Westboro Baptist Church arrives in LA to Spread Hate for the Holidays
If you were planning on attending “The Laramie Project” a play memorializing the tragic hate killing of Matthew Shepard several years ago be prepared to meet protesters from the Westboro church. ABC7 has a news clip HERE. The production company, Mechanicals Theatre Group, is prepared and has a plan in place to counter the group.
They ask that you wear a Yellow Ribbon, such as worn at Matthew Shepard’s murder trial all those years ago, in peaceful response to the protesters from this so called church. Full official statement here from their web site HERE.
Don’t you just “love” them abusing their freedoms of religion and speech to spread a message of hate during the holidays?
As deadlines for filing, gathering signatures and fund raising loom, gay rights groups are still debating the timing of a ballot initiative to overturn anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8, which passed last November with 52% of the vote.
The two dates in question are the November elections in 2010 and 2012. Those pushing for holding off until 2012 cite flat poll numbers favoring same-sex marriage since last year’s election, linking them to the difficulties it would create for raising the enormous amount of money necessary to undertake another ballot initiative drive. The Prop 8 campaign cost more than $80 million, with those opposing it spending $43 million.
Just in case anybody could forget that the struggle for gay civil rights has been ongoing for decades, I had it brought to my attention that this Wednesday is the 42nd Anniversary event of the Black Cat Bar Protest for Gay Rights. For those who don’t know where the Black Cat is, it is now a gay Latin bar, and you’ve all seen it–it’s on Sunset right in the middle of Sunset Junction. While it’s now called Le Barcito, it’s an official Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and still sports its original sign with a black’n’white pussy cat.
In 1966, New Year’s Eve, the Black Cat was ground central for horrific police brutality as plainclothes officers viciously beat revelers for…kissing at midnight. About a month later a protest vigil of about 200 people gathered at Sunset & Sanborn to stand in opposition to the brutality and discrimination. In 1966, that was a hell of a vigil–when just being openly gay could be grounds for arrest as a sex offender. This brave protest occurred two years before New York’s groundbreaking Stonewall Riots.
Here’s all the info on the event. Today, when we’re all still fighting for everyone to stand on equal ground, I think it’s also important to remember from whence we’ve come.
Simply put, the major forces behind the No on 8 campaign ignored all of the grassroots organizations that could have truly helped marriage equality become a reality.
Yesterday’s action fair was organized by quite a few grassroots organizations and heavily promoted through JoinTheImpact’s activist network. All of this was also advertised under a national protest against DOMA: the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Signed into law in 1996 by then-President Bill Clinton, it prohibits same-sex marriages from EVER being recognized by the federal government, effectively delegating the decision to individual states. President-elect Barack Obama promised during his campaign to repeal the law and the event was organized to remind Obama (and his supporters) of the promises made.
In 1974, the movie Female Trouble, arguably regarded as writer/director John Water‘s low-budget masterpiece, couched the idea of gay assimilation from a backhanded and perverse perspective, only five years after the Stonewall riots in New York ignited the modern gay rights movement.
It’s a long road from Stonewall in NYC to the struggle over Prop 8 in California, but it’s clearly the same road.