Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Defeat for Extremists; This Time in DC

Yesterday we learned about how "liberal blogs" (like Blue Virginia, FDL, Left of the Hill, and others who spoke out against hatred) ruined the plans extremists in Danville, VA who wanted to burn Nancy Pelosi and Tom Perriello in effigy. The extremists claimed they wanted to pull the stunt because Pelosi and Perriello had the courage to vote in favor of HR 3962 which would provide people with access to affordable health care. Now today we learn that a group of right-wing religious leaders were protesting the Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which made it a hate crime to attack someone simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Instead of getting arrested like the planned, however, the Washington Post tells us how the event actually turned out to be beneficial for those who support equality.
Instead of getting arrested, the ministers got something else: A couple of dozen gay activists, surrounding them with rainbow flags and signs announcing "Gaga for Gay Rights" and "I Am a Love Warrior." By the end, the gay rights activists had taken over the lectern and the sound system and were holding their own news conference denouncing the ministers.

"We're here to say, my love is legit!" announced David Valk, an organizer of the National Equality March for gay rights. Another speaker, Ian Thomas, went to the microphone and announced: "I was created a bisexual male. Just like many figures in the Christian Bible, I like boys and girls!" Cass turned angrily to the AV guy. "We're not on the clock, are we?" He turned with equal anger to Valk. "You guys gonna help us pay for the microphones?" The gay activist smiled. "God," he said, "works in mysterious ways."

In this case, God took the form of Chuck Fazio, from DC Podiums. Fazio was hired by the religious conservatives to provide the sound system for the event, but upon learning of their cause, he decided to donate his proceeds to the gay rights activists and to give them a chance at the microphone before shutting down the amplifiers. "I don't want bad karma," he explained, noting with some pride that the lectern they were using was the same one used by Borat on a recent Washington visit.
This really gets down to the point that while we do have free speech in this country, hatred isn't something that the general public supports. That is why groups like the Teabaggers in Danville had to cancel their plans and the Fazio decided to take a stand against the hate being preached in DC. In the end, the events of the last few days illustrate how momentum is on the side of those who believe in providing everyone with a chance to succeed. The fact that these events even happened, however, also show that we still have a lot of work to do.

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