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Flash mob at Tacoma Farmers Market dances for “yes” votes on Ref. 74

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on June 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm with 15 Comments »
June 15, 2012 9:00 am

About 20 same-sex marriage advocates put their message into song and dance Thursday at the Tacoma Farmers Market, where they performed a surprise dance routine to the song “Chapel of Love.”

Their goal was to get “yes” votes in the November election for Referendum 74, which would uphold the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state.

“You approach someone in a different way after you shake your booty and dance like a crazy person,” said Benjii Bittle, the deputy executive director of the Broadway Center, who helped coordinate the flash mob. “The barrier to talking to someone about a political issue is removed.”

Flash mobs are choreographed events, often coordinated through social media, that appear spontaneous to onlooking crowds.

Same-sex marriage opponents submitted enough signatures this month to put the issue to voters in November. If it fails, the measure would overturn the law the Legislature passed this year that legalized same-sex marriage – such weddings are on hold, pending the election results.

The campaign that gathered the signatures – Preserve Marriage Washington – advocates that “voters reject redefining marriage” and contends citizens should have the right to decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal in Washington, according to its website.

Flash mob participants asked onlookers to pledge their support for the referendum, talking to the crowd after the performance.

Clarifying what a “yes” or “no” vote means for the measure was part of that discussion.

“When the voting does come around, I think it’s going to be confusing for most everybody,” said Karla Winship, a bystander who approached one of the participants to make sure that voting yes meant she was supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Some of the lawmakers who helped legalize same-sex marriage for the first time in the state had another first Thursday – by performing in the flash mob.

“Most of us have never done this before,” said state Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, the first openly lesbian lawmaker to serve in the Legislature and one of the flash-mob dancers.

Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, who is running for state Senate – had planned to sing the number for the performance, but after confusion about the microphone setup, they played a recording. Though she expects to provide vocals next time – the group plans to hold other flash mobs at yet-to-be-determined locations throughout the summer.

Bittle said those performances should be bigger, because of the addition of musicians.

“I think over the summer things will really pick up,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the ukuleles … just amp up the volume a little.”

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/06/15/2181756/farmers-market-flash-mob-encourages.html#storylink=cpy

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. summit98446 says:

    Well done!!

  2. tree_guy says:

    Well that performance should probably put a merciful ending to the flash mob phenomenon.

  3. Juneaunative says:

    I have always heard that mobs can be ugly. Guess that theory proves true……

  4. dinseattle says:


  5. tacoman1 says:

    the farmers market has gone out of its way to be non political and open to everyone in the community. while i support the initiative i do not support the tactic of hijacking the event.
    now what a flash mod of anti supporters at the next market?
    if representative darneille wants to promote her running for office put a yard sign up or take out a advertisment.

  6. Was that bad or was that bad?

  7. Thank goodness they can’t have children! The Soylent Green Project may be interested……

  8. Hate to sound like a purist, but “Flash Mob” dancing should entail flashlights, camera flashes,those wavey Halloween stick lights,etc..
    Irving Berlin music is de rigeur. Hope to see more of this world wide phenonama with planned choreography. Keep on dancin’…….

  9. gonesailin06 says:

    I knew Flash Mobs were gay.

  10. RedForeman says:

    Ten people is a mob? Oh well, I guess some of them are fat enough to count as two people.

  11. rawdibob says:

    Hmm, I wonder why “everything but marriage” wasn’t good enough for the Democrats who control the Legislature?

  12. Why do people oppose such a basic human right?
    I am not gay, but would join a flash mob effort to promote equality in marriage opportunity…

  13. alindasue says:

    I hate ballot measures where you have to vote yes to reject the proposed change…

  14. Ortingmom says:

    Tough crowd

  15. KingChuck says:

    I DARE them to come down here to Lewis County.

    They hate EVERYBODY down here who doesn’t have a bible or a gun.


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