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Gay right advocates crash Utah traditional marriage celebration

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Organizers of Tuesday's "Celebration of Marriage" at Utah's Capitol Hill got a much larger crowd than they probably expected. The evening was intended to celebrate traditional family. While that did happen, people who attended were surrounded by hundreds gay rights activists.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Organizers of Tuesday's "Celebration of Marriage" at Utah's Capitol Hill got a much larger crowd than they probably expected. The evening was intended to celebrate traditional family. While that did happen, people who attended were surrounded by hundreds gay rights activists.

Tuesday's celebration of traditional family marriage had everything: the Osmonds, the Governor, and hundreds of gay rights party crashers. Needless to say it was not what traditional family supporters expected.

"Do you think it makes this thing tense?" asked Reporter Brian Carlson.

"In some ways yes, in some ways no," said Claus Nielsen, traditional family supporter.

"It breaks my heart to see some of the signs around her that talk about hate, there's one I'm looking at right now that says 'Hate is not a family value,' and that's not what this is about, it's about sharing love but standing up for what we believe," said Jill Johnson, traditional family supporter.

"I don't believe that man defines marriage, but God defines marriage," said Cameron Smith, traditional family supporter.

With protesters in every direction, celebrating traditional marriage seemed to take on extra emotion especially during a young speaker's remarks.

"It takes a mom and a dad to raise a child, so it takes a mom and a dad to raise one," said Amelia Summerhays, traditional family supporter.

Reporter Brian Carlson asked the organizer of the protest why they crashed the party.

"Why do you have to do it on the night and especially the location where you have traditional family holding their celebration?" Carlson asked.

"Well because often we're disregarded and we're seen as invisible and I don't want us to be invisible anymore," said Kat Phillpotts, gay rights activist.

They certainly were seen. But even with all the distractions, supporters of traditional marriage said Tuesday's event was about celebrating the family.

"What we're celebrating here tonight is marriage between a man and a woman, and that's one thing regardless of what your stance is that we have in common," said Nathan Osmond, event performer.

With how emotionally charged this debate can be, the event had potential for disaster. But ABC 4 is told both parties left the Capitol Rotunda peacefully and organizers said they were pleasantly surprised the evening went as smooth as it did.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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