LGBT PINOYS RALLY BEFORE SUPREME COURT HEARINGS

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 25, 2013

LOS ANGELES–Just days before what may be the biggest week in the marriage equality movement, the lesbian gay bisexual transgender and queer community held a protest outside the Los Angeles City Hall hoping that the US Supreme Court would strike down a pair of same sex marriage bans.

Filipinos representing several LGBT groups were among the hundreds that rallied.

“I feel this isn’t something we should think about. It should be a normal daily life like any other person. I hate feeling like a second class citizen,” explained Jason Verdadero of Marriage Equality California.

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments on the voter approved Proposition 8 which rejected same sex marriage in California after it was legalized in the summer of 2008. A California appeals court has ruled the ban unconstitutional and after a series of appeals over the past 5 years, the issue has made its way to the highest court of the land.

For partners Jun and Mark Mendoza a repeal of the ban would mean they can finally tie the knot legally after 8 long years.

“It’s very important for us to be sure that it passes that it’ll be approved that they can defeat Proposition 8,” said Mendoza.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will also hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The law has kept legally married gay Americans from collecting various federal benefits that are generally available to married people.

Army Cachero was one of the thousands married in San Francisco in 2004 after former Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed gay couples to wed as a protest against this law.

“So many people who are in love deserve equal rights and if there 1,136 privileges that heterosexual couples get and it’s not right,” said the API Equality member.

Only 9 states and the District of Columbia allow same sex partners to wed. Lawyers against Proposition 8 will ask the Supreme Court to allow same sex marriages in all states while lawyers defending Proposition 8 will argue that the Supreme Court cannot override the voter approved ban and will also ask the justices to redefine marriage in the 40 states that do not allow same sex marriage.

Contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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