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Queer Town: California Supreme Court Upholds Proposition 8

Anti-Prop. 8 marcher in Westwood in November, 2008.

Patrick Range McDonaldAnti-Prop. 8 marcher in Westwood in November, 2008.


In an unsurprising ruling, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 today. As for the fate of approximately 18,000 legally married same sex couples, the supreme court decided they remain valid. Chief Justice Ronald George, who wrote the majority opinion to first legalize gay marriage in California in May, 2008, also wrote the majority opinion for today's decision.

Despite recent gay marriage wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut, same sex marriage in California, known to be one of the more socially progressive states in the country, has now been, without question, banned.

The gay community's reaction to the rulings will be loudly heard at organized demonstrations

in West Hollywood tonight at 7 p.m. at the corner of San Vicente and

Santa Monica boulevards, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on

Wednesday night at 6 p.m., and in downtown Fresno on Saturday morning

for an event called "Meet in the Middle."

Wednesday's demonstration, in Beverly Hills, may be one of the more interesting events of the week. While various gay leaders and pundits, such as David Mixner and Andrew Sullivan, have grumbled that President Barack Obama has been dodging gay issues since he's moved into the White House in January, especially when it comes to his campaign promise to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevents gays and lesbians in the military from openly disclosing their sexual orientation, the new president will now been thrown into the middle of the gay rights battle and this country's ongoing culture war.

Obama first riled gays and lesbians and their straight supporters when he asked the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his presidential inauguration. Warren supported the passage of Proposition 8, which took away the existing right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California.

Also, over the past several weeks, when one state after another was legalizing gay marriage, Obama had been relatively quiet about the issue. Now, he may have no choice but to say something about same sex marriage.

In the meantime, gay rights activists have organized a mass march on Tuesday night, starting in West Hollywood, then heading over to Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, and looping back to West Hollywood again. Like in November, the nation, if not the world, will be watching.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.