same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage supporters in the Central Valley are celebrating today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

Gay and lesbians already have the right to marry in 36 states, including California, and the District of Columbia. But the court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down bans on same sex marriage in 14 states in the south and Midwest.

Jason Scott with Gay Fresno has been advocating in the Central Valley for this ruling for more than 10 years.

Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in California

Jun 28, 2013
Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

Same-sex marriage is once again legal in California.  The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has cleared the way for marriages to begin – effective immediately.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

Yesterday, Central California residents reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to not rule on Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved bad on gay marriage. Valley Public Radio's Rebecca Plevin reports that advocates on both sides of the issue gathered in Fresno to mark the occasion.

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Reese Ramirez wore a rainbow, beauty pageant-style sash across his chest that reads “Mr. Trans Fresno 2013.” He explained that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Proposition 8 is uplifting.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

If California’s elected officials are a microcosm of the state’s population, they proved it after Wednesday’s same-sex marriage rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Democrats rejoiced – including many gay lawmakers who’ve led the push for marriage equality.  Many Republicans searched for an appropriate response, and some expressed frustration.  Ben Adler has more from Sacramento.

The office of Speaker John A. Pérez

The U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage rulings – including the one overturning California’s Proposition 8 – have reverberated through the state Capitol.

Assembly Speaker John Pérez is the first openly gay person to lead the lower chamber:

“This is the first time in my life that I felt that the law fully recognized me as being equal to everyone else.” says Pérez.

Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

  Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage was cheered by activists throughout the state, including in Fresno. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports from Fresno’s Tower District one same sex couple chose to celebrate the justice’s decision with a marriage proposal.

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When Rio Waller woke up this morning and heard the Supreme Court’s decision, she was moved to tears. 

“When I saw  what happened I started crying and laughing and I was by myself because my partner runs a market,” Waller says.

Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

This morning, the Supreme Court declined to rule on California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage. The judges’ decision effectively allows same-sex couples to marry. Central California played a major role in the law’s passage in 2008, and, on both sides, reaction to the court’s decision was passionate. From the Cornerstone Church in downtown Fresno, FM 89’s Rebecca Plevin reports that Proposition 8 supporters will keep fighting.

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Martha Kistler strongly believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Kamala Harris
The Aspen Institute / Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively overturning California’s Proposition 8 isn’t the last word on the case. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must act before same-sex marriages can resume in the state.

The Supreme Court ruling won’t officially make it to the Ninth Circuit for 25 days. But state Attorney General Kamala Harris says the Appeals Court can act immediately and it should.

“We cannot delay or deny individuals their civil rights. And for that reason I urge the Ninth Circuit to lift the stay as early as possible,” says Harris.