Monday, February 09, 2009

Same-sex couples in San Diego County to engage in national marriage counter actions

San Diego, CA – Local same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at the County Clerk’s Office on National Freedom to Marry Day, as part of planned action co-sponsored by the Marriage Equality USA San Diego (MEUSASD) the San Diego Equality Campaign (SDEC). The event will take place on Thursday, February 12, 2009 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. The County Clerk’s Office is located within the San Diego County Administration Building complex at 1600 Pacific Highway in Downtown.

At local marriage counters in cities all over the country, same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at their local County Clerk’s Offices to raise awareness of the harms and impact the inability to marry causes on their families. In San Diego County, an additional action will occur in the northern part of the county at the County Clerk’s San Marcos Branch Office at 141 East Carmel Street. Couples will request marriage licenses from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at this location.

Since 2001, Marriage Equality USA chapters have engaged in the annual Freedom to Marry Day actions to raise visibility of the discrimination that is enforced every day by various state and national legislation banning same-sex marriage. “These discriminatory pieces of legislation are an affront to our basic dignity of fellow human beings when same-sex couples are away from the marriage counter. It does, however, give us the opportunity to tell our stories and show that we live in every community and want to honor and protect our families like everyone else,” said Fernando Z. Lopez MEUSA-SD Chapter Leader. According to Brooks, “Marriage discrimination is wrong and harms real-life families. All Americans deserve equal treatment under the law. The time has come.”

“There are already 18,000 same-sex couples married in California. We want to honor those marriages and encourage the California Supreme Court to extend this opportunity to others who wish to marry, but will once again be turned away until Proposition 8 is voided.” said Lopez. “Faith leaders continue to marry same-sex and straight couples while our government continues to deny us equality in civil marriage law. This is nothing less than a blatant denial of our fundamental right to religious freedom that we as Americans should all enjoy.”

“Whether we are married, in a domestic partnership or civil union, or legal strangers under our particular state law, all same-sex couples are denied the 1,138 federal rights of marriage,” said Sara Beth Brooks, Executive Chair of SDEC and local Join the Impact organizer. “With the support of President Obama and with the growing sea of change towards supporting protections for same-sex couples, we are hopeful that we can finally turn our attention to overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, and work together to uphold the American tradition of fairness and equality by ending marriage discrimination once and for all.”

Straight allies, supportive clergy and married same-sex couples are invited to support the couples seeking licenses. A number of faith leaders will be on site that morning on the lawn of the County Administration Building to marry couples who wish to do so. They will receive a Certificate of Marriage, and be married under the guise of the faith they choose to be wed by.

For a list of marriage counter actions happening across the United States, visit or

Founded in 2000, Marriage Equality USA is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, at the federal and state level, without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation. For more information visit

The San Diego Equality Campaign was organized in response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The organization seeks to promote equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including the right to marry, to be free from discrimination in their workplace, and the right to serve in the armed forces freely and openly, and without prejudice. For more information visit