Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Same-Sex Marriage Wrap Up

I’ve totally been off the radar for this blog, so my apologies to the one or two person who come and visit occasionally. You know who you are.

But as we come to the end of the year, I figure this is a good time as any to play catch-up and mention some of the highlights in the battle for marriage equality.

Gracias Mexico City. Let’s start with the latest news, and that’s Mexico City has approved legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, the first Latin American city to do that. (Buenos Aires legalizes civil unions and has been working on legalizing same-sex marriages.) Like other legislation passed (especially in the United States), it’s subject to the signature of the mayor. But it looks good, given that the mayor is from the left-leaning party called the Democratic Revolution Party. This is an amazing accomplish given the strong Catholic roots in Mexico.

The Capital Leads the Way. Earlier this month, Washington, D.C.’s city council also passed legislation to allow same-sex marriages. It’s symbolic that in the city that hosts Congress, the city council has more guts than Congress to recognize the civil rights of their citizens. Opponents, of course, are acting like poor losers and are lobbying Congress to overturn the new law. (D.C., apparently not having much control of its own jurisdiction, can get their laws vetoed by Congress. That sucks.) But Congress is likely to not get into it, doing their typical position of looking the other way.

2010 or 2012? So the LGBT community is torn about when to put the same-sex marriage issue up to California voters again since the devastating passage of Prop. 8. Groups that were pushing for a 2010 ballot measure have fallen out, mostly because of funding issues and probably some post-Prop 8 fatigue. (There’s still one group collecting signature, but not sure how much support they’ll have to launch a campaign to garner the majority votes needed.) I believe that it may take some time to get a strong showing, so 2012 may be the better year to ask the question again. But I also believe that in the civil rights movement, you can’t take a break. The inequality must always be exposed. And even if it’s on the losing end (such as in Maine recently), at least we kept the issue out there and those who vote against loving same-sex couples will have to go to bed at night knowing that they stand for discrimination.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Maine, You Make Me Sad

This year’s election wasn’t one of change. In fact, it was one of resistance. Of unbending rule.

It wasn’t a big election year with major races, but the country looked to the tiny state of Maine to see if it would set the tone for the national debate about same-sex marriages. Voters in that state, similar to California and Prop. 8, barely approved a referendum that would ban same-sex marriages after their own state’s high court ruled all its citizens deserved the right to marry.

It’s disappointing, for sure. People thought there might be a chance of squashing this because more efforts in grassroots campaigning and more money went into the LGBT camp. But in the end, the lesson learned is that you can’t fight ugliness with just a big hug. There needs to be more.

It’s sad to see that people who fight vigorously to not portray themselves as bigots, saying they care about the LGBT community, would then vote to take a right that legal minds have decided should be shared by all. We like you, but we don’t want you to be like us. That’s the message they’re sending.

So the fight continues. No one expected this to be easy. Stonewall wasn’t easy. Harvey Milk died for just the simplest of recognition. But this we know for sure, we will not change to populists’ demands that we act differently or be different. Our definition of love is universal.

Read an inspiring editorial in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who’s Up for a March?

This Sunday, hopefully thousands of Americans will march on Washington, D.C.’s Mall to raise awareness of the need for equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian men and women in the United States.

I’m sad to say that I won’t be there. I would have gone if I knew this was happening. I didn’t hear about it until two weeks ago. Two weeks? Is that enough time to book a flight and make arrangements to go to D.C. from the West Coast? Since my sister lives in D.C., I probably could have bunked out with her. But even before I knew this march was actually going to happen, I already committed to other plans for this Columbus Day weekend.

This is the problem with the organizing of what should be the National Equality March. I heard the proposal for the march last year when everyone was into marching the streets to protest Prop. 8. But then there were rumblings about when it should take place and who’s going to plan it. This grassroots effort was too grassroots, meaning it didn’t have any national structure to gather all the various LGBT efforts and then get the word out.

So who will show up this weekend? I know for sure the entire cast of Broadway’s “Hair” will be there, as I read in the New York Times that the producers will close the show for one day to let the actors participate in the march. I think that’s great, and it’s that spirit that will bring a positive feel to the march. There will probably be a lot of people on the East Coast who probably might drive down to D.C. for the march. But there will also be lots of people like myself, who will be there in spirit. Maybe the next march we’ll get more advanced notice.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why The Fight Must Continue

People wonder why the LGBT community makes such a big deal about gay marriages. Even within the community some think they're fine with civil unions (talking to you, Mr. Elton John). But I think marriage equality is important, and not just because then same-sex couples can file tax returns together. Because granting marriage rights to gays and lesbians shows that they're accepted in society. It's about respect.

For years gays did not have respect. In fact, they were hated. It's this hatred that caused the death of Matthew Shepherd. I think the memory of Shepherd's death should be a rallying cry to renew the energies of the LGBT community and to keep the eye on the prize as to why at the end of the day gay marriages should be allowed. Because love is more important than hatred. Because respect means acceptance.

I created this short video as a reminder to everyone why this battle is so important. As we wait for the next steps, let's not forget the anger we felt when someone in our community like Matthew Shepherd was killed just because of who he was. Let us not forget the anger we felt when Prop. 8 was approved by California voters. Together, we need to remember the past to create a better future.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fight Prop. 8 Biiitches! -- Kathy Griffin

This week's installment of Bravo TV's "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List" was a very special My Life on the D List. In it, the potty-mouth, media-grabbing comedienne dedicates the entire hour on the issue of same-sex marriage and the anti-Prop. 8 movement. Many Hollywood A-listers have come out against Prop. 8 but few have given it such prominence on primetime as Ms. Griffin. And sure, some people might think it's another way of her to gain attention by trying to show support for a cause, but you can tell when watching the episode and seeing her interact with some at-risk youth in Los Angeles that she really walks the walk. I applaud her for a most engaging episode. If you haven't seen it, you should catch it on Bravo during repeats this week. Go to the Bravo site and you can see clips from the episode.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No surprise. Equality is still a dream.

The California State Supreme Court came out with its long-awaited ruling on the validity of Prop. 8, which bans same-sex marriages in California. The court upheld Prop. 8, which is no surprise since the argument before the court was a technical issue about whether the proposition legally amended the state constitution.

Technical issues aside, today is just a reminder of how much work still needs to be done. Despite the recent success of gay marriages in the courts and legislatures in other states — mostly on the East Coast — in the nation’s most populous state it remains a fractious dividing point.

Interestingly, the court allowed 18,000 same-sex couples who married before the adoption of Prop. 8 to remain married since they did so with the full blessing of the laws at the time. So these couples, who I’ll call the “test marriages,” will now have rights that others just like them won’t. This creates a dichotomy in the state that is so surreal.

But I hope that these 18,000 couples and their marriages will show the hateful, ignorant supporters of Prop. 8 to realize that having gay marriages will not lessen their marriages or somehow weaken them. Hopefully they’ll see that they can co-exist with loving same-sex couples who just want to live happily ever after like them.

So what now? The work to bring marriage equality continues with more education and a lot more protests. I’m sure they’ll be events this afternoon, but the major event will be on Saturday with a “Meet in the Middle,” where people will march and gather in Fresno in Central California. This isn’t just the center of the state, but it also represents an area that needs a lot of educating about marriage equality. (Not necessarily the city of Fresno but more the Central Valley in general.)

The Courage Campaign is also trying to put TV ads that encourage the message of non-discrimination. The ad, called “Fidelity,” is pretty powerful and positive. Here it is below...

Learn more about the campaign to get 1 million signatures to join the repeal of Prop. 8 by going to the group's site here.

Needless to say, you can expect another brutal ballot initiative, possibly in 2010. While I wished it could be the courts who make the final decision, it looks like because of California’s horrendous proposition system, we will have to rely on the will of the people. And God willing, they will be more compassionate the next time they rule on another’s rights.

Links to today’s coverage:
Prop. 8 Upheld by State Supreme Court, LA Times
Court upholds Prop. 8 but lets marriages stand, SF Chronicle
California Supreme court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage, New York Times

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Maine Joins the New England Wedding Rush

It’s fitting that New England, some of the early grounds for the birth of our nation, appears to be leading the way in granting equal marriage rights to all citizens. Just today, Maine Gov. John Baldacci (a Democrat who once opposed same-sex marriages) signed a bill passed by the state legislature to allow same-sex marriages.

In signing the bill, Gov. Baldacci said he couldn’t let his personal beliefs blind him to his duty to uphold the Constitutional rights of everyone. He says: “I have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution. That’s my job, and you can’t allow discrimination to stand when it’s raised to your level.”

His action reminds me of the ethical dilemma of another governor a long time ago. I grew up in Hawaii, and that state’s first governor, John Burns, was a staunch Catholic. But he signed a bill allowing abortion in the state because he believed in a woman’s right to her body. This separation of church and state should always be the guiding principle among our leaders, rightly demonstrated years ago by Hawaii Gov. Burns and today by Gov. Baldacci.

Still, there’s the possibility that conservatives will take this issue “to the people” and bully the popular vote into rescinding what lawmakers have determined is best for the state. It’s this mass riot mentality that got the California populace to deny marriage rights to gays last year. Let’s hope Maine voters don’t repeat the mistake of California, and they let freedom (and wedding bells) ring loud and clear.

Link to New York Times story.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weathering the Storm

Here's another video with the "storm" theme, but this one approaching it straight (no pun intended) and telling it like it is. No reverse psychology. Just shining the light on the truth. Which is stronger? This or the one below.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Video For Gay Marriage?

This is another video from the Hollywood group, "Funny or Die," who after Prop. 8's passage did a video about the hysteria of the conservative right, and now they've gone along the same theme with this about "A Gathering Storm." I have to say, this video is a little more funny than the last one, but I don't know why people think the only way to sell a message is to do the opposite? Yeah, it shows how silly the conservative right is behaving, but it just doesn't seem so convincing if you are the conservative right.

Anyway, at least we get a chance to see the hunky Jason Lewis, and I didn't realize Alicia Silverstone is still around!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ellen Lives in Her Own World

I'm a regular viewer of the "Ellen" show. In fact, I tape it every day and watch it when I get home. But something Ellen said yesterday on tax day (April 15) really bothered me.

Ellen DeGeneres and her longtime partner, the actress Portia de Rossi got married in California last year during that brief few months when same-sex marriages were allowed by the courts. Since her wedding, Prop. 8 has placed her marriage and thousands like hers in question as well as banning other gay couples from seeking marriages in the state.

But on her show, Ellen always acts as if she's a happily married couple. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure she's happy in her relationship with de Rossi. What I don't get is how she can pretend that her marriage isn't under attack?

For example, guests arrive and they always congratulate her on her wedding. That's nice of them, but it would be more honest if Ellen would correct them and say that she would be happier if her marriage wasn't revoked.

Then yesterday, on April 15, she joked about how she filed for the marriage exemption on her taxes. She wanted to show how she's like any other married couple now. But I seriously doubt that she filed for a marriage exemption, especially on her federal returns, because her marriage is not recognized by the tax collectors.

So either Ellen needs to be more honest with her viewers so they can recognize the second-class citizenship she lives under or she has a really bad accountant.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vermont Brings Change in Marriage Laws

This has been a good couple of weeks for same-sex couples — on the East Coast! First the courts in Iowa (technically more the Midwest than East coast, but you get my drift) struck down a ban against same-sex marriages, and today Vermont’s Legislature overturned a veto of the Republican governor on a bill establishing gay marriages.

Several media outlets have pointed out, and rightly so, that Vermont’s action is unique because it was done by political leaders on their own beliefs in equal rights and not as a reaction to the courts. I find this incredibly heartening because as a resident of Hawaii, the Hawaii courts ruled it discriminatory to deny same-sex couples marriage licenses and that state’s Legislature went into reactionary mode to develop laws to write a same-sex marriage ban into the state books. That reactionary tone as been duplicated in many state houses across this country.

So in the past while it has been the courts that have been shining the light on this injustice in society, Vermont’s case shifted the courage to the legislature. One day, hopefully, the populist will finally cry out for equality for all.

(The Vermont law goes into effect Sept. 1. Time for some fall weddings.)

Links to news stories:
Gay Marriage Passes, Burlington Free Press
Vermont Legislature Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal, New York Times
Vermont Legislature Gives Final OK to Gay Marriages, Los Angeles Times

Vermont Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, April 3, 2009

They Got it Right ... in Iowa?!

While California Supreme Court mulls over the question about a same-sex ban, the high court in Iowa has overturned that state's same-sex marriage ban, calling it, rightfully so, unconstitutional.

As a minority in this nation (Asian and gay, double dings!), I'm comforted to know that the courts will protect the rights of all, not just the loudest or popular. But then again, hateful voters will just cause more trouble in the ballots. If we let them. Please spread the word to any of your friends and family in the Midwest that Iowa got it right this time and they should be applauded, not made to feel ashamed.

Now if only California can be the leader like how Iowans have shown the way.

Link to news reports:
"Iowa Court Voids Gay Marriage Ban," New York Times
"Iowa Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage," Los Angeles Times

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings

OK, so the morning after reports on yesterday's arguments before the California State Supreme Court don't look promising for an overturning of Proposition 8, the ban against same-sex marriages. Many in the media are predicting, based on the questioning of the justices in yesterday's closely watched hearing, that the court will uphold the voter-approved Prop. 8 but may also maintain that the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place prior to Prop. 8 should also stay in tact.

This was a hard struggle to begin with, and I'm still not really sure if it was the best legal approach to focus on a technicality--the fact that Prop. 8 is more a constitutional revision as opposed to an amendment, which needs just a simple majority vote compared to a two-thirds vote and the involvement of the legislature for a revision. I actually like state Attorney General Jerry Brown's approach, which is basically that whatever Prop. 8 is, it should be judged on whether it violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution. Let's not focus on the technicality but on the legal implications of the proposition.

I think what the hearing really showed is the fact that California lives under a very flimsy constitution that can be altered often by the populace. One of the justices even noted that the constitution has been amended 500 times! Come on! Give me a break. Should such an important document be changed so often? I'm not a big fan of the proposition process because it's really placing the burden to developing laws on the people when we already have the process of electing officials to do that job.

The ruling should come out in the next 90 days (probably close to May) and it looks like the movement for same-sex marriages will have to go back to the people. And although many people woke up after the November elections to the fact that an injustice occurred, polls still show a slim majority banning same-sex marriages. It's sad to me that people around me still think that as a gay man, I am "different" and that I do not enjoy the same life experiences that they do.

Yesterday, a co-worker sent out an email video of his new baby boy. He and his wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday. He was so happy in his email and said how proud he was of his wife and the love she had with their new baby. He was a proud father and a proud husband. And this life experience just reminded me how sad it is that I can never experience that. Sure, I'm still single so I have that against me. But if I fell in love, we could adopt but I would never be someone's "husband." We would just be two guys with a baby in other people's eyes.

Links to new reports on the court hearing:
"California Supreme Court looks unlikely to kill Proposition 8," LA Times.
"Justices seem to be leaning in favor of Prop. 8," San Francisco Chronicle.
"California Court Weight Gay Marriage Ban," New York Times

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Rain to Stop This March for Justice

Tonight I went to the San Francisco Eve of Justice rally and march. This was one of several similar events occurring across the nation as we all prepare for tomorrow's court hearing on the case against Prop. 8 before the California Supreme Court. Here are some photos from tonight's rally and march, which started in the Castro and then marched along Market Street to City Hall. (Oh, and yes that's actor Hal Sparks of "Queer As Folk" half way through the slide show.) I'm glad there wasn't any rain, which we've had for the last few days in the Bay Area. So that made for a nice turnout.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Attack on DOMA

A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts challenging the federal ban to recognize same-sex marriages performed at various states. There are only two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) that currently perform same-sex marriages and the couples have been enjoying the freedom of love in their state, but still suffer from the same disparaging looks by the entire country on the federal level.

The Defense of Marriage Act, passed under the Clinton Administration as a way to appease a middle-to-conservative nation, prevents federal benefits afforded heterosexual couples to be applied to same-sex couples. There's an effort to appeal DOMA under the new Obama administration but today's lawsuit directly challenges it in the federal courts.

Massachusetts has led the way in bringing marriage equality to gay couples. Let's hope they're successful in this round as well.

Only news link I could find was this Reuters story.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Next Event: Light the Way on March 4

This coming week is the most important one in the efforts to repeal Prop. 8. The California Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday, March 5. Let's all send positive vibes so that the justices will make the right decision based on equality and not out-dated morality.

A more visible way to send the vibes is a candlelight vigil and march scheduled for the night before, the national Eve of Justice Night. The event in San Francisco will start at the Harvey Milks Plaza right at the corner of Castro and Market Streets. The rally is set for 5 to 6 p.m. and then whoever has gathered (please come out, even if it rains) will march on Market Street toward Civic Center to the steps of the California Supreme Court. (How cool is it that the state Supreme Court is in San Francisco? Just so fitting, I think.)

For events in your area, check out the group's Web site here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wear the White Knot

So technically this is a white knot and not a white ribbon. Whatever it is, it's something to wear proudly. Another organization that has popped up post Prop. 8 is The White Knot. It's just a guy who came up with the idea of the white ribbon knot that people can wear, and the Oscar was the latest big event that showcased them. (Like it was so hard to get Hollywood to wear another ribbon.)

Just like the original red ribbon brought awareness about AIDS, lets hope this white knot gains as much recognition and doesn't get lost in the rainbow of ribbons out there. Just click on the organization's Web site to get one or you could actually get a ribbon, tie a knot and wear it. I'm sure that'll work too.

Pictured, of course, is Dustin Lance Black, winner of Best Original Screenplay at this year's Oscars for the film, "Milk."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Message About Love to the Courts

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

This is a really cool video from the Courage Campaign called "Don't Divorce ..." and features same-sex couples or friends of same-sex couples saying "don't divorce my friends, etc." It's supposedly a message to the state Supreme Court to invalidate Prop. 8. There's also an online petition for supporters to sign here.

The Supreme Court, of course, isn't going to be swayed by petitions and public sentiment. They're going to rule based on the law, and that's the most we can expect from them. Still, the online petition gives us something to do so that we can feel that we're affecting change. It's hard sitting by waiting for the court to decide, so by signing the online petition, it just demonstrates to the "court of public opinion" how many people are out there who supports us. So please watch the video, and then sign the online petition. (Oh, and don't forget to do it before the deadline ... Valentines Day.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Love Is In The Air

Of course, next Saturday is that made-up holiday about love and while people will still stress over getting flowers or making dinner reservations on a Saturday night, the days after Valentines' Day will also be important for love among the same-sex couples who want to marry.

In Sacramento, a major rally is being organized by Equality Action NOW for Monday, Feb. 16, which is the Presidents' Day holiday. Among some of the expected speakers include stars like Julia Louis-Dryfus, George Takei and the people behind the movie "American Beauty." Leading up to the major rally, the people behind Equality California (unrelated to Equality Action Now) is starting a Tell 3 campaign to encourage people to tell three friends they're gay, so more people can be out and proud.

It's a lot happening this month, but I hope you check out the events and show your support. The oral arguments before the state Supreme Court is next month on March 5. So let's start building the momentum today.

Learn more about the Sacramento rally on Presidents' Day at the Equality Action NOW site here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Buh-Bye Jeff Kent, Don’t Let The Door Hit Ya!

OK, you’re probably wondering what a post about the retirement of baseball player Jeff Kent of the LA Dodgers has to do with Prop. 8? Well, it’s because I just read an article saying Kent, who played many years in San Francisco for the Giants, donated $15,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign last year.

Kent’s name was one of many released by the state on Monday after a court ruled that the information should not be withheld—something being pushed by Prop. 8 supporters who said they’ve been harassed and threatened because they donated to the proposition.

More on Kent later. But first I want to say how silly it is for Prop. 8 supporters to want to hide behind secrecy if they’ve stepped forward to back a controversial proposition. If you’re not willing to stand up for your principles, it makes me wonder how much you really believe in them?

These aren’t donors who dropped, say, $100. They’re people who spent more than $1,000 to have discrimination written into the state Constitution. I feel that people donating less than $100 is really like those in the crowd who raise their hands when asked who supports something. But when you donate $1,000 or more, which is a lot of money for me since I make very little, then you’re really sticking your head out and should be willing to stand up to the criticism.

On the other side of things, I don’t condone violence, which includes verbal and physical threats. I don’t believe in that, but I do support boycotts as a form of expressing one’s dissatisfaction against someone. The other threats should be reported to the authorities, but the fear of threats shouldn’t mean our voting system and related financial support should be shielded in secrecy.

As for Kent, I love the San Francisco Giants, which I consider to be my home team. But I never liked Kent when he played here. He was always arrogant and cocky, even though he tries to play the “good ole’ boy” image. I’m not surprised that he would support such a hateful proposition. I, for one, won’t miss him on the field.

New York Times article on Prop. 8 donor list.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Next Event: Freedom to Marry Day

The next major national protest also marks the anniversary of when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered city clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, setting a frenzy of gay couples lining up at City Hall right before Valentine's Day.

So it's no surprise that Freedom to Marry Day is set for Feb. 12. The event is sponsored by Marriage Equality USA and Join the Impact. Same-sex couples are encouraged to go to their city halls across the nation and ask for a marriage license. If they're denied (and you'll likely be denied unless you live in Massachussetts), then you should sit down and not leave. So this is really a national sit in for marriage rights.

It'll be interesting to see what the turn out will be. For example, I'm single so I really have no reason going in asking for a marriage license. That would be fraud. And it's a work week, so wondering how many people can take time off work to sit at city hall. But hopefully enough will show up so at least there will be media coverage and more awareness built around this ongoing issue for civil rights.

To find out more about the actual local events, check out Marriage Equality USA's chapters here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If We March, Who Will Lead?

When Prop. 8, the anti-same sex marriage proposition, passed in California last November, there was so much anger that many stormed the streets across America. Many felt the momentum was enough to go all the way to the capital and march on Washington ala the Million Man March.

But now it seems plans for a march is decentralized, misleading and confusing. Which is the lead group planning the event? Is it a march to D.C. or a march to Sacramento?

One particular group calling itself Yes on Gay Marriage and leading the charge for a march on Washington reportedly has ties to a voter guide printed last November that supported the Yes on 8 campaign, according to a new report in the Bay Area Reporter.

So who are we to believe? And more importantly, who are we to follow? It's time for legitimate and credible LGBT organizations to step forward and take the lead on planning such a major and important event. Where are our established leaders at a time when we need someone we can trust?

Today (Jan. 24), a task force planning session called the Equality Summit took place in Los Angeles. I hope more clarity will come from this meeting, and I hope that a march on Washington is still on the table so that we can show the force of our solidarity to the nation.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's Next?

When I started this blog, I was hoping to help people stay informed with what's happening on the repeal Prop. 8 front. But now with the lawsuits awaiting a hearing before the state's highest court, and locally (in the Bay Area) a lot of focus on the transit police officer shooting of a black man, it's been quiet on the protest front.

Join the Impact, a site many people went to early on to find out the latest on protests and campaigns, are now looking for ideas from the community on how to keep the message in front of people. Should there be more protests? Should we shift to town hall meetings? What's next?

If you have an idea, suggest it on the Join the Impact site, and then if others agree, it may grow and snowball into an actual movement. That's the whole grassroots elements of the anti-Prop. 8 unrest right now.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stand Up Against DOMA

A video from Join the Impact to drum up support for the national DOMA protest set for Saturday, Jan. 10.

UPDATE: Read the comments section and Sean, one of the organizers of the local DOMA event, notes that there will be a small rally at Castro & Market and then volunteers will fan out to collect signatures for the petition to be sent to Obama. If you want to join in, meet at the Castro. Go to the group's Facebook page for more info. (Again, check the comments).