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Students rally against Proposition 8

Helena Guan

The opposition to Proposition 8, which eliminated the right for same-sex couples to get married, has only grown in the three weeks since the proposition passed on Nov. 4. Many, including Mills students, attended rallies all over California to express their anger and opposition to the proposition.

Margaret Pixley, sophomore and vice president of Mouthing Off, said in the days after the election, she was “completely devastated.”

Tracy Peerson-Faye, senior, felt similarly. She said that the celebration of Barack Obama becoming president-elect was countered by the loss of Proposition 8 passing. Although she felt bittersweet about the results of the election, the amount of mobilization that took place in the days afterward inspired her.

“It made me feel like, okay, get your ass up,” she said.

Rallies were staged across the country on Saturday, Nov. 15 to protest the passage of Proposition 8.

The San Francisco rally brought thousands of people to City Hall, who listened to speakers such as Mark Leno, the California Assemblyman who wrote the first bill asking to legalize same-sex marriage in California in 2005, and Reverend Amos Brown, a friend and ally of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a number of years.

These rallies, which took place in 300 cities in the United States and 10 countries in the world, were orchestrated by an organization called Join the Impact.

This is just one of the many groups being created to fight for what Peerson-Faye described as a “civil rights movement.”

“I think this is the most that the gay community and our allies have been mobilized in a long time,” Peerson-Faye said. She attended the Sacramento rally the Sunday after the election and helped organize a carpool from Mills to Sacramento. Peerson-Faye said she knew of six cars full of students who took part.

Not everyone felt like the rallies were constructive, however.

Juliet Weintraub, sophomore, attended a rally in Sacramento on Nov. 8.

“I came away with it with sort of a sinking feeling,” Weintraub said. “I really didn’t feel like I was doing anything for the cause.”

Although disheartened by the election results, Pixley thinks that the overall experience has been valuable.

“It’s taught me that if I’m knocked down, I have to get back up again.”