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Prop. 8 decision met with frustration, support

  • Joe, left, and Frank Capley-Alfano of Guerneville react in dismay as they heard the California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 8 on Tuesday morning. The two were married in 2008 and enlarged their marriage license for the rally in front of the Earl Warren building in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO ? Hope turned to grief and then protest for North Coast same-sex couples Tuesday when the decision upholding Proposition 8 landed like ?a kick in the gut,? said Karen Smith, a Sonoma County occupational therapist.

Smith, who married her partner Kirsten Dumford last July, remains married today after the court upheld the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages made between June and November of last year. But that was no salve for Smith, who alternately gripped her stomach and wiped away tears in the moments after the decision was announced.

?Coming into this, we allowed ourselves to be a little more optimistic,? she said. ?But I guess it?s still OK to discriminate against gays. Shame on you justices for not standing up for justice. Isn?t that the justices? job??

Prop. 8 Court Decision

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Justice is just what was delivered, said supporters of Proposition 8, who said it would have been a travesty for the court to overturn the 2008 vote of Californians, the second since 2000 in support of traditional marriage.

Proposition 8 supporter Vladimir Musoricvhi, a 26-year-old student at American River College in Sacramento, said he was ?embarrassed? by the court?s decision last year to allow same-sex marriages.

Tuesday, he said, was different:

?Today, they respected society?s opinion. I?m very pleased,? Musoricvhi said, as he shared space with those opposed to Proposition 8 at San Francisco?s Civic Center.

Kenneth Starr, dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law and the lawyer who argued the case in favor of Proposition 8, said the ruling ?represents a ringing judicial affirmation of the right of the people of California to amend the state Constitution at the ballot box.?

The decision on the validity of Proposition 8 was not formally announced to the several hundred people representing both sides of the debate gathered outside the courthouse.

Instead, word trickled out through the reports of journalists and lawyers who stood in line beginning as early as 8 a.m. for a copy of the decision. It was released at 10 a.m. to near silence, quickly punctuated by tears, swearing and shouting from a Guerneville couple, Joe and Frank Capley-Alfano.


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