No, this isn’t an effort to get men to scrub toilets, women to wash cars or any other such stereotypical complaint about equality in a marriage. It’s about busting up another stereotype – that only heterosexuals can live in a long-term, committed relationship.
“A protest in favor of equal marriage will occur at Cincinnati's City Hall on Saturday, November 15 at 1:30 p.m.,” according to a press release from Xavier University. “Local students, activists and community members lead this event as part of a day of national protests in reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 in California, re-banning equal marriage in that state.”
The surprising communication from a Catholic school with a religious philosophy that lumps same-sex relationships as a sin but it doesn’t include the usual boilerplate message about the mission and focus of the University.
It notes that the local effort “is being organized by Cameron Tolle, a junior at Xavier University and vice president of the Xavier LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, queer/questioning) Alliance in conjunction with students from Miami University, the University of Cincinnati and some community members.”
"Last week, voters in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas allowed hate to infiltrate into our political system and classified the LGBTQ community as second-class citizens," Tolle says. "We cannot sit back and watch this happen. We have to let our communities know that we oppose hatred under the law in all forms. In Ohio, we live in a state that has already declared inequality by banning equal marriage and failing to include crimes against LGBTQ individuals under state hate crime laws. We cannot let this hatred under the law perpetuate any further."
The goal is to “create a national movement and create awareness for the effect that anti-gay legislation has on the local community.” The Cincinnati protest will occur in conjunction with other groups across the U.S. as part of an initiative launched by JoinTheImpact.com.
“JoinTheImpact.com is a national initiative created in reaction to the anger felt by many who believe in equal marriage rights after the passage of California's Proposition 8,” says the press release. “It is a loose coalition of activists and organizations who seek to bring positive change in the fight for equality. The movement, less than a week old, is drawing hundreds of thousands of hits a day to its websites. Almost 40 localities have announced protests in correlation with the initiative. More are expected to join in the coming week.”
Considering what grassroots activists have been able to accomplish in the past few years, this looks like an effort worth watching in the coming months.