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Groups Plan Counter Protests to NOM and Westboro Church on Same-Sex Sunday

Same-sex marriage is now less than two days away!

Both NOM (the National Organization for Marriage) and Westboro Baptist Church are coming to town on Sunday to protest the happy occasion. We've just gotten word how two civil rights groups, Connecting Rainbows and MENY (Marriage Equality New York), plan to counter them.

Connecting Rainbows, a fluid collective that staged a much noticed protest in the Easter Parade this year, just sent out a press release saying:

"Members of Connecting Rainbows are organizing a counter-demonstration on Sunday to thwart the hate group, National Organization for Marriage. NOM is holding a rally outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office on Sunday, to protest the first day that same-sex couples can legally marry each other in New York state, and Connecting Rainbows will be there to hate-block NOM...NOM is using this historic day as a platform to get their hate message into the media, to raise money to fund their hate group, including going so far as to announce their support for Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a bigot."

Details are here . Some readers have indicated to us that people should ignore NOM, who will be far from any clerk's office, park, or house of worship where an actual wedding will be taking place.

Westboro Baptist Church, however, will be protesting right at several of the city's Marriage Bureaus. Cathy Marino-Thomas, Board President of Marriage Equality New York, had this advice for those trying to thwart Fred Phelps' attempt to rain on their parade:

"If you have a MENY umbrella - bring it with you. We will block them with a wall of umbrellas - turn our backs on them. Ignore them at all costs. The important thing is to make this a wonderful day for our newlyweds!"

Indeed, the simplest form of protest may be just taking in the 823 weddings that could be happening, which would break the Valentine's Day, 2003 record for most weddings performed in New York City in a day.

Still, we're kind of curious what's going to happen if Fred Phelps and Lt. Dan Choi run into each other on the street.

Update: Queer Rising notes they will be protesting Westboro as well. They end saying, "Please note: this is a peaceful protest of their hate. No violence against anyone will be tolerated. Thank you!" (Westboro likes when people hit them so they can sue.)

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher


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