Join Oaklanders to protest the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8

26 May

The California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8 was just announced. In a 6-1 ruling, they upheld Proposition 8. On the bright side, they unanimously voted to uphold the 18,000 existing marriages, including those that were married nearly one year ago at Oakland City Hall. This was how I felt on the night those marriages took place:

The evening was altogether surreal. The ceremonies were delayed for about 45 minutes so I only was able to stick around for a few of the weddings, but the wait was worth it. Being there energized me and made me feel really good about the community I live in…

Though my partner could not make it out to the festivities with me, I was thinking of her the entire time. This past month has been really transformative for us. The Supreme Court ruling and the marriages yesterday have altered the way we think and talk about our future. I’ve been a bit surprised by how important the change in laws and discourse has been to us (something Julia Rosen discussed today over at Calitics).

We’re not planning to get married anytime soon, but last night was the first time we’ve ever talked about where great honeymoon spots would be, why we could never get married at Burning Man, and silly things like that. It’s finally a real option. I had this realization a month ago, but it hit me again last night. When I got home from City Hall I practically collapsed crying in my girlfriend’s arms telling her how much I loved her and that now our city and our state would recognize our love.

But those feelings crumbled when Prop 8 passed and remain lost now that the Supreme Court has upheld it. As of today, I still don’t have the right to marry the woman I love. I’m confident that one day that will change, but I’m still deeply disappointed.

Tonight, people will gather all over the country to protest this decision. In Oakland, you can join our local Day of Decision gathering at 6 pm at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland at 685 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612. If you’re looking for a place to reflect with other community members, this is the place to go.

UPDATE: There’s another rally happening tonight at Lake Merritt. Here are the details (via Sean Sullivan and dto510):

8pm – Meet and Gather @ East Shore Park aka Lakeshore Park (between 580 and the Columns of Lake Merritt)
9pm – Walk the Lake in Unity

Please bring signs, candles, and an ally! We all need each other but we also need our straight brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends to be out in force with us tonight!

6 Responses to “Join Oaklanders to protest the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8”

  1. Karen Hester May 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks Becks for writing this–it’s back to grassroutes organizing and I think the Courage Campaign has a terrific ad they are running in the state

  2. Motoproponent May 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    I am a firm believer in same sex marriage. I think All should have the same rights. But as sad as I was to see Prop 8 pass I was frustrated with the backlash from opponents of the measure. The people of California spoke. It’s time to get creative and find a new avenue for Marital Equality. This may be the time that winds of change blow from the east instead of the usual trend setting Left Coast. I mean if Iowa and Maine can see the light, there has to be something that can be done in the Golden State. This just might not be it.

    • Becks May 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

      Backlash? I really didn’t see much of that. What I saw was people joining together to stand up for marriage equality. Like at the Join the Impact rallies across the country or at the speak out organized by Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. I think people are getting creative, especially the Courage Campaign, which has conducted several Camp Equality trainings across the state that have lead to the formation of local equality teams.

      Though I was incredibly depressed when Prop 8 passed, I think much positive energy and action has resulted from its passage and will continue past the time that we restore marriage equality.

  3. Linda Hodges May 26, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    Oakland Faith Leader Speaks Out on California Supreme Court Decision

    Oakland –Following the California Supreme Court’s decision yesterday to uphold Prop. 8, which stripped same-sex couples of their right to marry, proponents of equality rallied across the state in protest and in solidarity, vowing to restore the freedom to marry.

    Speaking at a vigil at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland on the night of the decision, the Rev. Kathy Huff sought to bring solace and offer support to battle-scarred and beleaguered activists, gay and straight allied community members and those personally affected by the outcome of the court’s decision.

    “Though the power of the land has chosen, we will not accept that choice. We will not accept that such a law is just. We will not stand by while members of our human family are denied equality and freedom to marry. Let it be known that the conscience of this religious community is deep and it is clear. We will not let this day turn us back; we will continue to do our work to move the tides of change forward.”

    The First Unitarian Church of Oakland, located downtown on the corner of 14th and Castro Streets, is part of the larger Unitarian Universalist Association, whose guiding first principle affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. The Oakland church welcomes and celebrates the presence and participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, queer and/or questioning people.

    “The congregation works to confront homophobia and heterosexism wherever it manifests – here in Oakland and all across the state of California,” said Rev. Huff. “I believe that the court’s ruling against equality undermines the State constitution,” she concluded.

    Her statement is in keeping the high court’s one dissenting opinion (6-1) by Justice Carlos R. Moreno.

    “Requiring discrimination against a minority group on the basis of a suspect classification strikes at the core of the promise of equality that underlies our California Constitution,” Moreno wrote. The ruling, he argued, “not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized . . . it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities.”

    As the peaceful vigil filled with singing, tears and determination came to a close, Rev. Huff invited all those present to commit to working together with the church and with the gay community in the days, weeks and months to follow.

  4. Motoproponent May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    It seemed like backlash to me. From my many gay coworkers and riding buddies and Members of the Forums I frequently post on. Maybe I was having trouble seeing the larger impact and the other proponents of the cause because I was overwhelmed by seeing those close to me hurt. I do think that pounding the drums here in the bay area are a kin to preaching to the choir. We need to change minds in Bakersfield, Eureka, Coalinga, and Baker. Not in San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley.

    • Becks May 28, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

      I’m unclear – are you equating people feeling hurt with a backlash? Because I was extremely hurt by the passage of 8 and felt angry for a while, but I think people are entitled to their feelings. The important thing is to channel that negative energy into a positive movement, which I think has happened.

      Going into the campaign, I thought the same thing about geographic focus, but then I started phoning Oaklanders. I phoned hundreds of people for Rebecca Kaplan and no on 8, and you might be surprised that I talked to several people who were very much in support of Prop 8. I even talked to one person who was enthusiastically supporting Kaplan but also enthusiastically voting yes on 8. I’m guessing this person didn’t know about her sexual orientation, but it still blew me away.

      Sure, there’s lots of work to be done in the Central Valley, but keep in mind that Los Angeles voted yes on 8. If there had been more effective outreach done in urban areas, 8 could have been defeated.

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