San Francisco â€” Today the California Supreme Court declared that Proposition 8, approved by the voters in November, isÂ a valid amendment as was presented to the voters, but chose to uphold the marriages of the estimated 18,000 LGBT couples in California. Read the ruling HERE. This contradiction is bound to wreak havoc in the courts until it is challenged once again at the ballot box. In short, they’ve done nothing.
The leaders of Orange County’s two oldest LGBT political groups the Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats-OC (Milk OC) and the Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO) have released the following statement.
Orange County, CA – The Supreme Court of the State of California has shown that it does not have the courage of its convictions.Â Last year, the court acted honorably when it ruled that the California state constitution guarantees equal marriage rights for the LGBT community under the law.Â Today, acting out of fear of political retribution by the anti-gay lobby, they have repudiated their own ruling and have come to an unacceptable compromise.
By declaring Proposition 8 valid yet allowing those gay couples that are already married to remain married the court disenfranchises those in the LGBT community who were not ready or able to rush to City Halls across the state and participate in the civil ceremony their tax dollars help support when it was legal.Â Everyone in the LGBT community should have the opportunity to pursue happiness.
ECCO Chair, Jim Rogers commented, “Today is a sad day for Equality.Â The California Supreme Court has shown that the State of California is not a place where “All men (and women) are created equal.”Â The court has upheld the marriages of those couples married before the Prop. 8 vote, but has created an unequal society by not allowing all couples to enjoy the right of marriage.Â Everyone deserves the right to marry the person they love.Â California now takes a step back in the area of equality.Â Hopefully, the people of this state will understand soon, as have other states in our nation, that equality is a natural right everyone deserves!”
“Our setback today is just a stumbling block in the long and inevitable march toward full LGBT marriage equality.Â The tide is turning in our favor more and more every day.Â Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut now confer same-sex couples with all of the same rights and responsibilities of marriage as their heterosexual neighbors.Â These victories give us hope that, very soon, Californians will have the same opportunity,” declared Harvey Milk Stonewall President, John Santoianni.
“Today marks the continuation of inequality in California.Â Same-sex couples are only protected under the law if they are already married.Â This is a major step, however it created yet more inequality within our state.Â Â Children of same-sex couples,Â and gay parents in general, may or may not be protected should something happen to one of their parents.Â We must continue to fight for equal protection under the law for all people,” added Rogers.
Organizations supporting marriage equality including the Orange County Equality Coalition, The Center Orange County, Elections Committee of the County of Orange, Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats – OC and the Democratic Party of Orange County have organized a rally that will take place near the Old County Courthouse on Tuesday, May 26th at 6:00 pm on Sycamore Street, the street that is adjacent to and forms the eastern boundary of the Courthouse property.Â Â
The rally will bring together friends, supporters, community-based organizations and others who are interested in marriage equality, including public officials and faith leaders.Â Following a few brief remarks at the Sycamore Street location, the group will proceed west on West Santa Ana Boulevard and north on North Ross Street to the Plaza of the Flags, located in the Civic Center Plaza.Â Â
Street parking is available in the immediate vicinity in addition to nearby parking structures.Â Handicap access is available on the Courthouse property and along the route to the Plaza of the Flags.Â
The Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats of Orange County is a chapter of the National Stonewall Democrats and is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans both in California and nationwide.
Founded in 1982, the Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO) is an all volunteer, non-partisan political organization, serving Orange County and Long Beach, California, championing LGBT, HIV/AIDS, and Women’s causes through political advocacy. ECCO, the only combined federal and state LGBT PAC in California, strives to educate political leaders and candidates about issues that face our community.