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In discussions with spokespersons from both groups prior to the event, there was palpable concerns that this simultaneous gathering of opposing sides on a controversial and often explosive issue might turn confrontational, or worse.

Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up

Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up

Sunday afternoon on the steps of the Cullman County Courthouse activists for both traditional man-woman marriage and alternative choice marriage exercised their constitutional rights and civic duties … very passionately and almost completely peacefully.

The organization Alabama for Marriage (Biblical – Natural – Traditional – Moral) had booked permits and permissions from the City of Cullman and Cullman County governments to hold a rally Sunday on the front steps of the Cullman County Courthouse.

The goal was to generate interest and support for their cause. You can see full details at our Events page for this gathering.

In response, local Cullman County supporters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) convened a concurrent public countering rally at the same time and place. You can see full details of their position on our Event page here.

 

Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up

In discussions with spokespersons from both groups prior to the event, there was palpable concerns that this simultaneous gathering of opposing sides on a controversial and often explosive issue might turn confrontational, or worse.

Other than one known seriously ugly incident, attendees from both organizations conducted themselves in exemplary fashion, offering a textbook example of how citizens of all philosophical persuasions can publicly present their points of view without disrespect, chaos or violence.

 

Alabama for Marriage holds as their guiding focus the tenant that marriage should only be between a man and woman. They are fundamentally opposed to marriages proposed or consummated outside this parameter, including gay marriage.

During Sunday’s rally, Alabama for Marriage presented multiple prominent speakers, including Alabama State Senator Paul Bussman.

Speakers all made passionate cases for man-woman marriage with a biblical perspective.

They also ventured off into topics across a broad spectrum including references to Alice Bailey and the Lucis Trust all the way to the challenge of parenting up against the perceived homosexuality incubator known as Nickelodeon Television:

 
Those in attendance already in agreement with Alabama for Marriage’s views and agenda were served a 7 course gourmet meal of supportive philosophy over the almost 2 hours of the event.
 
As a result, anyone in attendance who might have been ‘on the fence’ could have well been strongly influenced in the direction of the group’s philosophical mission.
 

Ann Eubanks
 representing Alabama for Marriage summed it all up in this post-event interview:

 
Without registering for prior permissions and permits from the Cullman City and County governments, the National Organization for Women attendees were relegated to taking up positions only on the sidewalk in front of the Courthouse.

In speaking with several of the groups supporters, they made equally compelling comments in support of gay marriage, personal freedom for relationship choice and the large conceptual and practical considerations that run counter to the Alabama for Marriage view … albeit without a central stage and electric microphones.

For what the NOW advocates lacked in stage platform and electronic equipment, they made up for it with a large member turnout, a preponderance of provocative signage and a consistent, countering Voice.

Zena Sanders, a lifelong Cullman County resident who attended the event as an independent citizen with no direct affiliation to either group, offered perhaps the day’s most concise and poignant point of view on ‘alternative’ marriages:

 

Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up – Poorly

Only one less-than-exemplary incident is known to have occurred during the lengthy event.

A Cullman County resident and supporter of the NOW position, who attended with her husband and four young children, was verbally roughed up by a supporter of the Alabama for Marriage position.

The target of the offending incident, Elizabeth McDowell explain the fracas this way:

The day had been a peaceful one as we continued our counter demonstration. It wasn’t until the very end when some people who hadn’t seen us became very displeased.

One gentleman in particular, mid 60’s to early 70’s, well dressed in a suit, came up to me and started yelling for me to shut up and waving his hands in my face.

“You don’t know anything, you need to shut your mouth.”

My response was simple: “Freedom of speech”

His friends joined around him. Then an onslaught of people came to tell us to hit our knees and read our bibles. No one in our group confronted nor displayed malice towards their people.

It wasn’t shocking that this happened, but disappointing that a grown man could not handle the message of equal rights being spoken without becoming enraged and harassing a woman carrying a nursing infant.

The people we stood beside all afternoon were happy, kind, loving people. They stood steadfast only wanting equal rights for their fellow men and women.”

Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up

The counter position also had their share of prominent people at the event.

Samantha Douhit and Tana Rainwater, the first gay couple to get married in Cullman County, attended the event to lend their support. You may recall their controversial union finally occurred after spending all day at the courthouse on February 9 (where they originally were denied their marriage license). They were front and center representing the NOW viewpoint:

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Cullman Straight and Alternative Marriage Activists Hook Up

Staff Writers

The staff writers at Cullman Today are a collaborative group of citizen reporters sharing the writing of stories based upon their personal interests and work schedules.

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