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marriage equality

Proposition 8, DoMA and the Supreme Court (tags)

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage passed by California voters in November 2008, and also the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) that defines marriage under federal law as only between one man and one woman. But the current Right-wing Court is likely to uphold Prop. 8 as constitutional and leave the battle for marriage equality to state-by-state political and social campaigns.

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.

San Diego City Attorney Drops Charges Against Marriage Activists (tags)

Six members of the Equality Nine, marriage equality activists arrested over two years ago for going to the San Diego County Clerk's office and demanding marriage licenses for same-sex couples, were vindicated August 24 when city attorney Jan Goldsmith filed a motion to dismiss all charges. Originally scheduled for April 30, the scheduled trial had already been delayed until September because the judge in the case found the prosecution had been discriminating against Queer potential jurors and dissolved the jury pool. The Equality Nine regard this as a victory for marriage equality and free speech.

Queer Democrats Demand 100% on Marriage, Choice (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality passed a sweeping change to its rules for endorsing or rating candidates May 24. The new rules demand that candidates seeking an endorsement or favorable rating from the club support full marriage equality for Queer couples and an eight-point agenda for protecting women's access to abortion.

San Diego Queer Groups Fight Proposition B (tags)

Queer organizations in San Diego, including Canvass for a Cause (CFAC) and the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.), are uniting against Proposition B, a "reform" initiative sponsored by openly Gay Right-wing Republican City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio that would destroy any hope of retirement security for city workers.

San Diego Marriage Equality Trial Delayed (tags)

A funny thing happened to the six remaining defendants in the Equality Nine case — members of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) who were arrested while demonstrating for marriage equality at the San Diego County Clerk’s office August 19, 2010 — on their way to a trial that was supposed to begin April 30. Judge Joan Weber, discovered that prosecutors had systematically excluded Queers from the jury pool, and she threw out the entire jury pool and decided that the case would have to start over September 18.

BTL:In Historic Shift, Obama Declares His Support for Same Gender Marriage (tags)

Interview with John Lewis, legal director with the group Marriage Equality USA, conducted by Scott Harris

John Brooks: Occupy Inspires Neophyte to Run for Congress (tags)

John Brooks was a retired agent for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife until he saw the Occupy San Diego protests on TV and was inspired to run for Congress as an alternative Democrat. Though he ran afoul of the San Diego Democrats for Equality's endorsement process, he's recently been endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America and his real views on Queer rights and women's choice are far more progressive than the Democrats for Equality's questionnaire made them sound.

Queer Democrats Split in 51st Congressional District Race (tags)

For the second month in a row, the San Diego Democrats for EqualIty refused to endorse a progressive Latina for Congress. This time they were unable to come to a consensus whether to support Denise Moreno Ducheny or Juan Vargas in the 51st Congressional District, currently represented by mayoral candidate Bob Filner, despite Vargas's opposition to marriage equality and his abandonment of previous support for single-payer health care.

Marriage Equality Activists Face Trial March 28 (tags)

The Equality 9 — nine members of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) who sat in at the San Diego county clerk's office August 19, 2010 to protest the delay in implementing the federal court decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, are facing trial in San Diego County Superior Court March 28. They are asking for people to show up at 8 a.m. for a pre-trial march and rally and to contact San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to urge him to drop the charges.

Where's OUR Religious Liberty? (tags)

The recent controversy over whether institutions owned by the Roman Catholic Church should be required to include birth control coverage in the health insurance they offer employees, the attempt in Virginia to require women seeking abortions to submit to medical rape, and the radical Right's reaction to the 9th Circuit appeals court ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional raises the question: why does it seem as if only bigoted Right-wing churches have "religious liberty" in this country? Why are America's officially tolerated spiritual belief systems seemingly limited to those of the Roman Catholics, Mormons and Southern Baptist Convention?

Democrats Are Not Evil (tags)

Whatever we think of the Democratic Party, like it or not, in the current political emergency, we are going to HAVE to align with them and vote for every Democrat on the ballot over every Republican — not because the Democrats are that progressive but because the Republicans plan a sweeping Right-wing revolution comparable to the changes Germany went through when Hitler took power in 1933, and the Democratic Party is one essential vehicle we will need to use to stop them.

Occupy Activist Recalls Police Brutality, Medical Neglect (tags)

At the annual holiday fundraiser of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) December 9, activist and police brutality victim Michelle "Jersey" Deutsch recalled not only being Maced by police but being the victim of prejudicial treatment at the hospital once the doctors and nurses treating her learned that she was an Occupy San Diego activist who had been attacked by police at the occupation site.

S.A.M.E. to Host Holiday Fundraiser December 9 (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) will host its annual holiday fundraiser Friday, December 9, 7 to 9:30 p.m., at the Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Avenue in Hillcrest. Half the proceeds will go to the defense fund for the Equality 9, nine S.A.M.E. members and supporters facing trial in March 2012 for their civil disobedience in support of marriage equality. The other half will go to pay medical expenses for Occupy San Diego and Canvass for a Cause activist Michelle “Jersey” Deutsch, who was beaten by San Diego police during one of their raids on the Occupy encampment in Civic Center Plaza downtown.

Nico D'Amico-Barbour: Canvass for a Cause Organizer on Marriage Equality, Occupation-print (tags)

Nico D'Amico Barbour, regional director of Canvass for a Cause -- an organization founded in San Diego two years ago to advocate for marriage equality which has since expanded to Los Angeles -- shows an entrepreneurial spirit and an almost born-again commitment to activism that's more commonly associated with the Right than the Left these days.

Nico D'Amico-Barbour: Canvass for a Cause Organizer on Marriage Equality, Occupation (tags)

Nico D'Amico-Barbour, regional field director for the marriage equality organization Canvass for a Cause, discusses marriage rights, the Occupy movement and other progressive issues in this audio interview, scheduled for print publication in the December 2011 issue of Zenger's Newsmagazine.

Marriage Equality Protesters Have Day in Court Oct. 17 (tags)

The "Equality Nine," marriage equality protesters who were arrested in August 2010 for staging a sit-in at the San Diego County Clerk's office to protest the continuing denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, were back in court October 17. The city attorney, who has refused to drop the charges, has offered them a plea deal, but so far all but two have refused to take it.

Occupy San Diego Draws Thousands Downtown Oct. 15 (tags)

Despite attacks by police wielding pepper spray and Mace, confiscation of their possession and a series of threats to evict them forcibly from the Civic Center Plaza, over 1,000 members and supporters of Occupy San Diego reclaimed their downtown space October 15. The day was busy, including three marches and two rallies as well as Occupy San Diego's usual open discussion about its goals.

Free the Equality Nine! Action Sept. 28 in Downtown San Diego (tags)

Over a year has passed since the ?Equality Nine? ? members and supporters of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) ? were arrested on August 19, 2010 at the San Diego County Administrative Center. Now the Equality Nine plan to present their petitions to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith at a rally Wednesday, September 28, 4 p.m. outside the City Attorney?s office, 1200 Third Avenue downtown. The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday, October 17 in the San Diego County Courthouse downtown.

The Long and Winding Road of Marriage Equality Litigation (tags)

Seeking social change through litigation is not for the faint-hearted ? or the impatient. At the July 28 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, attorney Jason Molnar of the Southern Poverty Law Center talked about the history of marriage equality litigation and brought two flow charts showing the twisted route it's already taken through the courts ? and it's likely to get even more twisted before the U.S. Supreme Court rules one way or the other.

Marching with S.A.M.E. at the San Diego Pride Parade (tags)

A lot of progressive Queers and Queer-friendly allies have written off the annual Pride events as overly commercial, corporate and mainstream. But that's not what it felt like to me when I marched with the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) in San Diego's Pride Parade July 16. In a mixed contingent that also included members of the Bradley Manning Support Group and the International Socialist Organization, I felt like part of a movement, participating in an island of militant political awareness that asserted the values on which Pride was founded that have largely got lost in the overall celebration. With nine S.A.M.E. members facing criminal charges for seeking marriage licenses following the federal district court ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, some of the signs the contingent carried linked their members -- and Bradley Manning -- to notorious American political prisoners of the past.

Rally Kicks Off San Diego Pride Events (tags)

San Diego's Queer (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride events kicked off Friday, July 15 at a rally on the pride festival site in Balboa Park. The featured speakers were New Age author and credentialed minister Marianne Williamson, who talked about marriage equality as a straight supporter who has performed same-sex weddings, and Daniel Hernandez, the young, openly Gay aide to Congressmember Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who saved her life when she was shot at an outdoor rally in January. But the most powerful speaker was former San Diego Democratic Club president Larry Baza, who powerfully expressed the history of the Queer rights movement and the challenges it faces in the future.

Over 500 Turn Out for San Diego Slut Walk (tags)

For those who thought the battle over whether women who dress in sexually provocative clothing are thereby giving men the ?right? to rape them was won in the 1970?s, it was a shock last January when a police representative in Toronto, Canada told a class he was lecturing to that ?women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.? His boorish, sexist remarks had one positive result: they rekindled the feminist movement via a series of ?Slut Walks,? mass demonstrations in which women deliberately dress in so-called ?slut wear? both to communicate a sex-positive message and to make the point that women should be free to dress any way they like and go about wherever they like without inviting men to rape them. The message of the ?Slut Walks?: don?t teach women how to avoid rape: TEACH MEN NOT TO RAPE!

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.

Oceanside, Hillcrest to Host Fundraisers May 20 for a North County LGBT Center (tags)

Max Disposti, founder of the North County LGBT Coalition, has a dream for a center to serve the Queer community in Oceanside the way the LGBT Community Center in Hillcrest serves the city of San Diego. His group is hosting a fundraiser Friday, May 20, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way in Oceanside to raise money for the Center ? and, as a gesture of community support, the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality is hosting one for the same cause the same day ? Friday, May 20 ? from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Ave. (between Herbert and Normal Streets) in Hillcrest.

San Diego Hosts Three May Day Rallies (tags)

San Diego hosted no fewer than three rallies on Sunday, May 1 — one between the Centro Cultural de la Raza and World Beat Center in Balboa Park, followed by a march to the Federal Building downtown where the second rally was held, and a third at the San Diego Community Concourse that united the participants with another set of marchers, who had assembled earlier in the morning in Chicano Park, also for a walk downtown. The rally speakers focused on a wide variety of progressive issues — workers’ rights, education cutbacks, health care, immigrants’ rights, war and peace, Queer liberation — and attempted to draw connections between them and psych the participants for the long struggle ahead to preserve and extend those rights in the face of a relentless assault on them by the radical Right.

San Diegans March in Support of Chrissy Lee Polis, Transgender Rights (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) and All Out at City, the Queer student group at San Diego City College, drew about 70 people to a march and rally they staged outside the McDonald’s in Hillcrest April 30 in support of Transgender rights. The rally was in support of Chrissy Lee Polis,the 24-year-old Transgender woman who was beaten up by two teenage girls in a women’s restroom at a McDonald’s in Baltimore April 18, while McDonald’s staff and customers looked on and only one person actually tried to stop the attack. One McDonald’s employee filmed the incident on a video-equipped cell phone and posted the clip to the Internet, where it “went viral” and shocked the conscience of many people who saw it. S.A.M.E., All Out at City and various individuals, many of them Transgender, seized the teachable moment to hold an event that held Transgender rights central to the overall struggle for Queer equality.

Tax Day Protests on April 18th! (tags)

Several groups are planning different Tax Day (April 18th) protests against austerity, tax loopholes for the rich, and the banksters.

S.A.M.E. Rallies Against Hate Crimes, Bullying (tags)

Drawn by several recent hate assaults on Queer people in the Hillcrest and North Park areas, members and supporters of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) rallied at the North Park Community Park Saturday afternoon, March 26. The rally featured speeches by openly Queer elected officials like Assemblymember Toni Atkins and School Board member Kevin Beiser, as well as ministers and others in support of Queer equality, but the most moving statements came from people who’d been on the receiving end of anti-Queer violence or bullying themselves: S.A.M.E. member René Torres, high school student Maya Conti and North Park resident Jacob Harshbarger, who wasn’t at the rally but sent a statement describing not only the attack against him but the lax response of local police and prosecutors. “I felt that the system that was supposed to be there to protect me was treating me as though it was my fault,” Harshbarger said.

Public Workers’ Struggle Is Our Struggle (tags)

Though it ended in a setback when the Republican majority in the Wisconsin state legislature used legally dubious tactics to ram the bill through anyway, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip his state’s public workers of the right to form unions and bargain collectively has engendered nationwide resistance from America’s increasingly embattled working class. Tens of thousands of people from Wisconsin and elsewhere flooded Madison, the state capital, and occupied the capitol building to protest Walker’s policies, and the Democrats in the Wisconsin State Senate left the state for three weeks to deny Walker and the Republicans the votes they needed to eviscerate the state’s union movement. America’s working and middle classes need to stand strong and fight back in the face of these efforts by the corporate and radical Right to deny the non-rich any voice whatsoever in America’s politics.

Connor Maddocks Teaches "Trans 101" to Queer Marriage Group (tags)

The Queer community is increasingly referred to by the awkward acronym "LGBT" ? which stands for "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender" ? but few Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals really understand the needs, struggles and the rights of Transgender people. To bridge that gap, the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) invited Connor Maddocks, facilities manager at the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center and a female-to-male Transgender person, to make a presentation at their March 8 meeting. Maddocks' talk spanned a number of issues, from the physical aspects of a gender transition to the ways Transgender people are discriminated against and the hostility they sometimes face not only from heterosexuals but other Queers.

Lawyers’ Guild Forum on Nonviolent Resistance: Participant, Attorney & Observer (tags)

The National Lawyers’ Guild hosted a forum on nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in downtown San Diego February 23, and discussed the issue from three points of view: attorney Alex Landon, protest participant Zakiya Khabir and legal observer Rachel Scoma.

Russia's Foremost LGBT Leader in LA! (tags)

In a bid to promote the prominence of this May's Moscow Pride and thus hopefully forestall threatened repression by the authorities, Russia's foremost gay leader, Nikolai Alekseev, will tour seven U.S. cities February 26 thru March 6.

Marriage Activists Discuss “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal (tags)

Members of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) discussed the bill Congress passed last December aimed at repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy excluding open Queers from serving in the U.S. military. The discussion, at their regular meeting January 11, revealed mixed feelings; S.A.M.E. members supported “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal as a civil rights issue, but many of them are also anti-war and want Queers to have the right to be in the military — and the good sense not to join.

Joshua Napier: Singer, Songwriter, Queer Activist Brings Passion to His Music (tags)

The first thing you’ll notice when you hear Joshua Napier sing is the sheer emotion and passion he projects with his music. Napier sings with an edgy intensity that makes you identify with him and his songs. What’s more, though he’s a political activist and writes topical songs, he has the knack of the best activist songwriters of combining the personal with the political and creating pieces that reflect his beliefs instead of hitting you over the head with them. Napier is equally passionate off-stage. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised by a single mother, he was out as Gay in high school. One of the reasons he came to San Diego was to find an activist community with which he could work. Active as the membership chair of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.), he recently left that group’s board to join the board of Activist San Diego (ASD) because he wanted to work with a group that isn’t just focused on Queer issues. Catch him wherever you can — at fundraisers, coffeehouse gigs or the “Redfest” event of politically aware music he’s planning for this summer.

Over 100 San Diegans Demonstrate for Marriage Equality on Eve of Court Hearing (tags)

Over 100 San Diego supporters of marriage equality took to the streets in Hillcrest Saturday, December 4 as part of a statewide mobilization, "Unite to Make It Right," two days before the scheduled Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on the legal challenge to Proposition 8, which banned legal recognition of same-sex marriage in California. The event consisted of two rallies and a march in between, and speakers called for more militant activism and more aggressive challenges aimed at President Obama and other elected officials who have talked the talk of Queer equality but have done little or nothing to bring it about.

San Diego Activists Turn Out to Support Bradley Manning (tags)

San Diego’s progressive community turned out for a downtown rally September 19 in support of Bradley Manning, alleged leaker of the 90,000 pages of documents about the war in Afghanistan and the so-called “Collateral Murder” video of a U.S. attack on civilians in Iraq in 2007, who’s currently being held awaiting trial in an Army brig. Law professor Marjorie Cohn, anti-war veteran Chuck Wynette and other speakers called for Manning to be set free whether he leaked the papers or not.

“Equality Nine” Marriage Rights Demonstrators to be Arraigned Sept. 30 (tags)

The “Equality Nine” — Michael Anderson, Brian Baumgardner, Sean Bohac, Felicity Bradley, Kelsey Hoffman, Mike Kennedy, Zakiya Khabir, Chuck Stemke, and Cecile Veillard — are activists with the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) who were arrested at a sit-in outside the San Diego County Clerk's office August 19. They're scheduled for arraignment at the San Diego County Courthouse, 220 West Broadway downtown, Thursday, September 30, and they want supporters to come to the plaza outside the courthouse at noon that day to show support.

Marriage Victory Celebration Draws 3,000 to Hillcrest Streets (tags)

Account of the marriage equality celebration that occurred on the streets of Hillcrest, the San Diego neighborhood famous for its large Queer population, on August 4, 2010 — the day Judge Vaughn R. Walker announced his decision in the federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8. Though Queer activists and allies have since been frustrated by the court-ordered delays in enforcing Walker's decision, they can be proud that a judge ruled that there is absolutely no rational basis for a ban on marriage between two partners of the same gender.

EMERGENCY COUNTER-PROTEST RALLY IN SUPPORT OF OUR LGBT VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY (tags)

EMERGENCY COUNTER-PROTEST RALLY TOMORROW MORNING Sat., Feb 13 @ 9AM in Little Saigon (Westminster) , to support the LGBT Vietnamese Community

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.

Imperial County Enters Court Case Against Marriage Equality (tags)

The Board of Supervisors of Imperial County voted 3-2 last December to intervene in the federal court case challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which defines marriage in California as between one man and one woman. According to marriage equality activist Fernando Lopez, Jr., the board's attempt to intervene in support of Prop. 8 — which the court neither accepted nor denied before the case began — was significant because, by involving a government body in the case on the side of Prop. 8, it would allow the Prop. 8 supporters to appeal a ruling against them even if the state of California chose not to.

Sherry Wolf: Lesbian Socialist Activist Speaks in San Diego (tags)

Lesbian socialist Sherry Wolf came to San Diego December 3 to promote her new book, “Sexuality and Socialism.” Wolf offered a provocative critique of much of the Queer community’s orthodoxy, most notably the Queer mainstream’s embrace of the notion that people’s sexual orientation is inbred and genetically determined. She also mused on how and why the Queer movement morphed from a liberation struggle demanding sexual freedom to an elaborate commercial mechanism to promote Queer-owned businesses. Her final conclusion: there can be no true sexual liberation as long as capitalism survives and forces most people to spend their time working at jobs they hate and taking care of families on their own.

Béla Dornon: Queer Photographer Seeks to Document California’s Same-Sex Marriages (tags)

Photographer Béla Dornon calls them the “142 Days” — from June 15, 2008, when the California Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages to be legally recognized took effect, to November 4, 2008, when the passage of Proposition 8 took that right away again. He’s responded to his anger by starting a project to document every same-sex marriage that took place in California during that time, exhibit as many images of happy same-sex couples as he legally can, and thereby counter the Right-wing hate propaganda used to pass measures like Proposition 8.

Queer Democrats Can’t Agree on Marriage Strategy (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club discussed whether to seek the repeal of Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012 at its regular meeting September 24 — and turned out to be as divided on that topic as the rest of California’s Queer community. The two major statewide Queer organizations, Equality California and the Courage Campaign, have taken totally different tacks on the issue. The Courage Campaign not only favors 2010 but is already organizing for the earlier date, while Equality California’s leaders are convinced that 2010 is premature. Both the club’s invited panelists and its own members differed widely on whether to go in 2010 or 2012, and both proposals for the club to take action on the issue were voted down by wide margins.

Marriage Equality Follies (tags)

The split between California's two leading statewide Queer equality groups, the Courage Campaign and Equality California, over whether to seek the repeal of the anti-marriage Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012 is criminally stupid and a disaster for the Queer community. The Courage Campaign is energetically moving to create “facts on the ground” to force the rest of the community to join it in a premature push for a 2010 ballot initiative that will almost certainly lose. A later initiative would give the community more time to organize and build support — but a unified effort for 2010 would be better than a continued division that might produce not one, but two, losing initiative campaigns.

Queer Democrats Endorse Busby for Congress — Barely (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club narrowly endorsed Francine Busby in her fourth attempt to unseat an incumbent Republican Congressmember in San Diego North County's 50th Congressional District. Her supporters promoted her as the most electable candidate because she's built up a large following of volunteers and contributors in the district; her opponents said she'd fudged the question of same-sex marriage equality on the club's questionnaire while her primary opponent, Tracy Emblem, had answered it forthrightly.

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.

Queer Democrats Debate Proposition 8 Response (tags)

The wounds were still raw from the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved ban on marriage for same-sex couples, when the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club met May 28 and debated how the club should respond. The members heard from attorney Charlie Pratt, who had been at the sit-in at the County Administrative Center's marriage license bureau the day before and had been singled out for special harassment by police, and also discussed whether and when the Queer community should mount its own ballot initiative campaign to repeal Proposition 8.

Over 70 Activists Stage Marriage Equality Sit-in at S.D. County Clerk’s Office (tags)

Over 70 marriage equality activists occupied the office of the San Diego County Clerk Wednesday, May 27 as a protest against the California Supreme Court’s ruling that Proposition 8, which restricts marriage in California to one man and one woman, is constitutional. Michael Anderson and Brian Baumgardner led the action by demanding a marriage license, and other Queer couples followed suit. The event ended peacefully, with no arrests, when the crowd dispersed an hour after the official closing time of the building.

“MARRY US OR JAIL US” DARE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACTIVISTS (tags)

An estimated 500 people (many of them high school youth) participated in a passionate protest organized by Latinos for Equality Alliance of East Los Angeles reacting to this morning’s announcement of the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow Proposition 8 (the gay marriage equality referendum) to stand as law.

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.

Assemblymember Marty Block Defends Prop. 8 Stance to Queer Democrats (tags)

Assemblymember Marty Block appeared before the San Diego Democratic Club March 26 to explain why he voted against a legislative resolution instructing the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8, the initiative passed by voters last November to restrict marriage in California to opposite-sex couples. Block said that, as a former judge, he didn't think it was appropriate for the legislature to tell a court what to do about a pending case, whether it's the Right telling judges to uphold restrictions on abortion or progressives telling the court to preserve same-sex marriage equality.

Over 500 Turn Out for Marriage Equality Demonstration (tags)

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his Lesbian daughter Lisa (pictured) led off the San Diego installment of "March Forth on March Fourth," a series of rallies and demonstrations held statewide on the eve of the California Supreme Court's oral hearings on the legal challenges to Proposition 8. Mayor Sanders endorsed same-sex marriage equality last year after deciding he couldn't tell his daughter that her relationship was less important than his.

“No on 8” Actions, Discussions Continue (tags)

The fight against the anti-marriage Proposition 8 has lasted quite a bit longer than the election, in which the same-sex marriage ban passed by a five-point margin. Queer and allied activists are still holding demonstrations against the initiative and meeting to discuss where the fight will go next. But their discussions are stronger on building communications strategies than actually plotting a course to reverse the ballot measure.

Marriage: Some Good News, More Bad News (tags)

The October 10 Connecticut Supreme Court decision endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples was good news, but it was far overshadowed by the devastating new poll results on Proposition 8, which seeks to overturn the similar ruling last May by the California Supreme Court. Not only has Yes on 8 taken the lead, but they've done so by organizing younger voters — whom marriage equality supporters had assumed would be a bulwark of their coalitiion.

Queer Marriage Advocates Launch "Decline to Sign" Drive (tags)

Faced with a well-funded campaign to permanently ban same-sex marriage in the California constitution, Queer and Queer-friendly Californians are joining forces to mount a volunteer campaign to keep marraige equality opponents from getting the signatures they need to get their initiative on the ballot at all.

S.F. Assemblymember Leno Speaks on Same-Sex Marriage (tags)

San Francisco Assemblymember Mark Leno was the keynote speaker at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club's Freedom Banquet fundraiser October 6. He talked about the bill for marriage equality for same-sex couples he's pushed through the California legislature twice, the likelihood that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto it (as he did in 2005) and the various radical-Right initiative proposals to ban marriage for same-sex couples in California forever.

Same-sex marriage: Its time has come (tags)

The struggle for marriage equality saw its first major victory last month as Massachusetts began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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