Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Turning Point for Marriage Equality

This morning, the California Supreme Court, by a 6-1 vote, upheld Proposition 8, which added a section to the California Constitution providing "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The court also unanimously held that the new constitutional provision applies only prospectively, and does not affect the continued validity of the estimated 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that occurred prior to November 5, 2008, when the new constitutional provision took effect.

This decision highlights the very serious flaw in our initiative process that allows us to eliminate rights for classes of people so easily. We may be sad, angry, and even incredulous over this decision. But one thing is certain: marriage equality will come to California, as well as the entire nation. And we now have 18,000 legally married same-sex couples to stand with us in this quest.

A number of local, state, and national actions are planned in the wake of the decision. Find out more about these actions here.

If you are in, or close to, Marin County and cannot make it to San Francisco for any of the large rallies, Spectrum and Dan Miller invite you to gather on the garden patio at the Panama Hotel, 4 Bayview Street, San Rafael on Tuesday evening, May 26, from 5:30 - 7:00 PM (no-host bar, light appetizers). Location of Panama Hotel (map)

RALLY THIS SATURDAY IN FRESNO! MEET IN THE MIDDLE FOR EQUALITY to galvanize our forces with a day of unity of all peoples - gay and straight alike. Our peaceful events, including our Equality March and our Equality Rally, share the theme of "United for Equailty". Join with us and then take our vision back to your own communities where we can work together to change our world to include federal level equality, access & justice for all.

MARIN COMMUNITY FORUM, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 7-9 PM, ACQUA HOTEL, MILL VALLEY: Join Spectrum at this community forum featuring a panel of speakers, including Terry Stewart, an attorney who was on the legal team that argued to overturn Proposition 8 before the California Supreme Court. More info coming -- stay up to date by visiting Spectrum's website.

We must continue to believe that justice will prevail.

We must continue to have conversations about marriage equality, and how important they are to us all -- gay and straight alike. Because we know that the conversations are what change the hearts and minds of our friends, families, and neighbors.

We must channel our angry energy toward achieving our goal of equality for all.

I am thinking about a couple of lines from the poem "What I Have Learned So Far" by Mary Oliver:

Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit

to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of -- indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

Be ignited. Join the cause. Don't give up.

Paula Pilecki
Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center