Chicago activists protest Prop 8

May 26, 2009 8:33:48 PM PDT
Demonstrators around the country on Tuesday night - including Chicago - are voicing frustration about a California Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.The court upheld the voters' rights to ban gay-marriage but said the same-sex weddings that occurred before the prohibition passed are still valid.

Their voices carried anger and disappointment.

Against the rain, the marchers along Halsted Street would not be stopped on Tuesday night. This was the reaction from some Chicagoans to the California supreme court ruling upholding proposition eight which bans gay marriage.

"The Proposition 8 ban is not just a ban in California. It is a rallying point for everyone in America," said Matt Zaradich, Join the Impact Chicago.

Missy Lorenzen is straight but sees rights disallowed to some as an affront to all.

"Marriage is a fundamental right," said Missy Lorenzen, Join the Impact Chicago.

Bob Schwartz and his partner were married in Canada.

"I'm 70 years old and I've been at this a long time and it's wrenching to have a court say, you know, you're not equal," said Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network.

The ruling brought out supporters of Proposition 8 who applaud the ruling.

"This is a victory for the people. The sovereignty of the people is so important in our system," said Rev. Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition.

"It's protecting natural marriage. It doesn't just simply ban gay marriage, it also bans, polygamy and incestual relationships. It upholds one standard which is one man one woman," said David Smith, Illinois Family Institute.

Tuesday's ruling validated gay marriages that had been allowed in California prior to Proposition 8.

Chicagoan John Pennycuff and his partner were married in California. While their relationship is legally recognized, Pennycuff say this is a setback for the gay rights movement.

"I feel embarrassed that our country is doing this to our community. It actually sickens us," said John Pennycuff.

The marchers hope momentum against Proposition 8 will continue until another vote is called in California, possibly as early as next year.


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