Northern California Chapter Leaders
CA Contra Costa County firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie is a straight ally, married 40 years with two offspring. She's been involved in marriage equality since just before Proposition 22 in California. Leslie has worked for nonprofits for over 25 years, primarily the League of Women Voters, and she is currently the Finance Manager for the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, CA.
Mendocino County email@example.com
Jennifer was married to her same-sex partner of 15 years and the two women raised a son together and now share a grandchild. Though Jennifer and her partner are no longer together, Jennifer has continued to work with Marriage Equality USA. She served on the MEUSA Board of Directors for several years, as well as serving as the Mendocino County Chapter Leader.
CA Mid SF Peninsula firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve has been active in the gay rights movement for more than 25 years, starting off as the leader of his college gay students' organization. He helped to found and lead the Peninsula Marriage Equality Coalition in the San Francisco Bay Area, following the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The Coalition chose to join Marriage Equality USA as an official chapter and Steve is now leading this chapter. In June 2008, Steve married his partner of 4 years and, in August, 2009, they celebrated that marriage with a large wedding among friends and family.
CA Nevada County email@example.com
Charlie Landau & Jim Richards
Jim Richards has followed gay rights issues since shortly after the Stonewall riot, and he directly experienced the military's treatment of gay servicemen during the Vietnam War. Charlie and Jim met after Jim placed a personals ad in The Advocate which Charlie read from 7000 miles away. They have been together over 25 years and were married in Nevada City's historic National Hotel in 2008.
CA Sacramento County firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie was galvanized into action by the passage of Proposition 8 in California. She says, "I am offended by the fact that religious doctrine in disguise was written into the State Constitution with the express purpose of suppressing the rights of a group of people. We are not a theocracy. Our Constitution is meant to protect us, not hurt us, nor should it be manipulated to create an "us" and "them" line of thinking. I find it appalling that marriage rights were given to the LGBTIQ community and then ripped away just months later. The straight community has the luxury of being born with these rights – why should ANYONE have to fight for the same? I want to help reconcile the misleading information set forth by the Yes On 8 campaign. The more I talk to people and debunk what they were told and hold to be true, the more I see people who wish they had voted differently." She believes strongly in the value of public education.
CA San Francisco County email@example.com
Eric is the author of Amazon's bestselling children's book, My Uncle's Wedding. This story is about a young boy who helps plan a gay wedding, and it's a great way for parents to introduce the topic of marriage equality to children. Eric married his husband, Mat, in 2011. Eric is pictured at the left getting arresteed during a marriage counter action on Valentine's Day 2011 at San Francisco City Hall.
Frank & Joe Capley-Alfano
Frank and Joe met in June 2000 at a PRIDE Parade. Joe has been an LGBTIQ activist since 1989, and Frank got involved following Califlornia's Prop 22 in 1998. Together they have been working for marriage equality since San Francisco's "Winter of Love" in 2004. They married during that winter, and later became legally married on June 17, 2008. They reside in San Francisco most of the time.
John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney
John and Stuart became active in Marriage Equality USA in 2004. They were named a plaintiff couple in Woo v Lockyer, one of the consolidated lawsuits seeking to have California's ban on marriage for same-sex couples declared unconstitutional. They were a featured couple on the first ever marriage equality floats in the 2005 and 2006 San Francisco Chinese New Year Parades. They were leaders of Equality California contingents in the 2004 and 2005 SF LGBT Pride Parades. They were one of the first 10 couples married at San Francisco City Hall, on February 12 during the 2004 "Winter of Love". John and Stuart legally married in 2008 during the four-month window when same-sex marriages were legal in California. John serves as the MEUSA Legal Analyst and Stuart is the MEUSA Media Director. Both men joined the Board of Directors in February of 2012.
CA San Mateo County firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Rose & Lynda Brocchini
Julie and Lynda have been a couple for 14 years. They were introduced by mutual friends in 1998. They live in Pacifica CA and have a son and daughter. Julie works at Levi Strauss & Company and Lynda, a former music teacher, is a stay-at-home mom to their children. They are working for marriage equality both for themselves, because of their desire to have their relationship recognized with all the legitimacy and rights that come with it, but also for their children, so that they will hopefully not remember a time when their parents could not be legally married. Lynda and Julie also believe that this is a very important civil rights struggle and that with full marriage equality the LGBTIQ community will come that much closer to full equality in all areas of life.
CA Santa Clara County email@example.com
Lisa stepped up to MEUSA leadership in 2008 to fight for equality. She believes the essence of marriage is the love and commitment between two people, and this is totally overlooked in all the Prop 8 rhetoric. She and her husband Bill hope to throw a wedding for their son and his boyfriend one day.
Ray Hixson is a business attorney (focusing on employment law) with a small firm in Santa Clara, California, and he lives in Mountain View, California. Ray was inspired to co-chair the CA Santa Clara Chapter during the campaign against Proposition 8 in 2008.
Coming from a Southern Baptist family in Tennessee, where he was subjected to much misinformation about homosexuality growing up, Ray is passionate about education on LGBTIQ equality issues. Ray’s activism focuses on helping to lead local rallies/events, speaking in local schools, and organizing educational movie nights with local churches.
CA Solano County firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave & Jeff Janis-Kitzmiller
The Janis-Kitzmillers met in December of 2000. They have been together in a loving, committed relationship ever since. In the summer of 2001 they filed as Domestic Partners with the state of California's Domestic Partner Registry. Jeff & Dave were married in the rotunda of San Francisco's City Hall on 15 February 2004 and they are featured in the documentary I Will, I Do, We Did! which chronicles the historic San Francisco same-sex marriages of 2004. In August of 2004, when the California Supreme Court invalidated the marriages that had occurred in San Francisco, Jeff & Dave decided to take their anger and frustration out by pledging to fight for same-sex marriage rights. "We realized that we need to change the hearts and minds of the world, and that needs to start at home." So at the end of August, Jeff and Dave formed what has become the MEUSA CA Solano County Chapter. They also established the Solano-Napa LGBTQI Organizations Coalition to encourage various local organizations to work together in shaping the local LGBTIQ community. In 2008 Jeff and Dave were legally married. Dave has served on the MEUSA Board of Directors for many years, including serving as Vice President and President -- he is the current President of the Board. He has also served as the IT Coordinator and as our Newsletter Editor.
CA Yolo County email@example.com
Ellen Pontac & Shelly Bailes
Ellen and Shelly have been together for 39 years, had a Civil Union in Vermont in 2000, became Registered Domestic Partners in California in 2002, had a Newsom Marriage during the "Winter of Love" in San Francisco in 2004, and were either the first or second same-sex couple to legally marry in California in 2008 (depending on whom you ask)! They have been gay rights activists since 1983 when they lobbied their city council to pass the Davis Civil Rights Ordinance which eliminated intentional discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; this was one of the first such laws in the country. They organized Gay Pride Day in Yolo County for 10 years, have organized Marriage Equality events for the past 12 years, and are constantly amazed and empowered by the growth of equality for LGBTIQ people. It's almost impossible to believe how far our movement has come since they first met in 1973!