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Rallies across U.S. protest gay marriage bans

Tens of thousands of people in cities across the United States gathered Saturday to show support for same-sex marraige, giving voice to an issue many gay men and lesbians consider crucial for equality.

The New York Times reports rallies occurred in cities including San Francisco and Minneapolis only 11 days after California voters narrowly based a ballot revoking a previous law making same-sex ceremonies legal in the state.

Protestors across the country carried handmade signs with slogans like “No More Mr. Nice Gay? and “Straights Against Hate.? In New York, some 4,000 people gathered at City Hall, where speakers repeatedly called same-sex marriage “the greatest civil rights battle of our generation.? (New York Times)

“We are not going to rest at night until every citizen in every state in this country can say, ‘This is the person I love,’ and take their hand in marriage,? Representative Anthony D. Weiner of Brooklyn told the New York Times.

More than 700 people gathered on the plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Saturday to protest constitutional amendments in California, Florida and Arizona prohibiting gay marriage, according to the Star Tribune.

"It's really sad that this is even an issue at all," Kendra Atkins, 21, a University of Minnesota student from Eau Claire, Wis., told the Star Tribune before a rally in support of gay marriage in downtown Minneapolis. "Love is something we all experience in our own way and it's very unfortunate that certain people think there should be a right way and a wrong way to love."

Planning for the nationwide protests was started by a Seattle blogger, Amy Balliett, just days after the California vote, which took away gay marriage rights that had been granted by the state's high court, according to the Star Tribune.