Posts Tagged ‘prop 8’

100 Days Later

October 4, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

100 days from SCOTUS marriage100 days ago, the Supreme Court struck down the central portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, and dismissed the last gasp appeal of the Prop. 8 supporters, returning the freedom to marry to California. Across the country, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people cheered along with allies who supported the vision of an America where everyone could marry the person that they love.

Since then, we’ve seen a parade of victories at the federal level, from the Department of Homeland Security allowing same-sex spouses full immigration privileges to the IRS issuing new rules to make sure loving same-sex couples are recognized, to the first same-sex weddings on U.S. military bases. We’ve seen big marriage victories in New Mexico and New Jersey, and we’ve seen the roll-out of the biggest advance in LGBT healthcare in our lifetimes with the Affordable Care Act.

Here in California, we’ve seen the federal courts uphold SB 1172, which ended the psychological abuse of LGBT youth by licensed therapists, we’ve seen transgender students win both with the passage and signing of the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), which ensures that transgender students can participate as their authentic selves in school, and at the Arcadia Unified School District, which settled a lawsuit and implemented policies to ensure transgender equality.  Read the rest of this entry »

Lena and Lisa

June 25, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

lena-lisa-blogLena Brancatelli and Lisa Kirk started dating in 2004, when they were both working at Starbucks. Lena was smitten with Lisa’s warmth and sense of humor.

“She’s very kind, and always makes you laugh,” explains Lena.

Now the couple lives in San Jose, where Lena works as a senior revenue accountant for Yahoo!, and Lisa has her dream job as a civil engineer for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. They send their 12-year-old daughter Daniella to Catholic school.

“We have a lovely community here, and a lovely family,” said Lena. “We made sure it was a progressive parish, and it’s a very loving environment. We’re part of their family, and they’re part of our family.”

But, she said, choking up, “It’s very hurtful, the people who are against us being together.”

Lena and Lisa are ready for marriage.

“There’s nothing else marriage compares to. In September, it’ll be nine years — we’ve been through some very hard times, and some very good times. It’s time to get married,” said Lena.

“What’s weird is, we’re waiting on a bunch of strangers to tell us that our relationship is OK,” she said, talking about the Supreme Court. “But we’re planning our big traditional Italian lesbian wedding for September.”

Lena and Lisa are among thousands of Californians ready for marriage. Loving couples statewide are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to affirm their commitment to each other in the same way their straight friends and family can. Though the Supreme Court did not announce a ruling on Prop. 8 or DOMA today, they are expected to announce decisions on both by the end of this week.

Share Lena and Lisa’s story on Facebook and Twitter and help us spread the word that California is ready for marriage #CAReady4Marriage


Kana and Tiffany

June 20, 2013 By Jesse Melgar

tiffany-kana-blogFour years ago, Tiffany was teaching English in Japan, and met Kana through a mutual friend. Despite the language barrier, they hit it off immediately, and after a year, got engaged. Now, they live together in Los Angeles, where Tiffany works in television, and Kana, who was a chef in Japan, now studies at LACC.

But, without a decision from the Supreme Court on Prop. 8 and DOMA, their future is uncertain. Without restoring the freedom to marry in California, Tiffany and Kana won’t be able to get married. With DOMA still in place, Kana won’t be able to immigrate legally.

Tiffany and Kana are ready to take the next step in their relationship. Tiffany and Kana are ready for marriage.

“It’s the security of knowing that we will be together for the rest of our lives,” said Tiffany. “It will be a big release — she’ll be in the country for good, and we can move forward with our lives, and think about things like owning a house and having children.”

Tiffany and Kana are among thousands of Californians ready for marriage. From San Diego to San Francisco, and from Riverside to San Jose, loving same-sex couples are waiting for the opportunity to express their commitment to each other in the same way their straight friends and family can.

Share Tiffany and Kana’s story on Facebook and Twitter and help us spread the word that California is ready for marriage #CAReady4Marriage


Cesar and Miguel

June 13, 2013 By Shaun Osburn

cesar-miguel-blogMeet Cesar and Miguel.

They fell in love four years ago, and became domestic partners in July 2012. They have a successful business in Long Beach, called CakePops & Co., and are working toward becoming foster parents, hoping to eventually adopt.

And, like countless same-sex couples throughout California, they are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on Prop. 8, hoping to publicly affirm their love and commitment. Marriage means more than a certificate to them — they talk about marriage in terms of what it means for their family.

“Our children will have parents that are married,” said Cesar, “not just domestic partners, but married, just like the other kids at school.”

“And,” he added, “I’ll have a husband, not just a boyfriend.”

Cesar and Miguel are among thousands of Californians ready for marriage. From San Diego to San Francisco, and from Riverside to San Jose, loving same-sex couples are waiting for the opportunity to express their commitment to each other in the same way their straight friends and family can.

Share Cesar and Miguel’s story on Facebook and Twitter and help us spread the word that California is ready for marriage #CAReady4Marriage


Slideshow: Prop. 8 & DOMA Actions Across California

March 28, 2013 By Shaun Osburn

A number of gatherings took place across California during before and after the Supreme Court hearings on Prop. 8 and DOMA. Here are some of our favorite shots from these events:


Prop. 8 & DOMA Actions Across California

March 20, 2013 By Shaun Osburn

A number of LGBT and allied groups, grassroots leaders and families are organizing events all over the country including right outside the Supreme Court. Together we will remember how far we have come, and look forward to that moment when every American can marry the person that they love.

Los Angeles: Sunday, March 24th 6:30pm
Los Angeles City Hall (200 N Spring St, Los Angeles)

Inland Empire: Monday, March 25th 7:00pm
George E. Brown Federal Building and US Courthouse (3470 12th St, Riverside, CA)

Sacramento: Monday, March 25th 4pm
Sacramento Federal Courthouse (501 I St, Sacramento, CA)

San Diego: Monday, March 25th 6:30pm
San Diego Federal Court House (880 Front St, San Diego, CA)

San Francisco: Monday, March 25th 6:30pm
Harvey Milk Plaza (Corner of Castro and Market, San Francisco)

San Jose: Monday, March 25th 5:30pm
Billy DeFrank Center (938 The Alameda, San Jose, CA)

Fresno: Tuesday, March 26th 4pm
Fresno Federal Courthouse (2500 Tulare St, Fresno, CA)

Orange County: Tuesday, March 26th 6:30pm
Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse (411 W 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA)

Palm Springs: Tuesday, March 26th 6pm
Riverside County Building (Tahquitz and El Cielo, CA)

Santa Barbara: Tuesday, March 27th 5:30pm
Santa Barbara County Courthouse (1100 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA)

Santa Cruz: Wednesday, March 27th 5:30pm
Santa Cruz County Courthouse Steps (701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA)

San Francisco: Thursday, March 28th 5:30pm
San Francisco LGBT Community Center Rainbow Room (1800 Market Street at Octavia, San Francisco, CA)

And be sure to visit for a complete listing of all events across the nation.

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Obama To Back Marriage For Same-Sex Couples In Prop. 8 Case

February 28, 2013 By John O'Connor

When we asked you to contact President Obama and encourage him to file a friend-of-the-court brief in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Proposition 8 case, we knew that the strength of our movement has always been in the simple, honest yearning for equal respect and dignity. We knew that by asking you to contact the President, and giving a way for you to share your stories, that the President would listen.

And he did. The Justice Department filed a friend-of-the-court brief today urging the Supreme Court to strike down the unfair and unjust Proposition 8, which denies the freedom to marry to millions of Californians.

So today we thank President Obama for following his words with actions and giving our love his support from the highest office in the land. And we thank you. Your letters and stories made this possible, and when we look back at this historic moment, you can feel a justified pride in being a part of it.

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San Jose to File Amicus Brief in Prop 8 Case

February 13, 2013 By Guest Contributor

san jose city councilLast night, San Jose’s City Council took an important step towards invalidating California’s Proposition 8, when they voted 9-1-1 in favor of officially joining San Francisco in an amicus brief to challenge the Prop 8 in the United States Supreme Court. The Council’s support to ban Prop 8 is a move forward in achieving the freedom to marry in California, and in support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The decision was made possible thanks to the hard work, mobilization and community organizing done by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, Pride at Work and the LGBT movement in San Jose, and the leadership from Councilmember Ash Kalra, as well as Xavier Campos, Kansen Chu, and Don Rocha to get the issue on the table.

“This is San Jose’s chance to affirmatively stand on the side of equality for all and on the right side of history,” said Councilmember Kalra in a press release.

— Shane Bannon and Linnea Högberg

Equality Roundup: Flying to Milk

January 18, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

sfo milkWe were behind making Harvey Milk Day official, and his nephew Stuart Milk is on our board, so it’s not a huge surprise that we’re all ’bout it ’bout it with the proposal for SFO airport to become Harvey Milk Airport. The objections are all a bit silly — it’s not THAT much money to change forms and et cetera, the idea that people will be confused and not know where they’re going is goofy (where else is going to have a Harvey Milk Airport?) and it would be a huge beacon for all the LGBT folk around the world to see that we can honor a proudly out man.

We’re also out in San Bedoo today (our favorite city nickname in the state), presenting our Reducing Disparities report on LGBT people and mental health care. It’s the first of a series of town halls that will take place throughout the state, reporting back on what we found and what we can do about it. Everyone is welcome; snacks will be served.

Prop. 8′s architect, Frank Schubert, has a proudly LGBT little sister, and she’s running for Sacramento County district attorney. We’ve got no position on her candidacy, but we’re always amazed at people who can advocate against the equality of their family members. Wonder if she ever asks him about his ongoing fight against the freedom to marry?

ABC News is asking Obama why he hasn’t filed an amicus in the Prop. 8 case yet. You know, we asked him the same thing, and you can help by contacting him through our online petition.

In national news: The Army says that even though they can’t discriminate against LGBT soldiers, they can still discriminate against their spouses. This is apparently because the Marines did something right, and the Army wants to make it clear that they’re not the Marines.

In local, but not here, news: Cranks in Utah got an LGBT family book removed from school libraries; ACLU got it back.

Rhode Island is getting closer to voting for the freedom to marry.

Equality Roundup: Farewell, Huell & Welcome Back, Advocate

January 7, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

huell howser the advocate print magazineIs It 2013 Already?

What with a new Executive Director, HanuKwanzMas and New Years, we’ve been a little bleary around the edges, but there’s already news worth recapping in 2013:

Our new ED John O’Connor is hard at work.

AFER sent us a save-the-date invite to oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop. 8) for March 26. Clear your calendars and save us room on your dance card.

In sad California news, Huell Howser, the good-golly host of California Gold, has died at 67. Howser was not publicly out, but was well known to be gay, and unfortunately his passing ends speculation of an imminent declaration from him.

The Advocate is coming back to print. For the journos and oldos amongst us, the idea of a seminal mag returning to print after a couple year sojourn brings a tear to the eye.  Read the rest of this entry »