we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!"
Wednesday morning's news that California's Prop. 8 has
likely passed and eliminated same-sex marriage in the
state, a crowd of some 2,000 protesters took to the
streets Wednesday evening, marching down West
Hollywood's Sunset Strip and backing up traffic for blocks.
In Hollywood at
least two other groups marched in protest. One group
marched more than two miles from West Hollywood to
Hollywood, passing the CNN tower and the Arclight
theater. Another group took to the Hollywood and
Highland shopping complex. Local news crews are reporting
that a few arrests have been made. Los Angeles's CW
affiliate reported that three police officers had
taken their billy clubs to a man who jumped on the
hood of a cop car.
Though some 3
million provisional and absentee ballots have yet to be
counted, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri Jean,
at a rally preceding the march, advised
against false hopes. In all likelihood, she said,
Yes on 8 has won.
No on 8 and
Equality California called the rally to thank volunteers for
their support and assure the community the fight would carry
But the crowd
appeared angry and frustrated, with much of that anger
directed at the Mormon Church, which provided the bulk of
funding for the Yes on 8 campaign. Several attempts to
get the crowd to block traffic on Santa Monica Blvd.
failed as speakers including Jean and city council
member John Duran addressed the crowd.
When the speaking
ended, the angry and motivated crowd marched out of
central West Hollywood and up the hill to Sunset Blvd. A
police escort led the crowd of some 2,000 people
nearly a mile through the main drag of West
Hollywood's Sunset Strip, the city's central hub for dining
backed up, people were honking, cheering and offering high
fives of support to the crowd as marchers wove in between
stopped cars. People poured onto restaurant balconies
to take photos, some even leaving their meals to join
driver sat stuck in traffic and watched silently, but no
one seemed to outwardly oppose the peaceful protest.
At one point,
marchers began to sit down in the middle of a busy
intersection. It lasted all of two minutes before No on 8
volunteers urged people to keep moving and
smaller group took off mid rally and headed for Hollywood.
That group grew throughout the evening and eventually split
coming in of similar marches in San Diego and San Francisco,
where thousands marched on City Hall holding candles.
most amazing thing I've ever seen," said one man who
joined the Sunset Strip march after seeing it from his
apartment balcony, fighting back tears. "We may
not have won today, but we will soon. I know it."
(Ross von Metzke, The Advocate)
- Click here
for more on the Los Angeles protests.