Students gathered near UCSB’s Storke Plaza last night in reaction to legislation passed in Maine and Washington State regarding same sex marriage.
Voters in Maine repealed the state’s law legalizing same sex marriage, making it the third state in the nation — along with Hawaii and California — to take marriage equality off the books this year. On the West Coast however, voters in Washington passed Referendum 71, enabling same sex couples to legally join in marriage in the Evergreen state.
In the streets of Isla Vista yesterday evening, event-goers assembled to make signs and march toward campus to celebrate victory in the west and protest defeat in the east.
“The event was supposed to be a celebration or a protest and now it’s a little bit of both,” QSU Co-chair Sevasti Travlos, a third-year global studies major, said. “So the community is coming together to make sure the rest of our own community knows that we will not be satisfied until the whole nation has equality.
Just because two states have gained equality, it’s also paralleling with Prop 8. So we’re standing in solidarity with these other states, but haven’t reached full equality and are not going to stop fighting until we have [won].”
The rally — mostly organized by UCSB Queer Student Union political co-chair Urvi Nagrani — was also held to denounce the current standing of Proposition 8 in California, which prevents same-sex marriage in the state.
The passage of Referendum 71 in Washington, in addition to Michigan’s recent passage of a law affirming same-sex marriage, marks points of political progress in the queer rights movement. However, Travlos said the two victories in Michigan and Washington, although ground-breaking, aren’t significant enough.
The QSU sent several students to Maine to campaign for marriage equality, QSU member Abrahan Monzon said, and also sent 16 members to Washington, D.C. in early October to participate in the National Equality March.
“This coming weekend, eight people are going to Sacramento for Camp Courage — an organization that was inspired by Prop 8,” Monzon said. “We want to bring the campaign to the central coast.”