With SCOTUS decisions pending — families all over the state of California are planning. Planning what exactly you ask? Well just as we are all sitting here with bated breath, we HOPE that it's a celebration rather than protest. Either way, people all over The Golden State are sitting, waiting, watching the SCOTUS Blog with bated breath. When that decision comes down they are ready to meet with community, friends, and family by taking to the streets.
Los Angeles, CA Day of Decison Rally Plans
- What: West Hollywood Press Conference/AFER's SCOTUS Event
Where: The intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica Boulevard.
When: Decision Day at 5:30pm
Sponsoring Organization: American Foundation for Equal Rights/Marriage Equality USA
Contact: Jane Wishon ()
Riverside, CA - Day of Decision Rally Plans
What: Prop. 8 RallyContact: Matthew Papin/Sean Watkins (needs ph or email)
Where: Meet on the intersection of Mission Inn Avenue and Lemon Avenue
When: Decision Day at 6pm
Sponsoring Organization: Marriage Equality USA
Other - Day of Decision Rallies are being planned around the state: you can find more about Prop 8 Decision Day Events here.
Meanwhile, cities prepare for red tape nightmares, expecting an onslaught of same-sex couples to apply for marriage licences. For instance, in San Francisco, they have sworn in volunteer city employees in San Francisco who have been trained this week on how to issue marriage licenses and perform ceremonies. If you recall, it was almost a decade ago in that same city hall this whole process started as Mayor Gavin Newsom decreed that San Francisco, despite a ban on same-sex marriages would begin performing them. Some 4,000 ceremonies took place before the state Supreme Court began enforcing the ban. Eventually, same-sex marriage won out and 18,000 more families were given a shot at marriage, and divorce. Three people, California State Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom (then SF City Mayor), Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, started what has become a benchmark in California's movement towards equality.
In Los Angeles, avid supporters of marriage and political activists including Mike Gerle (center, IML 2009), the City of West Hollywood's Special Events Coordinator for the Human Services & Rent Stabilization Department, and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Margrat Snatcher and Sister Unity Devine (left and right), pictured here at a 2010 day in the park celebrating a short lived win for safe sex marriages by witnessing and performing marriages, wait with ears and eyes turned east waiting for the SCOTUS decision on both landmark human rights campaigns.
Nine and one-half years later, we sit on the edge of our seats with bated breath, not only as a State but as a nation, waiting for The High Courts decision. Since the 2008 ruling against Californian's rights to marry whom they choose, the nation's capital, 10 states, and 13 countries have passed same-sex-marriage laws allowing couples to marry whom they choose with equal rights under law. Still, we do not know how The SCOTUS is going to decide and with two landmark cases before it seems to be the only thing speculators can agree upon.
According to an e-mail from Ian Owens, Deputy to Council Member John J. Duran, the city is preparing a fluid date for a rally following this decision they are strategizing with the American Foundation for Equal Rights to plan the programming of the Community Event with production team Kasselman. With advance notice from the Court unlikely, the city teamed with AFER to help organize the day's events during which Mayor Land and possibly other council members will speak.
The State (and the nation) are expecting a decision to be released at 7am PST on one of the following days:
- Thursday June 20, 2013 (no decision released)
- Monday June 24, 2013
- Thursday June 27, 2013
During a Live Blog Event on SCOTUSblog.com Amy Howe, an attorney at Supreme Court litigation botique law firm Goldstein & Russell, replied to a readers question about when she expects the release of the decisions for these two cases, "it seems that the court is going to end the term with same-sex marriage because of the complexity and potential number of differing opinions and being argued later in the Term. She also feels that if the Court were going to jettison the case they might have done it, however being that it was not argued till March, due to those potential differing opinions we still might get a surprise non-meritus status announcement. The announcement is expected prior to the start of the Summer Recess for the Court. Traditionally, though it is not always the case, the court releases all outstanding opinions by the end of June so that it can resume in September with a fresh docket of new cases the first Monday of October. Even then, several cases have gone term to term."
According to an email by Ian Owens, Deputy to West Hollywood Councilmember John J. Duran the city is preparing for every decision possible Understandably, this rally must be planned to include for a mood of mourning should the court rule in favor of either Prop 8 or DOMA. Should this occur, the city and production teams are planning for the rally to be held on San Vincente Blvd at Santa Monica Blvd. "Depending on the mood of the crowd, a possible march could happen." Should this occur "AFER and City Staff will try to encourage particpants to utilize the "Dyke March" route", on which it is planned for WHSD to provide rolling closures for participant and public safety.
The SCOTUS heard AFER's oral arguments on March 26, 2013, at this point the justices are busy drafting and circulating opinions in cases that have yet to be decided. AFER says we can expect any of the following outcomes:
- Fifty-State Ruling: Prop. 8 and all other state marriage bans are unconstitutional. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in all fifty states.
- Seven-State Ruling: Civil unions and domestic partnerships are separate and unequal. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in California and the six other states with relationship recognition, in addition to the twelve states currently with marriage equality.
- One-State Ruling: California cannot eliminate marriage equality. Gay and lesbian couples will once again be able to get married in the state.
- No Standing: The Court could conclude that it does not have jurisdiction to decide the case because the Proponents of Prop. 8 do not have standing to appeal the lower court rulings that invalidated Prop. 8. The Governor and Attorney General of California agree with AFER that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and have refused to defend it or appeal the lower court rulings. If the Court concluded that Proponents lack standing, the August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, and marriage equality will be restored in California.
- Dismissal: The Court could decide that it should not have granted review. A decision to dismiss review is known as a “DIG,” which stands for dismissing certiorari as improvidently granted. If this happens, the February 2012 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Prop. 8 is made permanent, ending four years of marriage inequality in California.
- Prop. 8 is constitutional: States may exclude gay and lesbian couples from the institution of marriage.
Gavin Newsom had this to say in a PBS interview about the court rejecting the appeal for approval of same-sex marriages, "...you want a backlash? You just wait if they go south. In many ways, it will just unite people that may be quietly supportive on the sideline that I think will say, all right, wait a second, this is a civil rights struggle."
Day of Decision SF recommends that folks not park on Castro between Market and 19th on any day that the decision could be announced, and this sound advice is good for all community rally locations, as tempting as it might be. Being stuck without a car in California, as thousands flock to our neighborhoods, well, is not an optimal option for most. The organization has arranged for performances, ASL interpreters, and with no doubt, political figures and encourages all participants to treat the historical neighborhood with respect. To find out more about what is happening in SF see The "Day of Decision SF" Facebook page sponsored by Marriage Equality USA. Marriage Equality USA has sponsored a stage at the event, and Light to Justice is collaborating with local organizations to organize nation-wide rallies at this time.