Love Equality Rally Turns Celebratory


By Brandon B. QuinnAfter the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, a “Decision Day” rally at the Incarnation Lutheran Church in Water Mill turned celebratory.

Holding signs that read “Love Wins,” “Honk If You Are Gay (Happy),” and “I’m Gay and That’s OK!” the crowd of 15 people, both young and old, gay and straight, stood by Montauk Highway and shouted with joy anytime they were greeted with a honk or wave—which was often.

The event was organized by Lisa Votino-Tarrant, a gay rights advocate who lives with her husband, Matauqus Tarrant, on the Shinnecock Reservation, and the Reverend Dr. Katrina D. Foster, a gay pastor who has led the Water Mill church since 2010.

The church, which voted as a congregation in 2012 to become publicly welcoming of all people and dedicated to helping those in need, has since been home to rallies much like Wednesday’s.

“I really enjoyed seeing all these straight white people saying they were called to address immigrant and gay issues,” said Ms. Foster, who noted that the church now has a very popular program for illegal immigrants to seek legal help.

Always searching for full equality for all, the group tempered their celebration because of the decision the day before by the Supreme Court to strike down a part of the Voting Rights Act.

Blanche Cook, who has been together with her wife Clare Coss for 44 years but only got married four years ago, echoed the sentiment of tempered joy. “It is a great, momentous day for love equality, but now we have to fight again to get back voter equality,” she said.

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