With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to release its Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act rulings on Wednesday, rallies are planned all over the Bay Area in support of same-sex marriage rights.
On what is dubbed "decision day," a group will rally at 5:30 pm on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse, at 701 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz.
Speakers for the rally include local legal experts who will explain the known civil rights ramifications, based on the Supreme Court’s decisions; Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Clerk, or a member of her staff; as well as people directly affected by the Supreme Court decisions.
The message of the rally will depend on the rulings made by the Supreme Court, but will either be in celebration of Supreme Court decisions that allow for equal protection for same-sex couples under the law, or in protest of Supreme Court decisions that weaken civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in California and throughout the nation.
Marriage Equality USA spokesman Billy Bradford said preparations are under way in San Francisco for a rally and potential celebration, including two stages for music and speeches. Police have been notified about the event.
He said the celebratory mood could be soured, however, depending on the content of the rulings. Bradford said those attending may have to "temper our joy. Our work here isn't done."
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera will be holding a news conference Wednesday morning following the Supreme Court's announcement, which is expected shortly after 7 a.m.
Herrera's news conference will take place on the steps of City Hall, where Herrera and Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart will discuss the possible legal repercussions of the decision, as well as plans for how the city could handle a potential flurry of same-sex weddings.
Later in the morning, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is expected to speak.
Daly City resident Thom Watson, who has been with his partner Jeff Tabaco for 10 years, said he will be watching closely at home before heading to San Francisco City Hall for what he considers a historic moment.
He said he hasn't been sleeping well waiting for the high court's decision and has been analyzing what various potential rulings could mean for marriage equality.
"We're in a constant state of fatigue mixed with excitement," he said.
Evan Costner, who organized the annual Berkeley Pride celebration that took place in that city on Monday evening, said a contingent from the Berkeley area is ready to "flock to San Francisco and rally there."
He said Berkeley's pride planning committee had hoped that the Supreme Court would issue a ruling on Monday in time for the annual festival, which had the timely theme, "First comes love, then comes marriage..."
In other parts of the Bay Area, various groups are ready to spring into action once they hear the ruling, including the local LGBT activist group Hearts on Silicon Valley, which is planning to meet at San Jose City Hall at 6 p.m.
Organizers of that event posted on Facebook that there will be speakers and live music at the community gathering at City Hall, which is located at 200 E. Santa Clara St.
Oakland community groups have plans for a celebration at 5:30 p.m. at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue, with participants convening at that intersection before moving on to dance parties at nearby bars and clubs.
In Concord, a 6:30 p.m. celebration complete with champagne is planned at the Rainbow Community Center, located 2118 Willow Pass Road.
Other events are in the works in Mountain View, Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Vallejo, Fairfield, Guerneville and Healdsburg.
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