Equality California
EQCA Saddened by Death of LGBT Veteran Activist Jean Harris
June 27, 2011

San Francisco- Jean Harris, an ex-Deputy Mayor of San Francisco and former Executive Director of California Alliance for Pride and Equality (CAPE), died on Saturday, June 25, 2011. CAPE later became Equality California.

Statement from Equality California Interim Executive Director Jim Carroll:

“Jean was a tireless advocate for the LGBT community, and she will be terribly missed. Her colorful and indomitable spirit inspired generations of LGBT activists throughout the state and nation.         

“At a time when California had extremely limited rights and protections for LGBT people, she dreamed and fought for equality and for a better California. Her legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, and coalition building became the bedrock for the modern LGBT justice movement in California. 

As Executive Director of CAPE, Jean worked with then Assemblymember Carole Migden to introduce and pass AB 25, which granted registered domestic partners some of the most basic rights offered to married opposite-sex couples including:  

·  Make medical decisions in the hospital or act as a conservator.
·  Inherit property without a will.
·  Administer an estate.
·  Seek compensation for the loss of economic or social support.
·  Relocate with a domestic partner without losing unemployment benefits.
·  Use sick leave to care for a family member or provide them with employer-based health coverage without additional taxation.
·  File disability benefits on behalf of an incapacitated partner.
·  Adopt a partner’s child using the stepparent adoption process.
·  Continue health coverage for surviving domestic partners of retired government workers.