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Prop 8: One year ago today, a new day for equality

Prop 8 trial

By Adam Bink

Happy anniversary, everyone. Today, August 4, 2011, marks the one-year anniversary of Judge Walker’s decision ruling that Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and, in Walker’s words, “does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.

It was a remarkable day for the LGBT and allied community — a day on which many were holding their breath, waiting to see if the arc of history, in the words of Dr. King, would indeed bend towards justice. A date that changed history. The original blog post and ruling from August 4th last year (with 423 comments) can be found here.

Prop 8 is still in effect, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of the ruling and how we can use it as a community to educate and push. We’re doing a few things at Courage Campaign to mark the anniversary:

1. On days like today, it’s always a nice trip down memory lane to remember where you were, what you were doing, and how you felt. I’ll start: I had only just joined everyone here at Prop8TrialTracker and Courage Campaign to cover the National Organization for Marriage bus tour. On August 4th, when we heard a ruling would be handed down, I was hunched over my computer, refreshing news sources like mad… and trying to remain patient and calm. At the same time, I was holding my breath because a decision in our favor would be earth-shaking, while a decision that Prop 8 was constitutional would be devastating in so many ways. For your community and relationship to be put on trial, it is so important that those relationships were recognized and valued. After reports came in that Prop 8 was struck down, I remember taking a long sigh of relief.  Then I hit “Publish.” Finally, justice was done.

Where were you and how did you feel on August 4th, 2010?

2. Rick Jacobs, Courage’s Chair and Founder, has a post up at Huffington Post this morning with his recollections, and some thoughts on why the case and verdict remains absolutely critical one year later as we enter critical fights around the country.

3. Many still remain unfamiliar with the case and the verdict. So we at Courage Campaign are changing our Facebook status to help let our friends, family and colleagues how important this case, and verdict, is. You can join in changing your status too!

4. Same on Twitter.

5. Finally, you power so much of the work we do to influence the trial and the court of public opinion. From collecting 140,000 signatures in support of televising the trial to funding billboards outside the courthouse urging Judge Ware to strike down’s frivolous motions to overturn the verdict on the basis of Judge Walker’s sexual orientation. From filing amicus curiae briefs at the California Supreme Court signed by folks like you to getting the story of Ed and Derence, a couple forced to wait to marry despite Ed’s fight with Alzheimer’s, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times in order to change more hearts and minds on Prop 8.

The trial will go on for several more years, and that means we still have work to do. Your contribution helps power the work to change the landscape of this trial. Please take a moment to chip in to fund this work. The harder we work to change the landscape, the more likely we are to accelerate a time when Prop 8 is a distant memory.

And thanks for being part of the community here at


  • 1. Nigel  |  August 4, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Justice delayed is justice denied.

  • 2. Alan_Eckert  |  August 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    The night before, I was making signs with my husband. The day of the ruling, I was at work. As soon as I found out about the decision, I ran all around our campus (yes, ran) to tell everyone I could. That night, I met up with my husband before heading to Castro for a rally where I met Dave P and LC for the first time. I also got my picture taken that was sent with many newswires and even featured in The Advocate. Was a memorial day all around. Heck I even watched a shortened Jewish wedding at the rally between two women.

  • 3. Ronnie  |  August 4, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Subscribing & sharing…….

    23 portraits of gay couples that can’t get married in the states that they live in…… <3…Ronnie:

  • 4. DazedWheels  |  August 4, 2011 at 7:02 am

    The night before, I made my first post to P8TT. I had received the Court email announcing the upcoming release of the ruling, and posted something like "Is this what we've been waiting for?" along with some text from the email. Happy 1 year anniversary, everyone!

  • 5. Gregory in SLC  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    O.T. – New NOM bus tour (was already posted) but my hubby mentioned something curious…notice the 2nd paragraph… Susan B. Anthony!!! tee hee : ) SBA list is a symbol for anti-abortion but beyond the obvious, SBA was an activist. a nice tribute to her activism:

    bus tour:

  • 6. Carpool_Cookie  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Speaking of LGBT to put on that "heroes" list, the conservatives would have a heart attack if Louisa May Alcott was considered. On all sites and discussion boards about Little Women, there are always concerned mothers trying to explain away and whitewash her statement later in life, "I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man."

    It's very easy to read the subtext in the character of Jo, even though the editors insisted she end the story by marrying.

    [youtube WGgDtasH2b8 youtube]

  • 7. Gregory in SLC  |  August 4, 2011 at 11:46 am

    It's only like the favoritest movie of all the conservative Mormon women and girls I know!

    p.s. after the announcement me and hubby went to Utah State capital rally where a beautiful rainbow appeared over our heads…and we a marched with hundreds others around the LDS/Mormon temple singing, crying, laughing, rejoicing!

  • 8. Mackenzie  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

    AHG! I was at work, same as now also clicking refresh like mad. When I heard the news I was overjoyed. I had to take a quick break to run outside to scream and jump around. It was a very good day indeed! 🙂

  • 9. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I was sitting in the Oncologists office waiting for my husband to finish his appointment.
    When I was able to finally get logged in on my phone and saw the posting I was overcome with emotion…sitting there in the waiting room crying my eyes out and smiling ear to ear.
    Must have looked very odd to the other patients and family members LOL.
    It was such an emotional day.

  • 10. Ed in South Bend  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Ah yes….here we go……Let the people vote? Nope….lets ratify the US Constitution….courtesy of NOM

  • 11. Ed in South Bend  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:37 am

    from the horses mouth….

  • 12. Ronnie  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

    100% Fascist, anti-American, anti-Freedom manifesto calling for a "witch hunt" against anybody that speaks out against them & a demand to violate the Constitutional rights of ALL tax paying American citizens that do not live their lives how NOM demands….NOM shows their true colors of blood red, reaper black, & sheet white …..

    This is not American, this is Fascism. This is dictatorship………… >I …Ronnie

  • 13. _BK_  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

    There goes my respect for Romney, not like I had any to begin with… I really like Huntsman now. He's the best Republican candidate out there, but has hardly any chance of being nominated by his own party. So disappointing.

  • 14. Gregory in SLC  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

    So how did MA become the first state to off SS Marriage? Mitt, make up your mind already! If you are running for president you are running for ALL Americans!! Hope Huntsman kicks your butt!

  • 15. Sam_Handwich  |  August 5, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Same sex marriage in Mass was the result of a Supreme Judicial Court ruling (Goodridge v Dept of Health), which Mittens Romney voiced opposition to. He subsequently threw his support behind a ballot question similar to Prop 8, that could have overturned the ruling, but we killed that measure in the legislature, where it failed to attain the support of at least 25% of legislators.

  • 16. Gregory in SLC  |  August 5, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Thank you for more info on this.

  • 17. Nicola Simmersbach  |  August 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

    My fiancee Diana and I were poised to say our vows in Sacramento. My family was there and we had bouquets of sunflowers. I was so excited to maybe finally get to marry my princess under the California sun. But it was not to be. Joy turned to confusion and then to sadness. we still have our rings and dresses waiting for the moment we can say I Do. Five year anniversary has come and gone. We are still here, still waiting and still in love.

  • 18. Bob  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

    "Marriage under the law, is a union of EQUALS"

    in the religious right it is a spiritual matter,,,, we're asking the courts for EQUALITY not the church……. and the constitution clarifies that the church can seek no redress from the law, on spiritual mattters..(Freedom of religion)

  • 19. Gregory in SLC  |  August 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Aug 4, 2010
    [youtube 3VCyjVgpZ7w youtube]

  • 20. Adam Bink  |  August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Great choice, Gregory.

  • 21. Steven  |  August 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I just got an email from CC.
    and this part that I totally disagree withDear Steven —

    One year ago today, Judge Walker struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional. And it's been a year of attacks on that decision ever since.

    Our opponents,, appealed the decision at the Ninth Circuit; filed a motion to overturn Walker's decision on the basis of his sexual orientation; and demanded that videorecordings of the trial be locked away from the public forever.

    The fight is heating up now. Over the next month, courts will decide on the issue of standing in the Prop 8 case, as well as whether to release the videorecordings. Then we face a fight at the Ninth Circuit and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court. This case could go through 2014, Steven. That's why we need your support to fight back and defend Judge Walker's decision.

    I DON'T think it won't last til 2014.. the latest it could end will be 2013 at the end of Supreme Court 2012/2013 session if it gets that far. This is my opinion: If CA Supreme Court says no standing before December 1st 9th Circuit will deny the appeal immediately and lift the stay by Jan 1st. However, on other hand in a case if CASC goes other way it'd be a different story. will try to appeal to USSC with no standing issue, but unlikely it WILL NOT be successful……… JMO………

  • 22. Adam Bink  |  August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    emphasis on "could" go, Steven. Reasonable legal minds could disagree. We hear 2014 from different quarters.

  • 23. Lodrelhai  |  August 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    One year ago today I was driving through the desert with two friends on the way to a convention. None of us had smartphones or mobile internet, but the publisher of my e-reader had just released web-browsing software for testing, so I was here on the little black-and-white screen until the judgement was announced.

    One year later, we’re still waiting for one of those friends to be able to marry her life-partner. Here’s hoping the courts deal with this quickly (for courts).

  • 24. Rick Jacobs: Release the &hellip  |  August 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    […] Vaughn Walker's San Francisco courtroom. It was called Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which resulted in a ruling overturning Prop 8. The evidence in that trial made crystal clear that gays and lesbians are denied […]

  • 25. Rick Jacobs: Release The &hellip  |  September 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

    […] Vaughn Walker's San Francisco courtroom. It was called Perry v. Schwarzenegger, which resulted in a ruling overturning Prop 8. The evidence in that trial made crystal clear that gays and lesbians are denied […]

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