After yesterday’s ruling by the California Supreme Court to uphold the Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage, folks began rallying all around the State in an effort to peaceably protest that ruling. Here in West Hollywood, CA last night, celebs gathered with protesters to voice their displeasure with the court’s ruling and to begin building support for a new ballot initiative that will likely make it to the polls next year (2010) to Repeal Prop 8. Here are a few pics of some of the celebs who took to the streets in protest last night and some info about what went down:
After months of legal wrangling, the California Supreme Court announced on Tuesday to uphold a ban on same-sex marriages. Justices voted 6-1 to uphold Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban of gay marriage, dealing a major legal blow to the gay and lesbian community. California residents passed Prop 8 with 52 percent of the vote last November. The court also ruled that the roughly 18,000 marriages that took place before Prop 8 took effect are still valid. “It would be a shocking, strange thing in California law to essentially divorce those couples against their will,” said Jennifer Pizer, a lawyer from Lambda Legal. The crowd that had gathered outside the Supreme Court in San Francisco was mostly made up of gay rights supporters, and there was a huge outcry when the ruling was released at 10 a.m. After the announcement, the crowd began marching through San Francisco streets chanting, “Shame on you.” Crowds converged in West Hollywood Tuesday at 7 p.m. to oppose the state Supreme Court’s ruling. They marched to the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave., shutting down the intersection. That crowd was estimated to be approximately 5,000 strong. Five states have already legalized gay marriage, and gay marriage supporters had hoped California would be the sixth. The justices said the people do have the right to change their constitution through the ballot box. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement shortly after the ruling. “While I believe that one day, either the people or courts will recognize gay marriage, as governor of California, I will uphold the decision of the California Supreme Court,” he said. “Regarding the 18,000 marriages that took place prior to Proposition 8′s passage, the court made the right decision in keeping them intact.” The governor encouraged those responding to the decision to do so peacefully and lawfully … In Leimert Park, the ACLU and several faith-based groups held a news conference to respond to the state Supreme Court’s decision. “This is nothing short of apartheid in our own state, that some people were allowed to be married, and others will never have that right,” said Rabbi Denise Eger from Kol Ama Congregation. Local residents Eric Monriquez and Juan Ribera said the announcement was bittersweet for them. While they were happy their marriage would still be recognized by the state, they said they were very disappointed with the ruling. “We’re very sad for other couples,” Ribera said. Gay rights advocates had argued the ballot measure revised the state constitution’s equal protection clause, thus needing the legislature’s approval before it could be put to voters. Six months before Prop 8 passed, the California Supreme Court had ruled in favor of gay marriage, saying that denying gay marriage amounted to state-sanctioned discrimination. Gay rights supporters say the fight is far from over.
Very true, the fight is FAR from over … in fact, it has only just begun. The site RepealProp8.com was launched yesterday in the wake of the court’s ruling that seeks to put the issue back on the ballot for voters to decide again. Because California allows the amendment of the State constitution by a simple voter majority, the issue can go back on the ballot for voters to decide — again. The vote was so close last November that supporters, me included, believe that another vote would be sure to legalize same-sex marriage here in California. If YOU would like info on how you can help the cause, head over to RepealProp8.com. There is still a long road ahead but if we’ve learned nothing from the 5 States that have legalized same-sex marriage in this country, we’ve learned that true marriage equality for all will eventually come — even in places you’d least expect. Much props and love goes out to the celebs who came out to rally last night … including, Kathy Griffin & her mother Maggie, Deborah Gibson, Haylie Duff, Emmy Rossum, Lance Bass, Eliza Dushku and more. Eliza posted photos on her official Twitter page thruout the night. Props, too, to Governor Schwarzenegger for his support as well … here is a short vid clip of his comments to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show last night:
Marriage Equality will happen for all, I just know it … and now the work begins.
[Photo credit: X17, Splash News; Source]