UPDATE: It’s a celebration! Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional! Rally at 7 in Santa Ana.

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UPDATE 12 noon:
Judge Vaughn Walker just released his decision, ruling that PROP 8 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! More update at bottom!

(Press release from Church of the Foothills)

Today, Wednesday August 4th, US District Judge Vaughn Walker will release his ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 banning marriage for same-gender couples. Church of the Foothills is pleased to be joining a wide array of community groups from all parts of Orange County for a “Fairness for ALL Families” rally, scheduled for 7 PM. It will be held in Sasscer Park, across the street from the Federal Building and Courthouse in Downtown Santa Ana. Whether it will be a protest or celebration remains to be seen.

The pastor of Church of the Foothills, Mike Holland, who was voted by readers of the OC Weekly as the Best Political Pastor in Orange County, noted his excitement at the church’s involvement in the rally. “Our congregation has long been a champion of peace and justice issues, and a firm supporter of marriage equality. It is time that the state recognize that all people are worthy of full equal treatment under the law.”

Church member Kergan Edwards-Stout, who is raising two sons with partner Russ Noe, is anxiously awaiting the court decision. “The inequities that are placed on our family are truly astounding,” said Edwards-Stout. “I teach our kids to follow the golden rule, and it is disheartening to have to explain that the government doesn’t treat everyone equally under the law.” He continues, “During the Prop 8 trial, I kept hearing people say that they were trying to protect the children, and I wondered, who is protecting my children?” As domestic partnership laws don’t provide the same legal rights as marriage, Edwards-Stout is concerned about his family’s future. “Our kids deserve the same rights as everyone else’s, with equality in medical insurance coverage, survivor benefits, and other rights that most families take for granted.”

“Fairness for ALL Families” is being organized by the Orange County Equality Coalition and many other community organizations. It will feature speakers and entertainment, as well as representatives from local groups providing information on how to get involved in the fight for equality. “I hope everyone comes out for this momentous decision,” said Holland. “This is a terrific opportunity to join the fight for equal rights for all.”

To learn more about the event, please visit:



More Update! from the Courage Campaign:

Judge Walker’s federal court decision is an historic milestone in the fight for full equality, but it is only a first step: The decision will inevitably be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After denying Americans the opportunity to watch this historic trial on television, Prop 8 campaign leaders and extreme right-wing organizations like the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family will stop at nothing to delegitimize this decision before it ever reaches the Supreme Court.

But this time, we’re fighting back by launching our biggest campaign ever — an unprecedented online storytelling project to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of the American people and transform the debate over marriage equality.

As the next phase in our year-long “Testimony: Equality on Trial” project, our new campaign will empower same-sex couples, their families, and allies to fundamentally change the conversation about same-sex marriage in America — establishing today’s ruling as the social and cultural foundation for victory in the Supreme Court.

To defend Judge Walker’s historic decision, we need to go on offense against the Prop 8 campaign, NOM and Focus on the Family. That’s why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist, just married last year, have pledged to contribute $25,000 if our community can match it in the next 48 hours. Will you help us make the match and defend Judge Walker’s decision in the court of public opinion? Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or more right now! DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:


Ted Olson, the legendary attorney who teamed up with one-time adversary David Boies to successfully lead this case against Prop 8, said it better than anyone:

“If there was ever a trial in the history of our country that the American people should have seen, it was this one.”

I couldn’t agree more. To prevent the right-wing from spouting the same lies that were debunked and destroyed in Judge Walker’s courtroom, we must translate today’s victory in court to victory in the hearts and minds of Americans.

That’s why we collected nearly 140,000 signatures to televise the Prop 8 trial — a campaign cited in a dissenting opinion to the the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision against broadcast. It’s also why we launched the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and the NOM Tour Tracker — generating more than 2.5 million views and 44,121 comments combined. And it’s why we are bringing this trial to life across America with the next phase of Testimony: Equality on Trial.

Today’s historic decision must be defended in the court of public opinion. That’s why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist have stepped up to make a $25,000 matching grant challenge to the Courage community so we can fight back together against the right-wing’s framing of this trial, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But we need your help now to make the match in the next 48 hours. Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:


Thank you for all you have done to make today’s victory possible. With your ongoing support, full equality will eventually be the law of the land.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.