Prop 8 Protests in Dupont Circle

Hundreds of gay marriage supporters stage a demonstration

The California Supreme Court's ruling to uphold a ban on gay marriage spurred a last-minute protest on the streets of Washington. When news of the decision to uphold Proposition 8 came out early Tuesday afternoon, gay equality supporters in the district sprung into action, blasting off emails and creating facebook postings calling for people to gather at Dupont Circle to show their disappointment with the decision. Several hundred people showed up.

"I was heart-broken and angry, and I know a lot of other people were too," organizer Jenna Lowenstein told News 4. "I wanted to make sure we could all get together and express those feelings."

Proposition 8 was a measure on the November ballot that reversed earlier legislation that gave Californians the right to wed. During the short period of time gay marriage was legal in the state, 18,000 couples tied the knot. Tuesday's decision allows for those couples to continue to be recognized, but bans any future same-sex unions.

Washingtonians who braved the rain and unseasonably cool temperatures say they're not just protesting California's law; "we are here to call people together to recommit to winning marriage equality here in the District," protester Michael Crawford said.

A few miles away in southeast Washington, Rev. Patrick Walker leads a group of churches committed to keeping the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The citizens have said we are just not ready for a fundamental shift in the redefining of marriage," Walker told News 4. He believes that a vote in the district would produce the same results as Proposition 8 did in California. "The citizens of the District of Columbia have not had their voices heard. Even in the previous legislation there were no public hearings," he said.

Both sides agree this debate is far from reaching its conclusion-- a message California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger echoed Tuesday night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


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"I think that this is not over, this decision. I think they're going to be back," Schwarzenegger told Leno. "They will be, in a year or two, they will be back again with another initiative trying to get it, and eventually it's going to be overturned. I'm sure of that."

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