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Candlelight Vigil
Organized to Counter Yes on 8 Prayer, Fast in San Diego

Candlelight Vigil
Organized to Counter Yes on 8 Prayer, Fast in San Diego

As 40,000 people prepare to gather at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium for a 12-hour prayer and fast in support of Proposition 8, marriage equality supporters will march down the Hillcrest neighborhood's University Avenue in a candlelight vigil. San Diego's Republican mayor, Jerry Sanders, and his gay daughter are expected to distribute candles.

For weeks, places of worship throughout California have been calling on their congregations to fast, pray and worship -- all to "protect marriage."

On the heels of the California supreme court's landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, churches across the state have organized to combat the effort, collecting the necessary signatures to land Proposition 8, which would nullify the ruling, on the ballot.

In San Diego an expected 40,000 people will descend on Qualcomm Stadium this Saturday in a mass prayer that Proposition 8 will pass. The event is sponsored by a group called The Call, born out of the 1997 Washington, D.C., Promise Keepers event in which a million men gathered to commit to a "lifestyle of purity and godliness."

According to The Call's Website, the 12-hour fast and corporate prayer event was organized to protect "traditional marriage and the soul of our nation -- through the upcoming elections and beyond."

The Call is the largest gathering of people in California using group prayer as a means to combat same-sex marriage, but churches all over the state have organized smaller groups to support the proposition, including fasts and prayer circles at more than 100 California churches.

Not to be outdone, the opposition has formed groups of its own, though most in the form of streetside rallies urging people to go to the polls and support equality.

In San Diego, Meaghan Yaple and the group 607 Productions are organizing a candlelight vigil in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood this Saturday to counter the nearby mass pray-in. San Diego's Republican mayor, Jerry Sanders, who came out in support of same-sex marriage last year, will be handing our candles with his gay daughter at the city's Gay and Lesbian Center beginning at 8 p.m.

Several nondenominational and progressive churches throughout the state have expressed their support for defeating the ballot measure, sending the general message that despite how people may feel about marriage, the proposition condones discrimination.

Currently, the two sides are neck and neck in the polls, with No on 8 funding pulling ahead of the opposition for the first time in weeks. No on 8 has recently recruited the cast of Ugly Betty and other entertainers, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, for a series of spots in support of marriage equality. (The Advocate)

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