Sunday, December 21, 2008


PICTURE UPDATE: As mentioned on Day 31, we had friends (David and Lisa) fly in from OHIO to join us as we reached the CA Supreme Court. Lisa has known Tracie for about 23 years and she met Valerie soon after Tracie and Valerie became a couple. Lisa has in a lot of ways been like family for Tracie - THANK YOU GUYS!!

DAY 32 - We started our day at the corner of Castro and Market. Kelly (from SF Pride) joined us and got the crowd going. There were several people that joined us to walk the last 2 miles of our 450 mile trek! It was very exciting and a little weird knowing it was the last day. You'll notice someone is missing... Matt has been with us for the last few days and planned to join us this morning, but was having difficulty parking. He caught up to us after a few blocks and you'll see him in the next few pics with the pink umbrella.

A representative from Mayor Gavin Newsom's office presented us with a Certificate of Honor before we started our last mornings walk.
On our way, we stopped by the LGBT Center at 1800 Market. We were greeted by staff and supporters, some of whom joined us for the rest of the march.
We had a group of 25-30 for the last half of our walk. We chanted some, got to know new friends, and shared stories about what we've all been doing to defeat prop 8.

When we got to the steps of the City Hall, we were immediately greeted by familiar faces. Chris, Lisa, Carol, Jill, Melissa, and Sandy (people that we met over our 32 day march that drove up for our final walk). It was such a wonderful experience having met them over the past 300 or so miles and then having them come to the final day!! We also loved meeting new people and having them join us was an honor.
Molly McKay, Media Director for Marriage Equality USA, had been emailing and talking to us about our arrival at City Hall. She put together a beautiful welcome!! Thank you Molly! Here she is at the podium introducing us before we each said a few words.

Molly had invited MANY organizations and individuals to join in the welcome party. Those that participated were: Ana Damiani from Senator Mark Leno’s office who gave us a Certificate from the Senator; County Board Supervisor David Campos who gave us Certificates from the City of San Francisco; MCC Minister Lea Brown; San Francisco Pride Board Member Kelly Hart; SF LGBT Center Director of Community Development Roberto Ordenana; Polly Shrek from Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (pictured below); Danielle Askini from One Struggle, One Fight; Cat Kim from Join the Impact SF; Vicki Kolakowski a local civil rights hero and attorney; and Matthew French social anthropologist and fellow walker. She ended the festivities by presenting us with a Marriage Equality umbrella that says "Let Justice Roll Like the Rain."

After the speakers, we walked from City Hall to the steps of the Supreme Court. While we walked we sang Marriage Equality Christmas Carols led by Molly (in the santa hat below).

WE MADE IT!! We reached the steps of the California Supreme Court ending a March that began on the corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood 32 days ago!
When we have faith and courage.
When we take hold of a moment in history.
When we confront the challenges that face us.
Amazing things can truly happen.
Thank you to everyone that took part in this amazing journey with us.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Sarah, who has been coordinating media for us from L.A., has been posting media related events to the blog. All other posts (daily updates, pics, etc.) were written by us, Tracie & Valerie.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Arrival at the Supreme Court!

From San Francisco's ABC-7, footage of Val and Tracie's arrival at the California Supreme Court, their moving statement, and the wonderful supporters who rallied with them!

The San Francisco Citizen reports that Val and Tracie "were joined by a crowd of over 100 supporters today as they made it literally to the steps of the courthouse."

They presented a statement of courage, persistence, and love outside the Supreme Court just as the Yes on 8 campaign presented their filing to the Supreme Court, which revealed the chilling news that Yes on 8 will indeed seek to invalidate the 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred in California this summer.

From the ABC-7 transcript:

Valerie Paget and Tracie Jones are a married couple from Los Angeles who five weeks ago began a 450 mile march across California as part of a movement to revoke Prop 8.

Their journey ended Friday as they were greeted by gay marriage supporters at the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

"When we have faith and when we have courage, and when we take a hold of a moment in history, when we confront the challenges that face us, amazing things can happen," Paget said.

Paget and Jones' marriage was recognized by the state of California in May.

Their marriage would be invalid under Prop 8.

Sponsors of the measure Friday filed a legal request to nullify marriages of all 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before voters passed the gay marriage ban."

Special thanks to Molly McKay of Marriage Equality in San Francisco for making today happen in style! Thanks to Lilia Tamm of the Courage Campaign. Thanks to all of the hosts, wavers, supporters, suppliers, and blog commenters who cheered Val and Tracie forward.

Val and Tracie, it's been an honor being part of your team. You amaze and inspire me. Tears of admiration and joy, and a big hug.


Thursday, December 18, 2008


LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Friday), we will be walking from Castro and Market to Polk, which will take us right in front of City Hall for our rally at noon. We will also stop briefly at the LGBT Community Center at 1800 Market Street.

DAY 31 - The 3 of us (Valerie, Tracie & Matt) set off this morning from South San Francisco ready for rain or shine... Matt was ready with some style.

We went through the town of Colma, which has no less than 8 cemeteries. We passed one after the other after the other. So we made our own headstone.

The farther we got into the city, the more surreal it felt. (we look a little tired, huh?)

While we walked, we sang Marriage Equality Christmas carols. . . . "all I want for Christmas is my civil rights..." Sometimes Matt made up his own words. :)

We met many supporters along the way. One guy, Rick, came up to us because he'd seen us walking and he handed us a bag with bananas and cookies. Thank you Rick! We also want to give a shout out to David and all San Francisco skaters!

When we came over a hill and saw the city, we shared a moment. It was quite a feeling and quite a view.

Once we got near the Castro area, we felt more and more support... we loved this house and we love that it's still up this long after the election!

We actually reached Castro Street!!
After walking 31 days for 400-450 miles we had one more huge hill to climb! It's definitely worth all of the aches and pains to know that we are standing up for such a fundamental right for so many people - for dignity, equality, and validity... we all deserve that.

What a beautiful sight! We can't wait to see Milk at this theater sometime this weekend!

Our dear friends, Lisa and David, who flew in from Cincinnati to see us reach the Supreme Court/City Hall tomorrow, joined us for lunch at Harvey's. In the excitement, we did not take any pictures... stay tuned. It was great to see them and have them come all this way!! Thank you Lisa and David - we love you guys!!
See you all tomorrow at the rally - either in person or in spirit! And know that you all had a part in getting us here. Whether you honked, fed us, texted, put us up for a night, blogged, donated, walked with us, or gave us the oranges, wine and nuts that we're eating as we write this - you are as much a part of this as we are. It is for all of you that we walked. It is for the 15 year old that emailed us saying she did all she could to defeat prop 8, knowing that her own parents were voting for it. We all have a role to play, and the community we have developed is a strong long as we keep showing up.


DAY 30 - We started out in San Mateo - STILL on El Camino Real. We walked into South San Francisco!

Here are Matt and Valerie, bright and shining - ready for another day of walking!

We had a beautiful, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day.
At some point during the morning, Matt and Tracie had to use the bathroom BADLY and there wan't one in sight for blocks. Along came a man named John - he turned around to come give us some lunch money. When he pulled up next to us, he asked if we needed a shower or lunch or anything (we're pretty sure we showered that morning... we weren't THAT "fragrant"!) Well, he lived a few blocks away and gave us a ride to his house so we could all use the restroom. Then he showed us an old Victrola and played an old one sided record on it. Wow! It was very beautiful.
We've been walking for days along El Camino Real - Matt took this picture of us with one of the historic bells.
We also met Jay. He said that he drove for blocks trying to catch up with us, but because the traffic was going so slow, he had a difficult time catching us! He finally caught up to us, hugged us all, thanked us for what we're doing, gave us some money for the journey.

Another beautiful person that we met was Maria. She pulled over on the side of the road, handed us some bills with a $5 showing, apologized for not having more money to give us - then she told us that she and her partner had been together for 18 years and want the option to be married. We later found out that under that $5 was a very generous sum. Maria, thank you doesn't seem sufficient, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
It was a bit exciting and surreal to reach South San Francisco! After walking for ONE MONTH, and having no time to really reflect on all of these wonderful experiences, it's a little daunting to actually be on the edge of our destination city.

We had to run to the middle of the street several times to get picture of the city signs. This picture is Matt stopping traffic for us to get across safely.

Tomorrow, we'll actually be walking into the Castro area! Unbelievable!!
And thanks again to Carol and Susan for hosting us a 2nd night in their home! They sent us off with a wonderful breakfast and very warm wishes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We are having technical difficulties... can't get the pics to load for day 30. We walked from San Mateo to South San Francisco. We'll keep working on loading the pictures and blog.

Wanted to make sure everyone knows that we're walking tomorrow from South San Francisco on El Camino Real to Mission to Delores to 26th over to Castro and then we'll walk up Castro to Market!

Can't believe we're this close!


LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Wed), we'll be walking on the El Camino from San Mateo to South San Fran!!

DAY 29 - We had a few people join us today and got a little more love from the peninsula. An ambulance must have been trying to drum up business because he set off his siren a few times quickly in support, almost giving us each a heart attack! It was LOUD! A woman who does a radio talk show on a progressive station (960AM) in SF pulled over and asked if she could interview us one night this week..... stay tuned!

We received a phone call from Nancy in the morning about joining us for part of the day. She showed up bearing hot drinks!! It was a cold, wet morning, so we were very thankful!

Shortly after Nancy showed up, Jeffrey from HRC and Don with Marriage Equality also showed up. They all walked with us for awhile. Don gave us ribbon shaped pins that are the colors of the rainbow. We added them to our collection on our backpacks.

We stopped for lunch at a little taqueria on the El Camino that was DELICIOUS! We give it 2 thumbs up!

After lunch we were joined by Matthew from LA. He has been emailing us since we left LA, wanting to join us but having finals, etc. So he joined us today!! We were very happy to meet him and have him with us!

The 3 of us went to Nancy's house for dinner after walking. She picked us up and delivered us to our cars and insisted we join her and her family for dinner while she found us all a place to stay for the evening.

This is Sachiko (she gets her exquisite chef skills from her dad) - she's making delicious pot stickers.

Here's the whole group: Valerie, Keoki, Sachiko, Luis, Nancy, Matt & Tracie. We feasted on a wonderful meal of green beans, pot stickers, tofu and broccoli (I know there was more but don't remember it all!). THANK YOU Nancy and family!!

After dinner, we (Valerie, Tracie, and Matt) headed over to our hostesses home for the evening. Carol and Susan readily agreed to host the 3 of us and made us feel right at home. We are standing in front of their wedding pictures (from 2004) and cards. They did get remarried this year also. They brilliantly said that straight people get married and hope to grow old together, while gay people grow old together and hope to someday get married. (we didn't say goodbye because they've agreed to have us one more night)

We were offered one other place to stay tonight, with Kim, and we just wanted to say thank you to Kim for offering to have us and we are very sorry for your loss. We walked with you in mind today.


Day 28 - we stayed with Ray in Mountainview. Here he is with his 2 adorable babies. Ray fed us some great Chinese food and opened a bottle of wine that he bought in Bolivia and was saving for a special occasion. It was all delicious. Thank you Ray for the warm hospitality and fantastic, special wine!

Monday, December 15, 2008


LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will be walking from Palo Alto on El Camino Real to the San Mateo area.

DAY 28: Today was a bittersweet day. You'll see that we ended in a very supportive and encouraging environment, but the beginning part of the day was pretty devoid of support. We had been told to expect great things from this area of our state - "oh, once you start going up the peninsula, you'll have SO much support." Well, we had more support in Atascadero, and most people's response to that is "where is Atascadero?" We figured one of 3 things must be happening: 1) there's some type of "no honking" ordinance that we don't know about or 2) everyone was grumpy because it was raining or 3) people here are not outraged enough about the passage of prop 8.

Something we have noticed in our travels is that in the smaller, more oppressed communities, we were typically welcomed very enthusiasically. In larger, seemingly more progressive communities, we were often greeted very luke warmly. It seems that those of us in more progressive areas have grown somewhat complacent in the fight for equality. Just an obsevation.

Here we are on day 28 ready for rain. We had to change in and out of our rain gear several times throughout the day.

We entered the city of Palo Alto, home to Stanford, today. A woman from Pennsylvania stopped us to sign our petition and give us some lunch money. A man from Santa Cruz came out of a restaurant to talk with us and to sign our petition.

At 2:30-3pm we arrived at Embarcadero and El Camino for a rally with the Raging Grannies! They were a blast! We sang Revoke 8 Christmas carols. They gave us the gift of "equality" wrapped up nicely with a bow. Several tv news stations were there NBC, CBS and the local Spanish station. And a Raging Granny Groupie gave us some wonderul rings that she'd made. The Grannies welcomed us VERY warmly and enthsiastically - Thank you Raging Grannies!
After the rally, we were treated to coffee by Sandy and Melissa (2 friends who drove down from SF) and they delivered us to our next destination. We spent some time swapping stories and very much enjoyed getting to know them. Melissa also came bearing presents! Thank you Melissa and Sandy!
[Update: More photos of the Raging Grannies and Val and Tracie in Palo Alto here! -Sarah]


Today, Sage had to "resign" from helping us with our logistics and lodging. So today we say good-bye and thank you. She has been involved in this journey from the beginning and she will be sorely missed. THANK YOU SAGE!! We're thinking of you and wishing you all the best!


LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow (Monday), we'll be walking down El Camino Real from Sunnyvale to Palo Alto, ending at Embarcadero and El Camino for a rally with the Raging Grannies at 3pm.

DAY 27 - We took a day off from walking to work primarily on compiling our video clips. Jill drove up from Paso Robles to help (meaning she did all the work!). She sat in front of the computer for more than 12 hours, very patiently weeding through our hundreds of amateur video clips!!!! She put together our short YouTube video that you can now link to from our blog. She also weeded through MANY more video clips to compile for a larger project. THANK YOU JILL!!! You rock!!

We also took the opportunity to take care of "administrative" duties. We made new signs - our old ones are sooooo faded. We caught up on some email, etc. Even spending all day, we only put a small dent in everything there is to do for the final few days. We also got some help from Katie and Ben in doing a new flyer to announce the rally in San Francisco. THANK YOU KATIE & BEN!!

At 3pm, we went to a meeting at the DeFrank Center in San Jose. Ray (from yesterday) invited us to attend. There were a group of people meeting to discuss how they can continue to effect change in their communities. This picture includes about one third of the group - they had broken up into smaller groups to brainstorm. It is worth noting that this group had about 300 people attending the day after the election - these are the 30 commited people that keep showing up. They are role models for all of us... we need to KEEP SHOWING UP!


We stayed with Lisa and Bill on nights 25 and 26. It was pretty last minute, and they very warmly welcomed us to the Saratoga area. This picture was taken in their beautiful backyard, where they've lived for 20 years.

Reminder: Palo Alto Rally Today!

Rain or shine! From Granny Ruth of the Raging Grannies:

GREET THE MARCHING DUO who are headed from Southern California to San Francisco to urge the Supreme Court to REVOKE Prop 8.


Location: Embarcadero/El Camino Real

Major intersection next to Stanford U and Palo Alto H.S. in front of Town and Country Shopping Center

Entertainment by: The Raging Grannies with songs against Prop 8 set to holiday tunes

If you get there early you can meet us at Hobee's restaurant (very cool) to have tea or a snack/meal, say hello and if you want help make signs from 2:30PM

Press is expected.

If you get lost you can reach the Granny Hotline at (650) 279-8761.

Please forward to your SF Bay area friends. Tracie and Val plan to arrive in SF later in the week on the 19th at noon in front of the CA Supreme Court building where there will be another rally. Bay area folks can meet and greet them at either or both locations.


Saturday, December 13, 2008


LOCATION UPDATE: Tomorrow, Sunday, we will be taking a break! We may actually sleep until we wake up with NO alarm and then we're going to work on our video clips with Jill. She is driving up from Paso Robles to spend they day editing the clips we've been collecting
DAY 26: We started out on Saratoga/Los Gatos Road in Los Gatos. We didn't take any pictures in Los Gatos.... because it was FREEZING and we didn't want to slow down to take the camera out or we might have gotten frost bite! It was COLD!
We did have one great interaction in Los Gatos. We passed a man and woman walking and they said "good luck." We thanked them and kept walking, because it WAS COLD! After a few minutes, we heard someone yell, "wait!" It was the man we had passed, running to catch up to us. He apologized and said that he just figured out what our signs meant and wanted to support us. He signed our petition, did a video clip to the Supreme Court and insisted on giving us some cash for lunch. As we said goodbye, he mentioned that he's a retired judge and thinks this is a pretty easy decision for the justices to make.
Once we got to Saratoga, our hostess from the night before, Lisa, joined us (with Rookie). Lisa and Rookie walked several miles with us before returning home.

We use bungee cords to attach our signs to our packs and we lost one... so on our walk today, we stopped off at the Home Depot to get new ones. As soon as we walked in, Ms. Claus greeted us cheerfully and loudly - "You guys were in the paper and now you're in my Home Depot?!" She gave us candy canes and sent us to aisle 24.
We passed through Cupertino - not a lot of response from the traffic going by, positive or negative. It seemed that people in Cupertino were too busy today to be bothered with equal rights.
Valerie insisted on putting this picture in of the Sunnyvale sign (that you can't read!) and Tracie's big head (okay, she actually said Tracie's beautiful face)!
We were told that it might start raining today and when we were two blocks from the end of our walk, it started to come down pretty hard. We ducked for cover under this parking shelter and put our rain jackets on.

Then, we met up with Alex - the son of our hosts from last night, and the San Francisco chapter head of Marriage Equality - and Ray, the Santa Clara county chapter head for Marriage Equality. We swapped stories with them about our fight for equality and what we've all been doing to keep the conversations going. Ray invited us to attend a meeting at the DeFrank Center in San Jose tomorrow (Sunday) at 3pm, which we look forward to.
We headed back to Lisa and Bill's for another night. We spent dinner with Lisa, Bill, Alex, Bev, and David. We laughed harder than we have in a long time! Lisa fixed wonderful meals both nights... no wonder we're not losing weight! Thank you Lisa and Bill - pictures to come tomorrow!