By R. Anthony Diaz |Staff Writer|
Most people have always thought of California as one, if not the most liberal state in the United States. The near past has proven us otherwise.
On July 24, 2011, the state of New York proudly legalized gay marriage making it the seventh state to give homosexual couples equal rights to wed.
I recently went to the Castro in San Francisco to get a feel first-hand of how the legalization in New York affected Californians. As I walked the crowded streets many gave an opinion but did not want to be on camera, while others were eager to share their piece of mind with the world.
Javin Stone, a resident now living in California shared his views about growing up in New York. “Even though California is known to be really gay, New York is just as gay if not more. It’s just not as publicized,” said Stone.
And that it is.
Stone went onto say that there are many liberal cities in the state of New York that dominate the ballots, while California only has major liberal cities and many smaller conservative ones.
As the interviews went on, the responses became more interesting once we found our way down major local streets a mile or so from the Castro.
Not only did I hear everything from funny and vulgar responses, but also heartfelt ones too. A lesbian couple I had met shared how they had their marriage license was revoked shortly after they had spent thousands of dollars for their much anticipated wedding.
It seems that the majority of people simply still do not understand why it is not legal in California if we are the so-called “Liberal State.”
We may be liberal, but locals claimed that the Mormon church and other religious groups give millions of dollars in private donations each year for campaigns against gay marriage.
For others like Eric Wheeler, who was new to the city, claimed he was enjoying the liberal city and not worrying about gay marriage issues yet.
“It is unfortunate, I think if New York can do it, San Francisco can do it as well,” said Wheeler, when I asked him to describe the situation in one word.
The ongoing war for equal rights across the board has been a major issue for decades, but it seems to be slowly making its way around the block.
I believe the answers are clear and out there, we simply must get to the root of them and act quickly.
For now we have National Coming Out Day, a recognized holiday amongst the gay community.
At CSUSB we showed our support by celebrating this past week long offering events like Out Fest, Out in Music, and Out in Words.