“Marry Us or Jail Us” Dare Same-Sex Marriage Equality Activists

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LGBTQ Protestors Take Up Civil Disobedience and Risk Arrest 

Los Angeles, California, May 26, 2009 --An estimated 500 people (many of them high school youth) participated in a passionate protest organized by Latinos for Equality Alliance of East Los Angeles reacting to this morning’s announcement of the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow Proposition 8 (the gay marriage equality referendum) to stand as law. 

Eight LGBTQ activists, taking their fight for Same-Sex Marriage Equality to a new tactical level, entered the County Recorder Marriage License office to request marriage licenses and, when they were denied, they blocked heterosexual applicants from obtaining licenses and shut down the building refusing to leave. 

Using non-violent resistance tactics of civil obedience the LGBTQ community has not used in recent years, Jeanne Cordova and her partner Lynn Harris Ballen, Susan Forrest and her partner Talia Bettcher, as well as activists Professor Jacob Hale and Tony Espinosa were prepared to be arrested. 

These LGBTQ demonstrators (all members of the “Marry Us Or Jail Us” Action Alliance (MUJU) occupied the building for three hours. They blocked the office from issuing marriage licenses to heterosexual couples. 

Having made their point, they pledged their commitment to Same-Sex Marriage Equality and to civil disobedience. 

Lynn Harris Ballen, said, “We’ve faced numerous discriminations as a couple. When Jeanne had colon cancer last year, I had to fight with hospital personnel to be treated as next of kin. We’ve been together for twenty years and simply want the same rights and protections as any other committed couple in California.”