Let Our People Wed
Despite the Ninth Circuit ruling, Prop 8 continues to hurt lesbian and gay couples and their families. On February 14 at San Francisco City Hall, loving, committed same-sex couples, accompanied by their friends and supporters, asked for marriage licenses as part of Freedom to Marry Week. The annual event has never been more important or appropriate given the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional and Washington State becoming the next state to have marriage equality.
â€śThe Ninth Circuitâ€™s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional was an early Valentine to loving couples and fair-minded citizens everywhere,â€ť said Stuart Gaffney, Marriage Equality USA media director. â€śWhile the courtâ€™s ruling gives us renewed hope for the restoration of marriage equality in California soon, lesbian and gay people still canâ€™t wed pending any further appeals.â€ť
This is the 12th year in a row that same-sex couples have appeared at clerkâ€™s offices across the country to request marriage licenses and to render visible the harm that excluding them from marriage causes them and their families. The San Francisco event was just one of many similar actions that took place across the country on Valentineâ€™s Day, from Virginia to Texas to California, created by a coalition of diverse organizations.
Source: Marriage Equality USA
Plaza Legislation Passed and Signed into Law
The Board passed Supervisor Scott Wienerâ€™s legislation to create basic rules in Harvey Milk Plaza and Jane Warner Plaza, both at Castro and Market. These critical public spaces in the neighborhood need to be accessible to everyone, with no one person or group dominating them at the expense of others. However, due to quirks in the law, the plazas were in a legal limbo, and it was unclear what laws could be enforced.
To address this situation and to ensure good management of the plazas, Wiener introduced legislation to apply certain aspects of the Parks Code to the plazas, including banning camping, sleeping and smoking, and requiring permits to sell merchandise. The legislation also reaffirms that the plazas are open to the public 24 hours a day, that they are key public gathering spaces and that First Amendment activities are exempt and to be respected. The Mayor signed the legislation last week. It will take effect next month. Wiener thanked the broad coalition of Castro-area neighborhood organizations that supported and advocated for this important legislation.
Source: Supervisor Wiener newsletter