Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bay Area Gay Black Political Group Forms

A new political group for LGBTQ African Americans is making its presence felt in this year's June 3 primary.

The nonpartisan club released its first list of endorsements earlier this month and is now focused on making an impact in the fall elections, when San Francisco voters will go to the polls to elect supervisors from the city's odd-numbered districts.

Named the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition, after the gay African American man who was a confidante to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., the club is meant to empower the black LGBTQ community in the political process and to advance civil and human rights.

According to co-chairs Andrea Shorter and Robert W. Williams III , the new coalition replaces the now-defunct Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action. It is the outgrowth of a March 2007 retreat for people within the Bay Area's black LGBT community organized by Zwazzi Sowo, who was given a fellowship through a program launched by the anti-racism group And Castro For All and the Horizons Foundation, the LGBT grant-making and philanthropic organization.

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