Prop. 8 rally draws crowd

After Monique Wolfe ’12 learned that New Haven’s rally against Proposition 8 was occurring simultaneously in 10 different countries, she came to a simple realization.

“California’s pissed off the whole world!” she said.

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Meaghan Barr
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Nearly 250 people rallied outside City Hall on Saturday afternoon to protest the passing of Proposition 8, a California state ballot proposal that eliminates same-sex couples’ right to marry. The New Haven rally, organized by two Yale Law School students, was part of a larger, nationwide protest organized by grass-roots organization JoinTheImpact.com.

“We hope to make sure that people understand that it’s not just a California issue,” said Gabriela Rivera LAW ’11, who organized the New Haven rally with Carel Ale LAW ’11. “Just because Connecticut legalized it, the fight doesn’t stop here.”

The rally in New Haven on Saturday comes amid landmark victories and defeats for the national gay rights movement. Just one week after California overturned the Supreme Court’s May decision to allow same-sex marriage, Connecticut both legalized and held its first gay marriages.

The passage of Proposition 8 calls into question the validity of the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that have been conducted in California since May. Members of the LGBT community did not expect the proposition to pass in the state, which is usually known for being liberal, and so were shocked by the results of the ballot.

“The limiting of these rights can’t be tolerated anymore,” said Rivera.

Saturday’s crowd heard speeches from ANSWER Coalition volunteer Chris Garaffa, protesters and United Church on the Green’s Reverend John Gage . Gage urged protesters to avoid demonizing the religious right — which many gay-rights activists have blamed for pushing Proposition 8 over the top — in order to make the movement for gay marriage rights more inclusive.

After the speakers, protesters marched around the New Haven Green, chanting slogans such as, “Gay, straight, black, white — marriage is a civil right!” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, bigotry has got to go!”

Larson Hogstrom, the diversity chair of Spectrum, Connecticut College’s gender and sexuality student alliance, attended Saturday’s protest to show his opposition to the passage of Proposition 8, which he called “a symbol of a problem in our country.”

“This shows the volatility of how people feel about diversity,” he said.

Hartford resident Kyle Lana said he, as a gay man, took the passage of Proposition 8 personally.

“I feel like a second-class citizen,” said Lana, wearing a T-shirt bearing the JoinTheImpact.com logo. “I pay my taxes. I’m a productive member of society. I should have the right to marry.”

Professor Maria Trumpler, director of undergraduate studies for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, said in an e-mail that she thinks places like Yale can lull lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students into “an idea of social acceptance” that events like the passage of Proposition 8 shatter. She added that the critical question will be whether activist momentum can result in gay marriage rights at the state or national level.

Ben Gonzalez ’09, head of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Cooperative at Yale, said that Proposition 8 has most directly affected the Californian students. He said that some students are tired of hearing about Prop 8 due to the negative reactions of other students who say that California “sucks,” while others are angry and participating in protests.

“It has affected us all, whether we suffer personally by its passing or not,” he said.

JoinTheImpact.com will hold a national demonstration every month for the next 10 months as a part of their “10 months, 10 lives changed” initiative.

Comments

  • Pierson, 99

    Kyle Lana whined: “I pay my taxes. I’m a productive member of society. I should have the right to marry.”

    You have the same right as all men. Marry any woman who wants to marry you.

  • Anonymous

    #1:

    Sounds a lot like "You have the same right as all black men. Marry any black woman who wants to marry you."

  • '12

    uhh except not.

    #1 is right, Lana isn't asking for "EQUAL" rights. he's got the same rights as everyone else in the country.
    #2 you are referring to something totally different-- a black man forced to marry a black woman would obviously NoT have the same rights as everyone else. #2 irrelevantly points out an outdated example of an inequality, #1 highlights the fact that we all share equal rights.

  • Recent Alum

    #2: What you are describing is clearly racial discrimination, since black men have different rights from white men. This has nothing to do with what is at stake here; as #1 correctly pointed out, everyone has the same rights.

  • BK Alum

    I really want to marry Jessica Alba, but I can't. Life is so unfair! I will protest in front of City Hall, and everyone should protest with me to show support!

  • CC'12

    Just as an amusing observation: is the poster in the picture supposed to say "Equal Rights 4 All"?

  • anonymous

    It is absolutely not true that everyone has the same rights. Straight people have the right to marry the person they love, gay people do not. That is unequal and a terrible injustice.

  • Moskito

    As for marrying Ms. Alba, maybe we need to argue for polygamy and polyandry so we can all have "equal" rights. Wake me up when these nitwits start talking about equal lefts.

  • Boo

    Wahhhh

    I want to marry my favorite tree on the New Haven green!

    Darn you for imposing your values on me!

    I love that tree!

    You can't tell me that love isn't real!

    Why must you discriminate against me!?

  • joshua

    are there really homophobes still lurking among the ranks of yale undergraduates???

  • Yale09

    @joshua,

    I do not fear homosexuals.

    But I do vehemently disagree with their culture and their life choices.

    I would never lift a hand in violence, nor use hateful ad hominem attacks.

    But I do see their lifestyle as inherently flawed and will resist any attempts to enshrine homosexuality as the summit of all that is good and beautiful- as so many on campus seem to desire.

    Hide behind calling me a "homophobe" all you want- it will only harden my resolve, not frighten me away from this debate.

  • Tamara

    Why is that when people vote in a free election and Obama wins it's okay, but when the same people vote in the same election for Prop. 8 it's not?

  • yalie

    Wow, #11…"life choices"? Gay people CHOOSE their sexual orientation? It's a good thing you chose to be straight--smart on your part. And "their culture"? What exactly does that mean? (Stereotype much?) I am gay, and I happen to lean to the conservative side politically. In fact, my conservatism is why I support gay marriage--someday, I want to settle into a stable, monogamous relationship with a spouse. I can't control the fact that I'm homosexual, nor would I want to. To compare homosexuality to bestiality or polygamy is absolutely absurd; there's a reason why the APA took homosexuality off its list of mental/emotional disorders in 1973.

    It's funny (sad) how all the anti-gay-marriage arguments on this comment thread are shot down by slapdash Facebook groups like "Gay Marriage Killed the Dinosaurs." Honestly, Facebook groups argue more logically than some Yale students/alums.

  • #11

    I don't care if you choose or are born "gay".

    But you are definitely choosing whether or not to have homosexual intercourse.

  • Real situation

    My father lived with me during graduate school. Yale's health care, extended to "partners" had the following requirements:

    The two parties be "financially and emotionally intertwined."

    I pointed out that my father and I met the criteria: my request for health care was met with horror.

    See, weirdly, I do NOT have the right to marry my father (and, in the new world order, can someone explain why my rights are curtailed in this manner?).

    Heck, I can't even marry my cousin, male OR female: why IS that? Seems that I am being denied my equal rights.

    Nor can I marry several; again, I am denied my heart's desire.

    Go figure.

  • alumn

    Um… are pedophiles BORN that way? If so, shouldn't they receive "equal rights?"

    Why do we set arbitrary minimum age limits? I say arbitrary because if my true love and I live in NH, she can be as young as 13… Other states stipulate 15, some 16, some 21!

    WHERE DO THEY GET OFF?! WHY ARE NOT THESE RIGHTS **EQUAL**?

  • More

    Another interesting offshoot:

    Some gays "choose" to have children, sometimes by, e.g., artificial insemination. So… they RECOGNIZE the biological requirements of procreation and make the PERFECTLY LEGAL and REASONABLE choice to share procreative materials with a member of the opposite sex.

    My point? Marriage mimics nature's limitations (despite, e.g., MA & NJ allowing same sex partners on the birth cert, a biological impossibility at this time; Canada, btw, allow THREE ppl on the cert… too weird).

  • J

    For those who would compare gay marriage to polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, dendrophilia, etc…

    Consider it this way: those other forms of "relationships" are oppressive in nature, that is, they cannot come about without significant negative pressure from the dominant person in the relationship--that would be the male in the polygamist scenario, the "dominant" figure in the incest scenario, the adult in the pedophile scenario, and the human in the last two (which I can't even believe I have to address…) Moreover, in several of these scenarios, at least one half of the relationship does not have the mental capacity to consent to marriage.

    In a homosexual relationship, as in a heterosexual relationship, both parties are considered equal by one another, and both are capable of the rationality that goes into a choice of this nature. Gay marriage, unlike the above mentioned things to which people are inclined to compare it, is not an oppressive institution. It is on par with heterosexual marriage in terms of being a natural expression of love.

    And, my BK friend, how do you know you can't marry Jessica Alba if you don't ask her? The point being that you COULD if she were willing. Comparing two willing gay people to a man who can't marry an unwilling woman is unfounded.

  • Chris

    What is really fascinating is that the gay community wants to marry at all, when clearly the marriage rate is in a downward spiral. Apparently marriage isn't what it's cracked up to be. In fact, for men, marriage is a highly risky proposition with very little upside. One wonders why gay people would want in on the action…

    The truth is that more than 67% of marriages will end in divorce. 92% of the time it will be initiated by the woman for no other reason than she is “unfulfilled” – oh, and because she gets the kids, the house, at least ½ the assets and most of his future after tax income for the next 18 years. The man will get raked over in family court. He will lose the house. He will see his kids 2 out of 14 days (if the ex doesn't level unsubstantiated "abuse" claims.) He will be forced to hand over 40-50% of his take-home pay. If he loses his job due to illness or downsizing, the State will toss him in jail. While jailed the arrearage will grow and the state will charge interest. The State will revoke his driver's and professional licenses, make him virtually unemployable.

    If you were to take up sky-diving, and the instructor informed you that 67% of the parachutes were defective, would you take the plunge?

    The men’s Marriage Strike is alive and well, thank you.

    nomarriage.com