Photos and quotes from West Hollywood rally: George Takei, Antonio Villaraigosa; Robin Tyler and more
I can’t tell you how special it was to be at the Prop. 8 Day of Decision rally in West Hollywood on Tuesday. It was just terrific energy all around – great spirit.
Sure, there was disappointment over the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop. 8 which bans same-sex marriage, but also a real determination that this terrible injustice will one day soon be rectified.
I was so happy to see Brad Altman
and George Takei
at the rally and to be able to get a photo of the just for Greg In Hollywood
readers. Below are my personal snapshots and some of the comments from the various speakers on Tuesday night.
George told the story of how Brad – already his life partner for more than 20 years – beat him to the punch in proposing last year. They were married last fall and the Supreme Court’s reversal has left him bitterly disappointed.
“Our marriage will stand but our friends and others who want to get married who are gay and lesbian, cannot get married. It’s like that novel Animal Farm. Some pigs are more equal than other pigs. … We want equality for all. That’s what American equality absolutely stands for.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been steadfast in his support of same-sex marriage and flew back from Sacramento in time for the 7 p.m. rally.
“Today we mourn a system that denied a whole group of people the fundamental right to marry, to love, to raise a family. … The same men and women who took one small step forward for marriage equality one year ago, took one one giant leap backward with today’s decision because when the bomds of love can be undone at the ballot box, that is not justice! “
The very passionate and brave Robin Tyler who with wife Diane Olson, is one of the plaintiffs in the case that resulted in gay marriage becoming legal in California last year.
“Shame on the California Supreme Court!” Robin said. “Those cowards! … They have tarnished their legacy forever! Forever!”
She added: “We have been a sweet movement. We are loving, gentle people. But you know what? The California Supreme Court just blew out the last candle at the vigil. No civil rights movement has ever lost – ever. So it’s not a matter of if we will win, it’s a matter of when we will win!”
Lt. Dan Choi, recently kicked out of the military because he is gay, has proven to be a natural speaker and a real inspiration.
He told the crowd: “Gay soldiers are slapped in the face and told, ‘Don’t ask.’ They’re told, ‘Don’t tell.’ Well I am sick of asking. It is time to tell! Asking didn’t work for Caesar Chavez. Asking didn’t work for Rosa Parks. Asking didn’t work for Dr. Martin Luther King and asking didn’t work for President Barack Obama.”
Drew Barrymore was a surprise speaker and a very welcome one. She got a huge reaction from the crowd and said: “People need to be in love and we have to take steps forward, not backward. I want to live in a world where Prop. 8 doesn’t exist.”
West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran said: “This morning at 19 o’clock, I got a sucker punch … a sucker punch I wasn’t expecting to feel as I felt. … I had as shred of hope this morning that the court would do the right thing. A shred of hope. That was annihilated at 10 o’clock. You would think that out of that annihilation that maybe myself and each of you here would say, ‘Well, we lost. I guess that’s pretty much it.’ But we come from a stock of people who are used to getting thrown down and standing right back up. Like a phoenix that rises again and again and again every decade, we rise once again.”
I do not know this handsome guy’s name but took his photo because he’s so cute! He was one of the interpreters for the hearing impaired. Call me!
John and Duncan Ireland and their son: “We know we’re among the lucky 18,000 but it doesn’t feel so lucky tonight. We were married back in 2004 in San Francisco and had our marriage annulled by the California Supreme Court and we were afraid that it might happen again and we’re thrilled that it didn’t.”
Jenny Pizer, chief legal counsel for Lambda Legal quoted the Supreme Court of Iowa which recently made gay marriage legal in that state: “The absolute equality of all persons before the law is the very foundation principal of our government.”
She added: “Make no mistake about it, we are so much stronger as a community because we came together to do this legal fight together. We had standing with us before the California Supreme Court more than 1,000 clergy leaders who know that our love is beautiful and we deserve equality. And we had every civil rights group standing with us attesting that equality is equality for all.”
And finally, that’s me, ready to march! After listening to the speeches and getting fired up,. I joined thousands of others in marching down Santa Monica Boulevard for the right of people like me to get married.