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Bay Area Rallies Planned For Prop. 8, DOMA Decisions

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Same-sex marriage supporters outside the California Supreme Court building in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Same-sex marriage supporters outside the California Supreme Court building in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to release its Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act rulings on Wednesday, rallies are planned all over the Bay Area from Concord to San Jose City Hall in support of same-sex marriage rights.

Here’s a look at the events scheduled….

Rally: San Francisco’s Castro District at 6:30 PM

On what is dubbed “decision day,” a group will gather at Castro and Market streets in San Francisco’s Castro District at 6:30 p.m.

Marriage Equality USA spokesman Billy Bradford said preparations were underway for a rally and potential celebration, including two stages for music and speeches. Meanwhile, church leaders planned to hold a news conference from Grace Cathedral.

Police had been notified about the event and were expecting a spontaneous gathering.

Bradford said the celebratory mood could be soured, however, depending on the content of the rulings. He said those attending may have to “temper our joy. Our work here isn’t done.”

News Conference & Community Gathering: San Francisco City Hall, approx. 7AM

John Lewis from Marriage Equality USA said he will also join city leaders and gay couples in San Francisco’s City Hall Rotunda shortly after the opinion comes out Wednesday morning for what’s hoped to be a public celebration.

“We like thousands of other people will be right at our computer to find out the very instant that that decision comes down. Soon thereafter the city of San Francisco is hosting a community gathering for anybody and everybody to come to City Hall,” he told KCBS.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is expected to speak at the city Hall event.

Meantime, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera will be holding a news conference at 7:30 a.m. following the Supreme Court’s announcement.

Herrera’s news conference will take place on the steps of City Hall, where Herrera and Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart will discuss the possible legal repercussions of the decision, as well as plans for how the city could handle a potential flurry of same-sex weddings.

Daly City resident Thom Watson, who has been with his partner Jeff Tabaco for 10 years, said he will be watching closely at home before heading to San Francisco City Hall for what he considers a historic moment.

He said he hasn’t been sleeping well waiting for the high court’s decision and has been analyzing what various potential rulings could mean for marriage equality.

“We’re in a constant state of fatigue mixed with excitement,” he said.

Evan Costner, who organized the annual Berkeley Pride celebration that took place in that city on Monday evening, said a contingent from the Berkeley area is ready to “flock to San Francisco and rally there.”

He said Berkeley’s pride planning committee had hoped that the Supreme Court would issue a ruling on Monday in time for the annual festival, which had the timely theme, “First comes love, then comes marriage…”

Rally: San Jose City Hall at 6 PM

In other parts of the Bay Area, various groups are ready to spring into action once they hear the ruling, including the local LGBT activist group Hearts on Silicon Valley, which is planning to meet at San Jose City Hall at 6 p.m.

Organizers of that event posted on Facebook that there will be speakers and live music at the community gathering at City Hall, which is located at 200 E. Santa Clara Street.

Rally: Oakland at 5:30 PM

Oakland community groups have plans for a celebration at 5:30 p.m. at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue, with participants convening at that intersection before moving on to dance parties at nearby bars and clubs.

Rally: Concord’s Rainbow Community Center at 6:30 PM

In Concord, at 6:30 p.m. celebration complete with champagne is planned at the Rainbow Community Center, located 2118 Willow Pass Road.

Other events were in the works in Mountain View, Redwood City, Santa Cruz, Vallejo, Fairfield, Guerneville and Healdsburg.

Proposition 8’s backers and proponents had no public events or rallies planned and declined to speak with KCBS in advance, but they will hold a news conference on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court as will the gay couples who sued to overturn the marriage ban.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. Bay City News contributed to this report. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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