Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Protest In Nashville

[Watch video from this story here, at WTVF NewsChannel 5]

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A heated national debate over gay marriage comes to Middle Tennessee.

More than a hundred people gathered in downtown Nashville to protest "Proposition 8." That's a recent measure California voters passed which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The nationwide protest came about when a Seattle woman called for all Americans to show their support for equal civil rights. Two six-year-old boys, Roman and Nearro, are a part of a battle, many adults struggle with.

The fight involves many different faces, but they all believe the right to marry the person you love is a basic human right.

"We feel our sons deserve married parents, and they should be able to have that right and pride," said Desmond Child.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court overturned the state's law banning same-sex marriages. This made it legal, but during the November election, 52 percent of Californians voted to overturn the ruling.

In response, on Saturday in dozens of cities from New York State to California, thousands protested against "Proposition 8." The law bans same sex marriages in California.

"When you start taking rights away from people it diminishes what it means to be an American," said George Oeser, Co-organizer of the Nashville protest.

In Nashville, hundreds of people including men, woman, gay and straight, walked, protested and stood united.

"It's not just gay people in favor of gay rights. It's any human being ought to be in favor of everybody's rights," said Eric Schechter, a supporter of same-sex marriage.

Organizers in Nashville said they didn't imagine so many people would show up, especially with the rain, wind, and cold temperature playing against them.

"This is the first step for us to have the same rights as every other American has. It's pretty impressive," said Oeser.

Saturday may not be the end of the protesting. Organizers are declaring the day of December 5th "No Gays for a Day." It's patterned after a boycott organized by Latino immigrants two years ago. The hope is that gays will stay home from work, school, and do no shopping. It's all to prove how crucial they are to American society.

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