1996 BAYMEC Board of Directors Photo by Ted Sahl
In the 1980s, and what would become the first decade of BAYMEC’s existence, there was a rash of anti-gay sentiment and legislation. In Santa Clara County, founding members of BAYMEC fought tirelessly against the Moral Majority, Concerned Citizens Against the Sexual Orientation Ordinance, The LaRouche Initiative, Propositions 64 and 69, and Senator John Briggs’ Prop 6 and Prop 102 (the AIDS quarantine initiative).
In 1985, after the shooting of Melvin Truss by an officer, BAYMEC began training the San José Police Departments on LGBT sensitivity and in 1988, the San José Fire Department.
In 1986, BAYMEC coordinated the organization of the AIDS Task Force in Santa Clara County and testified before the Board of Supervisors to allocate funds for the ARIS Project.
In 1987, after lobbying from BAYMEC, Mayor Tom McEnery issued San José’s first Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Day Proclamation.
In 1988 BAYMEC, won the First Amendment challenge allowing distribution of leaflets at Valley Fair Mall.
In 1989, BAYMEC reversed the opposition of local Assembly members of Project 10, the program to include the reference to sexual orientation in the L.A. education curriculum.
THE NEXT TEN YEARS: After the eighties, the direct attacks on the local LGBT community quieted for a time. In 1992, BAYMEC lobbied against the Vatican’s document urging US Bishops to oppose legislation protecting LGBT civil rights. With fewer attacks on our community, BAYMEC was able to become pro-active and successfully lobbied the cities of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, and various local school districts, on sexual orientation discrimination and AIDS/HIV status issues. BAYMEC lobbied the San José City Council to support the boycott on travel to Colorado in the wake of Amendment 2, the initiative to ban anti-discrimination policies for sexual orientation.