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Archive for Sunday, May 2, 2004

Anti-gay marriage rally draws counter-protests

May 2, 2004

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— Thousands of people protested gay marriage at a rally Saturday at the city's baseball stadium, facing hundreds of chanting, shouting counter-protesters.

About 20,000 people attended the "Mayday for Marriage" worship service and rally, organized by conservative Christian churches around the state in support of heterosexual marriage, according to the event's marketing director, John Kelly. Police offered no estimate.

"This is a place where we're taking a stand," said James Dobson, founder of the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, told the crowd. "If this happens, the culture war is over and everything associated with it is lost."

The rally was slated as a worship service including music and a choir.

"We believe marriage was designed for a man and a woman," said Bill Hanford, 46, of Redmond. "We think the biblical concept of marriage is important and people should take a stand on that side of the argument as well as the one that's in the media right now."

Between 2,500 and 3,000 gay-rights protesters waved signs and chanted, "Bigots go home!" and tried to shout down the anti-gay marriage protesters.

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