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Equality Nine Want Charges Dropped In San Diego Case

Aired 9/28/11 on KPBS News.

A San Diego group fighting for same sex marriage equality, is asking the city attorney to drop trespassing charges against them. They delivered a petition with more than 2,000 signatures Wednesday.

— A San Diego group fighting for same sex marriage equality is asking the city attorney to drop trespassing charges against them. They delivered a petition with more than 2,000 signatures Wednesday.

The petition asked the city attorney to stop prosecuting the members of the group.

Nine people were arrested at the San Diego County Administration building in August 2010. They went there asking officials to give them marriage licenses for same sex unions. They did that even though a federal judge had stayed his decision to overturn Proposition 8, California's same sex marriage ban, while the issue was under appeal.

The group is not backing down.

Cecile Veillard and Michael Anderson want trespassing charges against them dropped.
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Above: Cecile Veillard and Michael Anderson want trespassing charges against them dropped.

"We've all, pretty solidly resolved to plead not guilty to these charges," said Cecile Veillard. "So, we still hope the charges will be dropped before the seventeenth, but we have no way of knowing what the city attorney is going to do."

A guilty verdict could lead to 180 days in jail and a fine, Veillard said the judge has hinted jail time probably won't be considered.

"We have to go through the hassle of going through the court procedures, all for expressing our freedom of speech," said Michael Anderson, who also faces charges. "All for going to the county clerk's office and demanding that they honor their obligation."

The self-titled Equality Nine said if the charges are not dropped they'll push for a jury trial to resolve the issue.

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