Gay Marriage Ban Sparks Gay Rioting In California
Thousands took to the streets of the Los Angeles area and San Francisco Wednesday evening to protest California’s passage of Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage. Before long the demonstrations turned violent.
Demonstrators marched together on streets in West Hollywood and Hollywood where several protesters stopped at busy intersections, screamed obscenities at motorists, were blocking traffic and prompting intervention by police.
An additional group of about 500 protesters gathered near CNN’s Los Angeles bureau, where they were seen banging on the doors and walls, breaking glass and throwing objects, causing the Los Angeles Police Department to declare a tactical alert — requiring all available officers to respond to the protest — some of whom were brought in from other stations.
Television cameras showed one protester jumping on top of a police car at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland. He was quickly wrestled to the ground by police and handcuffed.
Several others were arrested when a group of people broke away from the larger demonstration that began in West Hollywood earlier in the evening.
In San Francisco, hundreds gathered on the steps of City Hall to protest approval of the ban.
Protesters held candles and carried signs that read “We all Deserve the Freedom to Marry” as part of the event, which was sponsored by groups opposed to Proposition 8.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom expressed frustration in the ban, but said he is hopeful it will be overturned.
The loss was a big political defeat for Newsom, who’s been one of the most prominent advocates of same-sex marriage. He says the effect on his gubernatorial aspirations is “trivial” and “irrelevant.”
Meg Waters, part of the Yes on 8 campaign team, told City News Service, “gay and lesbian couples have exactly the same protections under the law with civil unions.”
“Marriage has been defined as a man and woman since time began,” Waters said. “The people of California have voted twice, so I think the best thing to do is for everybody involved to figure out a way to move forward.”
Waters said she understands “how gays and lesbians may feel concerned about this.”
“If they stop and look at the situation, they have the exact same legal protections and rights under the law today they had yesterday,” Waters said.
You can’t change the definition of something that existed forever because you don’t like it.”