Thursday, March 11, 2004

Common Ground

Notes from my lunchtime trip to the Boston Common (a.k.a. gay marriage ground zero), just 1hr. before the Legislature went into session at 2pm:

I step off the train at Park St. and am faced with a family of 5 covered in yellow stickers saying Support MA & PA. At first I think these are in favor of gay rights—i.e. support the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts...and Pennsylvania (must've missed that ruling?!)—but turns out MA & PA is the "clever" nickname for the homophobic House Bill 3190, a.k.a. the anti-gay "Marriage Affirmation & Protection Amendment."

Being in prim and proper Boston, the pro- and anti- factions keep a respectful distance from each other, setting up camp on opposite sides of the Common.

The lay of the land around the Common is ripe with irony....
Fidelity Building: now owned by FOX 25 News.
Joy St.: currently closed for repairs.

The cast of the upcoming BCA show Hey Honey, Why Don’t We Get Married? Timmy and Teddy’s 20th Anniversary perform the "musical letter to Congress" scene over the din of a church group's recorded salsa music

"You have done a work at / Once so proud so precious so full of / Hope and Glory" "HOMO SEX IS SIN": An inscription on the memorial facing the State House, and the giant sign obscuring the inscription, respectively

The "Reverend Jones" speaking into a news camera about "the debauchery and predatory nature of the homosexuals," all while sporting rainbow glitter in his hair (?); a woman and her boyfriend walk behind him repeatedly while he's being filmed and make thumbs-down signs

"Gay & Lesbian: We're Here To Serve": Sign on a free refreshment booth being manned by members of a local high school's Gay-Straight Alliance

Speaking of GSAs, everywhere there are giggling high schoolers running around with white bedsheets stitched up like angel wings; whenever a group with offensive signs and homophobic chants appears, the high schoolers surround them and spread their "wings" to shield onlookers from the obscenity, while chanting "Equal Rights for All" at the top of their lungs

I'm dressed in khakis and a button-down dress shirt, carrying a black laptop bag; I am completely ignored by the Mass Equality Now flyer distributors and approached repeatedly by defense of marriage/Catholic types; Q.E.D., business casual = homophobe

Sign getting the most attention from newscasters and curious onlookers: "Liberty & Equality for All / Yankees Suck"

JUSTICE CONQUERS ALL: Inscription by Ralph Waldo Emerson on the Shaw Memorial, which faces the State House


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