Remembering Gloria Johnson, Trailblazer for Equal Rights

Gloria JohnsonThis week San Diego Democrats mourn the passing of Gloria Johnson (1937-2013), who was known for four decades as one of California’s most forceful activists for feminist and lesbian issues and Democratic politics.

Gloria became the first openly LGBT person to serve on the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee in 1976; she was named a Lifetime Member this year. She was a longtime board member and past president of San Diego Democrats for Equality (previously known as the San Diego Democratic Club).

In 1978 Gloria served as the San Diego Co-Chair of the committee to defeat the Briggs Initiative (Proposition 6), which would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools.

Gloria was a longtime member of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and served as Co-President of the San Diego County Chapter and Vice President for Political Action for California NOW. Before her retirement in 1999, she worked as a social worker for San Diego County for 30 years, where she supported clients living with AIDS.

Those fortunate enough to have known Gloria Johnson will miss her vibrant personality and tenacious committment to the causes she championed.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Thursday, November 7, at 1:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, of which Gloria was an active member. The service will be in the UUC Meeting House, 4190 Front Street, San Diego, CA 92103. Parking is available at the UUC or the adjacent UCSD parking structure. (Thanks to Cindy Green for the memorial service information, please see more in her comments below.)

Gloria will be missed by all. Jennifer and I have both known Gloria for many years and were active in her life the last couple of years, helping her whenever she needed assistance. The obituary in Tuesday’s Union-T covers many of her professional and volunteer projects. She was also a dear and beloved friend.
– Bob Wilberg

I’d like to note that Gloria was a tireless advocate for choice. With all of her hard work, she was quick to recognize the work of others. The last time I visited with her (a few weeks ago), she was on top of current political issues while warmly reflecting on the recognition she has received over her many years of service. We will miss her very much.
– Jennifer Cruse

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