Lecturer Sue Englander Discusses Anti-LGBTQ Briggs Initiative on 40th Anniversary

Thursday, December 20, 2018
Photo of Sue Englander smiling and wearing a hat

BAY AREA REPORTER -- Sue Englander is a bisexual lecturer and historian at San Francisco State University.

“We were a new generation of how to conduct politics,” said Englander. “What we brought to the campaign should really be a template for future struggles. Proposition 8 in 2008, in which Californians voted to say that marriage was only between a man and a woman, did not have that kind of a campaign and it was voted in, so lesson learned. We wanted to promote the kind of grassroots, vital campaign that involves people and gets them invested in a political idea and a political community.”

Englander recalled handing out cards while she was canvassing. “The person you are talking to is a homosexual,” the card read. “And this is what a homosexual is. Please know that we are human beings, just like you.”

“We would give these cards out, door to door,” she said. “That year you could not turn around without seeing a speak-out, a rally, church meetings, Girl Scouts organizing for No on 6 — our tactic was ourselves, our organizing, our fresh way of doing things, and the communities that came behind us, which was unprecedented. It was a grand time for witnessing a gathering of support not just for this issue, but for the community, for the movement and for greater human rights in San Francisco. This campaign led to other types of movements, other types of initiatives.”