www.sfpride.org SF Pride Email Newsletter: Issue #21: 3.26.08

United by Pride
38th Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade & Celebration - 06.28/29.2008

In this issue:

- Music and Performance in the City by the Bay
- Virgin America Proudly Supports the San Francisco Pride Parade &
- Iranian Lesbian Asylum-Seeker Faces Deportation in Britain
- Grand Marshal Nominees Announced
- Joie de Vivre Offers Discounted Room Rates
- Pride Night at Teatro Zinzanni
- Same-Sex Marriage Ban Hits California Supreme Court
- Curve magazine + Dani Campbell: Issue Release Party
- Hotel Whitcomb

Music and Performance in the City by the Bay

Depending on where one is from and what one's interests are, one person's reaction to a city can be very different from another's. One thing that everyone can agree upon is that San Francisco is a city with many faces. Indeed, there could be no better way to describe the City by the Bay.

The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band
Photo Credit: Jane Cleland
Visitors to and aficionados of San Francisco's famous Haight District (known more commonly to non-Bay Area residents simply by its iconic intersection "Haight-Ashbury") would find as no surprise that the City has a rich rock and punk music heritage, having been home to the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Dead Kennedys, and Metallica.

But rock is not the only musical genre to which San Francisco has made a significant contribution. The Fillmore District is also widely renowned for the contributions of African-American musicians and artists to the city's jazz legacy. Jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong all performed in the Fillmore District. A recent resurgence in independently owned jazz clubs in the area are a sure draw for any music fan and a continuation of this neighborhood's contribution to the fabric of the City's arts and culture.

San Francisco is also home to the world's first openly LGBT musical organization the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, which was founded with the intent of having a marching band to perform in the annual Pride celebration. San Francisco also features a number of other LGBT music groups such as the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, and the Gay, Lesbian & Allied Musicians Youth Choir, among others.

San Francisco's avant garde artist community is perhaps a key marker of the city's identity. San Francisco is home to a thriving theater improvisation community. Locals also take pride in the grass roots performing arts community that has staged a number of stirring and successful productions by local artists that began with performances in garages to small, intimate audiences.

Also of note in the City's vibrant arts scene is the Oberlin Dance Company (ODC) and Robert Moses' Kin. Both dance companies have helped carve an undeniably San Franciscan imprint into the national contemporary dance scene. These companies are a must-see for any dance enthusiast.

For more information about where to stay and how to get around San Francisco, visit our Hotel & Visitor's Guide on the San Francisco Pride website.

Virgin America Proudly Supports the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration

We are making flying good again and bringing great service back to the skies.

Let's not forget style, entertainment and relaxation - all for an astonishingly reasonable fare.


Grab a seat at virginamerica.com.

As San Francisco's hometown airline, Virgin America will serve as many as 10 cities within a year of operation, and up to 30 cities within five years. Virgin America's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport's ultra-modern, spacious and convenient International Terminal, which was completed in 2000. The airline's brand-new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer guests their own interactive in-flight entertainment systems, plugs for laptops and other portable electronic devices and a host of other innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel and bringing a little fun back to flying.

To learn more visit: www.virginamerica.com

Iranian Lesbian Asylum-Seeker Faces Deportation in Britain





Photo Credit: Outrage! London

An Iranian lesbian who fled Iran for the United Kingdom after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death may face deportation, London's The Independent is reporting. The Independent reports that Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, had come to the UK in 2005 after her partner had been arrested by Tehran police. Under the Iranian Islamic Punishment Act, lesbians found guilty of sexual relations with other women can receive sentences of up to 100 lashes. Third-time offenders may receive a death sentence.

Emambakhsh may be forcibly returned to Iran after losing her latest attempt for asylum status, which came just days after a rising tide of public outcry surrounding a gay Iranian teenager - also seeking asylum in the UK - who fears execution if he is returned to his home country.

19 year-old Mehdi Kazemi fled to the Netherlands after the UK Home Office denied his application for asylum. A Dutch Court later mandated Kazemi's return to the UK citing the European Union's constitutional requirement that the country where a foreign national first enters the EU be the country responsible for processing any asylum claims lodged by that immigrant.

Both cases have provoked public outcry and Kazemi's case even caught the attention of the European Parliament. LGBT rights groups claim that Emambakhsh and Kazemi's cases are but a few examples of dozens of cases regarding LGBT asylum-seekers in Britain.

In denying Emambakhsh's and Kazemi's cases, the Home Office indicated that so long as Iranian LGBTs remain 'discreet' about their sexuality, they would not be persecuted. The implication is that the Home Office need not guarantee Iranian LGBT people asylum in the UK since LGBT persecution could theoretically be avoided by being discreet.

A widely supported resolution by the European Parliament urging the UK to support Kazemi's asylum claim caused the Home Office to agree to review the circumstance of the case and to temporarily reverse the denial of Kazemi's claim. No news has yet been announced as to whether Emambakhsh's case will receive a similar review.

Grand Marshal Nominees Announced

The official slate of candidates for Community Grand Marshals in both the Individual and Organization categories as well as for the Pink Brick has been announced for 2008. Cast your vote or access a printable mail-in ballot here (para una versión de la papeleta electoral en español, haga click aquí). Anyone, anywhere may participate in the voting process; however, all ballots must be received by March 31.

Joie de Vivre Offers Discounted Room Rates

We are pleased to offer discounted Pride Rates at our San Francisco Joie de Vivre Hotels! Book prior to June 1, 2008 and receive a pair of Parade Grandstand tickets, a $70 value, free of charge (subject to availability). Reservations can be made by clicking here or ask for the SF Pride Rate when you call and book your stay.

Joie de Vivre Hospitality
Corporate Office: 530 Bush Street San Francisco Suite 501, CA 94109 www.jdvhotels.com 800.738.7477

Joie de Vivre Hotels is the largest boutique hotel company in California. Our unique collection of over thirty five high-design and very gay-friendly hotels, restaurants and spas are located in San Francisco, Marin County, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Big Sur with new hotels opening soon in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Studio City, Venice Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and beyond. Whether you are traveling for business or Pride, planning a vacation, romantic getaway, or special event, we have a hotel uniquely suited to your personality.

Pride Night at Teatro Zinzanni

Join the GGBA & San Francisco Pride as we celebrate an evening of Pride, networking, and fun!

Thursday, March 27
Pier 29 on The Embarcadero

Teatro Zinzanni invites the LGBT community to experience a bewitching evening of European Cabaret and Cirque, Divas and Madmen, Spectacle and Sensuality with Live Music and a Gourmet Five-Course Dinner - set in the nightclub of your dreams! Celebrate the Queer community with Teatro Zinzanni!

Tickets for this spectacular event are discounted at $99 and space is limited. To purchase your tickets call TZ's box office at 415-438-2668. Click here for more information.

Challenge to Same-Sex Marriage Ban Hits California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court heard closing arguments about the state's ban on same-sex marriage on March 4. The opening arguments have come on the heels of the 4-year anniversary of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's order allowing marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples in what has been dubbed the "Winter of Love." It was in August of that same year that the state Supreme Court nullified those marriage certificates, which brought on a series of legal challenges that have since been working their way through the court system.

At issue in the present case in California's highest court is whether California's ban on same-sex marriage violates the state constitution by denying equal protection under the law on the basis of sexual orientation. Jennifer Pizer, senior counsel for Lambda Legal, has indicated, "California's Constitution promises each of us equality under law and freedom to marry and create a family without undue government interference. These guarantees of equality and individual liberty do not have a sexual orientation limitation - a 'gay exception,' if you will. They are promised to each and every one of us, straight and gay alike. When a law denies a minority group of California families their constitutional rights to equality and liberty - and labels them as unworthy of full participation in society - especially in a core institution like marriage - the state must have a darned good reason."

Curve magazine + Dani Campbell: Issue Release Party

Celebrate the release of Curve magazine's April issue. Party with smokin' hot Cover Girl Dani Campbell star of MTV's, 'A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.'

Hosted by Curve relationship advice columnists Lipstick & Dipstick with sexy performances by LA's lesbian burlesque troupe The Pin Up Girls.

Dance the night away with DJ Chelsea Starr, and Curve, the nation's best-selling lesbian magazine. March 28 from 9pm-1am at the stylish Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco.

Click here: http://curvemag.stores.yahoo.net/timedacaisre.html to get your tickets now! Only $20 in advance, $30 at the door (if available) 18+

Hotel Whitcomb

The Hotel Whitcomb is a masterpiece of early nineteenth century architecture. Our rooms feature wireless Internet, on-demand movies, and has over 20,000 sq feet of meeting space. The hotel is with-in walking distance of Civic Center and minutes away from Union Square, Moscone Center, Fisherman's Wharf and The Embarcadero.

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