Equality March Texas this week announced plans for a rally to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8, the ballot referendum that amended the California Constitution and took away legal recognition of same-sex marriage there.
The rally, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, will come just one day after elections affecting the legal status of same-sex couples in both Maine and Washington state, and will also be either a celebration or a protest of those results, according to EMT cofounder and spokesman Daniel Cates.
Maine lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill giving legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Marriage equality opponents, however, were able to get a referendum on the November ballot giving the state’s residents the opportunity to exercise their “citizens’ veto” and rescind the law.
The Washington Legislature this year approved what has been called “the everything but marriage” law there, giving same-sex couples all the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, but without calling those unions marriages. Residents there will also be voting on a ballot initiative to rescind that law.
“We want to continue to express our outrage over the passage last year of Proposition 8. And we want to either celebrate or protest the outcome of the votes in Maine and Washington,” Cates said Wednesday, Oct. 28. “And we will use those to continue expressing our demand for marriage equality in Texas and all across the country.”
Cates said the rally is EMT’s response to the call by Equality Across America — a group birthed out of the National Equality March on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C. — for local groups across the country to plan events during a “Week of Initiative,” Nov. 1-8.
“The whole idea behind the national march was to get people fired up enough to go back to their home districts and start organizing like never before,” Cates said. “It’s like, ‘Great, you’re angry. Here’s something you can do about it.’ This [rally] is something we can do about it.
“We really want to have a good-sized crowd turn out,” he continued. “Proposition 8 was a really terrible thing, and we need to make a statement about it, to show we have not forgotten. And we need to respond to whatever happens in Maine and Washington. If we lose there, that’s another terrible blow and we can’t let it go unanswered. But if we win, then that’s a huge cause for celebration, because it will be the first time gay marriage has won in a popular vote.”
Cates said the rally will be held at the Legacy of Love monument located at the intersection of Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue. Participants should start gathering around 7 p.m., and the rally will begin at 7:30 p.m.
“We are still finalizing plans, but since TMC [The Mining Company] has a sound system on their patio, we might be able to march from the monument down to TMC for the speakers,” Cates said.
He added that EMT is still lining up speakers for the event, and that they want to have “a good range” of people to speak. The only speaker confirmed by Wednesday afternoon was activist C.D. Kirven.
“We need to do something to make a statement, whatever happens in Maine and Washington, and we hope people will come out and participate in this and help us make that statement,” Cates said.
For more information, go online to Equality March Texas’ Facebook page,