Gay groups across the nation are
preparing for Tuesday's ruling by the California Supreme Court on the
state's controversial gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.
The court announced Friday it would
hand down its decision Tuesday morning at 10AM.
Justices will rule on a lawsuit that
seeks to invalidate the November results of a referendum that placed
a gay marriage ban in the California Constitution.
Proposition 8 effectively overturned
the high court's 4 to 3 decision that legalized gay marriage last May
and put an end to the thousands of gay and lesbian marriages that
took place during the June-to-November “summer of love” when gay
marriage was legal. The court will also rule on the fate of 18,000
Gay marriage proponents began preparing
for the decision in March, shortly after the court heard oral
The largest event is being organized by
veteran gay activists Robin Tyler and Andy Thayer. The Day
of Decision is a large, multi-state demonstration scheduled to
take place on Tuesday night, just hours after gay activists learn
whether they will be celebrating or protesting the court's decision.
California activities connected to the
event include: In San Francisco a prayer service at Grace Cathedral
is scheduled for Monday at 7PM, while a blessing on Tuesday at St.
Francis Lutheran Church begins at 8:30AM; On Tuesday in Los Angeles,
a rally will take place outside the County Marriage License Office at
12AM and a rally and march begins at 7PM in the West Hollywood
neighborhood; Activists will gather at 7PM Tuesday for a rally at
the Palm Springs Courthouse; And San Diegans will rally Tuesday at
5PM at Balboa Park.
Over 20 states have planned Day of
Decision activities on Tuesday in solidarity with California
Another large demonstration is being
organized in socially conservative Fresno, where activists will
descend upon City Hall on Saturday during the Meet
in the Middle for Equality rally and march.
Organizer Robin McGehee says Fresno's
middle-town experience is more typical of California values and
voters, adding that winning marriage equality in California means
changing hearts and minds of voters in small towns like Fresno.
Activists like McGehee say losing the
Proposition 8 battle has only served to energize an otherwise
lethargic gay and lesbian community.
“Whenever you lose, although it's a
bad thing, it's also a good thing, because what happens is there's
this embolden activist network that has [emerged] in California that
says 8 is no longer enough,” McGehee told OUTTAKEOnline
CEO Charlotte Robinson in April. “Before we were just fighting for
marriage equality, now we want federal equality. And we want it
across the board, because we now know how vindictive this campaign
McGehee says her middle-America rally
will be peaceful, but rhetoric from Day of Decision organizers
suggests a more boisterous response.
“During the campaign, the Yes-on-8
people hit us with a sledgehammer and our side hit back with a
slingshot,” Tyler told The Women on the Web in March. “The
time for candlelight vigils is over.”
“Depending on what the court
decides,” the Day of Decision website says, “we will either
protest or celebrate.”
Reaction to Tuesday's ruling will not
end with demonstrations, however. Activists in California are
preparing to meet at the ballot box again as early as next year. The
only question to be answered Tuesday is: Will voters be facing a pro-
or anti-gay marriage referendum?