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Thuggery at anti-gay rally in Massachusetts as marriage equality supporter is attacked

Isn’t this bunch full of the holiday spirit? In Worcester, Massachusetts, a group demonstrating in favor of “letting the people decide” about marriage got out of control; the head of bible beating Catholic Citizenship is involved — and it’s a “he said/she said” account of the events. (Worcester Telegram and Gazette):

Tempers boiled over at an anti-gay marriage rally yesterday when the executive director of the Boston-based Catholic Citizenship emerged from behind a lectern outside City Hall, rushed toward a female counter-demonstrator, and pushed her to the ground.

Sarah Loy, 27, of Worcester was holding a sign in defense of same-sex marriage amid a sea of green “Let the People Vote” signs when Larry Cirignano of Canton, who heads the Catholic Citizenship group, ran into the crowd, grabbed her by both shoulders and told her, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.” Mr. Cirignano then pushed her to the ground, her head slamming against the concrete sidewalk.

“It was definitely assault and battery,” said Ronal C. Madnick, director of the Worcester County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Police interviewed Mr. Madnick and several others moments after the incident.

Of course now the denials are coming fast and furious from Cirignano’s camp, including charges that Loy was either 1) an actress or 2) fell on her own to create a scene.(Boston Globe):

In a telephone interview last night, Cirignano acknowledged guiding the woman away from the event with his arm on her back, but said he had a portfolio in his left hand and did not knock her down. He said he did not see her fall. “I promise you, I did not throw her to the ground.”

Pie and Coffee reports that Cirignano  was interviewed after the incident by Kevin Ksen at Indymedia to get his side of the story and Cirignano bleated out this amazing quote.

“That lady came up to the podium and I escorted her back into the audience.” Given what had transpired, I followed-up to make sure I heard correctly, “Escorted?”, “Yes, escorted”, he replied. Asked if he felt he assaulted her he shot back without hesitation, “Hell, no!” adding, “She’s an actress, she’s a professional actress.”

This is the same line of spin coming from anti-equality supporters.

Marry in Massachusetts has links to local blogger coverage of this event, including Know Thy Neighbor, which has photos.

Blender Jerry Maneker blogged about it as well.

Physical assaults are a natural outgrowth from verbal assaults that have been the hallmark of many professing “Christians.” This incident is a microcosm of the damage that homophobic people do to LGBT people every day; deserves to be prosecuted, so that the truth comes out, sees the light of day, and that as many people as possible see the damage that hate-filled people, many of whom claim to be Christians and represent the Prince of Peace, do to others. The news media must be apprised of this incident; this incident must be given as wide exposure as possible, so that decent, sensitive people can express their revulsion so that, hopefully, the expression of hatred will crawl back under the rock where it belongs, and people will finally come to see that our LGBT sisters and brothers are deserving of every bit of dignity and civil and sacramental rights that is afforded every other citizen in this country.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding