Every June Albany's Pride parade turns the corner of Lark and Madison streets, a couple of minutes' walk from my house. The southwest corner where a gas station stands is the parade's "free speech zone," where a small group of Christian protesters show up every year to denounce the marchers. These protesters aren't quite on the "God Hates Fags" level, but they come pretty close in their uncompromising condemnation of homosexuality. Their free speech zone is actually pretty close to the action, and puts them within yelling range of the majority of gay and pro-gay spectators across the street, who often cross over to taunt the Christianists in a form of counting coup. I've seen the same scenes for years, but now that I've belatedly joined the 21st century I can record what I saw today and share it with you.
My normal approach to Lark and Madison takes me to the corner where the protesters were, so the first clip shows them from behind, already engaged with counter-hecklers.
Here's another representative outburst of fire and brimstone.
Finally, here's a montage of scenes from the actual parade as one of the protesters chats with a traffic cop and the occasional Pridester crosses the street for a ritual challenge.
Scenes like these help explain why so many people still regard Christianists as the main enemy of our time. They're the ones who get in people's face, albeit at a judicious distance, with threats of damnation. It's worth remembering, however, that however hateful these threats sound, they are only threats -- if only because those making the threats are vastly outnumbered on days like these. Annoying as it may look or sound, this is what democracy of a sort looks like.