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

like medical marijuana, and has even discusses the diea of secession, IIRC.

So you're all for federal control of everything when it suits you, but not otherwise.

Eventually we will be a European-style centralized oligarchy and then you'll all be happy while the Founding Fathers turn in their sleep.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 6:01 am

If California wants to legalize gay marriage and pot, I'm fine with that. And I'm also comfortable with Alabama legalizing slavery and making interracial marriage illegal. As you can see, these things are totally equivalent, and that's what the founding fathers intended.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 7:47 am

Not a power-made controlling central soviet.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:04 am

So you are a statist.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:16 am

You simply believe that states rights trump certain other alleged rights.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:14 am

vast centralized federal government then yes. IOW, the founding fathers had it right, but that has been massively diluted.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:18 am

Except when Chris Daly, Aaron Peskin and Matt Gonzalez were calling the shots. You like the government where you are most likely to win.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:25 am

SF'ers were never going to give progressives more than a token amount of power. And of course it is our checks and balances that we cherish, right?

You will be waxing nostalgic about your 15 minutes of quasi-power when you're a sad old man in a wheelchair.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:37 am

The Empire Struck Back because San Franciscans had begun to call shananigans on their corruption, not for no reason at all.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:54 am

And if Daly is your poster child for success, that shows just how far out of touch you are with how most SF'ers really think and feel.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:12 am

What is it about such a loose union that goes so far as to allow slavery in the states that want it that you find superior. It can't just because that's what (some of) the Founders envisioned. (Not Washington, Adams, or Hamilton, that's for sure.)

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

liberals who claim that the US government should not interfere with them.

This really comes down to what you see as the role of the federal government. And that was envisioned as not being interventionist to the degree that has transpired.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:21 pm
So?

That doesn't answer my question. Is the loose federation envisaged by some founders really the best way to have the best union possible? Or has history taught us that for many things, closer coordination is better for everyone?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

correspondingly weak States is the correct model If I wanted that, I could move to Europe.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

you are comfortable with slavery? wtf is the matter with you? Some things transcend "states rights."

and spare me the "founding fathers intent" bullshit. The Founding Fathers also treated black people as 3/5 of a white person. You ok with that, too? after all, it was the FF's intent for it to be that way.

I know you go for "provocative" on the board, but typing nonsense like this really hurts whatever credibility you may have

Posted by GuestD on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 9:29 am

The troll is a troll because it cares not one whit about credibility, but rather only provocation.

An interesting aspect of the three-fifths rule that the founders settled on is that it was the Southern slave states who had to insist on slaves being counted for anything at all.

The Northerners quite properly did not want the slaves to count at all since the slaves could not vote; the effect of counting the sizable Southern population of slaves as people was to give Southern whites more representation in Congress and more sway in choosing the president than their numbers would justify.

The deal made at the founding of the country was a matter of practicality of the time which as -- I think it was Jefferson remarked -- ensured the Civil War which was to follow.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 9:58 am

invoking the "troll" categorization. Again.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:40 am

granted considerable freedoms to the States to organize their own affairs. So that, for instance, if CA wants medical marijuana, or wants to ban guns, it could do so.

That is what we have lost.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:19 am

3/5ths.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:29 am

desirable that our laws change to reflect that.

I have no problem with voters enacting changes. I do have a problem with an unelected judge imposing law on a State where the people have not been consulted.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:39 am

Do you hate the entire Constitution or just parts of it?

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 10:54 am

cherry pick the parts that you agree with. You spend a lot more time talking about the 14th than the 2nd, for instance.

We do not know yet if the constitution supports the diea of gay marriage since they have not yet ruled on that.

The fact that you think it is constitutional is probably not going to be taken into account.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:14 am

It makes slavery, in no uncertain terms, unconstitutional.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:24 am

Although being married to Marcos might feel like it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:31 am

"...but who wants to be in an institution."

Marriage equality, or the denial thereof, is like slavery in that it's prohibited by a constitutional amendment passed in the 1860s. The 14th, to be precise.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:56 pm
Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

...type, wouldn't you say that everything that isn't specifically abolished should be allowed? What the relevant parts of the 14th Amendment do is say that that government may not discriminate in such a way that some people have certain rights but others don't. What could be more "hands-off" than that?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

have been decided are public policy imperatives.

You are pre-supposing that gay marriage is not one such exception, and SCOTUS have not decided that yet.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

They have a larger middle class and greater *mobility* between classes. Thus a person born into the working class in France or Germany actually has a greater chance of moving up within that "oligarchy" than they would being born into the same conditions in America's free market paradise. If that's "centralized oligarchy," I'll take it!

Posted by Greg on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 7:51 am

In case you hadn't noticed, The rich are all quitting France and the Germans are stuck bailing out Mediterrean basketcases.

Prospects in either place are bad, even if they didn't have a broken ciurrency

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:06 am

So hilarious to watch you all froth against the prospect of the expansion of freedom to places where repressive governments abridge the freedoms of residents.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:23 am

worshipping North Korea or Iran where, in any event, you and he would not be tolerated at all.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:32 am

Am I correct in saying that you think the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments are without meaning when applied to the states? Does that include the 2nd Amendment?

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

A rally in the Castro and a march to City Hall!! WOW! A powerful statement we rarely see in San Francisco!!

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

that they surely see SF gays as a completely neutral and objective party to this issue.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 6:02 am

"Another civil rights march in Washington/Harlem/Selma. You never see that here! I'm sure that will sway an undecided justice!"

-Lucretia Snapples, circa 1963

Posted by Greg on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 7:57 am

that provide any objectivity, is it?

Turkeys voting against Thanksgiving.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 8:16 am

Do the appellants in the current Prop. 8 case have a vested interest in its outcome. They say they do, or they wouldn't have standing. What is it? And, if they do, doesn't that call their objectivity into question?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:27 am

Since I am neither gay or Christian, I have no skin in the game, and see it merely as a States' rights issue.

Obviously gays and christians are both biased in this matter. Gay christians are, presumably, confused.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:39 am
Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

that I want to see a compromize ruling from SCOTUS, which will probably mean narrowly ruling on what will happen in CA without seeking an activist imposition for all 50 States.

That will respect the process that CA went through without using that as a template for places with very different viewpoints and laws.

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

That might be a fair result. It will allow gay marriage in CA, where the voters would probably approve that now anyway. But would not impose gay marriage on other States.

A fair compromize, perhaps?

Posted by anon on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 11:57 am

This was a voter initiative that passed, and now voters have no standing in the case? Especially when the AG refuses to step to the plate? Something about that leaves me uneasy and seems to undermine voter initiatives, no?

But I see the case differently than just a state's rights issue. I think that the right to marry is a fundamental right, and as such, intrusions into that right demand strict constitutional scrutiny. I don't think Prop 8 passes muster under that standard, and I don't think a matter of fundamental rights can be left to State's whims.

And yes, I know that the SC is loathe to add to the list of protected classes, and probably won't in this case, but they should.

Posted by GuestD on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

My point was more that SCOTUS appear to be taking the view that the plaintiffs in this case do not, for whatever reason. Perhaps as an excuse to rule narrowly, but that is OK with me.

Marriage may be a "right" but that doesn't mean that everyone has that right. Children do not, nor close relatives, nor people already married. The crucial point here is surely whether the definition of marriage should be changed. It's not clear yet.

And what about threesomes? Granting gays the right to marry sends a message to threesomes that their rights do not matter. Where does this line get drawn, if not by the voters?

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

No, the crucial issue is that this doesn't actually change the definition of marriage. There are good reasons a state prohibits marriage with children, close relatives, etc. There's no similar good reason when it comes to same-sex couples.

As far as threesomes go, Olson had the perfect answer for that today:

[I]f a State prohibits polygamy, it’s prohibiting conduct. If it prohibits gay and lesbian citizens from getting married, it is prohibiting their exercise of a right based upon their status. It’s selecting them as a class, as you described in the Romer case and as you described in the Lawrence case and in other cases, you’re picking out a group of individuals to deny them the freedom that you’ve said is fundamental, important and vital in this society, and it has status and stature, as you pointed out in the VMI case.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

it is between a man and a woman, then why should it be deemed to apply to affiliations of only two people?

The danger here is that marriage ends up devoid of meaning, merely signifying any association of any number of people of any gender.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

...who doesn't mind if voters in a certain state OK same-sex marriage?

Anyway, you've never been able to articulate what the essential difference between an opposite-sex marriage and one between the members of a same-sex on is that would fundamentally change the nature of the relationship. Still waiting for that.

Also, wouldn't mind hearing your response to what Olson said.

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

Bear in mind that every nation has historically had the same heterosexual defintion so it can hardly be deemed to be anomalous. In fact, same-sex marriage is very new unlike, say, inter-racial marriage, the banning of which was very distinctly a US thing.

Honestly, I do not personally have much of a view either way whether gay should be able to marry. I am more concerned whenever the wishes of the voters are disregarded because of idealology.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

Equality?

Posted by Hortencia on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

Does that mean that we should approve polygamy simply because it makes everything more equal?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

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