passage of an anti-gay-marriage law continued to sweep across California on Sunday, with hundreds of protesters rallying outside the Mormon Temple on Lincoln Avenue in the Oakland Hills. Same-sex marriage supporters carried signs, blew whistles, and passing cars honked in support outside the largest temple in the Bay Area. The Mormon church was among the top contributors to the effort to pass Proposition 8.

…The California Highway Patrol was forced to shut down the nearby Joaquin Miller and Lincoln on and off-ramps to the freeway due to the Oakland protest. A CHP dispatcher said the highway ramps were closed to protect pedestrians from traffic.

In Orange County:

About 300 people gathered in front of Saddleback Church protesting the recently-passed gay marriage ban this morning. Holding signs reading “Shame on Rick Warren” and “Preach Love not Discrimination,” the crowd chanted “Equal rights now.”

…In Orange County, hundreds protested without incident in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach yesterday. Protests were planned in Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita today.

In Sacramento:

Thousands of Prop 8 opponents demonstrated at the State Capitol Sunday for the latest rally against the measure banning same-sex marriage in California.

By 2:00 p.m., thousands of people had massed in front of the California statehouse. The event was the latest demonstration in Sacramento and across the state since the passage of Proposition 8 Tuesday, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In Santa Barbara:

Many people at a rally in Santa Barbara Friday night not only oppose Proposition 8, they oppose the fact that it was on the ballot to begin with. “This should not have been a ballot measure, the basic fundamental human rights shouldn’t be voted on by the electorate,” said David Selberg with Pacific Pride Foundation.

In Long Beach:

More than 2,000 demonstrators marched through Long Beach on Friday night, protesting the passage of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in California. Fifteen people were arrested.

The march started about 7:30 p.m. and within an hour had taken over Broadway, with protesters shouting and holding signs with such messages as “Did we vote on your marriage?”

See also:
LDS Church Can’t Hide Behind A Temple
Thousands Protest In Salt Lake City’s Temple Square
Protesters Target Mormon Temple in Westwood

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