Erie joins national day of protest against Proposition 8

by Michael Mahler

On Saturday, November 15 about 80 people stood at the Erie County Courthouse to protest Proposition 8.

The Erie event was part of a coordinated nationwide protest against the California ballot measure that would remove marriage rights for same-sex couples. Protests took place on the same day in over 300 cities, with an estimated 100,000 people taking part.

Speaking at the rally were Tiffany, a proud lesbian mother who spoke about her eight-month-old son; Doris Cipolla, a retired schoolteacher whose 35-year relationship with Charlene Tanner was not acknowledged to anyone until Charlene passed away; Laurie Finch who spoke about her wife Janice Hanusik; Greg Rabb, openly-gay president of Jamestown NY City Council; Mike and Colleen, a gay man and straight woman who are best friends and roommates; and Linda Henderson, who spoke of some of the harassment and rumor-mongering she and her partner Roxanne experienced after buying the Latonia Theatre in Oil City PA. Emceeing the event was Rev. Steve Aschmann of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie.

WSEE, WJET and WICU all covered the event. Local videographer Jeremy of Misinformed Productions videotaped the whole event. Links to the videos are available at the online version of this article, as are photos of the event, taken by Deb Spilko.

The initial organizers of the event were Rev. Steve Aschmann and myself. Members of the GLBT-Vote list helped to shape the local event through online discussion.

Thanks to Mike, Erin, John, Colleen, Jillian, Misty, Laurie, Janice, Bruce, Tony, Tiffany, Richard, Bill, Mitchell, Jeremy, Tim Dahle, Alina (who is only 13 and made many of the signs at the rally) and Deb.

The nationwide protest was organized in only a week’s time largely via the Internet. In Erie, people were notified of the event through email lists like Erie GLBT, GLBT Voters discussion list, and Womynspace.


Also view photos here.

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Erie PA Prop 8 Protest Rally - Posted Nov 15, 2008


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