It’s been a year since California voters approved a ban on gay marriage. The clarion call reached Atlanta, and Saturday’s local rally, “Prop 8: One Year Later,” is set to remind us how far we’ve come.
With the help of social media like Facebook, Atlantans responded to last year’s vote with the first in a set of rallies and vigils (photos) that drew hundreds–vastly more people and interest than any LGBT public demonstration had sparked in recent memory at the time.
“We are trying to make it as a day of gathering or a day of action,” Scott Touchstone, an organizer, told Project Q then. “There should be multiple things going on in the city of Atlanta with the amount of gay people here.”
Those November 2008 events against Prop 8 sparked a renewed vigor among gay Atlantans for public protests for various causes that continued throughout 2009 with varying degrees of attendance.
The Sept. 10 Atlanta Police Department raid on the Atlanta Eagle reignited the furor for a good old fashioned protest with several demonstrations.
Even with strides toward more community involvement, the struggle for equality is far from over, organizers of Saturday’s protest say.
“With Question 1 creating another same-sex marriage ban in Maine, overturning legislative action, 31 states now have laws preventing same-sex marriage,” says organizer Jeff Schade in the Facebook invitation to the rally.
“A vocal minority of closed-minded Americans have turned to petition ballots to spread their hate towards LGBT+ citizens,” he adds. “On the heels of the delayed 2009 Pride Festival, we will unite against those who would spread hate and fear towards our own families.
“Atlanta’s LGBT community and allies will stand up to make it known: We are still here, and we are still demanding full equality under the law. We will not be silent, and we will not back down.”
Speakers scheduled for Saturday’s rally include Georgia Equality’s Jeff Graham, Georgia Stonewall Democrat’s Edmund Thornton, Transgender Veterans Association’s Monica Helms, radio host Wendy Spencer, and activists Laura Gentle and Alex Oxford.
Gay singer/songwriter Barry Brandon is also expected to perform his new song, “Is it Enough?”
Mayoral runoff candidates Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed were invited to attend. No word from either camp on whether they will show.