January 17, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Supervisor Kuehl, LGBT County Leaders Call for End to Bigotry

Sheila Kuehl and LGBT leaders of LA County
Sheila Kuehl and LGBT leaders of LA County

BY KAREN OCAMB  | Out Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has spent a lifetime fighting bigotry, most prominently perhaps when her Dignity for All Students bill to protect LGBT youth faced a knock-down, drag-out debate in the California Assembly with anti-gay Republicans claiming it was about “special rights,” not civil rights for gays. More recently, Kuehl has advocated for youth in County jails and the foster care system.

 So it wasn’t surprising that there were moments when Kuehl seemed to choke upTuesday morning talking about the massacre of 49 mostly young gay Latinos and the wounding of 53 more in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida last Sunday. After a moment of silence at the beginning of the Board of Supervisors meeting, Kuehl brought up 10 openly LGBT LA County department leaders and four out LGBT members of her staff to ask that everyone re-dedicate their efforts to end bigotry everywhere.

 “I have to say, I’m kinda sick of moments of silence. This is in no way to say it was inappropriate. But I’m ready for moments of screaming and moments of rage and moments of weeping,” Kuehl said to much applause. “And moments of decision and moments of commitment. And all of the things that we talk about after each of these tragedies.

 “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done in the County, in the state of California and frankly, in the country, to recognize and try to deal with our inherited hatreds. We breathe them in, as we grow up and we chose to exhale them as we get older. To learn and to grow. As [Supervisor] Hilda [Solis] said, the 50 people who were killed were mostly in their 20s, were almost all Latino or Latina—they went to dance, they went to have fun. Those 50 people didn’t know it was going to be their last dance.

 “We hardly ever think about such a thing.  If we did, it would keep us from going anywhere. So we go, in a free country. Because we know, as we used to say and wear on our tee shirts in the AIDS and gay movements, Silence Equals Death. So we are not silent,” Kuehl said.

The supervisor also acknowledged the openly LGBT leaders standing with her, saying she is “grateful to each of them for being out, for being proud, for saying this is who I am.” She also expressed deep gratitude for straight allies, noting that many allies stood in long lines waiting for hours to donate blood in Orlando.  

“There will never be enough grief, there will never be enough words, there will never be enough that we can do,” Kuehl said in conclusion. “But I ask you to re-dedicate yourselves to making certain that this kind of prejudice, this kind of hatred, this kind of violence does not happen in our community. You can step in, you can speak up. So many of you have. I am so proud of our County and so proud of the people in County. And I thank you very much.”

Joining Kuehl were: Jeff Prang, County Assessor;  Joe Kelly,  Treasurer and Tax Collector for the County of Los Angeles; Mitchell Katz, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services; Terri McDonald, Assistant Sheriff;  Ronene Anda, LA Sheriff’s Department Chief of Transit Policing Division; Skye Patrick, LA County Librarian;  John A. Wagner, Senior Executive Vice President, First 5 LA; Steven Golightly, Director, Child Support Services Department; Larry Hafetz, Chief Deputy Director, County Counsel; and Steven Masterson, Classification Director for LA County.

in NEWS
Related Posts

LONG BEACH PRIDE Unveils New Logo, Drops “Lesbian & Gay” From Name

January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Formerly known as  the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, the new and improved Long Beach Pride – the organization...

VIDEO: Grand Opening of Los Angeles LGBT Center’s New Campus in South LA

January 15, 2020

January 15, 2020

‘Center South’ will provide HIV testing; access to PrEP and PEP services; housing case management; mental health services; a computer lab; and...

Craigslist Man Extorts Angelinos, Santa Monicans with Gay Sex, Pleads Guilty

January 10, 2020

January 10, 2020

Tyler Buchanan faces 10 years in federal prison By Sam Catanzaro A man has pleaded guilty to using Craigslist, among...

Honoring Timothy Dean One Year Later

January 8, 2020

January 8, 2020

An intimate gathering was held Tuesday, Jan. 7 at West Hollywood Park to honor the 1-year anniversary of 55-year-old fashion...

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

Three CA Bills for the LGBTQ+ Community to Keep An Eye On

January 6, 2020

January 6, 2020

Three key pieces of California legislation that were tabled last year for various reasons will see the floor in 2020. ...

New LGBT Center to Serve Community in South LA

January 1, 2020

January 1, 2020

The Los Angeles LGBT Center will be growing yet again.  On January 11, the Center will open its south campus...

Top 12 Pride LA Stories of 2019

December 31, 2019

December 31, 2019

As this year quickly comes to a close, we begin to reflect. Where we were, how far we’ve come. We...

West Hollywood, Long Beach Earn Top Marks in 2019 Equality Index

December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019

2019 was a great year for the LGBTQ+ communities in West Hollywood and Long Beach.  Both cities earned a score...

LGBT Center to Host Viewing Party for Tonight’s 2020 Democratic Debate

December 19, 2019

December 19, 2019

No sure where to watch the chaos of the next 2020 Democratic Candidate debate? The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s got...

National Center for Lesbian Rights Announces New Executive Director

December 18, 2019

December 18, 2019

The National Center for Lesbian Rights recently announced the appointment of Imani Rupert-Gordon as the new Executive Director.  “Imani is...

Long Beach Drag Queen Jewels to Be Awarded Key to the City

December 17, 2019

December 17, 2019

The first drag queen in Long Beach history will receive a Key to the City tonight.  Jewels is a household...

Open Letter to FB Demands Removal of “Factually Inaccurate” Lawsuit Ads Attacking HIV Medication

December 14, 2019

December 14, 2019

Dozens of LGBTQ+, HIV and public health organizations have signed an open letter calling on Facebook to remove law firm...

Data Shows LA Pride 2019 Brings Nearly $75 Million in Revenue to Greater L.A.

December 12, 2019

December 12, 2019

This year’s LA Pride festival generated almost $75 million in economic output for greater Los Angeles.  On Tuesday, December 10,...

“They” Announced as Merriam-Webster’s 2019 Word of the Year

December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019

What are your pronouns? Merriam-Webster cares.  This morning Merriam-Webster announced that the 2019 Word of the Year is “they.”  “English...