Thousands of gay rights supporters reeling from the passage of a ban on same-sex marriage in California vowed a national fight for marriage equality yesterday during a swiftly organized rally at City Hall Plaza.
The protest was one of an estimated 150 rallies held yesterday coast-to-coast in cities and towns including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Fargo, N.D., and organized by Join the Impact. The group formed only about a week ago, after California voters approved Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage in the nation's most populous state, where about 18,000 same-sex couples had married this year.
Despite dismal weather and short notice, postings on Facebook and outreach from the gay marriage rights group MassEquality drew thousands to the rally, which also was attended by U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Somerville), U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell), state Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston), Sonia Chang-Diaz, who was elected to the state Senate earlier this month, and state Rep. Carl M. Sciortino Jr. (D-Medford), one of several openly gay lawmakers in the House.
"It was a loss of equality," said Sciortino, who campaigned in California against Proposition 8. "It was a huge slap in the face to people no matter where they live."
Many people held homemade signs with slogans such as, "Love and respect. No person deserves less."
Special-education teacher Heather Baker and her wife, Corinne Diana, of Woburn, addressed the crowd with their son, James Dumont, 12.
"We are the American family, we live next door to you, we teach your children, we take care of your elderly," said Baker. "We need equal rights across the country."
Massachusetts and Connecticut, which began same-sex weddings last week, are now the only two states that allow gay marriage.
I am proud to say that I was present at the rally in Boston. One of my best friends is gay and I am proud and honored to be a part of their wedding next July. Love is love.
And please, if you feel otherwise: I obviously didn't know and you should probably remove yourself from my friends list. Here are some of the pictures I snapped at the rally yesterday.
( More photos behind the cutCollapse )