LGBT activists swarm ATL rally for Rick Santorum

LGBT activists swarm ATL rally for Rick Santorum


Ryan Lee, Associate Writer: News & Current Events

A group of conservative activists descended on the Georgia state Capitol Monday evening to rally for Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, but when they arrived on the “Rick Bus” they were greeted by more LGBT protestors than Santorum supporters.

About two dozen members of the group Soulforce, which advocates for spiritual acceptance for LGBT individuals, lined Capitol Avenue to voice disapproval of Santorum and the anti-gay bigwigs leading the Rick Bus tour.

“What we were trying to do is combat religious, spiritual and political oppression of LGBTQ folks through non-violent actions and dialoguing with people,” said J. Mason, co-director of the 2012 Equality Ride, a Soulforce project that takes young activists to religious institutions and schools with anti-LGBT policies. “We wanted to be there to share our viewpoint that LGBTQ folks have a voice and have a right to exist in this country, and our rights are to be protected.”

Atlanta is the first city stop for the 2012 Equality Ride, and Soulforce organizers learned on Sunday that the Rick Bus – which is led by former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, the chief proponent of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment when she was in Congress – would be at the state Capitol Monday. The LGBT activists staged an impromptu protest to greet the conservative calvary, and wound up outnumbering the people who came to rally for Santorum on the eve of Super Tuesday.

However, since the Rick Bus organizers had a permit to demonstrate at the Capitol while Soulforce did not, the LGBT protestors were confined to Capitol Avenue before Capitol security asked them to leave because they were blocking the sidewalk.

“Of course we would have liked to have stayed longer, but I think we were able to let people know that we were there, that we were present, and let people know who we were,” Mason said. “I think we were able to do what we came to do, which was get the word out.”

Once Capitol security asked the LGBT protestors to leave the premises, the Soulforce contingent marched down the street singing “Love, love, love – Christians, this is your chance to love your neighbor as you love yourself, for God loves all.” Their singing riled a Santorum supporter who identified himself to Fenuxe as Les P., causing him to cross the street to confront the gay protestors.

“There’s a difference between love and lust,” Les P. shouted at the Equality Riders as they boarded their bus. Following the rally, Les P. told Fenuxe that he opposed Soulforce “chanting and abusing a Christian hymn.”

“I think we live in a very perverted culture where we don’t know the difference between lust and love,” said Les P., who is voting for Santorum in Tuesday’s primary because of the former senator’s commitment to family values. “We’ve had, my wife and I both, have had the homosexuality issue hit very close to home, so we know firsthand how it’s destructive and unproductive.”

The Rick Bus tour is organized by The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization, and Monday’s rally at the Georgia Capitol was supposed to feature remarks by Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage. However, Gallagher departed from the tour before the Rick Bus pulled into Atlanta and was not present at the rally.

The speakers at the rally, which was attended by only about 20 people, most of whom were elected officials, focused entirely on anti-abortion themes. Afterward, Musgrave was asked about the presence of the LGBT protestors and the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that nullified Proposition 8 in California, but she declined to comment.

“I’m just here to talk about life, thank you,” Musgrave told Fenuxe.

As Musgrave made her way back to the Rick Bus, local gay activist Paul Schappaugh stood across the street and yelled into a megaphone, “Shame on you! Shame on you!”

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  • Duane

    GOTTA LOOOOVE ‘EM…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3ZAKGMODT4SI7XFDRSFUJ3FATE Norman

    silly religious bigots-we all HOPE Santorum wins the nomination-biggest landslide in history when Obama wins!!

  • 8811081

    And the show goes on……………..

    Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Speaker Gingrich during his term, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes. However we say it, Mr. Gingrich is all about the money (ask wife number three). In a recent story, “Gingrich was ask to return the estimated $1.6 million he received for providing strategic advice to Freddie Mac, the quasi-government agency (an agency that has lost millions) that guarantees home mortgages. Gingrich has said he acted as a historian, not a lobbyist”. A “historian”, is that the history of greed? He may just sell you a book on it!

    It will be a dark day for ALL of us if Santorum wins. It is not just a Republican or church thing; Santorum has frequently stated that he does not believe a “right to privacy” exists under the Constitution, even within marriage. He is obsessed with our sex life. Do we not have other things to think about in this country? The Republicans running for President also talk about “their” faith. But if you are not of that faith, you may be a danger to the country. This man will be a danger to all of us. We need to start looking at what is best for the country.

    “Romney and his wife had a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, most of it held in blind trusts. An additional blind trust existed in the name of the Romneys’ children and grandchildren that was valued at between $70 and $100 million as of 2007. The couple’s net worth remained in the same range as of 2011, and was still held in blind trusts. A substantial portion of these assets – between $20.7 million and $101.6 million, as of 2011 – are held in an individual retirement account (IRA). By 2010 and 2011, Romney and his wife were receiving about $21 million a year from investment income.”

    ……………on to Tampa!!

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