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Volume 18 / Issue 5                                                                   May 2010
                          President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to
                          establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges
                          to gay and lesbian partners.

                           The president's Thursday memo said, "There are few moments in our lives that
                          call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admit-
                          ted to the hospital. ... Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the
                          kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides."

                           Gay and lesbian Americans are "uniquely affected" by relatives-only policies at
                          hospitals, Obama said, adding that they "are often barred from the bedsides of
                          the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to
                          be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their
                          partner is incapacitated."

 Obama requested that the regulation make clear that any hos-
pital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, which includes
the vast majority of U.S. hospitals, must allow patients to decide
who can visit them and prohibit discrimination based on a vari-
ety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender

 The president listed widows and widowers without children
and members of certain religious orders among those who suf-
fer under the policy. The memo was welcomed by gays and les-
bians, who have used the restrictions on hospital visitation as
an argument in favor of same-sex marriage.

                                         "In the absence of gay people being able to legally marry in most
                                        jurisdictions, this is a step to rectify a gross inequity," said David
                                        Smith, an executive at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's
                                        largest gay rights group. "Because without gay marriage, much
                                        more inequities exist. It should be applauded."

                                         Smith said the organization had been working with the Obama ad-
                                        ministration for months on the request, and that it was sparked by
                                        the case of a Florida lesbian couple who were kept apart as one
                                        died from an aneurysm. The rule would help hundreds of thou-
                                        sands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, he said.

 Obama's memo also requires the HHS regulations to guarantee hospitals honor all patients' advance di-
rectives, which include stipulations such as who should make health care decisions if the patient isn't able
to do so. The memo also directs the department to look into any other health care barriers that pose chal-
lenges to such families and make recommendations to the president on them within 180 days.
Connections | May 2010

                                                    Interested in joining our Board of Directors, Events
          1993 - 2010                                            or Marketing committees?
  Celebrating 17 Years of Pride & Service
                                                   Contact Bev Senkowski at
   Mission Statement
                                                        or Jim Daggs at
The Central California Alliance
is a not-for-profit organization
    dedicated to promoting
positive change, equal rights,
                                                             EVENTS CALENDAR
  access and opportunity for
individuals in the gay, lesbian,
  bisexual and transgender
    (GLBT+) and associated
  communities, through pro-                                              Enjoy the OZ Themed Party
 grams of community service                                               At the North Tower Circle
      and philanthropy.
                                                                         Saturday, May 15th at 9 pm
  Board of Directors:

                                                                S.F. Gay Men’s Chorus
         Bev Senkowski
          Past President
                                                               California Freedom Tour
             Sue Stone                                          Sat. May 22nd 7:30pm               sale
          Vice President                                             Tower Theatre                See
             Jonni Pettit
           Angela Pettit
             Noa Kristi
          Ron Avedisian
        Kelli Glazebrook
           Jay Matthew
           LaVida Nash

             Jim Daggs
           Asst. Editors
            Lee Palmer
    Additional Photographs
         Bev Senkowski
        Jacqueline Frank

                                            “CONNECTIONS” LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER IN COLOR! — CHECK IT OUT
                                                 ON THE “NEWSLETTER” PAGE AT WWW.CCAFRESNO.ORG

           Connections | May 2010

                   OR VISIT US ONLINE AT:

          “It's About Time” (see pg 9)
              Wednesday, May 12 2010, 11:30 PM


           <<--—<<----- <<--— <<----- <<--—

    Archie Comics, home of the famous Riverdale High
    students Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and
    Jughead, is about to welcome a new classmate this
    fall! On September 1st, Kevin Keller, Archie Comics'
    first openly gay character, will be welcomed into
    the town of Riverdale.

    "The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the
    world of Archie Comics current and inclusive.
    Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a
    safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have
    an openly gay character in Archie comic books,"
    stated Archie Comics Co- CEO, Jon Goldwater.

    VERONICA #202 features the full-issue story, "Isn't
    it Bromantic?" that introduces Kevin, Archie Com-
    ics' first openly gay character. Kevin Keller is the
    new hunk in town and Veronica just has to have
    him. After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating
    contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately
    latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as
    Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down
    easy and her flirtations only become increasingly

Connections | May 2010
 Restore Equality 2010, a group that formed with the intent to repeal Proposition 8 with a November 2010
ballot measure, says that it failed to collect enough signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. This
is an official statement via press release:

                                         Restore Equality 2010, the campaign working to extend marriage
                                        rights to all Californians, announced today the completion of their
                                        campaign to qualify language to repeal Proposition 8 on the No-
                                        vember ballot. Over 150 days, the campaign mobilized thousands
                                        of new volunteers, engaged in hundreds of thousands of conver-
                                        sations, and collected signatures from every county in California.
                                        Although the campaign did not hit its goal of 694,354 valid signa-
                                        tures, it takes pride as being the only statewide effort fighting for
                                        immediate repeal of the discriminatory constitutional amend-
                                        ment. Despite the setback, Restore Equality 2010 announced that
                                        they will continue to fight for marriage equality in California.

 Restore Equality 2010 was formed in August 2009 after the state’s largest gay rights organization,
Equality California, declined to lead an effort to repeal Proposition 8. Although it started the campaign
with no contacts, no infrastructure, and no money, the grassroots campaign built a statewide network of
leaders and campaigners that furthered the state’s marriage equality movement.

 “Our signature collection effort may have fallen short, but we stand tall as being the only statewide cam-
paign that fought for repealing Proposition 8 in 2010,” said Sean Bohac, Chair of the Restore Equality
2010 Statewide Advisory Panel. “Our campaigners carried the torch of Harvey Milk, who showed that
change only happens when we get out of the bars and into the streets. And our efforts are reflected in
the new polls that show increased support for extending marriage to all Californians.”

 Restore Equality 2010’s leaders are now planning for a November 2012 ballot effort, in which they hope
to fight alongside the many LGBT and civil rights organizations who have publicly committed to helping
repeal Proposition 8 in 2012. Signature collection is anticipated to commence in the summer of 2011.

 The Associated Press reports: "Gay Zimbabweans face wide-
spread harassment and some have even been raped by those in-
tending to convert their sexuality, the U.S. State Department said
in a discussion of its annual human rights report in Zimbabwe.
Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women
were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to
change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the
U.S. Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.
'Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective
rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct,'
she said."

 Recently Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe responded to calls to make gay rights a part of the coun-
try's revised constitution by saying, "Three days ago, I heard that some people want us to discuss the
issue of gays in the new constitution. How do we even begin to talk about it? Those who engage in homo-
sexual behavior are just crazy. It’s just madness. Insanity. We can’t do it or the dead will turn in their
graves. If you are doing that (engaging in homosexuality), you are destroying nationhood."

                                                         Connections | May 2010
An Australian restaurant that refused a blind
man entry because a waiter thought his seeing-
eye “guide” dog was a "gay" dog has been or-
dered to apologize and pay compensation.

Ian Jolly was told he could not take guide dog
Nudge into Adelaide's Thai Spice last May be-
cause a member of staff objected.

The restaurant's owners said a misunderstand-
ing had arisen between Jolly's female compan-
ion and a waiter
who understood
the woman "to
be saying she
wanted to bring
a gay dog into
the restaurant".

"The staff genu-
inely believed            (GUIDE DOG)
that Nudge was
an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to
become a gay dog," the owners said in a state-
ment to South Australia's Equal Opportunity

The tribunal on Friday ordered the restaurant
to pay Jolly $1,400 and offer him a written apol-
ogy for discriminating against him on the
grounds of disability.
The restaurant, which displays a "guide dogs
welcome" sign, refused to comment.

Jolly was happy with the result and said, "I just
want to be like everybody else and be able to
go out for dinner, to be left alone and just enjoy
a meal".

              (ALLEGED “GAY” DOG)

Connections | May 2010
Nearly 100 LGBTQ and straight ally youth from all over California helped make history at the 5th annual
Queer Youth Advocacy Day on April 26, 2010. They were fierce lobbyists, proud activists, and courageous
youth leaders.

 During the weekend preceding Queer Youth Advocacy Day, the youth participated in the GSA Advocacy &
Youth Leadership Academy (GAYLA), an intensive three-day training focused on the legislative process,
policy and administrative advocacy, media activism, and other important leaderships skills for students
fighting homophobia and transphobia in schools.

On Monday, April 26th, youth took to the hallways of the Capitol, and spoke with legislators about several
bills that would improve student safety, health, and educational opportunities.

  · Mental Health Access for Youth At-Risk (SB 543)
  · Hate Crimes Protection Act (AB 1680)
  · California Educational Opportunity Index (AB 2273)

Youth leaders spoke to the media during a press conference, which also featured Assemblymember Lori
Saldaña, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and Assemblymember Tom Torlakson.

 "GAYLA was an incredible experience -
learning the skills to effectively advo-
cate for safety, equality, and social
change was invaluable. The entire ex-
perience was motivating. Having the
opportunity to work with my peers on
issues I truly believe in and personally
connect to really made me believe in my
potential," said Lily Amodio, a junior at
The Met Sacramento.

 Tyler Beltran, a senior from La Quinta
High School in Southern California said,
"GAYLA was a great experience for me.
I actually have decided to minor in poli-
tics [in college]."

 "At GAYLA I learned about three bills that are very important for the safety of youth, and I went to the Capi-
tol to lobby legislators about them," shared Karissa Doll from Oak Grove High School in San Jose. "Not only
was it an amazing learning experience but an amazing bonding experience with many youth all over Califor-
nia. This was a weekend I will never forget."

 Andrew DeSoto, a senior from nearby Santa Teresa High School echoed the sentiment. "I learned that I
can be a part of making a change. I learned skills for speaking to legislators and how to lobby. GAYLA is a
family, and we are all there for the same thing, which was to lobby for bills and talk to school administra-
tors, to make change for everyone."

 In addition to lobbying, a few students met with education officials at the California Department of Educa-
tion and the California School Boards Association to talk about how to improve the implementation of exist-
ing school non-discrimination laws that protect students from harassment based on gender identity and
 Continued on next page

JANUARY 2006 | connections                                  Connections | May 2010
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Continued from previous page

                           "For the last four years I have worked with the California Department of Edu-
                           cation in implementing laws already in place to protect students," shared vet-
                           eran youth organizer, Molly Boyer from Sonoma. "My story is like many oth-
                           ers around the state, involving horrific things happening to youth on campus.
                           Most youth don't even know they're protected or that they can take action
                           and file a complaint. Together with the CDE we are hopeful to eliminate dis-
                           crimination in schools across California."

                            Not only did students learn skills and advocate for policy change, they also
                           learned the importance of having a voice to stand up for youth across Califor-
                           nia. "GAYLA reassured me of how important it is to share our stories. It feels
                           great to know there are so many youth out there willing to stand up for the
                           safety of queer youth in schools," shared Aja, a junior in Santa Rosa.

"GSAs across California now have even more students who can take their media and advocacy training
back to their schools, supporting our movement for safe schools and LGBT equality across California.
They also now have a network of fellow GSA activists and friends to support their work through the rest
of their lives," said Alexander Tran, Advocacy Program Associate with GSA Network.

Connections | May 2010

       Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 11:30 PM - KVPT CH-18

                                                                      Connections | May 2010

   “Bottom line: you want to know who's
   now running the U.S. Army, the U.S.
   Navy and the Marines and calling the
   shots where it counts? Fundamentalist
   Muslims and homosexual activists.

   In fact, I'll predict that there will be a day
   of prayer at the Pentagon on May 6, and
   it will feature a Muslim imam, a homo-
   sexual clergyman, and no conservative
   Christians of any kind.

   This is not your father's military. It's not
   even your father's country anymore.”

   —Brian Fischer, a public policy director
   at the American Family Association, be-
   moaning their perception that the Ameri-
   can military has been taken over by the
   unholy Trinity of Non-Believers, Gays
   and Liberals.

      IN THE LIFE — “It's About Time”
 KVPT CH-18 — Wednesday, May 12 2010, 11:30 PM

Aging In A Safe Environment
According to The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,
over 3 million LBGT people are over age 65. While seniors
are protected against age-based discrimination by "The
Older Americans' Act," the lack of LGBT specific protec-
tions can drive our pioneers back into the closet when en-
tering long-term care facilities. Disturbed by this trend,
some activists and visionaries have taken matters into their
own hands by creating safe spaces for our elders.

A Chat With... Jennie Chin Hansen & Michael Adams
AARP President Jennie Chin Hansen and SAGE (Services &
Advocacy for GLBT Elders) Executive Director Michael
Adams discuss the unique needs of LGBT seniors, and how
                                                                        May Birthdays
their organizations build constituencies and communities
dedicated to advocating for elders' rights and quality of life.

Real to Reel: Edie & Thea - A Very Long Engagement                            Donna Walker
After a 42-year courtship, Edie and Thea are finally getting
married. This tender documentary memorializes a life-long                       Kay Taus
romance set against a backdrop of cultural change. Di-
rected by Greta Olafsdettir and Susan Muska (The Brandon
Teena Story), the film draws on a wealth of photographs,
creating a touching mosaic of these two women's lives and
a tribute to the enduring power of love.

Connections | May 2010

The estranged son of a controversial Kansas pastor encouraged people to feel sympathy for members of
his father’s church, “at least for the young children stuck in that situation.” Nate Phelps, 51, spoke in
Topeka, marking his first trip in 20 years to the city where his father, Fred Phelps, runs Westboro Baptist

 He alleged that he endured fear, intimidation and abuse before leaving the
family and church on his 18th birthday. He said that while society is quick to
take steps to protect children, it seems “curiously blind” when religious beliefs
jeopardize a child’s safety. He also predicted that the group would die out
eventually. None of its members picketed the speech.

 Westboro Baptist members, many of them Fred Phelps’ children and grandchil-
dren, have conducted anti-homosexual pickets in Topeka and other cities since
1991. They have been protesting at soldiers’ funerals in recent years, saying
military deaths were the work of a wrathful God who punishes the United States
for tolerating homosexuality.

 The Supreme Court will hear one such case this fall in which a soldier’s family sued the church to halt the
demonstrations. A lower court ordered the soldier’s family to pay the church’s court costs — a $16,500
judgment that the congregation said it would use for more protests. The court said it would consider
whether the protesters’ actions were protected by the First Amendment.

                           Nate Phelps, who describes himself as an atheist, said he believed his father’s
                          group would eventually become a footnote in Topeka history. But he encour-
                          aged people to do whatever they could to ensure that Westboro Baptist’s ac-
                          tions “fall on barren soil and are cast away like dust in the wind.”

                           In an interview with the Topeka Capital-Journal, Nate Phelps described his fa-
                          ther as “combative, angry, hateful, destructive.” He also said he hadn’t talked
                          much about his origins. But in 2008, the media began calling him for comment.
                          “That forced me to think about whether I have an obligation to speak out,” he
                          said. “I have a unique voice and maybe some positive things could come out of
                          that.” He also said he is writing a book and working with different organizations
                          “for changes in laws to make it more difficult for people to abuse their children
                          based on religion”.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is con-
nected to child sexual abuse. The consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is
not a question of sexual 'orientation', whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attrac-
tion or 'fixation'. The bishops are right to point out that a propensity to child sex abuse is not based on a
person's sexual orientation. Many abusers of children have never developed the capacity for mature
adult relationships. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or both. In the sexual
abuse of children the issue is the sexual fixation of the abusers, and not their sexual orientation.
—Father Marcus Stock, the general secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and
Wales, completely contradicting Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's claim that
….The Gays did it.

 Opinions expressed in “Connections” do not necessarily represent the views of CCA,
                     its Board of Directors, nor its membership.

                                                                  Connections | May 2010
                          "In 2004 the social ques-
                          tion that animated the
                          campaign was gay mar-
                          riage. Before the election
                          season had unfolded, I
                          had talked to George
                          about not making gay
                          marriage a significant
                          issue. We have, I re-
                          minded him, a number of
                          close friends who are gay
                          or whose children are
                          gay. But at that moment I
                          could never have imag-
ined what path this issue would take and where it
would lead."— From Laura Bush's new mem-
oir Spoken From The Heart.

   Mike Martinez - Founder and CEO of Queer Networks, Inc.
So I fired up my CCA membership over the weekend
and I’m pretty glad I did. CCA and Queer Fresno
haven’t always saw eye to eye on everything but I
have many good friends within the organization and
I’ve garnered a new-found respect for Beverly
Senkowski as she has taken the lead on helping to
spear head an effort to organize a committee that
will oversee the building of a gay and lesbian center
in Fresno. I think that is a monumental undertaking
and I have a lot of respect for anyone who would try
to stand in that gap for the local community. Beverly
asked me to serve on that committee and I initially,
gladly accepted that invitation but a two months
later I found out that I was relocating to the Bay Area
for a promotion with FedEx and reluctantly stepped
away because I knew I couldn’t make the meetings
and what not….

 I’ve been hearing some good things about CCA’s
efforts lately and I’ve decided to rejoin CCA as an
official member. I can really get behind what they’re
doing and I want to “cast my vote” for CCA and Bev-
erly’s leadership. Since Queer Fresno will also be
our flagship site and it really is where it all began for
QN I wanted us to help out with what is going on
down there as much as we could. They’re even hav-
ing a fundraiser at the Tower Theatre with the San
Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for Harvey Milk Day
this year on Saturday 5/22 and I wish them all the
luck in the world! CCA has been active in the local
gay community for many, many years now and I’m
proud to say I’m a member again. Good job CCA.
Good job Beverly. Good job Fresno!

Connections | May 2010

                                Connections | May 2010


Connections | May 2010
 Dear Mr. President, as an active-duty military chaplain who just returned from a 15-month deployment in
Iraq, this is my appeal for justice: Over the years some of us have buried our closest friends — officers
and enlisted, African American, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Whites, rich, poor, Protestants,
Catholics, Muslims and Jews. They had the courage to make the supreme sacrifice in order for us to reap
the bounties of freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.

What is remarkable about these Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen is they under-
stood the personal risk when they answered the highest calling of our nation. What could be a nobler act
then to give one’s life to one’s country, knowing that in their lives many freedoms would be denied them?

 And when their story is told a significant piece of their life would be missing. As they sleep under the
crosses, the stars of David and the crescents there is no bigotry. There is no prejudice. There is no ha-
tred. And within the sacred confines of their resting place there is no law of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” There
is only purest democracy.

When the final cross has been placed in the last cemetery, will it only be then that we as a nation acknowl-
edge our gay brothers and sisters who took the risks of life and truth to answer their nation’s highest call-
ing? How many of these brave men and women lie in military graves and still hide in death?

They are among the unknown soldiers. There are only a few who know the truth of those who lie in these
graves. There are only a few who know the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn them in silence and
fear. The nation remains silent and owes no allegiance to who they truly were nor does it honor their
loved ones. What does that say of our sacred values?

If one gay person was killed in defense of America, issues such as the destruction of unit morale or the
fear of people not wanting to join the military devalue their sacrifice. This is not about appeasing the un-
comfortable feelings of a minority; this is a universal and transcendent matter of justice. America was
built on the common Jewish and Christian heritage of justice when the Bible commands: “Justice, justice
you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20).

It is easy for those who do not live in fear of being ‘outed’ to say: ‘We must wait and examine this law fur-
ther.’ But when you have to watch what you say, where you go, and who you talk to, this erodes the hu-
man person. When you live in fear that the wrong pronoun slips through your lips, or a co-worker see you
in public with your life long partner and you respond ‘this is just a friend’, this degrades your human self
worth. Gays and lesbians wait not for justice, for them justice is denied, but they wait for the ‘knock on the
door.’ They are haunted daily waiting ‘to be found out.’

We went to foreign lands to wage war to liberate people so they would not have to live in the fear of wait-
ing. But citizens of our own land who served nobly, who died to secure freedoms which they would never
profit from, must live in fear waiting for justice.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is an unjust law. It degrades the human soul because it forces those who willingly
serve to live in shameful humiliation because of deceit and fear. It undermines the very principles and
values of what it means to be an American. Living the façade of a life goes against the Core Values of
every Armed Service. How much longer is justice going to be denied? There comes a time when despair
and fear must end.

Mr. President, we depend on your sense of justice and fairness to help end this gross injustice so we, as a
nation, do not have to wait for the final marker to be placed in the last cemetery. We ask you to lead the
way in repealing this unjust law and replace it with a policy of non-discrimination that advances open and
honest service. A law that is consistent with true American values and honors the sacrifices of so many
who have served – and died — in silence.

                                                               Connections | May 2010

                    PROP 8 TRIAL COULD WRAP UP IN JUNE
The federal trial to determine if California's same-sex marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution may
wrap up in June after a months-long hiatus. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker tentatively sched-
uled the long-delayed closing arguments in the case for June 16. After hearing more than two weeks of
testimony in January, Walker had wanted time to review all the evidence before hearing lawyers give
their wrap-ups.

 But the break dragged on while civil rights groups that opposed the voter-approved measure fought
turning over internal documents from the 2008 campaign to Proposition 8's sponsors. The groups, Equal-
ity California and the American Civil Liberties Union, finally agreed to supply the disputed documents.

 Yusef Robb, a spokesman for the gay rights group that spearheaded the case, says there may be one
final hurdle to the trial's end. Protect Marriage, the coalition of religious and social conservative groups
that qualified the ban for the ballot and is now defending the measure in court, have asked Walker to
strike some of the e-mails and memos written by Proposition 8 supporters that already were introduced
as evidence in the trial.

 The materials include some of the trial's most explosive elements, such as writings that claimed gays are
more likely to be pedophiles and that allowing them to wed would cause young people to become homo-
sexual. Lawyers for Protect Marriage told the judge in court papers that allowing the documents to re-
main in the trial record would violate the First Amendment freedom of association rights of the measure's
supporters. Walker asked to be fully briefed on that issue by May 10. He could set a separate hearing to
resolve it before the closing arguments, Robb said.

 Walker is presiding over a lawsuit brought by two gay couples seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The
case is being closely watched across the country. It is the first federal trial to examine if denying gays the
right to wed violates their civil rights, and is expected to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

                                             P.O. BOX 16422
                                             FRESNO, CA 93755
           1993 - 2010             
   Celebrating 17 Years of Pride & Service



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