Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Contacts:  Nancy Kenyon, Executive Director, 457-5025

On March 5, 2012, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) individuals will be protected from housing discrimination under a new federal Rule posted by HUD, announced Fair Housing of Marin.

The new rule “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” ensures that housing assisted or insured by HUD must be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.  The rule applies to FHA-insured loans and to HUD’s Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, both popular programs in Marin County.

California led the nation when it included discrimination based on sexual orientation in its Fair Housing law.  Accordingly, Fair Housing of Marin has assisted LGBT Marin residents for more than two decades.  Some examples of the discrimination victims we have helped:  the gay man evicted from an apartment with his partner after the owner learned that one of them was HIV positive. A gay couple not allowed to move to a smaller one bedroom apartment: the Manager asked how they would “manage”.  An apartment complex owner said that she would not rent to 3 men, one a minister with a child, because they might give AIDS to others in the complex.

Dan Nackerman, Marin Housing Authority Director, applauded the new HUD Rule:  "Marin Housing Authority has accepted partners as the equivalent policy definition of a married couple for many years. However, this Rule gives us more power to prevent possible discrimination by the more than 1,400 private landlords we pay each month."

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director, Spectrum LGBT Center, commented: “It’s difficult for Marin residents to imagine the level of housing discrimination that occurs in this county. Thanks to our colleagues at Fair Housing of Marin, this injustice continues to be proactively addressed. And now, thanks to the leadership of HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, the federal government will no longer tolerate discrimination directed toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who seek FHA-insured loans or public housing. Does it happen here? Yes. Will it continue to happen? Not on our watch.”

Individuals who suspect discrimination in their housing should call Fair Housing of Marin and visit their website, www.fairhousingmarin.com.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Re-Posted from Marriage Equality USA

San Francisco, CA
-- Same-sex couples, friends, family and clergy will gather at the steps of the Ninth Circuit Federal Courthouse in San Francisco at 9:45 AM Tuesday, February 7th to receive the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on Proposition 8.  The Court will release the ruling at 10:00 AM.  Those gathered will then walk to the steps of San Francisco City Hall, where clergy will bless the unions of couples unable to marry because of Prop 8.

At 5:00 PM, a community rally will be held at Market and 17th (across from Castro & Market) in San Francisco.  Similar events will be held in communities across California, including Contra Costa County, Fresno,  Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Clara County.

“We are very hopeful that the Ninth Circuit will rule in favor of fairness and equality, once and for all putting an end to Prop. 8’s exclusion of loving, committed couples from marriage,” said John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA’s Legal Director.

"We are a loving couple who have committed our lives to each other for the past nine years, and we will be at the courthouse in the morning to receive the decision," said Thom Watson, who shares his life and a home in Daly City with his partner Jeff Tabaco. "We are a family and we want to be married. We are on pins and needles waiting to see if the Ninth Circuit will enable us to fulfill the American dream of marrying the one you love," added Tabaco.

“Love is a blessing, and we will celebrate tomorrow’s ruling by blessing same-sex couples at San Francisco City Hall to recognize that love and commitment make a marriage,” said Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Director of Ministerial Outreach for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

A diverse coalition of community organizations came together to create events statewide :

Contra Costa County
What: Community gathering at the Rainbow Community Center
Where: Rainbow Community Center
3024 Willow Pass Road, Suite 200, Concord, CA 94519
When: 6:00–7:00 PM Tuesday, February 7
Contact: Leslie Stewart (925) 765-6064


What: Community Rally
Where: Corner of N. Blackstone Avenue and E. Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726
When: 5:00-7:00 PM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Bring pro-equality, No on 8 signs.
Contact: Jaymi Morgan (559) 704-7683

Los Angeles
What: Community Rally, then a march down Santa Monica Blvd.
Where: West Hollywood Park on N. Robertson Blvd. (next to the Abbey Bar),West Hollywood, CA 90069
When: 6:00 PM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Signs will be provided, but please bring your own as well.
Contact: Tristan Blaine (805) 657-4150

What: Informal gathering at The Cornerstone inside Headhunters in midtown Sacramento to await the posting of the decision to the 9th Circuit's website.
Where: The Cornerstone inside Headhunters, 1930 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
When: 9:30 AM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Wear Marriage Equality USA, Equality Action NOW, No on 8 t-shirts and be prepared to talk with media.  Bring $$ for coffee, etc.
Contact: Ken Pierce (916) 718-3464

San Diego
What: Street Protest/Celebration, then proceed to Community Center Rally
Where: Meet at 6th Avenue and University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Then proceed to the LGBT Community Center, 3909 Centre Street, San Diego, CA 92103
When: Time TBD; Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Bring signs to celebrate or protest the outcome of the case.
Contact: Fernando Lopez (619) 861-7939

San Francisco
What: Gather on the steps of the Ninth Circuit Federal Courthouse, San Francisco to receive the ruling (anticipated at 10:00 AM).  Afterwards, we will proceed to San Francisco City Hall, where clergy will be available to bless couples who are not able to marry because of Prop. 8.
Where: Ninth Circuit Federal Courthouse, 95 7th Street at Mission, San Francisco, CA 94103
When: 9:30 AM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Signs will be provided – you’re welcome to also bring your own.
Contact: Billy Bradford (415) 716-6315
What: Community Rally with music and speakers. We will either celebrate or protest the decision, and either way, re-dedicate our resolve to achieve full equality nationwide.
Where: Market Street & 17th Street (across from Castro & Market), San Francisco, CA 94114
When: 5:00 PM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Wear your pro-equality, pro-marriage equality, or No on 8 t-shirts.
Contacts: Rev. Kelly Rivera Hart (415) 260-5704 and Billy Bradford (415) 716-6315

Santa Clara County
What: Community rally gathering to celebrate or protest the decision, and to rededicate our resolve to achieve full equality nationwide.
Where: Mountain View City Hall, 500 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
When: 6:00–7:00 PM Tuesday, February 7
Materials: Bring your pro-equality posters, banners, etc., wear pro-equality t-shirts
Contact: Lisa Liu 408-741-4824