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Prop. 8 Found Unconstitutional—Disbelief, Then Joy

Byline: Vincent Jones
Senior Program Officer

Moments ago, I saw a tweet that said: “PROPOSITION 8 FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”  At first, I didn’t believe it.  Seconds later, I saw other tweets that filled in more of the story.  I shared the good news with my colleagues, and Liberty Hill’s offices were filled with shrieks of joy, high fives, and genuine excitement.

I thought of my grandmother. 

Earlier this week, she asked me when I was going to get married.  I told her that first I needed to find someone suitable to marry, and second, Proposition 8 needed to be repealed.  She said that she’d gladly tell the powers that be to repeal Prop 8 but didn’t think they’d listen to an old Black woman.  I thanked her and told her not to underestimate her power.  In the mean time, she said she’d be on the lookout for a suitable husband.

It’s conversations like the one with my grandmother that have helped me to remain hopeful that one day we will have full LGBTQ equality in America. Today we’re one step closer to that day, thanks to Judge Walker, the brilliant legal minds and team at the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and many, many more people and organizations that have paved the way for today’s ruling.

After my moment of personal reflection, I thought of Latino Equality Alliance (LEA). Last year, Liberty Hill made a seed grant to this incredible group of LGBTQ Latino leaders.  In the past year alone, LEA has organized town halls, generated thousands of dollars worth of earned media in Spanish and English-language media, developed new leaders, and brought the conversation about marriage equality in particular and LGBTQ equality in general to communities that have been ignored in the past.  Tonight at 8 p.m., LEA and a host of other organizations including Liberty Hill grantees API Equality LA, Jordan Rustin Coalition, and SCLC are organizing a community prayer for social justice in the heart of Olvera Street.

While I’m overjoyed by today’s court victory, I know that it is not yet final.  I also know that the struggle to win hearts and minds will take much more.  It’ll take grassroots organizing.  Building bridges will be key.  And most importantly, we must never lose faith in Americans and our ability to live up to the best values of America. 

Read LA Times article here.

Read full text of the ruling.

Read previous posts about marriage equality
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