At least three gay rights groups are
planning to counter protest demonstrations by the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Westboro Baptist Church that
coincide with New York's first gay and lesbian weddings on Sunday,
NOM, the nation's most vociferous
opponent of gay marriage, will hold rallies in Manhattan, Rochester,
Albany and Buffalo.
Westboro Baptist Church – the group
which coined the phrase “God hates fags” and is helmed by Fred
Phelps – is expected to protest outside of several of New York
City's clerk's offices.
In announcing its picket roster, which
also includes a
same-sex wedding taking place at Gracie Manson being presided by
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Westboro declared: “WBC will picket
the reprobates of fag-infested New York state to remind them that God
defined marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman for
life. That means NO fag marriage, no dyke marriage and no divorce +
remarriage! For their defiance of their Lord, New Yorkers will
suffer the wrath of God being poured out on them from the sky, just
as others in history who have followed this path experienced.”
The group Connecting Rainbows announced
this week it will protest
NOM's Manhattan rally, which will take place outside of Governor
Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office, located at 633 Third Ave.
“NOM is using this historic day as a
platform to get their hate message into the media, to raise money to
fund their hate group, including going so far as to announce their
support Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a bigot,” the group wrote in a press
release announcing its plans.
Outside the marriage bureau located at
141 Worth St., the group Queer Rising will attempt to create a buffer
zone between the Westboro protesters and gay couples.
“In an effort to denounce their
hatred, we will be standing between the haters and the couples with
rainbow umbrellas,” the
group said in an announcement at its Facebook page.
And Marriage Equality New York (MENY)
is also encouraging members to do the same.
“If you have a MENY umbrella –
bring it with you. We will block them with a wall of umbrellas –
turn our backs on them. Ignore them at all costs. The important
thing is to make this a wonderful day for our newlyweds!” MENY
Board President Cathy Marino-Thomas said.