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NYC Gay Activist Group Plans 'Significant Act' of Marriage Equality Civil Disobedience

The newly-formed NYC activist group Queer Rising is planning an action outside the New York City Marriage Bureau office on Friday morning from 8-10am:

Marriagebureau According to the group, the action will include: "A gathering of same-sex marriage equality proponents for a press conference and rally in the park opposite the bureau; The application – and subsequent rejection – of several same-sex couples hoping to obtain a marriage license inside of the bureau; The application – a subsequent approval – of a lesbian and gay man, whom according to New York State law may legally marry each other, for a marriage license; and a significant act of civil disobedience to rival the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s, in which black Americans asserted their rights of equal treatment by society at large."

Here's the Facebook page.

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  1. There is no similarity whatsoever between gays now, and blacks being denied service at Woolworths counters (and hotel rooms, and pools, and otherwise public places) then. Zero. None. Queer Rising would have done better to invoke 'Loving v. Virginia'. I hardly ever hear 'Loving v. Virginia' invoked by so-called gay activists; but the violent images of the (black) Civil Rights movement are grasped like gangbusters. Why?

    Anyway, who is this Queer Rising (besides being culturally ignorant); and what can they offer that other local activist groups currently do not? And how 'diverse' is the group? especially when making a statement invoking blacks, and this being Black History Month in the States.

    Posted by: zeta | Feb 9, 2010 1:56:21 PM


  2. This sounds like a perfectly normal protest, how on earth is it a "'Significant Act' of Marriage Equality Civil Disobedience" ?

    Posted by: Eric26 | Feb 9, 2010 2:09:57 PM


  3. Zeta, that another group forms to join the battle should be encouraging enough on its own. And if they're planning on committing acts of civil disobedience, I say 'go for it!'

    It's much better than the half-assed marches and protests of only a handful of people who see equality as merely a word. I salute those who are passionate and angry about their second-class citizenry.

    Posted by: Shelby | Feb 9, 2010 2:15:30 PM


  4. Eric26, please re-read the story. It says "AND an act of civil disobedience." I suspect they want it to be a surprise, but note that it is separate from the other protest plans.

    Posted by: Shelby | Feb 9, 2010 2:17:16 PM


  5. Ah okay, the "act" is going inside to attempt to apply for marriage licenses apparently.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Feb 9, 2010 2:28:11 PM


  6. Hi, Shelby. All activists are not created equal. My question (again) was: what does Queer Rising offer, that other local activist groups don't? What did Queer Rising find lacking in those other groups?

    Looking at the facebook page, it appears what it found lacking was it's own control in committing random acts of havoc. I mean, come on: party crashing? Even a 'we attempted to set up a meeting with such and such State Senator but were rebuffed so this is what we're going to so' is better than 'hey, let's attention whore!' Attention whoring gets one on the news, maybe; but setting up real contacts with real plans of action... I must be getting old, because THAT sounds more like activism to me than out of the blue gate crashing.

    Also, at the facebook page, there are only EIGHT confirmed participants for a marriage license attempt. This group needs less hyperbole, and more meat.

    Posted by: zeta | Feb 9, 2010 2:51:52 PM


  7. This is NOT a significant act. It's the same act, plus getting arrested, that Marriage Equality New York has done every year for ten years with zero impact.

    Honestly, who gives a fuck if people get arrested during rush hour at the marriage bureau? It's not like they are stopping traffic on the FDR.

    Worse, this is a visibility action to raise the issue of marriage. It applies zero pressure on electeds to do anything differently than they have already done. The clerk at the marriage bureaus is not the culpable party for the denial of marriage benefits.

    In other words, this is an excercise in Queer Rising's self-promotion to make them feel like they are doing something. But it is NOT the kind of direct action that pressures electeds to change the law.

    I'm thrilled that more people are ready to take action to advance LGBT equality, but it would be nice if they had the political sophistication to do things that actually had impact rather than just rehashing hackneyed and unsuccessful gestures from the past.

    Where's the accountability people? Where's the creativity? Think before you act. Act with purpose. Don't engage in merely symbolic acts. Engage in acts of true power and then you will have an impact.

    Posted by: stinky | Feb 9, 2010 3:05:13 PM


  8. So where are the gays who can think creatively? Yes, getting arrested at the marriage bureau is old hat, and never made a splash the other 600 times it's been done.

    Sadly, when the entire Westside of Los Angeles was inadvertently shut down in the aftermath of Prop 8 protests, that did indeed get the attention of Lots of People - and royally pissed off tons of supporters in that very liberal part of town.

    So I'm at a loss. I'm all for civil disobedience that makes a big impression, but something that won't backfire. And frankly, I myself am not willing to get arrested ... so it's hard for me to hope that others won't mind their lives being impacted that way. Still, you'd think queers of all people could come up with something creative and fabulous - and potentially effective!

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 9, 2010 3:32:08 PM


  9. Zeta - since so few people are engaged in CD for queer equality, it is unreasonable to think a new group would automatically be able to shut down FDR - it takes time to build to numbers like that. Join us in person if you want to bring this passion face to face - we'd love to have you in the room - seriously.

    Shelby - the proper event page is at - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=325103414675&ref=ts

    I'm not sure how the other page got started.

    Posted by: Alan Bounville | Feb 9, 2010 4:19:57 PM


  10. If you're pissed off because a protest slowed down traffic, then FUCK OFF. Masters were also inconvenienced when slaves refused to work. Zeta, ever heard of google? please don't ask stupid questions.

    Posted by: Norm D Plume | Feb 9, 2010 4:23:25 PM


  11. Zlick, where are the gays who think creatively? Right there in Queer Rising. They're certaintly not sitting on their asses posting snide comments online. Sorry if our actions do not "entertain" you, but if you're the type of fag who sits on his ass and needs to be "entertained" by political action, you are better off sitting at home with your bitchy comments. There is no spotlight, Mildred, so shut the fuck up or join.

    Posted by: Norm D Plume | Feb 9, 2010 4:26:02 PM


  12. Queer Rising sounds like yet another group of wussy Manhattan "activists" (none of them even from New York City) who find a safe place to protest and pretend to themselves and each other that they're so significant.

    Posted by: JT | Feb 9, 2010 4:39:08 PM


  13. EVERY person or group that decides to do something is a valuable addition. I myself choose different approaches than some others, that doesn't mean one way is better than another.

    Good luck guys and don't let the bastards get you down.

    Btw, Z does make a VERY important PR point. One of the problems that I have with "the movement" is the using of Black history without using the proper examples. Loving Vs is the point to make. It addresses the exact issue. And when you do use Black history as examples, make sure you have some Black people on your planning cmte's so that you don't inadvertently give the haters an excuse to denigrate what you are doing through your own lack of cultural knowledge. Just some advice.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Feb 9, 2010 6:03:02 PM


  14. Derek : I have to disagree. Not every single "activist" group that decides to do something is a valuable addition. Those who invade churches to cause havoc, for example, just set us back. Those who threaten women and children set us back. Those who protest gay bashings that turned out to be frauds set us back, etc.

    Posted by: JT | Feb 9, 2010 8:56:27 PM


  15. And those who do nothing at all (e.g., JT) set us back. Those who protest hate crime laws (e.g., JT) set us back.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 9, 2010 9:12:42 PM


  16. More masturbatory politics.

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Feb 9, 2010 9:52:50 PM


  17. It is a rather petty way of getting your point across, but I suppose it is better than nothing.

    All the gays should marry the lesbians at these protests. Then they should get divorced immediately. It'll really anger the statisticians at the Census Bureau at any rate. Thousands of outliers raising the divorce rate by a couple of percentage points and making American "family values" look even more hypocritical and stupid than usual. If the religious right wants to accuse homosexuals of destroying marriage, then maybe homosexuals should get together and destroy marriage.

    Posted by: John | Feb 10, 2010 3:42:40 AM


  18. I respect people's different opinions, but I have to say that I am surprised so many people have so many disparaging things to say about Queer Rising and its members' intentions, without really knowing the group or the members themselves. Regardless, more important than the group is the action itself.

    I'm going to be there on Friday to show my support of LGBTQ rights. After that, I will judge.

    Posted by: Jake Goodman | Feb 10, 2010 11:12:39 AM


  19. So this group is supposed to be engaged in civil disobedience and other actions that promote LGBT equality, while at the same time with its name, it invites Straight people to call and think of LGBT folk as "queer". Brilliant (not)! Here is a perfect example of the monumental stupidity that permeates the modern Gay Rights movement. I don't know what's "rising" with these activists, but it sure ain't their IQ level. Gay men marrying Lesbians in protest? If they want to make a big deal out of marrying heterosexual-style, they should join an "ex-Gay" ministry.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Feb 10, 2010 12:48:11 PM


  20. Stuff Animal, John was making a comment about how current marriage laws are a farce if it only allows for one man one woman, and a way to show up the farce for what it is. I like it.

    I don't believe a church should be forced to perform a celebration against the church's belief systems.

    I personally believe the word marriage should be stricken, and the term civil union should apply to all unions. No more 'marriage certificates' for anyone. Leave 'marriage' to your religion of choice. Keep the State out of religious matters, and just perform legal unions -- civil unions.

    Grabbinnewscum, it is masturbatory politics. :) I agree with you. Some people are clever with it (the Yippies and the ultimate troll, Pigasus and the rain of money), but most aren't. I agree with Stinky about the lack of accountability and the lack of creativity.

    Thank you for the invite, Alan. I think there are some posts missing today that weren't missing yesterday. I don't live in New York (which is not an excuse), and I'm not gay (which is not an excuse, either). I'm zoo. We have similar issues to your fight, but I understand that they're not your exact issues and that many gays want no connection to zoos because it dilutes the gay message and may actually be detrimental to form such a union.


    Kind of like what happened with black civil rights and gay civil rights. It's easy to spit on what happened now, but the hard choices about 'Image' are being played out even now in the exact same way with different players.

    I wish you all well. But I also wish you all a little more wisdom (and diversity) in what you all are trying to do.

    Posted by: zeta | Feb 10, 2010 6:06:15 PM


  21. also grabbinnewscum, your name makes me chuckle. something about gavin newsome is slimy, nasty and oily. i look at him and feel like i should take a shower, and not in the 'cold shower' sense, either.

    Posted by: zeta | Feb 10, 2010 6:07:32 PM


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