On June 17th, about 75 LGBT activists protested outside the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which accepted Israeli government sponsorship and financing for the second year in a row. The Brass Liberation Orchestra was on hand to provide a spirited soundtrack. QUIT! launched the campaign to get Frameline to divorce the Israeli Consulate in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, the festival did not accept Israeli sponsorship, after having done so for years. But last year, under pressure from the consulate, the new festival director and executive director renewed their partnership with the Israeli government.
While many people were out buying Valentine's Day gifts or flowers, same-sex couples in San Francisco were asking for the right to marry on February 14th. Every year since 2005 same-sex couples go to the City and County Clerks' office in San Francisco's City Hall on Valentine's Day and request to get married. And each year they are denied, so they a hold sit-in until they are arrested.
New Leaf, a 35-year-old San Francisco center that offered mental health and substance abuse services for low-income, queer, and trans folks, has closed. Gay Shame organized a protest in front of the Department of Public Health and dramatized their frustration with the department's lack of support for New Leaf with street theater.
On September 9th, a protest took place in San Francisco demanding the US government pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). If passed, ENDA would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace for civilian, non-religious companies with over 15 employees, as well as federal, state and local governments, unions and employment agencies. Several protesters were arrested for blocking traffic at the corner of Market and Castro Streets.
The Federal court decision on California's Prop 8 was announced on August 4th. Judge Vaughn Walker ruled for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court that challenged the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8. The plaintiffs sought to have the federal court strike down the proposition, saying it is contrary to the 14th Amendment's guarantee to equal protection. Rallies were held in response throughout the the Bay Area and elsewhere in California.
Pride @ Work, the Harvey Milk Club, and labor activists held a protest on Saturday, June 19th, to protest the firing of Vincent Atos from Hornblower/Alcatraz Cruises for organizing a union and allegedly (this is an actual quote from Human Resources) acting “too gay” at work. In turn, demonstrators decided to have a picket that was “too gay” for Hornblower. Picketers dressed in sailor suits paraded down a red carpet runway dancing to the music of the Brass Liberation Orchestra.
June 25th through the 27th was Pride weekend in San Francisco. June 25th was the Trans March, Saturday was the Dyke March and Sunday was the official parade on Market St. While pride marches started as protests, many activists now see them as celebrations of the status quo. On Sunday at 2pm, Gay Shame protested at the SF LGBT Center against the corporatism and assimilation of the Pride celebrations. On Thursday, June 17th Queers United Against Israeli Terrorism protested at the Castro Theater against the Isreali Consulate's sponsorship of the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival.