Thousands gather in Civic Center Plaza to protest Prop 8

Thousands of protesters gathered in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza on November 15 to protest the passing of the California ballot initiative Proposition 8. GRAHAM HENDERSON / THE GUARDSMAN

By Lauren Tyler
Staff Writer

Thousands of protesters gathered at San Francisco’s City Hall on Nov. 15 to protest the recent passage of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California.

Several speakers presented their views on Proposition 8 and gave the crowd fuel and strategy about how to possibly overturn the proposition.

California state assemblyman Mark Leno compared the passing of Proposition 8 to the ballot initiative Proposition 22 in 2000, which prevented the recognition of same-sex marriage. Proposition 22 received eighteen more points than Proposition 8 did this in election.

“We picked up eighteen points, they [the supporters of Proposition 8] lost eighteen points. We have the momentum and they are hanging on by a thread,” Leno said.

Leno also questioned the motives of religious groups supporting Proposition 8, saying that the proposition denies citizen of their basic civil rights.

State Sen. Carol Migden told protesters their gathering presents “the fuel, the substance, the momentum … that we will use to propel from this day forward.”

Migden also spoke about the position taken by many religious organizations against same-sex marriages in their churches. “I’ll take it [same-sex marriage] through City Hall. You don’t want us in your church? I don’t go to your church,” Migden said.

From the opposite end of the political spectrum, the Rev. Amos Brown, head of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP and a devout baptist from Mississippi said, “I am heterosexual … though I am a baptist, I am not a bigot!”

He questioned the beliefs of the conservative religious right and the persistence on keeping marriage from same-sex couple when the divorce rate is highest in the bible belt.

Same-sex couples and their children also spoke to the crowd gathered at the Civic Center Plaza.

Join the Impact, the group that organized the protest, coordinated simultaneous protests in 150 U.S. cities, as well as international protests against Proposition 8.

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