imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

What's in a Name? "San Diego Democrats for Equality"

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Monday, Oct. 03, 2011 at 10:23 PM (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

The mountain labored at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club September 22 and produced the club's new name: "San Diego Democrats for Equality." The push to change the club's name was sparked by several members who thought the original name, approved when the club started in 1974, was a relic of a more closeted age and the club needed a new name that more openly and proudly proclaimed its identity as a Queer-rights organization. Though the club voted overwhelmingly to change its name, there was considerable debate over what to change it to: out of the three proposed alternatives, the least openly Queer name, "San Diego Democrats for Equality," won a majority on the first ballot against "San Diego Stonewall Democrats" (after the event commonly, but inaccurately, thought to have started the U.S. Queer rights movement) and "San Diego LGBT Democrats."

What's in a Name? &q...
s.d._demo_club_9_22_11.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x323

What’s in a Name? “San Diego Democrats for Equality”

Queer Democrats Decide “San Diego Democratic Club” No Longer Communicates Their Agenda


Copyright © 2011 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

PHOTO: Members of the San Diego Democratic Club debate changing their name at their September 22 meeting. Jess Durfee is standing at the back, in the center, while Andrea Villa is sitting at the right.

In 1974, local attorney Robert Lynn and 19 other brave souls put their names on an application to the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee to charter the San Diego Democratic Club. Bravery was required because by signing the charter application for a club explicitly founded to fight for equal rights for Gay people — back when “Gay” was still an all-inclusive term for people with a romantic, relational and/or sexual orientation to partners of their own gender — they were identifying themselves as either Queer or Queer-friendly at a time when sex with same-gender partners was still illegal in California. The issues the club has worked on since — laws to protect Queer people from employment discrimination, ending the ban on Queers serving in the U.S. military, legal recognition of same-sex marriages — would have seemed like pipe dreams then.

Until September 22, 2011 the club kept the rather bland name “San Diego Democratic Club” even as it grew to be the largest Democratic club in the county — and one of the largest Queer-oriented Democratic clubs in the nation — and, slowly but surely, those causes that seemed like pipe dreams in 1974 became reality. With Queer sex legal nationwide, bans on job discrimination against Queer people in force in enough states to cover about half the U.S. population, the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibiting Queers from serving openly in the military, and same-sex marriage equality legally recognized in New York and several other states, many club members felt it was time to adopt a new name that would be more open and out-front about the club’s real agenda.

“The proposal came forth earlier this year that the club change its name to more accurately reflect our status as an LGBT [Queer] organization,” club president Doug Case announced when he brought the name-change item forward at the September 22 meeting. “The original proposal was ‘San Diego Stonewall Democrats.’ We did an online survey and found that twice as many people were in favor of changing the name as keeping it ‘San Diego Democratic Club,’ but they weren’t sure ‘San Diego Stonewall Democrats’ was the name to change it to.” Eventually the club’s board decided to present three proposals — “San Diego Stonewall Democrats,” “San Diego LGBT Democrats” and “San Diego Democrats for Equality” — to the membership and hold two votes, first on whether to change the name at all and then, if that passed, on which name to adopt.

The case for changing the name was made forcefully by Jess Durfee, former president of the club and currently serving an unprecedented fourth term as chair of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee. “When this club was first founded, the name served a purpose,” he said. “A lot of members couldn’t afford to be out. Today we cannot afford to stay in the closet. We can’t delude ourselves into thinking people ‘get it.’” Durfee claimed that as many people think the Uptown Democratic Club, which meets in the same space (the Joyce Beers Community Center in the Uptown District mall) two days before the San Diego Democratic Club, is San Diego’s Queer Democratic club since it covers the Hillcrest and North Park areas, which have the highest concentration of Queer residents in San Diego.

“Every time there’s a new wave of folks in political activism, they don’t know” that the San Diego Democratic Club is a predominantly Queer organization, Durfee said. “I used to think that identifying myself as president of the San Diego Democratic Club would ID me as a member of the LGBT community — and women would hit on me. When we started, we were the only LGBT political club in San Diego. Today the Center has a public policy department, the Human Rights Campaign has a San Diego chapter and Equality California does big events.” Durfee also argued that a new name would help attract new members to the club, citing the fact that five current board members (including himself) are former club presidents.

Another former club president, Andrea Villa, was pressed into giving the argument against a name change after former club treasurer Mel Merrill, who had written the newsletter article against the change, was unable to attend the meeting. Villa pointed out that she makes her living in marketing, and her professional expertise convinced her that “the San Diego Democratic Club has established a very strong identity.” A name change, she said, “risks confusing our brand.” Villa also responded strongly to the idea that keeping the current name was “just backwards old-school thinking. It has nothing to do with wanting to be closeted. It has everything to do with fully inhabiting our identity.” She said that even if the club wanted to change its name, it should wait until after the 2012 election, saying that the challenges facing Democrats next year are severe enough that the club didn’t need the additional task of building a new public identity at the same time.

The club voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new name — 33 in favor and only seven opposed — which triggered the debate over what the name should be. Craig Roberts, former club president, urged that the club call itself “San Diego Stonewall Democrats” to align itself with clubs in other cities as well as the National Stonewall Democrats, the federation of Queer-oriented Democratic clubs of which Roberts was elected co-chair in March. “Of the 58 clubs we know about, 37 have ‘Stonewall’ in their names, 10 have ‘LGBT’ and the others don’t have anything” readily identifiable as Queer, Roberts said. Alex Sachs, who served as the club’s vice-president for political action until he relocated to Iowa but was visiting San Diego and attended the September 22 meeting, also argued for “San Diego Stonewall Democrats” as a way of linking the club more closely to the national federation.

Arguing for “San Diego LGBT Democrats,” David Warmoth, the club’s media and marketing director, said, “The mission of the San Diego Democratic Club is to secure all Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people equal rights. We say it in our mission statement and we should spell it out in our name.” Responding to the argument from other club members that “San Diego LGBT Democrats” might discourage Queer-friendly straight allies from joining, Warmoth said, “I’m a member of the NAACP and I’m not Black.” [Actually, of the board which founded the NAACP in 1909, only one member was African-American.] “I’m a former member of NOW and I’m not a woman. Only Gay men and Lesbians of a certain age are afraid that if we tell who we are, no one’s gonna like us anymore.”

Greg Bolian, the club’s legislative advocate, argued for “San Diego Democrats for Equality” on the ground that “the name should reflect the mission,” he explained. “When I tell people this is an LGBT club, the first question I get is, ‘Am I welcome?’ ‘San Diego Democrats for Equality’ is inclusive and won’t be off-putting to any members.”

Vanessa Cosio, who spoke as a person under 30 in a debate in which a lot of older people were trying to decide what might appeal to young people, said she favored “San Diego Democrats for Equality.” She noted that many of the Queer community’s leading organizations — the Human Rights Campaign, the Victory Fund (which helps elect openly Queer candidates to office) and the various Equality lobbies, including Equality California — “don’t have anything Gay in their names.”

“If the purpose is to make it clear that we are a Gay club, use ‘LGBT,’” said longtime member Michelle Krug. “To me, when I hear ‘equality,’ I think it means you’re working for rights for undocumented immigrants.”

At least two people wanted to include the word “club” in the new name. One member said that “Democrats” reminded her too much of the habit of Republicans referring to “the Democrat party” instead of “the Democratic party.” Alex Sachs said that keeping the word “club” in the name “keeps us together and shows that we are a continuation of the San Diego Democratic Club.”

Though president Case was prepared to have more than one ballot — the rules for the vote were that the final name had to be approved by a majority of those voting — in the end “San Diego Democrats for Equality” won the required majority on the first vote, with 24 favoring it, 10 for “San Diego Stonewall Democrats” and eight for “San Diego LGBT Democrats.” A subsequent vote to add “club” to the new name narrowly failed, with 18 favoring “San Diego Democratic Club for Equality” to 22 for “San Diego Democrats for Equality.”

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy