San Diego LoveFest ’08

Ped and I went looking for protestors at Qualcomm yesterday, but we couldn’t find any. Instead, everyone was getting ready for a hastily organized rally in Hillcrest (San Diego’s Castro, sort of) that brought out what the photographer estimates as 7,000 to 10,000 people.

That would match my very rough estimate of 8,000 at the stadium, although the same photographer puts the HateFest at 15,000. HateFest organizers call it 33,000. The stadium seats 71,500. No way in hell was it even a quarter full.

Photographer Rex Wockner’s take reflects ours:

But, interestingly, there wasn’t really any hate on display. They seemed to just want to “save” marriage. And, as for the homosexuals, they love us, they pray for us, they want us to be set free from sin and demons.

Andrew Sullivan, however, who linked to Wockner’s posts, called it “the terrifying mass Christianist rally against marriage equality.” Terrifying? Ped may disagree, but it was surprisingly boring. Which might be the best news of all.

Jesus v. the homosexualsThousands protest Prop 8 in San Diego [Wockner]

That photo would be perfect for “stuff white people like” because if there’s one thing we adore, it’s a tasteful candlelight vigil for a liberal cause, with drinks afterwards.

@Mistress Cynica: Wait. There were drinks? Damn. I’ve been thinking of giving back my homo card and, you know, changing, well if I’d known there were drinks as a reward for going straight I’d have been on it like a Republican congressman on an underage page.

Sully is such a drama queen. He got it wrong on at least two counts: terrifying and mass.

@Pedonator: He just wants some attention because his hubby apparently ain’t giving it to him.

How long did the hate fest last after you left?

@RomeGirl: We left around 4:30, and the prayerama was scheduled to continue until 10 p.m. It’s possible more folks showed up after we left, but the other photographer’s estimates also appear to be midday. There certainly wasn’t a long line of cars waiting to get in as we escaped.

This event was announced in August. The organizer moved his family here to put it together, and camped out at local church to drum up support. For all the effort behind it, the thin turnout has to be considered a massive failure — especially since an impromptu community vigil, apparently organized via email, drew as many or more people to the Streets of Hillcrest.

We didn’t thoroughly inspect the parking lot, but most of the cars seemed to have California plates — the exceptions were notable.

San Diego is not San Francisco. It’s a conservative-leaning area, especially given its military past. The older neighborhoods in the city proper are comfortably liberal — coming from the very liberal Eugene, I don’t feel alienated here.

I suspect a more generic stadium-revival meeting — Promise Keepers, say — would have packed the house, the way they did Eugene’s Autzen Stadium a couple decades back. For whatever reason, Constitutional Bigrotry doesn’t seem to draw much enthusiasm at the moment.

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