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Gay marriage supporters head to Fresno for Prop. 8 rally

May 30, 2009 | 10:43 am

Streams of cars are headed north on the 5 Freeway this morning, sporting banners saying “Equality Now,” as supporters of same-sex marriage travel to Fresno for a 1 p.m. rally to kick off a renewed campaign to win back the right to marry in California.

Many of the cars are flying rainbow flags from their windows as a symbol of unity. Organizers are calling the rally “Meet in the Middle.” They chose Fresno as a rally site because voters there backed Proposition 8 by more than 2 to 1 and will be crucial to the new campaign. Organizers could seek to put the issue back on the ballot next year.

A march from the nearby town of Selma to Fresno was planned before the rally. But even as the activists road-tripped from Los Angeles and San Francisco into the heat of the Central Valley, their work would not go unchallenged.

On Friday afternoon, the ProtectMarriage committee, which organized the Yes on 8 campaign, announced what amounted to a counter-protest — a “Celebration of Marriage,” to be held Sunday in Fresno and San Diego.

-- Jessica Garrison

Interact140 Interactive map of milestones in the gay marriage battle and how state laws have changed since 2000.