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Nov 14, 2008 10:55 am US/Central

Chicagoans Set To Protest California Prop 8

Demonstration Scheduled For Federal Plaza Saturday

CHICAGO (CBS - LINK) ― Chicago is among hundreds of cities and towns nationwide where protests are scheduled against the vote to ban same-sex marriage in California.

On Election Day, California voters approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage had been legal in California for about six months before the vote, following a decision by the California Supreme Court.

County clerks in California stopped issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples the next day. Protests mounted in the state, and legal challenges to the referendum have been issued to the California Supreme Court.

"Officially, (the California Supreme Court's) decision will probably hinge on a legal technicality - whether or not the referendum language broke a vaguely worded provision of the state constitution that says that referenda cannot be overly-broad in the matters they cover," the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network said in a news release. "However, the real reason for the court's decision will probably have much more to do with the amount of protest heat that pro-gay forces can generate outside of the courtrooms."

In Chicago, a protest against the California ruling has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Federal Plaza, at Dearborn and Adams streets. An addition protest group is also convening at 10:30 a.m. at Halsted's, 3441 N. Halsted St., before joining the Federal Plaza protest two hours later.

Demonstrations are also scheduled for several downstate cities, including Springfield, Normal, Carbondale, Champaign-Urbana and Peoria.

Organizers of the Chicago march also plan to campaign for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois, according to the Gay Liberation Network release.

"With one party in overwhelming control of every level of state government, this should not be the impossible task that state Democratic Party leaders often present it as being," the release said.

So far, pushes to legalize same sex marriage in Illinois have made little headway. Groups have also pushed for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in Illinois, but those efforts have likewise made little progress.

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