A protester holds up a placard during a rally on the steps of City Hall in Austin, Texas November 5, 2005. The rally was held to oppose 12 Ku Klux Klan members who were urging people to vote for a ban in gay marriages in the November 8 election. REUTERS/Peter A Silva
Most of the stories I’ve posted here about upcoming hate rallies end up with stories afterward saying only a handful of bed linen-wearing losers show. All bluster, no follow through. Today in Austin, more of the same. (Austin American Statesman):
A showdown over a proposed state constitutional ban of same-sex marriage pitted a small Ku Klux Klan group Saturday against a massive rally by opponents.
Only about a dozen members of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan appeared at Austin City Hall for the group’s “pro-family values” rally. None wore the traditional hoods or robes of the white supremacist group. Some displayed Confederate flag symbols…At issue was Proposition 2, a proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s election ballot stating that marriage in Texas is only between a man and a woman.
“We’re asking Texans to support Proposition 2 because God supports it, not because the KKK supports it,” said Steven Edwards, the grand dragon of the Klan group.
…An estimated 3,000 protesters showed up during the Klan event, said Austin Police Department spokeswoman Toni Chovanetz. Two people were arrested. One was carrying a club and causing a disturbance, and another was arrested on outstanding warrants, Chovanetz said.
Some social conservatives who are actively supporting Proposition 2 made it clear they weren’t associated with the Klan event. [Were there some that didn’t mind? That says a lot.]
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying it “hopes all Texans will understand the significance of an organization with a history of hatred and bigotry supporting a discriminatory amendment.”
It’s too bad — this amendment is probably going to pass with ease anyway, enshrining discrimination into yet another state constitution, despite hard work and a lot of extremely vocal opposition.
Turnout is expected to be low – in 2003, only 12.5% of registered voters cast a ballot on a state amendment. It’s sick that this small sliver of the population of the Lone Star State is going to decide the fate of civil marriage equality for Texas gays and lesbians.