Joe Hample, left, and Barry Wendell protest the passage of Proposition 8 in front of the Mormon temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. They were married Nov.1.
After a professional campaign failed to defeat the measure, a Web-based opposition is making itself heard.
Leaders of the campaign against Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California, raised nearly $40 million and ran a careful, disciplined campaign with messages tested by focus groups and with only a few people authorized to speak to the media.
Some gay-rights advocates are pinning their hopes on court action. The day after the election, several lawsuits were filed that asked the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8. That effort has drawn backing from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, legislators and a number of government bodies, most recently the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
While they wait to see what the court does, gay rights activists say they are thinking of putting another gay marriage initiative before California voters -- perhaps as soon as 2010.
Many of those organizing the protests this week say they are voicing a sense of outrage and disappointment that California voters approved a measure that took away the right, granted by the California Supreme Court last spring, of same-sex couples to marry. More than 18,000 couples got married between June and Nov. 4, when the proposition disallowed the weddings.
"There is an incredible outpouring of energy, of people wanting to do something," said Trent Thornley, a San Francisco lawyer who created his Facebook site, Californians Ready to Repeal Prop. 8, the day after the election. Thornley said his roommate told him to expect a few hundred people to join. Instead, a week later, the group has more than 200,000 members.
Another Facebook group, Repeal the California Ban on Marriage Equality 2010, also has attracted more than 200,000 members.
May 21, 2010
Has the Mojave Cross have been removed for good?
A cross replacing the original at the Mojave Desert war memorial has been declared illegal and taken down.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the 9th Circuit overstepped its bounds when it ruled the cross must be removed. Since then, the memorial had remained covered with a plywood box until it was stolen on May 9.
Linda Slater, public information officer with the Mojave National Preserve, said the cross that mysteriously appeared last week was unauthorized.
"The main reason that we can't put a replacement cross up or allow one to be put up," she said, "is because we are under court order to not display a cross on Sunrise Rock."
Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, said his team will work to convince the Justice Department to replace the cross.
"That's not a proper act to take," he said. "Our veterans deserve more than that, and that memorial needs to be put back up."
An anonymous donation means there is a $125,000 reward posted for tips leading to the conviction of whoever stole the cross that served as a memorial to Americans who served during World War I.
A decorated military veteran offered $100,000 for the reward, said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for Liberty Institute. That figure was added to the previous $25,000 offer.
The cross stood at Sunrise Rock, which is about 15 miles south of the 15 Freeway along Cima Road in the Mojave National Preserve.