At Saturday's "Take a Stand For Democracy" Rally which was organized by the Massachusetts Catholic Citizenship and VoteOnMarriage, Larry Cirignano violently assaulted Sarah Loy, 27, of Worcester as she held a pro-equality sign.(See Worcester Telegram and Gazette) Cirignano, who had just given a speech at the public rally at Worcester's City Hall left the podium area, ran through the crowd and grabbed Ms. Roy by both shoulders, told her, "you need to get out of here right now" and pushed her to the ground slamming her head against the concrete sidewalk, as witnesses looked on with horror.
KnowThyNeighbor volunteers were called to and attended this public rally which was the fourth and last in a series of Catholic Citizenship/VoteOnMarriage supported forums. KTN volunteer, John Hosty, photographed Sarah Roy as she and witnesses gave their statements to Officer G.F. Wells of the Worcester Police Department.
KnowThyNeighbor was leading the crowd in chants of "Shame, shame, shame," and "You lost, go home get over it!" and "Remember 1990" as the VoteOnMarriage demonstrators continued with their chants of "Let the People Vote." We once again had to endure speeches by Kris Mineau, President of the Massachusetts Family Institute, Ex-Ambassador to the Vatican, Ray Flynn, Larry Cirignano and various ministers lying to us about the legitimacy and honesty of the petition drive, delivered their "spin" on the meaning of our constitution and that they (meaning the VoteOnMarriage demonstrators) were only there to defend democracy NOT end same sex marriage. This rally was alot different than the other three (Springfield, Barnstable and New Bedford) in that the anti-gay demonstrators seemed to be on a whole very angry and aggressive. They were in a public location and our side had every right to be there in a counter-demonstration. We were constantly being told by their supporters to remain quiet and they even tried to block our access to the public sidewalk. One VoteOnMarriage volunteer actually forcefully hit me in the chest and grasped on telling me that I had to leave as I walked along the sidewalk with my side which read, "Start Acting Like Christians." Having attended hundreds of rallies, I know that grabbing a person like that in this way is a big mistake and I have not seen that sort of reaction from seasoned anti-gay volunteers.
What was so unusual and calculated about Larry Cirignano's assault on Sarah Loy was that he left the podium area right after he gave his speech and pushed Sarah to the ground, then he returned back to the podium to stand next to Evelyn Reilly and Kris Mineau as they waited for Ambassador Flynn. This was not your average "heated moment." This was a premeditated, aggressive and uncalled-for assault by the President of the Catholic Citizenship on a young lady who was exercising her right to assemble, protest and voice her free speech...the key components to our American Democracy. And wasn't THAT supposed to be what this rally was organized for? Or maybe Larry Cirignano was not aware of this.
Perhaps we should tell him
Larry Cirignano 617 755-7668 Catholic Citizenship [email protected]
Ambassador Ray Flynn 617 269-0909 [email protected]
Tom Lang, Director