As part of a nationwide protest against the passage of Proposition 8 -which amended California’s Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman-an estimated 500 people gathered at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens last Saturday morning. Organized by Santa Barbara deejay Sean Ray through Facebook, the rally was planned largely through grassroots efforts utilizing the digital age: text messaging, emails, and Internet social networking sites. The mood on Saturday differed greatly from the previous Friday’s candlelight vigil, most likely as a result of the legal steps that have been taken to challenge the proposition. On Wednesday, November 5, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to invalidate Prop. 8 because it used the initiative process in an “equal protection” matter that belongs in the courts and not in the initiative process. The City of San Francisco, Santa Clara County, the City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County filed a similar lawsuit arguing that because Prop. 8 takes away rights from California citizens, it is a revision of, not an amendment to, the Constitution and therefore requires approval from the Legislature.
In a demonstration organized by a handful of UCSB graduate students, about 50 people gathered in front of Santa Barbara’s Church of Latter-Day Saints at 2107 Santa Barbara Street on Sunday morning. The church could not be reached for comment as of press time. Protest organizer Debra Guckenheimer said church members were “remarkably friendly,” with many waving at us and saying “good morning.”