More than 100 pro ‘gay marriage’ protesters have been arrested for taking to the streets and disrupting traffic in San Francisco.
The protesters were angry at the outcome of a court case that attempted to overturn last November’s state-wide vote that protected the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
After hearing that the court had upheld the people’s vote, same-sex marriage campaigners urged fellow protesters to channel their rage.
“This is our chance, right here and right now, in the streets together to make a difference,” said same-sex marriage supporter, Lea Brown, speaking after the arrests.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The arrests went so smoothly they seemed choreographed – which in a way they almost were, considering the police and protest organizers had been talking for days to make sure everything went smoothly and peacefully.”
The Chronicle reports that many of those arrested were released in time to return to an evening protest event outside City Hall.
Chancey Killens, a church minister from Salinas who supports heterosexual marriage, had to be led away by police after he was surrounded by protesters who attempted to drown out his comments.
He was moved up the street where he debated the issue with a small group that had followed him.
“We don’t hate homosexuals, we just disagree with them,” he said after the debate dissipated. He said he came “to celebrate” the court ruling and “to share my free speech.”
But Aleada Minton of San Francisco was one of the loudest trying to drown Killens out with her voice and a harmonica. “I don’t care what their dissenting opinion is,” she said. “I don’t need to hear it.”
Activists have now filed a lawsuit to the Federal Court arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision goes against the US constitution.
Pro-marriage campaigners say the case is based on “highly questionable grounds” as there is no federal right to same-sex marriage under the US constitution.
But the case is backed by two high-powered lawyers, Ted Olson and David Boies. Mr Olson is a Republican and former lawyer for George Bush; Mr Boies is a Democrat and former lawyer for Al Gore.