The 2nd Annual State of Black LGBT California A Success


Over the weekend Black same-gender loving gays and lesbians and California’s Black politicians came together to discuss the State of Black LGBT California at the annual conference of the Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.

Held in Los Angeles, participants included the Hon. Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Compton), Hon. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), Hon. Roderick Wright, former CA Assemblymember, Los Angeles City  Councilmembers Hon. Jan Perry and Hon. Bill Rosendahl, Compton Councilman Hon. Isadore Hall, Lynwood City Councilwoman Hon. Leticia Vasquez SCLC of Greater Los Angeles executive director Rev. Eric P. Lee, Rev. Jenenne Macklin, founder of Living in the Light Ministries, San Francisco City Treasurer Hon. Jose Cisneros, Oakland community activist Peggy Moore, Alvan Quamina, Managing Director of the Center for Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School, Liliana Perez, Statewide Liaison for LGBT Communities Office of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Eileen Ma, Project Director of Equality Vote, Sarah Reece of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Los Angeles community activist Vallerie Wagner, and more.

Topics discussed included developing a statewide Black LGBT network, building a diverse coalition of LGBT political leaders, and the Black church vs. the state.

The event was sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition and chaired by its California delegation consisting of Jasmyne Cannick (Los Angeles), Alan-Michael Graves (Los Angeles), and the Hon. Darryl Moore (Northern California).

Why Living in California Keeps Getting Better and Better for Gays

(Sacramento, California) The California Assembly on Monday passed legislation that would give all married spouses and domestic partners, regardless of their gender, equal opportunity to change their family name when they marry or register as domestic partners.

Lawmakers approved the Name Equality Act 45-20 along party lines.

State law makes it difficult for a husband to take his wife’s last name upon marriage, forcing couples to request a name change in court. Similarly, domestic partners have faced costly and lengthy court proceedings in order to change their last names after registering with the state, said Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco).

Ma said the bill would remove gender bias from both marriage and domestic partnership applications, allowing each spouse or partner, regardless of their gender, the same opportunity to select a new name.

The legislation is supported by Equality California -the state’s larges LGBT civil rights organization – and the three California affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"No couple should have to go through an expensive and time-consuming court process in order to have their family name legally recognized and honored,"  said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors.

Seven states, including Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and North Dakota currently recognize a husband’s right to take his wife’s last name upon marriage. While Massachusetts allows same-sex couples who are legally married to change their surnames, California would become the first state to allow domestic partners to change their names if the proposed bill becomes law.

"AB 102 is about equality, flexibility and getting with the times," said Assemblymember Ma.

"Couples should not be penalized for being in love or wanting to be in a committed, loving relationship."

© 2007

Author and Poet Nikki Giovanni to Appear on Bev Smith Show

Check out American Urban Radio Network’s Bev Smith Show on Thursday, May 10th as Professor, Author, and Poet Nikki Giovanni discusses the Virginia Tech Killer.  Click here for show times and local stations.

Chicago Health Department Issues CocoDorm Report

Fellow blogger Bernie Tarver ( has posted an article on the Chicago Department of Public Health’s newly released comprehensive report on the latest rate of syphilis and HIV infections (a PDF of the full report can be downloaded here).

Their findings include a detailed follow-up to an investigation they conducted, first reported here, into the unsafe sexual practices conducted by FlavaWorks, operators of the Internet website, where young gay Black and Latin men engage in sexual acts for the enjoyment of viewers who pay a membership fee to watch.

Click here to read his post.