Gays and lesbians in the US have taken to the streets to protest the banning of same-sex marriage in California.
Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 people marched through San Francisco on the weekend to take a stand against the passing of Proposition 8, the measure voted for by the majority of California’s citizens.
Over 52% of voters in the state voted in favour of the proposition, which will amend California’s constitution to define marriage as only being between a man and a woman.
“We’re not going to do nothing, we’re going to start with a march tonight but we’re not going to stop until we have equality again,” said the organisers of the march.
There were other street protests in Los Angeles and San Diego where police estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 people participated in a demonstration.
LGBT people have also taken a stand against the Mormon church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) based in Utah, which is said to have played a major role in actively campaigning for the passing of Proposition 8.
According to some reports, up to 75% of the $36 million used to fund the campaign to promote the measure was funded by members of the church.
Around 2,000 people protested against the church’s action in Salt Lake City, while there have been calls to boycott the state of Utah.
In the meantime, a number of gay and civil rights groups have gone to court in a bid to overturn Proposition 8.
Lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge announced that she will refuse to pay income tax until she has the same rights as other tax-payers and pledged to financially support the court battle against the proposition.
Speaking on CNN, the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, expressed his hope that the legal actions would succeed.
“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger said about the passing of Proposition 8. “I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area.”
While Schwarzenegger has said that he personally does not support gay unions being defined as marriage, he was opposed to the constitutional ban and urged its opponents to keep fighting.
There are a number of other protests against the gay marriage ban being planned across the US this week.