Teresa Cao, who was arrested Thursday for disrupting the reading of the U.S. Constitution in the House of Representatives, attended a rally in May that featured remarks from the antigay activist Peter LaBarbera. Advocate.com: Daily News
Transgender woman Chris Tina Foxx Bruce holds a sign conveying the message of today’s rally outside Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Dallas office.
About 10 people gathered outside Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Dallas office this afternoon to protest her vote on Saturday against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
The protest was organized by GetEQUAL Texas, the state chapter of the national LGBT direct action group, and similar rallies were scheduled today outside Hutchison’s offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Wielding signs, bullhorns and a Rainbow-colored American flag, the Dallas protesters chanted “Shame on Kay!” and “Retire, Kay Bailey!” as they stood on a grassy median along the service road outside her 11th floor office in the Hotels.com building at 10440 N. Central Expressway.
Despite Hutchison’s vote against DADT repeal, the bill passed and is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama on Wednesday. However, the protesters didn’t appear to be in a celebratory mood.
“This is just the beginning,” said protester Marlin Bynum, a 47-year-old former preacher who came out as gay five years ago. “We still need ENDA. We’ve still got to repeal DOMA. This is just the beginning. In fact, I don’t know if the fight will ever end.”
Another protester, Chris Tina Foxx Bruce, said she attended the rally because she wanted to make sure the transgender community was represented.
“We have to put on a united front,” she said.
Foxx Bruce added that she’s toying with the idea running for Hutchison’s Senate seat in 2012. Foxx Bruce said Hutchison voted against DADT repeal even though everyone knew it had enough votes to pass.
“She was making a statement, and her statement was, she doesn’t believe in equality,” Foxx Bruce said.
Jade Rea, who traveled to the rally from Fort Worth and said she was representing the bisexual community, acknowledged that Hutchison is unlikely to ever support the LGBT community.
“Probably not, but it’s better for her to see something going on in support than nothing at all,” Rea said. “If you’re not vocal, you’re not heard, you’re not seen, it’s like you’re invisible.”
At the end of the rally, a representative from Hutchison’s office, Byron Campbell, came down to meet the protesters, who handed him two signs on which they’d written personal messages.
“Eighty percent of this country supported the bill,” GetEQUAL board member Mark Reed-Walkup told Campbell as he handed him the signs. “We e-mailed, we called her, she asked for a study, the study came back positive, and then she still voted no. We’re extremely disappointed, and we’ll be back.”
“I appreciate this. Thank you very much, and thank you for your time,” Campbell said before quickly going back inside.
Reed said GetEQUAL, which formed this year, is just beginning to organize chapters in all 50 states and likely will become more active in Texas in 2011.
“We’ll continue to hold our elected leaders accountable,” Reed said.
The following is from HRC volunteer Gregg Moreland:
Yesterday, HRC joined with Basic Rights Oregon and Organizing for America for a ‘Day of Action’ rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. We assembled with signs and banners in front of the KGW News Studio on the square during their noon newscast and also spoke with passersby to give exposure of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts to Oregonians.
In Oregon, we have two very supportive Senators, so it is easy to sit back and do nothing on issues like this. This week, as we wait to see what action the Senate might take, there is not time to sit back.
After we wrapped up everything in the square, several of the participants headed over to the Portland OFA headquarters where they will be on the phone to encourage people to call their Senators. We hope that you will do the same. Call the Capitol switchboard NOW at 202.224.3121 and ask them to connect you with your senator’s office.
This afternoon, I went over to Capitol Hill for SLDN’s rally on DADT repeal. I was surprised that there was a actually a pretty good crowd considering it was freezing (even for me and I’m a Mainer) and in the middle of the work day. (DC rallies aren’t known for turnout.) There was an impressive turnout from the traditional media. Lots of cameras. I understand CNN covered part of the rally live. Most importantly, there was an amazing array of speakers comprised of discharged vets and straight military allies.
As I mentioned earlier today, last year, SLDN protested in front of the White House. Today, the backdrop was the U.S. Capitol. The way things are going, we may end up getting equality at the Supreme Court. But, we still have a chance to pass the DADT bill — and the message to Senators was pretty clear: Don’t go home until the job is done.
Air Force Major Mike Almy delivered a strong message to his home state Senator, George Voinovich:
Discharged Marine Danny Hernandez also gave a powerful speech about his strong desire to serve his country. I got goosebumps when I heard him say, “I am ready to die for my country.” I talked to Danny after the event concluded.
Dozens gathered on the Cedar Springs strip Thursday night for a hastily organized rally in response to a vote in the U.S. Senate blocking the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” More images after the jump. Read our full story on the Senate votehere.
HRC is proud to join SLDN and other “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal advocates on Friday as we call upon the Senate and the President to remain in session and in Washington until the National Defense Authorization Act is passed – which includes the repeal of DADT. The Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation; we can’t let them leave.
If you support repeal, please join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, ‘If not now, when?’
While the clock is ticking for action on repeal of DADT this year, time remains for the Senate to act. The U.S. Senate owes it to the military to bring up and pass the National Defense Authorization Act along with repeal before year’s end. Let’s take a stand. Let’s demand that senators not go home until their work is done.
WHEN: Friday, December 10th at 12 p.m.
WHERE: Constitution Ave. & Delaware Ave. at Upper Senate Park (Near U.S. Capitol), Washington, DC
Closest Metro: Union Station (Red Line). Nearby: Capitol South (Blue/Orange), Judiciary Square (Red). Click here for a map.
We finally got around to watching Texas Gov. Rick Perry on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night. And it turns out the interview contains an interesting discussion related to same-sex marriage. As if he’s reading directly from this blog, Stewart brings up Perry’s statement in his new book that if you don’t like medicinal marijuana or gay marriage, you shouldn’t move to California.
“Even within Texas, it’s not a monolith,” Stewart tells Perry. “You got 55 percent of the vote, and that’s a big victory, but 45 percent of the people in Texas didn’t vote for you. Thirty percent of those might want medicinal weed or gay marriage. Are there certain basic rights that all Americans should have no matter where they live, even if the majority would suggest otherwise? Are you with me on that? And can’t freedom also be protected by government?”
“Absolutely, I get that,” Perry says, before doing some sort of ape-like gesture with his hands on Stewart’s desk and saying that he thinks the federal government should only perform certain basic functions like delivering the mail.
Remember this? And this? Well it happened again yesterday, this time in Bridgeport, Connecticut where President Obama was in town to deliver a speech at the Democratic National Committee "Moving America Forward" rally. The group of protesters erupted in a chant of “Fund global AIDS! Fund global AIDS!”
“Let me just say this — these folks have been — you’ve been appearing at every rally we’ve been doing,” Obama said. “And we’re funding global AIDS. And the other side is not. So I don't know why you think this is a useful strategy to take.” “I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren’t interested in funding global AIDS and chant at that rally, because we’re trying to focus on figuring out how to finance the things that you want financed, all right?
After a few minutes, the protesters were escorted out of the rally by police. Watch video of the incident, wherein Obama seems to get more than just a little annoyed by the interruption, AFTER THE JUMP.
Yesterday’s Rally For Sanity broke Washington’s all-time record for Metro ridership on a Saturday.
By preliminary estimates, Metro recorded 825,437 Metrorail trips on Saturday. Whether it served any of those riders very well is different question. The demand for public transit to attend the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear — hosted by Comedy Central duo Stewart and Colbert — exceeded supply. Metro customers suffered long waits at various Metro stations throughout the city. Several even suffered injuries. Nevertheless, the new record fairly shattered the old record, set on June 8, 1991, when Washington played host to a victory celebration for U.S. troops who served in the First Gulf War. That day Metro recorded 786,358 trips. A 1997 Promise Keepers rally in the District has the third-place record, with 735,909 trips.
Of course, we’ll never know how many more people were turned away from using the subway (as was my group) because the cops were freaking out about how crowded the platforms were. We ended up walking the hour or so from our hotel to the Mall and it was amazing to look down the side streets and see tens of thousands of people streaming up from all directions.
RELATED: Despite the ridership count and all the other attendance reports, the Freepers are, of course, declaring that the lamestream media are conspiring to cook the head count so that Glenn Beck’s rally looks smaller in comparison.