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May 22nd
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March for Equality

blog prideSanta Cruz Pride precedes momentous Supreme Court rulings 

During the five months between June 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled equal protection for same-sex marriage in California, and November of that same year, when Proposition 8 limited legal marriages to those between a man and woman, thousands of gay couples felt a pressing urgency to attain wedlock before Election Day.

Like so many of those couples. Bob Correa, a former director of the Santa Cruz Diversity Center, and his partner of 24 years, Denny Carroll, found themselves racing the clock. Forced to forsake visions of an exciting, proper wedding, the two found themselves standing in their garage before a minister, both terribly sick with the flu, while two friends looked on.

Today they joke about the impromptu ceremony, calling it their “drive-by, garage door wedding,” Carroll says.

But, it also reminds Carroll of the injustice that he and his partner had to face because of their sexual orientation, and it reminds him of the pivotal upcoming decisions to be made by the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), expected by the end of June.

With the future of gay rights fast approaching a decisive moment, many members of the LGBTQ community will march and stand together on Sunday, June 2 for the 39th annual Santa Cruz Pride Parade. This year’s theme is “Calling All Allies,” says Sharon Papo, the new executive director of the Santa Cruz Diversity Center.

Papo and her wife were also among the approximate 18,000 same-sex couples that obtained marriage licenses before Prop. 8 went into effect.

“This is a chance for everyone to stand together in unity as we eagerly await this huge decision that will impact so many of our lives,” she says. “It’s a visible and political demand for LBGT rights and equality.”

However, Papo notes, there is a chance the court could decline to even rule on the matter.

“It’s all very anxiety-causing, but we’re also optimistic,” she says.

If the Supreme Court strikes down Prop. 8, California will become the 12th state, plus Washington DC, to legalize gay marriage.

If Prop. 8 is upheld, Carroll says it will be a mournful day for same couples, but he is more concerned about DOMA, which has national implications on gay rights, including government employee insurance benefits, social security survivor benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns, he says.

“There are so many people who are deeply in love and want to make the legal commitment of marriage but they can’t here in California,” says Papo. “So, they’re being held as second-class citizens. They want to be able to marry here, and they want their relationship and commitment to be acknowledged by their communities, friends, loved ones—and the government.”


The Santa Cruz Pride Parade and Festival takes place Sunday, June 2. The parade will be from 11-11:30 a.m along Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Cooper streets. The accompanying festival takes place 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the northern end of Pacific Avenue between Locust Street and the Clock Tower.

Photo of 2012 Pride parade by Sal Ingram.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

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