Cars honked, people yelled and some threw water bottles at students protesting Proposition 8, the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California.
The University of La Verne’s Rainbow Alliance sponsored the event last Wednesday on the corner of D Street and Bonita Avenue.
The ballot measure was narrowly approved last year by California voters, and then upheld in the state Supreme Court in May.
Members of the La Verne group, which champions rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students, rallied in the streets with signs reading: “Did we vote on your marriage?” and “Marriage is a civil right not a religious one.”
The protesters, who braved the midday heat, seemed prepared for anything.
While some passers-by yelled words of encouragement, others spewed profanity.
“Some people have been really supportive by honking and showing two thumbs up, but others have been really bad,” said Natasha Velasco, a senior theater major. “A lady flipped us off even when her small child was in the car. That just shocks me.”
Rainbow Alliance members felt they had to get out and protest this discriminatory law.
Some recalled the day Proposition 8 was passed, and how upsetting it was for them.
“I remember getting angry because I deserve to get married one day, but I have not lost hope,” said Kevin Greene, a sophomore theater major.
“When Proposition 8 passed I felt bad,” said Travis Snyder-Eaton, a freshman theater major. “I’m a bisexual and my brother is gay. Many good friends of mine are gay and we all deserve to be happy.”
Faculty also showed up to show their support for gay marriage. Cynthia Giaimo-Ballard, assistant professor of education and faculty adviser for the Rainbow Alliance, said she feels sad that Proposition 8 is state law, though she was encouraged by the student protesters.
“This reminds me of the civil rights movement, many working together to achieve a right that they deserve to have,” Giaimo-Ballard said. “I feel that faculty should come and show support.”
The Rainbow Alliance has decided to make the protest once a month.
Rainbow Alliance President Anastasia Lomas said she wants visibility on campus.
“Last year the alliance was inactive, but I want people and students to know that we are here to stay,” said, Lomas a junior psychology major. “It is a safe an open environment where you can come and share experiences.”
Lomas added that the group has many events coming up, including movie nights and game nights. All are welcome, regardless of sexual orientation.
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Julissa Cardenas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.