As protests against California's Proposition 8 continue, gay marriage supporters remain undeterred in their efforts to overturn the ban.
Since Prop 8 passed with 52 percent support on Nov 4, thousands have rallied in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and smaller cities across California.
More protests are planned for the coming week. A group called Join the Impact has planned a national protest against Prop 8 in the US. On Nov 15, the group is urging supporters of gay marriage to attend a protest in their state, at 10:30am PST / 1:30pm EST. Click here for a jointheimpact.wetpaint.com full list of protest locations in the US.
Canadians are getting on board too: rallies against Prop 8 are planned for Canadian cities on Nov 15. More information can be found at jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/page/Canada. As of Nov 13, the page lists rallies in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary. Information can also be found on Facebook for these Nov 15 rallies:
- Montreal - 1pm EST - The Roddick Gates of McGill University (845 Sherbrooke St West)
- Toronto - 1:30pm EST - US Consulate General (360 University Ave)
- Ottawa - 1:30pm EST - Human Rights Monument (Elgin and Lisgar)
- Vancouver - 10:30am PST - Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St)
Watch this video from a San Diego protest on Nov 8, where between 7,000 and 10,000 people took to the streets:
Many protestors have directed their anger at the Mormon church, which raised millions to support the Yes on Prop 8 campaign and its misleading advertising. The Mormon church reportedly contributed between 40 and 70 percent of the money raised by the Yes on Prop 8 campaign.
Gay marriage supporters have taken their protests directly to Mormon temples in California and beyond. Roughly 3,000 protested outside the Latter Day Saints headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah on Nov 7. A few protestors have even called for a boycott of Utah's tourism industry and others want the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to strip the Mormon church of its tax status as a religious organization. Mormonsstoleourrights.com argues that IRS policy forbids churches from "carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation."
Check out video footage of the Prop 8 protest in Salt Lake City, Nov 7:
A few protestors have also turned their frustration on blacks, after exit polls suggested most African Americans supported Prop 8. Blogger Rod McCullom of Rod 2.0 has reported cases of racism at No on Prop 8 protests, directed at gay marriage advocates who are black. McCullom received several emails from readers, including one Los Angeles resident who says he and his boyfriend, who are both black, were subjected to racial abuse while carrying No on Prop 8 signs. An excerpt of the reader's email is below, from Rod 2.0:
"Three older men accosted my friend and shouted, 'Black people did this, I hope you people are happy!' A young lesbian couple with mohawks and Obama buttons joined the shouting and said they were 'very disappointed with black people' and 'how could we' after the Obama victory. This was stupid for them to single us out because we were carrying those blue No on Prop 8 signs!"
Meanwhile, multiple lawsuits have been filed that seek to overturn the ban on gay marriage.
On Nov 5, a legal coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Centre for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit challenging Prop 8, on behalf of Equality California. They say Prop 8 should never have been on the ballot in the first place.
"A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities," says Elizabeth Gill, of the ACLU of Northern California. "Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution."
Two other lawsuits have been filed: one on behalf of the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and Santa Clara County, and another on behalf of a married lesbian couple in Los Angeles.
Confusion arose on Nov 11 when a planned rally in Toronto for Nov 12 was cancelled. Over 200 people had confirmed that they would atttend the protest, which was to be held in front of the US consulate on Nov 12, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. It's not clear who organized the original Facebook event, which could have been found by searching for Protest against Prop 8. No 'creator' or 'admin' was listed. Prop 8 opponents are now urging people to show up to the Nov 15 rally, at the US consulate at 1:30pm.