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Gay rights Pioneer George Raya is our guest at this edition of the Sacramento Living Library.
A Sacramento native, Raya began a lifelong career as a gay rights, labor and Latino activist starting in the late 1960s. Raya helped form Sacramento’s first openly gay organization while still a student at Sacramento State and later was part of the first group ever invited discuss gay rights at the White House. As California’s first gay rights lobbyist, Raya successfully fought to decriminalize homosexual behavior. Working with then-Assemblyman Willie Brown, Raya helped pass the ‘Consenting Adults Bill’ which ended homosexuals’ status as ‘unapprehended felons’ – Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in 1976.
Interviewed by Living Library host Tim Foster, Raya discusses the early West Coast gay rights movement and what it was like to be gay in Sacramento in the 1960s.