Diane Sabin

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Diane A. Sabin (born 1952 in New York City) is a lesbian feminist activist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her early work was in production of lesbian musical performers as well as the San Francisco Pride stages.[1] She founded Sabin Chiropractic, a successful community clinic in the Castro. She does activist work to improve the health of lesbians and the LGBT community through representation in the larger health care institutions and research.

Sabin is the Executive Director of the Lesbian Health & Research Center (LHRC) as well as the Associate Director for the National Center of Excellence in Women's Health.[2] She co-founded 100 Lesbians and Our Friends, a lesbian philanthropic community initiative,[1][3] and serves on the board of directors for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice,[4] and Woman Vision. She received the Astraea Philanthropic Activism Award in 2001.[4]

Early life and education

Sabin was born in New York City, the daughter of Helene and Alan Sabin.[5] She grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She graduated from Johnston College at the University of Redlands in Southern California.[5] She received a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California.[5]

She spent some years in Boston, Massachusetts during the emerging lesbian feminist movement at the time that the oft-quoted Combahee River Collective was in formation even joining the Boston chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis.[6]


After moving to the Bay Area and before becoming a chiropractor, Sabin produced events in San Francisco including the tour of "Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women" based on the collection of well-known poet and activist Cheryl Clarke. Sabin co-produced in collaboration with two local lesbians of color, Sharon Page Ritchie and Cara Vaugh. She was also responsible for the production of the early San Francisco Pride stage in the 1980s.

She maintained a chiropractic practice in the Castro for more than 15 years where she developed a community-based private clinic.

The group 100 Lesbians and Our Friends held periodic meetings modeled after lesbian pot luck or CR groups, designed to re-educate women about the power of philanthropic giving. The philosophy was that girls are miseducated about their relationship to money from early youth and needed to rethink how they used their economic power and how they might support each other.

Sabin is the executive director of The Lesbian Health & Research Center at University of California, San Francisco.[7][5] She directs programs working in collaboration with community organizations that develop information about and educate communities about the health of lesbians, bisexual and trans women. She is also the administrative director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF.[8]

Right to marry lawsuit

She and her partner, Jewelle Gomez, along with twelve other gay couples became part of Woo v Lockyer, a lawsuit against the State of California in 2004.[9][10][11] The couple met in 1984 and became friends, but had to delay any romance until both were available to each other years later in 1993.[5][12]

The suit sought the right to marry and the complainants are being represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the American Civil Liberties Union.[13][14] About the lawsuit's significance Sabin said in the San Francisco Daily Journal (3.4.08), a legal periodical: "I think we live in a place where a lot of change is initiated. I think this is a very elemental place. ..it's simply about ending discrimination."[15] Sabin had once served as chairwoman on the board of NCLR.[5] Images of the interracial couple went viral and were used by news outlets when the 2008 decision striking down Proposition 8, and DOMA was announced.[16] They were on hand at San Francisco City Hall when the announcements from the U.S. Supreme Court was aired.[17][18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Everyday Mutinies: Funding Lesbian Activism, Esther D Rothblum, Nanette Gartrell, Routledge, Sep 13, 2013.
  2. UCSF launches 'virtual' think tank on lesbian health issues - San Francisco Business Times
  3. Enhancing and Inspiring Lesbian Philanthropy Journal of Lesbian Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3, 2001. DOI:10.1300/J155v05n03_18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Astraea - Diane Sabin
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "Jewelle Gomez and Diane Sabin". The New York Times. October 31, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/fashion/weddings/02gomez.html?_r=0. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  6. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement, Marcia M. Gallo, Seal Press, Aug 28, 2007.
  7. Lesbian Health
  8. WHCE - Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP and Diane Sabin, DC
  9. "Lawsuit Filed Today Seeks Full Marriage for Lesbian and Gay Couples Across California", Lambda Legal, March 12, 2004, http://www.lambdalegal.org/news/pr/lawsuit-filed-today-seeks.html, retrieved 2008-03-13 
  10. Reports of Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of California, Volume 43, California. Supreme Court, Bancroft-Whitney, 2008.
  11. CA Assembly panel OKs gay marriage bill :: EDGE Miami
  12. Contemporary Black biography, Volume 30, Ashyia Henderson, Gale Research Inc., Dec 1, 2001.
  13. Defending Same-Sex Marriage: Volume 3 the Freedom-To-Marry Movement Education, Advocacy, Culture, and the Media, Mark Philip Strasser, Traci C. West Praeger, 2007.
  14. JEWELLE GOMEZ & DIANE SABIN Petitioners, In re Marriage Cases NCLR. client statements.
  15. San Francisco Daily Journal, March 4, 2008.
  16. Jewelle Gomez gets married and puts a different face on same-sex nuptials - AfterEllen.com
  17. Gay marriage advocates celebrate Prop 8. and DOMA decisions | Richmond Confidential
  18. Same Sex Couple Jewelle Gomez And Diane Sabin React Upon… News Photo | Getty Images | 171547350