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Lesbian Says Security Assaulted Her During SF HRC Dinner

Bruise

Catherine Cusic, a 63-year-old lesbian who bought a ticket to the Human Rights Campaign dinner in San Francisco on Saturday night, said she stood up to begin distributing material (presumably in protest of the HRC's position on ENDA) during President Joe Solmonese's speech. She says she was then manhandled by securited who threw her out:

"At this point 2-3 large men accosted me. I don’t remember their exact words but I quietly said that I had bought a ticket and had the right to be there. I began to place printed material on a table when I was grabbed roughly by at least 2 men (who I think were behind me). One of them put my right arm in an armlock behind my back and up and bent my right wrist with tremendous force. I was also held by both arms (with force enough around both upper arms that I had bruises within 20 minutes). At some point I was knocked to the ground and dragged out of the dining area into the outer room where they lifted me to my feet but did not let go. I then said to them: "let me go, I will leave." (We were walking to a stairwell). They did not let go and dragged me off my feet again and down the stairs to the exit on Post street."

Cusic says she has also been ejected from the St. Francis (by SF police) but is accusing the private security hired by HRC of excessive force.

In related news, Castro in the Streets created a video clip regardingthe alternative street party thrown in support of trans people outside Saturday's event.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. hmmm i guess next time cathy needs to bring along her cigar chomping, crowbar wielding lesbo buddies for protection...

    Posted by: the queen | Jul 28, 2008 10:57:19 AM


  2. Were they serving ham?

    Posted by: LD | Jul 28, 2008 11:03:16 AM


  3. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the dinner.

    Posted by: calvin | Jul 28, 2008 11:53:48 AM


  4. Has anyone noticed the trend amongst us liberals towards squelching free speech? I'm not saying you have the right to go anywhere and do anything but it seems if you don't toe the line you get really dumped on. For instance there's going to a "protesters area" at the Democratic convention. Isn't that a Republican thing? I was at the L.A. convention when the police riot happened in the "protest area". I thought it was wrong then and I do now.

    Posted by: thevegasstyleguy | Jul 28, 2008 12:48:26 PM


  5. I'm sorry, but you show up at an event intent on making a disturbance, then you complain because you got bruised by people treating you like someone who was intent on causing a disturbance. Sorry, but no outrage from me.

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 28, 2008 12:55:10 PM


  6. The inmates are running the asylum—and I don't mean HRC.....I mean the LGBT community which has been stampeded by a bunch of the psychos into OPPOSING job protection for gays and lesbians in the name of so-called "principle." Of course, THEIR principles don't include telling the truth as they repeatedly misrepresent the chain of events, dishonestly making it sound as if the bill including transgenders would have passed if only HRC had not stopped it. WRONG!

    So if you're a gay man or lesbian who lives in one of the 30 or so states where your boss can walk up to you and say "I just found out you're a fag. You're fired" and totally get away with it.....thank the organizers of this insane boycott (organized almost without exception by people who DO live where they're protected so THEY are sacrificing NOTHING).

    Posted by: Fight Mad Tranny Disease | Jul 28, 2008 1:20:48 PM


  7. Not a lot of sympathy from me either. I deal with violent, disruptive people all the time. They ALL say "let me go and I'll leave."

    Oh, gosh, even though we've never seen you before I guess we should just believe you when you say you're going to leave quietly. After you haven't.

    Occupational hazard.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 28, 2008 1:48:41 PM


  8. And what were others doing while Ms. Thing was passing out her pointless fliers and the loons were getting down outside?

    WordPerfect cofounder Bruce Bastian wrote a check for $1 million bucks to fight Prop 8. That adds to the $570,000 that HRC has put up for the fight already.

    But HEY forget actually accomplishing something....lets applaud the nutsos and those they've guilt-tripped into endorsing them for pouring more piss into the soup three months before the vote of Prop 8.

    Posted by: Fight Mad Tranny Disease | Jul 28, 2008 2:13:44 PM


  9. And if we'd stop treating gay and transgender as the same thing, she wouldn't have anything to protest.

    Posted by: Meanwhile | Jul 28, 2008 3:04:42 PM


  10. I used to support the HRC. I put an "equal" sticker on my new Volvo a few years back and opened some minds to what they were about (while explaining that it was NOT a yacht club membership sticker.. Oy!). I used to contribute to the HRC.

    Sadly, HRC has lost track. Trans people ARE lesbian, gay and bisexual. By ditching them in the gutter, the HRC looses all credibility with me.

    Trans people certainly have a WAY harder time getting work than a lot of other people. The HRC should be right by their side. Discrimination sucks. Especially from our own.

    Thanks for posting this important story and for linking to the youtube video.

    Posted by: pickles | Jul 28, 2008 3:16:21 PM


  11. Thank you, PICKLES

    I didn't have the energy today, and the vehemence with which some gay guys distance themselves from transfolk is ...well, it's like another form of gay-bashing.

    I keep asking them, "look up the definition of transgender" pleeeease. But they won't. They continue to believe that transgender only includes those folks who want to go through sex reassignment therapy and surgery.

    I think transfolk can use ENDA whether it actually includes wording that involves "gender appearance". Transfolk just go to court and say that the employer discriminated against them because they are gay. The employer says that it's not the sexual orientation that's the issue-- it's that, "your a man who's wearing women's clothes."

    The transwoman answers, "Yeah, Your Honor, but I'm gay too. I have sex with men,
    but my wearing women's clothes is more "gay" to me that my sexual activity. It's been that way since I was a child before ever I touched another boy's ding ding."

    That'll throw a wrench into the courtroom.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 28, 2008 3:33:33 PM


  12. "By ditching them in the gutter"????

    Exactly HOW did HRC do that? This is the same kind of hyperbolic distortion (like the guy who claimed HRC's director is straight) that prevents some LGBs from supporting trans people as it's getting harder and harder to separate the translunatics from the average trans person.

    Exactly HOW is it anti-trans people to say HRC was right to recognize that legal advances for some NOW while working toward adding more is better than NOTHING for NO ONE?

    Trans people DO deserve equal protection (when that is possible). In the meantime (& always) they deserve better than the psychos who created this tranny storm. Ya wanna picket? Go picket Congress—THEY're the ones who made it clear they would not vote for trans inclusion.

    Posted by: Fight Mad Tranny Disease | Jul 28, 2008 3:58:34 PM


  13. If trans people are gay or bi the HRC is already working to protect their rights. If they are neither gay nor bi why is the HRC responsible for protecting their rights? Isn't the HRC an organization created to work for gay rights? If you don't have same-sex relations go start your own organization.

    Posted by: dezboy | Jul 28, 2008 7:53:49 PM


  14. Dezboy- that's the trouble. The HRC claims to be for GLBTs now, it's not supposed to be the Homosexual Rights Campaign any more.

    That you were under this misapprehension says a lot about the issues. If they were just honest, there'd be less bitterness.

    Posted by: Zoe Brain | Jul 28, 2008 8:51:44 PM


  15. I cannot believe that Joe Solmonese, the morons from HRC and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey stood by and watched while an elderly Lesbian woman was brutalized in their presence.

    I WILL NEVER AGAIN GIVE THEM A DIME OR LISTEN TO ANY OF THEIR IDIOT VOLUNTEERS ON THE STREET THE TIME OF DAY!

    Ms. Cusic paid to attend and had every right to voice her concerns over HRC's divide the LGBT community strategy to ENDA.

    Posted by: Chadnnocal | Jul 30, 2008 5:15:53 PM


  16. CHADNNOCAL, I think if you had been there and seen this "elderly" lesbian in action, you would feel differently. She yelled her "concerns" as she was approaching the stage, throwing out papers. Joe Solmonese stopped talking and allowed her to speak, but her incoherent babbling wasn't exactly a great advertisement for her cause. She was asked to leave, then escorted out by the hotel security guards. Any bruises were of her own making. And contrary to whatever she says, there was clearly no "brutalization." She was more of an embarassment to the legit protesters outside - and methinks she continues to protest too much.

    Posted by: jrl684 | Jul 31, 2008 2:12:26 PM


  17. press release: HRC and others make large settement with Cusic out of court.


    The insurers for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and its hired Security Guards pay a large
    settlement for assaulting a San Francisco activist who attempted to distribute leaflets about Transgender Exclusion-

    In 2008 HRC held an annual fundraising dinner at the St. Francis Hotel in San
    Francisco, which was boycotted by the majority of invited elected officials
    and by all major LGBT groups in the Bay Area. The boycott was called to
    protest HRC's refusal to require inclusion of transgendered people in proposed federal
    employment legislation.

    A private security firm from San Bernardino County, used by the St Francis
    Hotel during labor disputes with HERE Local 2, was hired by the HRC for this event and at a prior HRC event where the HRC instructed the guards to ask any activist vocalizing disagreement with the HRC's policies to leave.

    During the dinner, a guest left her table with the intent to distribute leaflets, as is common at San Francisco political dinners.

    The guest, Catherine Cusic, was then 63 years old and was best known for her
    work in the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, for having co-chaired the
    committee that produced and distributed the first and most well known AIDS
    "safe sex" brochure, "Can We Talk?"

    When Ms. Cusic left her table she was assaulted by the security guards with such force that she eventually required shoulder surgery.

    The HRC's agents claimed Ms. Cusic was running towards the
    speaker and shouting. Although disputed, this was used as justification for the malicious force used against
    her.Yet, the head security guard who initially stopped Ms. Cusic testified in deposition she was walking (p.169:10-13)and not saying anything (171:8-11) when he stopped her.
    Subsequently, the HRC's insurer, on behalf of the hotel, and the security company's insurer agreed to pay Ms Cusic a very large out-of
    -court settlement. Ms. Cusic was represented by attorney Ross Libenson of Oakland, California.

    When asked if she felt vindicated by the settlement, Ms. Cusic said, " I am
    relieved to be compensated for the severe injuries suffered as a result of brute-force that was never necessary,
    but it is still disgusting to think that anyone would attempt to justify causing
    injuries in response to an attempt to distribute leaflets disagreeing with their point of view. Thinking like this is
    contrary to our movement, to what people like Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin,
    Audre Lourde and other queer people's lives were about."

    Cusic continued, "most of all, I think that HRC's conduct since 2008 has made it very clear
    that they may call themselves a 'Human Rights' organization, but the only
    rights they are really interested in are those of the Gay and Lesbian 1%."

    Posted by: catherine cusic | Jun 2, 2012 1:52:01 AM


  18. @Catherine Cusic
    Thank you for that post.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 2, 2012 2:02:59 AM


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