Dallas Voice Publisher Leo Cusimano and Associate Advertising Director Chad Mantooth took these photos tonight at the rally and march in Dallas celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality nationwide.
After Beau and Major applied for their marriage license in 2012, they were arrested for trespassing at the Dallas County Records Building. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
When the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality comes down, the LGBT community will have plenty of reasons to gather and, if the decision is pro-equality as expected, to celebrate. The question is: Where on earth should they go?
Dallas/Fort Worth • Dallas Day of Decision events include a rally at 6 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road followed by a march to Legacy of Love monument at 7:30 p.m. concluding with a rally at 8 p.m. at Legacy of Love. Shuttle service provided. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Denton Day of Decisionevents include a celebration 6 p.m. at a Denton Courthouse Square, 110 West Hickory Street. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Fort Worth Day of Decisionevents include a celebration at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. hosts a rally with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, kissing and photo booths at 6 p.m. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
Texas: • Amarillo Day of Decision events include a gathering at 6 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4901 Cornell Street, Amarillo. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Austin Day of Decision events include a gathering at 6 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 200 East 8th St., Austin. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Harlingen Day of Decision events include a rally at 6 p.m. at Mount Calvary Christian Church, 401 N 21st St., Harlingen. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Houston Day of Decision events include a celebration beginning at 5 p.m. in Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St., Houston. A post rally event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Hangar, 2811 Washington Ave. Another event will be held at 6 p.m. at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 West 11th St. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• San Antonio Day of Decision events include a celebration 6 p.m. at the Bexar County Courthouse, E. Main Plaza, followed by a gathering at Luther’s, 1422 North Main Ave. For more information visit Sanantonio.hrc.org. Another event takes places 6 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard, 1630 Goliad Road. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
• Waco Day of Decision events include a celebration 6-9 p.m. in Heritage Square, at the corner of 3rd and Austin Ave. Speakers and entertainment include Susan Duty-Dennard and Heather Grace Ranelle. Another event takes place 6 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, 4209 North 27th Street. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
Elsewhere: • Tulsa Day of Decision events include a celebration 6:30-8 p.m. at Oklahomans for Equality’s Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E 4th St, Tulsa.
• Oklahoma City Day of Decision events include a celebration 5:30-7 p.m. at Pedestrian Mall, Jackson Square, New Orleans. After party at Oz New Orleans, 800 Bourbon St., New Orleans. For more information visit Facebook.com/events/886686488059687.
• New Orleans Day of Decision events include a celebration 6 p.m. at Freedom Oklahoma’s Equality Center, 5613 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City.
• Metropolitan Community Churches holds an online event and teleconference with church leaders providing coverage of events in the local areas at 5 p.m. Call in via Adobe Connect link and log in under “Guest” at Mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/communications_bemcc.
Texas marriage equality lawsuit plaintiffs, from left, Nicole Dimetman, Cleo DeLeon, Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss
If and when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hands down a ruling in the three marriage equality cases — including a case from Texas — in which the court heard oral arguments on Jan. 9, Day of Decision rallies will be in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and San Antonio — whichever way the court rules.
The rallies will begin at 6 p.m. the day the ruling is issued.
The Dallas rally will be held at Cathedral of Hope-UCC church, 5710 Cedar Springs Road. Plano couple Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes, one of the two plaintiff couples in the Texas marriage equality case, are expected to be at the Dallas rally, along with Resource Center Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell.
The Fort Worth event will be held at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvannia Ave.
People flooded Cedar Springs Road in June for a Day of Decision rally after the Supreme Court marriage rulings. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)
UPDATE: Due to weather conditions, the protest in San Antonio has been postponed.
ORIGINAL POST: LGBT advocates plan to protest Coca-Cola at the company’s bottling plant in San Antonio on Friday, the opening day of the Winter Games in Sochi, and then rally to support marriage equality in Fort Worth on Saturday.
The protest, organized by GetEQUAL TX, urges Coca-Cola to expand its LGBT support from a national focus to a global one.
“As a sponsor of the Olympic,s Coca Cola has the chance to become a leader on global human rights forefront by demanding the International Olympic Commission refuse any future bid from countries that use the law to persecute LGBTQ people who simply wish to live with dignity,” GetEQUAL TX states in a press release.
Among the speakers on Saturday are Dallas couple Mark Jiminez and Beau Chandler, who were arrested in their attempts to receive a marriage license in Dallas
“With a legal battle taking place in San Antonio, I could not help to think of the many civil rights that have been fought for in wars and completely forsaken,” protest organizer Damon Carver said. “After overturning DOMA, most of the nation celebrated good news, some couples who resorted to tourist weddings had great news. On this day we will be presumptuously toasting to celebrate our victories.”
“Defecting to another state for any freedom including marriage is anti-American, and will soon be anti-Texan,” he added.
Rally participants are encouraged to wear different styles of cowboy hats to the event since Texans are represented with cowboy hats. and the different styles represent the variety in the LGBT community.
9th Circuit panel crafts its decision striking down California amendment narrowly, avoids question of whether other states can ban marriage
DAY OF DECISION | Supporters of marriage equality react outside the courthouse after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Lea Suzuki)
LISA LEFF | Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — Conservative critics like to point out that the federal appeals court that just declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional has its decisions overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court more often than other judicial circuits, a record that could prove predictive if the high court agrees to review the gay marriage case on appeal.
Yet legal experts seemed to think the panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals that struck down the voter-approved ban on Tuesday, Feb. 7 purposefully served up its 2-1 opinion in a narrow way and seasoned it with established holdings so the Supreme Court would be less tempted to bite.
The appeals court not only limited the scope of its decision to California, even though the 9th Circuit also has jurisdiction in eight other Western states, but relied on the Supreme Court’s own 1996 decision overturning a Colorado measure that outlawed discrimination protections for gay people to argue that the voter-approved Proposition 8 violated the civil rights of gay and lesbian Californians.
That approach makes it much less likely the high court would find it necessary to step in, as it might have if the 9th Circuit panel had concluded that any state laws or amendments limiting marriage to a man and a woman run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s promise of equal treatment, several analysts said.
“There is no reason to believe four justices on the Supreme Court, which is what it takes to grant (an appeal) petition, are champing at the bit to take this issue on,’’ University of Michigan law school professor Steve Sanders said. “The liberals on the court are going to recognize this was a sensible, sound decision that doesn’t get ahead of the national debate … and I don’t think the decision would be so objectionable to the court’s conservatives that they would see a reason to reach out and smack the 9th Circuit.’’
Lawyers for the coalition of religious conservative groups that qualified Proposition 8 for the November 2008 ballot and campaigned for its passage said they have not decided whether to ask a bigger 9th Circuit to rehear the case or to take an appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
However, they said they were optimistic that if the high court accepts an appeal, Tuesday’s ruling would be reversed.
“The 9th Circuit’s decision is completely out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision in American history on the subject of marriage, but it really doesn’t come as a surprise, given the history of the 9th Circuit, which is often overturned,’’ Andy Pugno, the coalition’s general counsel, said in a fundraising letter to Proposition 8’s supporters. “Ever since the beginning of this case, we’ve known that the battle to preserve traditional marriage will ultimately be won or lost not here, but rather in the U.S. Supreme Court.’’
Regardless of their next steps, gay and lesbian couples were unlikely to be able to get married in California anytime soon. The 9th Circuit panel’s ruling will not take effect until after the deadline passes in two weeks for Proposition 8’s backers to appeal to a larger panel, and the earliest the Supreme Court could consider whether to take the case would be in the fall.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who was named to the 9th Circuit by President Jimmy Carter and has a reputation as the court’s liberal lion, wrote Tuesday’s 80-page majority ruling with concurrence from Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, an early appointee of President Bill Clinton. Judge Randy Smith, who was the last 9th Circuit judge nominated by President George W. Bush, dissented.
In tailoring the decision to apply only to California, Reinhardt cited two factors that distinguish Proposition 8 from the one-man, one-woman marriage laws and constitutional amendments in the other 9th Circuit states and that he said demonstrate that it “serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and humanity of gays and lesbians.’’
The first is that California since 2005 has granted same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of marriage if they register as domestic partners.
The second is that five months before Proposition 8 was enacted as a state constitutional amendment, the California Supreme Court’s Court had legalized same-sex marriage by striking down a pair of laws that had limited marriage to a man and a woman. California is the only state, therefore, where gays have won the right to marry and had it stripped away.
The amendment’s “singular’’ work of denying gay Californians the designation of marriage while leaving in place domestic partnerships proves that Proposition 8 deprives same-sex relationships of society’s dignity and respect, Reinhardt wrote.
“A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but to the couple desiring to enter into a committed lifelong relationship, a marriage by the name of ‘registered domestic partnership’ does not,’’ he said. “We are excited to see someone ask, ‘Will you marry me?’, whether on bended knee in a restaurant or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly, it would not have the same effect to see, ‘Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?’”
The opinion goes on to draw parallels between California’s same-sex marriage ban and the Colorado opinion the Supreme Court struck down on a 6-3 vote after concluding that it was based on moral disapproval of gays. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in that case, known as Romer v. Evans, and if the court agrees to take up Proposition 8, the similarities could hit the “sweet spot’’ that might persuade him to side with four other justices in upholding the 9th Circuit, said Douglas NeJaime, an associate professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
“Everyone is looking to Justice Kennedy, assuming that Justice Kennedy would not issue a sweepingly bad decision for gay rights, and yet people don’t know if he is ready to go so far as to say nationwide same-sex couples can get married,’’ NeJaime said. “I think the opinion evidences a real savviness about the posture of this case and its position in the trajectory of a national movement for marriage for same sex couples.’’
Smith, the lone dissenting judge, disagreed that Proposition 8 necessarily served no purpose other than to treat gays and lesbians as second-class citizens. He pointed out that its backers claimed it could serve to promote responsible child-rearing among opposite-sex couples, and said courts were obligated to uphold laws in the face of civil rights challenges unless they were “clearly wrong, a display of arbitrary power (or) not an exercise of judgment.’’
“There is good reason for this restraint,’’ Smith said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 10, 2012.
We hear there’s going to be a Prop 8 “Day of Decision” rally at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Legacy of Love Monument, but thus far we’ve been unable to get in touch with the organizers. The Facebook event page lists Daniel Cates as the contact person. The Equality Across Texas website lists Cd Kirven. We’ve got e-mails and phone messages in to both of them. Here’s the bulk message we received from Cates on Facebook this morning:
The ruling on the Prop 8 case will be issued today.. most likely between 1-3pm.. WIN OR LOSE the Dallas/ Fort Worth LGBT Community will gather at the Legacy of Love Monument at Cedar Springs and Oaklawn to either celebrate a historic victory for our community or protest another defeat! Please make plans to attend, bring signs, bull horns, flags and loud loud voices!
And from the Facebook page for the event:
Whether we celebrate or protest, we will stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in California, and with hope for a future that includes equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all fifty states. Hope will never be silent.
In November 2008, Proposition 8 was passed in California, overturning the state’s Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Effectively, this is the first time in our great nation’s history that a right was taken away from a select portion of our demographic make up.
The fight for equal rights under the law has been a long, hard struggle the GLBT community has faced for years. This ruling has the potential to be the platform for the national legalization of same-sex marriage. Whether we are celebrating a victory or protesting another loss, our voices WILL be heard.
In May 2009, the Day of Decision rally seemed a little better organized. Of course back then Queer LiberAction was in its heyday. After gathering around the Legacy of Love Monument, a crowd of hundreds marched down Cedar Springs Road to the TMC patio, blocking traffic in what was a pretty compelling display (shown above). This was followed on the jam-packed patio by a series of speakers, many of whom called out President Barack Obama.
We’re sure there’s going to be a rally this evening, but it’s a little unclear how it will play out. Who will be the speakers? Will there be a march? What will be the message? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.