Rally and vigils for marriage equality in S.F. this week

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A CA Supreme Court ruling in 2009 presented a setback for marriage equality and drew thousands into the streets in SF.
GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

The U.S. Supreme Court will hold back-to-back hearings this week as justices consider Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), setting the stage for historic discussions concerning LGBT civil rights. Tonight, hundreds are expected to gather at Castro and Market streets for a 6:30 p.m. rally, followed by a march to City Hall. Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, passed in California with 52 percent of the vote in November of 2008. Challenges to the discriminatory law have been working through the court system ever since.

LGBT activists also plan to mark Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with vigils outside the California Supreme Court building. The vigils will coincide with about 150 events scheduled throughout the country, organized to demonstrate support for marriage equality.

Shortly after longtime gay rights activists Cleve Jones and David Mixner put out the call to local activists that the Supreme Court would be hearing arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA, Patrick Connors started helping to organize the rally, march and vigils in tandem with activists Greg Chasin, Billy Bradford, Aaron Baldwin and others, Connors said. Over the past several weeks, they’ve been posting fliers, Tweeting to get the word out and urging support for marriage equality as the historic twin hearings get underway in D.C. 

“We’re cautiously optimistic that there will be hundreds of people in the Castro” for the Monday night rally, Connors told the Guardian. About 200 have also signalled interest in attending the vigils March 26 and 27.

San Francisco has been at the epicenter in the battle for marriage equality. Just after Prop 8 passed, it was immediately challenged in parallel court proceedings by same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera leading the charge with support from other California municipalities.

Connors and his husband, Robert Dekoch, were initially married in February of 2004, but their marriage was invalidated after the California Supreme Court held that city officials lacked the authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Following a subsequent court victory that opened the gates for same-sex couples to be married in San Francisco City Hall once again, Connors and Dekoch returned and were re-married in August of 2008.

Although Prop. 8 passed the following November, banning same-sex marriage, “our marriage, along with 18,000 others, is recognized by the state of California,” Connors explained. Yet their marriage still isn't recognized at the federal level, so “there’s the potential of what could happen” during out-of-state travel, he said.

In May of 2009, Connors was arrested along with some 200 protesters who took to the streets following a California Supreme Court decision upholding Prop 8. “A whole bunch of us sat in the middle of Van Ness,” he recounted, “And blocked traffic for hours until the paddy wagons came.”    

Comments

A proposition approving gay marriage would probably win in CA now and so the only purpose of pursuing this to SCOTUS rather than submitting another prop is to try and soemhow force SCOTUS into imposing gay marriage on places like Alabama and Wyoming where it is very clear that the people do not want it.

I see this as a States' Rights issue and see no inconsistency with the marriage rules being different by State, in much the same way as the rules currently vary in terms of how old you have to be or what kind of counsin you can and cannot marry.

Judges should resist the temptation to become activist and make decisions that should be reserved for people to decide. I'd be OK with SCOTUS with telling CA that gay marriage is tolerable, but not with them telling the other 49 that they have to be exactly like CA.

Else why have a federation at all?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

Don't let the sun set on your homophobic ass in this town, boy.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

quite such a sheen if it was to be done in-person.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

You may lessen your pain and anger by telling us all about your sad life.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

"What's it like to be an ugly 55 year old virgin?"

I'd much rather hear how it was for you back in 1963. You are 105 this year, correct?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

What it's like to be an ugly 55 year old virgin? Is that why you spend all your time on this site 24/7 with nothing better to do? You just never found anyone who could love you. That explains a lot. However, projecting on others won't get you laid, girl. You gotta grab that bull by the horns! It's never too late, even when you're pug ugly and 55.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:28 am

Except maybe because I'm neither 55 nor a virgin? Unfortunately for you lil' lilz HAS admitted those two things - indeed his virginity is a band of honor for him. Stop defending someone who's PROUD to be a 55 year old virgin. He's here, he's never had sex and he's proud - get used to it.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

(other than his ridiculous arguments and obsessive over-posting) then it is surely that in all the time that has passed since 1958, nobody (not one single person) has ever found Lilli to be attractive enough even for a pity fuck.

Presumably hookers have turned him down too, which is really special.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

True. Any coward (for example: that "Guest"...the one full of hate and sick with smug class-ism along with the childish, smug and hateful Snapples' trash) can hide behind a keyboard and act like a smug-assed bully. Such pathetic and useless lives the two of them and so needy for attention, just like toddlers.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 9:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 6:03 am

Hey thick: "posting anonymously" was not the point or even written in the post, but their post seems to have push your troll button.

LOL. Wow. Hilarious. Priceless.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

criticizing another for hiding behind anonymity and then signing off that observation as "Guest".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:38 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

concession gesture - a spurious allegation of trolling.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

One may simply deem it a matter for the States to decide on a case by case basis.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:18 am

Don't let the sun set on your homophobic ass in this town, boy.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:31 am

that you are really, really bad at debate.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:29 am

If you think it should be decided on a state-by-state basis, then you're not opposed to same-sex marriage. You just don't think it's required under the U.S. Constitution.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:23 am

have decided that it is right for their jurisdiction.

That is not the case for California. SCOTUS should rule only for CA and focus only on the particular wording in the CA constitution that disallows gays to marry.

That will say nothing about the prohibition in, say, South Carolina.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:30 am

But what I'm saying is that it's not that you're opposed to same-sex marriage as such. Would you mind explaining to me how someone could be opposed to same-sex marriage as such without being homophobic?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

situation, without being a homophobe, simply because the majority in that jurisdiction oppose it.

In other words, you support the idea that "we, the people" are smart enough to decide what kind of institutions we wish to support in that locale.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

...about a specific situation. There are a lot of people out there opposed to same-sex marriage, full stop. Doesn't matter if the people vote for it, doesn't matter if a legislature enacts it. They just think it's wrong. Why do you think that is?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

and I can only speculate on that. I'd surmise that the main reasons are:

1) It's against religious canons. Most Americans are religious

2) It's not conducive to procreation and perpetuation of the species

3) Many people are genuinely disgusted by the very concept of homesexuality. That's a very primal, vicseral thing that cannot be intellectualized away.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

...homophobic? Since we started this discussion saying that there are reasons to be against same-sex marriage not rooted in homophobia, and have dealt with the states-rights argument, can we think of any other reason not rooted in the idea that gay people and their relationships just aren't as good as opposite-sex ones?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

you are defining any opposition to gay marriage as being homophobic, and so every exception I cite, you simply retort with the same allegation.

I live in the Castro and probably half of the people I know are gay. I oppose gay marriage, but for non-homophobic reasons. For that matter, I know a gay guy who himself opposes gay marriage.

It's possible. Better to discuss the merits and the facts and the law, rather than throw labels around.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

You oppose it now in California because of Prop. 8. That's a big difference, as I keep trying to explain. And you have yet to proffer a reason to oppose same-sex marriage as such (that is, not tied to states-right arguments) that isn't homophobic.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

He can hardly be accused of being homophobic.

He opposes gay marriage because he deems it a heterosexual institution that he wants no part of.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

Thank you for finally proffering a nonhomophobic reason to oppose same-sex marriage.

However, would you say your friend's reason is good enough to deny those rights to couples who want it?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

another. However, if a majority agree with him AND there has been no ruling on whether the 14th applies here, then I'd say it becomes valid ipso facto.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

By the way, I just caught the title of your comment. According to virtually all the latest polls, a majority of Americans, around 60%, favor marriage equality.

I say "virtually all" because apparently Fox News has it at 49%. Talk about lack of objectivity!

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

support gay marriage. So why go to SCOTUS? Why not just have another voter proposition.

The problem with this SCOTUS case is that the intent is to legislate a solution for all 50 regardless of the differences between those States. And that is what I think is underhand about this.

Go back to the voters and, most likely, they will aloow gays to marry.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

The argument, of course, is that rights, especially rights that have already been recognized by a state's highest court, shouldn't be subject to revocation by the voters.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

recognized by the highest court. That remains to be seen.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

But it was found by our state Supreme Court. Gay couples had the right to marry in California, according to the state Constitution. The voters took that right away by amending the Constitution through Prop. 8. That shouldn't be.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

What if California voters voted to ban all firearms in the state. Would that be constitutional?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

the 2nd. That is inconsistent. And the 2nd far more obviously applies to gun control than the 14th applies to relaxing the definition of marriage.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

...the 2nd Amendment. I'm for responsible, licensed gun-ownership. But there's a very good case to be made, at least, that prohibitions against same-sex marriage violate the 14th. Your answer seems to be that voters can override rights in the federal constitution on the state level. I wanted to know how far you're willing to take it.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

It's up to Roberts etc. to decide if gay marriage really does contravene the 14th. We do not know that yet because SCOTUS hasn't ruled - for now it is mere conjecture and opinion. I can see both sides of the argument.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

You've read the arguments, you're obviously thoughtful. What do you really think is the right decision?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

possible, and leave a vacuum for (ideally) voters and legislators to make whatever changes seem reasonable.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

“Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” –Thomas Jefferson, at his second inaugural

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 9:26 am

he had in mind the idea of men marrying each other.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 10:20 am
So?

When one states a principle, one doesn't expect to know about every instance in which that principle might be applied. No, the people who wrote the 14th Amendment didn't contemplate same-sex marriage. It doesn't matter.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

...tweeted this week: "I feel so blessed that the government protects my wife and me from the dangers of gay marriage so we safely can go buy some assault weapons."

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 6:50 am

But what I'm saying is that it's not that you're opposed to same-sex marriage as such. Would you mind explaining to me how someone could be opposed to same-sex marriage as such without being homophobic?

(Sorry for the duplicate response. I forgot to add my screen name on a different computer.)

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

The biggest mistake supporters of gay marriage make is trying to paint all those whom they disagree with as bigots. Debate the issues, by all means, but do not use the cheap trick of throwing cheap epithets at those who honestly disagree with you.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

...though, I ask about opposition to same-sex marriage that isn't tied to states rights or the voters. I'd really like to know what you think about opposition to all same-sex marriage, no matter the jurisdiction, and how it could be driven by anything other than animus toward homosexual people.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

and the idea that sanctifying gay marriage will instigate a slippery slope whereby all of our cherished institutions will become mere conduits for political correctness and hopelessly liberal tokenism.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

..will that work? What is it specifically about the gender of a couple that sets anything like that into motion?

As far as "liberal tokenism" goes, this isn't being done to win a point in endless war of left vs. right. Ted Olson, for example, was lead counsel for Bush in Bush v. Gore. He's a conservative who recognizes that this issue affects millions of Americans. It's not for show.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

Things like slavery, abortion, women's rights, and interracial and gay marriage are best left up to the states.

Posted by anon on Mar. 25, 2013 @ 9:55 pm