Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

San Francisco Showdown: Lesbian Activist Says HRC Crushed Her Dissent-And Broke Her Arm

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

San Francisco Showdown: Lesbian Activist Says HRC Crushed Her Dissent-And Broke Her Arm

Article excerpt

CATHERINE CUSIC KNOWS what it's like to be booted out of a hotel--specifically, San Francisco's Westin St. Francis. Two decades ago Cusic was shown the door after participating in a raucous demonstration against hotel guest George H.W. Bush. This year, on July 26, the now-63-year-old lesbian returned to the Westin--this time to attend the Human Rights Campaign's annual Bay Area Gala Dinner to protest the organization's support for an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that excludes transgender protections. And that, she says, is when things turned rough.

Cusic, vice president of political action for the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, says she was peacefully passing out flyers during HRC president Joe Solmonese's speech when she was apprehended by security guards and roughly removed from the ballroom. She says her arm was fractured in the altercation. "As I was putting leaflets on tables I heard the security guys say, 'We've got motion here,'" Cusic says. "You'd think we were in Baghdad."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

HRC officials remember the incident differently. …

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