With chants and kazoos, cheers and party horns, more than 100 people sent up a joyful noise in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse this evening, celebrating a pair of Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage.
Drivers honked in shared jubilation as they passed, and Susan McGee marveled that the support had begun sounding the minute she arrived around 5 p.m. So much had changed in her lifetime, McGee said. Twenty years ago, in a time when gay marriage seemed to be “the idea of science fiction and fantasy … I would never have believed it.” Not just the support from the nation’s highest court, but the acceptance from so many who would once have been hostile or indifferent.
McGee, of the Humboldt Equality Coalition, helped organize the rally along with Linda Shapeero of the Eureka-Arcata PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). They figured that well over 200 people had stopped by the Eureka event sometime during the evening, because they had handed out 125 chant sheets and plenty of people didn’t take one.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning a pair of rulings that thrilled gay marriage advocates in California and around the nation.
Justices declined an appeal from supporters of Proposition 8 — which banned gay marriage in California after passing in 2008 — essentially upholding a 2010 ruling by a federal judge that found the law unconstitutional. It may take a few weeks, but Gov. Jerry Brown has told counties to plan to issue same-sex marriage licenses when federal and state rulings are finalized.
The court also threw out parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal benefits for same-sex couples, even in states where they were legally married.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on California's Prop. 8 any day now, and a group of locals — anticipating an overturn of California's 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage — is planning to party.
Eureka resident Susan McGee, a member of the Humboldt Equality Coalition, said that people will gather on the Arcata Plaza and in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka at 6 p.m. on whichever day the ruling is announced. "We’re gonna ask people to come on out, sing, dance, scream, shout, cry, wave our rainbow flag — whatever," she said.
McGee and her partner of 20 years, Dr. Karen March, were among the roughly 18,000 California couples that got married during the brief window in 2008 when it was legal. Now they're hoping to see that right extended to others.
Sohum developer Bob McKee has been ordered to pay $200,000 in fines to Humboldt County in the culmination of a costly 11-year lawsuit over McKee’s purchase and division of Tooby Ranch near Garberville.
The ruling, filed Friday by Humboldt County Judge Dale Reinholtsen, calls for McKee to pay fines for violating the Williamson Act, which offers tax benefits for ag land in active production (the Journal wrote about the lawsuit previously here). A state court previously determined McKee sold parcels of the Tooby Ranch that were under the minimum size required by the act. Over the course of the lawsuit, McKee argued that his divisions were legal, because the former owners of Tooby Ranch initially entered a Williamson Act contract with the county when smaller parcels were allowed. Despite a local ruling in McKee's favor in 2006, the appellate court determined that he had violated the act, and sent the case back to local courts to determine a resolution.
The county spent at least $3 million pursuing the court case since 2004. That figure was released by the county following a separate lawsuit.
Eureka citizens and their "community media" should share outrage that two, out of five, Eureka…
Oh, Steve... I wish your spirit a peaceful journey. Great keyboardist and a generous man…
13. Respect proper punctuation and the use of capital letters!
How long is his term?
I am disappointed but not at all surprised. Dangit!