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Website Launches Massive International Movement

 Grassroots
Website Launches Massive International Movement

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More than a 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 a week ago, and the response has been immense.

More than a 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 a week ago, and the response has been immense.

Seattle-based Balliett said she was inspired by her friend Willow who wrote an email weighing how she could react to the passing of marriage amendments in California, Florida, and Arizona, as well as an ban on all unmarried people (gay and straight) from adopting children in Arkansas. She then launched a blog, putting 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 California's Proposition 8's passage, which acted as a wake-up call to many.

The early projections were 250,000 attendees nation-wide, she said, but after two server crashes, and ongoing media attention, the now-international rally looks like it will reach well over a 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, 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.

"Our community 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 DOMA. Prop 8 was them saying, 'we gave you the rights for [five] months, and now we're taking the right away."

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