By ROBERT HOFLER
Saturday night’s rally and march in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles may be the first time ever that protesters of any stripe dressed up as chickens to make promote their cause.
Over 10,000 people marched to decry the recent passage of Prop. 8, which eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California.
So why the yellow-feather costumes?
Because, while the rights of gays were denied in Tuesday’s election, the rights of farm animals were extended under Prop. 2, which mandates kinder, more spacious living conditions for critters.
If the colorful costumes didn’t make the point, the protesters’ placards did:
“What About Gay Chickens?”
“Chickens 1, Gays 0”
Saturday’s protest received widespread coverage. ABC, CNN, Fox, NBC and Telemundo all had their cameras set up at the juncture of Sunset and Santa Monica blvds. and their reports blanketed the late-night news, as well as early Sunday morning programs. It capped a week of smaller marches throughout the city, many of which had been impromptu wildcat protests that snarled local traffic.
Saturday’s Silver Lake protest was without a doubt the largest gathering to protest Prop. 8 to date, as well as the best organized. Well in advance of the 6 p.m. starting hour, dozens of police officers were in place on foot, horse, bicycle and motorcycle. At least four helicopters vied for space overhead, and of course there were the onground TV crews.
One old wino on the street put it most aptly: “I’ve been here since 1971, and I’ve never seen any march this big in Hollywood.”
OK, he got the neighborhood wrong, but at least he was closer to pinpointing the correct locale than most news affiliates, which identified the neighborhood as West Hollywood.
If chickens were the big hit of the protest, Mormons definitely took the biggest hit. The church and its members were reported to have given up to $20 million to help pass Prop. 8. Saturday’s protesters took note with signs that ranged from “Keep Your Church Out of My State” to “Hey, Utah! Would you prefer I marry my 14-year-old cousin?”
But the award for Most Likely T-Shirt Slogan to Endure would have to go to the ubiquitous “When Do We Get to Vote on Your Marriage?”