On Sunday, June 2, thousands of people lined Pacific Avenue for the 39th annual Santa Cruz Pride parade and festival presented by The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz. A wide range of organizations participated in the parade, including a contingent raising awareness and support for political prisoner Bradley Manning. Manning is openly gay and has participated in Pride marches and campaigned against the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on gay military personnel.
The newly revived ACT UP/San Francisco celebrated their one year anniversary with a demonstration for affordable housing on April 20. The event was aimed at drawing attention to the impact of increasing evictions and rental price increases in San Francisco on people living with HIV/AIDS. Featured speakers called on San Francisco's elected officials to move towards a moratorium on evictions where just cause is not proven, while looking towards curtailing market rate housing development in order to even out the market.
On February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered. On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
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.