Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Locals Ready to Celebrate Prop 8 Ruling

Posted By on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

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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.

Most experts and SCOTUS nerds are predicting that the court will overturn Prop. 8, with Justice Anthony Kennedy likely to represent the swing vote.

But what if the ruling goes the other way?

"Then we'll protest," McGee said.

She added that when she and March held a commitment ceremony 20 years ago, they would have laughed (ruefully, no doubt) at the suggestion that same-sex marriage would someday be legal. But thanks to activists and organizers such as Harvey Milk and Martina Navratilova, she said, public opinion has shifted — first slowly and, lately, much more rapidly. The latest polls show that nearly six in 10 California voters now support same-sex marriage.

"It’s a humbling and wonderful thing to see," McGee said.

She added that this year's theme for Humboldt Pride is "The Year of the Ally." So all you supporters out there — gay, straight, bi, whatever — you know where to head when the ruling comes down.

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Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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