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September 14, 2011

San Francisco -- At the height of the AIDS crisis and in the midst of a wave of queer militancy in the early 1990s, California Governor Pete Wilson vetoed AB101, a statewide gay and lesbian rights bill. San Francisco's GLBT community responded with outrage: Thousands joined a massive protest on Sept. 30, 1991, that ended with the police in retreat and a state office building in flames.

Known as the AB101 Veto Riot, the clash was the most recent of the three queer riots that have taken place in the history of the city, following the Compton's Cafeteria Riot of 1966 and the White Night Riot of 1979. To mark the 20th anniversary of the 1991 riot, the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco's Castro District will feature a special program and a small exhibit this month:


"All the Rage: Stories From the AB101 Veto Riot" is set for Thursday, Sept. 29, 7-9 p.m. Moderated by veteran activist Laura Thomas, the program will feature a new documentary short about the riot, as well as a living-history panel with Lito Sandoval and Ingrid Nelson offering inside stories about organizing the veto protest and eyewitness accounts of the uprising in the streets.

Also taking part will be contemporary composer Bob Ostertag, whose piece "All the Rage" for the Kronos Quartet includes sound recorded at the riot, and filmmaker Steve Elkins, director of the short about the riot and of a new feature-length documentary, "The Reach of Resonance," which discusses Ostertag's work.

Admission to the event is $5.00 for the general public; free for members.


In conjunction with the program, The GLBT History Museum will be showing "No Apologies, No Regrets: The AB101 Veto Riot" - a single case of historic artifacts and documents drawn from the archives of the GLBT Historical Society. Included is the shoe lost by mayoral candidate Frank Jordan when he was chased from the scene of the Castro District protest that preceded the riot. Also included is a fragment of stained glass from the shattered windows at the entrance of the Old State Building.

The exhibit will be on display Sept. 16 through Oct. 15. during regular museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday-Monday, noon-5 p.m. Admission to the museum is $5.00 (general); $3.00 (with California student ID); free for members.

The GLBT History Museum is located at 4127 18th St. (near Castro Street) in San Francisco. For more information, visit or call (415) 621-1107.


The GLBT History Museum opened in January 2011 as the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States. Currently featured are two major exhibitions: "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT History" and "Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives." The museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a research center and archives founded in 1985 that houses one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials.