Los Angeles City Council (July 22, 2005)

Good Morning Mr. President and Members of the Council.

My name is Jasmyne Cannick and I am an active resident of the City of Los Angeles living in Council District Number 10.

I am also a Black lesbian.

I want to begin by thanking the City Council for voting in support of AB 19 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act which would provide equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

I am here today representing not only progressive minded Angelinos but over 6,000 African American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tax payers who reside in the City of Los Angeles.

quot;Marriage is a union created and recognized by God.  Homosexuality is an abomination as far as God is concerned,"

These are words from the man that the City Los Angeles is naming a square after.

Fred Price and ministers like him, who preach hatred of gays and lesbians that look like me to my family, friends and community are not worthy of such an honor.

It’s because of people like Price that 3 year old Ronnie Paris didn’t make it to his 4th birthday.  His father beat him to death because he thought he was a sissy.

In coming before you today, I realize that the wheels are already in motion to honor a man who doesn’t consider people like me to be a part of this community.

I am simply asking the City Council to reconsider waiving the estimated $1,000 in fees and salaries for tomorrow’s event.

As a symbolic gesture to the LGBT community of Los Angeles, its sister cities and progressive Los Angelino’s, please do not use my dollars to honor a man who doesn’t even consider me human.

I hold in my hand the Black Same-Sex Households in the United States Report from the 2000 Census co-authored by the National Black Justice Coalition, the only black gay civil rights group in America of which I am proud to sit on the board of.

Los Angeles’ African American LGBT community makes up 4.1% of all Black gays in America.

Gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people are integral members of our communities and we deserve to not have our dollars used against us.

The silence, isolation, and marginalization of the past cannot be overcome by mere inclusive rhetoric.  It must be affirmed through action. 

I implore you to take the steps necessary to begin to repair the damage done by years of neglect, hatred and disregard at the hands of people like Fred Price.

I want to close by saying thank you to Council member Rosendahl for his quick support on this issue and to my colleagues who are here today and those who couldn’t be here today.

Thank you.