Archive for the ‘Protests’ Category

>Protests, continued

November 16, 2008

>Across the United States thousands, possibly a million, people stood together in support of Equality. Here are estimated totals from various cities. Over 100 are listed, and results still coming in. Here are a few.

Athens, Ohio: 150+ “We’re a small college town located in the SouthEast corner of Ohio in the Appalachian Hills and are proud of our LGBT community as well as our friends, family and allies who showed their support today for marriage equality and human rights for all.”

Columbia , South Carolina 150-175

New Orleans 500

Knoxville, TN News Report

Jackson, Mississippi 50 Thanks, Knol

Hattiesburg, Mississippi 30 Thanks, Knol

Montgomery, AL 7

Dallas 1200 Newspaper Report

Gee, we are surrounded by people in cities who effectively demonstrated for same sex equality.


Here are our Las Vegas buddies, filmed by some out of towners it seems.


MSNBC describes the protests as peaceful, but with anger evident. That pretty much sums it up.

In spite of all I have heard, I still feel like an opportunity has been missed in Birmingham. Maybe we need an organization that will fight for equality in a pro-active way. Or maybe the organizations we have just need to step it up a bit. What do you think? Answer the poll questions to the left. There are two questions.

>Carrying On

November 15, 2008

>I’ve received a lot of critical emails as well as some supportive ones. But to address some of the points that I am sure many others have as well, here goes.

As Jeff pointed out in a comment, Equality Alabama probably received information about the protest too late to do anything about it. It was a quickly thought up and organized event. That in itself should not have prevented the event from being a success.

I was told I don’t really do anything. Here are some facts. Not including the time I spent researching and posting blogs about the protest, I spent over 4 hours yesterday communicating with numerous attorneys and police officers and mayoral assistants and event sponsors in two cities making a last ditch effort to arrange for this event. Yes I was too late just as every one else was. But I am sure that some people were already aware of the permit requirements in Birmingham. I learned yesterday.

Permits to hold a demonstration on Public Property in Birmingham require a permit if more than 6 people are demonstrating. I spoke with a person in charge of issuing the permits yesterday, and not until we were in the process of completing the application did I learn that application must be made three days in advance. I begged, but he could not issue the permit.

I contacted Join the Impact to see what they would think about moving the event to Bessemer if I could get a permit here. They said go for it. I thought a good protest and then lunch at the Bright Star, Alabama’s oldest restaurant, would be a draw. I tried. Bessemer, too, requires a waiting period of two weeks. The officer I spoke with was very apologetic and supportive, once they were told what we were wanting to protest.

I let Join the Impact know and they felt it best to cancel the event here.

Yes I am an officer in a “gay” group and yes, that group did not actively support the event either. I tried to get the officers to support the demonstration, but when it comes down to it, and these are just my thoughts and no one else’s, Stonewall Democrats should support the Democratic Platform, which does not support same sex marriage, so that is an out, although a pretty weak one in my view. In addition, we are not an advocacy group, we are a partisan political group that tries to get people to register to vote and vote our way. All of that comes from me, not the other officers.

As for Central Alabama Pride’s vice president saying in a comment yesterday “Because of this status, the organization can NOT endorse or be in charge of political rallies/protests.”

All 501(c)(3) organizations are also permitted to educate individuals about issues or fund research that supports their political position as long as they don’t overtly advocate for a position on a specific bill.

From the IRS, ” it (a 501c3) may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

The protest was not about a bill or a candidate that voters here could vote on. It was to educate the public. Similar efforts to educate include Central Alabama Pride’s annual march, excuse me, parade, in June, where similar signs promoting same sex marriage and equality are found.

A representative from EA said “The recurring opinion I heard was that marriage is a state issue so demonstrating at city halls would be confusing.”

There is one state capital in each state. The legislatures by themselves are not going to change the laws in this state or any other. The support of the people is needed. There is a city hall in every city. More people could be educated by having events in every city.

Another email from an “EA” person said “Also protest are NOT effective or helpful for changing hearts and minds.”

Sorry. Rosa Parks’ action on the bus was a form of protest. Pretty effective.

The first ever demonstration for gay rights, in Washington DC, led by Frank Kameny, involved only a handful of people, in April, 1965.

That same year anti war demonstrations began. Pretty effective I believe.

Martin Luther King led a March on Washington. Wonderful protest.

I’ve protested in Montgomery. I’ve been to Washington. I’ve protested with members of Act Up at the Capitol. Don’t tell me that protests do not work.

Let’s just be more on the ball in the future and not let this happen again. If we need to start an organization whose only purpose is to protest, let’s do it.

>A Call For Action

November 13, 2008

>Protests against California’s Prop 8 are scheduled for Saturday across the nation, including in Birmingham. More information below.

In Los Angeles there is a popular Mexican restaurant named El Coyote Cafe. You remember, Sharon Tate ate her last meal there. A very popular place with the trendy and the gays.

But…oops…the owner, Marjorie Christoffersen, (a Mormon), gave $100 to Yes on 8. Some had called for a boycott, and Margie offered a free lunch to explain her position. The place was packed. An employee stated that “89 people would be affected by this boycott” and someone yelled out “18,000 families have already been affected.”

Then it got ugly. Really ugly.

Here are the people from Alabama who contributed to Proposition 8. (It’s easy to get information these days). It’s hard to tell where these people might work but I would suggest, if you live in those towns, that you not support their businesses, knowing that your money supports hatred and inequality.


JOHN ENSLEN $100 WETUMPKA AL 36092 Support



WALTER MORGAN $600 MOBILE AL 36609 Support

Total contributions against equality from Alabama…$1100.

Donations to preserve equality from Alabama totaled $2400, including my own, a fellow blogger and 13 other fair minded individuals.

I also discovered that a Phil Openshaw (DDS) of Hughson, California contributed $2500 and Rachelle Openshaw of Isari Flower Studio in San Diego contributed $100 to support inequality. To my knowledge, there is no relation.

Then, Wednesday night a huge protest occurred in New York near the Manhattan Mormon Temple. 15,000 people it was estimated.

“Gay, Straight, Black, White, Marriage is a Civil Right”

The passage of Prop 8 is a bellwether for gay equality, possibly equal in effect to the Stonewall Riot in September 1969. It is motivating the GLBT community across the nation to action. With the presidential election over, there is a lot of energy still out there waiting to be tapped.

So there are supposed to be protests nationwide, including Birmingham, Dothan and Mobile. Exact locations for any state or city can be found here. I don’t see anything (yet) on Central Alabama Pride’s web site, but I would hope they would take this up.

In Birmingham the protest is scheduled for in front of City Hall, quite appropriate seeing how Larry Langford is so anti-gay. Protests in central time zone cities should be at 12:30 PM, to coordinate with protests across the nation. Please spread this information to GLBT supporters, and let’s have as big a crowd as we had at Pride this year.