This afternoon of Aug 24th, 2012, SAME has learned of the wonderfull news! The prosecution has backed down and has DROPPED ALL CHARGES against the Equality Nine! Thus ends a two year saga for the nine people who were wrongfully arrested as they engaged in a constitutionally protected peacefull protest at the SD County Administration Building against Prop 8 on Aug 19th, 2010.
As you recall, following Judge Walker's ruling of Prop 8 unconstitutional, the Equality 9 were arrested for engaging in a peaceful sit-in when the San Diego County Clerk would not issue Marriage Licenses to two same-sex couples who had appointments that day.
Click to see some statements from Equality 9 members and allies:
Too often prosecutors bully innocent defendants into taking bad plea deals. I'm in awe of support we received from the community and our legal team. Without them it would have been easier to give in to Goldsmith's intimidation.
Now we can spend more of our energy fighting for civil rights for all LGBT people so no person is turned away from a government office on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.
-Zakiya Khabir, one of the Equality Nine
We are so proud of our colleagues who refused to surrender their civil rights and admit to false guilt just to make these charges go away. Today the charges were dropped, and although this belated justice does not erase the wrongs done to the Equality 9 and all LGBT people daily, it does mark one more victory on the side of equality. A world where we must fight to be given the same voice is a world of struggle, and Canvass for a Cause is honored to work tirelessly in coalition with San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality, the Equality 9, and the community to educate the public and work against oppression.
- Sarah Parish, spokesperson for Canvass for a Cause
...I am taking great pride out of the efforts that lead to the Equality Nine action and aftermath. We were right to be in the county clerk’s office on Aug 19th 2010, we are still right to be dissatisfied with any form of discrimination in society and we encourage people to organize and take a stand when they recognize it. Though we still don’t have equal marriage rights in California, I have heard first-hand that our efforts have provided encouragement to those working for justice.
The Equality Nine actions have also taught me that there are many who are recognizing the meaning of a chant we have marched with many times “Gay, straight, black, white, SAME struggle, SAME fight!” When we are splintered into factions, we are weaker, but when we recognize each other’s humanity, when we recognize our common needs and desires we can grow and build a movement to make change. We have seen many partners in this struggle from the immigrants’ rights community, to the Green Party, to fair access to Victims of Police Brutality activists, to the Occupy San Diego community come together with us. It becomes easy to figure out what is wrong in society when someone is getting exploited, hurt, harassed or killed as a result of built-in or historically accepted ways of doing things.
-Sean Bohac, one of the Equality Nine
...The victory for the Equality 9 is only a victory against our criminalization for speaking out. True victory is not ours until Tony & Tyle Dylan-Hyde, Claire Manley & Dirtchi Davila, and other couples who had appointments to be married that day are finally allowed to exercise their full equal civil rights in this state, as Federal Judge Walker demanded they be allowed to do when he overturned Prop 8 in his decision over two years ago, on August 4, 2010.
-Cecile Veillard, one of the Equality Nine