Prop 2 Opponents 'In This Together'
Thousands of gays and lesbians and their supporters across the country - including more than 100 in downtown Tampa - rallied at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to protest bans on marriage and adoption approved by voters in four states. In Florida, 62 percent of voters on Nov. 4 approved Amendment 2, an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman and bans same-sex marriages. The measure needed 60 percent to pass. Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena told the crowd assembled at Joe Cillura Courthouse Square that "the tide is turning to say 'we're all in this together.'" She added: "I think it's time for the county to revisit the human rights ordinance." Attempts to add sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination ordinance have been made at least a couple of times since the county commission removed sexual orientation from the law in 2000.Nationally, gay marriage bans were approved by voters in California and Arizona; in Arkansas, voters approved a measure to prevent same-sex couples from adopting. In rallies across the nation, where gay rights supporters waving rainbow colors marched, chanted and danced, many cast it as a civil rights issue. Protests after the vote on Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, have sometimes been angry and even violent, and demonstrators have targeted faiths that supported the ban, including the Mormon church. Representatives of Join the Impact, however, which organized Saturday's demonstrations, asked supporters to be respectful and refrain from attacking other groups during the rallies. Seattle blogger Amy Balliett said supporters in 300 cities in the United States and other countries were holding marches, and she estimated 1 million people would participate. Massachusetts and Connecticut, which began same-sex weddings this past week, are the only two states that allow gay marriage. All 30 states that have voted on gay marriage have enacted bans. A staff and wire report