Here’s some of the shots I took at the NOM rally in front of the Capital yesterday…
They held the rally in front of the Capital south wing, which is right across from the Supreme Court building, but you really couldn’t see the court all that clearly for all the trees. The rally was mostly tucked away in one corner of the grassy park there in front of the south wing. This is what the crowd looked like, just a few moments literally, before Bishop Coles brought his cavalry in. It was almost exclusively white, and very nearly half media and NOM organizers.
Brian Brown getting a tad heated in front of a media lady just before the rally started. I don’t know what she may have asked him but he’d been really nice and polite to the media there, even the gay media, before this.
A couple NOM supporters brought their kids along. Most of the early arrivals were older folks. You didn’t start seeing many young people there until Bishop Coles’ cavalry came along.
That LET THE PEOPLE VOTE chant was an early hit with the crowd. Here they are while Brian Brown gives it a few turns.
Sometime into Bishop Coles’ speech a larger group of counter protesters arrived. (There had already been a few individual counter protesters there, including Mel White and Soulforce companions, as NOM was setting up.) The first wave of them just made themselves quietly known with signs around the perimeter of the event. NOM tried to have them removed, but the Capital Police told them basically that as long as they were quiet and didn’t interfere with the event they had a right to be where they were.
Some gay folk wandered around the NOM crowd during the event. I don’t know if this couple were with the larger group of counter protesters or not. The man’s t-shirt reads: Together 14 years, Married 1 year, 2nd class citizens every day.
Walter Fauntroy, with some other clergyman whose name I thankfully don’t know, waiting to speak. The white clergyman was there when NOM was setting up so I assume he was one of their local organizers. And unlike Bishops Jackson and Coles, he actually paid attention to all the other clergymen as they spoke. He didn’t talk much with the crowd though. Coles worked the crowd a little bit. Jackson was working the media.
Bishop Coles right after his speech, walked off the sump and whipped up the crowd with that LET THE PEOPLE VOTE chant. Black people were denied voting rights in this country for generations after then end of slavery. But those same rights were not won back by the ballot, but in the courts. The lesson that the courts have an important role to play in protecting the rights of all Americans, and that the basic human rights of minorities are not a popularity contest, seems to have escaped a lot of folks there. Prejudice does that to a person. Oh…YOUR rights don’t count…