With public support for legalizing marriage between gay and lesbian couples soaring to 58 percent in recent polls, up from less than 40 percent eight years ago, and the U.S. Supreme Court mulling whether to strike down California’s Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act restrictions, America has clearly reached a watershed moment on LGBTQ rights.
Still, marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman in at least 38 states, and 32 states have added amendments to their constitutions banning same-sex unions, while bullying of LGBTQ students is reportedly on the rise in the nation’s schools. Much work remains to be done.
Panelists at the upcoming ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter bimonthly public forum on Tuesday, May 14, will recount the battle for LGBTQ rights in our community, discuss the impact discrimination and abuse has on students in local schools — especially for youth of color, and outline legal challenges ahead.
Panelists will include long-time activist Carl Matthes, President of the 30-year-old Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance (UGLA); author and professor Sikivu Hutchinson; and ACLU-Southern California Deputy Executive Director James Gilliam.
“Queer youth of color are especially vulnerable to becoming homeless,” observes Sikivu Huchinson. “Family economic instability, sexual abuse, religious dogma, discrimination at school and in local neighborhoods often precipitate homelessness amongst African American queer youth.”
What: ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter Public Forum
When: Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m.
Where: Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena
The event is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Sharon Kyle, Communications Chair, ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, aclupasadena@yahoo or 213.434.4643.