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    Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride Month is over, should we be less proud?”

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride Month is over, should we be less proud? Absolutely not! LGBTQ Pride is 24/7 and 365! It ain’t never gonna end!”

    Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet’s PRIDE BRUNCH was back, in person! Marking its 24th year, this annual celebration of all things Pride during SF’s Pride Weekend returned to the beautiful Westin St. Francis Hotel on Pink Saturday, June 25. There was a scrumptious three-course meal, hosted bar, and a joyous commemoration of the PRIDE PARADE’s Grand Marshals and a coming together three years in the making. All proceeds from this marvelous LOVE IS IN THE AIR fundraiser supported PRC’s lifesaving social, legal, and behavioral health services that help SF’s most vulnerable populations struggling with HIV/AIDS, substance use, and mental health issues. PRC services help over 5,000 clients annually on their path toward stability and better health and financial outcomes. The event raised significant $’s for PRC! A featured guest was Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who inspired us all with a stirring speech of hope in these times of relative hopelessness. State Senator Scott Wiener also spoke as a proud gay man valiantly working for us and our causes. And Supervisor Rafael Mandelman presented Certificates of Honor to Gary and Donna. Gifted SF artist Thomasina DeMaio unveiled a stellar oil portrait of Donna and Gary. Vocalist Carly Ozard belted out Streisand’s “Before the Parade Passes By.” And Donna closed the festivities singing live “I Am What I Am!” What a true Day of Pride that was!

    Congratulations to openly gay writer and filmmaker John Waters, who will be getting a star on the HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME. How Divine! It’s about time!

    In the beginning of the Third in a series of the extraordinary, stunning, amazing JANUARY 6th HEARINGS, Representative Liz Cheney exclaimed, “We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence!”

    Sister Dana sez, “These hearings are not finished, but it is time for Attorney General Merrick Garland to DO HIS JOB! Failure to hold those who broke the law legally accountable will allow future attacks to succeed, and the threat to our democracy will only grow!”

    Trump’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has done nothing but wreak havoc on the United States Postal Service. His intent to privatize the agency has done so much more harm than good—and issues like mail slowdowns will only continue to get worse unless our elected leaders step in. DeJoy’s disruption of the USPS runs deep. The USPS doesn’t only deliver postcards, catalogs, and bills—it is also an essential service that helps ensure people can access crucial needs like medications by mail. And now that the Supreme Court has ruled on abortion, the USPS will become an even more important partner in delivering abortion pills to those who need them. Sister Dana sez, “President Biden and Congress must take steps to remove DeJoy now! Restore joy and dump DeJoy!”

    Senator Scott Wiener stated regarding the murderous gunfire on June 22 in the Castro: “The shooting that occurred on the Muni subway near Castro Station—a subway ride I’ve taken thousands of times over the past 25 years—is a horrific tragedy. It’s another reminder that as long as our country is awash in guns—shootings can happen anywhere, anytime.” He concluded, “We must recommit as a nation to end the easy availability of guns. California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, and we’re continuing to strengthen them. But we need strong action from Congress to truly improve the safety of our community.”

    Then, on June 23, the Supreme Court bucked the will of the people and sided with partisan extremists on guns. Sister Dana sez, “Unelected Justices serving life terms have increasingly made partisan decisions that undermine the fundamental rights of more than 300 million Americans. The Supremes should not rule for life—or in many cases: AGAINST life!”

    Governor Gavin Newsom reacted to that Supreme-ly awful concealed gun judgment, saying: “This is a dangerous decision from a Court hell-bent on pushing a radical ideological agenda and infringing on the rights of states to protect our citizens from being gunned down in our streets, schools, and churches!”

    Ketanji Brown Jackson has made history being the first Black woman to be sworn in to the SUPREME COURT! Now let’s expand, pass THE JUDICIARY ACT, and add a few more liberals to even out the overly conservative and unbalanced situation we are enduring! Also on June 30, President Biden condemned the Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade and said he would back ending the filibuster to codify abortion rights.

    Sister Dana sez, “Bust the filibuster!”

    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Congress to codify the rights to abortion, contraception, marriage equality, and interracial marriage.

    On June 24, Congress gave final approval to a bipartisan compromise intended to stop dangerous people from accessing firearms—ending nearly three decades of congressional inaction over how to counter gun violence and toughen the nation’s gun laws. The House approved the measure merely 234 to 193 one month to the day after a gunman stormed into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and used a semiautomatic rifle to kill 19 children and two teachers, sparking outrage across the country and a flood of negotiations on Capitol Hill. President Biden, expectedly dissatisfied, nevertheless signed it. So, after HIGHLAND PARK, is it finally time to ban assault weapons?!

    On June 24, the Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn ROE V. WADE. This action will lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. And you just KNOW that marriage rights are next on their chopping block! We need to codify Roe v. Wade into law!

    In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Mayor London N. Breed announced initial steps being taken to prepare for impacts locally and to ensure that San Francisco continues to stand as a place that proudly protects and supports a woman’s right to choose.

    “It is essential to remember that the EPISCOPAL CHURCH has unambiguously and vigorously supported the rights of women to access reproductive health, including safe and legal abortions,” said The Rev. Dr. Greg Kimura, Vice Dean of Grace Cathedral. Sister Dana is a loud and proud member of THE VINE (an even more queer-friendly branch of queer-friendly Grace). “Taking away a recognized constitutional right of woman’s autonomy of choice over reproductive health has left us bereft, tearful, fearful, and angry,” continued Dr. Kimura. “This is a reminder that the road to restoring justice is long. We need to double down on compassion, civility, and self-care. All the spiritual practices that lift us in times of struggle are vital right now. We will only be effective in changing hearts if we speak from the heart, with gravitas. We will only create social change by acting from the same place. We need to support each other, those organizations like Grace Cathedral that protect our rights, and we need to vote!”

    And the final 6–3 act of “THE SUPREMES” before they retired for the Season was to hurl us into climate disaster and limit the EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Bye-bye, Planet Earth!

    On July 8, President Biden signed an EXECUTIVE ORDER strengthening existing laws on reproductive care. Are we seeing progress?

    Having attended the Irish Diaspora at the GLBT HISTORICAL MUSEUM back on May 14, I was invited by the Consulate General of Ireland for his return to Ireland party (after his proudly marching as an out gay man in our SF Pride Parade) on June 24 at Ireland House, One Post Street. We lucky Irish folk toasted Consul General Robert O’Driscoll with Guinness beers and Irish whiskeys as we enjoyed an Irish band playing traditional folk music and occasionally sang along.

    The Republican Party is pushing the nonsensical “independent state legislature theory,” which could give state legislatures complete control of congressional redistricting and federal elections. Under their theory, it is possible that neither governors, nor courts, nor independent commissions get any say in the process. Sister Dana sez, “Stop Republican sabotage of the election process! The only way Trumpers can win is by cheating. Ensure a fair election count!”  

    After two successful years of largely virtual events, AIDS WALK SF is returning to Golden Gate Park on Sunday, July 17, 10 am!

    SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE (Artistic Director Bill English; Producing Director Susi Damilano) was presenting FOLLIES by James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim, but has been sadly postponed because of cast members’ Covid. But it runs through September 10. This is the first fully staged professional production of Follies in San Francisco, won seven Tony Awards in 1972, closed on Broadway after 522 performances, and never went on a national tour. Check for an update:

    LOCKDOWN COMEDY’S 2ND ANNIVERSARY SHOW is on Zoom on Thursday, July 21, 7 pm, featuring Ophira Eisenberg (NY), our own Marga Gomez (SF), Rich Aronovitch (NY), and “The Geduldig Sisters”—Lisa Geduldig (SF & Florida), and her 91-years-young mother, Arline Geduldig (Florida)!

    Sister Dana sez, “Let’s get EVERYONE to register and EVERYONE to vote! Note to Republicans: please ignore the above.”

    Published on July 14, 2022