UPDATE FROM BENJI, 4/27/2015:
Because I've heard conflicting numbers regarding the folks on both sides of the two rallies in Russellville this weekend, I asked Travis Simpson, a reporter at the Russellville Courier, who was there on the scene on Saturday
He said the crowd supporting marriage equality was the larger of the two, "no contest." Simpson said he estimated there were perhaps 30 rallying against same-sex marriage, but around 200 on the pro-equality side. An earlier version of this post stated that the two sides were roughly of equal number. A good number of the pro-equality protesters were students from Arkansas Tech University
, he added.
A Tea Party
group in the Russellville
area organized a march against same-sex marriage Saturday in Russellville, but found themselves
outnumbered by marchers for equality. Channel 4 reports.
The backing for the anti-gay speaker came from the National Organization for Marriage
, a shadowy group whose financial backing is largely secret but which has been employing anti-gay sentiment as a wedge issue to alienate black and Latino voters from those who support gay rights — i.e., Democrats.
There was a similar rally in Washington, D.C. on Saturday in advance of U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the same-sex marriage cases. A well-known so-called Christian hate group and the likes of Josh Duggar were on hand, along with a heavily Latino crowd bused in from around the country. Organizers claim 10,000 turned out from around the country, a smaller crowd than yesterday's Razorback baseball game.
More coverage of the Russellville rally
Noted: A prayer was offered for the anti-gay marchers by Paul Northcut, whose bigoted past
might strike a chord with blog readers.
COUNTER-PROTEST Some of the marchers who organized to demonstrate against a Tea Party rally in Russellville against marriage equality.