Hoards of Homosexual Activists is me – On Scene with Bill Wilson – Video

Prop 8 supporters at CA Supreme Court Tuesday
September 6, 2011.
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

By Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2011

“Report accurately!” the guy holding a sign that read “Stop Judicial Tyranny” yelled at me as I worked past the sidewalk in front of the California Supreme Court. It brought a smile to my face because I wanted to reply, “If I report the truth you won’t like it because you wouldn’t recognize it.”

Right-wing demonstrators in front of the CA Supreme Court
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

I should have known it was going to be a bizarre morning at the California Supreme Court when I read the following plea from Andy Pugno, the General Counsel for Protect Marriage “Please join us, and thousands of other supporters, in prayer this evening and tomorrow morning for safety as our Legal Team pushes through the hoards* of homosexual activists into the courthouse in the heart of San Francisco, and for the wisdom and grace needed to prevail in court.” Some people were quick to point out he meant hordes but I think he may be far smarter than we give him credit for being. After all the definition for hoard is *a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc. Certainly his long accumulated supply of stereotypes has been carefully guarded for preservation and future use.

Andy Pugno (right), general counsel for Protect Marriage, trailed by
Jennifer Roback Morse (multi colored jacket), founder of the Ruth
Institute, and Austin Nimocks and Jim Campbell attorneys from the
Alliance Defense Fund on their way to court
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

By the time Andy and his colleagues arrived for Court the gay group had disbursed and gone inside the Court. I was the HORDES OF HOMOSEXUALS. The only people who showed no interest in the actual courtroom proceedings were the right wing group. They stayed outside the whole time. As Mr Pugno walked up the stairs I was able to get some photos. When he got to the top of the stairs instead of just walking by me, he lunged toward me. Because I had the camera in my face I couldn’t see whether he was going to hit me or what so I just jumped back. I was stunned because I had no idea what he had done. So I followed him into the courthouse and took pictures of him waiting in the lobby where they were distributing tickets for the courtroom seats. He did his best to ignore me and I did my best to get in his face because I don’t take well to intimidation. I wanted to make a button to wear hat said, “That’s MR Hoard to you.”

Charles J. Cooper, attorney who argued for the Prop 8 side in front
of the CA Supreme Court heads his colleagues out the back way
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

Someone pointed out to me this morning that the Prop 8 people didn’t smile even when they were greeting their fellow supporters as they arrived at the courthouse and joined their group. I know saving souls is serious business.

My favorite sign of the day
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

As I left the Courthouse after the hearing the crowd had gathered around a podium that the American Foundation for Equal Rights had set up. The Prop 8 people were holding their big Marriage equals I man + 1 woman banner that is huge. One of the people holding the pole had on a shirt that on the back read “Hate Evil” I did a little creative cropping with the camera.

Prop 8 supporter in a sea of Marriage Equality people and media after the hearing
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

During the speeches that were part of the “No Standing” Sit –in for Marriage Equality a young Prop 8 supporter walked by with a sign that said “God has ruled on marriage.” I couldn’t resist I turned to the person next to me and said, “Yes, and they are appealing that verdict too.” They laughed and I added, “And there is question whether they have standing in God’s court too.”

Former Republican National Committee chair, Ken Mehlman
supports Marriage equality
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2011

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See Related On Scene with Bill Wilson Archive

Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past seven years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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