Supporting the Equality 9

October 3, 2011

SAN DIEGO--About 40 people gathered September 28 in Civic Center Plaza to demand justice for the LGBT civil rights activists known as the "Equality 9."

The nine were arrested in August 2010 when three same-sex couples requested and were refused marriage licenses. Judge Vaughan Walker had, in previous days, ruled Proposition 8, passed by California voters in 2008, unconstitutional in its denial of equal marriage rights. This cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the state, until Walker's order was stayed by a higher court.

When couples were denied licenses, the Equality 9 peacefully sat in at the County Clerk's office, chanting and singing until they were removed by cops in riot gear.

As of the rally, 2,418 signatures had been gathered on a petition calling on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to drop misdemeanor charges stemming from the sit-in. Statements were read out in support of the nine from Rep. Bob Filner and Lorena Gonzalez, head of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council.

After the rally, the protesters marched to a nearby office building to deliver the signatures to Goldsmith's office, loudly chanting "Jan Goldsmith, do the right thing!" as they filtered through the lobby.

As Equality 9 member Chuck Stemke said in his speech, a system that insists on wasting taxpayer money on prosecutions against these pro-equality activists "is a system that will push you down until you fight it."

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