Today in the South Park Blocks, a thousand or so people gathered to rally against the passage of Prop 8 in California, plus other anti-gay laws that sailed through in Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona on Election Day.
"Out of Oregon, some really bad things happened," City Commissioner-elect Amanda Fritz said.
Democratic activist Laura Calvo noted that the crowd was "coming together not as gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender, but as an entire community," alongside straight allies.
Mayor-elect Sam Adams also spoke, calling up Harvey Milk's favorite way to kick off a rally speech: "My name is Sam Adams, and I'm here to recruit you!" he yelled. Also like Milk--who was the focus of last night's spectacular red carpet movie premiere party at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall--Adams urged people to "come on out if you haven't" and encourage others to "volunteer and support us."
Rally co-organizer Lindsey Asher--who, with her partner, recently went to California to see the protests and marches happening there--said her partner's parents "live in California and they voted yes on eight."
"Let's start a conversation with people," she said, urging rally attendees to talk to everyone about gay rights and marriage equality, conversations that could bring "one more person on our side."
"You must tell the person who's selling you coffee every morning," why "you believe in marriage equality," she said.
The sound system at the rally was virtually non-existant--there was a lone megaphone on loan from the local chapter of Socialists--and Adams was by far the loudest speaker. But those on the periphery of the crowd could only hear "about 10 percent" of what he had to say, I found out later. Lucky for you, I recorded a big chunk of the rally--from Amanda Fritz through Rev. Nathan Meckley, which includes Asher, Adams, Laura Calvo, Bonnie Tinker, and others. It'll be up in a few.
Check out this week's paper for a full report--plus information on where the movement goes from here.
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