The biggest names in the anti-gay
marriage movement failed to muster a significant crowd – or media
attention – at an anti-gay marriage rally in New York.
The all-star lineup for Stand 4
Marriage at the Capitol should have been enough to peak the interest
of any red-blooded social conservative: New York State Senator Ruben
Diaz, a Democrat, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins,
Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. and National Organization for Marriage (NOM)
President Maggie Gallagher.
The rally was sponsored by New Yorkers
for Constitutional Freedoms and highly endorsed by NOM. Both groups
worked to get the word out with press releases and radio.
“Let's all come out, joining the NYCF
in making a positive – and fun – stand for marriage! Bring the
whole family, and don't forget the signs and banners!” a NOM
release for the event says.
Despite the firepower of the movement's
most powerful movers and shakers, the rally barely managed to attract
a few hundred warm bodies to the steps of the Capitol and fewer news
men and women. Most New York media remained silent on the event.
Even NOM's press room was more preoccupied with defending
former-Miss California Carrie Prejean's anti-gay marriage views after
being fired than talking about their rally Wednesday.
Participants encouraged state senators
to vote against a gay marriage bill waiting for Senate approval to
become law and stirred up the mostly religious conservative crowd –
who rallied around signs that read “Save our God given marriage”
and “God who gave us life, gave us liberty” – with their fiery
“What God did was he dropped a huge
boulder in the path of the same-sex marriage bill yesterday with the
Senate coup,” Rev. Duane Motley, executive director of New Yorkers
for Constitutional Freedoms, told a cheering crowd referring to the
new Republican-led majority in the Senate.
Utah-based progressive blogger Chino
Blanco summed up the rally: “It was HUGE!!! A huge flop.”
Gay marriage in the Empire State is
favored by a majority of lawmakers – including Governor David
Paterson – and the public. A new poll released Wednesday shows a
large majority (74%) of New Yorkers approve of recognizing gay and
lesbian unions with civil unions or marriage. And a majority of
respondents (46%) support granting gay couples the right to marry.