Gays Against Guns
A new LGBT group is standing up to America's gun control problem.
Richard Salatiello and Joshiku
Founded by Kevin Hertzog, Brian Worth and John Grauwiler, Gays Against Guns was a direct response to the Orlando shootings of June 12. Their first meeting was on June 16 and so far they have had three meetings, and marched in the New York City Pride Parade where the group was a strong presence.
The group is estimated to number around 300, and is growing. Out of that total number, about a quarter seem to be identifiably lesbian and queer women, says member Catherine Marino-Thomas, and an acting media representative for Gays Against Guns.
The Gays Against Guns Pride marching group held two banners, each of which were wide enough to stretch across Fifth Avenue. One said "Gays Against Guns," the other "Republican Hate Kills."
"We had 49 human beings dressed all in white, veiled, with a placard hanging around their necks. Each with a photo, name and age of the Orlando shooting victims marching completely silently behind over 500 marchers." says Marino-Thomas. "We made T-shirts the day before at a spray painting party. I think it was received very well. We made page A1 of the New York Times."
As for the next steps and any concrete political goals for the group, Marino-Thomas says they "are being formed as we speak. There is a second action being planned for this weekend, which is not yet finalized. But the high-level idea is that we are going to expose the hypocrisy and hate around this issue. People taking money and support from hate groups, the NRA, etc. will be exposed."
"Our goal was to show the NRA and their paid-off puppets in Congress that the LGBTQ community has already organized in the wake of the assault-weapon-enabled massacre on our sisters and brothers in Orlando," says co-founder Kevin Hertzog.
"Gun violence has become a public-health crisis in the U.S.," says Grauwiler. "The NRA and their enablers in D.C. have blood on their hands and make us gag in disgust. We intend to have great fun in the weeks and months ahead haunting their collective bad conscience until they do the right thing or get kicked out of power. They've hit us too close to home this time."