A large crowd of protestors gathered at the Mormon Temple on Manhattan's Upper West Side Wednesday night to protest the church's support of California's recently-passed ban on same-sex marriage. NY1's Milanee Kapadia filed the following report.
Waving signs and chanting, hundreds of protestors gathered at the Mormon Temple on the Upper West Side Wednesday night. All of them were angry with the vote last week in California approving Proposition 8, a referendum banning same-sex marriage.
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had played a significant role in encouraging its members to support the California ban.
"The Mormon church was a prime mover in that they were the ones who thought of this campaign to take away our civil rights, so we wanted to certainly let them know how we felt about that," said protester Ann Northrop.
According to the Associated Press, organizers estimated that 10,000 people attended the rally, but police sources said they could not confirm that number.
The protestors moved down to Columbus Circle, where they continued to sing, dance and hold up signs asking for equal rights.
One of them, Sky Sheridan, was a former church member who said many of the donors that contributed millions to passing Prop 8 came from the Mormon faith.
"I was really disheartened that the church gave so much propaganda towards the measure so I don't think it was a fair fight because we didn't have as much money on our side," said Sheridan.
There have been similar protests across the country over the past few days.
"There was a groundswell of people saying we wanted to do something about this," said organizer Corey Johnson. "It was bittersweet. Some people were happy about Barack Obama winning but the gay-lesbian community were defeated in four states - Florida, Arizona, Arkansas and most painfully, California. And I think people wanted an outlet to do something."
The protesters' goal is to overturn the states' bans on same-sex marriage.
"I feel like I can do something and I actually have faith that it will be overturned in California. I don't think it's going to stand, it's discrimination, it's hatred," said Alina Romo.
According to activist group Join the Impact, a national day of protest is planned for this Saturday.