Today I attended the protest against the passage of California’s Prop-8 here in Providence, RI.
It was a decent sized crowd, I’d estimate about 300 people showed up for the event. Ran into a couple of former co-workers at the event. As usual Rich was there and I also saw Tracy too.
Among the more notable attendees were Providence Mayor David Cicilline, State Representative Frank Ferri, State Senator Rhoda Perry, and what appeared to be the entire board of Marriage Equality Rhode Island.
We had a few chants, one where we’d all shout out “I do!” in answer to questions from the MC, then we did a little dialog “What do we want?” and we’d reply “Marriage Equality” and “When do we want it” to which we all answered “Now!”
But there was one part that I recall what was said and what I shouted in reply. One speaker said we’ll see marriage equality in RI within three years. I pointed and shouted “This Year!”
Several people came up and spoke, even a former bigot. So you see, we can change the minds of the bigots. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t change the mind of those with religious motivations either. You can.
One of the high points was when RI Pride’s Rodney Davis broke out in song. He’s pretty good too which made it a definite treat.
I do hope that if we have to repeat this again next year we move it to Cathedral Square. That’s the seat of the opposition against marriage equality, the Roman Catholic Church.
I think the time for conciliatory talking is over and it is time for direct action. If it means leaning on the #3 in the House we need to do so. And I can tell you we should also lean on a certain chairman in the House to come out, come out. I know you’re gay, it’s about time you come out and let people know where you stand.
In Rhode Island the only way the legislature seems to act is if they feel uncomfortable. I say lets make them as uncomfortable as possible. Corner them at fundraisers and in their favorite bars. Let them know we’re not backing down on this.
I see two encouraging bits of news for Rhode Island.
During the Nov. 4 elections, Senate President Joseph Montalbano lost his seat. I say good riddance. The incoming President is M. Theresa Paiva-Weed. I’m not sure where she stands on the marriage equality issue but looking at legislation she’s authored and co-sponsored she seems like someone we might be able to bring onto our side.
The other encouraging news is that the courts aren’t as hostile as we’ve been lead to believe. They’re particularly friendly when Constitutional arguments are used. So I say lets avail ourselves of that option too since we seems to be getting nowhere with the legislature.