Gay youth gather to protest Prop 8 ruling

Members of Outlet seek 'right to dream of someday getting married'

Hours after the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the statewide ban on same-sex marriage, a dozen local gay youth and their advocates gathered on one of Mountain View's busiest street corners, protesting, they said, for "the right to dream of someday getting married."

Wearing rainbow flags around their shoulders and carrying signs reading "All you need is love," Give me back my rights" and "You can't outlaw my love," the protestors waved their signs and cheered, drawing honks from passing cars at the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real on Monday night.

Larger protests were held in Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Jose, but the local advocates said they wanted to speak out in their own hometown and community.

Outlet, a Mountain View advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, organized the protest for teenagers who may not be able to make it to the bigger gatherings.

"The California Supreme Court just told every child with an LGBT parent that their family is not as important as their heterosexual friends and families," Outlet program director Eileen Ross said. "The Supreme Court justices just told every California LGBT teenager that they are not worthy of the same dreams as their heterosexual peers."

California voters passed Prop 8 in November, banning same-sex marriage, and on Monday the state's Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 6-1 ruling. But the justices also ruled that 18,000 marriages held in California last summer were still valid.

Anna Olivia Chen, a student at Graham Middle School, said there wasn't much reaction on campus following the ruling. She came to the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), where Outlet is located, to make signs after school with other LGBT youth.

"It's important for people to hear we are not going to let them take our rights away from us with us not doing anything about it," she said. "It doesn't just affect adults."

After making the signs, the youth, Outlet employees and one parent walked to Castro and El Camino, where they started to protest. Mountain View High School junior Danny Kirsch said the ruling "makes us who identify as queer as second-class citizens."

"It feels weird no one is getting as outraged," he added. "They really should. What's next?"

He said he was still surprised that California did not have the same rights as other states.

"I really can't believe we are behind Iowa," Kirsch said.

The small group of protestors was met with dozens of honks and cheers from drivers as they passed by. Two men even parked their car to join the protest, explaining that they had been heading toward the Palo Alto demonstration but decided to join the Mountain View gathering instead. Youth from as far as Redwood City joined the protest, and Outlet employees said the organization was the only one of its kind on the Peninsula.

A couple of drivers gave the protestors "thumbs down" as they passed, and one group of teenage boys yelled, "Gays should burn in hell."

As the night went on, several more locals joined, and the protestors said they weren't expecting a large turnout.

Dozens of people attended an Outlet candlelight vigil after California voters rejected Prop 8 in November. Even though Monday's turnout was lower, protestors said it was still important to continue fighting for gays' rights. Some wondered what the seemingly conflicting rulings meant for gay marriage in California.

"You shouldn't have had to (get married) in that tiny window between June and Nov. 4," said Kathleen Brans-Field, a Santa Clara resident who was married over the summer.


Gay rights protestors block Stanford road


Posted by Steve, a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Yeah right, as if middle school and high school students ever know what they want or about how to make decisions. They need to go back to school, get educated, and grow up first. The rights of minors are restricted for a reason. Outlet should not be allowed access to minors.

Posted by Proud MVer, a resident of Shoreline West
on May 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm

As an attendee of many Mountain View Mayor's Youth Conferences - I know our local youth to be well-informed and passionate about many important issues. Go ahead and disagree with them, but don't dismiss their thoughts simply because they are young and contrary to your own.

I saw these guys on the way to a funeral service. They brightened up an otherwise gloomy day and made me proud. Prop 8 may stand for now, but their generation is quickly moving California toward the day when it'll just be a sad footnote in our state's history.

Posted by Enough, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Local youth "well-informed and passionate about many important issues" still translates as children. Children shouldn't be targeted, used, or manipulated by adults from Outlet CHAC pushing a political or social cause.

I'm not so sure Prop. 8 will be reversed so fast. The fastest growing segment of California's population in Hispanic very much against gay marriage, just as African Americans are and who were the very ones who came out to vote in favor of Prop. 8 and tip the scales. White educated liberals have been the strongest supporters of gay marriage and are declining in numbers. Very ironic.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on May 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm

So, kids arent capable of independent thought? Should be seen and not heard? Ridiculous

Posted by Joan, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Straight adults who have no experience with gay youth seem to have a strange concept of what gay childhood is like, as if somehow we were robbed of our heterosexuality in a well-executed act of trickery. Is that because it's more difficult to come to terms with the idea that a vote against gay marriage means a vote to deny children the dream of one day settling down with someone of the same sex, and having a family together. Adults, after all, are easy to demonize. But do we, as a society, really mean to deny our own children and grandchildren the chance to pursue happiness in stable family life? I find it terribly sad to think that we do.

It appears that the gay rights movement, as of now, has as its principal goals (1) civil marriage, (2) military service, and (3) federal nondiscrimination guarantees for owning property. How did civil marriage, military service, and property ownership get spun as a radical agenda, worth altering our Constitution itself in order to prevent?

Posted by aj, a resident of North Whisman
on May 28, 2009 at 8:26 am

To answer your question Joan, when people put religious arguments over logical and scientific ones.

Hopefully this "test case of 18000", as much as it pains me that we even NEED to have a test case, will demonstrate to the rest of california's youth, whose families may argue with their crosses over their gray matter, that no good comes from denying people fundamental LEGAL rights.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on May 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

nice post, Joan

Posted by Mr MV2, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment]

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2009 at 9:44 am

USA is a registered user.

Mr. MV2 -- go away. The gay agenda police are looking for any excuse to cry homophobia, and you are just handling them a big present.

Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor
on May 29, 2009 at 10:32 am

Don Frances is a registered user.

For the record, I took down the post by "Mr. MV2" not because I am a member of the "gay agenda police," but because the remark was gratuitous, childish and without merit. Unless he can grow up, this commenter is not welcome here.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm

USA is a registered user.

Don -- Agreed. The problem is that some people aka the PC "police" use comments like that to paint all people who disagree with their political/social views e.g. all people who support tradition marriages are homophobes, all people who are concerned about illegal immigration are anti-immigrant, and all people who are against welfare increases are racist. Ironically, such arguments are themselves bigoted, but that is a discussion for another day ...

Posted by Bruno, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I think it's safe to say that all of those who oppose same sex marriage are judgemental. It's not like 2 gay people you don't know getting married invalidates your own marriage. I mean some of these people who talk about the "sanctity" of marriage have been married multiple times. These are not the kind of people that should be giving advice about relationships and lifelong bonds.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

USA is a registered user.

Bruno -- Yeah, I have noticed that everyone who disagrees with my opinions is judgmental. Funny how it works out that way.

Posted by Mr. Smith, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment.]

Posted by J, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Marriage is for a man and a woman

Civil Union is for everyone else.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm


Posted by Marc, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 30, 2009 at 10:20 am

You are right. I voted for Prop 8 and I am indeed judgmental. I think that more people need to be judgmental too. If society continues to think that anything that anybody want to do is ok just because they want to do it, I believe that we will be in big trouble a few years down the road.

Posted by Lori, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Oh my gosh I think I'm gay.

Posted by American Joe, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 31, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Scientists have discovered that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality, hence there is no "gay gene". That means that homosexuality is a personal choice. If you choose a non-mainstream lifestyle, you must live with your decision, not push your lifestyle on everybody else. With no proof of any genetic basis for homosexuality, there can be no "gay people", which means that those who describe themselves as gay, are just regular (average ,normal) people pursuing an alternate lifestyle.

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on May 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Which scientists?

Personal choice is not relevant? Seriously?

Posted by American Joe, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 1, 2009 at 1:36 am

Eric would like to know which scientists found that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality. Specifically the scientists at The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, The American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. Personal choice is another matter. The personal choice of incest, polygamy and several other alternative lifestyles are also illegal because of the decisions made by voting members of a democratic society. Therefore, you may love your mother and father quite dearly, by are not allowed by law to marry them. See also: Web Link "Biology_and_sexual_orientation" and check out the referenced footnotes for specific details quoted in the studies.

Posted by Proud MVer, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

American Joe, did you even *read* the Wikipedia article you are trying to link to?

If so, you'd have learned that the causes of homosexuality are highly complex and most scientistific research points to it being a combination of both biological and social factors. To say that homosexuality is purely a "personal choice" completely disregards the scientific facts and shows your obvious and blatant bias.

From the very first paragraph:

Web Link

"Biology and sexual orientation is the subject of research into possible biological influences on the development of human sexual orientation. No simple cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated, and there is no scientific consensus as to whether the contributing factors are primarily biological or environmental. Many think both play complex roles.[1][2] The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have both stated that sexual orientation probably has multiple causes.[3][4] Research has identified several biological factors which may be related to the development of a heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual orientation."

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm

So, not only is wikipedia your source, but you misquoted and misunderstood the posting. Mmm'kay...

Posted by Neal, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I proudly joined the Outlet teenagers on the corner of El Camino and Castro last week(from the article: "Two men even parked their car to join the protest...") These so-called "children" are intelligent, competent, young adults, publicly fighting discrimination. For those who voted in favor on Prop 8 or decry the "choice" of pursuing an "alternative lifestyle", I invite you to introduce yourself to a gay man or lesbian to better understand the impact you are having on their life.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 2, 2009 at 7:58 pm

It all seems like an excuse for one man to justify his sodomizing of another. Or for two women to pretend they have a family when they don't.

Posted by ed, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

and hate is just a way for a scared little nothing to feel important

Posted by Steve, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 1:25 am

Isn't it interesting when Liberal Facists use name calling and words like "hate" and "bias" when anybody disagrees with their agenda?

Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

Don Frances is a registered user.


I'm wondering how "Fascist" is a more agreeable term in your mind than "hate" or "bias."

When you tell us, you can log in, as this comment thread is being made registered-only. It's very quick and easy to log in -- just click on the link below. Doing so has resulted in more accountability and level-headedness in the comments.

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