Charlie Crist | Florida | Gay Marriage | News | Tampa

Protestors Target Florida Governor Crist's 'Traditional' Wedding


Florida Governor Charlie Crist married Carole Rome last night in St. Petersburg and protestors from Impact Florida stood across the street as guests, which included TV personality Geraldo Rivera, filed into the wedding. By all reports, the protest was peaceful:

AFP: "Around 250 demonstrators gathered outside downtown St. Petersburg's red-brick First United Methodist Church on Friday where Crist, 52, and Carole Rome, 39, were married. It was the second marriage for both. Some held up signs of protest while others wore pink T-shirts with black decals on the front and back that read 'Congratulations Governor Crist. When can I get married?' The demonstration was organized by a group called Impact Florida, which opposes Amendment 2, a ban on same-sex marriage that was added to the state's constitution in the November election."

I've posted three separate videos by 10Connects in Tampa, AFTER THE JUMP...

Florida Gov. Crist: Gays Have the Right to Protest My Wedding [tr]
Gay Group to Crash Florida Governor Charlie Crist's Wedding [tr]
Charlie Crist to Have Fabulous Gay Marriage [tr]
Florida Governor Charlie Crist Says He Supports Gay Marriage Ban [tr]
Fla GOP Gov. Candidate Charlie Crist: I Never Had Sex with a Man [tr]
Opponent Outs Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Crist [tr]

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  1. Only 250 people showed up, and some of those are not Gay. One has to ask if this Civil Right is really a big deal for Gay Americans. With such low turn out I think very few really care about Civil Rights.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Dec 13, 2008 4:49:18 PM

  2. I care a lot about civil rights, and I do not support this protest. I totally endorse the "No More Mr. Gay" approach, but I still think this was way tacky.

    And what's worse, it was off-message. Personal attacks like this one distract from the goal of legal equality and make it seem as if we're policing people's sex lives.

    It's really none of our business whether Crist is closeted or not, and, while following the Republican party line (like a great many other officials at whose family events nobody thinks to protest), he isn't in himself a particularly notable anti-marriage figure.

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Dec 13, 2008 5:05:34 PM

  3. Crist's hypocrisy in vocally endorsing Florida's anti-gay marriage amendment and following it shortly thereafter by a marriage of his own, particularly because he is a closeted gay man, is something that should absolutely be protested.

    Shame on him.

    Posted by: wrong | Dec 13, 2008 5:11:05 PM

  4. "Policing people's sex lives", how interesting that you should state it that way when in fact Crist and others on the Right are doing just that when they deny Civil Marriage equality. They're stating that the denial of Civil Marriage Equality is based on Gay American's Sex lives, i.e the inability to make babies. You do know how babies are made don't you? Crist and the Right amend the state constitution to deny Civil Rights and you're worried about not offending some one? Amazing.

    Posted by: Get a Clue | Dec 13, 2008 5:23:19 PM

  5. [As most people could probably guess, my quote above was meant to be the slogan "No More Mr. NICE Gay", not "No More Mr. Gay".]

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Dec 13, 2008 5:32:45 PM

  6. It's perfectly possible to protest forcefully while continuing to take the high road in terms of personal attacks.

    It's also more effective.

    Posted by: Distingué Traces | Dec 13, 2008 5:34:50 PM

  7. It amazes me that Crist seems soo above it all. How sad that his wedding is now mixed with civil protest stemming from the bigotry he pedaled. How embarrassing for them both, especially in the years and months ahead.

    I would never want to get married with people protesting it because of unnecessary hate that I espouse. Bad Karma.

    Posted by: Gay Power Living | Dec 13, 2008 5:57:08 PM

  8. You can take your ""Bad Karma" and shove it up your fat Republican ass. FUCK OFF KAPO!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 13, 2008 6:48:24 PM

  9. "And what's worse, it was off-message. Personal attacks like this one distract from the goal of legal equality and make it seem as if we're policing people's sex lives."

    Huh? Whether the protest was a good idea or not is debatable, but it wasn't "off-message." Crist supported Amendment 2 and, as governor of the state, he certainly bears some responsibility for its passage. The message of the protesters (articulately explained in the 1st video) was, "We want the same right to marry as our governor has, the same governor who is against our equality." There's nothing distracting about that, and it has nothing to do with (or shouldn't) his sex life or speculation that he's closeted. (That IS a distraction.) As the leading public figure of a state that discriminates against gay people, he should be held accountable, and from what I saw the protest looked peaceful and respectful, not a personal attack.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 13, 2008 7:47:56 PM

  10. I believe it was mainly fear that caused people not to show up to demonstrate at this first true impACT -

    agree or disagree - I for one use to be fearful - I am so over it - the fear that is - what I'm not over and never will be is my/our civil rights. Come Out/Show Up - go ahead - take my/our hands and walk with us to the FOTB (front of the bus) - Cate Colgan

    Posted by: Cate Colgan | Dec 13, 2008 8:27:18 PM

  11. 250 in St. Petersburg, Fl. is a very decent turnout, if you ask me -- in light of all the protests (few of us have the time to be "full-time protestors"), the holidays, the weather. It was a pointed and newsworthy protest. Good job, folks. Let's keep it up.

    Posted by: Keep up the pressure | Dec 13, 2008 9:11:47 PM

  12. What makes Crist and his hitch even more galling is that they're both divorced. "Hypocrisy" seems like too nice a word for him.

    Posted by: David R. | Dec 13, 2008 9:30:36 PM

  13. I'm all for protesting, but this one really is sort of silly.

    Posted by: Rick in Ohio | Dec 13, 2008 10:26:31 PM

  14. It really is an ineffectual protest. Crist is a rather popular governor, and protesting his wedding will actually harm the endeavor to shift public opinion towards our side, particularly with heterosexuals.

    The protest came off as militant.

    Posted by: Lucrece | Dec 13, 2008 10:31:31 PM

  15. Oh boo fucking hoo.

    This is war.

    Charlie's beard, I mean bride, was lovely.

    Posted by: Allan | Dec 13, 2008 11:59:37 PM

  16. A war you will lose, if you like to frame it that way.

    Posted by: Lucrece | Dec 14, 2008 1:17:19 AM

  17. YOU'RE the loser, KAPO!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 14, 2008 9:55:48 AM

  18. It is galling for Crist to pubically back a hate amendment while planning his own wedding. That was the message, fine for him but what about us? He brought it upon himself.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Dec 14, 2008 10:54:21 AM

  19. i think we should demonstrate at EVERY straight wedding until we have the same rights as they do. i wouldn't even mind stepping up the 'loudness' of these protests. we need more ACT-UP style demonstrations NOW.

    Posted by: casey | Dec 14, 2008 11:03:38 AM

  20. I am wondering if "Impact" has amy long term plan? They seem to be everywhere all at once.

    While I admire the grassroots efforts and think our "established LGBT leadership" are a bunch of boring Trogs, I think that Impact seem not to understand that too many protests all over the idealogical map just tend to end up in media burnout. Look at PETA. Their protests are now just good for a laugh at the end of the news or as a punchline on late night and FOX.

    Maybe our current "leadership" sucks but Impact aint it either. This protest was sorta weird and a bit tacky. In my opinion.

    Just like the "Day Without A Gay" I think it's great that average people are starting groups, but, we are going to have to come up with a national and local plan of attack. How? I don't know. Hopefully our movements Bayard Rustin/MLK/Ghandi etc will rise up soon.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Dec 14, 2008 11:05:48 AM

  21. to Lecrece: we NEED to be MILITANT now. the days of playing nice are over. the people on the other side are doing EVERYTHING they can to make sure we'll never share their right to marry, so we need to do EVERYTHING we can to stop them. if that means being militant, we need to be militant++ then. this is not the time to roll over and take it with a smile.

    Posted by: casey | Dec 14, 2008 11:06:59 AM

  22. I think the protestors should be congratulated for holding a peaceful rally in a state that is more homophobic than CA or NY.

    Who cares what the few naysayers here might think. Do you find them protesting. They can step to the side and be ignored.

    Not once did any of them say that Crist is closeted even though he is.

    And yeah, what about Crist marrying AGAIN? Actually his beard was married before too. Definitely HYPOCRISY at its worst.

    I'm surprised Tom Cruise, Calvin Klein and Barry Diller didn't show up. They all have the same kind of "marriage".

    Posted by: FunMe | Dec 14, 2008 11:10:20 AM

  23. My spouse and I are one of the approximately 18,000 couples who were legally married in CA, before Prop. 8 passed. We moved to California from North Florida two years ago, specifically to be able to live openly and honestly as a gay couple--without facing the overt hostility & discrimination we had faced in Jacksonville for ten years. So the passage of Prop. 8 in CA and Amendment 2 in FL is something we simply won't just ignore...we have been involved in numerous protests, letter-writing campaigns, and marriage-equality political movements since this occurred. I believe whole-heartedly that these protesters at Crist's wedding were right in doing so, and I applaud their efforts.
    P.S.-I find the fact that Charlie Crist backed Amendment 2 and recently got "married" even more offensive, because one of my best friends in Jacksonville met Crist at a party several years ago and told me the Florida Gov. is in fact gay...what a hypocrite Crist is!!!

    Posted by: Frederick Carter | Dec 14, 2008 11:58:05 AM

  24. Best of luck to the Governor, I'll take him at his word he is marrying who he wants. The problem is that I can't marry who I want.

    As far as I'm concerned any form of peaceful demonstration is OK.

    What we need right now is another Harvey Milk to lead us out of the wilderness. I just saw the Milk movie this weekend and was amazed at the parallels between what happened with the Brigs initiative campaign and Prop 8. Sean Penn lambastes the gay establishment for coming out with ads that don't even mention "gay" - same thing unfortunately happened with Prop 8.

    What Milk said still rings true, we absolutely have to be visible and the most powerful thing we all can do is come out of the closet. When people realize we are their friends, neighbours, co-workers, they won't vote against us. If we remain invisible they will continue to be tricked by the wingnuts.

    And one more thing while I'm on my therapeutic rant here... what's with all these stories in the press about the poor "victims" who have been "targeted" by the gay community because they donated $$$ to Proposition 8?

    Excuse the f#*K out of me but:

    1. No one put a gun to their heads to donate
    2. They knew what they were doing
    3. They were spending $$$ to take away MY RIGHTS

    This whole justification of bigotry by wrapping oneself in the freedom of speech/religion canard is a bunch of crap. If they had done the same thing to take away rights from blacks/women/jews/etc. they would have been run out of town on a rail. This is gay bashing, pure and simple and the fact that these "victim" stories are still being posted in the press is shameful.

    I'm a gay man and I'm simply done, stick a fork in me. I hope all of you are done also! Let's ring in the new year with visibility, activism and hope! Never give up, never surrender.... ;-)

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 14, 2008 12:07:30 PM

  25. Hey look, gays can get married in Florida!

    Posted by: So Left I'm Right | Dec 14, 2008 2:13:55 PM

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