Drop All Charges Against the Equality 9!
Office of the City Attorney of San Diego
The Committee to Defend the Equality 9
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The Equality 9 engaged in a peaceful sit-in when the County Clerk would not issue Marriage Licenses to two same-sex couples that day, as they were willing to do for any opposite-sex couple that stepped into the office. The 9 were arrested by dozens of Sheriffs Deputies in full riot gear and military-style formation. They were shackled and marched out to buses, then were brought to jail where they were processed and spent several hours.
In the weeks before the sit-in, U.S. District Court Judge Walker ruled, Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. But yet Prop 8 lives on, thanks to a stay that was imposed until it is decided that its defenders have completely exhausted their appeals. We believe this is absurd; the courts should not suspend the peoples constitutional rights until those who despise them are satisfied. The stay must be lifted.
Now, the new Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, is asking the courts to end the stay. Within the past few months, nationally, Congress and President Obama voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Recently, the Obama Administration signaled that they will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, the law which maintains marriage inequality at the federal level. With the edifice of official discrimination crumbling all around us, the City should not persecute activists who are proving to be on the right side of history.
The Equality 9 are not criminals and should not be treated as such. By demanding that the institutions of government grant them their constitutional rights, they acted in the finest tradition of Civil Rights struggle in the United States. Drop all Charges against the Equality 9!