CBS 47 Covers Same Sex Marriage Rights Demand in Porterville

Video coverage here

Emotions ran high at the Porterville City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Gay marriage supporters spoke out, chastising members for publicly supporting Proposition 8 earlier this year. This comes just one week after the Supreme Court upheld the proposition.

Nearly a dozen supporters of gay marriage were at the council meeting to ask members to apologize for a resolution the city adopted earlier this year, supporting Proposition 8.

Gay marriage supporters claim the city looks at Proposition 8 from a religious standpoint. The city’s motto is “In God We Trust”.

Gay marriage supporters say Porterville was the only city in the state to adopt a resolution in support of Proposition 8. They say the resolution divides the community.

Not Councilman McCracken’s weaselly language and body language. Oh yeah, he is a man of the people that one, he didn’t want to vote for the hateful resolution, but he looked around to see which way the wind was blowing, he sucked it up and voted with the crowd just to go along.

Pete, you are waaaay to old to be subject to peer pressure like that! You seem to know what is right from wrong, grow a pair and act like it! This is not “The Wizard of Oz” and you are not playing the Lion in a school play! You are actively voting to, and professing your pride in, working to take rights away from real people in your community.

And your spin is not going to fly by unnoticed either. You might claim that you voted the way the people wanted you to vote, statistically speaking, but the Resolution itself is not something binding upon the people, reflecting its voice.

In fact,  what it says after a seemingly endless series of “Whereas”s is that it reflects the voice of the Council in urging the People to act in a certain way, not that the Council is acting on behalf of a mandate from the People as you claim now.… Read the rest

Additional Media Coverage – Porterville Residents Again Stand Up for Civil Rights for All

Porterville Recorder: Grassroots same-sex marriage effort takes flight

A grassroots campaign to overturn Proposition 8 kicked off Tuesday before the Porterville City Council.

A dozen speakers took turns addressing council members on topics ranging from the council’s resolution last year in support of the ballot measure, the potential psychological effects of banning same-sex marriage, and the real-life ramifications of fighting for a right others possess.

The theme, however, was consistent.

“We have no intention of leaving,” Jaime Garza said.

Garza, of Porterville, was one of those who entered a same-sex marriage last summer after the state supreme court ruled in May 2008 that barring same-sex unions was unconstitutional. She’s still legally married after last week’s state supreme court ruling upholding the validity of Proposition 8, but also ruling that marriages in effect before the proposition’s passage remain valid. Residents say city’s support for Proposition 8 hurting them

Porterville, a small Central Valley town, was the only city in California to formally endorse Proposition 8, the measure that banned gay marriage in California.

But now, some residents want the City Council to reverse course, arguing the endorsement has inflamed tension in Porterville.

The mayor isn’t backing down, and it’s possible Porterville will take a stand if gay marriage supporters place a measure on the ballot attempting to repeal.

the time of my life (blog): Porterville California Battles Prop 8

The tiny town of Porterville, California, is suddenly, almost overnight, ground zero in the fight to overturn Proposition 8, as citizens appeared en masse Tuesday night to confront and challenge elected officials over their endorsement of the ban on gay marriage. Porterville’s city council passed a resolution supported Prop 8, and that has angered those who elected the members mightily, including resident Jamie Garza, one of the eighteen-thousand Californian’s who married last year, who told of the both emotional and physical abuse she and her wife have had to endure while defending their right to be wedded, and resident Barry Caplan who argued before Council Tuesday night that Proposition 8 has effectively created a three-tiered class of citizens and has divided the town.

Read the rest

ABC 30 in Fresno Travels to Porterville to air Civil Rights Story

Last night Channel 30 sent reporter Gene Haagenson to Porterville to cover the pro-same sex marriage Civil Rights discussion that took place as the public spoke in unanimous voice before the only City Council in the State that took a stand in favor of Prop 8.

I introduced the speakers that were to come, and framed the issue: That City Council has voted, and urged its constituents to vote to divide our State’s population into 3 (!) classes where there ought be only 1:

  1. People who are free to marry the person they love
  2. People who are never free to marry the person they love
  3. People who are married to the person they love now, but should they become single again by death or divorce, will never be free to marry a new person they fall in love with again.

Please watch the video, and review the other media coverage of our fight here in Porterville. Shine a light on what has happened in our remote, but not really all that small, town. Let California and the world know via your blog, by your facebook and myspace pages, prepare to twitter as new actions take place, and above all, join us here in Porterville – we will welcome you after your long drive, don’t worry about that – and get your own Council members and County Supervisors on record, up or down, on this critical Civil Rights matter ASAP.

Fresno, CA (KFSN) — The fight over same sex marriage came to the steps of Porterville City Hall.

Put this blog in your news reader!… Read the rest

Brian Ward revises his campaign web site, continued

Earlier we reported that Porterville City Councilman Brian Ward, sponsor of the only city council resolution in the entire state to suport Prop 8 last fall, has quickly changed his hateful campaign web site amid publicly aired allegations of improprieties regarding campaign laws.

The allegations alleged that Ward was using the school where he works for campaigning, even going so far as to use school district resources to collect campaign donations.

The page where he suggested campaign donations be sent to has suddenly disappeared the day after the allegations were made at last night’s City Council meeting, but not before they were copied by the public and distributed to news media.

Below the jump is a cut and paste from google cache, as of this writing. Note that the address is the address of the Burton School District, Ward’s public sector  employer.

Also note the attempt to circumvent public disclosure laws, and the failure to ask any of the spelling teachers at Burton School District how to spell “anonymity”.

Discuss in comments.… Read the rest

Porterville Councilman Ward Revises Web Site After Charges Made

Porterville City Councilmember Brian Ward has updated his hateful campaign web site, in response to public comments at last night’s City Council meeting that some of the material there was unethical and illegal. The assertion was made that some material was either a midemeanor or felony at the prosecutor’s discretion, and that the charges could carry up to 3 years in prison. Today the offending material was taken down, but not before it was captured by members of the public, and distributed to news media.

In addition, as of this writing, google cache still has some of the, err, “interesting” material. In the interest of keeping it available for public consumption forever,  I have cut and pasted from google cache  after the jump.

Brian is a School Psychologist at a local public school. He is educated enough to know that the tripe he spouts here about homosexuals is not the view of his field, it is the cheapest form of political opportunism. And it calls into question what sort of advice he can and does provide the children under hos professional care.

Discuss in comments.… Read the rest

Let fury have the hour, anger can be power

D’you know that you can use it?

It’s the best years of your life they want to steal

No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown

I will have more to say in this space soon regarding yesterday’s Prop H8 decision, I am still gathering my thoughts.

But these lyric from a song I know have been blasting in my head since the news broke (very slightly paraphrased):

What are we gonna do now?
Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
’Cos working for the clampdown

They put up a poster saying:
We pray more than you!
When we’re working for the clampdown

We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers

The judge said five to ten but I say double that again
I’m not working for the clampdown

No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown

Kick over the wall ’cause government’s to fall
How can you refuse it?

Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D’you know that you can use it?

The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there’s nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don’t owe nothing, so boy get runnin’
It’s the best years of your life they want to stealRead the rest

Prop 8 Upheld, Tears Flood the Streets

Hand of the Law Comes Down Hard

Separate But Equal the Law of the Land Once Again in California

I can legislate the right of your kids to marry at the ballot box at any time.

At least we know that is clear.

I wonder what else I can legislate with my organizing skills and a clipboard?

How about “Marriage is only recognized between residents of Tulare County and Mormons?”

Bonus Quiz (in case you think I am joking):

Answer via comment below:

Which US Supreme Court Justice has written this?

“To the argument . . . that a majority may not deprive a minority of its constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minorities are.”

Read the rest

Prop 8 D-Day Actions, Tulare County Announced and Confirmed

From Jamie Garza
Chair Porterville LGBTQ, Tulare County Chapter Leader Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA)

It was confirmed yesterday that the Supreme Court
will issue its ruling on Prop 8, Tuesday May 26th at 10:00am. We have two very important local actions to follow. And Please lets make this viral. Call your friends and family, Forward this email, text, myspace, facebook, twitter, whatever you can do to help spread the word.

Visalia D-Day Action will be Tuesday 26th at 6:00pm at the Visalia Courthouse. For more info go to: or to find more locations go to:

And You Don’t want to miss what could be the biggest marriage equality action in the Central Valley. Please join supporters from all over the state for “Meet In THe Middle 4 Equality” on Saturday May 30th at Fresno City Hall at 1:00pm. For more info go to:

Visit the Tulare County Chapter and Join MEUSA Today!… Read the rest

Breaking News – Prop 8 Ruling Imminent

This in from the California Supreme Court notification service:

Case: S168047, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD): 2009-05-22
Event Description: Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
For more information on this case, go to:… Read the rest

Portia Rossi is Sorry

After listening to Rossi’s mea culpa, I understand now what the Porterville City Council was thinking -hey City Council are you too ashamed of your resolution  to even bother to make sure it is posted prominently for all the public you represent to see on the city web site? It is not there at all according to google!

Written about at Daily Kos:

To illustrate just what these burgeoning community organizers are up against, let me share with you an email exchange one of our Central Valley campers had with the Mayor of Porterville, CA – a tiny enclave south of Fresno thatunanimously passed a resolution in support of Prop 8.

This proposition is not an attack on gays, it is just the opposite, it is a reaction to the attack on traditional family marriage that the gay community has started in the quise (sic) of equality and civil rights. Since the 1960’s the gays have been eating the elephant one bite at a time and have made some headways mainly by infiltrating our school system…….

By the way I always love the way that the gay community uses the term Homophobes, this ofcourse was a term made up by the gay activist to lable any and all people that dont(sic) agree with their agenda. Homophobe One that is afraid of homosexuals, how ludicrist (sic) is that. I and those that I speak with are not afraid of homosexuals, we just believe as I have stated before that the sexual acitivity between two men or two women is not in the best interest of society as a whole, just like certain drugs, or crimes that bring harm to society……
Up until the Gnome (sic) was discoverd the gay community insisted that they were born to it, Oopss (sic) there was no conection, so lets (sic) move to plan b, its (sic) a civil rights issue, passed civil unions, still not good enough, lets attack the traditional family marriage.

Read the rest

Jerry Brown: Proposition 8 Should Be Struck Down

The California Supreme Court finds itself center stage this Thursday when it will hear oral arguments on whether it should uphold Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The case touches the heart of our democracy and poses a profound question: can a bare majority of voters strip away an inalienable right through the initiative process? If so, what possible meaning does the word inalienable have?

The state faced a dilemma like this before. In 1964, 65 percent of California voters approved Proposition 14, which would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. Both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts struck down this proposition, concluding that it amounted to an unconstitutional denial of rights.

As California’s Attorney General, I believe the Court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons — because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry.

Read the rest

Which sets a more dangerous legal precedent? (prop 8 related)?

Which of these precedents is more dangerous?

1: A majority vote being able to restrict the freedoms of a minority group.

2: The federal government overriding a majority vote to give those freedoms back.

I was reading somewhere that people wanted the federal government to intervene and try to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Regardless of how you stand on Prop 8, which of these precedents is potentially more harmful to our democracy?

Clearly #1 is more dangerous, because it is the only one contrary to our long history.

I just returned from a local demonstration, and as a featured speaker, I addressed exactly this topic. I spoke for about 15 minutes, but I will give readers the short version here.

Here we go.… Read the rest