4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Trial Begins For 8 Arrested in Protest for Same Sex Marriage Rights

Jury selection began this morning for the trial of eight gay rights activists who were arrested in 2010 for blocking access to the county clerk’s office after being denied marriage licenses. California’s Proposition 8, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage, had recently been declared unconstitutional, but a stay on enforcement of the ruling had also been enacted to allow Prop 8 supporters to mount a legal challenge.

Dubbed the “Equality 9” by the LGBT community (one of those charged has since accepted a plea bargain), the defendants are each charged with two misdemeanors: failure to disperse and interference with the business of a public agency. The group’s main argument against conviction, that the sit-in they staged was constitutionally protected free speech, will not be allowed to be presented at trial, according to a statement from the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality.

California Penal Code Section 602.1(b) reads “[a]ny person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”

But Section 602.1(c)(2) provides an exemption for “[a]ny person on the premises who is engaging in activities protected by the California Constitution or the United States Constitution.”

If any of the protesters convicted, the exemption clause figures to play heavily in the appeals process.

“"Why is the city wasting public money and time prosecuting people engaged in peaceful protest for LGBT equality?” asks Jose Medina, an Alliance member. “Peaceful protest is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution.”

The group claims that the city attorney is “issuing subpoenas and flying witnesses in from as far away as Florida” as part of the misdemeanor prosecution.

Opening arguments in the case are expected to begin later this afternoon.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dewey Defeats Truman... again?

Why make a new video for a 20-year-old song?
Next Article

Temple Emanu-El: a wonderful encounter with a homeless man

See what happens when you’re a sarcastic jackass with God?

Jury selection began this morning for the trial of eight gay rights activists who were arrested in 2010 for blocking access to the county clerk’s office after being denied marriage licenses. California’s Proposition 8, which placed a ban on same-sex marriage, had recently been declared unconstitutional, but a stay on enforcement of the ruling had also been enacted to allow Prop 8 supporters to mount a legal challenge.

Dubbed the “Equality 9” by the LGBT community (one of those charged has since accepted a plea bargain), the defendants are each charged with two misdemeanors: failure to disperse and interference with the business of a public agency. The group’s main argument against conviction, that the sit-in they staged was constitutionally protected free speech, will not be allowed to be presented at trial, according to a statement from the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality.

California Penal Code Section 602.1(b) reads “[a]ny person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”

But Section 602.1(c)(2) provides an exemption for “[a]ny person on the premises who is engaging in activities protected by the California Constitution or the United States Constitution.”

If any of the protesters convicted, the exemption clause figures to play heavily in the appeals process.

“"Why is the city wasting public money and time prosecuting people engaged in peaceful protest for LGBT equality?” asks Jose Medina, an Alliance member. “Peaceful protest is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution.”

The group claims that the city attorney is “issuing subpoenas and flying witnesses in from as far away as Florida” as part of the misdemeanor prosecution.

Opening arguments in the case are expected to begin later this afternoon.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
1

“"Why is the city wasting public money and time prosecuting people engaged in peaceful protest for LGBT equality?” asks Jose Medina, an Alliance member. “Peaceful protest is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution.” The group claims that the city attorney is “issuing subpoenas and flying witnesses in from as far away as Florida” as part of the misdemeanor prosecution.

GoldDork, what the hell are you thinking??? 90 days and a $400 fine and you're doing a jury trial??? Get a clue. The City Attorney has better causes-and money- to engage in.

April 30, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close