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human rights campaign

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

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."

Back to the Ballot - Queer Activists Debate Whether to Seek Repeal of Prop. 8 (tags)

With the court challenge to Proposition 8, California?s voter-approved ban on legal recognition of same-sex marriages, mired in potential legal wrangling that could take years to resolve, Equality California (EQCA) revived their plans to take the issue back to voters and seek an initiative to repeal Prop. 8. But the 70 or so activists at the EQCA town-hall meeting in San Diego June 3 split over whether that?s a good strategy ? or whether EQCA, primarily a lobbying organization, is the right group to run such a campaign.

Fernando Lopez: Marriage Equality Activist Looks to the Future (tags)

San Diego marriage equality activist Fernando Lopez discusses his own relationship history, his involvement with Marriage Equality USA, the heartbreak of the Proposition 8 defeat and his own critique of the No on 8 strategy, the current Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and his outlook for the future of same-sex marriage in the U.S. A longer version of the interview published in the February-March 2010 issue of Zenger's Newsmagazine.

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism (tags)

criminalizing dissent

“Voices of Honor” Tour Challenges “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (tags)

O.K., so maybe you're a hard-core peacenik who wouldn't dream of joining the military or of supporting anyone who would. You should still care about the continued exclusion of open Queer people from the U.S. military under the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Not only is the policy unjust and discriminatory on its face, it's also disproportionately enforced against women and people of color — so in practice it's racist and sexist as well as homophobic. “Voices of Honor” was a national tour which wrapped up in San Diego September 30 that featured five military veterans talking about the personal strains of living under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

SAME Meeting Challenges Queer Establishment, Democratic Party (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) hosted a meeting at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center June 23 that was billed as a response to Proposition 8 and a discussion of the future of marriage equality in California — but it also turned into a radical response to the Queer establishment in general and the Courage Campaign in particular. Lesbian activist Robin Tyler, who was one of the lead plaintiffs in the suit that briefly won marriage rights for same-sex couples in California, criticized the strategies and tactics of the Courage Campaign and denounced the Democratic party as having screwed over Queer people for 35 to 40 years, She called for the Queer community to cut ties with the Democrats once and for all.

Readying Americans for Dangerous, Mandatory Vaccinations (tags)

an insidious government-industry plot

“Outrage”: Exposing Hypocrisy or Perpetrating It? (tags)

“Outrage,” Kirby Dick’s new documentary on the practice of “outing” closeted Queer politicians who take positions in opposition to the mainstream Queer community’s political agenda, is an old-fashioned morality play in which the heroes are the activists and journalists who “out” such people and the villains are the politicians themselves and the mainstream corporate media which refuse to cover the issue. But the “outers” can also be seen as political enforcers of a liberal-Left orthodoxy that ignores both the political and the sexual diversity of the Queer community.

Queer Democrats Hear from Labor on Employee Free Choice Act (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from Carlos Marquez, chair of the local chapter of Pride @ Work, at its regular meeting April 23. He presented a campaign called http://www.SharedAgenda.org, aimed at building grassroots support for two proposed pieces of federal legislation: the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which will make it easier for workers to form unions; and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will ban discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

San Diego Hosts Meeting on Same-Sex Marriage Equality (tags)

The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center hosted a town-hall meeting April 2 to discuss the future of marriage equality in the wake of the upcoming California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in the state. Speakers included Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, other professionals and grass-roots activists like Fernando Lopez, whose group is organizing people to go talk to individuals one-on-one to make them aware of how Queer people suffer from not having access to civil marriage.

Pat Boone and Proposition 8 (tags)

1950's wimp-rocker Pat Boone recently published an article on the Right-wing Web site World News Daily comparing demonstrators protesting the passage of Proposition 8, which elimnated the right of same-sex couples to marry, with the terrorists who attacked hotels and religious centers in Mumbai, India. To this author, it's appropriate that Pat Boone should be expressing such bigotry and prejudice because he began his career taking advantage of bigotry and prejudice by ripping off great rock songs by African-American artists and having bigger hits with them than their creators did.

Proposition 8 Rallies Energize Queer Community (tags)

Rejecting the "safe" namby-pamby campaign against Proposition 8 that kept Queer people in the closet and lost anyway, young Gay activists are mobilizing on the Internet and holding mass rallies and marches to offer militant resistance to the anti-marriage initiative. Leo E. Laurence, who started the first Gay-liberation group in San Francisco in January 1969 (five months before Stonewall), finds these new activists reminiscent of himself and his colleagues in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Prop. 8 and the Triumph of Theocracy (tags)

The passage of Proposition 8 proves that many American voters are committed to a basically theocratic view of government in which THEIR moral values and commitments should rule over others. It also means the Queer community needs to do some soul-searching over why people of color and others we considered natural allies voted for 8 in greater percentages than whites did, and whether "marriage" as a term carries too much religious baggage ever to win majority support for its legal extension to same-sex couples.

HRC Head Does Damage Control on Transgender Rights (tags)

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign — America's largest Queer-rights organization — came to San Diego July 24 to organize support for his group's campaign against Proposition 8, which would reverse the California Supreme Court's decision allowing same-sex couples to marry. But most of his 10-minute speech was damage control to repair HRC's relations with the Transgender community, strained by the group's decision last October to support a federal Queer-rights bill that doesn't protect Transgender people.

First Openly Gay Young Democrats President Interviewed (tags)

David Hardt, recently elected president of the national Young Democrats and the first openly Gay man to hold that position, came to San Diego December 6 for a Young Stonewall Democrats' fundraiser and did this interview with Zenger's Newsmagazine. He discussed the future of the Democratic party and the Queer presence within it.

Hillary: Democrats' Death Wish (tags)

Hillary Clinton probably has the power, money and organizational clout to win the Democratic nomination for President, but she cannot win the general election. The combination of her conservative principles — including her support for an ongoing U.S. military presence in Iraq — and her radical reputaton will alienate both moderates and progressives and drive white working-class voters back to the Republicans.

The War on Free Expression (tags)

The struggle to save our First Amendment rights

When Liberal Non-Profits Exploit: LA Workers Are Fighting For Their Rights (tags)

Los Angeles, California--In 2002, the Fund for Public Interest Research (FFPIR) closed one of its LA offices. Management gave no reason for the abrupt closure, but employees alleged in an LA Weekly article that the office had been shut down because they filed a petition to organize a union.

In April of 2006, the Fund closed another city office, almost a year after workers successfully won their own union election through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That time management told employees it was because of a failure to hire new administration officials, but union members say the company refused to negotiate and even retaliated against them with hiring freezes and bogus terminations.

Now there is one organized office remaining in LA, and it’s struggling to exist amid an eight month hiring freeze and claims that the company is outsourcing work and defrauding employees.

N.Y. Judge Orders Gay Marriage (tags)

"It is clear that moral disapproval of same-sex couples or of individual homosexuals is not a legitimate state purpose or a rational reason for depriving plaintiffs of their right to choose their spouse."

Gay McCarthyism - ''Feel the (Heterophobic) Hate'' (tags)

[To Paul Krugman]: While Googling around the web recently, I stumbled across your Sept. 3 Op-Ed piece on the Republican convention, “Feel the Hate.” I’m not interested in getting into a discussion of what was said about Senator Kerry. But I would like to talk about why Sheri Dew should not have been included in the list of speakers you accused of hate speech. More importantly, I’d like to use this as a case study of the McCarthyesque tactics employed by the gay press.

BTL:Poor People's Campaign To Hold Protest March on NYC GOP Convention (tags)

Interview with Cheri Honkala, national coordinator of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris

Unprecedented Week of Transgender Activism in Nation’s Capital (tags)

A bit of history occurred the end of April and early May. Three national transgender or gender-diverse civil rights organizations lobbied Capitol Hill simultaneously and, for the first time, all lobbied for the same issues. In addition, yet another rejuvenated national group conducted its first organized protest in years, and still another organization conducted a march to the Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial, and conducted a historic wreath laying ceremony.

CRITICS RAIL AGAINST SENATE PROMOTION OF GEN. CLARK (tags)

On Tues., Nov. 18, the senate confirmed a promotion of Major General Robert T. Clark to the rank of Lieutenant General, the Army's second highest rank. The senate confirmation drew rancor from the nation’s major Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Organizations, including the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC).

Final Battle Over Controversial General's Promotion, NTAC Urges Action (tags)

After a delay of more than a year, the Senate Armed Services Committee has forwarded the nomination of Major General Robert T. Clark to the full Senate for confirmation. The decision drew disbelief and a call for action from the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC).

Bush's "Marriage Protection Week " = Attack on Gay Rights (tags)

Bush has declared the week of october 15th as "Marriage Protection Week".

Open Letter re: the Orange County LGBT Center's ENDA support & Transgender Discr (tags)

An open letter regarding the Orange County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center's support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which discriminates against the Transgender community. PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE!

UNION BUSTING! In the Fund for Public Interest (tags)

One of the largest progressive non profits in the nation, is attempting to silence workers who tried to oganize a labor union!

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