Thursday, September 01, 2005

Same Sex Marriage Rallies in Madrid

This past weekend, I met Alum for dinner. We have exchanged emails recently, but since he was back in the area of the University, this gave us an opportunity to have a face to face meeting. He is truly a cool young man and it is at his urging that I write this entry. I should have done it some time ago actually, but it is never too late. During the course course of conversation, broiled tilapia and reminescences about our experiences at University, I indicated that I was in Spain during the rallies for and against same sex marriage this summer (the Spanish Parliament passed the law permitted the marriages). This led to his idea that I should write about it on this blog. Alum also made a comment that will be the subject of another blog. Great minds really stimulate and play off of each other. There were two rallies in Madrid in June on the same day, one supporting same sex marriages and the other opposing them. As I googled to find articles to add to this blog about them, I am totally amazed at the volume of articles about the rally opposing same sex marriages and the lack of articles about the much bigger rally to support same sex marriages. Did all of the reporters go only where the Church wanted them to go and report? I took the subway from central Madrid to Plaza de Castilla where the pro-rally was taking place. The crush of folks on the subway was awesome but nothing compared to the jam packed bodies that spilled over in the Plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods blocking road traffic on major arteries and creating a far bigger mass of people than what one would see say in Times Square at New Years' eve. I mean the wall of people made it nearly impossible to move in any direction and estimates of more than a million people festooned in rainbow colored outfits, body paints, and banners understates the enormity of it all. Believe me when I tell you, there were chests and breasts, bikinis and weenies to satisfy anyone's craving and the crush of the mob brought it all up close and personal (whew it is hot in here). I won't go into details about the eye candy, but there was one whom I connected with (and he with me) that I could write poetry about. Anyway, just take my word for it, it was the kind of European experience that I am definitely going back to uh explore.

Contrast that rally with the much smaller anti- same sex rally in the area known as Sol near my hotel. I had to walk through part of this rally when I came back on the subway. I had no problem passing through the crowd. Their estimates of one million are usually downsized by the media to anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000. I think that includes inflatables. Yet, the news coverage and internet sites give this rally almost unlimited coverage and makes it appear that it was the only thing happening in Madrid before the enactment of the same sex law. Now come on people work with me here. If the greatest sentiment was anti same sex marriage, do you think the politicians even Spanish ones would have enacted this law? No, it looks like the people's voice carried the day in the Parliament even though the minority view has monopolized the media reports and created one-sided reporting. Now, that couldn't happen in America, could it? So, as your on-the-spot reporter (though decidedly late), let me report that the supporters of same sex marriage in Spain demonstrated a tremendous show of public support for enactment of legislation crucial to their pursuit of happiness, and that Fratman1906 was on the scene. Shem hotep! (Photos by yours truly).

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