Bonus points to the UT for interviewing my friends Jim and Dave.
Thousands rally to protest ruling: Demonstrators march to Hall of Justice
By John Wilkens, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
2:00 a.m. May 27, 2009
Chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, homophobia's got to go,” thousands of San Diegans marched from Balboa Park to the downtown Hall of Justice last night in support of same-sex marriage.
Many said they were angered by the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier in the day that upheld Proposition 8, but there was no violence. Many said they were sad, but there were no tears.
More than anything, it was a demonstration of resolve. “We will not disappear,” one marcher's sign read.
San Diego police estimated the crowd at 3,500. That included an older woman in a wheelchair, babies in strollers and people of ages in between.
Some people watching from the sidewalk or caught in traffic muttered under their breath as the procession shut down Sixth Avenue from Laurel Street to Broadway, and along Broadway to the courthouse, but no organized counter-rally was seen.
Those who support Proposition 8, the traditional-marriage initiative approved by voters in November, said they saw no cause for open celebration.
“There wasn't an attitude that 'Yeah, we won,' but there was a sense that yes, the vote of the people was upheld,” said the Rev. Chris Clark, pastor of East Clairemont Baptist Church, who watched television coverage of the court's decision. “It does resonate as law, so there was a confirmation in that.”
Last night's march and rally had been planned for months – win or lose they were going to gather – and some were more prepared than others.
“Nobody's really surprised by what the court did,” said David Russell Talbott, a Normal Heights artist who was wearing a T-shirt he designed for the the occasion – one that had yesterday's date, a modified version of the state flag and these words: “California Republic of Shame.”
Talbott was there with his husband, Jim Herrington, who works at a clothing store. They married in August, when it was still legal, after they'd been together for 20 years.
The court ruled that their marriage and about 18,000 other same-sex unions are valid, but that wasn't much solace, Talbott said. “Equal rights should be for everybody.”
Before the march, organizer Sara Beth Brooks urged people to be “100 percent peaceful,” and police reported no problems. It took the crowd about an hour to cover the 20 blocks from the park to the justice hall.
Many of the marchers carried homemade signs: “We Shall Overcome,” “My Marriage Is Not a Threat to Your Jesus,” “Enough.”
Ron Hertz held a sign that read, “My Beautiful Grandson Has 2 Moms.” He was visiting from Oregon and decided to walk alongside his daughter, Jenell Ferhart, her wife, Amy, and their 18-month-old son, Nathan.
“I think it's important to support them,” said Hertz, a longtime teacher.
After the march ended in front of the Hall of Justice, police closed Broadway between Union and State. There, several speakers, including Mayor Jerry Sanders, urged the crowd to keep up the fight.
Among those watching was Janice Sands-Weinstein, a Carmel Valley accountant. She and her wife, Marti, were married in June. They have four children who give new meaning to the term co-parenting: Janice's eggs were harvested and fertilized with a donor's sperm, and Marti carried them to term.
“It's a very hollow victory to feel my marriage is intact,” Sands-Weinstein said. “I'm Jewish, and at Passover we have a saying: 'Not free until everyone is free.' ”