Contra Costa County
Leslie is a straight ally, married 40 years with two offspring. She's been involved in marriage equality since just before Proposition 22 in California. Leslie has worked for nonprofits for over 25 years, primarily the League of Women Voters, and she is currently the Finance Manager for the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, CA.
Even as a former straight ally, Melody always believed that "love is love" regardless of the gender of the people involved. She is now happily married (three times over) to her wife, Anna Hennigh. Melody found MEUSA through her ROC colleague, Leslie Stewart, and she is very excited to be actively involved and to be making a stand for equality. Melody's first experiences fighting for marriage equality were as a canvasser in Washington for Referendum 74, and a phone banker against North Carolina Amendment 1. In her "day job," Medody is a registered veterinary technician, specializing in birds. In her free time, she likes to garden with her wife and dog.
Mid San Francisco Peninsula
Steve has been active in the gay rights movement for more than 25 years, starting off as the leader of his college gay students' organization. He helped to found and lead the Peninsula Marriage Equality Coalition in the San Francisco Bay Area, following the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The Coalition chose to join Marriage Equality USA as an official chapter and Steve is now leading this chapter. In June 2008, Steve married his partner of 4 years and in August of 2009 they celebrated that marriage with a large wedding among friends and family.
Alameda & San Francisco Counties
Billy serves us on both sides of San Francisco Bay, organizing and participating in events in San Francisco and in the East Bay where he lives. Billy is the single father of one teen-aged son and two dogs. He is an involved community member and volunteer who supports local Castro Valley businesses, schools, music and theatre. He is an outspoken activist for civil rights and works with the national LGBT civil rights groups GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA to promote full federal equality. He helped start Castro Valley Pride in 2011 (it gets bigger every year) and he looks forward to the day when he can quit talking about gay rights and we can all just talk about human rights.
John and Stuart became active in Marriage Equality USA in 2004. They were named a plaintiff couple in Woo v Lockyer, one of the consolidated lawsuits seeking to have California's ban on marriage for same-sex couples declared unconstitutional. They were a featured couple on the first ever marriage equality floats in the 2005 and 2006 San Francisco Chinese New Year Parades. They were leaders of Equality California contingents in the 2004 and 2005 SF LGBT Pride Parades. They were one of the first 10 couples married at San Francisco City Hall, on February 12 during the 2004 "Winter of Love". John and Stuart legally married in 2008 during the four-month window when same-sex marriages were legal in California. John serves as the MEUSA Legal &Policy Diretor and Stuart is the MEUSA Communications Director. Both men joined our Board of Directors in February of 2012.
Kirsten Berzon has been involved with Marriage Equality USA since 2006. She has produced a number of events for the organization and has served as the Treasurer on our Board of Directors. Her professional background is in event management for nonprofits and educational institutions and she brings that expertise to MEUSA. Kirsten works with an outstanding team to produce the San Francisco Awards Receptions. She has been married to her wife Kathy since 2008 and they share a home in Oakland, CA with their dog Mollie. When she isn’t working on MEUSA projects, Kirsten also volunteers for the SPCA helping to socialize and train dogs.
Santa Clara County
Lisa stepped up to MEUSA leadership in 2008 to fight for equality. She believes that the essence of marriage is the love and commitment between two people, and that this was totally overlooked in all of the Prop 8 rhetoric. She and her husband Bill hope to throw a wedding for their son and his boyfriend one day.