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Mounting Protests Against Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 9th, 2008

Protests continue to mushroom across California in the wake of last week’s passage of Proposition 8, which eliminated the right to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

In Los Angeles:

Police estimated that 12,500 boisterous marchers converged about 6 p.m. at Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards in Silver Lake near the site of the former Black Cat bar, which the city recently designated a historic-cultural monument for its ’60s role as home of the local gay rights movement.  Police guided the demonstrators through the streets for more than three hours without major confrontations. No arrests were reported.

…Steering the crowds, several hundred officers were on scene, riding horses, motorcycles and bicycles. Others on foot were sprinkled through the crowd. Mario Mariscal, 20, and his mother, Delia Perez, a 45-year-old Guatemalan immigrant, stood on the Sunset Boulevard sidewalk. Mariscal came out to his mother as gay when he was 16. She held a sign saying, “Give my son his rights.”

In San Diego:

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people marched from Hillcrest to North Park behind a giant rainbow flag in protest of Proposition 8. The measure, approved Tuesday by 52 percent of voters, overturns the state Supreme Court ruling in May that legalized gay marriage.

“I don’t want anyone to take away my right to marry,” said Ken Hagen, a University City newlywed who marched down University Avenue alongside his partner, John Young. Chants for equality were sometimes drowned out by drivers honking their horns in support of the passing crowd. Signs waved and bobbed in the air with slogans such as “We Shall Overcome” and “Not Gay, Love You Anyway.”

In San Francisco:

Thousands of demonstrators marched down Market Street in San Francisco on Friday night to protest the passage earlier this week of Proposition 8, which effectively bans same-sex marriage in California.

The march began around 5:30 p.m., as the group worked its way west toward its final destination of Dolores Park. A large group remained around Ninth and Market streets, holding signs, chanting and jamming traffic. About a dozen Muni buses were stuck in the traffic mess.

In Oakland:

Backlash to the passage of an anti-gay-marriage law continued to sweep across California on Sunday, with hundreds of protesters rallying outside the Mormon Temple on Lincoln Avenue in the Oakland Hills. Same-sex marriage supporters carried signs, blew whistles, and passing cars honked in support outside the largest temple in the Bay Area. The Mormon church was among the top contributors to the effort to pass Proposition 8.

…The California Highway Patrol was forced to shut down the nearby Joaquin Miller and Lincoln on and off-ramps to the freeway due to the Oakland protest. A CHP dispatcher said the highway ramps were closed to protect pedestrians from traffic.

In Orange County:

About 300 people gathered in front of Saddleback Church protesting the recently-passed gay marriage ban this morning. Holding signs reading “Shame on Rick Warren” and “Preach Love not Discrimination,” the crowd chanted “Equal rights now.”

…In Orange County, hundreds protested without incident in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach yesterday. Protests were planned in Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita today.

In Sacramento:

Thousands of Prop 8 opponents demonstrated at the State Capitol Sunday for the latest rally against the measure banning same-sex marriage in California.

By 2:00 p.m., thousands of people had massed in front of the California statehouse. The event was the latest demonstration in Sacramento and across the state since the passage of Proposition 8 Tuesday, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In Santa Barbara:

Many people at a rally in Santa Barbara Friday night not only oppose Proposition 8, they oppose the fact that it was on the ballot to begin with. “This should not have been a ballot measure, the basic fundamental human rights shouldn’t be voted on by the electorate,” said David Selberg with Pacific Pride Foundation.

In Long Beach:

More than 2,000 demonstrators marched through Long Beach on Friday night, protesting the passage of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in California. Fifteen people were arrested.

The march started about 7:30 p.m. and within an hour had taken over Broadway, with protesters shouting and holding signs with such messages as “Did we vote on your marriage?”

See also:
LDS Church Can’t Hide Behind A Temple
Thousands Protest In Salt Lake City’s Temple Square
Protesters Target Mormon Temple in Westwood

Comments

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Emily K
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

I worry that our opponents will take this opportunity to start a persecution complex over this. But I feel so strongly that they deserve protest. However, i DO object to the use of the swastika in that one protest sign. It might be relevent – considering the Nazi depletion of human rights was fairly gradual – but still.

AJD
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

Emily, remember that gays were among the victims of the Holocaust. I think we have every right to use it.

At this point, the last thing we should do is allow fear of the religious right’s “persecution complex” dissuade us from making a stand. We need to let people know that it is we who are persecuted — it’s not as though they’ve been excluded from the constitution!

Patrick
November 9th, 2008 | LINK

The religious right always has a persecution complex – this will not change that but it will mean that their activities will be exposed for everyone else to see. And that is a welcome change. Previously they’ve lied, deceived, and mislead in secret – we must shout it from the rooftops and document it for all to see.

cooner
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

I agree … Part of me is worried about a potential backlash, but a bigger part of me wants to stand up to the minority of bullying Christians who do this kind of thing.

And looking at all these protests going on less than a week after the vote, I can’t help feel it seems plausible the passage of Prop 8 could grow into a really galvanizing event for the cause.

I wanted to attend a San Jose rally this afternoon but got caught up in some deadline work … I’ll have to watch for others!

cowboy
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

I heard a rumor about a nation-wide rally happening on the 15th ?

I think we have made our point…for now. We’re starting to annoy and we are in danger of becoming an irritating noise that will do more harm to our cause than some possible positive results in rallying outside a Church.

I’m all for an organized (ala March on Washington) this summer or maybe reserve a section of the D.C. mall for GLBT supporters at the Inauguration in January. After all, we still need to convince our Democratic majority in Congress of other gay issues.

We need to solicit support from our non-gay friends…much like the spontaneous support we saw at the Salt Lake City rally. There were many walking the route around Temple Square who were not gay but felt strongly supporting our cause. That’s the key to our success: Our appeal to fair-minded people to join us on our quest for equality.

AJD
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

cowboy, the attitude you’re showing is exactly the problem and exactly we keep getting stomped on in election after election.

I’m not singling you out, but a lot of people here and elsewhere keep saying “Gee, maybe we should tone it down before we feed their persecution complex or irritate them.”

And this has been the overarching theme of gay activism for far too long: Don’t push any buttons; don’t get on anyone’s nerves; don’t act like the cornered animal you are; just kiss ass and act all sweet and nice and lovey-dovey!

That sort of attitude wouldn’t have gotten any civil rights or social change movement anywhere, and look at where it’s gotten us…

These people need to be irritated and made to feel under attack. That’s the only way they’re going to realize that we mean business and we’re not going to take their abuse anymore.

AJD
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Another thing is that from what I gather reading about the religious right and interacting with people who have that kind of mindset is that a lot of them are totally convinced that they really mean well and aren’t doing anything to hurt anyone.

They need to know that they are hurting people and what they do is evil. Simply sending out mass emails that say “This amendment will hurt real families and enshrine discrimination in the Constitution” won’t do it.

I’ll use the analogy I did before: They’re like a 2-year-old tormenting a cat; when the cat yelps with pain, they just think it’s funny; when the cat shreds them with its claws, then they get the point.

Emily K
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

yes there is a nation-wide protest, which I will be attending. This is great b/c I’ve been looking for a protest out here on the opposite end of the country to go to.

quo III
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

I think that one of the signs being used in those demonstrations (“Did we vote on your marriage?”) shows a total lack of understanding of how the other side feels.

From their point of view, the answer to that question is yes: they see marriage as by definition a union between a man and a woman. Allowing marriages between persons of the same sex turns it into something else, something they don’t necessarily want to be part of.

Gay supporters of same-sex marriage need to realize that people feel that something is being taken from them by redefining marriage. Simply insisting that this isn’t happening won’t change their minds.

quo III
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Emily K,

I agree with you about the swastikas. It adds an element of hysteria that isn’t helpful.

Ken R
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

quo III,

To some that voted Yes on 8 it maybe the definition of marriage they feel should not be changed but many more on the Right feel that any government validation of gay relationships is supporting a “sinful lifestyle”. And this has been said over and over again by those on the Right on their websites and blogs.

Some RR figures like Tony Perkins claim on TV they don’t have a problem with our civil unions (civil union scheme to quote him on CNN with AC) or domestic partnerships but Florida’s Amendment 2 has shown otherwise. There is to be no recognition of civil unions or anything remotely looking like a marriage. This is what they truly want. No government recognition of gay relationships period!

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

quoIII

What a steaming crock of bull.

We’re talking about government recognition of marriage which has nothing at all to do with religious meanings of marriage. If you didn’t go get a civil marriage license and only married in the church, the government wouldn’t recognize your “marriage” either.

The only thing you loose by allowing gay marriages to be recognized by a civil government is your sense of heterosuperiotity. You don’t even loose the right for your church to refuse to perform religious marriages or even refuse the religious right to not recognize SSM as a valid marriage.

Nothing about civil law requires religious approval.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

This should have read:

Nothing about civil law requires religious approval recognition.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Damn. The strikeout code didn’t work.

Nothing about civil law requires religious recognition or the performance of a religious ceremony.

quo III
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano A,

From whose point of view does government recognition of marriage have nothing to do with the religious meaning of marriage? Yours? Do you think that the supporters of Proposition 8 see things that way?

Timothy Kincaid
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

quo III

From whose point of view does government recognition of marriage have nothing to do with the religious meaning of marriage?

From the point of view of the US Constitution.

quo III
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano A,

You wrote, “The only thing you loose by allowing gay marriages to be recognized by a civil government is your sense of heterosuperiotity.”

What an ugly and degrading view of the matter. That would only be true if heterosexual marriage had no other value to heterosexuals than the fact that it does not include homosexuals.

It would be more reasonable to assume that turning marriage into something other than a union between men and women is wrong in itself to many heterosexuals, and that its wrongness is partly independent of fact that that this measure is intended to benefit homosexuals.

Timothy Kincaid
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Quo III,

Your notion that heterosexuals base the value of their marriage upon whether gays can get one is both insulting to most heterosexuals and to the institution of marriage itself.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

From the very basic fact that the government does not bestow any religious or sacramental many of marriage upon any marriage.

If it did, it would be entitled to regulate against inter-faith marriages, require that no one could be recognized as being married if they were not married in a church, synagogue, or temple, and would not allow you to be married by a justice of the piece, a ship captain, or any other individual authorized to perform a marriage that isn’t a religious cleric.

If the government bestowed the sacramental many of marriage the only valid marriage would be one performed with the sacramental blessings.

Also, the constitution forbids the government to make religious endorsements.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Your notion that heterosexuals base the value of their marriage upon whether gays can get one is both insulting to most heterosexuals and to the institution of marriage itself.

That is a complete distortion of what I side.

You made the statement of what You would loose, when the point was that you would loose nothing you don’t already have other than a sanctomonious sense of superiority you use to degrade, belittle and devalue same sex relationships.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

side=said

Timothy Kincaid
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Stefano, you misunderstand.

I was not stating your views. I was paraphrasing Quo III’s views and pointing out how ridiculous they are.

Stefano A
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy, sorry. I misquoted.

I meant to quote this by qIII:

What an ugly and degrading view of the matter. That would only be true if heterosexual marriage had no other value to heterosexuals than the fact that it does not include homosexuals.

Doc Marten
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

This comment has been deleted due to violations of our Comments Policy.

cowboy
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

ADJ,

My diplomatic course of action is mainly due to my situation: my co-workers, my social life and my home life.

I have to have some semblance of a life here and being a hard-nosed homo (read: radical) could cost me dearly. That’s why I’m a little more conciliatory.

Patrick
November 10th, 2008 | LINK

“Gay supporters of same-sex marriage need to realize that people feel that something is being taken from them by redefining marriage.”

What? What is being taken from them? I have yet to have seen any logical explanation.

Furthermore, in cultures throughout the world same-sex marriages have always existed. Nothing is being redefined.

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