Gay Rights Supporters Protest Proposition 8 Decision

May 26, 2009 5:39:00 PM PDT
The highest court in the state upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday and at the same time decided an estimated 18-thousand couples who married before the law took effect can stay married.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Gay rights activists are already promising to resume their fight, with a bid to put the proposition before the voters again as early as next year. Hours after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, gay rights supporters planned to rally in downtown Fresno. They were hoping the rally would be a celebration. Instead, it turned into a protest and a call for change.

A crowd of gay rights supporters filled a Clovis living room Tuesday, hoping for victory. Their looks of hope turned into tears and disappointment when the court upheld a statewide ban on gay marriage. "It's very saddening to me that minority rights were ever put up to a vote," said Marriage for Equality U.S.A's Jason Scott.

In Fresno, Robin McGehee and her wife, Kathy Adams also stared at their television in disbelief. To them, the court's ruling on the validity of their marriage and the thousands of others performed last year is of little comfort. "This isn't a compromise. You don't do separate but equal. You don't allow 18 thousand people to marry or not marry," said Adams.

McGehee and Adams got married last year, but said it hurts to know there is a class of people just like them that won't have the luxury of marriage. "I know that since we've been married, it offers a sense of foundation, a sense of respect in the community. People know exactly what you talk about when you say you're married," said McGehee.

The Supreme Court's decision was a topic of conversation at a Christian bookstore in Northeast Fresno. Owner Hary Doud voted for Prop 8 and said he's glad the court listened to voters. "People have already voted twice. I can't recall anything else that has already been tested twice, this unprecedented," said Doud.

Fresno Pastor Jim Franklin also praised the high court's decision. To him, it's the only one that made sense. "How could the court go against such a profound decision by the people, not once, but twice? So we're very glad to see the constitution is still alive and working," said Franklin.

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