Mark Leno Hub

California Politicians Wed in Palm Springs


Two gay California politicians have wed. Geoff Kors, previous executive director for Equality California (2002-2011) and James Williamson, a current school board candidate, were married in Palm Springs. They were married by another familiar face for those acquainted with California politics — state Senator Mark Leno

Yes, the above is an actual picture from Kors and Williamson's picturesque ceremony. Bring on the Xanax for Gay Weddings!

Kors has been an active campaigner for LGBT causes in California, memorably during the Schwarzenegger governorship, when he teamed up with Senator Leno.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Embarrassing Typos Mar Otherwise Sparkling Roll-Out of LGBT 'Rainbow Honor Walk' in SF: VIDEO


Yesterday, in San Francisco's Castro District, organizers unveiled the first bronze sidewalk plaques dedicated to LGBT heroes in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a queer take on Hollywood Boulevard's "Walk of Fame" meant to honor those "self-expressed LGBT individuals, now deceased, who made significant contributions in their fields."

The first 20 honorees are Jane Addams, James Baldwin, George Choy, Federico Garcia Lorca, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Haring, Harry Hay, Sylvester James, Christine Jorgensen, Frida Kahlo, Del Martin, Yukio Mishima, Bayard Rustin, Randy Shilts, Gertrude Stein, Alan Turing, Tom Waddell, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Virginia Woolf.

JorgensenThe unveiling was marred by some unfortunate typos which immediately made their way to social media. Oscar Wilde's plaque celebrated the writer's "bitting" wit while trans pioneer Christine Jorgensen was described as "trangendered". More than $100,000 in donations which paid for the plaques will cover the cost of corrections, reports KGO.

According to Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin, who was there to help unveil the Virginia Woolf plaque (see below) with his husband Chris Turner and their dog Philo, the plaques with errors will be auctioned off to benefit the Honor Walk campaign and replaced.

Other attendees included Senator Mark Leno and SF Supervisor Scott Wiener, as well as activist and veteran Dan Choi.

The Walk has been in development for years:

The idea for the project had a dual genesis. In 1994, Perry suggested the idea and received media attention and the support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. However, the overwhelming priorities of the AIDS/HIV pandemic put the project, and its fundraising goals, on hiatus. In 2009, Lindenauer, unaware of the earlier effort, envisioned the Rainbow Honor Walk. Lindenauer and Perry joined forces, put together a volunteer committee of community leaders and received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“These are just the first 20 of what we hope will be hundreds of names,” says Lindenauer, noting the Walk stretches from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro. On Castro Street — the LGBT community’s “Main Street” – the walk will continue up to Market Street with additional wings along 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard.

Check out a big Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter gallery of the roll-out and all the sidewalk plaques as well as some local news coverage from KGO, AFTER THE JUMP....


Continue reading "Embarrassing Typos Mar Otherwise Sparkling Roll-Out of LGBT 'Rainbow Honor Walk' in SF: VIDEO" »

CA Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill Allowing Children to Have More Than Two Legal Parents


On a busy bill-signing day last Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown gave his signature of approval to legislation that will allow children in the state to have more than two legal parents. LA Times reports that Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) authored the bill to better address the custody and financial responsibilities of same-sex couples who have a child with an opposite-sex biological parent.

Mark Leno"Courts need the ability to recognize these changes so children are supported by the adults that play a central role in loving and caring for them," Leno (pictured right) said. "It is critical that judges have the ability to recognize the roles of all parents so that no child has to endure separation from one of the adults he or she has always known as a parent."

The bill was partially a reaction to a 2011 court decision involving a lesbian couple that briefly ended their relationship, according to Leno's office. One of the women was impregnated by a man before the women resumed their relationship. A fight broke out, putting one of the women in the hospital and the other in jail, but the daughter was sent to foster care because her biological father did not have parental rights.

Conservative groups in the state, including the Pacific Justice Institute, opposed the measure on the grounds that it was an attack on the traditional family and would be detrimental to children.

"This is in the long run going to be a mistake," [PJI president Brad] Dacus said. "The ones who are going to pay the price are not the activists, but it's going to be children, who will see greater conflict and indecision over matters involving their well-being."

Brown vetoed a similar bill last year that allowed a judge to recognize a third parent "in the best interest of the child." This year's version was narrower and will allow such a declaration only when the judge finds that failing to recognize more than two parents would be harmful to the child. 

State Senator Mark Leno Explains Why California's New LGBT History Bill is So Important: VIDEO


State Senator Mark Leno, sponsor of the FAIR Education Act in California, which was signed by the Governor yesterday and will require schools to add curriculum about gay history and people to their curriculum, talks to Thomas Roberts about the importance of the bill and what it means to future generations of Americans and questioning LGBT youth.


Continue reading "State Senator Mark Leno Explains Why California's New LGBT History Bill is So Important: VIDEO" »

CA State Senator Mark Leno Takes Apart Anti-Gay Activist Randy Thomasson's Arguments Against LGBT History Bill: VIDEO


On Alan Colmes radio show, anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson floats a bunch of mistruths and homophobic arguments against the FAIR Education Act, the bill sitting on Governor Jerry Brown's desk which would teach LGBT history to students in California schools.

State Senator Mark Leno, the bill's sponsor, takes apart Thomasson's arguments.

Watch and listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

As I mentioned this morning, anti-gay religious groups are hammering Brown with calls asking him to veto the bill. Calls are urgently needed to Brown's office requesting he sign the bill.

You can contact Brown's office at 916-445-2841. Ask him to sign SB48, the FAIR Education Act.

Continue reading "CA State Senator Mark Leno Takes Apart Anti-Gay Activist Randy Thomasson's Arguments Against LGBT History Bill: VIDEO" »

Action Urged on California LGBT History Bill; Call Gov. Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown is being hammered by NOM and other anti-gay groups over Senator Mark Leno's Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act (SB 48) which passed the Assembly last week and awaits the Governor's signature.

Jerry_brown The bill requires teachers to include LGBT accomplishments in history courses. It also adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's pre-existing anti-discrimination clauses.

The deadline for Brown's signature is Monday and the bill has been on his desk for a week. This has advocates concerned.

Conservatives and religious groups are hammering the governor to veto it, from what I hear, and the word needs to get out to pro-equality people to contact the governor and ask that he sign the bill.

Governor Brown's phone number is 916-445-2841.

Call it, and when the option comes up to express your support for SB48, ask him to SIGN the bill.


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