By Laura Preble
Reviewed by Walter G. Meyer
Out is inside-out.
West Hills High School teacher and East County resident Laura Preble has authored a new book, Out, which turns society inside out. The book’s publication is well-timed to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing two cases about gay marriage, because at the heart of her book is an alternate universe in which being gay and same-sex married is the norm and being straight, or as the book puts it, “perpendicular” is the aberration.
Local representatives split votes down party lines
December 19, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – By a 65-31 vote, the U.S. Senate voted to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which barred gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military. The House approved the measure last week, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign.
November 4, 2010 (Kensington) -- The congregation of Kensington Community Church (KCC) United Church of Christ voted on October 10th to become an “open and affirming” church.
“Our church has had a long history of welcoming all,” says Debra Loomis, the chairwoman of KCC’s Open and Affirming committee. “Yet, the recent suicides of gay teens who were bullied made this vote especially timely. We must make our voices of love and affirmation heard over the shouts of bigotry and homophobia.”
By Miriam Raftery
Former ECM intern Joseph Rocha gave key testimony at trial
September 10, 2010 (San Diego) – U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled yesterday that the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay soldiers from serving is unconstitutional, violating the First and Fifth Amendments. The judge found that the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on military readiness by hindering recruitment in wartime and requiring discharge of service members who have critical skills or training.
"I am overjoyed that so many veterans and active duty members have been honored with justice. The decision upholds the constitution proving that no patriots blood is any less valuable in the defense of our nation." Joseph Rocha, an award-winning ECM journalism intern who testified at the trial, told ECM in an e-mail this evening. A former Navy dog handler, Rocha underwent 93 counts of abuse at the hands of an officer while serving in Bahrain.
July 6, 2010 (Lemon Grove) – The City of Lemon Grove has issued a proclamation declaring July 10th “Pride Day at Your Lemon Grove Library.” Ron deHarte, emcee of the Pride Celebration, was the victim of a hate crime that occurred in Lemon Grove last summer while participating in an equal rights torch relay that passed through Lemon Grove.
By Miriam Raftery June 28, 2009 (Lemon Grove) – Gay rights supporters from throughout San Diego County held a candlelight vigil Friday in Lemon Grove, denouncing the assault on San Diego Pride director Ron DeHarte during a gay rights rally in Lemon Grove earlier this month (http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/?q=node/1370). Leaders also cited a savage assault in San Diego that left a gay woman with facial fractures as evidence that new laws are needed to allow prosecution for hate crimes targeting gay and lesbian people. Soured by the Lemon Grove attack, leaders strived to create lemonade--calling for tolerance, not hate, in the community.
“What happened here really could happen anywhere,” said Lemon Grove Councilman George Gastil (photo), noting that this city is among the most diverse communities in San Diego County. “I can tell you that there are some people who wanted to be here today, but they are afraid," said Gastil, a former school board member and long-time Lemon Grove resident along with his wife and children." We need to reach out to people, including people in churches that are more conservative. It’s the uncomfortable conversations that will make a difference.”
EQUALITY TORCH RELAY SPARKS ARREST IN LEMON GROVE; GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATES CARRY TORCH TO RALLIES AT 4 EAST COUNTY CITY HALLS
June 9, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—A protester was arrested in Lemon Grove Saturday for assaulting San Diego Pride director Ron DeHarte during an equality relay for gay rights. (View a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E91X_cD-tqk&feature=related). Overall, however, the relay through four East County cities was peaceful, organizer Eve Parker reported. “We had such a wonderful and supportive day in East County,” she added.
Countywide, about 2,000 people turned out to commemorate the anniversary of the stonewall riots in New York, an event many view as the start of the gay rights movement. In East County, 23 torchbearers carried a torch to rallies at city halls in El Cajon, Santee, La Mesa and Lemon Grove.
June 4, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – organizers of the East County Equality Torch Relay in support of gay rights have released a schedule ot events planned for this Saturday, June 6th. Participants can walk, bike, or drive to follow the torch and attend a 20 minute rally at each city hall in East County.
May 27, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—“This is a time where we need equality,” says Eve Parker, lead organizer of the East County Equality Torch Relay slated for June 6th in Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove. The relay is part of a county-wide event for supporters of equal rights for gay and lesbian people. “I am actually a heterosexual, but I felt so strongly that I believe it is important that I stand up and take the lead,” said Parker. She points to the women’s rights and Civil Rights movements of the past, noting that it took the support of men and white Americans to help secure equal rights for women and African-Americans.
The June 6th date for the relay commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, events that many consider to be the start of the gay rights movement. Organizers say the Equality Torch Relay event aims to "inspire courage" and foster reflection on impacts of discrimination.