Colorful crowd supports same-sex marriage
Dressed in a pink fishnet top, pink high heels, purple glittery lipstick, red plastic devil horns, purple cat-eye sunglasses and a rainbow tutu, 24-year-old drag queen Qween Amor pranced around the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” on March 26.
She carried around a portable amp, danced to popular music and, at one point, grinded on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church.
“Westboro sucks,” she said with a laugh. “I feel like I have to love them … but I don’t agree with anything they’re saying, and I’m going to dance on their altar one day.”
Her method of protest stood out among the typical sign-holders, and it garnered the attention of many.
“I see it in people’s faces, and I see it in their eyes, and I know they get it,” she said. “It’s freedom, it’s liberation, it’s love.”
Amor, along with several thousand other same-sex marriage supporters, gathered outside the Court for California’s Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, respectively.
“I’m here to support marriage equality and for gays to be free,” Amor said.
Most people outside the court were in favor of same-sex marriage, and frequent chants regarding equality erupted throughout the morning.
Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, a legally married couple from California, wore matching black tuxedos with light blue bowties and held matching signs — pink hearts on paint stirrers.
“We are here because we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world,” Gaffney said. “It seems there’s no question where history is going on this issue, and now we just need the justices to decide if they want to stand on the right side of history. These are going to be landmark cases.”
Gaffney was astounded with how supportive people were that morning.
“The wonderful thing is that we have thousands of people in front of the court supporting the freedom to marry and really just a handful of protesters, and I think the reason for that is clear,” Gaffney said.
Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-same-sex marriage religious group from Kansas, was a few hundred feet away from the couple with signs brandishing homophobic epitaphs.
“I didn’t even see them, and today is about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It’s about our love, our dignity and our equality under the laws of this nation,” Lewis said.
Westboro members claimed that God will destroy the country if the court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.
Gaffney disagreed. “We see now that we have marriage equality in nine states plus the District of Columbia. It’s resulted in more love and more marriage, and the sky hasn’t fallen. It doesn’t take anything away from anyone else,” he said. “Our wedding day was the most joyous day of our lives together, but it had absolutely no effect on anyone else.”
With polling data favoring same-sex couples on an upward trajectory, Lewis and Gaffney were optimistic the court would rule in favor of same-sex couples in both cases.
“That’s why you have same-sex couples and their family and friends and supporters here showing up, because they want the freedom to marry for their happily ever after. We want to be able to say, ‘I do,’ just like everyone else,” Gaffney said.