The Worcester Telegram and Gazette is reporting that Larry Cirignano, head of Catholic Citizenship and a leading activist against same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, assaulted a pro-gay rights activist at a rally against gay marriage:
Tempers boiled over at an anti-gay marriage rally yesterday when the executive director of the Boston-based Catholic Citizenship emerged from behind a lectern outside City Hall, rushed toward a female counter-demonstrator, and pushed her to the ground.
Sarah Loy, 27, of Worcester was holding a sign in defense of same-sex marriage amid a sea of green “Let the People Vote” signs when Larry Cirignano of Canton, who heads the Catholic Citizenship group, ran into the crowd, grabbed her by both shoulders and told her, “You need to get out. You need to get out of here right now.” Mr. Cirignano then pushed her to the ground, her head slamming against the concrete sidewalk.
“It was definitely assault and battery,” said Ronal C. Madnick, director of the Worcester County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Police interviewed Mr. Madnick and several others moments after the incident.
As Ms. Loy lay motionless on the ground, crying, Mr. Cirignano ran back behind the lectern, where moments before he had opened the afternoon rally by leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Loy, protesting the anti-gay event alongside her husband, was holding a sign reading, “No discrimination in the Constitution.” Cirignano denies pushing her very hard:
In a telephone interview last night, Cirignano acknowledged guiding the woman away from the event with his arm on her back, but said he had a portfolio in his left hand and did not knock her down.
He said he did not see her fall. “I promise you, I did not throw her to the ground.”
Photograph of Loy from Worcester Telegram and Gazette.