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Lisa Gorden and JDD Doran-Jammer, both blind, trailed behind the crowd of people marching around the Capitol, echoing their chants “Hey hey, ho ho, discrimination has got to go.”
Although they are not gay and said marching with crowds is difficult given their physical disposition, the two friends joined in Tuesday’s rally against the California Supreme Court’s upholding of Proposition 8.
“I’m just real sad and mad about the Prop. 8 decision. It just seemed important to come out in the heat and support this,” Gorden said. “We have plenty of noise to follow.”
Gorden and Doran-Jammer were two of an estimated 2,000 who appeared at Tuesday’s rally, organized by Equality Action NOW, which refers to itself as a Northern California grassroots civil rights organization. The rally began at the Gay and Lesbian center at the intersection of 20th and L Streets and continued with a march to the west Capitol steps, where a demonstration followed.
Among speakers at the demonstration were Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Monterey), joined by religious speakers, spoken-word artists, musicians, organizations such as Marriage Equality USA, Courage Campaign, NOW, Stonewall Democrats of Sacramento and representatives of Meet in the Middle 4 Equality.
Steinberg expressed his admiration for “people who are willing to take [their] own struggles out to the streets.”
“It’s not about sex, it’s about love,” said Ammiano, who is openly gay. “It’s always been about love.”
Other speakers expressed anger and frustration, identifying the court’s decision as a disappointment and a failure to protect the rights of minorities in a democracy, as well as hope for the future of gay and lesbians and their families. They encouraged participants to continue to be active beyond the rally.
“Rallies are great…movements are better,” said speaker Dayne Damme.
Several speakers addressed the group of demonstrators across the street from the Capitol holding yellow “Celebrate Prop 8!” signs. Jorge Riley explained that he and some of the other 16 demonstrators were former members of the American River College student government that passed a resolution to endorse Prop. 8 in October.
“We want to be the alternative voice,” said Michael Hart, who was demonstrating with the former ARC students.
“It’s always important to show both sides and leave it to the people to decide,” Riley said.
Riley added that he was there to “support good family values” and that he was not demonstrating to endorse hate.
Jade Beranski of Equality Action NOW said that considering the heat and that it was a work night, she was satisfied with the turnout at the rally.
To read about yesterday’s initial reactions to the upholding of Prop. 8, visit the following link:
*AUTHOR’S NOTE: ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY JONATHAN MENDICK AND JENN WALKER OF SACRAMENTO PRESS*