Dozens of gay-marriage advocates gathered Friday in downtown San Jose to protest voter approval this week of a state constitutional amendment that California will recognize marriage between a man and a woman only. You could see them lining up to march from my window on the 9th floor of my office building downtown as we were leaving this evening.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
“Demand resolution, give us back our constitution!” chanted the crowd of about 75 gay and heterosexual Silicon Valley residents gathered at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez as passing cars honked their horns in approval.
The gathering coincided with a similar march in San Francisco organized by opponents of Proposition 8, approved by 52.5 percent of voters statewide though only 44.3 percent supported it in Santa Clara County.
“I can’t believe Californians can say separate but equal is OK,” said Rusty Tooley, 42, of San Jose, who officially married his boyfriend, Eric, in the summer after the state Supreme Court invalidated a 2000 initiative restricting marriage to a man and woman.
The demonstrators gathered at 6 p.m. and an hour later marched to San Jose City Hall. Some in the crowd were critical of Mayor Chuck Reed’s refusal to take a position on Proposition 8 while the mayors of San Francisco and Oakland opposed it. Eric Lee, 29, of Saratoga said that by not publicly denouncing the measure, Reed validated qualms fellow Democrats might have had about gay marriage.
Proposition 8 backers were not evident at Friday’s demonstration. Larry Pegram, a retired police officer and former city councilman who as president of the Values Advocacy Council led local support for Proposition 8, said earlier in the day that voters had spoken.