Last night’s Rally for Equality at Terry Schrunk Plaza was pretty incredible. Around 2,000 packed into the plaza’s brick bowl, and braved the muddy grass beyond it (I wasn’t so good at navigating the mud; I slid on a slick little hill and landed on my notebook).
Basic Rights Oregon set up a great donated lighting and sound system, and lined up speakers like Governor Barbara Roberts and State Rep Tina Kotek. They even set up a heated tent for bloggers at the back of the crowd, but I couldn’t bear to hang out there—the heat was tempting, but I wanted to be up close to the action.
That was the crowd halfway to its peak, while it was still light enough to snap a blurry cell phone photo.
“Give me a break!” she say, eliciting a huge whoop from the crowd. “The real harm in this delay is to the committed couples… [who are] treated as if they are disposable citizens.”
Almost every local politician or candidate you can think of was there, from US Senate candidates Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley, to three of the Multnomah County Commissioners who green lighted gay marriages in 2005—Maria Rojo de Steffey, Serena Cruz Walsh and Lisa Naito huddled together under Rojo de Steffey’s striped umbrella. But more importantly, hundreds and hundreds of Oregonians showed up in the cold rain to support equality. Students from PSU’s queer club even marched from their campus to the plaza, earning honks of approval along the way.
Mercury videographer Vincent Caldoni was on hand to document the action. We’ll post that video later today!
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