A PHOTOGRAPHIC REMEMBRANCE OF SAN FRANCISCO'S SAME-SEX MARRIAGE REVOLT
May 26, 2009
The California Supreme Court has issued the ruling that everyone expected, affirming the constitutionality of Proposition 8.
Surely, with organizing work and effort, Proposition 8 will be reversed by voters next chance they get. California progressives were taken by surprise by the money and effort poured into Proposition 8 by the Mormon and Catholic churches, but they're not going to be taken by surprise again. Obviously there is still a long way to go on these issues but, historically speaking, acceptance of equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders is coming quite quickly and is just a matter of time, patience, education, and organizing.
Still, this is a sad day for California. Everything that needs to be said about this has already been said, and will now be said many times again. The only useful thing I can think to add is my own photographic record of what turned out to be the last day in 2004 that same-sex marriages were performed in San Francisco -- March 10 -- before the Supreme Court ordered the practice to stop.
I had gone to City Hall that day to take photographs that would accompany an article about same-sex marriage I had written for a Santa Cruz newspaper. I was moved to tears by what I saw -- dozens of marriages being performed everywhere, from the grand rotunda to the balconies, to the little alcoves that help make City Hall such a marvelous piece of architecture. Volunteer county clerks performing one ceremony after another, helping people choose where they would tie the knot, grinning as broadly as the betrothed and their families, it seemed. It was a day of joy and celebration for all, and these photos are, I believe, as clear a statement as any about love, understanding, and the simple goodness of promoting full life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all....