Oaklanders speak out for marriage equality

9 Mar

On Friday, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan organized a “speak out” to support equal rights. She invited officials, same-sex couples, and activists to tell their stories and to reflect on the prior day’s California Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8.

This event turned out to be one of the highlights of my week. It was incredibly sweet, and several of the speakers brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me what this fight is all about – love and equality. It also reminded me of the joy I felt back in June, when Mayor Dellums officiated over the first Oakland same-sex weddings in the packed Council Chambers.  Here are some photos I took at the event:

La Raye Lyles, Lisa Fujie Parks, and their daughter.

La Raye Lyles, Lisa Fujie Parks, and their daughter.

Teresa Chung (in the middle), with her daughter and daughter-in-law. She gave the most moving speech of the afternoon, in English and Spanish, explaining that her daughter's marriage is no different than her son's marriage to his wife.

Teresa Chung (in the middle), with her daughter and daughter-in-law. She gave the most moving speech of the afternoon, in English and Spanish, explaining that her daughter's marriage is no different than her son's marriage to his wife.

Samee Roberts and Karen Boyd, the first couple to be married by Mayor Dellums in June 2008.

Samee Roberts and Karen Boyd, the first couple to be married by Mayor Dellums in June 2008.

Reverend Byron Williams gave an emotional and high energy speech about the ongoing fight for civil rights, including marriage equality.

Reverend Byron Williams gave an emotional and high energy speech about the ongoing fight for civil rights, including marriage equality.

City Attorney John Russo told the audience about the resolution he introduced while on the City Council in support of domestic partnership. Even back then, he knew that was just an incremental step towards full marriage equality.

City Attorney John Russo told the audience about the resolution he introduced while on the City Council in support of domestic partnership. Even back then, he knew that it was just an incremental step towards full marriage equality.

At the end of the event, Rebecca Kaplan gave flowers to all of the married same-sex couples in attendance.

At the end of the event, Rebecca Kaplan gave flowers to all of the married same-sex couples in attendance.

The entire event was aired on KTOP and is supposed to be aired again later this week, though I don’t know when. If anyone can find out, I recommend watching it.

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