I spoke with David of Redding, an organizer of a demonstration along Cypress Avenue Tuesday night. (He asked that we not use his last name, out of respect for his parents’ privacy.)
Q: We saw people holding signs, balloons and candles along Cypress Avenue Tuesday. What was that all about?
We had a peaceful meeting to discuss the day’s events and then headed over to City Hall for a Candlelight Vigil. There were LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) community members as well as our allies who support equal rights for all. We had about 40 in attendance.
Q: Who organized the event, and why?
It was organized by the NorCal OUTreach Project (an LGBT community center group formed early last year), PFLAG (Parents, Friends/Family of Lesbian and Gays Support Group), Planned Parenthood, as well as community members to raise awareness of the issue.
Q: What kinds of reactions did your group encounter last night?
For the most part, reactions from our local community were very positive! There of course is opposition and they were heard as well but I’m very encouraged that Redding is growing in support of our rights. It’s been a long process but we have hope.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I moved to Redding in 1993 from the San Francisco Bay Area. I am HIV positive and active with the local HIV/AIDS Food Bank as well as the NorCal OUTreach Project. I became active in the Redding community a few years ago because I saw a need to support LGBT and HIV related issues.
Q: What are your thoughts about Tuesday’s California Supreme Court ruling, where it upheld the ban on same-sex marriages?
We are of course disappointed with the courts decision to uphold proposition 8 but are thrilled that they upheld the more than 18,000 marriages performed before proposition 8 was passed. The plan is to raise the issue again with the 2010 elections. We are not done fighting for the basic rights afforded to citizens of this great country.
Q: Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our fight for equal rights! The only way we are going to achieve these goals is by encouraging individuals to come out for these events, educate the public, and get out to the polls on Election Day.