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The rainbow flag was raised at Berkeley City Hall this morning while the US Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case. The flag will also fly tomorrow, during the DOMA arguments. Photo: Lance Knobel

The rainbow flag, a symbol of diversity and inclusiveness, was raised over Berkeley City Hall on Tuesday, to mark arguments in the US Supreme Court on Proposition 8. It will also fly tomorrow, during arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Berkeley is joining cities all around the country to show support for full equality,” said Judy Appel, a member of the school board, and executive director of Our Family Coalition, which promotes social justice and inclusiveness of LGBTQ families. 

“We’re building on our tradition of supporting marriage equality,” said Councilmember Kriss Worthington, who was cosponsor of the resolution to fly the flag. Worthington said Berkeley was the first city council in the country to support marriage equality, passing a resolution in 1997. “In the mid-90s, Berkeley was having the intense conversation that’s happening elsewhere now.”

“We are proud to fly the rainbow flag in support of marriage equality,” said Mayor Tom Bates, in a statement he issued on Tuesday. “Berkeley has a long tradition of support for human and civil rights. We were among the first cities in the nation to recognize domestic partnership 30 years ago and look forward to the day when the right to marry the one you love is available to everyone.”

The Berkeley connection to the Supreme Court cases is even more direct. Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 case, are Berkeleyans, with four children.

“I love the fact that throughout this case, the importance of marriage equality to the kids of LGBT families has been front and center,” Appel said. “It’s the next generation we’re talking about.”

Berkeley couple at heart of Prop 8 case speak out [08.05.10]

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...