Rallies against Prop. 8 continue nationally
People in cities all over the country are not giving up the fight to legalize gay marriage. Seattle was one of those cities on Saturday, where thousands of people joined to rally for equal marriage rights, the Seattle Times reported.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, one of Washington state's only openly gay legislators and a longtime activist of the effort to get equal marriage rights in Olympia, said that during the upcoming session of the Legislature he will continue to fight for a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
"The challenge is to march by the thousands not just here, but in Olympia. Are you willing to do that?" he said to the crowd, which gathered for a rally at Volunteer Park before continuing on to Westlake Park.
"Are you willing to doorbell in suburbia and rural Washington, and seek the friendship of African-American evangelicals and Catholics and Mormons? If you are willing to do that, you will achieve equality."
Seattle police said the eventful was peaceful with no arrests made at that time. They estimated about 3,000 participants, although organizers estimated double that.
Organizers of Saturday's event encouraged protesters to avoid divisive rhetoric or tactics.
After the passage of California's Proposition 8 on Nov. 4, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, many protesters became angry and avoided the idea of peaceful rally, with demonstrators targeting the Mormon church and other faiths that supported the gay-marriage ban.
"Hateful or hurtful remarks do nothing but drag the conversation away from progress," march organizer Kyler Powell said to the crowd.
The crowd consisted of only protesters, with opponents standing aside.
State Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, an opponent of same-sex marriage, said if a gay-marriage bill is passed by the Legislature, he will work to put it on the ballot statewide and defeat it.
"For me, this is the biggest issue," Swecker said. "Marriage is something that needs to be set apart and protected."