Equality California thanks Assemblymember Phil Ting for his moving statement in support of Tom AB 1266, Assembly Bill 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.
A short film reversing straight and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender social status. Warning: Some slurs used.
The hottest of the hot in 1903? Those butch “bifurcated girls” (bifurcated by the two-legged trousers, natch) having a roll! Public Domain Review collects some of the earliest print exploits of butch women having fun.
By Sam Alavi
I’m sure that to a bystander, 70 young people standing on the steps of the capitol screaming “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous; don’t mess with us” is quite an interesting site. But to me, it’s just another day of activism.
This year’s Queer Youth Advocacy Day was especially meaningful for me. Not only did I get the chance to train a group of inspiring youth on the ins and outs of advocacy, but we were also given the opportunity to meet with senators and assembly members about AB 1266 and AB 420, two bills that directly impacted us as students.
The event came with the usual emotions of empowerment, excitement, and pride, but also with a feeling of nostalgia. This weekend marked the end of my work as a youth trainer with GSA Network, and as a high school activist as a whole. With graduation almost 3 weeks away, I say goodbye to being a youth trainer after many years and hundreds of workshops, and say hello to my upcoming adventures as an activist in college. I am incredibly humbled and inspired to have spent the weekend advocating for justice on behalf of all marginalized students alongside my fellow activists, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year.
Sam Alavi is a senior at Aragon High School and the president of her school’s Gay, Straight Alliance. In previous years, Sam has helped lead the GSA through many successful events and campaigns including Ally Week, Harvey Milk Day, and the annual GSA Castro Field trip. A board member of GSA Network and Deputy Director of Bay Area Youth Summit (BAYS), Sam is a tireless straight ally and a force to reckon with.
Jason Collins, a Northridge native and former Stanford basketball player who now plays for the Washington Wizards, came out on Monday. He’s the first gay player in one of the “Big 4″ leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) to leave the closet, and he announced his decision in a thoughtful essay for Sports Illustrated. He’s single-handedly knocked Alan Alan Gendreau off the front page of OutSports.
Juliette Banana got fed up with the bro-dawg indie bike culture of Chicago, and started TinyFix, an open and affirming bike collective that welcomes everyone. In Biking While Genderqueer, she talks about her experiences as a genderqueer activist. She knows that she doesn’t speak for every genderqueer person out there, and uses some rowdy language, but lays out how practice and identity intersect with life and riding.
By Arturo, Toni, and P
On Thursday, April 11, Equality California opened the doors of our West Hollywood office to the students of Azusa Pacific University (APU). Field Manager, Bella Week, and Phone Team Supervisors, Aimee Mendez and Justin Florez talked to the group of 20 students about EQCA’s work, and answered questions they had about our past and present legislation.
APU is the largest Christian university in California. The school’s policy clearly states that same-sex relationships or acts are strictly prohibited and subject to disciplinary action. On the application, the student must agree that “homosexual activities are unacceptable behaviors for students enrolled at APU”. Because of this, some of us were a little unsure of how all of the students would react to the stories of LGBT people. As we began to share our stories, the group of students became very open and interested in our personal experiences and our fight for LGBT equality.
The discussion then turned into an open forum between the APU students and EQCA staff. At this time, the group was joined by three of our phones team staff – Arturo, Toni and P. What happened was a truly amazing discussion about EQCA, sexuality and gender.
During the open discussion, one student asked each of the staff members to talk about their personal journey and how they joined EQCA. (more…)
Unless you are a CPA, the very thought of filing federal and California tax returns can cause an anxiety spike. The stress is compounded for those who face complex tax scenarios, such as same-sex couples for whom federal and California laws are in conflict regarding the definitions of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. The resulting tax implications are not only unequal to what heterosexual married couples pay, but they are also confusing to apply. As we wait for the United States Supreme Court to hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex couples should be careful in preparing their tax returns in order to avoid audits, potential penalties, and overpaying their taxes.
The good news for Californians is that for couples who were legally married in 2008, prior to Proposition 8, or who have become registered domestic partners, the state tax treatment is the same as for heterosexual married couples. Taxpayers simply combine all income, deductions, and credits on the same California Form 540 tax return. This year’s anticipated Supreme Court decision on Proposition 8 will not affect California tax treatment one way or the other because couples already are permitted to file jointly if they are either married or registered domestic partners.
By contrast, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) currently requires same-sex couples to file separate federal returns as single taxpayers. This becomes a complex process because the federal government recognizes California community property laws, but not California’s recognition of same-sex unions. IRS Publication 555 (Dec. 2010) provides information on the application of community property for registered domestic partners, an arrangement which can include same or oppositesex couples who are not married according to the federal definition. For federal tax purposes, “community property” is defined as assets acquired or income earned after the inception of the domestic partnership. If the couple has a joint account and they pay all their expenses from this account, all expenses/deductions will be considered community. “Separate property” is defined as assets acquired prior to the inception of the partnership and any income/activity generated from said assets.
All of the couple’s community property—their combined income and any related tax www.ocbar.org February 2013 33 Creating these schedules requires significant additional preparation time and expense that most other married taxpayers do not incur. withholding, deductions, and credits, including child and dependent care credits—must be split between the two federal Form 1040 returns. The returns must be filed with supporting spreadsheets that show the details of how the various elements are divided. Creating these schedules requires significant additional preparation time and expense that most other married taxpayers do not incur. Due to these additional schedules, the separate federal tax returns cannot be filed electronically, but must be prepared in paper form and mailed, requiring IRS employees to manually process the returns, which increases the chances of processing mistakes and IRS inquiry. If a same-sex couple does not precisely prepare the detailed schedules, the likelihood of receiving correspondence from the IRS is high. (more…)
There is a lot to celebrate about César Chávez, the noted labor and civil rights leader whose birthday we celebrate Saturday. But what many don’t know is that Chávez was also an ardent advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
Marc Grossman, the Chavez Foundation’s communication director and César Chávez’s longtime spokesman and personal aide, says that for Chávez, support for the LGBT community started early. A long-time friend of the Chávezes from the ’40s on, who was a lesbian, baptized the Chávezes eldest son, Fernando.
“By the late ’70s, he would go to gay rights parades,” Grossman said. “I was with him when he met Harvey Milk.”
And Milk, in turn, was an early supporter of the United Farm Workers grape boycott.
“This was not a position that was popular,” said Grossman, referring to Chávez’s support for LGBT equality. “But César didn’t care about what was unpopular. He came out strong against the Vietnam War, something most other labor organizations wouldn’t do. He believed you couldn’t lead by following the crowd.”
Grossman shares the anecdote of a young aide who had left Chávez to move to San Francisco, and who later came out. Chávez came to San Francisco for a labor rally and went to a gay pride parade. The aide recognized him and said, “I’m surprised to see you here,” and Chávez replied, baffled, “Why would you be surprised?” (more…)
A number of gatherings took place across California during before and after the Supreme Court hearings on Prop. 8 and DOMA. Here are some of our favorite shots from these events: