|Tracie Jones and Valeriel Paget left L.A. on Nov. 18. They arrive in San Francisco this Friday.
On Friday, Dec. 19, 12 noon, Valerie Paget and Tracie Jones, a Los Angeles couple affected by the passage of Proposition 8, will arrive in San Francisco, having culminated a 450-mile march through California to demonstrate their conviction that the California Supreme Court should revoke Prop 8. People are invited to join the couple at Market and Castro at 11 a.m. to walk the final miles to the steps of San Francisco City Hall at noon for a short rally with a march to the steps of the California Supreme Court to follow.
Dec. 19 is the deadline for Prop 8 opponents to file their briefs in the historic Supreme Court case that will decide the constitutionality of the anti- same-sex marriage initiative.
Paget and Jones began their march in West Hollywood Park, Los Angeles, on Nov. 18. As they marched, they carried their message through every community along their route from Los Angeles to San Francisco, collecting signatures, rallying communities, and gathering personal letters and video testimonies from Californians to bring to the courthouse.
â€śWe will carry the demands for full equality from our streets to the steps of the California Supreme Court,â€ť said Paget. â€śWe have traveled the extra mile in support of marriage equality and hope that the California Supreme Court Justices will also go the extra mile to ensure equality and equal protections are safeguarded for all Californians.â€ť
â€śWe will gather to celebrate and welcome Tracie and Valerie as they complete the final leg of their journey,â€ť said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA media director. â€śThey have literally walked their talk, spoken to hundreds of people about the impact of marriage discrimination, and put a human face to the issue of marriage equality, which is the key to securing support. We must continue to advocate in the court of public opinion while we await the California Supreme Courtâ€™s ruling on Proposition 8.â€ť McKay added, â€śWhile our lives hang in the balance, we must renew our efforts to keep hope alive in California.â€ť
â€śValerie and Tracieâ€™s march across California has helped to sustain the people-powered movement for marriage equality that weâ€™ve seen in our communities,â€ť said Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign. Paget and Jones have gathered signatures in support of the Courage Campaignâ€™s pledge signed by over 300,000 people to date. They blogged their experiences along this historic 450-mile, five-week march for equal rights at Revoke8. blogspot.com.
Paget and Jones met in 1998 while working at a group home for disadvantaged children. They soon fell in love and exchanged wedding rings. They filed for Domestic Partnership in 2001 to ensure some basic legal recognition and protection. Then, on their 10-year anniversary, in April 2008, they were married in Vancouver, Canada.
On May 15, the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage between same-sex couples is protected by our state constitution, declaring the Paget/Jones marriage valid and recognized by the state of California. Immediately, the threat of Prop 8 became apparent. On May 18, the couple began working in their community to defeat Prop 8, donating their time through Election Day. Although devastated by the passage of Prop 8, which invalidates their marriage in California, they are inspired by the groundswell of protest against Prop 8. With the status of their own marriage hanging in the balance, they have vowed to fight this discrimination and continue the battle for equal rights.
Taking leaves of absence from their jobs, they set out to bring the message of equal rights all the way to the State Supreme Courthouse in San Francisco â€¦ on foot. Activists are encouraged to greet them in the Castro and walk the last mile with them.