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Jewish Gay Activist Fired First Shot in Today’s Trial Over Prop 8

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

January 11, 2010 | 2:54 pm

Robin Tyler, left, and Diane Olson, right, celebrate their 2008 wedding under a chuppah with lawyer Gloria Allred. Photo by David Sprague

Jewish gay rights activist Robin Tyler is watching closely as the Federal trial gets under way in U.S. District Court in San Francisco today to determine if the ban on same-sex marriage passed by California voters in November 2008 violates the United States Constitution (LA Time Story on trial).

Tyler and her wife Diane Olson were one of two couples to sue the State of California in 2004 to challenge the state’s ban on same sex marriage. The California Supreme Court decided in Tyler’s favor, allowing same sex couples to wed beginning in June 2008.

Tyler and Olson were among the first couples to marry at a June 16, 2008 ceremony at the Beverly Hills Courthouse, conducted by Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood. The couple had been showing up at the courthouse with a wedding cake and attorney Gloria Allred every Valentine’s day for 8 years in a failed attempt to get a marriage license.

But six months after they married, Prop 8 amended the state constitution and defined marriage as between a man and woman, putting an end to a flurry of same-sex weddings.

The new suit charges that Prop 8 violates the United State constitution. Legal experts expect it to eventually go to the United States Supreme court.

This morning, the United State Supreme Court overturned a judge’s decision to stream the case on YouTube.

Tyler, 68, chronicles her coming out to her Jewish mother in the late 1950s in her one-woman show, “Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom.”
She is active in Jews for Marriage Equality, a California group, and blogs on the Huffington Post.

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