Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Donations sought for Food Drive for Equality

Light Up the Night, San Francisco – part of the National LGBT Food Drive for Equality – is encouraging people to donate food and other items in conjunction with the candlelight vigils taking place Saturday, December 20.
Final beneficiaries include the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement’s West Oakland Food Pantry and Covenant House Oakland, which provides shelter and other services for youth.
According to its Web site, the food pantry needs a canopy to help with distributions on rainy days ($200 or a donation of an easy-up 10 foot by 10 foot canopy); fresh produce, turkeys, frozen meats and fish, canned goods, cereal, juice, rice, pasta, and snacks; toys; and money to purchase food and offset the costs of a freezer. The center purchases many of the food items they distribute.
Donations can be made online through sites such as and, and the items can be shipped to the following address for distribution:
National LGBT Food Drive for Equality, c/o Dave Latina
Barbary Lane at the Lake Merritt Hotel
1800 Madison Street, Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 903-3580
Contributions before December 24 are encouraged, but will be accepted until January 5.
Donations to Covenant House can be made directly through
Also on Saturday, Barbary Lane is hosting an open house where people can drop off donations and mingle while we waiting for the Light Up the Night vigil.
For more information on the food drive, and the vigils, visit or

– Seth Hemmelgarn

— Cynthia Laird, December 18, 2008 @ 3:03 pm PST
Filed under: News

Milk not ‘Golden’

It seems that the “Day Without A Gay” protest came a day late as the Golden Globe Award nominations snubbed Gus Van Sant’s critically acclaimed film Milk in the directing, best picture, and most acting categories.

The nominations were announced December 11.

The Focus Features film, about slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, received only one nomination – a best actor nod in the dramatic category for Sean Penn in the title role.

Others in the best actor category include Leonardo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road); Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon); Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler).

James Franco, who the Los Angeles Times noted has received “rave reviews” for his portrayal as Milk’s lover Scott Smith in the film, instead earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a motion picture, comedy, or musical for his role in the stoner movie Pineapple Express.

For best dramatic picture, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, and Revolutionary Road.

Directors receiving nominations in the dramatic category included Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire); David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button); Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon); Stephen Daldry (The Reader); and Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road).

The late Heath Ledger, who played a wicked Joker in Christopher Dolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight, received a best supporting actor nomination. Ledger, who died in January, won the hearts of gay men the world over for his portrayal of gay cowboy Ennis Del Mar in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain.

The Golden Globes will be broadcast on NBC January 11.

— Cynthia Laird, December 11, 2008 @ 12:07 pm PST
Filed under: film

Prop 8 supporters set up legal defense fund

A Yes on Prop 8 campaign lawyer announced December 10 that a legal defense fund has been established to help prevent the measure from being repealed by the state Supreme Court.

“To protect the people’s vote for Prop 8, the expenses of this litigation will likely exceed $350,000,” Andrew Pugno, the fund’s general counsel, wrote in an e-mail blast.

In an apparent reference to the fact that anti-Prop 8 forces have targeted individuals and businesses that donated to Yes on 8 by using public records of reported donations that the campaign is required to file, Pugno noted that in the case of the legal defense fund, “Your privacy will be protected.”

“Since this is not a political campaign, donations to the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund are not publicly reported. Also, your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law.”

He informed potential donors they could mail personal or corporate checks. Many businesses, including the Cinemark Theatre chain, have come under fire after same-sex marriage supporters learned of executives financially backing Prop 8.

Thanking supporters for helping overcome “the $40 million flood of attack ads against Prop 8, the opposition of virtually every statewide politician, and the ‘political machine’ of gay activist campaign workers that came from all across the nation to defeat Prop 8,” Pugno warned “the battle is not over yet.”

“Just as in the Prop 8 campaign, your decision to donate will determine whether or not we have the resources needed to win,” Pugno wrote.

In an e-mail to the Bay Area Reporter, Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a key Prop 8 opponent, said that EQCA sent out a fundraising e-mail Tuesday, December 9 for its marriage political action committee.

All funds from that PAC go to support a repeal of Prop 8 at the polls if efforts to overturn it in court aren’t successful, or to defend officials who might face a backlash if they support repeal, Kors said.

The group has proposed putting a repeal on the ballot as early as 2010.

“Having money set aside now will enable us to be prepared for whichever scenario we are faced with,” Kors wrote.

He also wrote, “Considering that the Alliance Defense Fund, a huge right-wing nonprofit legal organization based in Arizona, is working on this case, it is difficult to imagine why the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund would have $350,000 in costs associated with this litigation. We must wonder what that money might eventually go for.”

– Seth Hemmelgarn

— Cynthia Laird, December 10, 2008 @ 5:38 pm PST
Filed under: News

Movie Bears protest CineArts this weekend

The San Francisco Movie Bears group is leading what they bill as a peaceful protest at the CineArts at Empire, 85 West Portal, San Francisco tonight and tomorrow (Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6) at 6 p.m.

Milk, the movie about gay city Supervisor Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, is set to open at the theater tonight.

The event is part of a boycott against CineArts and other theaters owned by Cinemark Holdings Inc. that started because Alan Stock, Cinemark’s CEO, donated $9,999 to the campaign supporting Prop 8, which eliminates the rights of same-sex couples to marry in California. Cinemark is based in Plano, Texas.

Movie Bears is a social group that gathers regularly to watch movies at local theaters. The group started in San Francisco four years ago and has since grown to include chapters in other cities.

According to Movie Bears’ Drew Galleni, since Thanksgiving, there have been protests against Cinemark in Chicago; Portland, Oregon; and Boulder, Colorado.

A growing group of people have vowed specifically not to see Milk at a Cinemark theater at, Galleni said in an e-mail, adding that the tally at the Website now reaches 24,528 – representing a potential loss of revenue of about $240,528 to Cinemark.

For more information, visit

– Seth Hemmelgarn

— Cynthia Laird, December 5, 2008 @ 4:55 pm PST
Filed under: News

SFFD needs more LGBTs, firefighter says

The San Francisco Fire Department is distributing job applications for entry-level firefighter positions, and at least one gay firefighter is hoping LGBTs will apply.

At station number 6 in the Castro, Keith Baraka, 43, said, “I’m the lone gay person out of 27 people that work there on a regular basis.”

Baraka, who’s been with the department for more than 11 years, said being a firefighter in the city is “wonderful, probably the best job I’ve ever had,” but said when it comes to recruiting for more firefighters from the LGBT community, “I believe our department could be doing a lot more.”

Baraka said LGBTs don’t make up the same proportion of the department that they do of the city’s population, and he thinks Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White should encourage more recruitment from the community.

“When diversity is lacking then that group is not, to me, properly represented,” said Baraka. “They don’t have a voice.”

Lieutenant Mindy Talmadge, Hayes-White’s spokeswoman, said recruitment is up to the city’s department of human resources, and fire department employee groups.

“We have thousands and thousands and thousands of people fill out applications, so recruitment is not really an issue,” Talmadge said.

Applications are being distributed weekdays only at fire department headquarters, 698 Second Street (at Townsend), through Wednesday, December 10. Applications must be hand-delivered from Thursday, December 11 through Saturday, December 13. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Seth Hemmelgarn

— Cynthia Laird, December 4, 2008 @ 2:37 pm PST
Filed under: News

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