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Prop. 8: West Hollywood demonstrators meet court ruling with low-key protest

May 26, 2009 |  9:18 pm

The general mood among gay rights protesters in West Hollywood tonight was disappointment, although many demonstrators said they expected the Supreme Court to rule as it did Tuesday.
“I was not extremely surprised,” said Abby Posner, 25, a musician. “The reality is I don’t think that this is the time for [the law] to change. It will, eventually.”

As marchers gathered at San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards, they spread out across the streets, holding signs aloft. They came with their dogs. Some were on bicycles. There was some chanting—“What do we want?” “Equal rights!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”

If it were not for their protest signs an observer might have mistaken the gathering for a street festival. Steve Whitmore, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, estimated the crowd at no more than 1,000 people. No arrests were reported.

Most of those who gathered in West Hollywood spoke about focusing their effort on getting Proposition 8 repealed by 2010. Posner, who is a lesbian, was joined by three of her straight women friends, one of whom, Denise Arias, carried a sign that declared, “NEXT TIME, CAN I VOTE ON YOUR MARRIAGE?”

Not everyone there was gay. Actress Drew Barrymore attracted crowds around her at the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente.  “I am who I am because of the people who influenced me growing up, and many of them were gay. No one has any right to tell anyone what makes a family,” Barrymore said.

The actress, who is straight, said she came to the event because the issue meant a lot to her. “You choose your battles in this world,” she said. “If you fight for everything, you’re just someone on a soapbox. This is something that means everything to me.”

On a raised stage in the middle of San Vicente Boulevard, across from the Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who is gay, spoke to the crowd, saying he was “angry and outraged” at the Supreme Court decision.

-- Carla Hall