Four gay rights activists were arrested Friday morning after staging a protest in which they chained themselves to a New York City marriage bureau.
The group, members of the LGBT civil disobedience group Queer Rising, chanted “one struggle, one fight, marriage is a civil right,” as they blocked the entrance to the office after 20 same-sex couples tried to obtain marriage licenses and were rejected.
Alan Bounville, Jake Goodman, Justin Elzie and Gabriel Yuri Bollag were arrested, while more than 50 gay marriage supporters held a rally in the park across the street.
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A spokesperson for Queer Rising, Spring Super, said:
“New York City is home to the Stonewall Riots and in that tradition we are here to say that equality doesn’t arrive through the ballot box. The bankrupt strategy of putting all efforts into electing so-called ‘friendly’ officials has failed. We must shift to building a grassroots, national movement that demands full equality by any means necessary. Today, through our symbolic marriage applications, rally and civil disobedience, that message was quite clear…We want everyone in New York from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to know that LGBT people in their chosen Mecca are not going to let their elected officials to consistently overlook them and forsake their basic rights any longer.”
The protesters were released from custody later in the day, according to a post on the group’s Twitter page.
Earlier today, Goodman posted to Facebook:
“To my Queer Rising family, I am SO incredibly inspired by all that we dared and succeeded to accomplish together, yesterday. Obviously, there is so much work to continue but, for just one minute, I want to bask in my love for you. I am brought to tears thinking about all the passion, commitment, bravery, grace and SOLIDARITY I saw so many people exhibit yesterday.”
More photos from the rally at TalkAboutEquality.org.