Today's gay marriage march and rally in Fresno, California is the brainchild of Robin McGehee. She spoke exclusively to Charlotte Robinson, the woman behind the website that features interviews with prominent gay rights activists, OUTTAKE VOICES.

Marchers participating in the Meet in the Middle for Equality march departed from Selma and converged on Fresno's City Hall about 1PM. Police were expecting between 3,000 and 5,000 people in Fresno.

McGehee's vision to build support for marriage equality from the center of the state runs counter to last year's campaign that focused mostly on liberal coastal cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Fresno was chosen to kick off the new campaign because its middle-town experience is more representative of California values and voters, McGehee said.

Gay marriage opponents have decried the event, saying coming to the Central Valley is akin to likening it to the segregated South and warned that the effort might backfire.

“[Supporters are] coming there to stick it in the face of people who know what is good and natural,” Randy Thomasson, president of, a group that opposes gay marriage, told The Fresno Bee. “They want to make a spectacle of how dark and stupid they think Central Valley residents are.”

“I think it's time to push the envelope,” McGehee told Robinson, an Emmy-Winning documentarian.

“It takes courage to stand up in my own community and fight back, behind enemy lines – you know very 'yes on 8,' very homophobic, very religious right territory,” she added.

Last year, 69% of Fresno County voters voted in favor of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that placed a gay marriage ban in the state constitution.

“We will not ever get a 60% 'No On 8' vote in Fresno, but I can guarantee you we will move [new supporters], and we will move in the direction we need to,” she said.

On the Net: Listen to the entire audio interview at OUTTAKE VOICES.