Even if Maryland seems like a surefire blue state, the local ballot initiatives are still a compelling but overlooked reason to vote. Independent artists Rachael London and Siyade Gemechisa and members of the Baltimore-based project Luminous Intervention projected a series of images onto an Arts District Billboard in order to remind weekend party-goers to vote in favor of Question 6 for marriage equality.
The artists temporarily altered the famous billboard for Smyth Jewelers on Charles Street, projecting light onto its surface in order to add another Natty Boh boy and Utz Girl. The girls winked and held each other while the boys embraced each other; the girls' engagement ring also twinkled. The animated images concluded with a reminder to “Vote Yes on Question 6 at the end of the ballot”. Pedestrians and vehicles were overwhelmingly in support of the action, and supporters were able to meet the artists as they projected from the bridge near Penn Station.
Although polling indicates that the initiative is likely to pass, participants pointed out that marriage equality votes are historically more conservative than the polls. According to the 2010 census, there are nearly 17,000 couples in Maryland currently living together that could benefit from a fairer policy toward marriage.
Participants said, “We wanted to do something fun. We were cooped up inside during the storm, and let our imaginations run wild – our goal is to push the vote in the direction of fairness instead of intolerance by getting people to participate in the ballot questions. We're as surprised as anyone that heterosexual people would be interested in governing the marriage rights of others, so we tried to keep it funny and lighthearted in order to contrast with the propaganda from the other side.”
Luminous Intervention will team up with these artists again on Monday in order to project at an undisclosed location.
Members of Luminous Intervention can be reached at email@example.com