MARRIAGE DIGEST: Protests show intolerant side of 'gay marriage' movement
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (BP)--A 23-city bus tour by the National Organization for Marriage was intended to rally Americans to support the traditional definition of marriage, but its first few stops also have served as a platform for protests to show the ugly side of the "gay marriage" movement.
In Albany, N.Y., July 17, protesters with rainbow-colored balloons and umbrellas walked behind the podium during the outdoor sunny rally and refused to move. The next day in Providence, R.I., protesters went a step further, walking through the crowd and shouting at attendees and even approaching the podium and screaming at the speaker, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. Both rallies were held in front of the respective state capitols.
At one point, the protesters and Brown were only a few feet apart.
"This is the face of tolerance," Brown said, speaking into the microphone and using sarcasm to make an ironic point.
"This is the face of love!" the protester screamed back at Brown.
With attendees seemingly in disbelief, Brown told them, "Activists have come to break up our rallies and silence us. The moment we allow them to silence us is the moment our civil rights have been taken away."
Police apparently were unprepared and had to wait for backup to restore order.
Videos, since posted on YouTube, captured the exchange. (Watch them at Marriagetour2010.com.) One protester, heard on a video, said to a parent, "You'd better watch that kid or we're gonna kidnap him." Brown said another protester was heard saying, "Mommy raising you to be a good little bigot?"
The National Organization for Marriage was instrumental in helping pass California Proposition 8 and Maine Question 1, each of which reversed laws that had legalized "gay marriage" in those states.
"Not only did they truly embarrass themselves and their cause," Brown said in an e-mail to supporters, "they made our point far more powerfully than we could ever hope to do, making it crystal clear how far they are willing to go to force their agenda on all of society.
"... If gay marriage ever becomes the law in Rhode Island, or any other state, remember this display of intolerance when they tell you they would never dream of forcing it on young children in public schools, as they did in Massachusetts and California."
Brown added, "We have a message of tolerance and respect for all, adults and children alike. Theirs is a message of intolerance and hatred -- if you don't agree with me, you're a bigot and we're going to either shout you down or intimidate you into silence. That's no civil rights movement."
PELOSI'S PRESS SECRETARY 'MARRIES' PARTNER -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press secretary, Drew Hammill, "married" his partner, Jason Mida, in Washington D.C. in late May, according to an announcement in The New York Times. The announcement said Hammill is 31, Mida 30.
"Gay marriage" is legal in the District of Columbia as well as in five states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa. Pelosi, whose district covers San Francisco, supports "gay marriage."
As a spokesman for the speaker, Hammill often is quoted in the media.
ARGENTINA 10TH COUNTRY TO LEGALIZE 'GAY MARRIAGE' -- Argentina in mid-July became the 10th country to legalize "gay marriage" when its Senate passed a bill, 33-27, following a 16-hour session, the Associated Press reported. It is the first Latin American country to do so. President Cristina Fernandez supports "gay marriage."
Sen. Juan Perez Alsina opposed the bill. "Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species," he said, according to AP.
The other countries that have legalized "gay marriage" are the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and Iceland.
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press. The Southern Baptist Convention has a ministry to homosexuals. Find more information at www.sbcthewayout.com.