Worldwide ‘Prop 8’ Protests Set for Saturday

The passing of Proposition 8 in California last week instituted a ban on same-sex marriage, despite a huge financial and political campaign to prevent its passing.

Similar limits on same-sex rights were also instated in Florida, Arkansas, and Arizona.

Since then, pro-gay marriage activists have mobilized in defense of their cause to stage widespread protests and demonstrations across the state of California and the United States.

Now the group are coordinating an global series of protests against Proposition 8 to be held on November 15.

Nationwide protests are in the final stages of being planned in every American state and, internationally, in more than 16 cities around the world.

For ongoing coverage of this issue, please see NowPublic’s Proposition 8 Scan and featured coverage.

Leaders of the campaign against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, raised nearly $40 million and ran a careful, disciplined campaign with messages tested by focus groups and with only a few people authorized to speak to the media.

They lost.

In the week since, California has seen an outpouring of demonstrations ranging from quiet vigils to noisy street protests against Proposition 8, including rallies outside churches and the Mormon temple in Westwood as well as boycotts of some businesses that contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Many of those activities have been organized not by political professionals and established leaders in the gay community, but by young activists working independently on Facebook and MySpace.

The grass-roots activism is a tribute to political organizing in the digital age, in which it is possible to mobilize thousands of people with a few clicks of a mouse. It has generated national attention — and set up a series of Saturday demonstrations that organizers hope will attract tens of thousands of people to city halls throughout California.

While California suffers the effects of Proposition 8’s passing, Connecticut became only the third state ever to issue same-sex marriage licenses as of November 12th.

And the even better news for same-sex couples in Connecticut? This won’t likely be a fleeting decision subject to a ballot initiative — same sex marriage is legal in the state and “it appears likely to stay that way”.

A week after ballot initiatives banning same-sex marriage passed in Arizona, California, and Florida, bringing the total number of states with constitutional amendments barring gay marriage to 30, the fierce battle over this culture war issue appears to be far from over. Yesterday, Connecticut became the third state ever to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a month after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that gays and lesbians have the right to marry under the state Constitution.

Unlike California, where the state’s Supreme Court issued a similar ruling earlier this year only to see it overturned by ballot initiative, there is no statewide initiative process in Connecticut that would allow the ruling to be reversed. Connecticut voters could have supported a measure on last week’s ballot that would have called for a convention to amend the state’s Constitution, but the measure failed. Under the state Constitution, the question can go on the ballot only once every 20 years. Connecticut joins Massachusetts as one of only two states where same-sex marriage is legal, and it appears likely to stay that way.

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