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Prop. 8 celebration underway in West Hollywood

August 4, 2010 |  6:17 pm

The West Hollywood Park on San Vicente Boulevard started to fill up around 5 p.m., just a few hours after a federal judge ruled that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional.

Celebrators carried signs saying “Equality Now” and waved miniature rainbow flags. Among the participants was Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign Institute, an organizing network that pushes for equality.

“The work is just beginning. We have to change the way people think before it gets to the Supreme Court,” Jacobs said. He said they're working toward that goal with an online project where gays and lesbians can share their stories. “Gay people and lesbians are great parents, partners in marriage and families,” Jacobs said.

Nearby were Bill Vigil, 39, and Bill Steinberg, 38, both elementary school teachers who live in Sherman Oaks. The pair, married in 2008, brought their 20-month-old son Jonah to the park for the rally.

“It’s a huge day for us,” said Vigil, holding the baby. “It’s important to me to be raising a family and be in a state where my family is recognized.” Steinberg said they watched the news on TV. “When Prop. 8 passed we had tears of sadness. Today we had tears of joy,” he said.

The duo donated money and attended rallies in the campaign against Prop. 8. They said they had planned a big wedding ceremony but decided to sneak into “the window of opportunity” and wed at the Beverly Hills courthouse when polls suggested Prop. 8 was passing, Vigil said.

-- Anna Gorman in West Hollywood