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

Gay Liberation Front members sought for reunion event

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front, which was born out of the historic riots that occurred in June 1969 outside the gay Stonewall Inn bar in New York City.

As such, reunions of GLF members are being planned in both San Francisco and New York to celebrate the anniversary. The plans include possible contingents in both cities Pride parades at the end of June.

The planning group already has reached out to 100 former members of the radical gay group but is seeking other people who wish to help organize reunions in cities across the country and throughout the globe.

Anyone interested in helping plan the events should contact Nikos Diaman, who lives in San Francisco, at

Diaman maintains a Web site about GLF that includes a list of the group’s pioneers as well as photos, history, memorial listing, and updates. The site can be found at

— Matthew S. Bajko, February 26, 2009 @ 2:48 pm PST
Filed under: News

BAR seeks gay couples to talk about tax filing

For the second year in a row, registered domestic partners in California must file their state taxes jointly.

The Bay Area Reporter is looking to interview couples about the process, particularly if they do their own taxes and use online filing tools like Turbotax.

Contact Matthew S. Bajko at or by calling 415-861-5019.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:45 pm PST
Filed under: News

Senate, Assembly panels oppose Prop 8

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday passed a resolution declaring the body’s opposition to Prop 8. The 3-2 vote was along party lines.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a similar resolution last week on a 7-3 vote. That resolution is expected to go to the full Assembly Thursday, February 26.

State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced the Senate resolution; Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) introduced the resolution in the lower chamber. Equality California sponsored the resolutions, which do not need to be signed by the governor.

“Proposition 8 undermines the fundamental right to equal protection guaranteed by the California Constitution,” Leno said in a statement.

Ammiano said his resolution “speaks directly to the fundamental rights of same-sex couples to have equal protection under the constitution.”

The California Supreme Court will her oral arguments on the legality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban on March 5.

— Cynthia Laird, February 24, 2009 @ 4:15 pm PST
Filed under: News

Newsom, wife expecting first child

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, are expecting their first child, the mayor’s office confirmed Wednesday, February 18.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom
and Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Photo: Rick Gerharter

“We are pleased to confirm that Mayor Gavin Newsom and first lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom are starting a family,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said in a statement. “The mayor and first lady are thrilled to be embarking on this adventure together.”

Newsom and Siebel married last August.

Newsom, is currently exploring a run for governor of California next year.

The blog Valleywag ( first reported the news that Siebel Newsom was pregnant.

— Cynthia Laird, February 18, 2009 @ 5:19 pm PST
Filed under: News

Sykes unfazed by Advocate cover diss

The feature story in the March issue of the Advocate about out black comedian Wanda Sykes makes note that African Americans declaring their homosexuality have been “conspicuously absent” from magazine covers.

Wanda Sykes

One would think then that the nation’s leading LGBT newsmagazine would put Sykes, who gave it an exclusive interview, on its cover.

Instead, a barely clothed Matthew Mitcham, the gold-medal winning gay Olympic diver from Australia, graces the magazine’s cover.

In an interview this week with the Bay Area Reporter, Sykes was unfazed by the cover snub.

“They are a business and really need to sell magazines,” said Sykes. “I think they made the right choice putting the swimmer in a head band, well, a Speedo that looks more like a head band.”

Matthew Mitcham

Sykes laughed when asked if she had donned a skimpy swimsuit she would have been given cover treatment.

“Yeah, you don’t want to see me in a swimsuit. That is a whole different publication,” she joked.

Sykes will emcee this Saturday’s Equality Awards dinner in San Francisco. For more of the B.A.R.‘s interview with Sykes, see this week’s edition of the paper.

In other Sykes news, it was reported on the FishbowlDC blog Thursday that the comedian has been selected as the entertainment at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, D.C. on May 9. President Obama is expected to attend the gala, long known for its political humor.

— Matthew S. Bajko, February 12, 2009 @ 12:24 pm PST
Filed under: News

Pub crawl tonight thanks bars for help with TB tests

The health department is sponsoring a pub crawl tonight to thank the city’s gay bar owners and their staffers for helping researchers track an outbreak of tuberculosis cases among young gay men.

As the Bay Area Reporter disclosed last month, the health department’s TB control section requested more than 140 people who work at Castro area bars to undergo testing to ensure they were not infected with TB. The screening was prompted by the discovery last year that a Castro bartender had TB, as did several patrons of gay bars in the neighborhood.

The health department has not disclosed which bar the employee was from, and this week said preliminary results do not show a wide outbreak of TB in the city’s gayborhood.

As a way to thank the bar staffers for their cooperation, and drum up business, the health department will kick off its pub crawl South of Market at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Friday, February 6) at the Powerhouse. It will then hit the Hole in the Wall and then head to the Castro, stopping first at the Edge around 5:45 p.m. and then making its way to the rest of the bars along 18th, Castro, and Market streets.

Participants should be fast drinkers, though, as the schedule is allowing for only 15 minutes for each establishment.

— Matthew S. Bajko, February 6, 2009 @ 3:23 pm PST
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

Panel blocks Walgreens expansion plan in Castro

The city’s Planning Commission voted last night to unanimously reject Walgreens’ proposal to expand its pharmacy on 18th Street in the heart of the Castro.

The company had wanted to take over the adjacent vacant storefront to create a bigger and more inviting space for its pharmacy clients and staff. But the plan faced opposition from the get go from residents of the gay neighborhood and some business leaders upset with Walgreens’ already vast holdings in the Castro.

The national chain had been trying, in vain, to win approval of its expansion plans since the spring of 2007. It failed to win support from two neighborhood groups but did convince the local merchant group to back the project.

Stung by critics it was stingy with its local giving, Walgreens agreed to pay for upgrading a meeting space in the Castro overseen by a board member and former president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro

And with the downturn in the economy, District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty had told MUMC members at their morning meeting Thursday, February 5 prior to the panel’s vote that afternoon that he would prefer seeing the expansion move forward rather than have another dark storefront.

But the commission went with its planning staff recommendation that it reject Walgreens’ application.

Some Castro officials had suspected the company sought the vote knowing the plan will not pass so it can now back out of its lease for the space.

It could appeal the planning commission’s decision to the Board of Supervisors. But it would likely fail, as the board has not been very friendly, of late, to chain stores.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:56 pm PST
Filed under: News,Uncategorized

State court to hear Prop 8 cases March 5

The California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday, March 5 in three cases questioning the validity of Proposition 8, the anti-same-sex marriage amendment voters passed last November.

The court will address whether Prop 8 was such a wholesome change to the state constitution that prior to being placed on the ballot it needed to be approved by two-third majorities in the state Legislature. The justices are also expected to address the legality of the same-sex marriages that took place last year prior to Prop 8’s passage.

The three-hour hearing will begin at 9 a.m. at the court’s San Francisco courtroom at 350 McAllister Street. The California Channel, a public affairs cable network, will provide a live TV broadcast of the session. For a list of cable companies that carry the network, see

The three cases are known as Strauss v. Horton, S168047; Tyler v. State of California, S168066; and City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078.

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