August 11, 2010
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
Just eighteen NOM supporters stood to the side of the Capitol steps in the shade until Maggie Gallagher and the NOM staffers decided to bring the rally to them.
You read it right, Maggie is back. No sight of Brian.
“They talk about it being a living and breathing document,” said Tim Armstead, House Minority Leader, who also spoke. “They’re trying to destroy the Constitution that we hold very dear….Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to convince the governor and the legislature to let the people vote on the issue.”
“You can’t have a right that comes from nowhere” said State Senator Mike Hall. “This is not just a bunch of Christians trying to superimpose their views onto you. This is about the public good.”
“West Virginia is very much a live and let live state,” said David Marcum, a resident of Huntington, commenting on NOM’s low rally turnout. “If the issue were coal, or something ….let’s just say that there would be a lot more people here.”
Equality activists are not counter-protesting this event and have instead opted to hold a family gathering two blocks away. Phyllis is there now, taking pictures and gathering stories.
UPDATE BY ADAM (10:03 PST): Some photos in from Phyllis at the pro-equality event:
UPDATE BY ARISHA (10:05 PST): Maggie came to the tour ready to go.
“Biology itself has been overcome by Judge Walker’s fantasy ruling. Are we going to stand by and let one judge from San Francisco radically change our society?” Gallagher challenged the audience.
“It’s a very bad idea to be a Republican for gay marriage,” continued Gallagher after pointing out that Carly Fiorina beat Tom Campbell, a pro-marriage Republican candidate for Senate in California.
“This is a Judge [Walker] that was biased from the very beginning” Gallagher said. “He put 7 million Californians on trial. […] It reads like an activist brief.”
UPDATE BY ADAM (11:37 PST): Via NOM’s blog, here’s Jeremy Dys of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia:
“Is there any democratic process any longer? This ‘judicial fiat’ from California seems to indicate ‘no’… Marriage is a major factor in electing officials. Pro-marriage candidate victories have recently been seen with the elections of Bob [McDonnell] (ed. note- NOM’s post says “Bob Cornell”, I assume they, oops, meant the Governor of Virginia) and Chris Christie. You saw it once again Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
In the first place, to claim McDonnell, Christie and Brown were elected because of their positions on marriage equality is absurd. In the Virginia gubernatorial race alone, a simple YouTube search will tell you that Creigh Deeds says he believes marriage is between a man and a woman and also voted to put the issue to the voters of Virginia. And you’d be hard-pressed to find any serious political observer who believes he, or Christie and Brown, won their races on this issue before issues like jobs, the economy, health care, taxes, personal appeal, poor base turnout, and more.
In the second, on the “democratic process” comment, I am continually bemused that anti-equality figures believe the Framers intended the judicial system to be nothing other than a rubber stamp for whatever “the people” or their elected officials decide- and if they have, you know, a different interpretation, it’s automatically “judicial activism”. Read a history book, people. Or Brian Devine’s post on the history of judicial review. Or watch fellow conservative Ted Olson. Something.
UPDATE BY ADAM (12:21 PST): Phyllis just radioed in with a hand-count of 146 equality supporters at the separate event. Nice.
UPDATE BY ADAM (1:34 PST): A number of videos are uploading now that we’ll be highlighting later on.