Protesters against gay marriage rallied on the Capitol steps today, in between overflowing public hearings on a proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Washington.
“We think it’s a wrong decision on the part of our Legislature to change the definition of marriage, and we feel it’s going to have catastrophic effects throughout our culture for generations to come,” said Pastor Randy Leskovar of Calvary Chapel West Seattle. He was one of the rally’s leaders.
About 250 people attended the “Stand Up for Marriage Rally,” according to the Washington State Patrol.
The event was coordinated by a coalition of Washington pastors, and included speeches from lawmakers and religious leaders.
Gov. Chris Gregoire announced her support for same-sex marriage earlier this month, also saying that she would request the measure that would allow gay marriage in Washington.
While the proposal would let religious institutions choose whether or not to perform same-sex marriages, Leskovar said he thinks the religious community would face legal action if it passes.
“We’ve had attorneys look at it and it just looks like there’s a can of worms of lawsuits that are getting ready to come,” Leskovar said.
Speakers at the rally encouraged the crowd to attend the afternoon public hearing in the Senate, to show their opposition to the proposal. A morning hearing took place in the House.
Protesters at the rally held signs that read: “Stand Up for Marriage,” and “One Man + One Woman.”
A group of three held different signs on the Capitol steps, calling for “Equality for All,” to show their support for same-sex marriage.
Counter-protester Caitlin Krenn said she watched the morning hearing with her girlfriend on a television inside the Capitol, and didn’t know the rally was happening beforehand.
“I think in the midst of a really strong presence advocating against the basic rights of people, it’s really important to have a vocal presence, even if it’s just a few people,” she said.
See The Seattle Times story on the 25th vote that is expected to pass the measure, which includes further details on the hearings.