SAN DIEGO -- As part of the annual Freedom to Marry Day, several same-sex and trans-inclusive couples plan to request marriage licenses from the San Diego County Clerk's Office on Valentine's Day.
The 8 am event, which is being organized by a coalition of organizations, including the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME), Canvass For A Cause and Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA), will be the 12th year that activists have participated in this action. Organizers say that the purpose of the event is to show the harm that excluding same-sex and trans-inclusive couples from receiving marriage licenses causes.
Happening about a week after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional in California, and the day after Washington became the next state to have marriage equality, this year's event is particularly significant, organizers sy.
“A majority of Americans are now in favor of marriage equality, more and more states are on the verge of granting couples the freedom to marry, yet even with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional Californians are still denied their rights. That is why it is so important that we continue to be visible and vocal,” MEUSA representative Fernando Lopez said.
“Many a grand judicial decision has been encouraged or enabled by a loud and visible movement of the people. That is why these Valentine’s Day actions are so important,” SAME member Sean Bohac said.
Following the early morning license requests, a 9 am rally will be held outdoors, where organizers plan to educate the downtown community about the list of rights that LGBT couples are denied.
The local event is just one of many similar actions taking place across the country on Valentine’s Day.
In San Francisco, activists will participate in an action called "Let Our People Wed," in which marriage licenses will be requested at City Hall. Other California areas in which similar actions are being organized include Los Angeles, Visalia, Fresno, Orange County and Martinez. In other states, events will be hosted in Richmond, Va.; Norfolk, Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Houston and others.
The San Diego County Clerk's Office is located at the County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Highway in downtown.
For more information and a complete list of actions, click HERE.