The passing of Prop 8 in California, along with the success of other ballot initiatives against equal marriage, has sparked a renewed movement for gay rights across the United States.
On Saturday, November 15, large rallies were held in California against Prop 8, and solidarity actions were held across the country and around the world. In Canada, events in support of equal marriage rights were held in a number of cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Montreal, and Halifax.
The weekend day of action was coordinated through the website JoinTheImpact.com. Many social networking sites are also being used to rally opposition to Prop 8. The Facebook group "Canadians Against Prop 8," for instance, has over 2300 members.
President-elect Barack Obama has walked a fine line – against Prop 8 but also opposed to gay marriage.
In an MTV interview prior to the November 4 vote, Obama articulated his position on the issue:
"I’ve stated my opposition to this. I think [Prop 8 is] unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favour of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them."
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken a similar position, and last week told ABC Television that he expects the Supreme Court will overturn Prop 8:
"For me, marriage is between a man and a woman. But I don’t want to ever force my will on anyone … So the Supreme Court, you know, I think ought to go and look at that again. And we’ll go back to the same decision. I think that they will. And I think that the important thing now is to resolve this issue in that way."
Regardless of the equivocation of politicians and the efforts to terminate gay marriage in California and across the United States, this weekend’s actions would seem to indicate that activists are determined to continue to send their message loud and clear to the incoming president and the rest of the country: Yes we can win and maintain equal marriage rights for all!