S.F., region prepares for Prop. 8 ruling 

click to enlarge Proposition 8 plaintiffs
  • AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
  • From second from left: Attorney Ted Olson; Proposition 8 plaintiffs Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami; attorney David Boies, co-lead counsel of the legal team challenging California's same-sex marriage ban; and plaintiffs Sandy Stier and Kris Perry walk out of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2013. The Supreme Court has 11 cases, including the term's highest profile matters, to resolve before the justices take off for summer vacations, teaching assignments and international travel.

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to release its Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act rulings on Wednesday, rallies are planned all over the Bay Area in support of same-sex marriage rights.

The doors of San Francisco City Hall will open early, at 6:30 a.m., and a live viewing of the ruling - followed by an event in the rotunda with Mayor Ed Lee, members of the Board of Supervisors and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom - is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and his staff are scheduled to hold a legal briefing on the steps of City Hall shortly after the ruling. Herrera and Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart will discuss the possible legal repercussions of the decision, as well as plans for how the city could handle a potential flurry of same-sex weddings.

Later in the evening, a group will gather at Castro and Market streets in San Francisco's Castro District at 6:30 p.m.

Marriage Equality USA spokesman Billy Bradford said preparations are under way for a rally and potential celebration, including two stages for music and speeches. Police have been notified about the event.

He said the celebratory mood could be soured, however, depending on the content of the rulings. Bradford said those attending may have to "temper our joy. Our work here isn't done."

Daly City resident Thom Watson, who has been with his partner Jeff Tabaco for 10 years, said he will be watching closely at home before heading to San Francisco City Hall for what he considers a historic moment.

He said he hasn't been sleeping well waiting for the high court's decision and has been analyzing what various potential rulings could mean for marriage equality.

"We're in a constant state of fatigue mixed with excitement," he said.

Evan Costner, who organized the annual Berkeley Pride celebration that took place in that city on Monday evening, said a contingent from the Berkeley area is ready to "flock to San Francisco and rally there."

He said Berkeley's pride planning committee had hoped that the Supreme Court would issue a ruling on Monday in time for the annual festival, which had the timely theme, "First comes love, then comes marriage..."

In other parts of the Bay Area, various groups are ready to spring into action once they hear the ruling, including the local LGBT activist group Hearts on Silicon Valley, which is planning to meet at San Jose City Hall at 6 p.m.

Organizers of that event posted on Facebook that there will be speakers and live music at the community gathering at City Hall, which is located at 200 E. Santa Clara St.

Oakland community groups have plans for a celebration at 5:30 p.m. at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue, with participants convening at that intersection before moving on to dance parties at nearby bars and clubs.

In Concord, a 6:30 p.m. celebration complete with champagne is planned at the Rainbow Community Center, located 2118 Willow Pass Road.

Other events are in the works in Mountain View, Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Vallejo, Fairfield, Guerneville and Healdsburg.

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