Anti-Proposition 8 Rally at City Hall

Prop 8 Opponents to Rally at Cambridge City Hall

First city to legalize same-sex marriage has unique perspective

On Sunday, November 23, at 2 pm, hundreds of people shall gather at Cambridge City Hall to demonstrate their opposition to Proposition 8 and the other anti-gay measures that passed during the general election on November 4. This rally is being organized by a new grassroots organization called Join The Impact MA, which previously organized the 5,000-strong protest at Boston City Hall on Saturday, November 15. Join The Impact MA and The Cambridge GLBT Commission are co-sponsoring the event, and the Mayor’s Office is lending its support. It is fitting that this rally against intolerance takes place in front of City Hall, as Cambridge was the first city in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The city opened its doors at 12:01AM on May 17, 2004 – the first day same-sex marriage was legal in the United States. Thousands of people gathered in front of City Hall, to cheer couples waiting to marry and to witness history; that spirit of unity and pride shall again be on display on the steps of City Hall. Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons, the first openly lesbian African American mayor in the country, will be speaking at the event. “With the passage of discriminatory legislation like Proposition 8, progressive cities like Cambridge are the beacons that light the way towards a more tolerant future. In Cambridge, we have proven that the only things that are threatened by same-sex marriage are antiquated views and narrow-minded prejudices,” Simmons said. “We have proven that allowing two people who love each other to marry compromises nothing in our social fabric, and we have seen the immense happiness that it provides to so many people. We were the first city in the nation to grant same-sex marriage licenses, we certainly won’t be the last, and we look forward to the day when Proposition 8 takes its rightful place in the dustbin of history alongside errors like Plessy V. Ferguson and Jim Crow.”

Rallies and protests against California’s proposition 8 have been taking place across the country. On Saturday, November 15, hundreds of thousands of people protested simultaneously in over 100 cities in every state. Those rallies were coordinated by organizations nationwide, and this Cambridge rally has been organized by local grassroots activists. “Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have been treated as second-class citizens for long enough,” explains Chris Mason, a Cantabrigian and an organizer with Join The Impact MA. “November 4th marks a turning point in the fight of GLBT civil rights. The passage of Prop 8 was the spark that has ignited the new GLBT civil rights movement. The protests are not going to stop until we achieve full equality in every state.”

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