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90.5 WESA's collection of stories on race, diversity, LGBT, gender and age-related stories.

Portion of Liberty Avenue to Close as Crowd Awaits Supreme Court Rulings on LGBT Issues

As of earlier Tuesday afternoon, more than 300 people on Facebook said they are heading downtown Wednesday morning to catch live coverage of the Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 — two cases involving same-sex marriage.

Delta Foundation organizers are expecting an even larger crowd downtown.

“Liberty Avenue will be shut down to vehicle traffic between 9th and 10th because we’re expecting so many people,” said Christine Bryan with the Delta Foundation. “We’ll have a large television set up, and a stage and various speakers.”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether California's same-sex marriage ban, Prop 8, is constitutional. The high court is also expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which legally defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The “Riot or Rejoice” event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Though the name may sound dramatic, Bryan said there will not be rioting if the decisions don’t come down in favor of LGBT supporters.

“I think that’s when, you know, it’s time to stand up and express our displeasure and the fact that this community is really tired of being discriminated against,” she said. “We’re going to have speakers that will help rally the crowd and get everybody fired up to move on to whatever that next phase is going to be.”

Still, Bryan and others remain cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the LGBT community.

“This is the biggest thing for the LGBT community probably ever, in its history,” Bryan said, “and I think the mood of the country and the feeling of the country is it’s time for this community to stop being discriminated against and to be treated equally. And I think, and hope, that the Supreme Court is going to rule on the right side of history.”