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PICTURE UPDATE




PRAY!!!!!!

8 comments:

eeka said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Molly said...

Note: They're the side with the explicit graphics, not us. Heh.

Richard W. Lewis, Sr. said...

Brian Camenker identifies this group as "Russians". I knew they had to bus 'em in from far and wide just to get a decent sized crowd of nut-jobs all in one place at one time...but, Russia?

Maggie said...

A pagan colleauge and I started praying together in Gardner right before the vote. I think that might be a first!

Trevor Wright said...

A group of BAGLY youth were having 'words' with them and they said they were from Springfield.

Tom said...

Aaron Toleos has them on tape saying "in Russia we kill those people."

PeaceBang said...

Hi Trevor!! I'm the minister you met on Beacon Street after the vote. Just wanted to say "Hi" and "Yay" again -- I did my own photo posting and coverage at www.peacebang.com.

Kiss of peace!

Sandouri Dean Bey said...

I was curious about the “Russians” pictured above, and tried to obtain some information on them, but there’s not much. As it is, aside from the picture and comments here, the only other references to them that I could find were on Amy Contrada’s vile MassResistance and the queer-friendly peacebang. I tried to find out where exactly they were from, but aside from a reference to Springfield, there was no mention of a specific church. There are several fundy churches in the western part of the state (e.g. Westfield, MA) that host Russian-speaking congregations, but there’s not much about them on the web.

I bring this up for two reasons. First off, there’s the plight of Russian’s GLBT community and the violence they’ve suffered at the hands of radical right-wing elements within Russian society. In past years attempts by Moscow’s GLBT community to organize a pride parade have been met with fierce opposition from Russian Christians, Muslims, and Jews who have been all too willing to put aside their differences in order to unite in homophobic fervor.

The ugly and bigoted nature of the signs held by the Russian youth from Springfield last Thursday is completely consistent with the type of homophobia that has been displayed by their compatriots in Russia in recent years. They did not even attempt to hide behind the pretense of protecting democracy (i.e. “Let the People Vote”); the hostility and revulsion they feel towards GLBT people was unabashedly displayed in the content of their placards. This doesn’t necessarily make them more repugnant than the Vote on Marriage contingent; actually, it shows that they are more honest. Theirs is not a “we like gay people, but we just want to protect marriage” kind of protest. They are not ashamed of their hatred of GLBT people. This makes them very dangerous.

Just how dangerous they are can be gleaned from what’s been going on in Sacramento, California, recently. Sacramento is home to an enormous community of immigrants from Russian and other former Soviet Republics. Within this community is a large contingent of Slavic evangelical Christians, who have become extremely vocal in their opposition to Sacramento’s GLBT community, pride events, and measures designed to boost equality for GLBT people. Their tactics are extremely aggressive, bordering on violent. The size of their enclave has allowed them to begin wielding some political influence as well, and they have most definitely had an impact on the legislative process in connection with some key battles, including an effort to ban negative references to sexual orientation in public education. The measure was ultimately vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. An October 2006 LA Times piece on homophobia among Sacramento’s Slavic evangelicals paints a grim picture.

It is important to remembert that in the Culture Wars, our foes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and languages. Those who, by virtue of their experience as outsiders and marginalized minorities (i.e. immigrants), should be our allies, often aren’t. In those instances, it is usually a powerful combination of conservative religion and class conflict that’s to blame.