Day of Decision 2010
Prop 8 ruled ‘unconstitutional;’ San Diegans celebrate
Published Thursday, 12-Aug-2010 in issue 1181
Needless to say, Wednesday, August 4th was an electric occasion for the GLBT community in California. Locally, it was a momentous occasion for many citizens here in San Diego. All who were celebrating Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling on the highly anticipated trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. A trial that would, and did, repeal the voter-approved decision to ban same-sex marriages in California. The ruling was met with both excited approval, and disgruntled defeat.
Hillcrest proved to show the former. August 4th, marked the Day of Decision March, a demonstration that was arranged months prior in which citizens would either celebrate or mourn Walker’s decision. Luckily, the Day of Decision march was a festive and happy one.
Starting at 6 p.m. thousands of GLBT community members, friends and family gathered at 6th and University Ave in Hillcrest to march toward The Center. Along the way, thousands held the hands of their partners, children and family, some of whom were brandishing rainbow or American flags in support.
The streets of Hillcrest were packed with community members all displaying their happiness and pride for the decision. As well as displaying their appreciation for Judge Vaughn Walker and for the potential happiness that many eager-to-marry couples have fought for. The march ended at The Center located at 3909 Centre St., where a community town hall meeting was organized within hours of the decision made earlier that day. The town hall meeting hosted many well-known and respected community leaders including the likes of Dr. Delores Jacobs of The Center, Mayor Jerry Sanders and wife Rana, daughter Lisa Sanders and wife Meaghan Yaple and Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Toni Atkins.
The droves of marriage equality supporters funneled their way into The Center with chants, flags and signs that expressed their support of the decision and the community leaders that arrived to express their excitement. The crowd flooded The Center as as many people as possible were packed inside while thousands more gathered outside.
Mayor Jerry Sanders made it a point to address both crowds, stating that it was the courage and leadership of the community that gained this victory. But to everyone’s surprise, an apology was issued by Sanders to the community.
The apology was met with applause and the extended chanting of, “Jerry! Jerry!” Sanders continued by attributing his change of heart to many. “I made this change because of family, and I made it because of friends, and I made it because of each of you.” Sanders also pointed out that it was heavily due to the support and encouragement of Councilmember Toni Atkins and his wife Rana.
The town hall ended just as it began, on a high note. The excitement, pride and happiness of many followed the crowd out of The Center and onto the streets once more with many of Hillcrest’s bars and restaurants packed to capacity with celebrators.
Judge Walker’s decision on whether to lift or continue the stay on his ruling affects the time in which same-sex couples can begin marrying once more. This decision could be made at anytime, but with backing from Governor Schwarzenegger, the decision is hoped to arrive soon.
The August 4th Day of Decision march was a gathering of a community that has seen victory in spite of harsh opposition. Although full marriage equality isn’t in the grasp of the community just yet, progress could not have been made without the leadership and courage of officials like Mayor Sanders or Judge Walker. And, of course, the community could not be where it is without its support network, its local leaders and the drive to create a nation where all can be equal. l