International Court System News and Announcements

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy is naming a ship in honor of the late gay rights leader Harvey Milk, who served in the Navy for four years before he began a career in San Francisco city government. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Tuesday that Milk displayed tremendous courage fighting for the rights of the LGBT community. The ship is one of a new fleet of replenishment oilers that will be built in San Diego. Milk’s career as a Navy officer, however, ended with an “other than honorable” discharge, due to allegations of fraternization with enlisted personnel. Some argue that Milk was forced out of the military because he was gay. A defense official said Tuesday that Milk accepted the other than honorable discharge to avoid possible disciplinary action. Fraternization with enlisted personnel by an officer is against military regulations — whether they are the same or different genders. The official was...
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OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN MOTHER, NICOLE THE GREAT The Queen Mother Nicole the Great is excited to announce that she has heard from the Secretary of the Navy that they are moving forward with the USS Harvey Milk and sending it to Congress. We all know this has a been a dream of the Queen Mothers for many years. And with your help and fortitude we have moved forward. She has asked me to let you all know how eternally grateful she is for all the hard work and campaigning you have all done to make this possible. First the Harvey Milk stamp and now a naval vessel. This is truly a momentous gay for the GLBT community. Nicole is being inundated with calls from every media outlet asking for her e. She has also been contacted by the Milk family, who are beside themselves with this news. Again, Her...
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QueenMotherOnBravoJuly2016pic2
Queen Mother Nicole Murray-Ramirez to be featured on Bravo! with Andy Cohen Photo credit:NBC7 San Diego "Then and Now with Andy Cohen" revisits pop culture in the last several decades with a panel of celebrity commentators. San Diego's Nicole Murray-Ramirez is an LGBT activist and cultural historian.  Television producer Andy Cohen wants to take Ramirez’s knowledge of the ages and include him in a panel of celebrity guests for his show on Bravo! called “Then and Now with Andy Cohen.” The show turns back the LED alarm clock several decades to re-visit some of the biggest stories in pop culture spanning from entertainment to politics. “The producer got ahold of me and said that they would like me to come in, and they would like to film me,” Ramirez said. “The show is about culture, they said they are going to be asking me about everything from Beanie Babies to politics to the community.”...
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Posted by on in ICS News
01 15 Sarria Hall Fame 04 LRG
   Jose Julio Sarria as the Widow Norton in 2011. Photo: Rick Gerharter by Matthew S. Bajko m.bajko@ebar.com of the BAY AREA REPORTER   Friends and admirers of Jose Julio Sarria, a gay man and drag queen who left a lasting impact on politics and the LGBT community, are seeking to have him inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Created in 2006 by the California Museum, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his former wife, Maria Shriver, the Hall of Fame honors residents of the state who have made lasting contributions to society. Honorees receive the Spirit of California medal, and their accomplishments become part of the permanent record in the California State Archives. The list of 90-plus individuals selected to date includes two lesbians and one gay man, as well as a female inductee who has had same-sex relationships but does not identify as lesbian or bisexual. During his time...
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Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr
(Advocate Magazine, January 19, 2015) This 1987 essay by Bayard Rustin reveals a personal account of MLK's feelings toward gay people. It is difficult for me to know what Dr. King felt about gayness except to say that I'm sure he would have been sympathetic and would not have had the prejudicial view. Otherwise he would not have hired me. He never felt it necessary to discuss that with me. He was under such extraordinary pressure about his own sex life. J. Edgar Hoover was spreading stories, and there were very real efforts to entrap him. I think at a given point he had to reach a decision. My being gay was not a problem for Dr. King but a problem for the movement. He finally came to the decision that he needed to talk with some people in his organization. Reverend Thomas Kilgore, a good friend of mine and pastor...
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STATE OF THE EMPIRE  9th Annual Address  Queen Mother, Nicole  Houston, Texas  17 January 2015   Fifty year ago, Empress I Jose, became the first monarch of our now International Court System…… a seed was planted in the city of San Francisco and it grew into a strong royal oak tree, now with branches extending over the three great nations of Canada, the United States and Mexico.              This first month of January marks the beginning our Golden Jubilee … a yearlong celebration of our international Imperial Courts….to begin this coming “Presidents Day Weekend” in San Francisco including a royal event at the historic city hall rotunda of San Francisco. We are honored tonight with the presence of a direct descendant of Empress I Jose, the 49th Absolute Empress of all San Francisco, Misty Blue. We look forward in four weeks to returning to the birth place of our court system...
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Posted by on in ICS Official Announcements
OFFICIAL MESSAGE QUEEN MOTHER OF THE AMERICAS EMPRESS NICOLE THE GREAT 9TH ANNIVERSARY OF MY REIGN Nine years ago our beloved founder Empress I Jose crowned me as her successor and Queen Mother I of the Americas in Seattle, Washington ..... and this is where I gave my first "State of the Empire Address".  This coming Saturday night I will be giving my 9th Annual "State of the Empire Address" at Houston's Coronation. 2015 also marks the 20th Anniversary when Empress Jose named me her successor in San Francisco (1995).  Most importantly 2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the International Court System and that of our Mother Court, San Francisco.  I am so looking forward to our return to the court's birthplace during President's Day Weekend. Thus as I get ready to depart to Texas and deliver my address ..... I wish to convey to you all my most sincere pride and honor it has been to...
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Royal Announcement International Imperial Court System Canada - Mexico - United States   At the September 2014 meeting of International Imperial Court Council in Cincinnati, Ohio - the Council members voted to name the future successors of Empress I Jose and Queen Mother I Nicole.   Thus, here is the Royal & Official Line of Succession of the International Imperial Court System.   Emperor Rob Surreal                         Empress Coco LaChine Spokane WA                                         New York NY Crown Prince of the Americas            Crown Princess of the Americas Heir, First in Line of Succession               Heir, Fist in Line of Succession   Emperor Scott Seibert                       Empress Nicole Diamond                                                                                         Portland OR                                                   Lexington KY                                                                                                                                                              ...
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Bentley’s auctioneers will conduct an online estate auction of Jose Sarria, Empress I, The Widow Norton, from August 1 to August 11, 2014. The auction proceeds of nearly 2,000 valuable artifacts, including rare jewels, all belonging to the founder of the Imperial Court System (ICS) will go to fund a documentary about the activist’s life. To view the Lots, go to Bentley’s at:

http://auctionsouthwest.hibid.com/catalog/42766/jose-julio-sarria-estate-online-auction---July-2014?tab=0

 Sarria passed away in Los Ranchos, New Mexico August 19, 2013, at the age of 90.

“Jose was a collector of fine jewels, coins, antiques and oil paintings,” said Sarria’s executor Tony Ross. “This is a great opportunity to own a bit of LGBT history and for the gay community to support a documentary long overdue on one of our unsung heroes.”

Award winning Los Angeles filmmakers Dante Alencastre and Daniel Carrera are in pre-production on Sarria’s documentary “Nelly Queen,” slated to be released in 2015. Sarria was the first openly gay candidate to run for public office in the United States in 1961, more than a decade before Harvey Milk. 

When San Francisco city officials vowed to shut down all the gay bars in 1961, the 38 year-old cabaret singer ran for a seat on the Board of Supervisors. Although Sarria lost the election, he garnered nearly 6,000 votes, proving for the first time in American politics that there was a gay voting bloc.

Speaker John A. Pérezof the California Assembly noted that “Jose Sarria’s trailblazing run for public office as an openly gay man laid the groundwork for LGBT Californians to run for public office proudly and openly. But Jose's refusal to be silenced or shamed back into the closet--in an era where LGBT People were routinely discriminated against--was the greatest contribution to our movement.

In 1965, Sarria founded the ICS in San Francisco when a group of gay bar owners formed a Tavern Guild as a means to stand in solidarity with one another under the pressure of police harassment. The Guild put on the first large public drag ball in San Francisco's history. The following year, Sarria declared himself Absolute Empress I Jose of the newly formed nonprofit.

ICS was intended mainly for "camp" fun as its members derived royal titles and elected Empresses and Emperors at annual Coronations. However, under Jose's guidance the organization grew to 70 chapters, making it the second largest LGBT nonprofit corporation in the U.S., and since its inception has raised millions of dollars for AIDs organizations and other charities.

  

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Read the Official Autobiography of Harvey Milk that was distributed during the First Day Issue Ceremony for the stamp in his honor!  Harvey Milk First Day Issue Ceremony Autobiography...
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You're invited to join the City of West Hollywood in commemorating Harvey Milk Day at two events on May 19th and May 22nd!   The contributions of Harvey Milk will be celebrated at the West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, May 19, 2014 beginning at 6:00 pm with various activities including video shorts, an interactive lobby display and an informal reception in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers  located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.   (The meeting start time is 6:30 pm and the presentations will begin at appx 6:45 pm.)       The City Council will present a commendation to the International Court System,  one of the oldest and largest predominantly gay organizations in the world, for leading the successful national campaign for the Harvey Milk Forever Postage Stamp. Special guests include San Diego Human Relations Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, who is the Executive Director of the International Court System and Chair...
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Official Announcement of Queen Mother of the Americas, Nicole the Great Parliament VII January 17, 2014 Houston, TX The Queen Mother of the Americas Empress Nicole the Great Opening Remarks at The Seventh Session of Parliament In a few days, people will be celebrating the birthday of the late  civil rights ICON….Dr. Martin Luther King. His word, wisdom and service to others live on to this day. Dr. King once said: “Everyone can be great…. Because anybody can serve.  You don’t have to have a college degree to serve…. You don’t even have to make your subject and verb agree to serve….. you only need a heart full of grace…. A soul generated by love….for life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others……?” This early morning, in this, the great state of Texas…..I stand proudly with Canadians and Americans who serve their community, their cities….....
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EXCLUSIVE: Campaign seeks to honor Rustin with postage stamp January 13, 2014 By Thom Senzee on January 13, 2014 Bayard Rustin, gay news, Washington Blade Bayard Rustin was the architect of the 1963 March on Washington.The same advocates who worked for years to convince the United States Postal Service to issue its first Harvey Milk postage stamp have launched an all-out effort to win approval for a new stamp honoring Bayard Rustin, the openly gay organizer of the iconic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  The official launch of the Bayard Rustin USA/National Stamp Campaign will be announced at the 2014 Creating Change Conference (Jan. 29-Feb. 2 in Houston) by none other than Rustin’s longtime partner, Walter Naegle, who recently also accepted the Medal of Freedom from President Obama on behalf of Rustin, who died in 1987.  The idea for a campaign to win approval for a stamp honoring...
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Posted by on in ICS Official Announcements
One year when Jose and I shared a room for a weekend during a New York coronation.  We talked long into the night ..... about everything and everyone!!  Jose really felt that no one would remember her, that people would forget her legacy.  I told her that her beloved court system .... YOU ..... and I would never let that happen. So I established the "Jose Honors" and started and let the campaign to get a street named after her in San Francisco (with the help, support, and leadership of one of my sons, Supervisor Bevan Dufty). This is the first time that Jose has not been involved in the selection process and to be honest I miss our arguing over them (of course she always got her way). This year I especially took the recommendations of the Members of the Jose Honors Board of Governors and it's President, Empress Coco...
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  2014 INTERNATIONAL COURT SYSTEM PROJECT Last year I proclaimed 2013 as the "Year of the Seniors" ..... this year I urge all Courts to focus on the growing issue of Hunger.  Every night millions of children and families go to bed hungry ..... and the need continues to grow every year.  Every city in Canada, Mexico, and the United States has food banks and food delivery agencies (some for seniors others for HIV-AIDS).  Many of our Courts already have events or benefits that support this issue and we are asking all Courts to especially focus on this issue and try to do even more ..... and lets see what all of our court families accomplish within these three great Nations.      ...
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Queen Mother I of the Americas, Empress Nicole the Great's 2013 Holiday Message I had the honor of spending the Canadian Thanksgiving in Toronto this year and it is a season for holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Yesterday I was at our community center at my home court, San Diego held it's 25th annual "Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner" for the homeless, seniors, people living with AIDS and cancer ...  hundreds were fed and 50 families with 130 children were delivered groceries and about 25 hospital patients got visits.  A teen homeless shelter and a Tijuana AIDS hospice also were delivered food.   For me during these holiday seasons I take great joy and pride that so many of your courts are doing the same thing in your cities; food and toy drives, special visits, clothing and blanket drives, etc., etc. This year has been a most difficult one...
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Task Force Press Release

 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 —The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force celebrates the confirmation by the United States Postal Service that it will introduce a stamp commemorating LGBT rights pioneer and one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., Harvey Milk. He will become the first openly LGBT elected official to be featured on U.S. postage. 

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October 22, 2013 - Portland Coronation:

Forty years ago I made my first visit to the “City of Roses”… Portland … it was my very first coronation out of state.  I was the reigning “Baroness II de San Diego” having been defeated in my campaign for Empress II de San Diego (I placed fourth among eight Empress candidates).  Well it was Empress Doni Lame’s coronation and Empress Elsa Daniels was on her way to the throne.  Well this little ole baroness could not believe her eyes as I witness one of the most glamorous, magical, and exciting coronation ball ever and right then and there I decided,  I too wanted to be an “Empress” more than ever and just like Doni and Elsa !!!!

 

 

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October 19, 2013 - Toronto Coronation and ICC Meeting:

Canada is indeed a progressive nation.  In 1969 when gay and lesbian Americans were fighting back against oppression at the Stonewall Inn the Canadian Prime Minister was making homosexuality legal.  Indeed Canada has gay marriage and health care for all and allowed gays in the military long before the USA did.  It’s always an honor to attend Coronations of our Canadian Courts… there is no border when it comes to our International Royal family and the International Court System.

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October 11, 2013 - Cincinnati, OH Coronation:

I had to be at the San Diego airport very early so Prince Kaiden picked me up at 430 a.m., so I really didn’t sleep the night before.  My flight had a stop in Salt Lake City prior to landing at the Northern Kentucky Airport. When I arrived at baggage claim there were about a dozen Court members from Cincinnati to welcome me- I was very touched by their kindness and wonderful greetings.  It was a great start for my five day state Visit. 

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