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cboy4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 06:00 AM
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Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists

Published: December 9, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO Theyre calling it Stonewall 2.0.

Outraged by California voters ban on same-sex marriage, a new wave of advocates, shaken out of a generational apathy, have pushed to the forefront of the gay rights movement, using freshly minted grass-roots groups and embracing not only new technologies but also old-school methods like sit-ins and sickouts.

Matt Palazzolo, 23, a self-described video artist-actor turned gay activist, founded one group, Equal Roots Coalition, with a group of friends about 10 days ago. Id been focused on other things in my life, Mr. Palazzolo said. Then Nov. 4 happened, and it woke me up.

Often young and politically inexperienced, the new campaigners include an unlikely set of leaders, among them a San Francisco chess teacher, a search-engine marketer from Seattle and a former contestant on American Gladiators, who jokingly suggested that he had become involved in the movement as a way of making up for his poor performance on the show.

Were a gay couple in West Hollywood, neither of us involved in activism, but we just wanted to help, said Sean Hetherington, 30, a stand-up comic who was the first openly gay contestant ever to do battle, however briefly, in the Gladiator Arena. And we were amazed at what happened.

Mr. Hetherington and his companion were among several people surprised by the strength of positive reaction after starting Web sites geared toward a demonstration planned for Wednesday, Day Without a Gay. Its organizers are asking gay rights supporters to avoid going to work by calling in gay and volunteering in the movement instead.

Many grass-roots leaders say the emergence of new faces, and acceptance of tactics that are more confrontational, amount to an implicit rejection of the measured approach of established gay rights groups, a course that, some gay men and lesbians maintain, allowed passage of the ban, Proposition 8.

I think we are demanding as a community that we democratize our processes and ensure we all have a voice, said Molly McKay, media director of the volunteer group Marriage Equality USA. Because we are not a campaign. We are a movement.

Proposition 8s foes have continued to rally since its passage, as at this protest in Sacramento.

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cboy4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 06:08 AM
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1. Thank God for the younger generations.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 08:01 PM
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2. After participating in a local No on 8 protest...

it was encouraging to see a lot of young, charged up college students using the same chants that were popular for previous generations.
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