Hundreds Rally Against Gay Marriage Ban

Rally organizer Kyle Samia leads the march through campus. (Joseph Ho /Guardian)

California’s constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman continued to draw vocal protest last week when a coalition of nearly 400 students, faculty, staff and community members converged on campus to take part in a walk-out rally denouncing the controversial new legislation.

Beginning shortly before noon with an open microphone at Price Center Plaza, the rally saw protestors march through campus and out onto La Jolla Village Drive, where chants of “equality” and “civil rights” drew frenzied honking from passing motorists, as police officers stood by.

“We are the youth,” Thurgood Marshall College senior and rally organizer Rob Corea said before a cheering crowd gathered outside Geisel Library near the close of the protest. “We are the future. We are going to be the ones who are going to bring equality to everyone. Gay, straight, black or white, civil rights are for everyone.”

Marshall senior and rally organizer Kyle Samia said the event was meant to serve as a vehicle for continued opposition to the recent passage of Proposition 8, the measure that outlaws same-sex couples from joining in matrimony.

“This event was assembled by UCSD community members for the UCSD community,” Samia said. “This action wasn’t meant to convince anyone from the 51 percent that voted ‘yes’ and it’s not meant to change minds. It’s for the UCSD community to address our grievances and to express those grievances as a community.”

Samia said he hopes Californians who opposed the measure will recognize the need to push for its repeal.

“California has a very deep progressive history when it comes to fighting discrimination and to really bringing about equality under the law,” Samia said. “Proposition 8 isn’t equality and it isn’t equal under the law, so it’s important that we remain visible and that we do not become complacent.”

Armed with signs proclaiming disapproval of the measure’s success, protestors made their way to the Chancellor’s Complex, where Chancellor Marye Anne Fox emerged to address the crowd.

Demonstrators first gathered at Price Center Plaza, where individuals were invited to express their opinions on the passage of Proposition 8. (Joseph Ho /Guardian)

Fox voiced her personal support of the demonstration, but declined to meet demands by rally organizers to officially endorse the repeal movement. Instead, Fox said the university’s stance on the issue must be determined by the Board of Regents.

According to Corea, one of the demonstration’s primary intentions was to obtain Fox’s endorsement.

“One of our goals today was really to speak to the campus administrators and let them know that we’ll no longer let the university take a neutral stance on the Proposition 8 issue,” Corea said. “We feel it’s their obligation to come out and publicly speak out against the proposition, because this is a civil-rights issue and the California Constitution is something that we need to take seriously.”

Corea said the next step for the movement will be to demand an endorsement from the regents. UC spokesman Trey Davis, however, said the board has no intention of endorsing the movement, as the university only takes official positions on measures related to higher education.

Associated Students President Donna Bean, who marched with the protestors, said the A.S. Council will vote on a resolution to repeal Proposition 8 at its meeting Wednesday.

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox declined to offer an official university endorsement of the Proposition 8 repeal movement, but voiced her personal approval of the demonstration. (Jimmy Kan/Guardian)

Protestors cross Villa Ja Jolla Drive. (Jimmy Kan/Guardian)