Same-Sex Marriage Activists Demonstrate in Silver Lake

LOS ANGELES -- Activists unhappy with Tuesday's vote to ban same-sex marriages planned to team up with members of the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition Saturday for a demonstration in Silver Lake.

The full name of the A.N.S.W.E.R coalition, which formed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack, is "Act Now to Stop War & End Racism."

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Among the scheduled speakers are Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, a lesbian couple whose lawsuit led the California Supreme Court to rule in May that denying same-sex couples the right to get married was tantamount to discrimination.

About 18,000 couples got married over the summer but, on Tuesday, voters approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That prompted county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples the next day.

Tyler and Olson had their attorney, Gloria Allred, file a writ with the high court Wednesday, challenging the voter-approved initiative, and throngs of demonstrators have clogged streets each night since.

In Long Beach, about 15 people were arrested Friday night for failing to disperse in response to police trying to break up a demonstration, and handful of demonstrators were arrested in Hollywood and Westwood on Wednesday and Thursday.

About 2,000 demonstrators massed in front of the Mormon temple in West Los Angeles Thursday evening to protest the church's support of Proposition 8.

State law recognizes civil unions between gays and lesbians. Such unions accord individuals with virtually the same rights as a "married" person, but activists want there to be no distinction.

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