Sunday, November 16, 2008

come gather round people

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) philosopher, spiritual & political leader

yesterday's H8 rally was great! although it was difficult to count how many people showed up with the sea of umbrellas and the unrelenting rain, at least a couple hundreds of people gathered at cleveland's free stamp for a rally of brief speeches and testimonials in support of the right of gays to marry and in opposition of prop 8 (and other recent statewide initiatives curbing the rights of gays). the turnout was most impressive given that the heavy rain that did not let up and the plummeting temperatures. just think of the number if the weather would have been good.

it was a broad group of people who gathered - gays, straights, whites, people of color and young and old. I spoke to a few people and the bottom line everyone shared is the belief that the right to marry who one loves is a basic human right. perhaps one of stories that touched me most was told to me by a couple of men around my age (50s). they live in the cleveland area but had flown to california in mid-october to 'become official.' after twenty years of living together as partners, these men were ecstatic to be able to exchange vows in front of family and friends and to finally be recognized by 'society' as two individuals who love one another and are committed to live out their lives together as a couple. their wedding was officiated by one man's sister who is an ordained minister. they were devastated when two weeks after their wedding california passes proposition 8. however, they told me "we are married, prop 8 has not taken this away. it's just a matter of time before propositon 8 gets overturned. and we came down here to help make that so."

it was a horrible day to take photos but I did manage to snap a few. thanks julio for holding your umbrella over me, it reduced my paranoia about having to send my camera back to the shop! to see a few of my images of the rally click here.

the story behind yesterday's rally is amazing - in just the course of a week people were mobilized and rallies took place in over 300 cities, in all 50 states and in eight countries. to read more about yesterday's gatherings go here and here.

photo: people gathering before h8 rally, cleveland

an early vid of bob singing his classic 'the times they are a changin'


Merle Sneed said...

Bravo, I wish I go have been there.

R.L. Bourges said...

Good show. On Graulhet market yesterday morning, two men were walking together under a rainbow umbrella. Consider them (and myself) as faraway participants in this event.


Saretta said...

It's so unfair to deny the right to marry to gay people! I hope things turn around for the better.

Squirrel said...

Bravo, what Merle said. Umbrellas sure are pretty, especially rainbow ones.

Sourire11 said...

Wonderful that you went! We wanted too but already had some appointments lined up that we coudln't change. Thanks for sharing your pictures, though!

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