Archive for June, 2009

Equality California, Jordan/Rustin Coalition Launch Mobilization Effort on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in African-American Communities

Campaign Includes TV ad, on-the-ground organizing

Los Angeles – As same-sex couples who were able to legally marry last year celebrate their one-year-anniversaries, Equality California (EQCA) and Jordan/Rustin Coalition (JRC) are together launching an education and mobilization campaign on the freedom to marry in LA’s African-American communities. The effort includes a TV commercial, on-the-ground organizers as well as an office dedicated to the campaign, which will be based in South Los Angeles, a predominantly African-American community.

“Jordan/Rustin Coalition is happy to partner with Equality California as we do the work to open the hearts and minds of all Californians, including those in the Black community, on the question of marriage for same-sex couples,” said Ron Buckmire, JRC board president. “Our partnership includes a multi-media campaign, outreach and public education and even the nuts and bolts of staffing and supplies. I am confident that together we will see the day when full LGBT equality is restored to our state.”

As part of today’s launch, the organizations released a television ad that features a gay African-American couple, Xavier and Michael Boykin-Haggood, along with three of their five children, Dante, Emmanuel and Fatima. The family lives in LA’s Leimert Park neighborhood. Their ad is scheduled to air statewide starting the week of June 22nd.

“As we celebrate this one-year-anniversary of marriages in California, we are proud to be working with the Jordan/Rustin Coalition to have conversations with African-Americans about marriage for same-sex couples,” said EQCA Marriage Director Marc Solomon. “As people really get to know our families, they will see they have the same hopes, dreams and concerns as any other family and simply want the protections and dignity that marriage affords.”

The office is slated to open later this summer. JRC, EQCA, and a coalition of grassroots and community leaders rooted in South Los Angeles will work collaboratively to organize outreach events and lead door-to-door efforts to talk with African-American Californians.

To view the television ad, click here:

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. In the past decade, EQCA has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil-rights protections in the nation. EQCA has passed over 50 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, public education and community empowerment.

The mission of the Barbara Jordan / Bayard Rustin Coalition (or Jordan/Rustin Coalition) is to empower Black same-gender loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in Greater Los Angeles, to promote equal marriage rights and to advocate for fair treatment of everyone without regard to race, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

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JRC Celebrates Juneteenth!

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JRC Celebrates Juneteenth

The Barbara Jordan / Bayard Rustin Coalition will be holding its first annual Juneteenth Celebration and Awards Ceremony at the lovely home of Bill Weinberger and Danny Gibson in Hancock Park from 2-5pm on Sunday June 21st.

The Barbara Jordan Award will go to Vallerie Wagner.

The Bayard Rustin Award will go to Doug  Spearman.

Tickets are available, starting at $50 ($100 VIP).

$50 tickets click here:

$100 VIP tickets click here:

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year. Former slaves (and their descendants) across the country soon did the same.

The word pride is used in this case an antonym for shame, which has been used to control and oppress LGBT persons throughout history. Pride in this sense is an affirmation of ones self and the community as a whole. The modern “pride” movement began after the “Stonewall riots” in June 1969. Instead of backing down to unconstitutional raids by New York City Police, gay men, lesbians and transgender people in local bars fought back. In 1970 a parade that commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall riots began a national grassroots movement. Today many countries around the world celebrate LGBT pride.

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JRC Presents Roll Bounce!

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JRC Roll Bounce

To purchase Tickets -

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