Over 100,000 protesters across the country and across the globe attended rallies and marched on Saturday in protest of California’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage. From Fairbanks, Alaska, where 32 people stood with signs in 6 degree weather as snow fell to San Diego, where 25,000 people marched on an unseasonably hot autumn day that reached into the 90s, supporters of civil rights demanded equality.
“This is the first time in U.S. history that the majority voted to strip the rights of a minority. Who will be next?” asked Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lori Jean, who also credited young people as the driving force of the movement, saying “We now pass the torch to you!” The protests, organized via the website www.jointheimpact.com, spread through sites like Facebook, Myspace & Twitter.
Many of you sent in photos, videos and stories of the day. After the jump, we present some of these snapshots from across the country. You may want to grab a hankie.
Daniel Davis writes:
“Although I am in the state capital of Montgomery, there was no protest organized for my area listed on the Join the Impact website. I believed I would have to go to Birmingham, but I had to work (at the Civil Rights Memorial Center). My boss, Lecia, texted me and told me she would be protesting anyway, even though we didn’t have a permit to protest. So we made a few signs, and we went with a couple of other employees of the Southern Poverty Law Center and walked a few blocks away to the Capitol. We stood in the wind and cold for 45 minutes, and many people saw us and waved, slowed down in their cars, or stared.
Soon a young man and his wife and baby son, Cooper, joined us. He had family in California, and they were protesting today, so they decided to come join us. On our way back to the Civil Rights Memorial, we passed a a couple of guys in their 20’s who applauded us, and we got few thumbs up from passers-by. We were happily surprised by such responses in the deep South.
Though we didn’t chant, march, get arrested, or get on the news, we had some visibility in the city of Montgomery, Alabama. Because of my disappointment with myself and this protest, I am hoping to plan a gay rights rally/protest for January after the inauguration or whenever Congress begins the next session.”
Kansas City, MO
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
New Haven, CT
Queerty reader Jon Burke told us that:
“The March was an amazing success. I really didn’t know what to expect when I woke up this morning because the weather reports predicted rain. Well, there was rain alright, but there were also between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters, of every race, religion, and sexual orientation. Living in DC, it is easy to become jaded to the sites here, but marching in such a huge crowd – all fighting for equality under the law – from the Capitol Building, around the Washington Monument, and ending up at the White House left me with such a complete sense of pride from our Country and an invigorating confidence that our day will come sooner than later.
The parade of people was so long that it actually stretched down the entire mall and all the way around the monument, towards the White House. As we started our march, at around 2:00 pm, the skies opened up and the rain fell fast, but we held fast and stood up to the weather and the bigots. When we finished the march and settled in for the rest of the protest, we had a series of impromptu speeches. One particularly impactful speech was delivered by a 16 year old high schooler from West Virginia who told his story of having to sit through 4th period Spanish Class listening to his classmates sling “faggot” and “cocksucker” like the words were spitballs. I think that’s what this is all about, or, if it is not, it should be. We need to fight so that every gay teen can sit through class uninterrupted by hateful slurs; so that gay teens aren’t committing suicide at rates 3 to 4 times that of their heterosexual peers; so they aren’t thrown out of their homes and onto the streets; so that we can all walk down the street and not fear attacks from bigots. Today’s march made me confident that we can achieve all of this and more. In one week we put together a march on the National Mall! It was an amazing day!”
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