The Supreme Court of California has ruled 6-1 to uphold Prop 8, a ballot measure passed last fall that bans gay marriage in that state. Check back on Xtra.ca for updates and reaction from gay rights groups throughout the day. Also, find out more about Prop 8 protests in the US, Toronto and Vancouver.
We also have some raw video of the Prop 8 protest in Vancouver:
May 26, 7:30pm Pacific:
Protests are underway across California. Gay journalist Rex Wockner reports 5,000 marching in San Diego. Freelance writer Liz Highleyman is doing a fab job covering the San Francisco protest via her Twitter account. Check back on Xtra.ca tonight for her first-person account and pictures of the protest.
The Guide magazine contributor Michael K Lavers reports that over 2,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan today to protest the Prop 8 court decision. Check out his blog for text, pics and video.
SFGate.com reports that 100 protesters were arrested in San Francisco this afternoon:
“Among the first to go were Shawn Higgins and Robert Franco of San Francisco. The two men, who said they are engaged in marry, had stood for about an hour in the intersection calmly kissing while demonstrators all around them screamed, “Prop. 8 will go down, San Francisco (is a) big queer town” and other slogans.”
Just got back from Toronto’s rally in response to the Prop 8 decision, at the US Consulate. About two dozen people showed up — check out pics here and here. Some rough video coming soon.
Police are reportedly arresting peaceful protesters outside the California Supreme Court in San Francisco. Follow @1Struggle1Fight on Twitter for live updates, including pics of the arrests as they happen (photo courtesy of One Struggle, One Fight):
Xtra freelancer Chris Dupuis was on the scene at the California Supreme Court this morning. Read his first-person report.
It’s chilly and cloudy in Toronto — wondering if that will deter some from attending the Toronto Prop 8 protest (5:30pm Eastern, US Consulate, 360 University Ave). Only 50 or so people have confirmed attendance on Facebook, but perhaps the word will spread through other means. Xtra.ca will be there to post pics and updates on our Twitter account, and we’ll have video from the Toronto and Vancouver protests later this evening.
CBS has a helicopter capturing the protest outside the California Supreme Court in San Francisco. Watch the live video feed (note: the live feed has now ended).
More reaction: Equality California says it wants to put a measure on the 2010 ballot to repeal Prop 8, and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Matt Coles says “When we’re ready, we’ll go back to the ballot and we’ll get Proposition 8 repealed.”
Protests already underway in San Francisco. Gay marriage advocates take to the streets outside the California Supreme Court:
(thanks to Towleroad for the link)
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign — a US queer rights organization, reacts to the Prop 8 ruling:
“Today’s ruling is a huge blow to Americans everywhere who care about equality. The court has allowed a bare majority of voters to write same-sex couples out of basic constitutional protections. This ruling is painful, but it represents a temporary setback. There will be a groundswell to restore marriage equality in our nation’s largest state, and HRC will not give up until marriage equality is restored in California.
“While we are relieved that the 18,000 couples who married before the Prop 8 vote will still have valid marriages, it does not in any way remove the sting of this ruling.”
Twitter is flooded with Prop 8-related Tweets. #rejectprop8, #prop8 and California Supreme are among the most talked about topics right now.
In its ruling, the court says it was “constitutionally bound” to uphold the Prop 8 ballot measure:
“Having been approved by a majority of the voters at the November 4, 2008 election, the initiative measure lawfully amends the California Constitution to include the new provision as article I, section 7.5.
“In a sense, petitioners’ and the Attorney General’s complaint is that it is just too easy to amend the California Constitution through the initiative process. But it is not a proper function of this court to curtail that process; we are constitutionally bound to uphold it.”
Read the full court opinion (PDF, 185 pages, approx 500kb).
The court has upheld Prop 8, but allows 18,000 existing same-sex marriages to stand. More info soon.
No word yet. In other news, the California Supreme Court website has crashed. You can watch live video from outside the court (located in San Francisco) on CNN.com. (Note: Video link no longer active)
The court is considering three questions related to the challenges of Proposition 8’s passage back in November — a move that restricted marriage to opposite-sex couples. The court will decide:
- Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?
- Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?
- If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
Gay marriage advocates have planned protests across the US. Two rallies have also been planned for Canadian cities — read more about why some Canadians are rallying around gay marriage in California. Xtra.ca will be at both events, so check back tonight for video coverage and follow us on Twitter for updates:
Corner of Davie and Denman.
360 University Ave.
Rallies across the US.