Hundreds demonstrate outside hearing

March 5, 2009 6:28:10 PM PST
Hundreds of supporters and opponents of Proposition 8 gathered at San Francisco's Civic Center to watch the Supreme Court arguments on the controversial measure. SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

People began gathering outside the state Supreme Court building before dawn on Thursday morning.

Within hours, San Francisco's Civic Center was full of opponents and supporters of Proposition 8, watching the arguments on a huge screen.

There was plenty of the usual finger pointing and shouting between those who favor same-sex marriages and those who oppose them.

Religious supporters of Prop 8 held their traditional prayer circles.

But new to this kind of gathering was a huge LED projector which allowed the crowd to watch the oral arguments while they were going on. The $16,000 rental cost was paid for by "Marriage Equality USA" a pro same-sex marriage group.

Olivia Higgins and her partner recently got married.

"I wanted to show my children what support we have for our family," said Higgins.

Supporters of same-sex marriages said, this time, it was important to show their strength in numbers.

"During the campaign, like it is common knowledge, we took it for granted. We weren't as active as our opposition was. Now we are, mind you a little late, we are being much more proactive about it now," said San Francisco resident Joe Roa.

Most of those on the other side of the issue drove from Sacramento, including some members of the Slovenian community there.

Even a small group from Utah showed up.

"The reason why I'm here is because I think people here have voted for the second time and I think it should stay the way people want it," said Sacramento resident Serge Davydyuk.

"I'll be a mom someday and I want my kids to see the trust. It's not a marriage between two men or two women. It's a marriage between a male and a female," said Sacramento resident Lana Romanyuk.

It's a debate that is certain to continue even after the state supreme court's decision.

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