Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pictures of Meet in the Middle 4 Equality Rally!

Unite the Fight pictures taken by Zamna Avila, who blogs at Ask the Gay Latino. More to come! See video of the rally at our Unite the Fight Qik Channel.

LA Times coverage.
San Francisco Gate.

Pictures from Meet in the Middle Equality March - Selma, CA to Fresno, CA!

Look for Lt. Dan Choi, Dustin Lance Black and the Rev. Eric Lee more in the still pics!

Video of the Equality March speakers form our Unite the Fight Qik Channel. NOTE: It's gotten over a thousand hits - it may be delayed in playing at times:

More video of the march itself at Qik. LA Times article.

Photos from Meet in the Middle Rally Set Up!

Leadership Summit Held Day After Meet in the Middle, Shown Live on Unite The Fight

Sunday, May 31st, the day after Meet in the Middle, a statewide Leadership Conference is being held in Fresno, CA discuss the next steps of the equality movement.

This will be a neutrally hosted Sunday brunch by the organizers of Meet in the Middle to discuss different organizations' future work, possible cross-promotion opportunities, and the need for a Prop 8 repeal campaign collaboration. This is simply a "get-to-know our organizations" meeting.

The No on 8 campaign will NOT be repeated.

BIG NEWS: Unite the Fight and SheWired just got clearance to broadcast the meeting live.

The Leadership Summit can be viewed here at Unite the Fight starting tomorrow at 10am PST, or on Unite the Fight's Qik Channel.

Meet in the Middle A HUGE Success! Equality Begins NOW!

Meet in the Middle 4 Equality was an amazing success with thousands attending and speakers ranging from Eric McCormack of Will & Grace to the amazing Rev. Eric Lee of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the powerful Cleve Jones and Oscar winning screenwriter for "Milk", Dustin Lance Black. Oscar winning actress Charlize Theron was in the crowd, demonstrating her support.

It started off early this morning at 7:50am with hundreds showing for the Equality March, kicking off 14 miles from Fresno, CA in Selma, CA, a nod towards the historical civil rights march in Selma, Alabama in the 60s.
Near 1pm, they marchers showed, joined by some of the couples married during the short time before Prop 8, just in time for the Equality Rally in Fresno, CA where an excited crowd cheered them as they arrived.

Unite the Fight and SheWired broadcasted the rally live on, and the show, Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, became one of the most recommended broadcasts for Saturday, a testament to the power of the rally and the interest from the LGBT population. Many viewers commented on the amazing diversity of the speakers, representing all aspects of the struggle for equal rights spanning many minority groups.

Unite the Fight is working on getting taped footage of the rally and will post it ASAP. As for stills, we're uploading now and will post. I will hopefully have them up by the end of the day. Keep checking in!

I'm being kicked out of city hall, so I've got to go! I will follow-up with amazing "behind-the-scenes" taped interviews with all the speakers for our YouTube Channel, stills, quotes and more! In the meantime, check out our Qik Channel for videos of the march (and for live coverage of Meet in the Middle celebrations tonight!) and see the posts below for stills of earlier today.

View Live Feed of Meet in the Middle Here on Unite the Fight and SheWired!


Go to our Qik Channel to watch the recorded videos of the Equality March from earlier today. Keep checking our Qik Channel. We're constantly adding videos!

Today, you'll have TONS to watch and read, including live video, UTF YouTube channel videos (uploaded later in the day with one-on-one interviews with speakers and celebs), slide shows, Tweets and articles. We'll continue to update you on our progress through Twitter throughout the day as well!

Our YouTube channel will be embedded at the top of the blog all day. Check back for the interviews - just scroll up!

Thousands at Meet in the Middle 4 Equality!

Wish I could do better live blogging, but Fresno had a lightning storm Thursday night, wiping out a lot of the strong internet feeds. Uploading is taking much longer. Luckily, we have a mobile card allowing us to do the live feed.

Here's a pic of the crowd for you to get an idea of how many people are here! I'll keep adding more as I upload.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet in the Middle 4 Equality Food Drive!

Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, the statewide rally this Saturday, May 30th, encourages equality for all, and believes that full equality includes economic as well as social justice. An estimated 16,000 homeless people live in Fresno. While the central valley produces 8 percent of the country’s produce, thousands of its residents go to bed hungry.

Organizers are asking all attendees to bring 2 unopened canned food items. In addition dried beans, rice, and bottled water, as well as new hygiene products such as soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste are being collected. Items can be dropped off at the rally in front of Fresno City Hall, starting at 1 PM on Saturday. Area residents can also drop off donations at any of the Meet in the Middle Saturday night events.

For more info, go to the food drive's Facebook page.

MUST SEE VIDEO: The Defenders

The so-called "defenders of marriage" are portrayed rather accurately in this video. Well, that is, if they could get away with what they actually want to do.

VIDEO: Attorneys for Federal Prop 8 Case Talk to Larry King and Hardball

Wednesday, Unite the Fight reported on the federal case against Prop 8. The plaintiffs attorneys, Ted Olson and David Boies, discuss the case with CNN's Larry King.

Read a very detailed and amazing analysis of the case and interview at Pam's House Blend.

On Thursday, they made an appearance on Hardball, discussing the case in relation to other federal LGBT rights cases.

Here's an article from Mother Jones titled, "Gay Rights Groups to Ted Olson: Thanks, but No Thanks."

Why? Because they, ACLU and Lambda Legal among others, think the law suit will fail. But hey, we don't have that great of a track record when it comes to winning our rights at the court (and Olson has an amazing record wins his cases), BUT it's better than our legislative track record when it comes to marriage, and MUCH better than our ballot fights.

What do you think?

NO H8 Campaign PSA - The Silent Protest

The NO H8 Campaign, a silent photographic protest in response to the passage of California's Proposition 8.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dueling Marriage Equality Bills in Pennsylvania - One For, One Against

Recently, Unite the Fight reported on Pennsylvania State Senator John Eichelberger's introduction of a bill banning same-sex marriage in his state.

Thankfully, he won't have the last say.

Sen. Daylin Leach today announced plans to introduce a bill that would offer "full and equal marriage rights to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania." The measure also would recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.

"There has never been a more propitious time for Pennsylvania to embrace equality and enshrine the civil right of all Pennsylvanians to marry," Sen. Leach said.

Contact Sen. Leach and thank him for his proactive step to secure equality in Pennsylvania!

VIDEO: NOM On the Offense with Media Blitz in New York, Misspelling in Ad

UPDATE: So they took the misspelled video down. Shocker! Wouldn't you? But thanks to, I have a screen grab to show.

NY Times reports that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has begun to run the following ad today in New York City and Albany markets.

Oh, and let's play a game. Can you spot the misspelling in the ad? (Hint - :28)

It gets better. Hours after being made aware of the mistake and correcting it, they tried a second time, and well. . .

Now the lame radio ad:

NG Blog is reporting that they also intend to place a billboard in Times Square.

The Times reports, "Already, the National Organization for Marriage commercial has stirred controversy. WPIX-TV in New York has refused to run the ad, the group said. Officials at the station and the Tribune Company, which owns WPIX, did not respond to requests for comment."

These people are like a broken record, using arguments that have been debunked time and time again.

But they sure know their audience, catering to their worst fears about marriage equality. A recent poll of NYC residents show they're split on the issue, and the newest national Gallup poll shows opponents still greatly outnumber supporters.

Nothing like fear to keep logic in the closet.

Charlize Theron Reminds Everyone to 'Meet in the Middle for Equality' This Saturday

Recently, Academy Award winning actor Charlize Theron urged everyone to Meet in the Middle for Equality in Fresno, CA this Saturday, May 30th, a statewide rally for LGBT equality.

Today, she sent out another letter through the Courage Campaign, stating:
"Four days after the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, thousands of people organized by more than 100 organizations are coming together in a major event unlike any other in the post-Prop 8 era.

"We know the people whose lives are on the line -- those who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender -- will be there. But we need everyone there.

"Especially straight people.


It's called "Meet in the Middle for Equality" and it's going to be historic. This will be a moment you don't want to miss -- an unforgettable event in the history of the movement for equal rights."

Remarkably, Charlize has taken a vow not to marry until same-sex couples can have their relationships recognized. She has continued her outspoken support for marriage equality with her call for everyone to meet at Fresno City Hall this Saturday at 1pm to show support for not just the LGBT population, but equal rights for all.

"This isn't just about California. It's about America," she said in her earlier letter. "This isn't just about marriage. It's about human rights."

Join Charlize! Go Meet in the Middle for Equality!

Video Clip of Obama's "I Don't Know What Promise" Remark from DNC Fundraiser

As reported earlier on Unite the Fight, Obama made a remark about his campaign promises to the LGBT population at last night's fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton.

Here's a news report containing the remark from ABC 7:

I'm sorry, but it's hard for me to buy this when many rainbow flags were waving outside with chants, sending a clear message from the man asking about his promises to the LGBT population.

I was told he may have been referring to the war protesters out there as well, but the LGBT protesters outnumbered them by far.

I still have faith that he will act on those promises, and I am not delusional to think that he can fix everything immediately or that this should be his number one priority.

As I said in a comment below the original post,"I'm not asking for immediate action from Obama. I'm asking Obama, AS PRESIDENT, to state his support, the same support he stated as a NOMINEE. So far, I've heard nothing."

6 More Gay Men Tortured and Killed in Iraq, 30 All Together

I'm on the verge of tears.

ABC News reports:
Two gay men were killed in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, and police confirmed they found the bodies of four more men, all killed during a 10-day period after an unknown Shiite militia group urged a crackdown on homosexuals in the country.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes as many as 30 people have been killed during the last three months because they were -- or were perceived to be -- gay.

In a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the human rights group Amnesty International called for "urgent and concerted action" to end the violence against the gay community, the group reported on its Web site.

Homosexuality is prohibited almost everywhere in the Middle East, but conditions have become especially dangerous in recent years for gays and lesbians, as religious militias have become more powerful since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

But an Iraqi military source claimed the recent killings were linked to tribal violence, not militias, and his characterization of the killings hints at how deep homophobia runs in Iraqi society.

"Two young men were killed Thursday. They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to restore their family honor," an Iraqi army member who did not want to give his name told ABC News.
ABC continues to report that a previously unknown Shiite group called Asaieb al-Haq (the righteous leagues) is suspected of playing a role in these killings. The bodies of four gay men were found in Sadr City March 25, with "pervert" marked on their tortured bodies strung up on poles. Two of the bodies were wearing diapers and women's lingerie.

Two other men who were found alive had been burned with cigarettes and sodomized by iron bars, while others had their nipples cut off.

Popular gay hang outs, such as coffee shops, have been set on fire in the last ten days.

Unite the Fight has been reporting on these developments for some time and will continue to keep you updated. (Click on the Iraq tag at the bottom of the post to see more.)

ACTION: PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION that will go to the President and Congress, urging them to step in and do something.

We, the United States of America, occupy this country and have a moral obligation to do everything we can to convince the Iraqi government to put and end to this vile human rights violation.

IMAGE: Two Iraqi young men kiss in a rural village near the southern city of Basra.

Majority of Rhode Island Voters Support Marriage Equality

Good news! A new Brown University poll released Wednesday shows 60% of voters support a law allowing same-sex couples to marry. We gain more support of 75% for civil unions. Only 31% flatly stated they would oppose a marriage equality law.

The irony here is that Rhode Island is one of the most conservative New England states with the demographic showing over half of the residents Roman Catholic, more than any other state, and on top of that, Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri is a member of the National Organization for Marriage.

Our advocates in the state are pointing out this poll to state leadership, showing them that this is what their constituents want.

"Even if they're not hearing constantly from constituents or people they work with about what they feel about marriage equality, it clearly gives the decision-makers something to look at when supporting marriage equality," said Kathy Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island.

While 77% of Democrats polled said they would support gay marriage, only 28% of Republicans shared that view. Results also showed younger voters more heavily favored marriage equality. 87% of voters ages 18-29 supported it, as opposed to 32% of voters 70 and older. This reflects the national Gallup poll released yesterday.

Christopher Plante, executive director for the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, pointed out that polls showed California voters supported same-sex marriage, which they banned in the November election.

"The same-sex marriage movement is about a small minority of people trying to radically alter the historic definition of marriage to suit their lifestyle," Plante said in a statement.

Funny how Plante ignores the fact that New Englanders are adamant about other states staying out of their business, but since what happened in California suits his argument, it's now somehow appropriate to mention it.

Every year since 1997, bills legalizing marriage equality have been introduced and killed in legislative committees. House Speaker William Murphy and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, both Democrats and Catholics, oppose same-sex marriage, and of course, Gov. Carcieri — another Catholic — would likely veto such a measure.

This year is no different with bills in both House and Senate committees. The House Judiciary Committee recommending the measure be held for further study, effectively killing the bill.

Still, Rep. Frank Ferri, a Warwick Democrat and former chair of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, said the poll shows officials the growing support for gay marriage in Rhode Island.

"Gay marriage is just like any other marriage and the more we talk about it and the more we read about it just reinforces that," Ferri said.

ACTION: Marriage Equality Rhode Island is urging state residents to take advantage of the support by getting more involved by doing five simple actions. Check it out!

UPDATE: Obama Makes Demonstration a Punchline/VIDEO: Obama Demonstration at Los Angeles DNC Fundraiser Demanding End to Silence on LGBT Issues

UPDATE: Got the quote from Obama's speech referring to the demonstration outside the hotel. From NYTimes:
"A gaggle of sign-waving protestors milled around outside The Beverly Hilton, the sprawling hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. They must have caught the president’s eye when he arrived at the hotel from an earlier stop in Las Vegas because he relayed one of their messages to the crowd.

"'One of them said, 'Obama keep your promise,’ ' the president said. 'I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about.'

"The people in the audience – who paid $30,400 per couple to attend – laughed as they ate a dinner of roasted tenderloin, grilled organic chicken and sun choke rosemary mashed potatoes."
He didn't know which promises we were asking him to keep? Gee, maybe Obama should look at his own website for a refresher course. But wait, that might not be a good idea since THEY DELETE PROMISES!

If he thought it was an appropriate time to crack a joke of this nature, he's wrong. But it's not like the first time he was insensitive - remember the joke he made on the Tonight Show about the Special Olympics?

I'm too angry to write anything further. As I always say, "When you're angry, step away form the computer."

ACTION: Sign this petition to Obama, urging him to end Don't Ask Don't Tell and NOT fire Lt. Dan Choi and others discharged under the policy.
Last night, a demonstration was held outside the Beverly Hilton where the Democratic National Committee fundraiser headlining President Obama was held.

Though the purpose of the demonstration was to encourage Obama to stick to his campaign promises of LGBT equality, lots of frustration was expressed on the Obama Administration's silence on LGBT issues thus far.

A good crowd turned out, gathering across the street from the hotel's entrance chanting, "Do Ask, Do Tell", "Full Equality Now" and "Out of the court, into the streets, we are ready to fight, we won’t be beat."

Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign and Lt. Dan Choi of Knights Out rallied the crowd.

From Unite the Fight live broadcast on Qik:

Better video at our YouTube channel. (Some is still uploading - stay tuned.)


Though cooperative, the demonstrators were passionate and sometimes spilling into the street. The LAPD had to step up several times, warning the crowd to stay out of the busy thoroughfare.

Towards the end of his chanting, Lt. Dan Choi defied the police, stepped into the street and saluted in the direction of the fundraiser, symbolically honoring the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama. It was amazing to witness.

After the demonstration, organizer Matt Palazzolo of Equal Roots Twittered, "OBAMA RALLY A SUCCESS!!!! He addressed us LGBT demonstrators outside the hotel in his speech -- he intends to keep his promise to us."

He had heard from a media source that the president referred to the demonstrators at his private speech at the fundraiser.

"According to one of the news people who delivered the message to me [Obama] said something along the lines of 'to all the people outside asking that I keep my promise, I was very happy to see you out there...because I truly want to keep my promise to you.' That is of course 2nd hand paraphrasing, though. But, still -- we got the message."

Unite the Fight then asked fundraiser attendee Mike Bonin, Chief of Staff for Los Angeles Councilmember Rosendhal and former volunteer for the Obama campaign, if Obama did in fact refer to the demonstration. Mike clarified that the president gave two speeches - one for the higher-priced tickets and one more open to the public.

From the speech that Mike heard, there was no reference. "I am so damn happy he is my president, and so damn proud I worked for his election, and so damn committed to helping push his agenda," Mike said. "But how he can come to LA, one day after the Prop 8 ruling, with DADT tossing excellent service people from the armed forces, and not say one word about equality, is beyond me. Mr. President, please speak."

Mike is getting confirmation on what was said in the president's other speech; however, he was able to corner the White House deputy chief of staff in the men's room about DADT and urged him stop the expulsion of quality service people like Lt Dan Choi.

Thanks to for filming the live coverage of the rally. They will also be contributing to Unite the Fight's live broadcast of Meet in the Middle this Saturday.

MUST SEE VIDEO: Talking Equality

My friend Rob Tisinai from did it again with another one of his amazing videos, debunking the many inane arguments against marriage equality.


Unite the Fight and Internet Explorer 7

UPDATE: IE7 viewers should be able to view now!

I had to make a sad fix so that those with IE7 can read the blog - I had to delete my Google followers sidebar. Sorry Google followers! But you can still follow me through Facebook. See the "Join" section in the lower left sidebar.
Hello Unite the Fight Readers,

Currently Blogger, the host for Unite the Fight, and Internet Explorer 7 are having compatibility issues. They are currently working on it. All other browsers work fine with Unite the Fight, including Internet Explorer 8 which you can download here for free.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WH Press Secretary Can't Answer if Civil Unions is a Constitutional Violation

Jake Tapper of ABC pressed hard on White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on whether the President's position on supporting civil unions over marriage equality was a direction violation of the Equal Protections Clause of the US Constitution. The federal lawsuit filed by Olson and Boies against Proposition 8 argues it is.

No video is available yet. I will post it when available. Here's the transcript:

TAPPER: Okay. And just a separate question. Today in California, Ted Olson, former Solicitor General for President Bush, and David Boies, are introducing a lawsuit against the state of California, saying that by denying same-sex couples the right to marry, the ability to marry they are violating the Equal Protection Rights under the U.S. Constitution for same-sex couples. Why are they wrong?

MR. GIBBS: I have not read the opinion or --

TAPPER: The President supports the idea that people should be able to -- same-sex couples should be able to enter in civil unions. Boies and Olson -- a very conservative lawyer -- are saying that is a violation --

MR. GIBBS: Olson. (Laughter.)

TAPPER: Not Boies, right -- Olson, a very conservative lawyer, saying that is a violation of the Constitution. It is also the position the President holds, that there should be civil unions, not same-sex marriage. Why is it not a violation of the Equal Protection clause?

MR. GIBBS: Jake, let me have somebody take a look at the pleading that they're going to make. I don't know what they're arguing --

TAPPER: Generally. Just forget the specific argument; I'm just talking about their general argument is that by having -- by not allowing same-sex couples to marry, it is a violation of equal protection.

MR. GIBBS: Right, well, again --

TAPPER: And that's the President's position, so --

MR. GIBBS: But let me -- well, the President's position, we're all aware of. I hesitate to be general about the legal underpinnings of an argument based on some portion of the Constitution. I think that they may be somewhat hard to generalize. So let me have somebody take a look at that and see if we have anything based on what Mr. Olson and Mr. Boies are doing.

Yes, sir.

TAPPER: But today's context includes the financial crisis there and the controversy over Proposition 8. The President, as far as we know, is not going to speak out on any of these issues while he's in California. Do you think that's appropriate?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let's try not to mix up the questions here and let me see if I can keep them straight. I think the notion that the President isn't concerned about the economic conditions of this country I don't think holds a lot of validity, given the actions that he's taken to get our economy moving again; to get the resources that California needs to invest in their infrastructure and to take care of their citizens; to ensure that kids have health care. I think he's taken steps to do that and I think most people in California are confident in that, as well.
This isn't the first time Gibbs has been cornered on LGBT issues and the Obama's seemingly lack of involvement.

It won't be the last.

It's almost embarrassing how ineffective and unprepared this administration is in dealing with the LGBT population and its advances for equality. These advances are staring them down, forcing them to admit that they may be wrong. But will they ever profess such a guffaw? Doubt it.

Gee, Obama has an ego? You don't say!

New Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans Still Oppose Marriage Equality

The news just keeps getting better. A new Gallup Poll released today showed that a majority of Americans still oppose marriage equality 57% to 40%.

Ouch. This isn't exactly the kind of news one would hope for the day after Prop 8 is upheld. There is that small silver lining indicating that young Americans still overwhelmingly support marriage equality 59% to 37%.

The full report is embedded below.

GALLUP POLL MAY 09: Majority of Americans Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage

With this in mind, do you believe we should continue to fight for our rights through the courts or through the ballot?

VIDEO: Sen. Boxer, Rep. Pelosi and Gov. Schwarzenegger Believe Prop 8 to be Overturned

Sen. Barbara Boxer talks about the "nightmare" of yesterday's ruling on Prop 8 and predicts California will be in another contentious initiative battle to repeal it.

“If you read the California constitution, it basically says that everyone has equal rights and equal protection under the laws, so I don’t know why they (the Calif. supreme court) went this way,” said Boxer, a Democrat who has represented the state in the U.S. Senate since 1993. “But the fact is, they did it because of Prop 8, and we’re going to have to have another battle in California.”

I have an idea as to why the court ruled as it did. Because their jobs were threatened. And I'm not the only one who thinks what they did was contradictory.

U.S. House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi also chimed in yesterday, calling the ruling "deeply disappointing."

"I have long fought for equality for all of California's families and will strongly support efforts to restore marriage equality in California, so it can join the ranks of states such as Iowa and Vermont,” said the California Democrat.

Maybe this will be a wake up call for her. Having stated earlier that repealing DOMA was not a priority, hopefully Pelosi has been reminded of the horrible effects of discrimination and inequality.

California Gov. Schwarzenegger talked to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show last night about Prop 8.

Thanks, Arnold. Would've been nice if you hadn't vetoed the marriage equality legislation that hit your desk. We could've avoided this whole damn mess. You're a pal!

Prop 8 Battle Reaches the Federal Level

Hours after California’s top court upheld Proposition 8, a federal lawsuit was filed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights arguing that Prop 8 violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process.

Their suit, filed May 22 in U.S. District Court in California, calls for an injunction against the proposition, allowing immediate reinstatement of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The suit was filed by Theodore B. Olson, the U.S. solicitor general from 2001 to 2004 under President George W. Bush and David Boies, a high-profile court lawyer, on behalf of two gay men and two gay women. The two were at odds during the infamous 2000 presidential election representing Bush and Gore respectively but have now teamed up for this case.

The attorneys argue that the equal protection and due process clauses for the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is being violated by relegating same-sex couples to domestic partnerships instead of granting them full marriage rights.

“For a long time I’ve personally felt that we are doing a grave injustice for people throughout this country by denying equality to gay and lesbian individuals,” Olson said in an interview with The Advocate. “The individuals that we represent and will be representing in this case feel they’re being denied their rights. And they’re entitled to have a court vindicate those rights.”

The Advocate goes on to report, "As for the timing of the suit, Olson said that recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court 'make it clear that individuals are entitled to be treated equally under the Constitution. I’m reasonably confident that this is the right time for these [injustices] to be vindicated.'”

Olson told the Associated Press late Tuesday that he hopes the case will wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

LA Times says, "The U.S. Supreme Court has what usually results in a 5-4 majority against extending rights to gays by recognizing sexual orientation as a vulnerable class of citizens in need of protection."

Because of this fact, many LGBT organization believe the lawsuit is ill-timed. Today, they issued the following press release.
LGBT Organizations Warn that Lawsuits Could Set Back Progress on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples:

New York, May 27, 2009 - In response to the California Supreme Court decision allowing Prop 8 to stand, four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groups are reminding the LGBT community that ill-timed lawsuits could set the fight for marriage back. The groups released a new publication, "Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California." This publication discourages people from bringing premature lawsuits based on the federal Constitution because, without more groundwork, the U.S. Supreme Court likely is not yet ready to rule that same-sex couples cannot be barred from marriage. The groups also revised "Make Change, Not Lawsuits," which was released after the California Supreme Court decision ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in California. This publication encourages couples who have legally married to ask friends, neighbors and institutions to honor their marriages, but discourages people from bringing lawsuits.
However, the American Federation Equal Rights held a press conference today stating their intentions to move forward.

Many in the LGBT population are skeptical about the motivations behind Olson and Boies. An email was sent to Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend saying, "I smell something very very fishy. . . Is this a 'forcing of the issue' to the SCOTUS by the hard right while they have a stronger chance of winning marriage inequality and before Obama has a chance to alter the court's balance while at the same time having an insider on the plaintiffs' team?"

I would love to think that the U.S. Supreme Court would take this case on and overturn Prop 8. But after yesterday's devastating blow from the CA Supreme Court, the same court that gave us the right to marry in the first place, I'm extremely wary of going the conservative high court.

Freedom to Marry agrees. Read their report, ""Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California."

What do you think?

VIDEO: Thousands Turn Out for Los Angeles and Statewide Decision Day Protests

Thousands turned out yesterday all across California in protest against the California Supreme Court ruling to uphold Proposition 8. Police are reporting that 162 arrests were made during yesterday's protests.

Turnout numbers are mixed for statewide protesters, even here in Los Angeles where numbers range from 1,000 to 5,000. LAPD, who usually underestimates crowd numbers, initially told the organizers of the Day of Decision rally that there were 12,000 to 14,000.

In Los Angeles, the day kicked off strong with a protest and civil disobedience in East Los Angeles.

In Leimert Park, nearly 1,000 clergy members and gay couples gathered at the Lucy Florence Coffee Shop in the heart of Los Angeles’ black community.

The protests spread to Westwood near Santa Monica where students blocked major intersections and refused to leave. Some were arrested.

The student protest grew to nearly 1,000 people reports say and marched up Santa Monica Blvd., past the Mormon temple and joined up with the large Los Angeles Decision Day rally just as it started in West Hollywood.

The rally kicked off with speakers ranging from comedian Kathy Griffin, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Councilman Rosendthal, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land, Robin Tyler and Gloria Allred and Lt. Dan Choi, with Perez Hilton, Shanna Moakler and Drew Barrymore showing up for the march.

The long march, beginning in West Hollywood, passed the Matthew Shepard Memorial where pictures of hate crime victims were displayed. People laid white flowers on the ground in honor of them.

The march rallied at Hollywood and Highland, the heart of Hollywood, where thousands of people took chalk and drew their protests on the streets. The concrete was covered in graffiti depicting hurt, anger and hope for a better future. It was amazing to see - a striking visual that will stay on the streets until it washes off. (See slide show below)

Yesterday at the Los Angeles rally, we provided a live stream broadcast, but due to an overwhelming use of the application Qik throughout the state, it kept stalling. However, it was still able to record. Here are some of our videos (please forgive the sound - it was really loud, causing some of it to cut in and out, and the rally's sound system went down at times). Click on the Qik logo to see more.

Perez Hilton and former Miss California USA executive director Shanna Moakler.

Robin Tyler speaks at the rally.

Short clip of the march:

Unite the Fight slide show:

Different coverage of yesterday's statewide protests and responses to ruling. This list will keep growing.

Los Angeles Times
"California high court upholds Prop. 8"
"Cheers, anger and tears in response to decision on gay marriage."
"California's gay marriage ruling signals next step for both sides."
"California court's contradictory Prop. 8 decision."
Interactive map depicting marriage equality chronology.
"Q&A: Answering your questions about the Prop. 8 decision."

"What's next for the same-sex marriage debate?"
"California high court upholds same-sex marriage ban."
VIDEO: Lt. Dan Choi-Anderson Cooper Interview CNN.

"After Prop. 8, Gay-Marriage Proponents Plot Next Step."

SF Gate
"Prop. 8 stands; more ballot battles ahead."