The Rev. Kimberly Banks-Brown stands for marriage equality
Same-sex marriage supporters
outnumbered the antis by four-to-one -- even more, by some counts -- at last night's
National Organization for Marriage rally and Show Me No Hate counter-action in
Clayton. The rallies came on the heels of the repeal of Prop 8, California's
Overall, the two groups'
demonstrations were pretty civil. NOM had a permit from St.
police to occupy Memorial Park, the green space on the campus of the police
department. Plenty of county officers were on hand to keep the rainbow-flag
waving counter-demonstrators corralled on the sidewalk, where their signs
elicited plenty of supportive honks from passing cars.
"Using religion to exclude people is
immoral," said the Rev. Rebecca Turner, executive director of Faith Aloud, a
religious group that supports reproductive health and rights. "I believe that God
made everyone and loves everyone and accepts everyone.
"This is a positive event," said Scott
Emmanuel, co-founder of the event and husband of Ed Reggi, founder of Show Me
No Hate. "We know that public opinion is shifting."
The NOMmers were safely far back
from prying eyes, carrying signs about states' rights and kids deserving both a
mother and father. Their half-dozen or so speakers characterized San
Francisco judge Vaughn Walker's overturning Prop 8 as
trampling states' rights.
A few called it a culture war, and
there were some great groaners:
Bev Ehlen, state director for uber-conservative
Concerned Women for America,
called her group "the nation's largest women's public policy group," pause, "that
appreciates men." Ha ha! Because there are totally man-hating lesbians holding
signs over there.
John Splinter, executive director
of the St. Louis office of the
National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, asked how many
in the crowd of about 60 were married. Most hands went up, and he went on to
talk about how married people would die for their wives. But plenty of those
hands belonged to women -- women presumably straight-married to dudes. Guess
they wouldn't die for their husbands?
But Show Me No Hate folks and NOM
folks were both adamant that they wouldn't be confrontational with one another,
and they weren't.