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KKK To Hold Anti-Gay Rally In Austin


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KKK To Hold Anti-Gay Rally In Austin

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: October 24, 2005 5:00 pm ET

(Austin, Texas) The city of Austin on Monday gave the Ku Klux Klan permission to hold a rally against same-sex marriage on a public square in front of city hall.

The decision was made as early voting began on a proposed amendment to the Texas constitution to ban gay marriage. (story)

The KKK rally will be held November 5 on the south plaza of Austin City Hall.

In seeking permission for the protest, called a "pro-family" rally, the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said: "Our speech will not be inflammatory, but we all know the reputation of the name of the KKK, so we expect anti-Klan demonstrators to be there who may become violent. We certainly don't want any of our people hurt nor any city officials. We just want to come and encourage people to vote for Christian Family Values and against legalized homosexual marriage in the state of Texas."

Voters will go to the polls November 8, three days after the Klan rally, to cast ballots on the gay marriage ban, that would also bar civil unions.

The advance poll, which began today, is for people who will not be available on election day.

Turnout historically is low for amendment elections in Texas. In 2003, just 12 and a-half percent of registered voters cast ballots. This year, though, both supporters and opponents of the marriage amendment predict a high turnout.

Called Proposition Two, the proposed amendment would define marriage as a union solely of a man and a woman. It would prevent gays and lesbians from marrying and and bar the state from offering civil unions.

Last week, 22 elected officials from the Austin area announced their opposition to the measure. (story) Two weeks earlier, a similar group of politicians in Houston also called on voters to reject the amendment. (story)

While supporters of the amendment used churches to promote passage, gay and lesbian rights groups ran television ads using same-sex couples to speak against it. (story)

There are an estimated 43,000 same-sex couples in Texas.

The state already has a law banning same-sex marriage, but supporters of the amendment say that by that putting it in the state constitution judges would be prevented from overturning the law.

Among the supporters are Gov. Rick Perry. In June Perry signed the legislation sending the amendment to voters. Although his signature was not needed Perry said that the symbolism was important. (story)

Following the signing the governor was asked at a press conference how he would tell Texas gay and lesbian war veterans that they cannot come home from the war in Iraq and get married.

"Texans made a decision about marriage and if there's a state that has more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that's a better place for them to live," Perry replied.

The remark prompted a demonstration at the capitol on July 1 by gay former servicemembers. (story)

Beginning next week PBS television stations in Texas will run a four part series on families on the program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

The program conducted a national survey on faith and families and found that just over half the country is part of a "traditional" family. Although 59 percent said that gays should not marry only 10 percent defined moral values in terms of abortion and gay marriage.

©365Gay.com 2005


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