Friday, February 9th, 2007 at 6:02 pm in Uncategorized.
Marina Gatto (below, center), San Mateo County’s young activist for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, will return to the county’s steps on Valentine’s Day to rally for marriage equality.
Gatto, who is from San Carlos and now a student at UC Berkeley, rose to national prominence as a gay-rights and same-sex marriage advocate after her mothers, Ramona Gatto (below, right) and Arzu Akkus-Gatto, were denied a marriage license from San Mateo County four years ago.
The lesbian couple has returned to the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s office each Valentine’s Day since in a new-found ritual to ask for, and then be denied, a marriage license. They were first in line in San Francisco when Mayor Gavin Newsom married couples in 2004.
Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Warren Slocum has long supported the couple’s endeavor and has asked his colleagues in other counties to support Assembly Bill 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. The act, which would give county clerks the authority to conduct marriages for same-sex couples, is a reintroduction by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, of the identically-named 2005 act that was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but passed by the Legislature.
The rally, outside 555 County Center in Redwood City, will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday. Other local supporters expected to attend include state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and county supervisors Rich Gordon and Jerry Hill.
The rallies are part of Marriage Equality USA’s Valentine’s Day actions at county clerk counters in counties across the state and nation.
“We stand together as leaders, families and community members showing our support and our expectations for marriage equality and basic civil rights for all loving couples,” Marina Gatto said in a statement.