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Fight for the Right ... to Marry

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While same-sex couples in Connecticut started lining up to get married this week, gay couples in California wondered what will happen if the courts uphold Proposition 8, which was passed by a close margin during the Nov. 4 general election. Unless you've been living in a dark room with just your cats, you know by now that Prop 8 says that the only valid marriage in California is between a man and a woman. Sure, we can elect a black man to the White House, but we can't allow all people who love each other to enjoy the same legal rights? And here I thought we were making progress in America. Yes we can. But can we?

Prop 8 seemed to work in large part because its marketing campaign instilled fear into people by saying that if it didn't pass, schools would start teaching same-sex marriage. Now, if memory serves I don't recall ever being taught about heterosexual marriage in my public school when I was growing up. And I bet you can poll most people in this country on the topic and they'll tell you they weren't taught about marriage in any capacity either. What it comes down to is discrimination.

Following the passing of Prop 8, gay rights supporters around the country reacted almost immediately. The following day three lawsuits were filed in an attempt to have California's Supreme Court overturn the vote since it had already ruled that it was unconstitutional to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. Every major paper in California, including the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, editorialized against Prop 8. Even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke out against the ruling and said the fight isn't over.

This Saturday a nationwide protest will take place against the passing of Prop 8. In Chicago, supporters of gay rights will gather at Federal Plaza between 12:30 and 3:30 to speak out against what they consider a violation of basic human rights. Some people say that it's taxation without representation and are calling for California's gay citizens to not pay state taxes since they're not being equally represented. If this catches on, Illinois's already fragile budget may get further impacted.

And because the Mormon church was such a large contributor to the Yes on 8 campaign, many in Hollywood are calling for a boycott of Utah, which includes the popular ski destination of Park City as well as the celebrity-laden Sundance Film Festival. The loss of tourist dollars from a boycott could seriously affect Utah's economy.

And it trickles down as another protest is emerging. Gay groups around the country are calling for a boycott against Cinemark Corporation because its Plano, Texas-based CEO Alan J. Stock donated nearly $10,000 to the campaign to pass Prop 8. Stock is also a member of the Mormon Church, according to AmericaBlog. Locally, Cinemark owns Century Theatres and CineArts in Evanston.

If you feel that Prop 8 violates human rights and want your voice to be heard, join the protest on Saturday. There are already more than 2,000 people expected to turn up to Federal Plaza. Will you be one of them? Let us really say Yes We Can.