South African actress Charlize Theron has written an open letter ahead of a court ruling on whether to uphold or overturn Proposition 8; through which voters effectively banned gay marriage in California.

In the letter, she encourages Americans, gay and straight, to support a rally promoting same-sex marriage in the state.

“We know the people whose lives are on the line – those who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender -will be there. But we need everyone there. Especially straight people.”

She urges people to come to Fresno for the “Meet in the Middle for Equality” rally, which has over seventy sponsoring organisers. “The battle for equality has to be fought in Middle America – in places like Fresno, California – not just in gay-friendly cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles,” she writes.

“This isn’t just about California. It’s about America. This isn’t just about marriage. It’s about human rights. On the Saturday after the Supreme Court ruling, we will either celebrate or we will protest. But no matter what happens, we will organize to bring full equality to America – starting in the heart of California,” she writes.

In 2005, Theron said that she and partner Stuart Townsend would not wed until the day when gay and lesbian couples attain full marriage rights.

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