Pro-equality counter-protesters gather on Morgan St., across from an anti-gay National Organization for Marriage rally on the grounds of the North Carolina Capitol. Photo by Jerimee Richir.
RALEIGH, N.C. — LGBT and straight ally protesters outnumbered attendees at an anti-gay rally staged at the North Carolina Capitol by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today.
Reports by The News & Observer and grassroots activists via Twitter placed the number of counter-protesters between 100 and 150. The News & Observer reported only about 25 attendees at NOM’s rally.
Raleigh resident Jerimee Richir updated his Twitter followers throughout the event. He said one white NOM speaker compared himself to Martin Luther King, Jr., and attempted to explain the low turnout.
“White antigay NOM speaker compares himself repeatedly to MLK,” Richir tweeted, “but explains poor turnout as ‘most of *us* have jobs’.”
Twitter user KirilleXXI said one NOM rally attendee was holding a sign that read “Straight Pride.”
The low turnout at today’s NOM rally follows a string of turnout failures by the national anti-gay group. The Georgia Voice reported Saturday that NOM managed only 35 attendees at its rally in Atlanta while nearly 300 pro-gay counter-protesters gathered to greet them.
Update (2:30 p.m., Aug. 11, 2010): NOM Tour Trackers from the Courage Campaign report a hand-counted 61 attendees at the NOM rally and 255 pro-equality counter-protesters. Read more of Courage Campaign’s follow-ups and see their photos.
Be sure to keep an eye on goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com and follow us on twitter @qnotescarolinas for more updates.
(Ed. Note — The original version of this story incorrectly identified Jerimee Richir as working for the North Carolina Democratic Party. He no longer does. We regret the error.)