It's About Partnership

In response to passage earlier this year of Proposition 22 which banned “Gay Marriage” in the State of California, this year’s San Francisco Pride Celebration will include a domestic partner commitment ceremony as part of San Francisco’s domestic partner registration to be conducted from the Main Stage at 1 pm on Saturday June 24 by Mayor Willie Brown and Assemblymember Carole Migden.

Migden is the author of the State’s domestic partnership legislation, AB26, which Governor Gray Davis signed into law earlier this year. The inclusion of the ceremony into the Pride festivities is an opportunity to draw attention to the inequality which exists and to honor the same sex partnerships of around 100 couples who will take to the Main Stage and recite their vows to one another.

Pride President Calvin Gipson said: "It is important for us to continue to stand for our right to marry. Domestic Partnerships in the state of California is a powerful step towards that right and Pride is a tremendous opportunity for people to make both a political statement as well as a public expression of their love."

The ceremony also hopes to inspire couples to register their partnerships at the State level and demonstrate the need for the registry. Migden hopes that over 50,000 couples will register their partnerships with the State of California by the end of the year and said: “The registry affirms the legitimacy and sincerity of lesbian and gay families and corrects long-standing shortcomings in the law. With this new law to extend concrete benefits to lesbians, gays and senior citizens, California takes a quantum step toward equality and fairness for all people. The registration ceremony taking place on Pride Weekend will be a celebration of this newly established affirmation and will increase our constituency as we strive to increase the benefits enjoyed by these committed families. I couldn’t think of a better time to celebrate our efforts for equality.”

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) will sponsor a booth at the celebration next to the PFLAG booth at Larkin and McAllister. The booth will be staffed by a Notary Public on Saturday and Sunday so couples can register on the spot by completing the application form and paying the $10 filing fee charged by the State.

Julia Thoron of PFLAG said: “PFLAG is committed to legal recognition of our children's relationships. We hope everyone registers now to show our legislators how important it is to expand partnership rights.”

The Official Saturday night Party for Pride Weekend, ReUNION@CityHall, is dedicating 50% of this year's net proceeds to assist with the effort.

Event Producer, Don Spradlin, said: "Our volunteers will be staffing the entrance gates at Sunday's Pride Festival to register both voters and domestic partners during this year's event. In addition, we plan to train and provide transportation for notaries to attend other Pride events around the state to register additional domestic partners."

Couples who wish to take part in the ceremony (time 1.00 pm) should contact Eric Potashner at Assemblywoman Migden’s office by telephoning (415) 557 300 or emailing eric.potashner@asm.ca.gov.

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at 415.864.0831