Prop 8 Hearing Brings Optimism, Frustration

By R. Stickney, Monica Dean, Steve Luke and Michelle Wayland
|  Thursday, Mar 5, 2009  |  Updated 12:54 PM PDT
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Sea of Support

People gather in Hillcrest to watch the arguments Thursday morning.

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Sea of Support

Hundreds gather for a candlelight vigil, showing their support for same-sex marriage.
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Close to 50 people gathered Thursday inside the Hillcrest LGBT center to watch the California Supreme Court hearing on same sex marriage.

"I'm optimistic," said Troy Tureau who is a Prop 8 opponent and attorney. Tureau decided to watch the hearing with like-minded people instead of at home alone.

"I recently moved here from Louisiana and I thought it would be nice to sit with people who feel as strongly as I do that prop 8 should be overturned," he said.

Across the county, and thousands of miles away in ideology, nearly a dozen supporters of Prop 8 gathered at a Rancho Penasquitos home to watch together.

“Yes on 8” signs were posted in the yard and throughout the house. Here, folks were frustrated that the issue was back in the courts after California voters had already weighed in on the issue.

“Democracy is being undermined by all three branches of our government,” said Rancho Penasquitos resident Liz Agle who organized the gathering.

“For me it’s all about the children. I want to protect the future for my children. I want to protect the future for children who are not here yet,” said Agle. “I want them to have a mother and a father because that is proven to be the best environment for children.”

Other supporters of Prop 8 said it’s not about civil rights, they said it’s about changing the fundamental understanding of marriage.

“I want to back up my vote that I had in November,” said Anna Hamrick. “I want to tell the people who are trying to negate my vote that you can’t do this.”

She was also upset Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t defend the vote of the people. “Why didn’t the governor say, the voice of the people has been heard, we’re done?” Hamrick said.

At the Hillcrest LGBT center, most of the viewers at the center watched quietly, but there were a few "boos" following statements made by pro Prop 8 attorney Kenneth Starr.

One of the loudest applauses came after a lesbian attorney argued in front of the justices, "What good is it to protect the moat when the castle is burning?"

Troy Tureau, Prop 8 opponent, said that statement sums up his feelings perfectly.

Last night hundreds of San Diegans marched downtown to show their support for same sex marriage. Watch Video

“I think that they’re entitled to their opinion,” said Agle. “I just in this instance don’t think that their opinion is right and I think that we need to take a stand on that.”

Hamrick agreed. To those who feel their civil rights are being taken away she said: “I’m sorry they feel that way. I have no animosity and I have no desire to thwart their civil rights but this is an issue where I am standing up for my marriage and children and grandchildren. And I want to keep the sanctity of marriage as it is. And as it was revealed in the bible.”

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