OC Gay Groups Blast Supreme Court For Caving To Bigots, Call for Rally Tonight

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Disappointed in today's ruling upholding Prop. 8's effort to block future gay marriages in California, the leadership of two Orange County gay organizations accused the California Supreme Court of "acting out of fear of political retribution" from religious right.

"Today is a sad day for equality," said Jim Rogers, who heads the non-partisan Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO). "The California Supreme Court has shown that the State of California is not a place where 'All men (and women) are created equal' . . . The court has upheld the marriages of those couples married before the Prop. 8 vote, but has created an unequal society by not allowing all couples to enjoy the right of marriage. Everyone deserves the right to marry the person they love."

Over at the Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition, Reverend Lou Sheldon is doing a jig.

"For nine years, the people of California have engaged in a war on the traditional family with those wanting to forever redefine it," said Sheldon on his website. "Twice the people have affirmed their belief that marriage should be for one man and one woman only in this great state. And today the justices of the State Supreme Court have rightly sided with the people. Let us hope this ruling today forever etches in stone the sanctity and definition of marriage for one man and one woman."

Not unexpectedly, John Santoianni, president of the Harvey Milk Stonewall Democrats of Orange County, disagreed. "Our setback today is just a stumbling block in the long and inevitable march toward full LGBT marriage equality," said Santoianni. "The tide is turning in our favor more and more every day. Iows, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut now confer same-sex couples with all of the same rights and responsibilities of marriage as their heterosexual neighbors. These victories give us hope that very soon Californians will have the same opportunity."

In an effort to "continue the fight," both OC pro-gay organizations are calling on residents to meet at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana (Sycamore and Civic Center) for a 6 p.m. rally and a three-block march to Plaza of the Flags near OC's 10-story superior courthouse near Flower.

The Reverend Fred Phelps with his "God Hates Fags" group in Kansas hasn't yet reacted to the court's ruling. Perhaps he was still working on yesterday's task: Announcing that "God hates the military."

"There is nothing honorable or heroic about our military," Phelps wrote for his Memorial Day message. "They are a filthy gang of mercenaries, infested throughout with fags, fag-enablers and dykes who would have trouble getting and keeping jobs actually working for a living . . . Don't dare say these brute beast troops are fighting for our free speech and free religious exercise rights. They are only fighting for the rights of fags to fornicate everywhere, always; and to criminalize Gospel preaching that criticizes such behavior as sinful."

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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