CHARGES DROPPED: Equality 9 protesters will not be prosecuted for trespassingTop Highlights, Breaking News Saturday, August 25th, 2012
According to a spokesman for San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME), All charges against a group of marriage-equality activists who spent eight hours in jail for trespassing and blocking operation of a county building – a misdemeanor – after a protest in August of 2010 will be dropped.
The protest was a response to Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional and was organized as a sit-in at the San Diego County Recorder’s office, where marriage licences are issued. However, the group of young protesters who were demonstrating as members of SAME and Canvas for a Cause were arrested for impeding the operations of the county assessor and recorder.
SAME and Canvas for a Cause are closely allied and cooperate in organizing much of the region’s grass-roots protest activity in support of LGBT equality.
LGBT Weekly has not been able to confirm from the city attorney’s office that all charges have been or will be dropped. But at least one independent source has confirmed the announcement made late Friday by SAME’s Zakiya Khabir.
“Too often prosecutors bully innocent defendants into taking bad plea deals. I’m in awe of support we received from the community and our legal team,” said Khabir. “Without them it would have been easier to give in to (City Attorney Jan) Goldsmith’s intimidation.
If past efforts are any indication, the Equality 9 and their peers will not likely be resting on their laurels after winning the two-year battle to get the charges sheriff’s deputies levied against them back in 2010. Then, many in the LGBT community were frustrated by the slowness of change and the grinding Proposition 8 legal battles. Today, with momentum seeming to be on the side of marriage equality; at least of the nine is already planning his next move toward making it a reality.
“Now we can spend more of our energy fighting for civil rights for all LGBT people so no person is turned away from a government office on the basis of gender or sexual orientation,” said Khabir in a statement.
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