The Berkeley City Council will celebrate Kris Perry and Sandy Stier Day this evening, Tuesday, in honor of two city residents who waged a successful fight for the right to marry.
"They will be there and we're going to be honoring them with a proclamation from the city that was unanimously agreed to," City Councilman Kriss Worthington said.
Perry and Stier were one of two same-sex couples who filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco in 2009 to challenge Proposition 8, the state's 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
They won their case in June when the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Proposition 8 supporters, thus leaving in place an injunction in which U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco barred enforcement of the ban.
After a federal appeals court lifted a stay of that injunction, Perry and Stier became the first same-sex couple in the state to marry in the wake of Proposition 8. The nuptials were performed at San Francisco City Hall on June 28 by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
The proclamation states that Perry, an advocate of early childhood education, and Stier, information technology director for a county health agency, have been "dedicated to serving the public through advocacy for meaningful causes."
Their efforts "greatly contributed to the recognition of the constitutional rights of same-sex couples across the United States," the proclamation declares.
The proclamation was passed by the council last summer, but the celebration of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier Day was postponed until today because the two women were out of town at the time, Worthington said.
Worthington said the proclamation will be read at the start of the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. today.
Before that, there will be a reception featuring a cake-cutting ceremony, live music and appearances by East Bay LGBT elected officials starting at 6 p.m.
Worthington said, "I think it's especially fitting that Perry and Stier live in Berkeley because Berkeley was the first city council in the United States to endorse marriage equality. "
He said the council passed its marriage-equality resolution in 1997. Worthington, who became the council's first openly gay member when he was elected in 1996, introduced that resolution and also this year's proclamation.
The councilman said he is going to read a poem he has written in the couple's honor at the council meeting tonight.
The meeting is going to be "a little more colorful than usual," he said.
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