Gay protest gets ugly

For anyone who was thinking of joining the November 15 demonstrations for gay marriage, here‘s a troubling report from Lansing, Michigan. Last weekend a church was attacked on Sunday morning during a service by a group claiming to be gay. In the photo you can see they have pink scarves over their faces and are carrying bats and sticks.


This is not the type of political blog I usually read, but this piece at least seems to be a straightforward narrative account.  Some of the comments are interesting too:

“The only civil rights being violated were those of the church members. They have the first amendment right to practice their religion. The queer activists from Michigan were not harmed by Proposition 8 in California. They were simply engaging in a conspiracy to deny civil rights to Christians in Michigan. RICO anyone? Besides which, Proposition 8 was a clear case of “petitioning the government for redress of grievances” while the queer activist harassment did not engage the government at all, only innocent Christians.”

“When will they attack mosques that call for the death of gays? tick tock tick tock….”

If anyone is interested in following this story further, Daily Kos printed some excerpts from local blogs. Even more interesting, and not in a good way, is a poll attached to the piece, 37% of their readership supports the protests. I am reminded of how the Weather Underground discredited and delegitimized the peace movement back in the 60’s and set back the end of the Vietnam war by who knows how much.

A sensible comment by BlueJeanDem is encouraging:

This is disgusting (6+ / 0-)

As a gay man I condemn this sort of action.

It is counter-productive and only makes things worse for the cause of gay equality. How many more gay-haters will be created by this incident? Probably quite a few.

That church is the private property of the congregants. It is also their spiritual home. Regardless of what you think about their politics or doctrines, this was morally and ethically wrong and just plain stupid.

Besides, something tells me those protesters were probably not even gay. Anarchists and hoodlums doing NO GOOD.

Our fight for equality is through law and the courts, not by increasing physical conflict between the two factions.

Some of those people at the Church were no doubt friends and family of gays who are on our side on the gay issue. They were there to worship in peace. And now they might be having second thoughts.

Good going, creeps.

Nobody’s coming into my home to protest my being gay.

That’s how it should be. These jerks violated that rule of social behavior.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair via Al Gore

I had thought about writing more about the gay protests coming up this weekend and maybe evening reading up on the history a little.  Who were Mattachine, Stonewall, ACT UP, and Queer Nation?

But now I’m really not that interested anymore.  Sure, I belong to a church that openly invites people of every persuasion, even if the question of gay marriage is still being debated within the denomination. And I still support civil rights for everyone. But who are these people? They don’t seem to respect the civil rights of others, even as they demand it for themselves.  And what DO they want?  Some say they don’t really want marriage or are undecided, or they only want civil unions that will give them inheritance and medical insurance benefits.  They are just marching because they’re upset about Prop 8 and not because they are sure they want marriage instead of civil unions.

Then there was the matter last week of the gay couple in California who put an effigy of Sarah Palin with a noose outside their home as a sort of cutesy Halloween decoration. It was the mayor, not the gay community, who convinced them to take it down.

Throughout history, women have supported everyone else’s freedom, from opposing slavery to gay rights. But when it comes down to supporting women’s civil rights, where are the people whose rights the women marched for?

My time and energy are limited.  I won’t be writing about this issue again.  It is not my issue.  For anyone else who plans to demonstrate, I can only say “know who you are with,” and recommend PumaPAC’s  Proposition Hate forum for the latest information.  The Pumas I don’t agree with 100%, but they do support gay rights issues.  Join the Impact has moved their site around and the old links don’t work but they have comprehensive of the protests; here is their home page. You might also want to read this apparently unmoderated list of demonstrations, if only for the freaky “we need to get angry” comments.


Update: photo–the same group at a Milwaukee demonstration. Unpixilized image here (NSFW). Yup, “kill”.


7 Responses to “Gay protest gets ugly”

  1. dromedaryhump Says:

    Indeed, they went beyond the realm of civil disobedience and did their cause more harm than good.

    But you have made a grievous error in posting that photograph and connecting it to the Lansing church demonstration / desecration. You see…that photo, which you blindly took from a rightwing blog who used it incorrectly in connection with this incident.. HAD NOTHING TO DO with the Lansing church action.

    Read this extract from the Lansing State Journal:
    “Nick De Leeuw of RightMichigan said he got his account of the incident from a church member who was there. However, he said, the photo along with his report – of protesters dressed in black with their faces covered by pink, Middle-Eastern style headcoverings – was not from the protest at the church but from an earlier Bash Back protest elsewhere.”

    Heres the whole story :

    Now, I know researching stuff you post here and verifying its accuracy isn’t something that you’re particularly adept at, nor interested in doing, especially if it doesn’t support your preferred agenda. But in so doing it destroys your credibility.

    Just an observation.
    “Thinking Blogger Award” LOL!

  2. Nijma Says:


    The photo was not taken by someone who opposes the group, but is one the group uses in their own blog (and no, I’m not giving a link).

    This is how they want to be seen by the public. It’s their own publicity shot.

    Credibility that.

  3. johnbisceglia Says:

    One NON-Violent Solution –

    The U.S. government crossed a VERY serious line with PROP 8.

    This “proposition” threatened children’s sense of safety and belongingness in California. Children’s safety.

    Regardless of THIS particular fight, there are way too many fights on way too many fronts for us to conquer piecemeal. The Time is Now – DRAW A NEW LINE in the sand and demand from President Obama and our representatives FULL EQUALITY.

    Equality Is Simple When You Simply Include Everybody.

    What? Not detailed enough for the lawyers?

    OK, we can list repealing DOMA, repealing DADT, include transgender in the ENDA Bill, allow adoption of abandoned children, equality in immigration
    issues, recognize our hate crimes as such, equal family/children rights……….whew! See what I mean?

    We are EQUAL SOULS in HUMAN BODIES. Could we please STOP discriminating due to the genitalia attached? Plumbing will determine each civil right?! Any separation from the pack is ultimately due to gender (and/or gender roles & stereotyping), and that is SEXISM. I cannot marry Bob
    because I am the “wrong” gender; if I were a woman I could marry Bob. SEXISM.

    And I cannot stress ENOUGH how my own suffering from Marriage Inequality is NOT the reason for wanting or needing equality. I am not something to focus on. But my story, and the stories of countless other Americans desperately need to be addressed in this civil rights struggle. Marriage laws

    were put in place many years ago in order to PROTECT individuals and their FAMILIES; if they were NOT necessary they would not exist (for heterosexuals). When these laws are NOT in place for ALL OF US, horrible, horrible suffering occurs. My WEBSITE has many examples.

    So Americans want to continue denying us what they have already deemed as essential. And many people want us to WAIT…2….5……10…….20……..30 YEARS, depending on the “civil right”, for what WAS and IS our birthright.

    I personally have a HUGE problem with that. I cannot wait. I will not wait.

    Will you join me on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, and help me inform the government that WE are eager to be included in the federal tax base as

    soon as THEY include us in society’s laws? My 5-year-old students could understand this concept: EQUAL = EQUAL

    As Americans can’t we agree that there are MANY other important issues to address (like the Economy, Education, Health Care, Poverty & Homelessness, Iraq/Afghanistan…all of these are related), and solving THOSE problems is more urgent than having “Equality Issues” TIE UP THE

    COURTS for another 30+ years? We will NOT go away.

    You keep procreating; we keep popping out. Sorry.

    Our representatives have spent years inventing 4-letter words (DOMA, DADT) to restrict us, deny us, demoralize us, and harm our beloved families and children. Enough is enough.


    The National Equality Tax Protest
    – Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 –

  4. MARK Says:

    It looks like a straight group of teens trying to cause trouble. Like the article says, it sounds like a group in the 60s that tried to make it look like African Americans were causing violence. It is probably one of those straight religious groups that does the gay Halloween AIDS Haunted House.

    It is like the republican comments of violence because their people came to rallies to cause trouble and got yelled at.

    The only arrests and charges at any of our rallies have been of “yes on 8” people protesting the rally and attacking our guys. Oh, and there was a couple of jay walking type arrests, but NO charges ever filed.

    I would not be surprised though, if there is future violence and angry protests, especially if Gays remain on the top of the HATE LIST of the republicans and continue to get attacked, demonized and denied rights. I do not see Gays starting the trouble, but I don’t feel they(we) should allow attackers to quiet them(us) and take away rights by violence and harassment.

    If these Christians want the protests to stop, all they have to do is be truly Christian and stop denying us our rights.

  5. Nijma Says:

    So Bash Back is just a front? Yeah, right. Everyone knows the anti-gay crowd likes to dress up in pink bandannas and pose for gay websites.

    The Michigan Baptist church had nothing at all to do with California Prop 8, or the Catholic and Mormon groups that were rumored to have funded it.

    If the violent groups are just a front, then how would “stop denying us our rights” have any effect at all on the protests? Unless it’s really gays who have their hand on the protest spigot after all.

  6. eddie Says:

    it’s an old pic that was used to promote a bash back demo (people didn’t walk around carrying bats) but there IS a ‘PINK BLOC’ that is part of ANTIFA – Anti Fascist groups that started in Europe but have some contingents in the U.S.
    also want to say if you’ve ever gotten beat up or assualted by straight ‘hooligans’ – you know it’s not a joke when your head is split open. i know! also was part of a gay/lesbian street patrol for 2 years every fri/sat night which also included going to court in support of victims and to stress violence is NOT a prank.

    • Nijma Says:

      Antifa according to Wikipedia,

      In 2004, members of the Anarchist Federation, Class War, and No Platform founded the organisation Antifa. This predominantly anarchist group has imitated AFA’s* stance of physical and ideological confrontation with fascists…

      Sounds like one of those groups that hits people in order to stop people from hitting people.

      *Anti-Fascist Action (AFA)–a militant anti-fascist organization linked to the far left (Communist Party, Red Action, Socialist Workers Party, Irish Republican movement), founded in the United Kingdom in 1985.

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