Yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage held its long-heralded Marriage March and rally to oppose same-sex marriage on the National Mall. A litany of speakers reiterated claims about children’s need for one mother and one father, but the event largely failed to amass a wide coalition.
NOM’s Thomas Peters claimed there were 15,000 attendees, while Brian Brown suggested a crowd of “more than 10,000,” but these seem to be gross overestimates. RightWingWatch’s Peter Montgomery suggested it was no more than “several thousand,” while the Washington Blade only estimated 2,000. What groups there were seemed to come in clumps from very specific origins, such as the 32 buses of conservative Hispanics that New York state Sen. Rubén Díaz (D) brought from the Bronx, French activists inexplicably flying a French flag at the rally, and a group of Chinese Christians from Chicago. Ironically, the rally was held one year to the day since NOM’s memo leaked revealing its intention to “drive a wedge” between the gay community and people of color, particularly by featuring people of color at their rallies and highlighting — i.e. overemphasizing — their visibility. The Marriage March exemplified that these efforts have not subsided in the least.
Perhaps one of the most visible groups at the rally was co-sponsor Tradition, Family & Property (TFP), a conservative Catholic organization identifiable by their red sashes, tall banners, and bagpipe players. As always, TFP was handing out its materials claiming homosexuality is a “changeable behavior” that “offends God” and must be opposed. Blogger Jeremy Hooper confronted some members of TFP at the rally and they confirmed to him that they co-sponsored the event specifically to proliferate such ideas.
Below is a video NOM posted with some highlights from the many speakers, but some of the most interesting quotes are cut. Stay tuned to ThinkProgress throughout the day for more reports of what was actually said there.
Also, here is a graphic from @TalkEquality challenging NOM’s claims about the rally’s attendance: