On the morning of June 11th, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Bakersfield LGBTQ hosted Bakersfield’s first ever LGBT Pride March, the “Stand Up, Speak Out March!” The “Stand Up, Speak Out March” was one of hundreds of marches that took place across the nation in solidarity with the National Equality March that took place on the same day in Washington D.C.
The “Stand Up, Speak Out March” was held to memorialize the 49 victims of the June 12th, 2016 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the largest hate crime directed at the LGBTQ community in the United States.
Over 100 community members marched with the Dolores Huerta Foundation from Stockdale Highway and California Avenue to the First Congregational Church. At the church, speakers addressed each of the march’s demands and sought 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, and to stop the Chechen genocide of gay and bisexual men.
Further, attendees were asked to sign legislation support cards asking their Senators and Assemblymembers 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 creates a third gender marker on California identification documents allowing non-binary people to have identification that accurately matches their gender identity.
SB 239 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.
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.
A total of 184 cards in support of SB 179, 164 cards in support of SB 239, and 118 cards in support of SB 421 were collected and sent to Assemblymember Salas, Assemblymember Fong, Senator Vidak, and Senator Fuller.