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Los Angeles held its first annual LGBT Heritage Month event Friday, and in addition to speeches from Wanda Sykes, the Reverend Troy Perry, and Chad Griffin of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a surprise performance of "Born This Way" took place on the south lawn of City Hall.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave a speech (see below) in which he quoted the lyrics to Lady Gaga's hit song. Then two dancers jumped onto the stage -- one in a suit -- before a group of about 15 people began dancing in front of the stage (second video),
The event was the kickoff to the city's Inaugural LGBT Heritage Month, which honors the contributions of LGBT people to the city's history and includes the Pride celebration and parade next weekend. Click here for more information.
In honor of Friday's event, the city council passed numerous resolutions in support of state and national pro-gay laws:
* Senate Joint Resolution No. 2: Urges the President, Congress, and Secretary of Defense [end] policy requiring service members discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to repay the costs of their military education and training
* Federal legislative action to grant Joseph Sekajugo Bokombe, a gay man from Uganda, a visa extension and possible permanent residency so that he not be sent back to Uganda where he faces the threat of violence because of his sexual orientation
* AB 887: Amends state law to specifically enumerate protections based on gender identification and gender expression protections
* SB 117: Prohibits state agencies from entering into a contract of $100,000 or more with businesses that discriminate based on sexual orientation in providing employee benefits
* SB 747: Requires state regulatory boards that license or certify health care personnel to mandate a continuing education course in LGBT cultural competency in heath care
* AB 9: Requires California schools to report to law enforcement instances of the bullying of students
* AB 620: Requires California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California to train faculty and staff on LGBT issues, provide services to address LGBT student needs, and add sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to campus anti-discrimination policies
* SB 416: Adds questions regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, domestic partnership status, and gender of a spouse to voluntary demographic information collected in California statewide surveys
* SB 182: Adds gender identity and sexual orientation questions to the state's annual Judicial Applicant Data Report for judicial applicants, judicial appointees and nominees, and justices and judges
* SB 48 (FAIR Act): Adds the LGBT community to the list of under-represented groups for inclusion in textbooks and other school instructional materials