Immediate Release: June 9, 2017
Contact: Dean Welliver
DHF Equality Organizer
661-322-3033 ext. 1218


Bakersfield LGBTQ and the Dolores Huerta Foundation to host
“Stand Up, Speak Out” March

Who: Bakersfield LGBTQ , the Dolores Huerta Foundation, members and allies of the LGBTQ Community
What: “Stand Up, Speak Out” March and Rally to commemorate and honor victims of June 11th, 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre and to advocate for LGBTQ rights
When: Sunday, June 11th, 2017 from 8:30 – 10:30 AM
Where: Meeting point HomeGoods parking lot (5510 Stockdale Hwy) and march to First Congregational Church (5 Real Road) in Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, CA – Bakersfield LGBTQ and the Dolores Huerta Foundation have joined forces to host the Bakersfield “Stand Up, Speak Out March” in conjunction with the National Pride March on Washington D.C. and solidarity marches across the nation on Sunday, June 11th, 2017. The march will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Orlando Nightclub shooting, where 49 attendees were murdered and 53 others injured at the gay nightclub on Latin night. This massacre marks the largest hate crime targeted at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community in American History.

The “Stand Up, Speak Out” March will honor and remember those who lost their lives or were injured in the June 11th massacre and mobilize the Bakersfield community to advocate for legislation and policies that promote the well-being of LGBTQ persons and their access to opportunities for success locally and around the world.

The march will end at First Congregational Church with speakers that seek to mobilize people into action to:
· Support Health Care for All

· Embrace Trans People

· Fight Bi-Erasure

· Validate Non-Binary People

· End Stigma of HIV

· Stop the Chechen Genocide

Bakersfield LGBTQ and the Dolores Huerta Foundation call on the Bakersfield LGBTQ community to urge their representatives to intervene in the budding genocide of gay men in Chechnya to ensure equality and safety for all LGBTQ people globally.

In Chechnya, Russia men who have sex with other men or are suspected of being gay are being blackmailed, sent to concentration camps, tortured with beatings and electro-shocks, and being killed all for being LGBTQ. Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov the Head of the Chechen Republic, has disputed the claims of anti-gay repression stating that there are no gay people living in Chechnya. In an interview he stated that; “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic. If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

Attendees will learn how to support the bisexual community. Bi-erasure is the tendency to question or deny the legitimacy and existence of bisexuality. According to the Bisexual Resource Center, bisexuals face higher rates of anxiety, depression, STIs, heart disease, and tobacco use than heterosexuals, gay men, and lesbians. Fighting bi-erasure is paramount to the inclusion of bisexuals in society and to reducing health disparities for bisexuals.

Attendees will also be asked to sign a pledge card asking their legislators and elected officials to support legislation such as SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act, SB 239 Modernizing Discriminatory HIV Criminalization Laws, and SB 421 Tiered System for California Sex Offender Registry.
SB 179, the Gender Recognition Act of 2017, authored by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Sen. Scott Wiener, will enable transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to obtain state-issued identity documents that accurately reflect their gender identity. The bill creates a third, nonbinary gender marker on California birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, identity cards and gender-change court orders, in addition to streamlining the processes for a person to change their gender marker and name on these identifying documents. This bill will make California the first state to legally allow someone to be legally recognized as non-male and non-female.

SB 239, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), modernizes California laws criminalizing and stigmatizing people living with HIV to reflect current understanding of HIV prevention and treatment. It eliminates HIV-specific criminal laws that impose harsh and draconian penalties, including for activities that pose no risk of transmitting HIV. This bill is supported by public health officials because laws that criminalize HIV discourage people from getting tested and from seeking treatment, which impedes public health objectives of eliminating transmission of HIV. SB 239 would make HIV subject to the laws that apply to other serious communicable diseases, removing discrimination and stigma for people living with HIV and furthering public health. The bill is cosponsored by the Equality California, ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Lambda Legal and Positive Women’s Network – USA.

SB 421 would replace California’s existing universal lifetime registration requirement for sex offenses with a tiered system based on the seriousness of the crime, the risk of reoffending and criminal history. There are over 100,000 registrants in California, far more than any other state, and California is one of only four states with a universal lifetime registry. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill to address the unfair circumstance of LGBT people who were targeted and often entrapped on charges that required registration when their actual actions hurt no one, including for simply engaging in same-sex contact when that action was criminalized in the past. These members of the LGBT community were required to register as sex offenders for life even though their convictions are now decades old and the law and its enforcement have changed, and the basis for many of these arrests was due to anti-LGBT discrimination and police entrapment. This bill would remove these people from the registry along with others in similar circumstances and put a new, efficient, risk-based system in place. This bill is cosponsored by Equality California, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA).


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