UPDATE, June 26, 2013:  The Supremes have spoken:  Decisions handed down on Wednesday overturn DOMA and send Prop 8 back to Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that the proposition the Constitution.  See the bottom of this post for the full text of Walker’s ruling.  The end of DOMA means that the 18,000 California couples who legally married in 2008 will now receive the over 1,000 federal benefits conferred on married couples.  Governor Jerry Brown has directed  county clerks to stop enforcing Prop 8.

Bottom line:  today will be a BIG party in Oakland!  Billed as Hella Oakland Street Party/One Love Queerbilee, the gathering at Uptown Art Sculpture Park (19th and Telegraph) at 5:30 pm will feature a “Married for a Day” photo booth, music by DJ Olga T, and food trucks.  There will be an afterparty at Bench and Bar.

Supreme Court watchers are cautiously optimistic about the outcome of both cases:  US v. Windsor, which seeks to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, denying federal benefits to same sex couples, even if they are lawfully married; and California’s own Hollingsworth v. Perry, which will determine the legality of the gay marriage ban imposed by Proposition 8 in 2008.

Two of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, are lesbian moms from Berkeley, giving the ruling even more significance for the East Bay.

According to organizers Karen Hester and Dave Campbell, “The East Bay gathering is a part of a larger national movement, the United for Marriage Coalition. Gatherings will be taking place all across the nation – from Oregon to Kansas and Wisconsin to South Carolina.”

“This is going to be very much a grassroots, local East Bay celebration,” added Hester, “with queer people, their families and our allies.”  In other words, come on down and join the party to show your support of marriage equality!

Hella Oakland Street Party/One Love Queerbilee

Wednesday, June 26, 5:30-8 pm, Uptown Art Park at 19th and Telegraph

Afterparty:  Bench and Bar, 510 17th Street, 8 pm – whenever.


Scotus Blog explains the rulings

National Center for Lesbian Rights FAQ on the rulings


California Prop 8 Ruling (August 2010)





About The Author

Laura McCamy, is a freelance writer, editor and researcher, and a contributing production editor at Oakland Local. Her work also appears in Momentum Magazine and the Intuit Small Business Blog. Follow Laura on twitter @lmcwords

One Response

  1. Laura McCamy

    On a personal note, the end of DOMA will have an immediate impact on my wife and me. My health insurance is through her employer, who takes the premium out of her after-tax salary. If we were a heterosexual married couple, the premium would have come out of her pre-tax income. Translation: now that our marriage is federally recognized, there will be more money in my wife’s paycheck every month as a higher tax we paid for being gay is lifted.

    This is just the beginning. The way we file our federal tax returns will change. My friend whose wife passed away last year asked whether she would be able to get the social security death benefit she was denied at the time – whether the ruling is retroactive remains to be seen. Going forward, those benefits will be available to married gay couples. The plaintiff in the DOMA case is receiving a refund of $363,000 in taxes that she had to pay after her wife’s death.

    Although we got married in 2008 before the vote on Prop 8, the fact that no other gay couples could get married in California diminished our marriage. I am delighted that we will now be joined by any couple who wishes to marry.

    When my wife and I got together 20 years ago, we honestly never thought we would see this day so soon. Today is an amazing day!


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