That nation still watching
By Pat Murphy
June 25, 2006
The nation heightened its customary watch on San Francisco today
for new things wholesome and good.
In what may be the first national spotlight on any sub-body of
any municipal legislature, Time
magazine published notice of tomorrow's City hearing expected
to fund America's first universal health care access program.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, author of the San Francisco
Health Access Plan
and proud to be San Franciscan.
A queer authored the funding legislation - San Francisco Supervisor
Tom Ammiano -- which sped stakeholder universal support for the
Francisco Health Access Plan forged by San Francisco Mayor
Supervisor Tom Ammiano featured at Alice B. Toklas Democratic
Club Pride Breakfast. Ammiano crafted the Worker Health Care Security
Act funding mechanism.
A queer announced - SEIU Health Care Workers Local 250 president
and a Grand Marshall of Pride 2006 Celebrations Sal Rosselli --
universal health care access will be offered to all Californians
by no later than the 2008 state ballot.
A queer predicted - California Assemblyman Mark Leno - that same
sex marriage could become legal in California next year.
Assemblyman Mark Leno, right, with Democratic gubernatorial nominee
And a half a million queers sauntered the streets with an air
They came for the 36th Annual Pride Parade and Celebration.
It began in 1970 as a tiny "gay-in" remembrance of
the June 27, 1969, Stonewall Inn riot in which queers resisted
police harassment of gay bar patrons.
Today the San Francisco Pride Parade is the largest event in
Northern California and statewide is second only to the Rose Bowl
for crowds drawn.
It pegged itself, however, to a moment cast in history by the
East Coast press which overlooked the San Francisco transgender
riot and one
queer's act of defiance which brought a worldwide influx of
queers to San Francisco.
"It was great event this week in the Tenderloin this week
when we installed the plaque in front of what was Compton's Cafeteria
commemorating the riots of folks who were discriminated against
and brutalized by members of the San Francisco Police Department,"
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly recalled at the traditional Alice
B. Toklas Democratic Club Pride Breakfast.
Supervisor Chris Daly recalls struggle of transgenders.
"It was great to have (transgender) Police Commissioner
Theresa Sparks, who I maintain should be the president of the
San Francisco Police Commission, in attendance with the entire
brass of the Police Department - showing how far we've come."
The Toklas Club was the first LGBT Democratic Club founded in
the country, begun in 1972.
Kanako Otsuji, the first Japanese elected official to acknowledge
attends Toklas Pride Breakfast.
Its annual Pride Breakfasts grew to statewide importance for
The top state Democrat headlined the Sir Francis Drake Hotel
"I want to say thank you so much for giving me the privilege,
the opportunity, and responsibility to be the Democratic nominee
for governor of the State of California," stated Phil Angelides.
"I know how many people who want equal rights and deserve
equal rights are counting on us.
"How many school kids are counting on us. How many hard
working families are counting on us."
The top Democrat in San Francisco scorned the top Republican
in the White House.
"It's been kind of a bitter-sweet year... we just commemorated...
the remarkable constancy of so many when we reflected on the 25
years of HIV and AIDS," said Mayor Gavin Newsom.
"The president the same day of that commemoration decided
to go in front of Congress and announced his intention to amend
the Constitution to write in discrimination.
"That's remarkable, isn't it.
"The day of the 25th anniversary of the commemoration of
HIV and AIDS - that's the day he chooses to go before the Congress
to talk about writing discrimination into the Constitution.
"At the same time, you've got leadership like Mark Leno
in Sacramento doing something that no one three years ago... could
have ever imagined would be done.
"That was through his incredible efforts not giving up but
fighting forward to get a majority of his colleagues in the legislature
to do something that no legislature in the history of America
has done for equality. And here he is this morning saying he's
going to do even better the next time.
"There is so much that is good, that is right in this City.
There is so much that is good, so much that is right in this state
that ultimately as Dr. King said, 'That long arch of history always
bends toward justice.'
"They just can't stop it. It's just a matter of time and
I feel like we're tipping in the right direction.
"I feel like all of your work, all of your hard work has
paid off. Things are going start turning in the right direction
so thank you for everything you do.
"Thank you for making me proud to live in this great City.
Have a great birthday."
Supervisor Tom Ammiano suggested closer examination of Newsom
collaboration for expanded health care access.
"We are moving very, very positively toward universal health
care here in San Francisco," began Ammiano.
"As soon as it's signed into law I'm going to go up to Mayor
Newsom and say, 'Turn your head and cough.' No, I'm only kidding.
"We always need to come together in crisis and even occasionally
lately when it's not a crisis.
"That reminds us of who we were, how we got here, and that
there are still some people out there in different groups - some
of them queer, some of them not - who need our help.
"I don't think I would have said 25, 30 years ago that we
would have been the ones to extend a helping hand.
"So wish us the best of luck on that universal health care
"If we had it in the 70s a lot of people we know who had
HIV or AIDS would have gotten better treatment or still would
be with us."
Rosselli, a past Toklas president and a Pride March grand marshal,
said Health Care Workers Local 250 would carry the measure to
"Our nation's health care system today is broken, it's crumbling,"
"We're very excited to be working with Mayor Newsom and
Tom Ammiano over the last several months to have San Francisco
be the first City in the United States to accomplish universal
"That's going to happen over the next few weeks I believe
and our number one priority in SEIU is to by November, 2008, put
a ballot measure on the ballot that accomplishes universal access
for quality health care for everyone in the state and I know that
you'll join me in making that happen."
Jennifer Beals, also a parade grand marshal, noted her portrayal
as a lesbian on The L Word television serious caused her to take
attacks on queers personally.
"I was really oblivious before I started playing that character,"
"I get very defensive and argumentative when I hear slurs
against the gay community.
"I take it very personally and I think before I would have
been irritated by them but now I take them personally and now
"Love cuts across all kinds of boundaries... to say that
one person's love is more valuable than another person's love