HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Monday, March 2, 2009


by Leo E. Laurence

When young, "militant" members of the Committee for Homosexual Freedom (C-H-F) in San Francisco hit the States Steamship Line in the city's financial district at high noon on the first Wednesday of March in '69, our now-worldwide Gay-Lib movement was born. The famous Stonewall riots in New York City, which was not a civil-rights action, followed three months later.

At least two of those gay pioneers live in San Diego.

The C-H-F was demanding that States Line rehire Gale Whittington, a cute, blond, 19-year old who had worked in the company's mailroom. He was fired when his photo - as a Gay - appeared in the popular, weekly, underground newspaper, the Berkeley Barb.

Eventually, the C-H-F targeted such other stores as Tower Records and Macy's department store for homophobic, company policies.

At the time, the homosexual community (the word "Gay" didn't become popular until much later) was totally closeted. Its leaders angrily opposed the revolutionary activites of the C-H-F.

Indeed, most of the active and financial support for the C-H-F came from straights all over the nation.

Unexpectedly, the Black Panther Party became a strong C-H-F supporter, trained some of its members in non-violence and provided protection to the new, gay militants.

For more details, contact Leo E. Laurence at (619) 757-4909 or e-mail at leopowerhere@msn.com.
Copyright 2009 by San Diego News Service (619) 757-4909


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