LGBT Protesters Are Silent

Protesters Stage A Sit-In At The Utah Capitol

SLC – Yesterday, 65 gay rights protesters gathered at the Utah State Capitol building to protest threats made by Senate President Michael Waddoups against the LGBT community if they speak up. So in their response, the LGBT activists did just that.. they sit down and shut up.

I feel a little weird covering this protest as I was the organizer, but let’s just struggle through together shall we? The protest started at 4pm in the afternoon, and activists completely filled and blocked the east staircase of the capitol building. But instead of chants, the protesters wore white handkerchiefs around their mouths to symbolically comment on Waddoups’ statement. The sit in lasted an hour and a half, which offered plenty of visibility as lawmakers, their aids and lobbyists had to walk by on their way home for the day.

Things came close to getting ugly though, as one Republican Party member (non-elected official) was overheard joking to a reporter that “the mouth gags must be to keep the cocks out of their mouths.” Several protesters, including myself, spoke to the man but he made some very sugar-coated responses before walking away.

More news coverage:

KSL

Fox 13

City Weekly

ABC4

Picture courtesy of Krista Nicole

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Krista Nicole on February 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I couldn’t believe the gag comment…
    Over all, I thought the protest was very successful!

    Reply

  2. Posted by DeAnna on February 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Awesome! I wish I could have been there. I agree, gag comment totally unnecessary.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Stephany Jensen on February 14, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Hats off to the organizer of the protest ! Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. Through struggles we learn and grow. Numbers matter !!

    Reply

  4. I have written Thomas Wright, chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Party (chair@slcogop.com) demanding the immediate resignation or forced removal of vice-chair Rick Votaw (vicechair@slcogop.com). Prejudice, discrimination, and sexual vulgarity have no place in Utah society. Rick Votaw’s comment clearly demonstrates this this individual is unfit to hold any leadership position.

    I assume you know that the Salt Lake County Republican Central Committee will hold a meeting here in Sandy on Thursday, Feb. 25 (http://slcogop.com/blog/thursday-february-25th-central-committee-meeting). If Votaw has not resigned or been removed by this date, the central committee meeting might be a good opportunity to demand the removal of Votaw and a written, very public apology from the SLCOGOP.

    As I say regularly to my State Senator (who is NOT a slime-sucking bigot), I am keeping my torch oiled and my pitch fork sharpened, allegorically speaking.

    Reply

    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Hey David!

      Great initiative! Just FYI if you aren’t familiar with the situation. Rick Votaw is actually a really strong supporter of our rights. Which stuck out to me because it illustrates the lack of understanding, even among some straight allies. You hear the stories of white allies in the civil-rights movement back in the 60’s-70’s who still used the word nigger, because they didn’t understand the effect of their words. We need to continue working to help people understand what they are saying makes a huge impact, especially if they’re using their words as humor.

      Reply

      • Mr. Votaw says that the incident has been resolved amicably. He was prompt in responding to my email and said that he was in agreement with 90% of my “agenda.” In my reply, I told Mr. Votaw that I have NO “agenda,” just an overwhelming passion for the principles of liberty and equality on which our constitutional republic was founded. That might sound like an “agenda” to some people, but I prefer to think of it as our shared civic duty.

        Anyway. . .

        Please drop by the Utardia blog when you have time (http://utardia.blogspot.com/) and leave a comment about the really interesting, well-written, thoughtful, astounding, highly intelligent stuff you find there (I really, really need more visitors. . . LOL).

        David

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