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Across U.S., gay advocates protest marriage ban

Crowds gathered in cities to vent frustrations, renew calls for change

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Protesters take part in a demonstration to condemn the ban of same-sex marriages in Los Angeles on Saturday. The same-sex marriage ban sparked protests across the nation with thousands taking to the streets in Los Angeles.

updated 7:00 p.m. PT, Sat., Nov. 15, 2008 function UpdateTimeStamp(pdt) { var n = document.getElementById(“udtD”); if(pdt != ” && n && window.DateTime) { var dt = new DateTime(); pdt = dt.T2D(pdt); if(dt.GetTZ(pdt)) {n.innerHTML = dt.D2S(pdt,((”.toLowerCase()==’false’)?false:true));} } } UpdateTimeStamp(‘633624012137000000’);

BOSTON – Gay rights supporters waving rainbow colors marched, chanted and danced in cities coast to coast Saturday to protest the vote that banned gay marriage in California and to urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed.

Crowds gathered near public buildings in cities large and small, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Fargo, to vent their frustrations, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.

“Civil marriages are a civil right, and we’re going to keep fighting until we get the rights we deserve as American citizens,” said Karen Amico, one of several hundred protesters in Philadelphia, holding up a sign reading “Don’t Spread H8”.

“We are the American family, we live next door to you, we teach your children, we take care of your elderly,” said Heather Baker a special education teacher from Boston who addressed the crowd at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. “We need equal rights across the country.”

Connecticut, which began same-sex weddings this past week, and Massachusetts are the only two states that allow gay marriage. The other 48 states do not, and 30 of them have taken the extra step of approving constitutional amendments. A few states allow civil unions or domestic partnerships that grant some rights of marriage.

Plea for respect, restraint
Protests following the vote on Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, have sometimes been angry and even violent, and demonstrators have targeted faiths that supported the ban, including the Mormon church.

However, representatives of Join the Impact, which organized Saturday’s demonstrations, asked supporters to be respectful and refrain from attacking other groups during the rallies.

Seattle blogger Amy Balliett, who started the planning for the protests when she set up a Web page three days after the California vote, said persuasion is impossible without civility.

“If we can move anybody past anger and have a respectful conversation, then you can plant the seed of change,” she said.Balliett said supporters in 300 cities in the U.S. and other countries were holding marches, and she estimated 1 million people would participate, based on responses at the Web sites her group set up.

“We need to show the world when one thing happens to one of us, it happens to all of us,” she said.

Peaceful protests, but anger is evident

The protests were widely reported to be peaceful, and the mood in Boston was generally upbeat, with attendees dancing to the song “Respect.” Signs cast the fight for gay marriage as the new civil rights movement, including one that read “Gay is the new black.”

But anger over the ban and its backers was evident at the protests.

One sign in Chicago, where several thousand people gathered, read: “Catholic Fascists Stay Out of Politics.”

“I just found out that my state doesn’t really think I’m a person,” said Rose Aplustill, 21, a Boston University student from Los Osos, Calif., who was one of thousands at the Boston rally.

In San Francisco, demonstrators took shots at some religious groups that supported the ban, including a sign aimed at the Mormon church and its abandoned practice of polygamy that read: “You have three wives; I want one husband.”

Chris Norberg, who married his partner in June, also referred to the racial divisions that arose after exit polls found that majorities of blacks and Hispanics supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“They voted against us,” Norberg said.

In Salt Lake City, where demonstrators gathered just blocks from the headquarters of the Mormon church, one sign pictured the city’s temple with a line adapted from former Republican vice president candidate Sarah Palin: “I can see discrimination from my house.”

More than 500 demonstrators in Washington marched from the U.S. Capitol through the city carrying signs and chanting “One, two, three, four, love is what we’re fighting for!”

A public plaza at the foot of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge was packed by a cheering crowd of thousands, including people who waved rainbow flags and wore pink buttons that said “I do.”

Protests were low-key in North Dakota, where people lined a bridge in Fargo carrying signs and flags.

Mike Bernard, who was in the crowd of hundreds at City Hall in Baltimore, said Proposition 8 could end up being a good thing for gay rights advocates.

“It was a swift kick in the rear end,” he said.

In Los Angeles, protesters gathered near City Hall before marching through downtown. Police said 10,000 to 12,000 people demonstrated.

Supporters of traditional marriage said the rallies may have generated publicity but ultimately made no difference.

“They had everything in the world going for them this year, and they couldn’t win,” said Frank Schubert, co-manager of the Yes on 8 campaign in California. “I don’t think they’re going to be any more successful in 2010 or 2012.”

In Chicago, Keith Smith, 42, a postal worker, and his partner, Terry Romo, 34, a Wal-Mart store manager, had photos of a commitment ceremony they held, though gay marriage is not legal in Illinois.

“We’re not going to wait for no law,” Smith said. “But time’s going to be on our side and it’s going to change.”

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Rallies across U.S. to protest gay marriage ban

Updated Sat. Nov. 15 2008 5:45 PM ET

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Gay rights supporters waving rainbow colours as they marched, chanted and danced in U.S. cities coast to coast Saturday to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage there.

Many cast it as a civil rights issue and urged supporters not to quit the fight for the right of gays and lesbians to wed.

Crowds gathered near public buildings in small communities and major cities including New York, San Francisco and Chicago to vent their frustration, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.

“Civil marriages are a civil right, and we’re going to keep fighting until we get the rights we deserve as American citizens,” Karen Amico said in Philadelphia.

“We are the American family, we live next door to you, we teach your children, we take care of your elderly,” said Heather Baker a special education teacher from Boston who addressed the crowd at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. “We need equal rights across the country.”

Massachusetts and Connecticut, which began same sex weddings this past week, are the only two U.S. states that allow gay marriage. All 30 states that have voted on gay marriage have enacted bans.

Protests following the vote on Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, have sometimes been angry and even violent, and demonstrators have targeted faiths that supported the ban, including the Mormon church.

However, representatives of Join the Impact, which organized Saturday’s demonstrations, asked supporters to be respectful and refrain from attacking groups during the rallies.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081115/marriage_protests_081117/20081115?hub=World

Seattle blogger Amy Balliett, who started the planning for the protests when she set up a Web page three days after the California vote, said persuasion is impossible without civility.

“If we can move anybody past anger and have a respectful conversation, then you can plant the seed of change,” she said.

Balliett said supporters in 300 cities in the United States and other countries were holding marches, and she estimated one million people would participate, based on responses at the websites her group set up.

“We need to show the world when one thing happens to one of us, it happens to all of us,” she said.

The protests were widely reported to be peaceful and the mood in Boston was generally upbeat, with attendees dancing to the song “Respect.”

Signs cast the fight for gay marriage as the new civil rights movement, including one that read “Gay is the new black.”

But anger over the ban and its backers was evident at the protests.

One sign in Chicago read: “Catholic Fascists Stay Out of Politics.”

“I just found out that my state doesn’t really think I’m a person,” said Rose Aplustill, 21, a Boston University student from Los Osos, Calif., who was one of thousands at the Boston rally.

In San Francisco demonstrators took shots at some religious groups that supported the ban, including a sign aimed at the Mormon church and its abandoned practice of polygamy that read: “You have three wives; I want one husband.”

Chris Norberg, who married his partner in June, also referred to the racial divisions that arose after exit polls found that majorities of blacks and Hispanics supported the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“They voted against us,” Norberg said.

Demonstrators in Washington marched from the U.S. Capitol through the city carrying signs and chanting “One, two, three, four, love is what we’re fighting for!”

A public plaza at the foot of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge was packed by a cheering crowd, including people who waved rainbow flags and wore pink buttons that said “I do.”

Protests were low-key in North Dakota, where people lined a bridge in Fargo carrying signs and flags.

In Chicago, Keith Smith, 42, a postal worker, and his partner, Terry Romo, 34, a Wal-Mart store manager, had photos of their wedding ceremony which they held even though gay marriage is not legal in Illinois.

“We’re not going to wait for no law,” Smith said. “But time’s going to be on our side and it’s going to change.”

Mayor tells ADL struggle for equality continues
12:23 PM, November 13, 2008

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told leaders of the Anti-Defamation League today that “this is not just a historic time, but a critical time” in America, and that although the election of a black president signaled leaps and bounds in the struggle for equality, there is more work to be done.

“This is a time of optimism and hope, a time when we can truly say we overcame hurdles,” Villaraigosa told a crowd of about 300 people at the Beverly Hilton hotel, helping kick off the three-day annual ADL national meeting. Adl

Villaraigosa then talked about Proposition 8’s passage, saying it was an affront to basic civil rights. “If you think for a moment that this kind of bigotry is not connected to anti-Semitism, then you don’t really understand it,” the mayor said.

The conference will include, among others, talks by ADL National Director Abraham Foxman and Judea Pearl, the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. On Friday the ADL will give the “courageous leadership” award to LAPD First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell.

The ADL also is using the conference to release a new poll on racial tensions in America that surveyed 1,000 adults across the nation on Oct. 26.

Some of the major findings: 66% of those surveyed said growth in minority populations will “be an advantage for America” in terms of building a strong economy, compared with 39% in 1992. Also, 35% of those surveyed said “there has been an increase in the level of tension between different racial and ethnic groups in American society,” compared with 76% in 1992.

— Ari B. Bloomekatz
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/11/mayor-antonio-v.html

12:04 PM, November 13, 2008

The boycott effort against businesses whose owners backed Proposition 8 appears to be picking up steam.

Dozens of groups have sprouted up on Facebook.com urging its members to boycott businesses — restaurants, jewelry stores, car-repair shops and more. Other activists have gone onto Yelp.com and other business rating sites, posting messages telling users which restaurants donated to the “Yes on 8” campaign. a series of protests against churches, small businesses and individual supporters of traditional marriage have taken place in cities across the state. Protests and boycotts have taken place against a Hispanic restaurant owner in Los Angeles, African American religious leaders in the Bay Area, and a musical theater director in Sacramento, among many others.

There has also been talk of a boycott of the Cinemark movie chain, whose CEO gave money to “Yes on 8.” This could have a major effect on the Sundance Film Festival, which uses the chain’s theaters to show movies.

The actions have alarmed supporters of Prop. 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

Robert Hoehn, vice president of Hoehn Motors in San Diego County, gave $25,000 of his own money to the Yes-on-8 campaign in February. And he called what followed “a really really ugly experience.”

Before the vote, Hoehn said, he he received “dozens and dozens and dozens of really vitriolic messages” and his Honda dealership was picketed. Since the proposition won, he said, he has received a few messages and phone calls denouncing his support for the measure.

It started with a handful of restaurants including L.A. institution El Coyote, where one of the owners contributed money to the “Yes on 8” campaign. Gay-rights activists have threatened a boycott, but the owners say so far they have not noticed a drop in business. The restaurants targeted include chains such as El Pollo Loco, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Yard House and more.

There is now talk about a “gay day off,” in which activists would simply not buy anything.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/11/the-boycott-eff.html




Arab Lesbian Women & Allies Network

ALWAAN is an online community for Arab lesbians, gay men, bi, trans and those who are interested in a building bridges with the LGBT Arab community and participate in a progressive dialogue.

الوان


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حيث الحوار الحضاري بين المثليات العربيات و من يرغب بالتفاعل معهن باحترام