I attended the Rally in 2009 that was hosted by NC4Marriage, as well as this one. I was there as a photographer and a supporter for my LGBT community. At each of these events there was a small counter-protest, which was neither approved nor even acknowledged by our local LGBT Community leaders or local Equality groups. Hell not even our local nationally known blogger could even be bothered attending much less assemble any sort of community support.
See slideshow of each year.
here is the 2009 rally,
Yes, they are small groups compared to the anti-gay bigots at these rallies. However, our group is more dedicated because we didn't need to be bused in from all over the state. I wonder just how big the Anti-gay marriage rally would have been if they weren't bused in???
While we were outside standing up to these bigots, a group from Equality NC was inside the General Assembly building with groups of religious leaders holding a press conference.
While this Rally was in progress, I found and photographed a small LGBT group behind enemies lines (see slideshow for 2011). There were holding a simple sign which read "Equality for all." Well, they were harassed by the local PD, who only walked away after a reporter stood up for the group. see video and info below:
This Video was taken by LGBTQ resource,The Triangle, www.trianglelgbt.com. It shows State Capital Police trying to intimidate peaceful LGBTQ counter protesters at anti-LGBTQ faith based rally in Downtown Raleigh on May 17, 2011. State Capital Police only back off when local news reporter inquires into what the police are doing. There is also a snippet of the false information the speaker is telling the crowd about the LGBTQ community. The rally was held by Return America in response to a press conference given by pro-LGBTQ faith leaders in the Legislature Building regarding SB 106 earlier that morning. There will be a pro-LGBTQ rally on June 3, 2011 in downtown Raleigh, you can go to http://getequalnc.org/rally-in-raleigh/ for more information.
However the PD DID make it known to those on the street, if they tried to enter the mall grounds with signs, they would be arrested for trespassing. The group on the street were told three different reasons about what would happen if they carried signs on to the grounds of the mall.
Most of those who attended this rally were Baptist, and a few Christian Schools as well. They were Greenville Christian Academy, Beacon Baptist Church, Fellowship Baptist Church, Faith Christian Academy, White Plains Baptist Church, Gospel Light Baptist Church, and I am positive there were many more.
I can only guess that this rally was very important because Bam Bam Labarbra was there.
Now for my comment and opinion about our community,
I just don't get it, you guys in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill all came out when NOM came to town, yet once again you let the local bigot groups get a free pass on bashing the hell out of us?? Why??
I do have a bone to pick with Pam and Equality NC. If they would have called for us to rally, I'm sure more would have shown up to counter protest. Yet again the local LGBT community couldn't be bothered. I can only guess that many were hung over, or at the parks and bookstores on their knees or with their legs in the air. I am sure many had to work, but yet many took off from work or took longer lunches to attend the NOM counter protest and the rally at Cameron Village.
If these religious zealots get their way and do get more of our civil liberties revoked, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Don't stand there and ask "What happened?", I'll tell you what happened... you couldn't be bothered to show up to support your community or your future. Its so much more than the right to get married.
Its the benefits that you lose for insurance, its the child care you get denied because your "partnership" isn't recognized by the state, its the financial instability you face when/if your "partner" passes and you find yourself homeless because you didn't think that those rallies a few years ago could affect you. The time for sitting home and writing letters is over. We, like our counterparts in the church, have got to put faces and head counts to our legislation. Letters can be ignored and worse yet tossed in the oval file cabinet, but actual people can't be ignored. It's time to show them who and how many we are.