A rally in opposition to same sex marriage was out-flanked by hundreds of students Wednesday after marching onto the campus of Brown University in Rhode Island.
About 15 members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property held a rally at the campus. They wore black and red uniforms and played bagpipes to garner attention.
The Catholic American group claims to have 120,000 active members, volunteers and donors. It said same sex marriage was harmful and must be opposed.
The Brown Daily Herald reported that the rally quickly attracted the attention of local Brown University students, who organized a counter-protest using Facebook, text messages, and emails. The students carried makeshift signs and handed out rainbow flags and pins.
One student told the Herald that the protest had drawn so many supporters of same sex marriage that it looked like the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property was leading a gay pride parade.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that 45 percent of adults surveyed favored allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, compared to only 42 percent last year. Forty-six percent of those surveyed were opposed to same-sex marriage, a decline of 19 percent since 1996.
Another survey conducted by Washington Post/ABC backs up the finding. Support for same sex marriage has grown to 53 percent, while 44 were opposed, according to the survey.