Friday, August 27, 2010

Janie Spahr found guilty of misconduct by the Presbytery of the Redwoods

Today, a panel of Presbyterian commissioners ruled that Spectrum founder Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr  acted "contrary to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" when she legally married same-sex couples in California in 2008.

However, the panel also called upon the church "to reexamine our own fear and ignorance that continues to reject the inclusiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We say this believing that we have in our own Book of Order conflicting and even contradictory rules and regulations that are against the Gospel."

For her actions, Rev. Spahr received an official rebuke from the church, and ordered not to continue with such conduct in the future.

The text of the entire ruling can be found here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

San Francisco’s New Leaf Services for our Community to Close Oct. 15

We at Spectrum are saddened to hear about the difficult decision made by New Leaf’s Board of Directors to close the venerable 35-year-old agency. Increasing expenses, decreasing revenue and the worst economic environment in more than 70 years has made it impossible for the mental health and substance abuse treatment provider to continue serving its clients.

We understand that New Leaf's leadership team is working closely with the City of San Francisco and sister LGBT agencies to ensure that the needs of these clients will continue to be addressed after the agency’s closing on October 15th, 2010.

Here in the North Bay, Spectrum provides a modest counseling program which includes sliding-scale individual counseling services, as well as therapeutic group support services. We also partner with several community agencies in Marin and Sonoma who accept referrals from us.

Those affected by New Leaf’s closure, and who live in the North Bay counties of Marin, Sonoma, or Napa may contact Cristin Brew, MFT, Spectrum’s Program Director, at (415) 472-1945, ext. 203.

To our colleagues at New Leaf, we say thank you for your years of dedicated service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of the Bay Area. You will be missed.

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 472-1945

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spectrum founder Janie Spahr on trial again for marrying same-sex couples

The Redwoods Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has charged Rev. Spahr for officiating at the marriages of committed same-gender couples during the period in which the State of California legally recognized these marriages, June 17, 2008 through November 3, 2008. The constitution of the P.C. (U.S.A.) mandates inclusion within the life of the church and has no express prohibition against same-gender marriage.

The trial will take place beginning August 24, 2010 and will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1226 Salvador Avenue, Napa, CA.
For more information, visit the trial Facebook page.

Gender Spectrum Family and Teen Conference, Berkeley, Labor Day Weekend

Gender Spectrum Family and Teen Conference
Co-sponsored by GSA Network
September 3 - 6, 2010 -- Berkeley, CA
To learn more or register, please visit or call 877-809-4159.

Teen Conference: $25
Individual Family Conference: $175
Family Tickets $325
Scholarships Available!

Come join other transgender, gender bending, gender nonconforming teens, children and families for three days of celebrating individuality, making friends, and having fun.

Meet other trans and genderqueer teens and adults, hang out, and explore topics on gender: workshops about school, medical and legal issues, privacy and much more!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NCLR and Spectrum Tea Dance, 8/22

Don't let summer escape without enjoying the company of your favorite people.  Spectrum LGBT Center and NCLR are hosting a Tea Dance on Sunday, August 22, 4:00 - 7:00 PM at The Pleasure is Mine Restaurant @Harbor Point, 475 East Strawberry Drive, Mill Valley. Enjoy lovely vistas of Strawberry Point and San Francisco Bay from the deck and dance to the tunes of DJ Dana Jae. 

Our favorite local hero Kate Kendell will be on hand to share her thoughts on the recent Ninth Circuit Court Ruling on keeping the marriage stay in place.  Spectrum's Executive Director Paula Pilecki will talk about how you can get involved with your local LGBT community center and make a difference, and give you a sneak preview of upcoming events.

$20 admission includes valet parking and hors d’oeuvres. No-host full bar.

For more information and to RSVP, please call Eleanor Palacios at 415.365.1309 or email

Monday, August 16, 2010

What the Ninth Circuit Ruling Means for Same-Sex Couples Who Want to Get Married


(San Francisco, CA, August 16, 2010) — Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the Proposition 8 proponents’ motion to stay U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision, which means that same-sex couples in California will not be able to marry while the case is on appeal. However, the Ninth Circuit put the appeal on a fast track and specifically directed the Prop 8 proponents to address “why the appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing” in their opening brief. That means that the Court will consider whether the decision can be appealed at the same time that it is considering whether Judge Walker’s decision that Prop 8 violates the federal constitutional is legally correct.
All the briefing must be completed by November 1, 2010 and the oral argument will take place the week of December 6, 2010.

Proponents’ opening brief is due September 17. The plaintiffs’ opposing brief is due October 18. The proponents’ reply brief is due November 1.

The Ninth Circuit is not required to issue its decision within any particular time frame after oral argument; however, when an appeal is expedited, the Court tends to issue decisions more quickly. That said, it is still likely to take at least a few weeks or months after the oral argument in December for the Court to issue a decision.

Once the Ninth Circuit rules, the losing side can ask the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. The Supreme Court then has discretion to take the case or to let the Ninth Circuit’s decision stand.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Working With Transgender Clients: A Workshop for Mental Health and Social Service Providers

Saturday, September 18
12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM
Spectrum LGBT Center
30 North San Pedro Road, Suite 160, San Rafael

$20 per person
$85 for Continuing Education Credit (for MFTs, LCSWs & nurses)*

RSVP to Cristin Brew, MFT, (415) 472-1945, ext. 203
or register online here

Light lunch will be provided

While transgender people have been around for as long as people have been existed, the term “transgender” is relatively new and our social dialogue about gender identity is just beginning. This seminar provides an overview of clinical issues in working with transgender clients. Participants will learn relevant terminology, best practices, and hear from guest speakers. Join us in a safe environment to learn more about gender identity, gender variance, transsexuals, cross dressing, drag performance, intersex people, and more. Segments of the film Diagnosing Difference will be viewed and discussed.

Training objectives:
  • Providers will have the opportunity to examine their own experience and understanding of gender.
  • Providers will have an increased understanding of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity and will learn about various transgender identities. 
  • Providers will have greater knowledge of the barriers that transgender clients face in accessing services and how transphobia impacts mental health.
  • Providers will have greater knowledge of resource and referral information for transgender clients. 
*All courses meet the qualifications for 4 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider number 4598. CE contact hours: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP15508, for 4 contact hours.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


August 4, 2010

Today in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a federal lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8 violates the United States Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws.

With his decision, Judge Walker has upheld the right of equality for same-sex couples under the U.S. Constitution. The ruling reflects the growing consensus in courtrooms and legislatures across the country, and around the world, that there is no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage.

Marriage equality opponents built their case on discriminatory, fear-mongering arguments, and have tried over and over again to frame same-sex marriage as detrimental to our society. Judge Walker ruled that there is no substance to these or any other arguments from those who wish to deny equality to same-sex couples.

Even as this decision is a victory for same-sex couples in California, 44 states continue to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry, and federal marriage discrimination persists. We must continue to work toward eliminating the unfairness of both state and federal laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. Today's ruling by Judge Walker powerfully confirms the growing consensus that same-sex couples deserve basic fairness.

IF YOU LIVE IN MARIN: Join Spectrum at Jason's Restaurant, 300 Drake's Landing, Greenbrae tonight (Wednesday, August 4, 6:00 PM and raise a glass to equality!

For other events around the Bay Area:

Let Freedom Ring!

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director
Spectrum LGBT Center

Help Us Make History Wednesday - Join Your Local Day of Decision Gathering

Marriage Equality Supporters,

Judge Walker will issue his decision in the Federal Prop 8 case on Wednesday, August 3, 2010 between 1-3pm.  The decision will be posted at and on our home page at and you can watch the decision being read by an actor playing Judge Walker at

Then, plan on joining the local community gathering near you to celebrate (hopefully) and organize our next steps on our journey to justice.   Let's turn out for love, justice and equality for all - bring your family, bring your friends - be counted!

Below is the current list of over 30 organized events.  If your location isn't currently listed and you'd like to organize an event, post it at and contact us a  

And to support Marriage Equality USA with grassroots organizing, like these Day of Decision rallies, please become a member or donate to our organization at

Federal Prop 8 Trial Day of Decision Events

Below is our current list for Day of Decision events.  For the latest information, go to the Day of Decision website (

In California:

Contra Costa County – Concord at Todos Santos Plaza at Willow Pass and Grant at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Martinez at the County Clerk’s Office at 822 Main Street at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Pittsburg at Community Presbyterian Church at 200 E. Leland Road at 7pm.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Richmond at City Hall at 450 Civic Center Plaza at 6PM.  Contact

Contra Costa County – Walnut Creek at City Hall on 1666 North Main Street at 6PM.  Contact

Fresno County – City Hall at 2600 Fresno Street at 7:30pm.  Contact

Kern County – Bakersfield at the Outback corner of Stockdale and Village at 5pm.  Contact

Los Angeles County at 647 N. San Vincente Blvd, West Hollywood from 6-8pm. 

Los Angeles County at Olivera Street Plaza, 845 N. Alameda Street in LA; a candlelight vigil from 8-10pm. 

Mendocino County – Ukiah at Alex Thomas Plaza at 6 PM. Contact

Orange County - Santa Ana at Sasscer Park at 7 PM

Riverside County – Palm Springs at the County Courthouse at 7 PM. 

Riverside County/San Bernardino County - Rancho Cucamonga at Day Creek and Foothill Blvd, 6 PM

Sacramento County – Sacramento County – Two hours after the decision is released; a Sacramento press conference at the LGBT Center at 1927 L Street (off 20th Street).  Contact

Sacramento County – 6pm at McMartin Realty at 2031 K Street (corner of 21st Street).  Contact

Solano County on the Vallejo Waterfront at the Ferry Terminal at Mare Island Way and Georgia Street at 5:30-7 PM.

Sonoma County - 7:30pm, Santa Rosa City Hall at 100 Santa Rosa Ave. in Santa Rosa. Contact

San Diego County – Gather at 6pm at 6th & University, march to The Center at 3909 Centre Street for a Town Hall from 7-8pm. 

San Francisco County – San Francisco starting at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro at 5PM and ending with a march to Civic Center Plaza for a rally at 6:45PM. Contact

San Luis Obispo County at the Mission Plaza Amphitheater at 5:30pm.  Contact

San Mateo County/Mid-San Francisco Peninsula at the corner of 5th and El Camino Real in San Mateo from 6-8pm.  Contact

Santa Barbara County at Jill's Place, 632 Santa Barbara St at 7pm.  Contact

Santa Clara County - Mountain View CalTrain Station and City Hall at 6PM.  Contact

Santa Clara County – San Jose at the Billy De Frank Community Center at 938 The Alameda at 6 PM.  Contact

Tulare – Kings Counties- Porterville on sidewalk in front of SaveMart at Henderson and Port at 5PM.  Contact

Outside California:
Arizona – Cesar Chavez Plaza, Phoenix from 5:30-8pm. Contact

Colorado – Boulder County at 6:30pm at the Boulder Pride House (2132 14th Street, Bouder).

Colorado – Denver at the Colorado State Capitol Building at 6 PM. Contact

Texas – Austin at City Hall at 5:30 PM.

Texas –  Dallas at the Center Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn at 6 PM.

Texas – Denton at Courthouse Square at 5 PM.

Texas – Houston at City Hall at 5:30 PM.

Texas – San Antonio at City Hall at 6:30 PM.