Hundreds of people gathered on the steps of Houston City Hall this afternoon to protest the passing of Proposition 8, California's constitutional amendment taking away the right to marry for same-sex couples. Along with the passing of other anti-gay measures across the nation, Prop. 8 made November 4 a day of mixed emotions for many of the progressives in attendance, who say they went to bed ecstatic about the election of Barack Obama but woke up the next morning to find out not everything had changed for the better.
Hair Balls was at the Houston rally, snapping photos, taking notes and making up awards. On that note...
Most Surprisingly Fiery Speech: Activist Ray Hill has been a good friend to Hair Balls over the years, and he's always one to give a witty quote. But we've never actually seen him speak in public before, and the man was on fire. He kept repeating Harvey Milk's exhortation to “come out, come out, come out” and pretty much told everyone to kick the closet's door off its hinges. The holidays are coming, he reminded us, and it'll soon be time for office parties. “If you can't take your companion, then don't fucking go,” he yelled. And if your family won't let you and your partner sleep in the same bed, “then don't fucking sleep there.”
Most Subtle Way to Say “I Have a Gay Friend”: This one goes to State Rep. Jessica Farrar, loyal friend to Texas progressives, who mentioned she was able to make it to the rally because her appointment with the dentist finished early – oh, and by the way, he's here too.
Most Awesome Sign: This is a tough one, as there were many, many worthy contenders, but we're gonna go with the guy holding the “Do You Want Your Daughter Marrying Me?” poster because of its in-your-face humor and end-of-story logical simplicity.
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Most Touching Moment: When Meghan and Lindsay Baker stood up in front of a couple dozen other couples who'd married in California and whose marriages might be nullified by the passing of Proposition 8, many a cheek in the crowd became wet as the two women talked about their relationship and held each other for support.
Most Compelling Rationale for the Event: “Rallies like this one are a grand way to begin a new national movement for gay rights,” said Rev. David Keyes, “and that's why we are here.”
Click here for more photos from the rally.
-- Keith Plocek