Tag Archives: California Supreme Court

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!

Quick Updates on Prop 8 Lawsuit & the Creekside Project

22 Nov

I’m thoroughly enjoying DC and Maryland (except for the biting cold wind), but I thought I’d take a moment for some exciting updates on the meetings I posted about last week.

On Tuesday, in a closed session, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to join the lawsuit calling for the repeal of Proposition 8. Thanks so much to everyone who contacted the board or spoke at Tuesday’s meeting!

Then on Wednesday, the California Supreme Court announced they would review the case. Be_Devine has the details over at Calitics:

One early indicator of the way the Supreme Court sees the issues in any given case is to look at what questions it certifies for review.  Here, the Court certified three questions:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

The Court allowed the Official Proponents of Proposition 8 to intervene in the litigation.  This means that they can file a Respondent’s Brief along with the Attorney General’s office.  The Court denied a similar request filed by the Campaign for California Families.

Some more good news is that the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Creekside project on Wednesday night. I heard that several neighborhood members spoke out in support of the project, while a few members of STAND spoke out against it. Via an email from an ULTRA member:

What was most rewarding was hearing each Planning Commissioner who spoke (Huntsman had no comments) echo what ULTRA has been saying for years –
General Plan = The Law
Higher Density = Economic vitality
Higher Density = Lower cost housing
Transit Oriented Development = Less need for parking

I look forward to seeing this project built and to getting rid of that empty parking lot.

I unfortunately have no update on Rebecca Kaplan’s victory party, though I do know that dto510 made a great mixtape for the party. If you attended, I’d love to know how the party went.

What a beautifully surreal week…

16 May

This week has been kind of amazing, in an extremely surreal way. It seemed almost appropriate that we had 90+ degree weather in Oakland during the end of the week – a perfect setting for so many historic events to take place in…

On Wednesday, Karen Bass was sworn in as the Speaker of the Assembly. She is the first African-American woman to lead any state or federal legislature, and it was inspiring to read her speech. From what I heard from those who were in Sacramento, it was even more incredible to be part of the excitement.

But the real excitement for me came yesterday morning, when I received an alert from Equality California about the California Supreme Court’s decision (PDF) to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage. I was a bit surprised at my reaction – I was teary eyed at the moment I heard and those tears have returned several times as I’ve thought about what this means.

It’s odd because for most of my life, I haven’t thought much about marriage. It never really seemed that necessary or even desirable to me. But yesterday, when I found out that I could now marry my girlfriend if we wanted to, I realized that this right is incredibly important to me. (My girlfriend certainly helped me come to this realization by showing up at my office unannounced yesterday afternoon with popsicles for me and all my co-workers.)

Today, it hit me again when I got another email with an FAQ about marriage, in light of the decision. It became so concrete when I found out that I could get married almost immediately to anyone I wanted, no matter his/her gender (well, assuming s/he wanted to marry me). Really, I could get married next month, and the gender of my partner wouldn’t be an obstacle.

I know this probably all sounds obvious considering the ruling, but it’s taken a day and a half to fully settle in. It completely alters my life options, and I couldn’t be much more elated by this.

This evening, riding home on the bus, I ran into Rebecca Kaplan. I hadn’t realized until I read her Daily Kos diary earlier this week, but if elected to the Oakland City Council, she would be Oakland’s first openly lesbian elected official. In this surreal and wonderful week filled with firsts and changes, it seemed appropriate that as I ended the week, I ran into someone who’s poised to make history on June 3rd.