Seattle Responds to Prop 8 Ruling

 

About 500 people gathered at Westlake Center on May 26th to express their anger at the California Supreme Court ruling that upheld Prop 8. This decision bans same-sex marriage in California. Among the speakers at the rally were Washington State Senator Ed Murray and Washington State Representative Jamie Peterson.

 

Serveral of the rally speakers spoke about Washington State Referendum 71. This referendum would repeal the month-old Domestic Partnership Expansion Law of 2009 that gives registered domestic partners and their families many vital rights and protections. The speakers emphasized the importance of warning everyone they know about the consequences of the referendum.

Many people were dissatisfied with the speeches. The criticism centered on the fact that the only speakers permitted on the stage were representatives from the Democratic Party and their handpicked "grassroots" allies such as Equal Rights Washington and Join the Impact. Chanan Suarez-Diaz of the Iraq Veterans Against the War asked to speak as a gay Iraq Veteran, but he was told no. From the crowd, with a bullhorn,  Jane Cutter of the World Can't Wait told the speakers, "No rights have ever been given to us by courts or politicians. We are going to take our rights because we are human beings."

Frustrated by the tone of the speeches, members of the Queer Ally Coalition led half of the crowd to the streets. They marched up Pike Street chanting about the power of their movement. The cops did not try to get them out of the street, they just acted as an escort. Passersby cheered the marchers on.

Continuing north along Broadway, drivers showed their support by honking their horns. The march ended at Cal Anderson Park where activists spoke about organizing to fight for their rights. Many marchers came forward to speak about what the day meant for them and what they hoped future would hold -- the right to marry.

 

Lisa Stone of Legal Voice called the California State Supreme Court Ruling ruling "really stupid."

 

The Rev. David Strong told activists that he was prepared  for Washington State to legalize same-sex marriage and he looked forward to officiating at many of these marriages.

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Additional Resources

 

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