WATCH VIDEO Below – “I could have chosen to attend my children’s Valentine events at their elementary school — but I chose instead to get arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to take a stand for LGBTQ equality” Robin McGehee, Director, GetEQUAL!
By Melanie Nathan, February 14, 2013 (Photos: Melanie Nathan)
San Francisco City Hall resonated with dozens of “I Do’s” on this Valentines day to a flurry of white wedding gowns, elated brides, proud grooms and children carrying bouquets. It was bittersweet, fraught with inequality, as same-sex couples were denied parity and turned away. But some refused to leave that office without marriage licenses and together with friends, including Robin McGehee and Jennifer McGuire of GETEqual, they sat down in the middle of the floor of that office in City Hall, in defiance of the San Francisco Sheriff’s order to disperse.
I too missed my little one’s school Valentines day celebration and attended the civil disobedience action bearing witness to the inequality that gays and lesbian couples endure in California and most of these United States of America.
“Over the past three years, we’ve seen the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the evolution of the president in his personal views on marriage equality, and the emergence of two Supreme Court cases that will determine next steps in the battle for marriage equality. But now isn’t the time to just wait on our equality to come to us — now is the time to seize it! Here are a few ways that you can join in this “movement moment” and bring us closer to full LGBTQ equality,” noted McGehee, who was led away by the Sheriff in cuffs as she chanted: “I am someone, we demand full equality.”
In an e-mail to supporters before the action McGehee it is clear that although we are protesting today for the right to obtain marriage licenses in parity with other Californians, the LGBTI movement must strive for full equality. Our fight for civil rights embraces all aspects of our lives and nothing less than absolute and full equality ought to be our benchmark.
“We’re on the brink of seeing the first comprehensive immigration reform bill in a generation — and if we don’t organize *right now,* we risk getting yet another watered-down bill that puts LGBTQ immigrants at greater risk than before. We must push for a clear and direct pathway to citizenship, a humane asylum policy, provisions for binational same-sex couples, and an end to harsh enforcement policies that lead to massive deportations and the cruel separation of families.
We also must insist — without rest — that the president show leadership on ending employment discrimination by signing an executive order barring federal
contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ Americans, and that Congress finally pass a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. For decades, ENDA has languished in Congress — now is the time to get a vote in the Senate and to then push like hell to get it through the House. If you want to help ensure that not one more person is fired or not fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, sign up here: http://bit.ly/getequalemployment
Finally, this March and again later in the summer, all eyes will be on the Supreme Court as the justices examine both the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. That hate-filled effort to take rights away from our families — from our children — will be back in the nation’s consciousness, and we will be organizing for our lives. The highest court in the land will tackle the question of marriage equality — and we’re going to make sure that our lives, our stories, and our futures are front and center for that debate. If you want to organize a local event to highlight the broad public support across the country for marriage equality, sign up here: www.lighttojustice.org”