Boystown Irked by Calif. Gay Marriage Ban

Illinois civil union measure advances

The California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8, which amended the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, prompted Chicago's gay community and its supporters to speak out against the ruling.  And closer to home, an Illinois House committee advanced a measure that would make the state the sixth to allow civil unions.

Gay rights activists gathered at the Center on Halsted around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Check out these photos of the event.

Another protest was scheduled in downtown Champaign

"If anything, this decision in California will unite our community to continue this movement," said Modesto Tico Valle, the center's Executive Director. "Very much like the civil rights movement, it wasn't won overnight, it was an ongoing struggle. This is one that we all need to keep in front of us and know that it's not going to be won overnight."

The court deliberated for three months on Prop 8. At issue was whether the amendment was put on the ballot properly, and what would happen to the thousands of gay and lesbian couples who got married legally before the ban was passed.

The court ruled the estimated 18,000 couples will be able to stay married.

Cynthia and Francis Nicholson, two women who married during the brief period when same-sex marriages were legal in California, appeared on CNN with their daughter.  They said the ruling "sucks," even though their marriage will stand.

"We don't want to be the only one," Francis Nicholson said.  "You have no idea how much difference it made to not refer to each other as partners, as a separate kind of unit, but to talk about each other as married.  When people would say to me, 'So, are you married?' and I would say, 'Well, you know, sort of.'  But to say "Yes!' It's amazing the difference that made."

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