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Photos and more from NOM’s failure rally and The Big Commit event in DC

NOTE FROM PAM: More photos and video will be added to this diary as they come in…BTW, guess who didn’t show up to her own Big Bus Tour finale

[O]ne person was noticeably missing: Maggie Gallagher. Even though NOM’s website lists its chairman, Gallagher, as one of the speakers of the event, she was nowhere to be found on Sunday.

When asked by Metro Weekly about Gallagher’s absence, Brian Brown, president of NOM, said Gallagher was initially listed as one of the speakers, but there was a conflict in her schedule. “She’s on vacation,” Brown said, adding that he did not know where Gallagher was taking her vacation.

Hundreds of LGBT people and straight allies met at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC today to counter NOM's message of hatred and bigotry with one of love and equality at the Big Commit.  Many local and national organizations – including GetEQUAL, Full Equality Now, the Courage Campaign, Freedom to Marry, and so many others – joined forces to "exchange vows with equality" – to promise to continue fighting for full federal equality for all people.  Speakers included Will Phillips, the child who became nationally famous after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance in class because not all people are treated equally; Karen Williams, the first openly gay female African-American comedian; and DC Councilmember David Catania, who was instrumental in passing DC's marriage equality legislation.

There were two actions today – the Big Commit, and a Die-In organized by Alan Bounville and other members of Queer Rising, which went to the Capitol Building to directly protest NOM's homophobia, and then to the White House to demonstrate against the horrors of hate crimes and the hate-filled words that lead to them.  Both actions were peaceful and powerful.  Despite using different tactics, we all spoke loudly and clearly in support of equality; we all won today.

Below are pictures from the Big Commit.  If you are a member of one of the organizations that helped organize the Big Commit, please feel free to use any of these photos as you see fit.  Apologies that the photos are in reverse chronological order: you can view all of the photos here.

Courtesy of MetroWeekly, video of the infamous carpetbagging hate monger “Bishop” Harry Jackson and the Arkansas elementary school student and marriage equality activist Will Phillips.

Let’s get Jackson over with, who spoke at the NOM rally and again tried to foment racial division to say that the people in favor of marriage equality are all “rich, gay, white bullies”. Gee, then who were all those black same-sex couples who strode up to marry once it was legal in DC, Harry?

Bishop Harry Jackson, the leader of the Maryland-based Hope Christian Church who has campaigned for a referendum on the D.C. marriage equality law, speaks at the final rally of the National Organization for Marriage’s “Summer for Marriage Tour” at the U.S. Capitol Building, Sunday, Aug. 15.

In addition to telling the small crowd of anti-marriage rally attendees “the fact that Same-sex marriage advocates have attempted to steal the right of the people to vote in the name of civil rights, is stealing others’ civil rights,” Jackson waved a copy of “Heather Has Two Mommies,” vowing that the book and other LGBT affirming books would be removed from libraries.

Now Will Phillips:

Arkansas elementary school student Will Phillips, who made headlines in 2009 when he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in class because the nation doesn’t recognize LGBT people as equal, speaks to the Sunday, Aug. 15, “The Big Commit” rally for marriage equality in D.C.