LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender)


For Marriage Equality, It Took a Movement

Randy ShawBy Randy Shaw

The Supreme Court's striking down DOMA and Prop 8 sent a powerful message about the ongoing power of grassroots movements to bring about social change. These rulings could not have come a decade ago. Then, even campaigns for domestic partnerships and civil unions were politically controversial. But the broader activist struggle for marriage equality brought the courts along, just as the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's brought legal rulings to support that struggle.

Prop 8 Likely to Be Repealed Narrowly; Court to Hear DOMA Today

By Paul Hogarth

It is never wise to predict U.S. Supreme Court decisions on oral arguments, or else Obamacare would have been repealed. Based on the Justices' line of questioning, however, it appears that they will overrule Proposition 8 - but on narrow grounds that will only affect California. The Justices spent a significant chunk of time on "standing," but they will likely consider the Prop 8 supporters as proper litigants. But Justices Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts had clear problems with finding a "right" to same-sex marriage that would apply nationwide - and the "nine-state" compromise was widely panned. I predict they will rule Prop 8 unconstitutional by applying the Romer precedent and sustaining the Ninth Circuit decision, i.e., Prop 8 was unique because it "took away" a right that same-sex couples already had.

Sacramento City Manager May Be Considering Appointment of Gay Police Chief

By Dan Aiello

In an article scheduled to appear in the Bay Area Reporter on Wednesday, sources in Sacramento's gay community as well as an additional source connected to the Capital City's selection committee tell the paper it is possible that Sacramento's next police chief could be openly gay.

While none of the sources were named, their connections to the selection process and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community are known and appear to be credible.

The 42-year old Bay Area Reporter is a well-respected print and online publication serving the San Francisco Bay Area with a print circulation of approximately 30,000. The paper is published every Wednesday evening.

Graduate Them, Don't Incarcerate Them!

By Diane Lefer

The problem isn’t a secret: California schools suspend more students than they graduate, tracking them to jail instead of to success. But Ramiro Rubalcaba was surprised when he found himself being part of the solution.

Rubalcaba told his story at a forum on school discipline held in Los Angeles on September 10, sponsored by the California Endowment, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torkalson, and the Office of Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Last Chapter for Proposition 8?

By Shannon Minter, Esq., and Christopher Stoll, Esq.
National Center for Lesbian Rights   

On June 5, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that it would not reconsider a three-judge panel’s February 7 decision striking down Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stripped same-sex couples in California of the freedom to marry. Following a vote by all 27 active Ninth Circuit judges, the court declined to send the case to a larger panel of judges that would have reconsidered the February decision. 

You Say Marriage, I Say Jobs


You Say Marriage, I Say Jobs
By Jessica Arevalo, New America Media

The civil rights movement in the United States today has an LGBTQ agenda, and it is gaining momentum. On May 9, President Obama declared his support of same-sex marriage and following suit, the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right. But with all of this attention on marriage equality, we may be ignoring an even more important right: the right to work.

As a longtime organizer and advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and

Advocacy Day Draws Trans Folks, Allies to Capitol

By Dan Aiello

More than 50 transgender Californians and non-U.S. residents gathered at the West Steps of the Capitol in Sacramento Monday, May 21 as they prepared to lobby legislators on behalf of two bills aimed at addressing discrimination against transgender youth in California's foster care system and non-US residents victims of crime who risk deportation under federal law.

Both Assembly bills are authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).

President’s Marriage Equality Support Leads to Rise in Support Nationally

By David Dayen

Two weeks after the President’s announcement of support for marriage equality, a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows more support than ever before, with 53% of the public favoring marriage equality and just 39% opposed. Among key communities, the inference can be made that the President’s announcement has shifted support. However, you also see in the data that the President’s framing of marriage equality as a state issue has plurality support now as well.

Queer Youth Lobby Lawmakers on School Discipline Bills

By Dan Aiello

Nearly 50 high school students from communities throughout California came to Sacramento last week to lobby state legislators in support of two bills aimed at protecting students from extreme or unjust discipline policies.

From Crescent City to San Ysidro, Half Moon Bay to Truckee, students gathered for a morning rally on the north steps of the Capitol before meeting with lawmakers and their staff as part of the April 30 Queer Youth Advocacy Day.

Encouraging them to engage lawmakers, students heard firsthand the personal stories of out state legislators and fellow students advocating for AB 1729, Creating Alternatives to Suspension and Expulsion, and AB 2242, Reducing Out of School Suspensions for Minor Infractions that was authored by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).

Bill to Offer Redress to Ousted Gay Vets Amended

By Dan Aiello

Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan will amend his legislation intended to offer redress to LGBT veterans ousted under the prohibition policies of the nation's military, including "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

As written, AB 1505 would have required the state Department of Veterans Affairs to reinstate non-federally-funded benefits to military service members who were ousted with less than honorable discharges because they were gay.

But Pan, a Democrat from Fair Oaks, said he will instead introduce a "contingency and enactment clause" to his bill because state veterans benefits are closely tied to federal benefits and congressional action is needed.