More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Marches and Rallies Take Place Across the Country in Response to Prop 8 Decision
Across the country, LGBT people and allies gathered in rallies and marches in repsonse to the California Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8.
GLAAD Senior Media Field Strategist Adam Bass was in attendance in West Hollywood, where crowds gathered and marched seven miles from West Hollywood to the corner of Hollywood and Highland - the site of the Kodak theater - and back.
During the march, chants calling for a new vote in 2010 burst out spontaneously during the march.
[caption id="attachment_9281" align="alignright" width="243" caption="Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking at the event in West Hollywood."]
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke to the crowd about the importance that LGBT people get out and share their stories. As reported by the Contra Costa Times, he said:
"We're going into every neighborhood, every city. We're going into every institution to have this conversation about the right of my first cousin John to have a family," Villaraigosa said in a statement after the Supreme Court ruling. He was referring to his cousin, Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, who is openly gay.
The West Hollywood rally was also attended by celebrities and public figures including West Hollywood mayor Abbe Land, actors Drew Barrymore and George Takei (who married his partner, Brad Altman, last year), and comedian (and GLAAD Vanguard Award honoree) Kathy Griffin.
Rallies took place in other parts of Los Angeles and throughout the state, including in Downtown Los Angeles at Pershing Square. GLAAD Media Advocacy & Research Fellow Moe Macarow attended the gathering, which was organized by the First United Methodist Church of L.A. and the United University Church, and included a march around Pershing Square to the chorus of "Ain't Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around."
Lt. Dan Choi also spoke up in Los Angeles about the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Prop. 8, telling the assembled crowd, "Love is worth it!" and speaking on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 about the importance of marriage equality and his recent discharge from the Army under the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. (You can watch the video clip at the bottom of this post.)
Other marches and demonstrations (notably in San Diego) took place in cities across the nation, including one that drew large crowds in New York. For images of rallies from across the country, check out the slideshow at Towleroad.com.