March 25 – Despite the heavy rain that fell hundreds of Proposition 8 opponents held “I do support marriage” signs and rallied together at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Park, 845 N. Alameda St., on the eve before the state Supreme Court begins to hear oral arguments from both sides on Proposition 8.
“We stand in solidarity, with 34 other cities who are having vigils tonight,” Lisa Powell said. “We are stand firm in the belief that no majority, no majority, has the right to vote on the fundamental rights of freedom and justice for all in the state of California.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came to the rally in support for marriage and was charged with the recommitment ceremony that took place during the rally.
“This represents the significance of what is going to take place tomorrow, but to those who oppose your right to marry, and are working day in and day out to make sure we never achieve full equality, let me say this: I believe in marriage equality with all my heart.” Villaraigosa said.
Other speakers included actor, comedian and journalist Alec Mapa, Richard Zaldivar director and founder of The Wall Las Memorias Project, Father Geoffrey Farrow and attorney Jenny Pfizer.
Attorney Kenneth Starr, who is to argue in favor of Proposition 8, has declined interviews from the media, according to Ted Garcia, director of media relations at Pepperdine University where Starr holds the position as Dean. Calls were directed to General Counsel Andrew Pugno’s cell, where a message was left and has yet to be returned. However, according to the Los Angeles Times, Starr is to argue that the will of the people should be upheld. Opponents of the proposition will argue that this revision to the state constitution and is therefore invalid.
“What kind of constitution do we have in California where we question if any minority is safe from bullying at the ballot box?” Pfizer said. “It’s not Proposition 8 that is radical, what’s radical is the attempt to strip a historically vulnerable minority of the most cherished constitutional rights: liberty and justice for all.”
Pfizer will attend the hearing tomorrow and hear the oral arguments for and against Proposition 8. According to a press release by the Judicial Council of California Administrative Office of the Courts, arguments surrounding the Proposition will be: The validity of Proposition 8 overall; Whether or not it violates the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution; and if found, unconstitutional, whether or not the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples remain valid.
Since Proposition 8 passed, this particular question has been on the minds of Don Muller and Richard Ostlund, who have been together for 36 years, and made their union official last August.
“We were broken hearted and we were angry that they thought they could take our fundamental rights to the ballot box (last November) and revise the constitution,” Ostlund said. “We’re hoping the Supreme Court will see this is a revision of the constitution and that it should be overturned because it was not taken through both houses of the state and house legislature the way it should be.”
Proposition 8 was passed last Nov. 4., after a majority voted that the definition of marriage remain between a man and a woman. While the preliminary hearings will begin tomorrow, the final decision whether or not to overturn Proposition 8 may be decided as early as tomorrow or as late as 90 days according to court rules.