Guest Blogger

Special Prop 8 trial report: All Rise for Equality

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 11, 2010 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Davina Kotulski, federal court, Joe Alfano-Capley, Marriage Equality USA, Molly McKay, Prop 8, Prop. 8

Editors' Note: Bilerico Project special correspondent, Dr. Davina Kotulski, is live at the federal Prop 8 trial and will be filing regular reports as the trial progresses. Davina is the former executive director of Marriage Equality USA and is the author of Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage.

Davina-Kotulski.jpgMarriage Equality Advocates Begin Prop 8 Trial With Early Morning Vigil

My hands are still numb from standing in the cold this morning outside the federal building in San Francisco. Marriage Equality USA sponsored a vigil for marriage equality, hope, and justice and there were over 200 participants holding candles to light the early morning rally attended by numerous clergy from many different denominations - including a former Catholic nun and PFLAG mom, Helen Laird. Helen stood with her son, Tim, and spoke of why she believed that all of her children had the right to marry. She said her son was legally married prior to Prop 8, but that the family is waiting to celebrate until marriage equality is again the law of the land in California.

Ksuzanne and her wife, both African-American activists for marriage equality, spoke of the importance of being representatives for the black gay community and spoke of how being able to legally marry granted them the right to hospital visitation, a right KSuzanne unfortunately had to exercise post-Prop 8 when her wife was hospitalized for a life-threatening condition.

Frank and Joe Alfano-Capley spoke of finally being recognized as a legally married couple by the Elevators Union so Joe can finally get health insurance. While the crowd cheered this wonderful breakthrough, Prop8-trial-protest.jpgFrank and Joe said it saddened them that the union will not recognize domestic partners and thus another couple with a small child who were unable to marry during the small window when it was legal are still being denied health and other employment related benefits only provided married couples.

Overall the mood of the vigil was positive. Molly McKay, my wonderful wife, spoke of how last year's garbage has turned to rich compost, an unusual, but accurate metaphor of the outpouring of support for marriage and renewed hope that comes with this new challenge to marriage discrimination. Rev. Roland Stringfellow offered a beautiful evocation for equality and love. There were inspiring performances by Veronica Klaus who sang "I Can See Clearly Now," and "Here Comes the Sun." Melanie Demore, performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around."

So, now I wait patiently for the trial to start any minute now. Word is that the cameras will not be allowed into the courtroom until after Wednesday. No YouTube today.


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Thanks for keeping us updated, Davina.