Photos: Hundreds Gather in WeHo with Prop 8 Plaintiffs & Lawyers to Celebrate Judge's Ruling
About 300 people gathered in West Hollywood Park Wednesday night to celebrate the federal ruling in favor of gay marriage. The American Foundation of Equal Rights, which brought forward the case Perry v. Schwarzenegger, hosted the event, bringing together the plaintiffs, lawyers, politicians and celebrities. About a dozen people spoke -- all with smiles, some with tears -- about the huge step that was just taken. But they warned it was only a step.
"So long as a person can be fired for being gay, or a kid can be threatened at school because of her sexual orientation, we will not have crossed the finish line," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who opened the ceremony.
Despite the very long road ahead, lawyer David Boies who represented Vice President Al Gore in the Supreme Court case against George Bush, summed up how difficult he sees the fight from here on out for proponents of Prop 8, which banned gay marriage in California.
"Most of what you're going to hear from the other side is going to be a series of attacks. they're going to attack the judge, they're going to attack the judicial system, they're going to attack everything they can think of to attack except the court's opinion because I guarantee you that the people that you hear criticizing this opinion are not going to be prepared to deal with what the opinion has found. I guarantee you most of the people that are going to criticize the opinion will not have even read it," he said of the 138-page document. "Because what his opinion does, it goes through in a very orderly careful methodical way what all the claims were and what all the evidence was and the court concludes that there simply is no evidence to justify the invidious discrimination against some of our citizens based on sex or sexual orientation and that is something that the other side cannot deal with. They cannot come forward with any evidence. Their argument boils down to versicular bumper sticker [slogans.] Marriage is between a man and a woman. That's the question, not the answer in the constitution."
Others agree with that sentiment. "From now on, it will be harder for opponents of same-sex unions to continue mouthing canards," opined an LA Times editorial that said the gay marriage debate has been changed forever.
Currently, new gay marriages cannot happen yet because of a stay on the ruling, but in a situation that some might say is bittersweet, everyone is viewing this as one sweet moment.