Three Rallies Planned By the Catholic Citizenship Last Weekend Bomb
This past Saturday and Sunday, The Catholic Citizenship together with VoteOnMarriage held Rallies in New Bedford, Barnstable and Springfield to rally what is left of their "troops" to publicly bash Legislators who voted to kill the anti-equality amendment. These rallies, called by VoteOnMarriage "Rallies for Democracy," amounted to nothing more than a group of losers crying foul play and threatening to demand a recall of any legislator who does not do their bidding on January 2nd.
Each of the rallies had the same agenda and each was set up to mimic the Mitt Romney Rally that took place at the State House two weeks ago. American flags, a podium, "Let The People Vote" signs on sticks, the singing of the National Anthem (in which our side joined), and the Pledge of Allegiance (in which our side joined). But there were some important differences. Instead of Mitt Romney using this stage as his Presidential platform, there was Kris Mineau, President of the Mass Family Institute who, as one observer noted, answered the question of "Is this a Rally about Same-Sex Marriage?" as " No, this is a Rally about Kris Mineau." We muggled through Kris' tales about HIS service in the Air Force, HIS fighting next friends who lost their lives (to which one gay man yelled back "So did I!!"), HIS being shot down, the reason for HIS limp, how HE swore to defend the Constitution, if HE didn't defend it HE would have been court martialed. We certainly thank and respect Kris Mineau for his service to our country however, his speeches seemed to be establishing himself for some sort of run for political office. Remember his equally vile predecessor in MFI, Ron Crews, also made an ill-fated attempt at Congress when he was not successful with DOMA back in 2002.
These rallies also gave a podium space and microphone to an anti-gay state representative who recently lost, a talk show host and a former judge. The crowd was fed the same rhetoric and mis-information--that the 109 Legislators who voted for recess were not upholding their Oaths of Office. Our side chanted "Remember 1990, Remember 1990" referring to the Initiative Petition To Give A Woman Reproductive Choice which was "recessed" and subsequently "adjoined" by the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1990, the Conservatives, undoubtedly many who support VoteOnMarriage now, celebrated this procedural action because it worked in their favor back then.
In Barnstable, a former judge spoke of behalf of VoteOnMarriage. In his lengthy speech he felt it necessary to explain the Initiative Petition Process, to explain the recent initiative petition, to take us back to 2002 and Tom Birmingham's adjournment (back then they used the horsemeat/dog food petition to dupe voters to sign the defense of marriage act) and to read interpret parts of our constitution. Not only did he seem to bore our side but he put our oppostion to speep too. People don't care and they don't care even moreso now that same-sex marriage has proven to work. The electoral complacency and voter apathy that VoteOnMarriage relied so heavily on when it turned a blind eye to the fraud and forgery is now backfiring in a cataclismic proportion.
Thanks to all those who came out in support of Equal Rights. See the below photos and re-caps of the events. And remember, there still is one more rally to go. Saturday December 16th Worcester City Hall 1:30 PM Be There!
Pro-Equality attendance outnumbered the bigots by about 20% thanks to the Marriage Equality Coalition of the SouthCoast. We turned our backs to Former Rep. Peliogolis when he spoke. The support on the Pro-Equality side was amazing as people pointed out to me that their families were there to support us and one could see that many of our supporters were in fact straight. I even stood next to a lovely older straight couple who rent their house to Josh Friedes from Freedom to Marry and they were in attendance to support OUR rights. One of the more humorous moments was when a dog owned by a pro-equality supporter began barking at the moment Kris Mineau took the podium and would not stop until Mineau ended his speech.
We were only slightly outnumbered in body but not in voice. A little old lady from VoteOnMarriage (who reminded me of my Auntie Elsie) kept telling the police that VOM had a permit for the Court House and they "did not feel comfortable having us this close to them..." She kept asking the police to have us moved behind a tree. Well we did not move, we held our ground and we found out later that VOM did not have a permit, the had "permission" to be there as it was public property. Lies and deception? A real shocker. The Barnstable pro-equality crowd really made me proud. What a lively bunch which was not afraid to stand up and yell back when they felt it was necessary to defend their rights. We all got especially loud when a priest spoke and said, "God's love and blessings are conditional." Humorous note...the VOM people played a recording of the Star Spangled Banner of a man whose voice bore a strong resemblance to Ted Haggard and the tempo was so slow that there was absolutely no way for any of us to keep pace. Oh and when one of the ministers prayed to God and said, "we look forward to your causing the SJC to rule that the ballot question will go straight to the people for a vote," one of the pro-equality supporters led us all in a chant of "Hold your breath, hold your breath..."
Karma actually came out on the pro-equality side and "she was fabulous." When we arrived the VoteOnMarriage people were propping their "Let The People Vote" signs on the steps of Springfield's impressive City Hall. They had the electrical cord for the PA system and speakers already snaked through the window to use taxpayer's money (ours too) to fuel their anti-gay marriage PR event (see photos). Well, Karma showed up, in human form as Don from MassEquality's Springfield affiliate. Don had pulled a permit for our pro-equality side to be allowed access to the city hall and to be allowed use of our own PA system--Springfield is very strict in requiring these permits for any public demonstration.
Funny how things work out...neither the Catholic Citizenship nor VoteOnMarriage had pulled a permit for the steps or their soundsystem. So they collected their signs, their banners, their speakers and their supporters and descended the City Hall steps to be banished by police to a tiny park across the street in front of a creche scene. They weren't even allowed to use their soundsystem. Not a happy crowd during this joyous holiday season...
The pro-equality side was blessed also with "The Raging Grannies," a group of older political songstresses who led us all in their adapted versions of old favorites like "This Little Light of Mine" as "No More Homophobia...I'm gonna Let It Shine..." Also, a youth group, Springfield's version of QueerToday showed up with a PA system in which we all were encouraged to and did speak up for Equality. These youth also led us in a very directed and effective chant, "Teach Your Children Love Not Hate" whenever we saw young children holding signs for VOM--and believe me, there were far too many children across the street. Good job, Springfield!!
Tom Lang, Director