The Supreme Court issued historic rulings on gay marriage today, dismissing an appeal by Prop 8 supporters and stating that married same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as opposite-sex ones. While the justices did not rule on the constitutionality of states’ rights to prohibit same-sex marriages or give guidance on the effect of their ruling, legal analysts believe today’s decision regarding Prop 8 will open the door for same-sex marriages in California.
The SCOTUS ruling has particular relevance to the East Bay. Not only does Oakland have the second-highest concentration of same-sex households, according to the Gay and Lesbian Atlas, but a Berkeley couple, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, were the lead plaintiffs in the case to overturn Prop 8. In addition, former Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone played a major role in conceiving, funding, organizing, and ultimately winning the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Cordileone is now the archbishop of San Francisco.
To celebrate the same-sex marriage victories, local supporters of marriage equality will gather for a rally and dance today, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Uptown Art Sculpture Park (19th St. and Telegraph Ave., Oakland). The “Hella Oakland Street Party” will include music by DJ Olga T, a “Married for a Day” photo booth, same-sex wedding planners, and food trucks. An after-party will be held at nearby Bench and Bar (510 17th St., Oakland).
(Updated: 3:15 p.m.)
In Berkeley, a gathering will take place on the old Berkeley City Hall Steps (Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center St.), also at 5:30 p.m. People are encouraged to "bring signs, music and your joyful self!"