News Briefs: SF rally to recall 1973 Coors beer boycott

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday June 12, 2024
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Teamsters leader Allan M. Baird, left, and gay rights leader Harvey Milk discuss the Coors boycott in 1976. Photo: Richard Weiss (from a copy print originally at the Harvey Milk Archives now at the SF Public Library — Harvey Milk Scott Smith papers)
Teamsters leader Allan M. Baird, left, and gay rights leader Harvey Milk discuss the Coors boycott in 1976. Photo: Richard Weiss (from a copy print originally at the Harvey Milk Archives now at the SF Public Library — Harvey Milk Scott Smith papers)

A rally will mark the 51st anniversary of the Coors beer boycott Saturday, June 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. at Market and Castro streets in San Francisco's LGBTQ neighborhood. There will be a ceremonial beer dump following the speakers, according to an email announcement from the Coors Boycott Commemoration Committee.

The Coors boycott in San Francisco is credited with bringing together the LGBTQ and labor communities. Allan M. Baird, a straight ally and then-Teamsters Local 921 leader, worked with the late Harvey Milk, a gay civil rights leader and Castro business owner who would win a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors four years later. (Milk and then-mayor George Moscone were assassinated by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White in November 1978.)

The boycott of Coors beer was because of the Coors Brewing Company's then-homophobic and anti-union stances.

The Bay Area Reporter previously noted in a recent story about how Baird, now 91, in 1973 took charge of a union strike against Bay Area beer distributors, including the Coors Brewing Company. Baird, who lives in the Castro, reached out to his neighbor, Milk, to build a coalition. Coors also had a 178-question employment application form, as Nancy Wohlforth explained in 2017 on the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' website.

"One question demanded: 'Are you a homosexual?' If you answered 'yes,' that terminated your application," she stated. "Another demanded 'Are you pro-union?' If you answered 'yes,' that terminated you, too."

The successful boycott ended in the mid-1980s. (In some circles, the Coors boycott has never really ended, and it was only in more recent years that the Molson-Coors Beverage Company, as it's now known, began enacting more LGBTQ-friendly policies for workers. It scored 100% on the national Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index in 2021, 2022, and 2023-24.)

Today, however, the Teamsters are once again boycotting Coors, accusing Molson-Coors of not negotiating in good faith with Local 420 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Interested people are welcome to attend the upcoming rally.

Well-being fair at SF LGBT center

Mukunda Studio and the Tendwell Collective will hold a summer well-being fair at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street, Saturday, June 22, from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to all, a news release noted.

Mukunda Studio is a yoga and well-being space that is located in the western South of Market neighborhood and owned by Marc Morozumi, a gay Asian-mixed heritage yoga teacher originally from Cincinnati. The studio and Tendwell have seasonal well-being fairs.

For the first time at this scale, the June Pride event will focus specifically on ways to connect with the body and mind as an alternative to the traditional dances, parties, and alcohol-based festivities, the release stated. The event is offering inspiration for sustainable practices, wellness services, and community building that promotes individual and collective well-being.

Morozumi stated that Honey Mahogany, a trans person who's the new director of the city's Office of Transgender Initiatives, will serve as grand hostess, along with greeters Sister Bubbles Bathory and additional members from the drag nun group the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Upon being welcomed at the main doors, attendees will be guided to the center's second floor for access to multiple events happening simultaneously.

The well-being fair will feature 18 local, LGBTQ+ practitioners. Some activities of the day will have a participant limit and be offered as first-come, first-served. The release stated that there will be multiple ways to inspire and engage all who attend with informational sessions, mini-treatments, group classes, conversation circles, coloring pages, like-minded community, and more.

For more information and to reserve a spot, go to

Queer youth prom in Marin

A prom for queer and allied high school students who live or go to school in Marin County will take place Friday, June 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Avenue in San Rafael.

With a theme of "Have a Ball," the prom is a night of "unapologetic self-expression," according to a flyer. There will be dancing, board games, a movie playing, and more. The event is substance-free, the flyer noted.

Tickets are $25, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

For tickets and more information, click here.

SFMTA gets grant to improve accessibility

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced that it has received a grant through the All Stations Accessibility Program, which is administered by the Federal Transit Administration.

SFMTA will be awarded over $4.6 million to construct platforms, wheelchair ramps, and make other improvements that focus on accessibility, at five Muni rail stops on the J-Church line, and three Muni stops on the M-Ocean View line.

Two of the J-Church stops designated for grant funds are near the Castro Safeway: the outbound stop at Church Street and Duboce Avenue, and the inbound stop at Church and Market streets.

The B.A.R. in 2022 reported on other transit improvements that were part of the Upper Market Safety Project. Those include new safety guardrails. Last year, the paper reported on how a $10 million pedestrian and bicycle safety project wrapped up. It was also part of the project.

The other stops that will benefit from the grant are: M-Ocean View, final outbound stop at San Jose and Niagara avenues; inbound stop at 19th Avenue and Monticello Street; and the outbound stop at 19th Avenue and Randolph Street.

The other J-Church stops are: outbound at San Jose and Santa Rosa avenues; and the inbound and outbound at San Jose and Santa Ynez avenues.

The new grant will enable system enhancements to increase the number of surface-rail stations with level boarding — improving accessibility for the thousands of residents and visitors with disabilities who rely on Muni to get around the city.

"All of San Francisco's methods of transportation must be accessible to everyone who uses transit to get around our city," stated Mayor London Breed.

Jeffrey Tumlin, a gay man who's SFMTA director of transportation, added, "We are so grateful for this funding to make a more accessible Muni Metro. This grant will help all of our riders enjoy a Muni system that's fast, safe, frequent, and reliable."

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