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Center Column Archives
On Sunday, June 3rd, the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz presented the 38th annual Santa Cruz Pride event, which featured a march and rally with thousands of people on Pacific Avenue. Some of the many featured speakers and performers included representatives of the Diversity Center, John Laird, who was the first openly gay mayor when he took over the mayoralty of the city of Santa Cruz in 1983, and cheer squads from San Francisco, Sacramento and Folsom.
In downtown Santa Cruz on April 20, LGBQT community members from the Diversity Center's Youth Program and their family members and allies held a "Breaking the Silence" rally in front of the Del Mar Theatre before a showing of the film "Bully". People held signs and shared stories. There was a group shout out, and many involved with the youth program wore tape x'd over their mouths to both symbolize the silencing effect of bullying on the LGBQT youth community, as well as to be an expression of solidarity with those who could not attend the rally in person for many different reasons of privacy.
The legendary poet, essayist and feminist Adrienne Rich died on March 27, 2012, at the age of 82 in her Santa Cruz, California home. Rich was one of the most celebrated poets of the last half-century and a lifelong advocate for women, gay and lesbian rights, peace and racial justice. She was a key figure in the women’s movement and an uncompromising critic of the powerful.
California's Proposition 8 ban on same sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional by a three member panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Judge Smith dissented. The panel majority stated that California voters violated the 14th Amendment of the Federal Constitution when voting for Prop 8. San Francisco's City Attorney stated that officials are getting ready and changing marriage forms, but that until the stay is lifted same sex couples in California still cannot marry.
A Bradley Manning Pride Contingent joined the SF Pride parade on Sunday, June 26th. Dedicated to equal human rights, Army Private Bradley Manning stood openly against Don't Ask Don't Tell, and now is imprisoned as the alleged WikiLeaks whistle-blower. Bradley faces life in prison, and even the death penalty, for sharing the "Collateral Murder" video and files pertaining to the Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and Guantánamo.
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.