‘Proud to Say Gay:’ Dozens gather at Duval County Courthouse in support of LGBTQ+ rights

In the heat of summer, dozens showed up at the Duval County Courthouse to turn up the heat in Florida in regard to the future and protection of LGBTQ+ rights.

“I think now is the time for everybody to put their vote forward. If you want to make a difference, you have to vote,” rally attendee Jennifer Shannon said.

Signs lined up at the rally touched on several hot topics.

Protesters like Mike Vatter said they’re here to speak out against the Parental Rights in Education law, which critics deemed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In response to the controversial law’s unofficial name, protestors have dubbed their rally “Proud to Say Gay.”

“People in the queer community, we can’t go back to school and say, ‘Me and my two das,’ or, ‘Me and my partner’ or, ‘Me and my spouse went to this great place for vacation,” Vatter said.

However, the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade brings forward new concerns for the future.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion states the Supreme Court should reconsider and potentially overturn other rulings, specifically same-sex relations and marriage being legal.

“If Clarence Thomas wants to attack marriage equality for the queer community, he should really consider that his marriage to a woman of another race should be reconsidered as well. Loving v. Virginia was based on the same principles that Obergefell was based on,” Vatter said.

On the other side of the event stood a few opposing legal abortions, even though that was not the subject of Saturday’s rally.

However, they made it clear to Action News Jax that they opposed both topics at hand.

“We understand that people may not like our message, but it’s the truth of God. And I’m not ashamed of the Gospel,” Zax Howard exclaimed.

Justice Thomas also wrote the Supreme Court should take aim at laws regarding the right to contraception such as condoms, IUDs, and Plan B. It should be noted that no other justices joined his opinion at this time.

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