More than 1
million people are expected to turn out for Saturday's
international rally to collectively raise their voices
against discrimination and inequality. JoinTheImpact.com's Amy
Balliett says she created the site and the rally just
over a week ago, and the response has been immense.
Balliett said she was inspired by her friend Willow, who
wrote an e-mail weighing how she could react to the passing
of marriage amendments in California, Florida, and
Arizona as well as a ban on all unmarried people (gay
or straight) from adopting children in Arkansas. She
then launched a blog that put out a call to action for
a national protest on November 15. Following the
launch, her server crashed twice from the immense
amount of traffic. Since then the site has been
working off donated server space.
She said that the
hunger for action is a result of so many people being
outraged at the passage of California's Proposition 8,
which acted as a wake-up call to many.
projections were 250,000 attendees nationwide, she said, but
after two server crashes and ongoing media attention, the
now international rally looks like it will reach well
over 1 million LGBT protesters and allies. Several
local organizations in cities like San Francisco,
Cincinnati, and Boston contacted her to help organize
rallies in their cities.
The future of
California's marriage ban has a special meaning to Balliett
-- she married her wife Jennifer Trejo twice, once at home
in Seattle (a civil ceremony, as Washington State does
not offer gay couples civil unions or marriage rights)
and once in Los Angeles. Although they also plan to
marry in Canada and Connecticut, it's still important to
keep her California marriage legal.
has been taught to think that we have to earn these
rights, and our community has been taught to think that
we're lucky to have the rights that we have," she
said. "Because of that, we become complacent when
legislation like the [Defense of Marriage Act] passes.
But Prop. 8 wasn't [just a DOMA]. Prop. 8 was them saying,
'We gave you the rights for [five] months, and now
we're taking the right away.' " (Michelle Garcia,