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Drag Queens' Gay Marriage Rally Halts Midtown Traffic

By DNAinfo Staff on March 1, 2011 12:58pm

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — Drag queen activists in six-inch stilettos ground Midtown traffic to a halt Tuesday morning during a rally where they demanded the passage of a marriage equality bill in New York.

"I am somebody, I demand full equality!" the protesters chanted at about 8:30 a.m.

At least a dozen protesters unfurled a 75-foot yellow banner reading "NY Demands Marriage Equality Now!" across Sixth Avenue at West 42nd Street, stopping traffic for about seven minutes.

"We’re sick and tired of waiting and we’re not going to wait anymore," said Natasha Dillon, 26, the founding member of Queer Rising, which organized the protest. "We have to take this into our own hands."

Upper West Side drag queen Honey LaBronx, who wore a curled auburn wig and sparkly purple eye shadow, said she was nervous about the prospect of being arrested for the first time. LaBronx, whose real name is Ben Strothmann, said this was one concrete action she could take in support of the gay marriage cause. 

"I’m hoping they can see how serious we are about this," LaBronx said, before the group marched from Grand Central Terminal.

After about seven minutes on the street, police arrived, handcuffed the protesters and loaded them into a van. Eight people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, police said.

Dillon, who was among those taken away in cuffs, said that the group is planning a similar act on the first of every month until Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state, which he has pledged to do.

Commuters seemed patient despite the inconvenience. Not a single horn was heard honking as they were delayed.

And the protesters seemed pleased, too.

"Anyone who gets arrested in heels is bad ass!" said East Village resident William Berger, 50.