Thursday, November 20, 2008

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November every year all over the world to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the Remembering Our Dead web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.

Please join us in remembering those we have lost and spreading awareness about the horrors that members of the Transgender community experience every year. We hope that by breaking the silence surrounding what has been happening to people simply because they don't fit specific gender norms, people will start to realize that this sort of hatred is happening and that something needs to be done about it.

State Supreme Court rejoins Prop. 8 battle

SF Gate
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marin joins Proposition 8 lawsuit

Staff Report
Posted: 11/18/2008 03:38:17 PM PST

The Marin Board of Supervisors is joining San Francisco and other plaintiffs suing to bring Proposition 8 to the state Supreme Court for review.

California voters approved a constitutional change Nov. 4 that limits marriage to a man and a woman, triggering protests across the state. The vote was 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

Marin is not allocating any money for the effort, said county Administrator Matthew Hymel.

Supervisor Susan Adams said voters' rejection of same-sex marriages was a travesty, and she urged the board's "serious consideration into joining the legal fight for civil rights."

The board emerged from a closed session later in the day to announce it was doing just that.

"The county has agreed to be named as a plaintiff in contesting the constitutionality of Proposition 8," said board chairman Charles McGlashan.

-Nels Johnson

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Join The Impact Action Alert: Project Postcard

President-elect Barack Obama has made some important promises to the LGBT community. We have to make sure he follows through. What better way to do it than to send him a friendly little reminder? Here's how...

It would be great if it had the name of your city or state on it, but feel free to get creative.

Dear President-elect Obama,

Please repeal D.O.M.A.! All Americans should have the right to marry. Thank you in advance for advocating for the civil rights of your LGBT citizens.


President-elect Barack Obama
Presidential Transition Office
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn St., 38th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

1. Help spread the word. Forward this email to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors
2.Send a postcard to Obama every day until 11/28. Take a photo of you mailing your postcard and post it here.
3. Stay active in the Join the Impact network. Add your opinions and ideas, and help plan upcoming events.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Marin County Marriage Equality Community Forum

As people have taken to the streets in response to the passage of Proposition 8, we must seize this opportunity to bring our community together. Let’s heal together and constructively examine the Proposition 8 campaign and determine where we go from here at a grassroots level in order to advance our marriage equality movement within California and nationwide.

Let’s convert the frustration exhibited with the passage of Prop 8 into a positive force to build support for marriage equality in California and to press our national leaders and President-Elect Obama to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

Thursday, December 4th
6:30pm -8:30pm
Acqua Hotel
555 Redwood Highway, Mill Valley
Free Event - Donations at the door welcome

Sponsored By:

Spectrum LGBT Center
Marin AIDS Project
Marriage Equality USA
Marin Peace & Justice Coalition
ACLU - Northern California

Facebook users: RSVP at our event page on Facebook

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marin rally joins outcry over Proposition 8 - Marin IJ

Marin IJ
Paul Liberatore
Article Launched: 11/15/2008 10:30:42 PM PST

They were gay and straight, married and single, young and old and in between. They brought their kids, their dogs, their lovers and friends, their signs, speeches, guitars and songs.

On Saturday, some 500 demonstrators came to express their anger and disappointment as well as their faith and hope for change at a peaceful rally at San Rafael City Hall, representing Marin in a national day of protest against California's ban on same-sex marriage.

The same thing was happening in small towns and major cities across the country, including San Francisco , New York, Los Angeles and Chicago , as gay rights supporters vented frustrations, celebrated gay relationships and renewed calls to keep on fighting for justice.

In San Rafael, the protesters - outraged over the passage of Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman - gathered on an unseasonably sunny and warm morning to listen to speakers condemn injustice and call for a revived campaign of equality for gay people, including the right to marry.

"We're not married and we're not gay, we just believe all people should have the right to live as they choose," said Susan Bierzychudek of Fairfax, carrying a placard that said "Discrimination is not a family value."

She came to the rally with her partner, Jim Fox, who held aloft a sign that quoted John Lennon's "Imagine": "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

And he wasn't. On the City Hall steps, on the sidewalk and lawns around the public plaza and standing shoulder-to-shoulder across the street, demonstrators carried signs with such slogans as: "I don't want your acceptance, I want my rights." "How does our love and commitment hurt yours?" "Marriage is a human right, not a heterosexual privilege."

Cars drove slowly and steadily by on Fifth Avenue, most of them honking approval.

Speaking to the crowd, The Rev. Liza Klein, pastor of San Rafael First United Methodist Church, called the gay marriage issue "the civil rights movement of today."

Dave Morey, the popular rock disc jockey who came out on the air after his partner died, was the best known of the speakers. He noted that even though Proposition 8. squeaked by, the gap is narrowing on gay marriage.

"It was close," he said. "With gays and straights together, we can show our strength in numbers. We are going to get there because we are good people. All we want is to be included."

Massachusetts and Connecticut began same sex weddings this past week. They are the only two states that still allow gay marriage. With the passage of Proposition 8, California is one of the 30 states that have voted on gay marriage to enact a ban.

Gary Topper, a retired wine marketer, married Tom Harrington, his partner of 17 years, in a party at their San Anselmo home on the Fourth of July.

Like other gay couples that married while it was still legal, he isn't sure what the outcome will be in the courts.

"Whatever it is, my relationship with Tom is as strong as ever," he said.

Nevertheless, he condemned the Mormon and Catholic churches for leading the well-financed campaign to pass Proposition 8.

"They chose to discriminate even though they voted for Obama," he said. Now that an African American has been elected president, he added, "We have become the excluded group."

In that ironic vein, Mark Hill, attending the rally with his family, said Proposition 8 "totally killed my Obama buzz."

He and his wife, Premila, brought their 8-year-old son, Greg, to the demonstration to instill in him that "In America, we protect rights," he said. "We don't take them away."

The Marin rally came off without incident, and there were no reports of violence Saturday in other cities.

"It's natural for us to feel anger," said rally speaker Jeanne Rizzo, who, with her spouse, Pali Cooper, is one of the plaintiffs in the marriage case that was decided favorably by the California State Supreme Court. "We need to feel that."

But, she said, that anger should be channeled into "the most incredible civil rights movement in the history of the country."

Saturday's rally was organized by Spectrum, Marin's gay advocacy organization.

"We're bringing together a community that has been terribly hurt," said Spectrum's Paula Pilecki, noting that the Proposition 8 fight comes on the 30th anniversary of the murder of legendary gay activist Harvey Milk.

"This is a call to action like we've never seen."

Paul Liberatore can be reached at

Visit Flickr to see photos from the event.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fight H8 with Your Rally Photos at

This weekend's international rally for gay rights promises to be the most visible moment for the international LGBT community in recent history. Thanks to each of you who are volunteering to end hate and speaking out against California's Prop. 8 and the amendments in Florida, Arkansas and Arizona. is looking to share photos from each of these rallies on our Website. Beginning Friday, we'll be covering the Join the Impact movement at through photos and blog entries of people fighting for equality the world over. We would love to share images and thoughts from rallies in your hometown with our readers. If you have photos, quotes or thoughts from the rally you attend this weekend, please, email us at

We will post your image and information about the rally in your hometown on our Website.

Thanks for your commitment to ending hate and check out this weekend for updates on the Join the Impact rallies.

Advocate Staff

View photos here:

Send photos to:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Prop 8 Protest: Update on Speakers & Musicians

Join us this Saturday, November 15th for the
National Protest Against Proposition 8

WHERE: San Rafael: City Hall
1400 5th Avenue, San Rafael
TIME: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Confirmed Speakers (updated 11/13/08):

Dave Morey, Host of KFOG's Morning Show
Judy Arnold, Marin County Board of Supervisors
Damon Connolly, San Rafael City Councilmember
Jeanne Rizzo and Pali Cooper, one of the plaintiff couples in the marriage case decided favorably by the CA State Supreme Court
Rev. Carol Hovis, Marin Interfaith Council
Rev. Dr. Liza Klein, San Rafael First United Methodist Church
Charles McGlashan, Marin County Board of Supervisors
Rev. Sara Vurek
Recently Married Couples
*affiliations mentioned for identification purposes only

Local musicians scheduled to appear (updated 11/13/08):

The Pam and Jeri Show (Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones of Blame Sally)
Jesse Brewster
Clara George
Rebecca Riots
Owen Roberts
Joe Stevens
Wild Mustard

More information:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prop 8 Protest: A Call to the LGBTQ Community, Friends, & Family

Join us this Saturday, November 15th for the National Protest Against Proposition 8

NEW LOCATION: San Rafael: City Hall, 1400 5th Avenue at D Street, San Rafael
TIME: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Calling our community together! There has been a tremendous outpouring of support since the election, when Proposition 8 passed by a narrow margin in California. Come together for a peaceful rally in downtown San Rafael. Bring your signs, your friends, and your energy.


To volunteer, call 415-457-1115 ext.209

For more information, including downloads of signs, widgets, and publicity links, go to


Dave Morey, Host of KFOG's Morning Show
Judy Arnold, Marin County Board of Supervisors
Damon Connelly, San Rafael City Councilmember
Jeanne Rizzo and Pali Cooper, one of the plaintiff couples in the marriage case decided favorably by the CA State Supreme Court
Rev. Dr. Liza Klein, San Rafael First United Methodist Church
Rev. Sara Vurek, Fairfax Community Church
Recently Married Couples

Local musicians scheduled to appear (partial list):

Clara George

Owen Roberts

Rebecca Riots

Jesse Brewster

Joe Stevens

Wild Mustard

Marin Local Music

Spectrum LGBT Center thanks Shelley Champine and Marin Local Music for assisting with producing the Marin Rally Against Prop 8. Marin Local Music (MLM) is a social network for people who support live, local music in Marin County, California. Other online social networks such as Facebook or MySpace seek to create virtual, global communities with technology. MLM starts with a very real community and simply uses technology to organize, inform and promote its members and activities. Check out Marin Local Music online at

Renegade Studios

Sound equipment provided by Renegade Music, San Rafael

Please add this information to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other online communities.

Thanks, see you Saturday!

View Larger Map

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nationally-known Folk Trio Releases Musical Response to Prop 8

Rebecca Riots offers free download as gift to grieving marriage equality supporters.

In response to the passage of Proposition 8, which eliminates the right of California's same sex couples to marry, nationally-known folk group Rebecca Riots has released a new single. Members of the band hope it will inspire supporters of marriage equality to recommit themselves to the struggle for equal rights. The Bay Area-based trio invites them to visit and download "A Thousand Hands (Wedding Song 08)".

Prior to the election, Rebecca Riots was planning their new album, "Avenue", to be released in 2009; they planned to include "A Thousand Hands (Wedding Song 08)" on this album in honor California's historic legal same sex weddings. However, in the face of escalating scare tactics by proposition 8's proponents and inspired by record-breaking marriage equality volunteerism, the activist-minded band wanted to offer something more.

Simply slating the song for their CD, performing at LGBT benefits and emailing their list asking fans to get involved -- which they did -- didn't feel like enough. "We have been so inspired by the commitment of couples marrying in the face of intense public opposition, and deeply touched by the way that people of all sexual orientations rallied to fight the bigotry of proposition 8 and others like it" said Eve Decker, "We wanted to give something back to acknowledge that and inspire us all to keep up the fight."

Thus the Marriage Equality Gift Project was born and on Sunday, November 2, The folk trio with the distinctive three-part harmonies recorded their wedding song in preparation to offer it as a free download from their site beginning Wednesday, November 5th.

"We must not give up the fight for justice. We hope that a growing alliance between the lgbt community and its allies will eventually isolate intolerance and ensure justice" says Lisa Zeiler. Andrea Prichett adds, "Regardless of propostion 8 we must continue to convene loved ones to be
witnesses to, and supporters of, our loves and our weddings."

"A Thousand Hands (Wedding Song 08)" has already been used in several weddings and Rebecca Riots members hope many more will choose to make the song part of their special day as a statement of their determination to continue the fight for equal rights.


More about Rebecca Riots:

Folk icons The Rebecca Riots (Lisa Zeiler, Andrea Prichett, and Eve Decker) have received rave reviews for their performances and albums including "Best Band with a Conscience" by the S.F. Bay Guardian and "Dreamy Girl Band" by Girlfriends Magazine. The group took their name from an uprising in South Wales in 1843. Rebecca Riots supports grassroots activism as an effective strategy for social change. They have released 6 recordings and toured
extensively since their debut in 1993.

For more information about Rebecca Riots and/or to download "A Thousand Hands (Wedding Song 08)", go to

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Church and state: The issue of Prop. 8

Recommended reading:

Church and state: The issue of Prop. 8

San Francisco Chronicle
James Brosnahan
Sunday, November 9, 2008

Proposition 8 has passed, denying to some the right enjoyed by other citizens in California, the right to marry. Now, the central question for the courts to decide is: Are gays in California equal, or can members of certain churches declare them constitutionally inferior? [read more...]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Message from Sam and Julia Thoron to the No On 8 Campaign Members

Dear Friends,

We have suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of opponents who waged a campaign based on lies, deception and fear fueled by a deep and mistaken conviction that we, and our families, are inferior to theirs. It hurts deeply. It is cruel that our right to equal protection can be put to a vote.

We need to take time to heal. We also need to remind ourselves of a few very important concepts.

In our fight, we have kept to the high road. We have no need to examine our conscience. We have all given our utmost, freely and with unbelievable generosity and unity. We can and must hold our heads high.

In our loss, in our grief, we must not allow our anger and frustration to divide us. Let us not second guess or stoop to pointing fingers of blame among ourselves. Remember that what we have in common is what brought us together. However passionate we may be, we cannot allow small differences to divide us.

Finally, as we go on with our lives, we must not allow ourselves to become like our opponents. Even if we can neither forget nor forgive them for the way that they have treated us, we must always treat those around us with the same respect and dignity that we deserve and demand for ourselves and for our families. Let us continue to keep to the high road.

It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve Equality for All, the No On Prop 8 Campaign. Working with you all has been a gift beyond price.

In love and solidarity,

Sam and Julia Thoron

Friday, November 7, 2008

NO on Prop 8 Campaign Leaders Call on Community to Stand Together

Top leaders from the NO on Prop 8 campaign today issued the following statement urging leaders in the community to stand together following the passage of Prop 8.

"This has been an incredibly difficult week for Californians who are disappointed in the passage of Proposition 8, which takes away the right to marry for same-sex couples in our state. We feel a profound sense of disappointment in this defeat, but know that in order to move forward we must continue to stand together as one community in order to secure full equality in California.

"In working to defeat Prop 8, a profound coalition banded together to fight for equality. Faith leaders, labor, teachers, civil rights leaders and communities of color, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, public officials, local school boards and city councils, parents, corporate law firms and bar associations, businesses, and people from all walks of life joined together to stand up against discrimination. We must build on this coalition in order to achieve equal rights for all Californians.

"We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss. We know people of all faiths, races and backgrounds stand with us in our fight to end discrimination, and will continue to do so. Now more than ever it is critical that we work together and respect our differences that make us a diverse and unique society. Only with that understanding will we achieve justice and equality for all."

Geoff Kors, Executive Director, Equality California
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Lorri Jean, Executive Director, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
Delores Jacobs, Executive Director, San Diego Gay and Lesbian Center

Email from No on Prop 8 Campaign

Following is the final email from the Executive Committee members of the
No on Prop 8 campaign. There were dozens of organizations throughout California that served as partners for the campaign. Spectrum was one of those organizations, and I was proud to have served on the statewide campaign committee.

--Paula Pilecki, Executive Director, Spectrum LGBT Center

November 2008

We had hoped never to have to write this email.

Sadly, fueled by misinformation, distortions and lies, millions of voters went to the polls yesterday and said YES to bigotry, YES to discrimination, YES to second-class status for same-sex couples.

And while the election was close, and millions of votes still remain uncounted, is has become apparent that we lost.

There is no question this defeat is hard.

Thousands of people have poured their talents, their time, their resources and their hearts into this struggle for freedom and this fight to have their relationships treated equally. Much has been sacrificed in this struggle.

While we knew the odds for success were not with us, we believed Californians could be the first in the nation to defeat the injustice of discriminatory measures like Proposition 8.

And while victory is not ours this day, we know that because of the work done here; freedom, fairness and equality will be ours someday. Just look at far we have come in a few decades.

Up until 1974 same-sex intimacy was a crime in California. There wasn't single law recognizing the relationships of same-sex couples until 1984 - passed by the Berkeley School District. San Francisco did not pass domestic-partner protections until 1990, the state of California following in 2005. And in 2000, Proposition 22 passed with a 23% majority.

Today, we fought to retain our right to marry and millions of Californians stood with us. Over the course of this campaign everyday Californians and their friends, neighbors and families built a civil rights campaign unequalled in California history.

You raised more money than anyone believed possible for an LGBT civil rights campaign.

You reached out to family and friends in record numbers-helping hundreds of thousands of Californians understand what the LGBT civil rights struggle is really about.

You built the largest grassroots and volunteer network that has ever been built - a coalition that will continue to fight until all people are equal.

And you made the case to the people of California and to the rest of the world that discrimination - in any form - is unfair and wrong.

We are humbled by the courage, dignity and commitment displayed by all who fought this historic battle.

Victory was not ours today. But the struggle for equality is not over.

Because of the struggle fought here in California - fought so incredibly well by the people in this state who love freedom and justice - our fight for full civil rights will continue.

Activist and writer Anne Lamott writes, "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

We stand together, knowing... our dawn will come.

Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, CEO
Center Advocacy Project

Lorri L. Jean, CEO
L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center

Kate Kendell, Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

Geoff Kors, Executive Director
Equality California