There are many ways to fight hate – but this may be the best.
As homophobic protesters shouted about how to love God is to hate ‘sin’, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington overwhelmed them with show tunes.
The demonstrators were carrying signs outside Tennessee’s Knoxville PrideFest reading: “HOMO SEX IS SIN” and damning “sodomites, fornicators and porno-freaks” to hell.
And after boarding the bus following the show, the chorus’s artistic director Thea Kano told the driver to stop the bus, deciding that her group would do what it could to disrupt the homophobes.
The entire group – one of the oldest and largest of its kind – got off the bus.
“This particular protester started walking across the street and shouting at us, so I blew the pitch pipe and told [everyone] what we were going to sing and ushered them into a big circle,” Kano said.
“He was walking along and shouting in our faces, and we kept singing.”
The protesters looked even more ridiculous as they spouted vile in the face of Make Them Hear You from the musical Ragtime and protest song We Shall Overcome.
Kano’s chorus also sang the US national anthem, which she said the protesters were particularly upset about.
And, she said, there was even an impromptu display of support from a member of the public.
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“As we were singing the national anthem, this woman who wasn’t with our group broke into the circle with a big rainbow flag,” Kano said.
“It was love drowning out hate, and we did it peacefully and with harmony.”
This wasn’t the Men’s Chorus of Washington’s first rodeo.
The chorus sang over the hate at last week’s Equality March near the White House.
And when the Defence of Marriage Act was struck down in 2013, the group was there on the steps outside the Supreme Court, straining to drown out anti-same-sex marriage protesters.
In 2015, the chorus travelled to Cuba to perform with their counterparts in the Caribbean country, as relations between the two countries softened.
Watch the full video below: