I know you’re out there somewhere, and you’re mad as hell about California’s decision to uphold Prop H8. I wanted my first post to you following your passing on to be something sweet. But I haven’t had the emotional strength to sit down and do it. Now I’m mad. So i’m using this strength today as you’d want me to. To protest something that was one of your biggest causes, the rights for everyone to marry.
I’ll be hitting the streets at 7pm tonight in Chicago. Anyone reading this today, please make sure you check to see where yours is, California or not. This will not be pretty, I’ll tell you that.
From Day of Decision
Pro-Gay Activists in Over 100 Cities
To Protest California Court Decision
On Prop 8 Tonight
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 — With the California Supreme Court’s decision minutes ago upholding that state’s anti-gay Proposition 8, pro-gay activists in at least 108 cities have vowed to react with angry protests tonight to denounce they see as the brazen taking away of their equal rights.
While the court’s decision preserved the 18,000 same-sex marriages already performed, the main point of contention, the anti-gay Prop 8, was upheld, and therefore gay activists will respond tonight with protests.
Day of Decision co-founder Robin Tyler and her wife, Diane Olson, were the first and only couple married on June 16, 2008 in Los Angeles County. They married during the months after the California Supreme Court embraced same-sex marriage rights and before Proposition 8 cut off that right. They were the first plaintiffs in the suit which brought about the original court decision and were co-plaintiffs in the suit just decided by the court today.
“Even though our marriage is preserved by today’s decision, we take no joy in the fact that marriage equality for almost everyone else has been removed from our state,” said Tyler. “The upholding of Proposition 8 by the court is a cowardly retreat from the pro-equality stance it took last year, and makes our state a laggard behind pro-equality states like Iowa and most New England states.”
Andy Thayer, Day of Decision’s other co-founder, is also co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network and recently received widespread news coverage for his arrest with 30 others while participating in a Gay Pride protest in Moscow, Russia.
After tonight’s protests Tyler and Thayer see the next step for gay equality to be repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. DOMA prevents same-sex couples in even the marriage equality states from accessing federal benefits that their heterosexual peers take for granted.
Most critically, DOMA allows non-marriage equality states to directly flout the U.S. Constitution’s “full faith and credit clause” under which contracts made in one state cannot be invalidated in others. Currently states that have, say, higher ages for legal heterosexual marriage are required to observe “underage” marriages performed in other states, but DOMA allows states to flout this same requirement for gay people.
“Many civil rights struggles historically have started with a state-by-state strategy to begin with, but at a certain point they must break out of that localism and take things onto the national stage if they are to be successful,” said Tyler. “By taking on DOMA, the lynchpin of federal anti-gay policy, we will be doing that.”
“The Democrats control both houses of Congress and the Presidency,” said Thayer. “They gave us the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and now it’s their responsibility to clean up their mess, and we will do all in our power to force them to do so.”
“If President Obama does not repeal DOMA and DontAsk,DontTell, both of which he promised our community while running for President, the only gay Divorce you will see, for those of us who supported him, is the gay community’s divorce from the Democratic Party,” adds Tyler.
A full listing of tonight’s actions in over 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada can be found at http://www.DayOfDecision.com