Today was the big day of the Rally to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell. One of our U.S. Senators, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), was attending a social function at the Blue Horse Gallery this afternoon, and the Whatcom One Queer Community (W1QC) steering committee decided to organize a demonstration to greet her with signs, asking her to support legislation in the Senate to repeal D.O.M.A. and D.A.D.T.

The main organizer, Gabrielle, ended up having to work during the rally, and she asked me to take over for her, because of my background in Queer Activism. I agreed, and at 3 pm, I showed up at the location (Holly & Bay St.), signs in hand. As demonstrators arrived, I distributed signs and moved people to each of the corners of the intersection, so we could display our signs to traffic going in all directions. I held a big 'Queer Equality' sign, and danced around as best I could on bad knees and feet. (I know I'm going to pay for it in pain tomorrow).

At 4 pm, Senator Cantwell arrived, and she definitely saw all of us and our signs. I led the assembled crowd (if you can call 12 people with signs a "crowd") in chants:

What do we want?
Equal Rights!
When do we want 'em?

Senator Cantwell,
What do you say?
Make Don't Ask Don't Tell
Go Away!

The Senator smiled and waved at us, and walked into the gallery. Mission accomplished, we spent the next hour holding our signs for the passing traffic to see. Mostly positive reactions, honks and thumbs up -- this is Bellingham, after all -- and it was great that 5 of the assembled demonstrators were from the Bellingham Radical Faeries. About time we actually did something radical!

We had a permit for holding the rally until 6 pm, but after 2 hours, we packed it in. We had done what we had set out to accomplish -- let the Senator know that she had constituents in Bellingham who wanted her to champion Queer Equality in the U.S. Senate.

Interesting that I'm doing Queer Activism again. Gives me something to do, I suppose. I know there are those who object to both causes -- same-sex marriage and gays in the military -- for philosophical reasons. And I understand and sympathize with the objections. But these are the two biggest remaining legal equality issues for Queer folks in the U.S. Once those are overcome, we can get on with other more important issues.

And we're going to win. I know it. I can feel it.

Pictures and video soon to come, I hope.
(Note: The Bellingham Radical Faeries will be participating. Gabrielle from Whatcom 1QC came to our coffee this morning to personally invite us.)

Whatcom One Queer Community (1QC) Hosts

A Rally for Human Rights:
REPEAL The Defense Of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A.) and Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DaDt)

Saturday, April 4th, 2009
3-6PM outside The Blue Horse Gallery
301 Holly Street in the Bay Street Village
Bellingham, WA

Senator Maria Cantwell will be guest at a Reception at 4PM on the 4th in The Blue Horse Gallery.

This will be a PEACEFUL HUMAN RIGHTS RALLY (it is not a "Protest', please avoid using negative terms)

We will host a Human Rights Rally asking her to support Human Rights by Giving Voice to LGBTQ issues and voting to Repeal Defense of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A.) and Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DaDt) We will ask her to listen to her Constituents, Friends, Family members and Allies of Human Rights and LGBTQ Rights and to ACT on our behalf, and in support of President Obama's Promises.

*A Sign-Making Party will occur on Monday March 30th at 5PM at the Administration Office of Planned Parenthood, 2300 James Street across from the Avenue Breads Deli.(Volunteers WELCOME!)
*Signatures will be collected in support of REPEALING D.O.M.A and DaDt at the Farmer's Market in the street from 10AM-3PM on April 4th. (Volunteers WELCOME!)
Bellingham had a very well-attended gay marriage demonstration today, downtown at the Federal Building, at the corner of Cornwall and Magnolia. At least a hundred people showed up with signs, including most of the Bellingham Radical Faeries.

Most of the reaction from people driving by was positive.

More photos here.

The demonstrators chanted and cheered as cars drove by, honking. All four corners of the intersection were lined with marriage equality demonstrators. After about an hour, we marched en masse down to the Farmer's Market.

Afterwards, Whoretense and I went to relax at the Three Trees.

Three Trees gay marriage sign

Ok, I was naughty. I littered.


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