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.
Arab Queers write:
"We, the undersigned queer Arab organizations, are appalled by the US Social Forum’s decision to allow Stand with Us to utilize the event as a platform to pinkwash Israel’s crimes in the region. Stand with Us is cynically manipulating the struggle of queer people in the Middle East through its workshop entitled LGBTQI Liberation in the Middle East
On June 23rd,
the leadership of the US Social Forum voted to cancel the workshop in question for "being in violation of the anti-racist principles central to the US Social Forum."
On Tuesday, May 18th, local LGBT groups rallied in front of the federal building in San Francisco to call on community members to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. ENDA would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, it is legal in many states to discriminate against LGBT people and there are no federal laws protecting LGBT people in the workplace.