Charges dismissed against so-called 'Equality Nine' same-sex mar - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Charges dismissed against so-called 'Equality Nine' same-sex marriage activists

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - City prosecutors Friday dismissed misdemeanor charges against a half-dozen same-sex marriage activists arrested for blocking the entrance to a county office during a 2010 protest.

In a motion filed with the court, Deputy City Attorney Garland Peed said the six defendants had completed eight hours of volunteer work and remained law-abiding during the two years the case had been pending.

The defendants were among five men and four women arrested on Aug. 19, 2010, as they demonstrated outside the county clerk's office, demanding that same-sex marriages be allowed in San Diego.

The defendants -- known as the "Equality 9" -- were charged with misdemeanors related to unlawfully blocking the entrance to a public office. Three accepted plea agreements last September, leaving six to go to trial.

In May, as trial was to start, Judge Joan Weber dismissed an entire jury panel during the selection process, saying prosecutors had violated the defendants' rights by challenging the selection of a gay man as a juror.


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