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"Equality 9" to ask that charges against them be dropped at hearing TODAY

SAN DIEGO -- A group of nine activists who engaged in a relatively peaceful sit-in at the County Administration Building last August in support of marriage equality will present their case today before Judge Joan Weber arguing that all charges against them be dismissed.

The group, which consists of many who are affiliated with the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME), has been dubbed the "Equality 9."

On Aug. 19, 2010 marriage equality activists went to the San Diego County Clerk's office to help their friends and several other same-sex couples get married in defiance of the stay on same-sex marriages imposed by the 9th Circuit Court. This stay came on the heels of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

When two same-sex couples requesting marriage licenses that day were turned away by county officials, the nine individuals began their sit-in protest.

What followed was a cavalcade of nearly 50 sherriff's deputies, some dressed in riot gear, to arrest the nine individuals. The "Equality 9" spent several hours in jail while they were processed before being released.

Since then, the group has collected nearly 1,000 signatures on a petition asking for the charges from the City Attorney's Office to be dropped.

Today's hearing before the San Diego Superior Court is a demurrer hearing, which is a lawsuit that objects to or challenges a pleading filed by an opposing party.