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San Francisco | Womyn

1/24 SF Gay Community Mostly Absent from Pro-Abortion March
by @
Saturday Jan 24th, 2009 3:52 PM
We had perhaps 100 people at our pro-abortion rally and march in San Francisco on January 24, 2009. After all the outcry against Prop 8, we expected a massive presence of the gay community and their friends, by definition also a pro-abortion community, at our pro-abortion rally but now we know, the gay community is not serious about building a movement to win gay marriage. We will have to wait for enough young people to vote for it.
We had perhaps 100 people at our pro-abortion rally and march in San Francisco on January 24, 2009. After all the outcry against Prop 8, we expected a massive presence of the gay community and their friends, by definition also a pro-abortion community, at our pro-abortion rally but now we know, the gay community is not serious about building a movement to win gay marriage. We will have to wait for enough young people to vote for it.

Then there was the failure of the San Francisco police to defend and support the pro-abortion march. One cop tried to claim that it is illegal to use foul language in one's chants when speaking to the anti-abortion fascists. Another group of cops blocked one pro-abortion marcher's path who had become separated from the group.

ABORTION IS ALREADY ILLEGAL IN THE LAST TRIMESTER in this country. That means the doctor and the woman who tries to have such an abortion can be jailed for a late term abortion. The anti-abortion majority of the Supreme Court who made late term abortions illegal, Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas are all not about to retire anytime soon. And Obama has not made any effort to get Congress to pass a law legalizing late term abortions.

Marriage is obviously a benefit to the middle class as it is a property arrangement, but it is a civil right for all, both gay and straight, and is strongly supported by the pro-abortion community. For gay marriage to win, it must be based on building coalitions.

The Catholic Church is building its fascist movement in their schools, mostly among the non-white workingclass, and that is who was present at the anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-science march: Mostly workingclass Latino school children ages 10-17 and their very poor workingclass parents. There were a few old, rich, whites who would fit at any Republican Party rally, but they were the minority. We cannot afford to have any fascist base among the workingclass in these hard economic times.

Pres. Obama has absolutely nothing to offer the workingclass. His cosmetic changes favoring abortion were the same that Pres. Clinton did after Bush Senior was defeated. From Clinton, we got the repeal of welfare, more death penalty laws, and war in Iraq and Yugoslavia. Now the economy is much weaker, and Obama is bought and paid for by his fellow millionaires, warmongers and death penalty promoters. Pres. Obama, like Pres. Clinton, is against gay marriage but also claimed to be against Prop. 8. The Democratic Party simply cannot and will not lead the fight for gay marriage or abortion.

The gay community will have to get serious real fast if it is to avoid the catastrophe of Nazi Germany where a gay movement was crushed by fascism.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by blackeye1776
Saturday Jan 24th, 2009 5:35 PM
Actually there were many queers and LGBTI organizers involved in helping with this event, so I'm sorry, but singling them out for not showing numbers is not appropriate.

Where were the major prochoice groups? Where were labor groups? Where is the coalition bringing all of us together?

It's our community as a whole that needs to show up and own this issue. When we all lose the right to legal abortion maybe we won't be so complacent. But maybe that's the fire that needs to get lit under our butts. As usual, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese is well organized, ready to indoctrinate others and take away our rights. And what are we doing? Pointing fingers at each other. Boohoo.
The gay community rightly made a big stink about Proposition 8 and correctly attacked the supporters of Prop 8, first and foremost being the Catholic Church, much larger than the Mormons, and this fascist march, using abortion as a smokescreen, was the expected golden opportunity to finally put these people on the bus so they never return again to gay and abortion mecca, San Francisco. In the City of San Francisco alone, we have HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF GAY AND PRO-GAY MARRIAGE PEOPLE, more than enough to put this nonsense back on the bus for good. Yes, there were a handful of gay and lesbian people, and they were wonderful to be with and chant with. But with the anger over Prop 8, and the thousands who hit the streets immediately afterward, it was reasonable to expect the anger to continue. After all, the courts respond to pressure and IF THE GAY COMMUNITY DOES NOT KEEP UP THE PRESSURE ON THE ANTI-GAY CATHOLIC CHURCH, IT COULD LOOSE IN THE COURTS. The hearings could be as early as March. One must seize the time if one is serious about one's cause and it is very clear that the thousands who turned out in November were not serious enough. With the economic crisis snowballing, allowing a fascist base to grow in the workingclass community is deadly. There are 2 forces working against gay marriage in this economic crisis: (1) Marriage, by definition, is a propety relationship benefiting the middle class, and gay marriage is seen as further evidence of gay privilege in an increasingly impoverished society, a setup for scapegoating by the workingclass; (2) the visible supporters of gay marriage are usually white, European descendants while most of the people at the anti-abortion march were workingclass Latinos. CALIFORNIA IS A MAJORITY MINORITY STATE, and the white European population is a rapidly decreasing minority. Half the 5-year olds in California are Latino; 1/3 of the state's population is Latino; the overwhelming majority of the physical labor jobs in the restaurants, offices, and construction sites are done by Latinos, all for low wages. We witnessed the kind of Catholic Church parades one sees in Mexico and Poland. Poland is about as backward as the United States, except that Poland has no death penalty and does have a national healthcare system. Sorry, I guess you can say we are more backward. And the white, European population across the country is declining rapidly due to a high level of education and low level of European immigration. We cannot work miracles if people do not show up for these demonstrations; if you want gay marriage and if you want to put an end to fascist parades like this, you have to show up, and the younger you are, the more necessary it is you show up as the future is yours. There was no excuse for such a low turnout for our pro-abortion march in a city like San Francisco. We have already lost late term abortions. Will it take losing abortion completely as happened in Poland when capitalism was restored to finally move hundreds of thousands of people to fight for abortion? By then, thousands of women will have died from botched abortions and thousands of unwanted children will have been born. The excuses are over. We are literally fighting for our lives on all fronts and this was an easy demonstration for San Francisco gay marriage supporters to attend. Please get out to all demonstrations possible.
by blackeye1776
Saturday Jan 24th, 2009 11:59 PM
I can't blame people who didn't show up if they didn't know about it. You are bound to see thousands on the other side, coming from all over California. After all, the Catholic Church has deep pockets, a big publicity machine, and pays the way. And they are united in mono-think. For staying on message and organizing that's a plus.
by blackeye1776
Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 12:13 AM
I was happy for the energy from the gay community. They showed their creativity, their love and even their understanding of the need to educate our opponents rather than shout at them. And they showed up. Again, plenty of others who should have been down for this weren't even there at all. Disgraceful. You can't be for women's rights just on those particular occasions you happen to be able to show up. Showing up is where it starts.
by @
Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 4:57 AM
There was so much publicity that the garbage Chronicle. 1/24/09, ran an article by CW Nevius, "Anti-abortion pony show today - hold the jeers" at
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/24/BAKO15G3L8.DTL
urging people to avoid the San Francisco Catholic Church's parade of 10,000 people. He need not have worried; only 100 people showed up, and by the time we got to Aquatic Park, we had perhaps 20 people. This is, after all, an annual event, and Roe v. Wade is 36 years old, except the last trimester part, which died a couple years ago. The people attending were not just from out of town, they were local, from Marin County to Martinez to San Francisco. This was organized by the San Francisco Catholic Church. You will note that gay supervisor, Democrat Bevan Dufty urged people to NOT protest the anti-abortion parade. There was also leafletting in San Francisco and this event was posted on websites. The Chronicle was correct that the number of pro-abortion marchers is decreasing, AND IN THE FACE OF THE FACT THAT LATE TERM ABORTIONS ARE NOW ILLEGAL, THAT IS INSANE. There was one group of anti-abortion marchers with a sign proclaiming themselves to be Democrats against abortion. Perhaps Bevan Dufty wants more of those in his party; after all Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is anti-abortion, and so are many other Democrats. Let us look at another way: The demographics of this country are such that it should have been no surprise that we have a black president so soon; the white European-American population has declined dramaticlly since 1945, and the next largest long-term American population is the African-American population which now has a significant professional middle class and many elected officials since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. It is certainly wonderful to have a growing Latino population in this country, clearly replacing the European-American population, but so long as there is poverty in that overwhelmingly Catholic population, the pro-abortion movement is in trouble. We all love the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who were there, and all the other gay and lesbian people who were there, but we certainly expected hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian people in the face of the outrage over Prop 8. Court decisions are made on the basis of public support, not by following the Democratic Party line. Young people, you have to show up at all demonstrations if you want gay marriage, abortion and anything else.
by Mike
Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 8:07 AM
Look, if only a hundred folks show up and of those a dozen or so are doing so as openly gay that's a disproportionally large show of support from that community. First of all, those colorfully visible wouldn't be all of the gays present. And the estimate is that gays make up what percent of the population? 5%?

The point is that if the people showing up at your demo are 10-20% gays, then it's the NON GAYS you should be complaining about.
by FlexSF
Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 9:53 AM
I'm very pro abortion, and I wasn't aware of any pro-abortion march. It could have been a failure for the simple lack of promotion of the event. Online PR is helpful, but doesn't move me. Protests and celebrations take place on the street. This is where advertisement for the events belong, on the street.

However, it seems a bit useless to march for something that we already celebrate, in the privacy of a fertility clinic. If we feel that we must actively promote it, in order not to lose it, we should be implementing ways to strengthen a woman's "right" to choose. Is it an inalienable right? Is it something that is subject to a popular vote?
by blackeye1776
Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 11:15 PM
Hell yeah. You need to watch this video online and educate yourself and your friends. These fuckers are way ahead of us. Their methods are hideous. Go to this link, and on the left, you can watch what they've done to the poor people of Mississippi:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/clinic/

OK now you're pissed off. Right?

Find people that feel the same way. And do something. Sooner rather than later, but although it's a mighty task and people don't show up at marches, the majority is on your side, so just don't give up. We will win because there's really no other option.


by harrison
Monday Jan 26th, 2009 10:20 AM
maybe you shouldn't've referred to it as a pro-abortion march, no one is pro-abortion they are pro-choice

from someone on the front lines of the pro-choice debate everyday
by is this a reclaiming technique?
Monday Jan 26th, 2009 4:01 PM
I mean personally, i was very happy with my abortions (i am not being snide) but the term pro choice actually does have a lot of meaning for me..it isn't a weak euphemism...to me...
by Heather
Monday Jan 26th, 2009 11:42 PM
Hi,

I'm a fish out water here politically as I am pro-life, but I have enough in common as a woman, a thinking person and supporter of peace that I'd like to post a couple of thoughts to this post.

I don't think the description of the participants in this year's Walk for Life as being predominantly Catholic, Hispanic youth and their parents is accurate. This demographic was certainly present, but by no means dominant. As an attendee (and a white, non-Catholic, educated, 33 year old woman and mother hailing from Santa Cruz) of the pro-life demonstration I saw just about everyone under the sun there. As has been referenced there was Democrats for Life, Atheists for Life, Stanford and Irvine students for Life, Vegans for Life and a host of others that I can't recall.

My fellow pro-life community citizens believe a wide variety of things about worldviews. One thing we have in common is a deep concern that human life be respected, specifically for those throughout history that have been most vulnerable and prone to dehumanization. And yes, many of us ARE against the war and the death penalty. We also think that being unwanted is not sufficient or morally conscionable grounds for terminating another human life.

I absolutely support the use of birth control, and equal rights for all human beings. I also think there is a huge chasm of difference between birth control and abortion, the former being the prevention of a human life and the latter being the killing of it, and the two are too often lumped together euphemistically under the same umbrella.

While there is much that pro-choice and pro-life advocates disagree on, primarily regarding the humanity of a human life in it's earliest stages of the continuum, there is some hopeful ground to work with in looking at pregnancy prevention. If hearts and minds are not likely to change on the moral convictions of the humanity issue, there is hope for progress here that most in the pro-life community willingly embrace.

As I walked along in the demonstration, through the beautiful streets of San Francisco I did not experience any judgment, contention, shock or alienation from those in the pro-choice community who were out there demonstrating their convictions. Having been pro-choice at one time I'm able to understand the convictions you hold. While I have changed my view on the abortion issue, I still hold in solidarity with you that women are awesome, and free speech is a good thing.

With Kindness,

Heather

by GayDude
Tuesday Jan 27th, 2009 10:07 AM
I think it's ridiculous to assume that those who support gay rights also automatically support abortion. (And it's even more absurd to say that, BY DEFINITION, the gay community is pro-abortion. WTH?) While it's true that many gay activists are liberal, I've known quite a few open, proud, activist gays who were pro-life. You're making a huge (and incorrect) assumption here. People have all sorts of opinions on different issues.

It's like saying a feminist must be antiwar. Well, fine, think that if you want, but if your definition of feminist or gay rights supporter or whatever is so broad that it encompasses every other leftist political issue, then the word you're looking for is 'liberal' or 'progressive', not __-ist.

by woman who has had an abortion
Tuesday Jan 27th, 2009 10:51 AM
about who is or should be pro-choice are maybe..becoming outdated, or may be changing, if for no other reason than to inform and inflect pro-choice views and perspectives on the process of reproduction, birth control and abortion.
I agree with the gay man who posted above, that we shouldn't make assumptions or equations about being queer and being pro-choice. Being marginalized isn't the same as self consciously choosing which political tradition you choose to be a part of.
And I have heard of vegans for life.
Really, my question to those not coming from a religious background...is..promoting your perspectives on life and witnessing them is one thing. Yes, you have the right to do that. But do you want/expect that witnessing to bolster public support for legislation that prohibits abortion? Do you have legislative goals? Do you want abortion to undergo a legal challenge?
Do you see prohibition of one reproductive tactic (that's what it is to me, not a baby, nor a soul in abeyance) as a fundamental answer to the multiple and contingent situations which inform a woman's decision to gestate and birth?
And more importantly, do you wish for there to be one answer to abortion? That's what prohibition accomplishes.
by Woman who has had an abortion
Tuesday Jan 27th, 2009 11:57 AM
The reason I ask the above questions, particularly to heather, is because I don't believe the Walk for Life is a simple public witnessing event. i think it has a legislative agenda...and I think most people who march in the walk do so for this reason and this hope.
by Heather
Tuesday Jan 27th, 2009 7:34 PM
Thank you for posing the question clearly and graciously, I'll do my best to answer accurately. I think within the pro-life community there are people with different backgrounds, intents and worldviews just as there are in the pro-choice community.

I would say there is certainly a sizable contingent of pro-life people who would like to see Roe reversed and are motivated accordingly. I see that as acting on their beliefs in the political realm the way many citizens do for any number of causes they support and I am supportive of their right to do so.

For my own part, and I know there are many who share my view - abortion is not so much a political issue as a humanitarian one. I don't feel passionate about overturning the current law of Roe so much as I do about affecting hearts and minds individually in how they view all human beings. I see human life as a continuum from conception to death and I am concerned about a precedent that would suggest some human life is not as worthy of protection as other - for any reason. I don't view an adult as more human than a child, a child as more human than a toddler, a toddler as more human than an infant, or an infant as more human than the fetus he or she was weeks or months previously.

What I do see is a world history in mankind littered with the same mistake of dehumanizing a certain class of people for x,y,z reasons, many of which make sense on a singular level (such as economics or a particular ideal) but are a horrific injustice on the greater truth of a humanitarian level that turns in violence against the ones deemed 'not human enough to live.' I think love finds a way, while conceding that the way is often difficult, like many things on this earth.

But my heart is not in the politics, and I don't participate in that venue. I don't think changing laws is going to change minds, and would probably only inflame a subject that certainly needs no further inflaming.

So to answer your question in a nutshell, I think there is a mix of motives and worldviews present within the pro-life community.

Heather
by Thank you
Tuesday Jan 27th, 2009 11:03 PM
I am generally relaxed and un-threatened about different views of "life", notions of what constitute protection, the ways in which we indicate value and all the other associated issues that emerge when one talks about abortion, or contraception or birth. It's only when I feel that the sole aim is to prohibit and criminalize abortion legislatively that I engage directly. My reaction would be the same, for instance, should, say, any movement, cloaked in the rhetoric of environmentalism, gain enough power to start enforcing a one child per family rule...far fetched, but I think you'll understand. I stand in opposition to enforced sterilization in much the same way as I stand in opposition to enforced childbirth.


Point being, I don't need consensus or agreement from everyone as it relates to my experience with abortion at all...I need the legal space, political right and medical access to help me enact decisions....if the walk for life organizers took an abstinence pledge and said that the Catholic Church would never again attempt to criminalize abortion and would instead show, through marching, its fidelity to church teachings, I would be more than content to view the walk with the same detachment that I view other mass demonstrations of what is commonly called faith.

Anyhoo. Blessings on you and yours.

by Heather
Wednesday Jan 28th, 2009 7:46 PM
The title says it all; I appreciate the insightful exchange. Here's hoping to more between the the pro-life and pro-choice communities.

With Kindness,

Heather