A group of LGBT activists held a rally in Venezuela Saturday for marriage equality. France24 reports:
Gays and lesbians demonstrated in Venezuela’s capital Saturday to push for an end to discrimination and for civil rights such as same-sex marriage. “In some areas of the capital, two men cannot be seen holdings hands without security ushering them out,” said Cesar Sequera, who leads Diverse Venezuela, among marchers waving signs like “Say yes to inclusion.”
Argentina (and probably now Brazil) recognize marriage equality – could Venezuela be South America’s #3?
A march for LGBT rights this weekend drew a huge crowd in Santiago over the weekend. The Washington Blade reports:
An LGBT rights march in the Chilean capital on Saturday drew more than 50,000 people. Chilean folk singer Camila Moreno; presidential candidates Andres Velasco, Tomas Jocelyn-Holt, Marco Enriquez-Ominami and Marcel Claude and Rafael Dochao, the European Union’s ambassador to Chile, took part in the Santiago event that also commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia. Former President Michelle Bachelet, who is also a candidate to succeed President Sebastian Pinera in this November’s presidential elections, endorsed the march in a letter.
Anti gay marriage forces held another rally in Paris and Lyon (and probably other places) this weekend. Joe.My.God reports:
An estimated 15,000 attended in Paris. The second clip, via JMG reader Str8Grandmother, is from Lyon.
The last few rallies have seen turn-out in the hundreds of thousands. Now that the marriage equality bill has passed and awaits only a constitutional review and presidential signature, are these protests slowly winding down? What do you think?
Click the link above for the second video, from Lyon.
Several hundred anti-gay marriage protesters held a rally in Logan Square on Saturday, and were met by about 100 gay-rights activists. GoPride reports:
Nearly 200 protesters, primarily Latino, prayed and listened to preachers, who told the crowd that the fight was over the ‘rights of the church.’ “We are God’s warriors fighting for Christ,” chanted the crowd in Spanish… At about 11 a.m., both sides began marching down Humboldt Blvd. as anti-gay protesters carrying Bibles, religious symbols and signs provided by IFI were flanked by over 100 gay rights advocates. Supporters carried rainbow flags and signs that included a number of pro-equality messages.
That seems to be the latest line from the anti-marriage quality folks, that we are somehow threatening their churches. But why would you want to be married in a church that called you a sinner for loving your partner?
The Unitarian church will lead a marriage equality rally in Morristown, New Jersey early next month. NJ.com reports:
Members of The Unitarian Church in Summit and other New Jersey area Unitarian Universalists will lead a “Marriage Equality” march through Morristown on Friday, May 3. The march, in support of full legal recognition of same-sex marriage, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Hyatt Morristown and proceed to the Town Green, where clergy of various faiths will speak at a rally. The march is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist District of Metro New York, to be held May 3-4 at the Hyatt Morristown. The district covers 51 UU congregations in New York City and parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Few denominations and gotten behind marriage equality like the Unitarian Universalists. If you live near Morristown, please try to attend the rally and add to the numbers.
At a rally in Youngstown over the weekend, the US Democratic representative promised to support the push for marriage equality in the state. Vindy.com reports:
“The promotion of fairness, equality and justice is a hallmark of who we are as Ohioans and Americans,” Ryan said in remarks prepared for the approximately 100 people attending the rally. “These entrenched values go far in ensuring a just and peaceful society that does the right thing for its people. If we are going to transform this nation, we need to welcome all of its sons and daughters with open arms,” he added.
Activists are working to repeal Ohio’s ban on marriage equality. The latest polling shows Ohio voters support marriage equality 48 to 44%.
Please pass this along – the Illinois Family Institute is planning an anti-gay rally in Chicago for Saturday, and our friend Melanie Nathan has word of a planned counter-protest:
Anti-gay forces, led by the “Illinois Family Institute,” (IFI) described as an SPLC hate group, are rallying against Illinois’s equal marriage rights bill this Saturday in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. It is imperative that the LGBT community rally in force as ‘Voices IN FAVOR’ of equal rights for all must be heard. Bring your signs please if you are in the area, as you are urgently needed to peacefully counter the IFI’s message of hate and discrimination. In its attempt to derail the equal marriage rights bill, the IFI is cynically trying to pit the Latino community against the LGBT community — ignoring of course that many of share both identities.
Sadly, following the pattern established in previous marches, rallies in France on the day that the marriage equality bill was passed once again became violent. Towleroad reports:
Despite the requests of organizers that marchers disperse peacefully, a hard core group of around 500 refused to leave the Invalides.Their anger soon boiled over as bottles and firecrackers were hurled at the riot police, who had blocked off a street leading to the parliament. One officer was taken to hospital with a head wound after being hit by a brick. “The clashes were extremely violent,” one officer told French media. Police, who responded with tear gas, made 12 arrests. The protesters also turned their ire on journalists in the vicinity, shouting “scumbags” and “collaborators” at the members of the press. At one point a mob of masked protesters chased a group of journalists down the street and a photographer from AFP was sprayed with tear gas.
Here’s a video showing some of the clashes:
Towleroad also reports on violence at the march in Lyon, France:
Police reported that 44 people were arrested in the eastern city of Lyon, France following yesterday’s passage of marriage equality.
And Think Progress reports that the National Organization For Marriage is finally acknowledging the violence at the rallies, even though they try to make it sound like both sides are responsible for it:
We urge all French citizens to contact lawmakers to express their strong opposition to this policy. We also call on all citizens to conduct themselves honorably and peacefully. Even though the same-sex marriage policy being foisted on an unwilling public is profoundly unwise and anti-family, no citizen should ever express their disapproval through violent means. We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence by anyone on either side of this debate.
Nice try, Mr. Brown, but the violence has been squarely on the side of the anti-gay marriage protesters.
The French assembly is getting ready for its final vote on the marriage equality and marriage adoption bill. Towleroad reports:
The bill, which would also give same-sex couples the right to adopt, was approved in the Senate earlier this month. Since no amendments have been made during debate in the lower house, it will be the final vote on the legislation. The measure is expected to pass. The left, which includes President Francois Hollande’s governing Socialist Party, dominates the National Assembly, where the bill was approved by a large majority in February on its first reading. Hollande will have to sign the bill before it becomes law.
Joe.My.God reports that the opposition, Manif Pour Tous, plans yet another march tonight at 7 PM – see the map above.
Paris police are prepared for violence, deploying water cannons and the city ahead of the vote in March. Pink News reports:
Security is being stepped up around France’s National Assembly building in Paris ahead of a landmark equal marriage vote… Even for a country used to prominent public demonstrations, recent events have taken many people by surprise. Violent attacks against French gay citizens – such as Raphael Leclerc and Wilfred de Bruijn – have surged with several politicians also receiving threats.
Will these protests fade away once the bill becomes law and gay couples start to marry? Or will the violence continued escalate?
A group of gay-rights activists marching through the city of Bitola were brutally attacked on Saturday. Gay Star News reports:
The assault happened on Saturday (20 April) and came shortly after members of the groups marched through Sirok Sokak Street carrying banners and posting posters displaying messages about the human rights of LGBT people as well a rainbow flag. When the groups left the street right in front of Hostel Diamond, activists were attacked by four people while three other later arrived to assist them in the assault. During the assault three activists were verbally abused, shoved and spat on while their banners and posters were ripped out of their hands only to be used as weapons to hit them on their head and faces.
Macedonia is not a very gay friendly place – as recent as 2010, there was a push to ban gay marriage in the country’s constitution. We applaud these brave protesters for standing up for their rights even in the face of violence.