SAN DIEGO -- One year after a group of activists protested and were arrested outside of the San Diego County Clerk's Office after the clerk declined to marry same-sex couples following Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, members of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) will hold a solidarity demonstration on Friday, Aug. 19.
The demonstration will begin at 8:30 am outside of the San Diego County Courthouse, 220 W. Broadway, and last for an hour.
A number of same-sex couples had made appointments to be married at the County Clerk's Office on Aug. 19, 2010, the first day same-sex marriages were supposed to be performed following Walker's ruling. Days before, a stay was issued by an appeals court that halted gay weddings, resulting in the county refusing to honor the appointments that had been made.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reported that nearly 50 riot-clad deputies were called to the scene to arrest the nine individuals who peacefully sat outside the County Clerk's Office in protest of the clerk's refusal to perform the marriages.
Members of the group have dubbed themselves the "Equality 9" and are scheduled to attend an arraignment hearing immediately following the demonstration.
“Attorney General Kamala Harris, Gov. Jerry Brown, federal Judge Vaughn Walker, and even the State of New York is urging California to grant equal marriage rights," said Chuck Stemke, one of the "Equality 9" who identifies as a straight ally. "With the foundations of state-sponsored discrimination against same-sex couples crumbling all around us, the city should recognize this moment in history, stop wasting money and time, and drop the charges against the Equality 9."
Organizers are encouraging those who participate in the demonstration to bring signs with slogans that state their feelings about the charges against the Equality 9.
For more information about the solidarity demonstration or to contact organizers, click HERE.
A petition has been created to demand that the City Attorney drop the charges against the Equality 9. To sign the petition, click HERE.