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November 10, 2008


Protests against the passage of Proposition 8 in California have continued through Sunday.

In numbers and passions not seen since the murder of Matthew Sheppard, the GLBT community, along with many of their straight allies and supporters, again filled the streets and sidewalks to protest the gross injustice forced on the gay community by proposition 8.

The following chronology was taken from an excellent story posted at Box Turtle Bulletin:

In Los Angeles an estimated 12,500 boisterous marchers converged 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.

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.

“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.

In Oakland, hundreds of protesters rallyed 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 Mormon temple in the Bay Area.

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 protesters gathered in front of Saddleback Church holding signs reading “Shame on Rick Warren” and “Preach Love not Discrimination” as they chanted “Equal rights now.”

Hundreds also protested, without incident, in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach with more protests planned in Lake Forest, Laguna Niguel and Rancho Santa Margarita today.

In Sacramento, thousands of people 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.

In Santa Barbara, many people protested not only the passage of Proposition 8 but the fact that it was even 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 Friday night, protesting the passage of Proposition 8.

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?” Fifteen people were arrested.

Sunday protests also spread as far as Seattle, Washington where dozens of people picketed in front of a local Mormon church. As Mormons and their families walked to the church for services, they were met by protesters chanting “shame on the church” and “equal rights now.”

According to an article in today's Los Angeles Times, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already wed would not see their marriages nullified by the initiative.

"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview Sunday on CNN. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

The governor has, in the past, said that he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and even rejected legislation that would have authorized same-sex marriage. But he has also said that he wouldn't care if same-sex marriage were legal as long as it was decided by the voters or by the courts.

Schwarzenegger did, finally, come out publicly in opposition to Proposition 8 but his declaration was a little too late to have any real impact in the face of the massive amounts of money (70% from the Mormon church) that was spent on misleading and outright false TV and radio ads, direct mailers and the thousands of Mormon minions that were put into the field.

There have been multiple law suits filed with the state supreme court challenging the validity of the infamous proposition.

There is also a concerted effort underway to challenge the tax-exempt status of the Mormon church and others that used their substantial resources to pass prop 8.

In addition, there is a serious call for a boycott of the state of Utah similar to the successful boycott of Arizona when that state refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. day in the early nineties.

I'll have more on these developments as the week progresses.