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Feb 10th
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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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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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