Bay Area Reacts to the Same-Sex Marriage Supreme Court Decision

Starting at 7 a.m. thousands of people poured out into the streets to celebrate -- and some to protest -- the Supreme Court's decision to overturn same-sex marriage bans on Friday.

The Trans March began in Dolores Park.
The Trans March began in Dolores Park. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

Hundreds of people walked from Dolores Park at San Francisco's Trans March.

Three children march with their mother.
Three children march with their mother. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

Sabina, Amia and Nevavah shout during the Trans March. Their mom says that transgender equality is an important issue in their family.

The party continues after the Trans March.
The party continues after the Trans March. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

A group takes a cable car downtown after the Trans March.

17th and Market was electric as the crowd began to swell for the night's festivities.

Tourists joined locals in celebrating the Supreme Court's decision (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Tourists joined locals in celebrating the Supreme Court's decision. From left: Gina DeNoble, Jennifer Bunnell, Rachel Cortes, and Matthew Taylor (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"We're on a gay road trip through California. We just came out of Yosemite with no cell reception and were like woah, marriage equality! We were looking at bears yesterday. This is awesome!" -- Matthew Taylor (far right), from Australia

Walter Gaylor had an ecstatic message for everyone within earshot (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Walter Gaylor had an ecstatic message for everyone within earshot (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"Love, peace, happiness, joy, multiple organisms, and equality! For all 50 states, and all of humanity!" – Walter Gaylord

These two friends are visiting from San Diego (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
These two friends are visiting from San Diego (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"It's about damn time, America! But I'm afraid this will make hateful people worse. I'm worried you will see more protesters than usual at the pride parade. -- Maurice Egan (right) and Marco Bullock from San Diego

Lisa Cacari Stone and Roberta Duran are visiting from New Mexico (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Lisa Cacari Stone and Roberta Duran are visiting from New Mexico (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"We're part of the Sandoval 64 -- we were married in 2004 when our county clerk issued marriage licenses for a short time. We were in limbo until last winter. I can't believe we're seeing this in our lifetime. But it's a sweet sorrow today because with the funeral in Charleston -- we're still killing people if you're visibly gay or black." -- Lisa Cacari Stone (left) and partner of 20 years Roberta Duran, from New Mexico.

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Kate Kendell, who leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has been at the forefront of this political and legal movement. She spoke to KQED's Tara Siler, "I want to harness this momentum. Economic inequality still festers, racism is still corrosive and in so many places in this country. LGBT people are in every community and we are impacted by inequality."

Some Castro dignitaries joined the celebration (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Some Castro dignitaries joined the celebration (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

I'm the creator of the rainbow flag-- Google it! -- Gilbert Baker

“I began the day by weeping,” Cleve Jones, AIDS activist and former adviser to Harvey Milk, told KQED's Tara Siler. "I got up at 7:02 a.m. and turned on the computer and totally lost it. I’m 60 years old and I did not think I would live to see this day. I’m so very grateful to be alive, but I also remember all of my wonderful friends and comrades who didn’t live long enough to see this day. So they’re very much with me and my thoughts, and they’ll be with us tonight as we party and dance on Castro Street."

-- Earlier --

Hundreds gathered outside San Francisco's City Hall Friday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on same-sex marriage nationally.

Elected officials spoke at a press conference outside San Francisco City Hall.
Elected officials spoke at a press conference outside San Francisco City Hall. (Nicole Reinert/KQED)

"What a wonderful day," said San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Reflecting on "where we were 11 years ago, and the challenges we knew we were going to face," Herrera said, "We've had a lot of ups, we've had some downs. But all of us collectively never ever wavered in doing what was right."

Herrera added that he believes there is more work to be done to end discriminatory practices against same-sex couples. "This is another brick in the wall of equality," he said. "But there is still discrimination we have to fight."

“Today, San Francisco’s values become America’s values,” said State Senator Mark Leno (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
“Today, San Francisco’s values become America’s values,” said state Sen. Mark Leno. (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

State Sen. Mark Leno hailed the U.S. Supreme Court decision as a milestone, saying, "Today, San Francisco's values become America's values."

Yet he echoed the sentiment that there is more to be done. "How can you get married this morning and get fired this afternoon, because of the gender of your spouse?" he asked.

"Time and time again, this community has said, 'Hell no, we're not going anywhere,' " said Supervisor Scott Wiener. "Today we win again. It's a giant step forward, but our work isn't done."

Supervisor David Campos linked the battle for marriage equality to broader social justice issues. "Forty percent of our homeless are queer," he said. "It's not just legal equality, but socioeconomic equality for everyone in the community."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, standing in front of City Hall Friday, was mayor in 2004 when he ordered the San Francisco county clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses, which was against state law  (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, standing in front of City Hall Friday, was mayor in 2004 when he ordered the San Francisco county clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses, which was against state law  (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"Today is the antidote to cynicism," said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco.

"Had it not been for all of you and millions and millions of conversations that were held and won, there would be no Supreme Court decision like the one held today."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee praised the decision. “Never have we been more committed, and more united, as a city and a nation, behind marriage equality in our country," he said.

Meanwhile, same-sex couples were up early to celebrate.

San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall (Jeremy Raff/KQED)

"They're vintage shirts, from 2004. In 2000, at our first marriage, the minister refused to sign any marriage licenses, gay or straight, until we could all get married. (It was) at the Unitarian Church on Franklin where we first met. We've been together 35 years. Over time you become less of just one person and more of a couple. And the communication develops." -- Don Williams (left) and David Jones

Beatrice and Jennifer Deavers were spotted waiting outside Orphan Andy's restaurant, with their 1-year-old daughter.
Beatrice and Jennifer Deavers were spotted waiting outside Orphan Andy's restaurant, with their 1-year-old daughter. (Bryan Goebel/KQED)

"It's eight years living in the closet, it's having to deliver in D.C. because I couldn't be in Virginia because we couldn't both be on the birth certificate of my daughter. A lot of shackles have been opened up and released today, you know? I now will never, ever doubt whether or not I should hold my wife's hand when I walk down the sidewalk in any street, across this nation. It's a big deal, it's a big deal. I don't think I've actually processed everything that's been happening just in the last few hours when this got released. I'm thankful to those little interns that were running back and forth across the marble steps of the Supreme Court to deliver this news. They have no idea what they've probably just did for all of us, so it was great. " -- Jennifer Deavers with wife Beatrice

San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall (Jeremy Raff/KQED)

"I work a few blocks from here at at St. Anthony's. I mean, I knew this would happen, but once it becomes reality, I just have chills. I've been dating someone for five months. The conversation about the future changes. And he's my strongest relationship so far, so for this to happen in the country at large, it just feels really personal." -- Karl Robillard

"It's amazing," said Jackie Omotalade, who lives in the Mission District (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
"It's amazing," said Jackie Omotalade, who lives in the Mission District. (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"I can go get married in Alabama now. It's just amazing to think about. I never thought I'd be able to do that in a true red state." - Jackie Omotalade

Gary Mendleson and David Varela have been together four years. When they heard the news this morning, they got engaged (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Gary Mendleson and David Varela have been together four years. When they heard the news this morning, they got engaged. (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"I'm Gary Mendleson, soon to be Mendleson-Varela. Or the other way around, we haven't decided. We just got engaged this morning after it was announced!" - Gary Mendleson, right

Alex Morrison from Berkeley is thrilled, but says there is more work to be done (Jeremy Raff/KQED).
Alex Morrison from Berkeley is thrilled, but says there is more work to be done (Jeremy Raff/KQED).

"We've got to work on the racism and homophobia in this country. There are going to be hate crimes in other places in reaction to this. We're insulated in the Bay Area." -- Alex Morrison

Protesters in Berkeley wave a sign opposing same-sex marriage.
Protesters in Berkeley wave a sign opposing same-sex marriage. (Alan Toth/KQED)

But not everyone was excited about the decision. Protesters were spotted standing on the Berkeley pedestrian bridge over Interstate 80, waving signs opposing same-sex marriage.

KQED also caught up with Californians in Washington, D.C., who went to the Supreme Court after the ruling.

Nick Neese attends UC Santa Cruz.
Nick Neese attends UC Santa Cruz. (Rachael Bale/KQED)

"I was really nervous because if they kept the ban I wouldn't be able to get married, so it was really crucial that this was going to happen. My roommate actually sent me a text that said 'marriage is happening.' I got really excited and then I just stared at my screen to be sure it was true. And then I left work. I told everyone I was leaving and I rushed over here, and I still can't even believe it happened. I'm still in a little bit of a shock, I haven't gotten my full cry on, but I will later." -- Nick Neese from Santa Cruz

Ashelen Vicuña from Stockton at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ashelen Vicuña from Stockton at the U.S. Supreme Court. (Rachael Bale/KQED)

"I'm here supporting a great ruling that should have been passed years and years ago and we still have a long way to go, especially with LGBTQ, but at least it's a good step forward. The 5-4 is a little discouraging, I wish it was more but we'll take what we can get and hope that we can continue fighting for even more equality broadening." -- Ashelen Vicuña from Stockton

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Jeremy Raff, Deborah Svoboda, Bryan Goebel, Nicole Reinert and Rachael Bale contributed to this report. Felix Berzabal shot video.