Rights Bites 

GLOBE honors in Hayward.

Often the best dinners, regardless of what's being served, are the ones where everyone eats together. Charlene Shores, president of Alameda County's GLOBE (Gays and Lesbians Organized for Betterment and Equality), agrees. "The purpose of the organization," she says, "is to create a environment in our communities where everyone is treated more equally." Since its inception in 1994, the political action committee -- which serves as a springboard for legislation promoting the civil and social rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and a social hub for GLBT youth -- has spearheaded a host of bills regarding everything from foster-care discrimination to domestic partners' property rights.

This Saturday, GLOBE cordially invites you to pull up a chair at its annual Coming Out Dinner, this Saturday at the Walpert Center (100 Walpert Street, Hayward). Although usually held closer to National Coming Out Day on October 11, this year's dinner had to be delayed two weeks to accommodate the busy schedules of the honorees. But perhaps the postponement is fitting, since every day is Coming Out Day somewhere. The shindig, which is an awards banquet, networking mixer, and GLOBE's only fund-raiser, honors two people -- one from outside the group, the other from within -- for notable achievement in the fight for the equal rights of GLBT people. The 2003 honorees are Mary LaVell -- retiring president of the Hayward's Lighthouse Community Center, a main social artery in the South Bay GLBT community -- and state Senator Liz Figueroa, who cosponsored the "Dignity for All Students" Act, which prohibits harassment of queer youth in schools. Show up at 6:30 p.m. for drinks and conversation, followed by eats at 7. Although the dinner is a popular destination for local politicians and activists, you won't need to break out the black tie for this affair. Shores says, "It's not fancy, but no one ever goes away hungry," which is good to know. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, but still, it's a good idea to RSVP at 510-538-9722. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. More info: GlobeinAlameda.org

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