These people are lucky--bone-stupid, but lucky, because they got out of this situation without getting hurt.
In San Francisco's Castro District, people on both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy confronted each other on Friday night, as police tried to keep the peace. Proposition 8 passed in a close vote and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.Joe.My.God has video of the group being escorted by police out of the Castro, and while I understand his and Pam Spaulding's positions that a violent reaction to this sort of invasion is probably not the best idea from a public relations standpoint, I think it's a perfectly logical and reasonable reaction given the circumstances.
Let's be frank here--what this group did by going to the Castro and doing "outreach" in the gay community so soon after the passage of Prop 8 was the equivalent of going to a rally celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. dressed like James Earl Ray, only less tactful. I can't look into these peoples' hearts and say that they were trying to start a riot, but they sure didn't act as if they cared how the locals felt.
Most weeks, I suspect, the locals regard this group with bemusement, much like the way I do Brother Micah, but this wasn't just any other week. This was the week after the gay community was told, by people much like those doing "outreach," that they were less than human, that they were not worthy of the same human rights as the rest of the state. To show up so soon and throw that in their faces, in their own streets, in front of their businesses, especially given the history of that particular neighborhood, makes me wonder if they weren't hoping to provoke an incident, if they weren't out to cause some trouble.
There's always the possibility that they just didn't realize how offensive their appearance would be--people this deeply involved in their beliefs often don't understand just how they come off--but if that were the case, then you'd think that the group would have packed up and left the second the crowd started to get ugly. No, my suspicion is that they knew that this was going to be a bad scene, and decided to do it anyway, whether because they're ugly people inside who want to jam Jesus in the faces of those they perceive as sinners, or because they thought it would be a good way to prove their faithfulness.
I'm glad they weren't hurt, and I'm glad the SFPD showed up to get them out of an ugly situation, but let's not pretend like the Castro was solely to blame here. You stick your thumb in a bulldog's eye, the bulldog is likely to bite, and you bear a lot of the blame for the resulting stitches. Don't want to get bit? Keep your thumb out of the Castro.