Love Can't be Appealed!
Many of them were supposed to be saying their "I do's." Instead, they're still fighting for their civil rights.
The marriages didn't happen because the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit placed their own stay in the Federal Prop 8 Case, which doesn’t allow the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Leno gave an encouraging speech, referring to the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution's 14th amendment.
Leno quoted this section from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
He asked the crowd, "do you agree that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are not meant to be excluded from that right?"
"I do!" was the resounding reply.
He went on to read that the 14th Amendment states that its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons (individual and corporate) of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive rights and procedural rights.
He concluded by reminding everyone that there has never been a civil rights movement that hasn't prevailed.
Speakers stressed that we need to elect officials who support equal rights, our civil rights; those people like Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Schwarzenegger.
"We need to elect Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris in November," said Nicola Simmersbach.
We were supposed to be hearing wedding bells today.
We were supposed to be hearing the vows of our friends in love exchanged,
We were supposed to be hearing I dos and I love yous,
But instead I stand before you hearing freedom ring,
Hearing your voices sing,
Seeing you take another day when were supposed to rejoice
And raising your quiet voice...for equality,
Every time they tell us no, They give us a gift
Every time they shut us down my spirits lift,
Because once my tears have dried
I know deep inside that we've just become stronger
That we're gonna fight harder and were gonna fight longer
We won't sit at home being depressed,
Every time they say no, we're gonna say yes,
The only thing you need in your closet is your frilly white dress
Let's cue some joyful tunes,
Yeah, I could sing dirges or I could sing the blues,
I know my friends' tears shouldn't be front page news,
But instead I'll sing love songs with my all of my heart,
Because I 'm not broken hearted
I know we're just getting started
I know we have a lot to celebrate,
Because we stand on the side of truth and not hate
They didn't take away our love when they gave us prop 8,
They gave us each other,
And now I call you each my sister, my brother,
They took the vows we used to whisper and we learned how to shout,
They opened our closet doors and made us come out,
Just look what they've done,
Look at how beautiful we are in the afternoon sun,
Look at the way we shine and love everyone
No one can vote that away,
It doesn't matter the court case or if there's a stay,
It can be appealed to the highest court in the land,
We'll continue to love, we'll continue to stand,
Equality is our one simple demand,
And if any one of you is tired, just reach out your hand,
And I'll take it,
You don't have to fake it,
We'll all do this together and together we'll make it,
We're a community of many, undivided and strong,
We sound like a chorus when we each sing our song,
We'll fight side by side, no matter how long,
They can peel back our layers and see what's revealed
What they'll find is love
And love can't be appealed.
Poem | Hilary Hodge of Sacramento, CA
Photos | Kati Garner