Human Rights Campaign Joins in Support of Candlelight Vigils Set for Eve of California Supreme Court

by HRC Staff

Thousands of Californians expected to march in "Eve of Justice" vigils against discriminatory amendment.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has joined with Marriage Equality USA and statewide pro-equality organizations to sponsor "Eve of Justice" vigils in cities across California on Wednesday, March 4, 2009. The candlelight vigils mark "a day of reckoning" for LGBT Americans, taking place the night before the California Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the constitutional validity of Proposition 8-the discriminatory amendment that eliminated the right of lesbian and gay couples to marry in the state. For a list of cities with vigils, visit

"Less than six months after the California Supreme Court ruled that lesbian and gay people are fully equal under the law, a slim majority of voters declared that we are not. No matter what the outcome of this case, we know that our marriages are based in love and no ruling will strip that away," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Our cause is rooted in both justice and fairness and we know that history is on our side. It is only a matter of time before we undo this loss and add more states to the march for equality."

Proposition 8 amended the state's constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The National Center for Lesbian Rights, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to invalidate that amendment, arguing that the California Constitution does not permit the fundamental constitutional rights of a minority to be stripped away by a simple majority vote. HRC joined a number of LGBT and children's advocacy groups on a supporting amicus brief detailing the impact of upholding Proposition 8 on the children of same-sex couples. The court will hear oral arguments in these cases on March 5 at 9:00 a.m., and will issue a written opinion within 90 days of the hearing.

The Human Rights Campaign encourages members and supporters, neighbors and friends to march in the "Eve of Justice" vigils throughout California on Wednesday, March 4, to show support for the overturn of Proposition 8. Vigils are planned in Delano, Fresno, Kernville, Los Angeles, Modesto, Orange County, Palm Springs, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Stockton, Tuolumne, Ukiah and Visalia.

HRC will also be partnering with the Courage Campaign as the lead sponsor for the upcoming Camp Courage training programs in San Diego and San Francisco. Inspired by the "Camp Obama" trainings that powered neighbor-to-neighbor organizing across America in 2008, Camp Courage is an intensive two-day training designed to teach the principles and skills of community organizing to activists working to restore marriage equality to California. Please stay tuned for more information on this training opportunity and other HRC activities in California.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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