(sorry some of these pictures are kind of crappy - they are from my cellular phone since I forgot to bring the real camera) The mayor of the city spoke, along with some alder-people, several religious figures, some community activists, a bank CEO, some students, and Chad Allen -- the introduction of him by the MC brought me some serious giggles. He is from "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman". And the MC seemed to realize that not too many people watched that show, but said after Chad spoke that he would go off and buy all the back ordered issues of the old DVDs for the show.
It was great seeing a lot of young people out there. There were college-aged students, and even some high school students and younger there. Some students from my school's GSA and my old school's GSA were there - which was really great to see. Hearing the different comments, seeing people able to be free and in love with their partners in public in front of the courthouse, seeing people's documents from when they had gotten married in California (pre-ban), hearing the hope -- it was all heartwarming. I actually, a few times, forgot how cold it was out there when rushes of warmth would go through my body.
What was really awesome was seeing a good number of straight people there. (Thanks Dando for going with me.) This is what will really make the difference. When all of us straight people who support rights for all can get other straight people to understand that giving rights to others is not going to change a straight person's relationship, is not going to lessen the number of kids born (in fact it might help those that are born become adopted or fostered by gay couples -- listen up Arkansas), is not going to lessen the concept of marriage (Why is it a big deal to do that anyway with so many married straight people getting divorced? And why is it right to vote on marriage rights for one group when others have not voted for you to have the right to marry? (unless you are black or married interracially)).The majority needs to change its views in order for laws to change.
Links with information and pictures:
- Flicker images of protests across the nation
- Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
- Show Me No Hate (Join the Impact; Saint Louis)
- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- The Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Community Center of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Lambda Legal
"With liberty and justice for all." -- Pledge of Allegiance to America