Susan McGee: Prop 8 Ruling Will See Plaza Celebration – Or Protest

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Plaza rainbow 1Activists to Rally the day of the Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality 

The Supreme Court is soon to rule on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in California. Local members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Community (LBGTQand their straight friends, families and allies will rally at 6 p.m. at the Eureka Courthouse and the Arcata Plaza the day of the decision. It will be a celebration, a protest or maybe a little of both.

The ruling could result in the immediate overturn of Proposition 8 and the resumption of same gender marriages in California. At least two county clerks in California (San Bernardino and Riverside counties) are preparing to marry lesbian and gay couples.

If the Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8 as constitutional, supporters of marriage equality will try to put a referendum restoring same-gender marriage on the 2014 or 2016 ballot.

Supporters are buoyed by opinion polls showing rising support in California for same-sex marriage. A February Field Poll found that 61 percent of Californians believe lesbian and gay couples should be allowed to marry. Other polls also have found majority support for same-sex marriage. Prop. 8 passed 52 to 48 percent.

About 72 percent of Americans say legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable,” a survey released June 6 found.  This number includes 85 percent of same-sex marriage supporters as well as 59 percent of its opponents, according to the Pew Research Center‘s survey. The telephone survey was conducted May 1-5 among 1,504 U.S. adults. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

The Supreme Court will also rule on the Defense of Marriage Ac which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and therefore keeps legally married gay Americans from collecting more than 1100 federal benefits that are available to married people.

There are five ways the Supreme Court could rule on Proposition 8.

They could uphold it, they could state that it should not have taken the case in the first place or they could overturn it in three ways.

Rainbow Plaza 12-12-12The broadest ruling would apply across the country, in effect invalidating constitutional provisions or statutes against gay marriage everywhere.

The second option is that the judges would rule in favor of a “middle option. The court could choose to view this as a states-rights issue, where the federal government has no business meddling. That would essentially allow individuals in same-sex relationships to receive benefits, or not, based on the laws in their state of People are currently legally married in California, ConnecticutDelawareIowaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMinnesota,New HampshireNew YorkRhode IslandVermont and Washington.. (Marriage is also legal in Washington, D.C. and the Coquille, Suquamish and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians). But this ruling would not implicate marriage bans in other states and would leave open the question of whether states could deprive gay couples of any rights at all.

The narrowest of these potential outcomes would apply to California only. The justices could adopt the rationale of the federal appeals court that found that California could not take away the right to marry that had been granted by the state Supreme Court in 2008 before Proposition 8 passed later that year.

Organizers ask that supporters bring banners, flags, music, drums, noisemakers, signs and everyone they know.

For more information, call Susan McGee at (707) 601-6042.

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