Del Martin, one-half of the first lesbian couple to legally marry in the state of California earlier this summer, died Wednesday at 87.
Martin (on the left) and her partner of more than 50 years, Phyllis Lyon, were married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Pictures of the ceremony were published worldwide.
No doubt, it came as a surprise to some in the more remote caves of the world. It was the perfect picture of two grandmotherly women exchanging rings and cutting cake. It's what we've known and seen time and again in our community. Del and Phyllis brought that reality to America.
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco: "When it comes to the person who moved lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues forward, that figure would be Del Martin. We all stand on her shoulders, and the gains made by the LGBT movement are owed in large part to Del Martin's legacy."
Tom Chorlton, a local gay activist and founder of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club (the predecessor to the Stonewall Democrats) gave us a quick call today to talk about gay issues in Denver.
Top of the list was the turnout. On Monday, the LGBT Caucus held a luncheon with 375 in attendance — larger than any state caucus, except for California and New York.
"I can remember when we used to meet in a broom closet," he said.
Sen. Ted Kennedy's emotional speech Monday night included a direct message to LGBT voters.
“That’s Teddy Kennedy,” Chorlton said. “He doesn’t forget and he doesn’t overlook.”
What is missing from this week’s events is any mention of gays and lesbians in the party’s platform. Chorlton, attending his 11th convention, helped craft the first inclusion of “gays and lesbians” in the 1984 platform. He’s pissed.
"It's still there, but it's in code," he says. "Sometimes you need to spell things out.”
The platform includes advancements for the transgendered, but that’s also tinged in “camouflaged terms.”
In other news, Chorlton says the South Carolina caucus showed "tremendous support" for Linda Ketner's campaign, seen as the first real challenge for Republican Congressman Henry Brown's District 1 seat.
You would think, IN THIS DAY AND AGE, that bullshit of this sort was confined to the dustbin of history:
Woman forced from federal building for wearing lesbian t-shirt
(ASSOCIATED PRESS: LOS ANGELES) A woman wearing a T-shirt promoting lesbianism said she was forced the leave a federal building Monday by a security guard who didn't approve of her attire.
Lapriss Gilbert said she was picking up a Social Security card for her son when the guard was offended by her "lesbian.com" shirt and threatened her with arrest.
She was eventually allowed inside after her mother called police, according to a Los Angeles Daily News story.
The guard, whose name was not immediately available, works for Paragon Security, which contracts with the Department of Homeland Security.
Lori Haley, a spokeswoman within the Homeland Security Department, said the guard's actions were inappropriate and unacceptable.
"We have notified his company, Paragon, of our position in the matter," Haley said.
A message left with Paragon Security was not immediately returned Monday night.
Gilbert said the guard cited a document, the Rules and Regulations Governing Conduct on Federal Property, as proof he had jurisdiction over her clothing. The document does not address what type of clothing is allowed in federal buildings.
Gilbert called the guard's actions "shocking."
"As an African-American and a lesbian, I haven't been through one day without facing some sort of discrimination," Gilbert said.
Her mother called police after Gilbert was kicked out, but another security guard escorted her to the front of the Social Security line before officers arrived, the Daily News reported.
According to a police report, a witness described Gilbert as "peaceful and quiet" before the guard told her to leave.
Charleston City Council deferred a vote last night on whether to ban saggy pants, but supporters of the ban gave a few hints in their message to street thugs who where their pants low: you're so gay.
"Sag came from prison and (it shows) whether you’re available to other men," says Councilman Robert Mitchell.
"That’s a sign that I’m your boy tonight," says Councilman Larry Shirley.
Questioning the manhood of young men with saggy pants has been a tool in other communities as well. In Dallas, the campaign to combat the fad included a song about pulling your pants up, as well as a billboard sign.
An accompanying billboard says it's rude to be "walking around showin' your behind to other dudes." The song's refrain is "Be a real man — pull your pants up."
Andrew Jones commented on a line about living "on the down low" — common slang for a man who has secret sexual encounters with other men.''It's cute when homophobia is part of a citywide campaign," Jones wrote. "Shaming the youth by calling them gay, love that from the government."
Snopes.com says it's the lack of belts in prison, not sexual desire, that started the trend.
It's not like he's sending checks back or anything, but John McCain is making it increasingly difficult for Log Cabin Republicans to support him with a straight face.
"I think it's a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice. We just have a -- albeit strong -- but just it's a disagreement. And I think Ridge is a great example of that. Far more so than [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, pro, you know, a number of other issues."
With this (and McCain's previous rant against gay adoption), I would truly be at a loss if there's a LC endorsement.