Saturday, June 01, 2013

SF Pride Guide Mentions: Marriage 29 v. Housing, ENDA Zero

The queer landscape of San Francisco is littered with thousands of copies of the Inside Pride Guide 2013, which is also available at the publisher Via Media's site.

As in previous years, the glossy guide pushes consumerism through ads from SF Pride corporate sponsors and is pretty apolitical over all. The political component, light and skimpy as it is, focuses on a single Gay Agenda issue: marriage.

When did we San Francisco queers get the chance to vote on omitting every social and economic justice issue from Pride, such as affordable housing in the City or access to healthcare or federal employment protection, except for gay marriage? My invitation to that election never hit my email in-box.

Poring over the editorial content of the guide - everything from Pride board leaders' bios to welcome letters from elected officials to celebrity profiles - I counted 29 mentions of Prop 8, the Defense of Marriage Act, gay marriage or gay weddings.

There were zero mentions I could find for the affordable housing needs of moderate and low income community members, or the displacement of lots of LGBT folks from San Francisco due to gentrification and greed of real estate developers.

The bio for Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez makes passing reference to "equal access to health care and that LGBT people can be protected from losing their jobs to fear and discrimination", but otherwise I found nothing about ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act.

So much for a diverse Gay Agenda as an integral component to SF Pride. Is it demanding too much for a broader and more encompassing political component to SF Pride's Parade and Celebration?

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