UPDATE 11:34 5/22: Not that we doubted FB or the Chron for even a moment, but we just got our official confirmation email from the Supreme Court. If you haven’t already, you should sniff around the case details on their site, it’s kind of fun.

UPDATE 10:50 5/22: According to sources as diverse as Facebook and the Chron, the CA Supreme Court will announce its ruling on the move to overturn Prop 8 this Tuesday. There are a lot of civil actions planned that we’ll keep you posted on, but, kids, no matter how it goes, organizers urge non-violence and civility. More soon, OK?

UPDATE 5/20: It’s been reported that Mayor Newsom requested the Supreme Court delay their ruling so “it did not coincide with the” 30th anniversary of the White Night riots, “which were set off when the court handed down the most lenient decision possible (voluntary manslaughter) against Dan White for the murders of supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The ensuing riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979 caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.”

However, Newsom’s press office has released a statement that that is not the case:

Today a website posted an item that quoted a false allegation from an
unnamed source: “Mayor [Gavin] Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and
asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with
the White Night riots.”

This allegation is not true. We have asked the website to correct the item

UPDATE: The court has just announced that they will not be ruling tomorrow. As you were! The barricades must just be for decoration.

Original post: Police barricades showed up in the Castro and around the Supreme Court building Tuesday evening, and it’s easy to speculate about what it could mean: perhaps, at last, a ruling on Prop 8, the marriage ban. There are only four days left on which the court can rule — this Thursday, next Tuesday, next Thursday, or Monday June first.

Of course, divining the court’s intentions by interpreting police barricades (or twittery)isn’t an exact science. There will be an official announcement eventually, but it’ll only come 24 hours before the ruling. Once that announcement comes, expect a lightning-fast mobilization by both sides: equality organizations all over the world have been on the edge of their seats for this day, and the people opposed to gay couples will surely be watching as well.

Here’s how it’ll go down:

First, we’ll get official word from the court, probably around 10am. You can sign up for an email alert here, or an SMS alert from the National Center for Lesbian Rights. That evening, there will be an interfaith prayer service at Grace Cathedral from 7 to 8:30pm.

The day of the ruling, there will be a service at Saint Francis (across from the Safeway in the Castro) at 8:30, and then a march to the court. The ruling will come at around 10am, and then everyone will freak out all over the world.

Depending on how the court rules, there could be a bunch of civil disobedience; but there’s no indication that there will be any violence. Thirty years ago (to the day!) San Francisco saw riots stemming from the assassination of Harvey Milk. Organizers learned from that mess; and they’re prepared to diffuse tensions and prevent a scary repeat of the White Night Riots.

That evening, there will be a 5pm rally at SF City Hall — either a victory rally or a recommitment to continue the fight. The rally will march to the Martin Luther King Jr memorial next to the Metreon for more speakers and music.

The weekend following the ruling, activists will meet in Fresno to plan the next steps. Why Fresno? Because the middle of the state is where the most work needs to be done. If the gay couples lose, Courage Campaign and Equality California are already primed and ready to go with a campaign in 2010 or 2012 (most observers believe that it’ll be 2010).

Exciting times, everyone! Try to keep your cool.

Additional updates and reporting: Eve Batey

Disclosure: Matt Baume runs Stop8.org a website that monitors the media for reporting on marriage equality and also generates video and editorial content. Ordinarily he wouldn’t be reporting on this news, but it’s breaking and nobody else is awake so here it is.

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