Free-lance journalist Rex Wockner reports that about 15,000 antigay Californians attended an anti-marriage rally in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium Nov. 1. Rally officials falsely claimed attendance of 33,000.

James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council headlined the event. At least one Exodus ex-gay activist, Yvette Cantu Schneider, spoke against the rights of gay couples. Good As You has audio clips of Dobson, Perkins, Schneider, and others talking in patronizing and pitying tones about homosexuals and trivializing the subject of sexual orientation.

Dobson blames the love of gay couples for “the destruction of Western civilization.”

According to Wockner:

The crowd prayed, sang, spoke in tongues, prostrated themselves, sobbed (for California, for marriage, for the homosexuals) and, on numerous occasions, whipped themselves into a true frenzy.

Lots of words came into my head during my hours there: Cultlike. Brainwashing. Frenzied. Frightening. Depressing. But, interestingly, there wasn’t really any hate on display. They seemed to just want to “save” marriage. And, as for the homosexuals, they love us, they pray for us, they want us to be set free from sin and demons.
Wockner took numerous pictures which depict a crowd abandoning fact and reason in favor of self-flattering religious prejudice and false piety.
Wockner asks:
I really wonder what they think we gays are going to do to marriage. Nothing worse than usual has happened to marriage in the years Massachusetts has had same-sex marriage, and nothing worse than usual has happened to marriage in California in the 4 1/2 months we’ve had it here. They don’t ever actually say what they think will befall marriage as a result of same-sex couples marrying.
Praying for marriage, for the homosexuals, for California.

Instead of explaining what it is that gays are going to do that will harm marriage, they talk about schools indoctrinating children and about churches losing their freedom-of-religion rights. Neither of these fears is reality-based, according to the state superintendent of public instruction, constitutional-law experts, and, well, according to just about everyone except the folks pushing Prop 8, which, if voters pass it Nov. 4, will amend California’s constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage, negating the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

According to Right Wing Watch, the San Diego event was organized by extremist Lou Engle:

Engle is an unabashed “dominionist” — someone who thinks the church, under the leadership of modern-day apostles like him, should rule over government and other institutions of society. He thinks of himself as a John the Baptist who badgers Christian teens to adopt a radical lifestyle of fasting and prayer that will bring God’ intercession against gays, liberal judges, and the like. And his style — screaming at the top of his lungs and rapidly rocking back and forth — is a sharp contrast with Dobson’ polished media-star demeanor.

A new report by People For the American Way Foundation documents some of his other charms, which include:

  • praying for God to “terrorize” judges until they fall like stars from the sky
  • believing that the appearance of the goddess Minerva on California’ state seal is a sign of demonic domination over the state by the “Jezebel spirit”
  • suggesting that marriage equality is Satanic and legal abortion spells America’ doom

In contrast to the demon- and doom-obsessed hopelessness of Focus on the Family and its co-conspirators, a Nov. 1 interfaith service and press conference on behalf of the rights of gay couples and religious freedom was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego. The service spotlighted clergy who uphold the values of critical thinking, compassion, justice, and the belief that all people are created equal. Blogger Mike Tidmus wrote about and photographed that service.