poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Black forum discusses same-sex marriage
By LeiLani Dowell
Oakland, Calif.
A forum and panel discussion on same-sex marriage was held in the African American community here on April 3. The event showed the breadth of the debate around same-sex marriage in the Black and lesbian/gay/bi/trans communities, as well as the commitment to struggle.

The meeting was hosted by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and the Sexual Minority Alliance of Alameda County (SMAAC). NBJC was formed in December 2003 to respond to the lack of African American voices in the marriage equality movement. SMAAC is a full-service agency providing an array of services to LGBT and questioning youth, primarily youth of color, throughout the Bay Area.

Bobbie Wilson, a pro bono attorney representing the City and County of San Francisco and a board member of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, discussed the two lawsuits that have been filed against the state of California. One suit, filed in the state Supreme Court, is in opposition to the temporary restraining order placed on same-sex marriages in San Francisco. The other challenges the validity of California state statutes which discriminate against same-sex marriages.

Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Tracey Scott, a lesbian couple, described how they married in San Francisco for love, but also to take the opportunity to be counted in the movement. They described waiting in line for seven hours in the rain without anywhere to sit, in order to participate in what Scott described as "100 percent civil disobedience outside City Hall, and 100 percent love inside at the ceremony."


'Solidarity key to battling capitalism'

Workers World Managing Editor Leslie Feinberg spoke to a full house at Unity Church in Buffalo, N.Y., on April 3 about how solidarity against all forms of oppression is critical in order to wage a successful struggle against capitalism.

The multinational and multi-generational audience at the Workers World Party-sponsored forum included gay and straight folks from Buffalo neighborhoods, including Lackawanna where the working-class Yemeni community has been targeted by the Bush administration's "war on terror."

Feinberg urged all those gathered--many of whom are active in anti-war, anti-globalization and anti-police abuse and racism struggles, and the lesbian/ gay/ bi/trans and student movements--to open up discussions on the successes and problems of revolutions that have attempted to end capitalism. This will help to both defend the existing workers' states and to strengthen the overall revolutionary movement to build a communist future.


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