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leo laurence

S.A.M.E. Hosts Victory Celebration for Marriage Equality Protesters (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) held a victory celebration September 21 at the Bamboo Lounge in Hillcrest after San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith dropped all charges against the Equality Nine, protesters who were arrested at the San Diego County Clerk's office August 19, 2010 for showing up to request marriage licenses or support others doing so, including same-sex couples who had appointments. The event featured five of the Equality Nine and also Queer-rights pioneers Leo Laurence and Pat Brown, who led militant Queer-liberation demonstrations in San Francisco months before the Stonewall riots.

“EQUALITY NINE VICTORY CELEBRATION” AT BAMBOO LOUNGE IN HILLCREST SEPTEMBER 21 (tags)

San Diego's Queer community is celebrating the end of the Equality Nine case Friday, September 21, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Avenue in Hillcrest. After having criminal charges hanging over their heads for more than two years, the six remaining members of the Equality Nine are finally free thanks to the city dismissing the case in late August.

It Didn't All Start at Stonewall! audio links (tags)

An audio version of the January 16 event at Pleasures and Treasures, sponsored by Activist San Diego, at which Leo Laurence and Pat Brown talked about their experiences doing militant Queer activism in San Francisco months before the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City, commonly but wrongly believed to be the beginning of the Queer rights movement in the U.S., is now available at the following links.

Queer Liberation Started in San Francisco, Not Stonewall (tags)

The legend says America's — and the world's — Queer liberation movement began with the riot at the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City in June 1969. But three months before, militant Queer activists in San Francisco had launched the Committee for Homosexual Freedom (CHF) and mounted the first-ever picket against a private employer for discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Leo Laurence and Pat Brown, two veterans of that movement, brought their story to Activist San Diego June 16.

It Didn't All Start at Stonewall! Meet Two Pioneers of Queer Liberation Jan. 15 (tags)

Three months before the Stonewall Inn riots in New York city in June 1969 which are commonly — but wrongly — thought to be the start of the Gay liberation movement, a group of Gay activists in San Francisco started the nation’s first Gay Liberation Front. Two of those activists, Leo E. Laurence and Pat Brown, now live in San Diego and will be speaking Monday, January 15, 7 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest in an event sponsored by Activist San Diego.

Gay Liberation DIDN’T Begin at Stonewall!!! (tags)

The commercial interests who have taken over the Queer rights movement have a vested interest in promoting the myth that it all started with the riots at the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City in June 1969. But a group of activists who were present at the REAL foundation of Gay Liberation in San Francisco in early 1969 are coming together in an organization called "Project History" to set the record straight. Leo Laurence, Gale Whittington and Pat Brown are active in a project that will, among other things, reclaim the Queer movement's radical history and its alignments with the Black Panther Party and other militant Left groups of the time.

One and One-Half Class Citizen (tags)

The California Supreme Court decision on May 26 upholding the validity of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage voters approved in last November’s election, but also ruling that the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages in California between June 15 and November 4, 2008 were still legal, left the same-sex couples who got married in time (including this author) in an anomalous position. We can’t really call ourselves second-class citizens because our marriages are still in force, but we can’t call ourselves first-class citizens either because other couples with love and mutual commitment equal to our own can no longer follow suit. In a sense, the voters and the courts have granted us “special rights” we neither wanted nor expected.

Darrel Wood, Jr.: Queer Little Rock ’n’ Roller (tags)

Darrel Wood, Jr. is a 17-year-old high school senior in the conservative San Diego suburb of Santee, but the openly Queer rock musician has already been on two CD's with a former band and is about to release a new one by his current group, The Elephant Project. He's also headlining at the North Park Arts Festival in San Diego Sunday, May 17. In this interview, to which his mother accompanied him and also participated, he discusses his musical influences and the role of his sexuality in his life.

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.

Handicapped Senior Citizen Bicycles Cross-Country … on Oxygen (tags)

Mark Junge of Cheyenne has white hair, but on August 12 he appeared as fit as a teenager in San Diego’s Embarcadero Park behind the Convention Center with his specially equipped $6,000 bicycle. Junge had just completed a 650-mile ride from San Francisco to the Tijuana border, clocking nearly 7,200 miles on four, long-distance trips in four years despite needing oxygen, which he gets from a specially built piece of equipment.

San Diego Community Leader Accused of Breaking Law (tags)

Popular San Diego community activist Leo Wilson is being accused of practicing law without a license, involving a heated controversy over the balloting on by-laws revisions for the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA).

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