Marriage equality supporters in Columbus, Ohio, gathered over the weekend to protest a billboard bearing pictures of wedding rings and the message “Holy Matrimony is one man and one woman.”
The demonstration went off peacefully Sunday, according to a CNN iReport, a news story submitted by a CNN viewers.
Tom Morgan, cofounder of GetEqual Ohio, organized the action via Facebook. A friend had alerted him to the billboard, which went up Thursday. “This is not OK,” Morgan told CNN. “Columbus is a gay-friendly town; we are of the attitude that this kind of discrimination is disgusting.”
The protest was generally well-received, Morgan said. “The majority of passersby and those in autos were positive,” he said. “We did have one auto passenger yell, ‘It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!’”
The demonstrators included Stephen Snyder-Hill, an out soldier who submitted a video question from his post in Iraq that drew boos from the audience at a 2011 Republican presidential debate, and his husband, Joshua Snyder-Hill. Stephen Snyder-Hill’s memoir, Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement, has just been published.
CNN contacted American Outdoor Advertising, which owns the billboard, but a spokesman there would not say if the message was put up for a client or for the company itself.
Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage is being challenged in several lawsuits. A federal judge ruled in April that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. That ruling is on hold while it is being appealed, except for the four couples who brought the suit; the judge ruled that the state had to recognize their marriages immediately. In another case, a judge ruled last December that the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages when listing a surviving spouse on a death certificate. In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard an appeal of those rulings. Yet another suit was filed in April, seeking equal access to marriage within Ohio. No ruling has come in that case yet.
Below, watch a report on the protest from Columbus’s NBC affiliate.