UPDATE 12:35 PM: The protesters moved from outside JWW to Brown street by the Wriston entrance and loaded back into their vans and shipped off, to hundreds of students chanting “God loves gays!” There have been some reports that the group is heading towards Hope High School. There were many police officers on the scene as well as a few news outlets. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any tips, photos, or videos.
See Thursday’s Herald for full coverage.
UPDATE 11:56 AM: A much larger group has now gathered around the protesters, with students chanting for marriage equality, holding signs and waving rainbow flags. The traditional marriage protesters have continued undeterred. Police are now taking a more active role in controlling pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Waterman.
Protesters opposing gay marriage have set up camp at the intersection of Brown and Waterman. A crowd of between 10-15 men are holding signs that read “God’s marriage = 1 man & 1 woman,” handing out pamphlets entitled “10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed,” and playing American war songs on bagpipes.
The group represents The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, a national organization with about 5,000 members in Rhode Island. John Ritchie, director of student activities for the organization, told BlogDailyHerald their stop at Brown is part of a tour of demonstrations they’re doing around Rhode Island because the state is discussing the possibility of allowing gay marriage. While Brown students have been mostly incensed at their presence, Ritchie said they have received a more positive reaction at other locations. They chose to play bagpipes because they attract attention, Ritchie said, while their red sashes signify courage and their lion badges symbolize Jesus. Occasionally they break into chants about traditional marriage.
Ritchie said the protesters often are assaulted, which probably explains the heavy police presence in the intersection. So far, Brown students have limited their response to laughter, snide glares, refusals to take pamphlets, and angry verbal exchanges with the group’s representatives.
Go see for yourself what’s going on, and be sure to get a pamphlet, so you can order your free copy of “the 212-page book Defending a Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement.”
Or just ignore them like everyone else is.
Photo Credits: Anne Simons (’11), Charlie Greene (’13), Matt Klimerman (’13)