Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Miss California, come on down!

Equality California on Wednesday extended an invitation to Miss California Carrie Prejean to meet with leaders from her home state, as well as representatives from LGBT organizations, gay youth, and a family headed by a same-sex couple.

The move came, EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors said, in response to Prejean’s opposition to same-sex marriage, which she discussed during the Miss USA pageant that aired Sunday. Prejean has stated in numerous post-pageant interviews that she believes her response to the question posed by gay blogger Perez Hilton cost her the Miss USA crown; she was named first runner-up.

“Miss California probably doesn’t realize how hurtful her statements are, especially to LGBT youth,” Kors said in a statement. “But this is about something much bigger than the issue of marriage alone, and I have to believe that if she meets us, she will come to see our humanity, and at the very least, I hope she will understand that what she says as Miss California can either hurt people or being them together.”

During the pageant, Hilton asked Prejean about her position on same-sex marriage.

“You know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman – no offense to anybody out there,” she said.

An e-mail sent to the Miss California USA organization, which participates in the Miss USA pageant, was not immediately returned.

— Cynthia Laird, April 22, 2009 @ 3:02 pm PST
Filed under: News

Pelosi: No DOMA repeal now

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday, April 15 that repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act is not a top priority of hers right now.

The speaker said that her two legislative priorities for the LGBT community are passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the federal hate crimes bill; the latter was introduced in Congress earlier this month. She indicated action on those items would occur before any effort to repeal DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex relationships and allows states that do not provide equal rights to gay couples the ability to ignore such marriages granted in other states.

Pelosi made the comments while touring Project Open Hand, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides meals and groceries to people living with AIDS and other critical illnesses.

The B.A.R. will have a full report on Pelosi’s comments in the April 23 issue.

— Cynthia Laird, April 16, 2009 @ 1:56 pm PST
Filed under: News

EQCA Prop 8 report finished, but not released

A report detailing what Equality California did to support the No on Prop 8 campaign and provide advice for future efforts that’s been in the works since at least January still has not been released.

[Updated: The report was released April 14. See the paper’s coverage]

Geoff Kors, EQCA’s executive director and a member of the No on 8 executive committee, told the Bay Area Reporter in a March 30 e-mail that the report “was expected to be received tomorrow and released in its entirely sometime soon.”

Vaishalee Raja, EQCA’s communications director, responded to questions about the report in an e-mail April 9.

“We’re just waiting for the final, final version of the report,” Raja wrote. Staff have reviewed previous drafts and provided edits as basic as language, grammar, and punctuation, and they’ve added substantive material because the firm’s information was incomplete for certain parts of the report, she said.

EQCA board president Cary Davidson has reviewed the report, Raja wrote.

“The delay is simply due to Geoff’s intense schedule and all the traveling he’s been doing, and the report is around 35 pages so there’s a lot of material to comb through,” she wrote. “Plus going back and forth with the firm on edits is taking some time.”

Raja said in her e-mail that the B.A.R. will hopefully get a copy of the report by Tuesday, April 14, the day after EQCA is set to lead a marriage equality town hall in San Francisco, “which means we’ll probably be working over the weekend again to get everything into shape.”

She did not immediately respond to a message asking how much EQCA is paying Woodward and McDowell, the Burlingame-based ballot measure and issue advocacy firm, to conduct the assessment. Raja later said EQCA is paying $7,500 for the report.

Ted Green, a project director at the firm, said the report contains three sections: an inventory of what EQCA did to try to help defeat Prop 8; an analysis of what’s happened since November, when the measure to ban same-sex marriage passed with 52 percent of the vote; and “lessons learned and recommendations going forward.”

Green is gay and volunteered with No on 8, though he noted that the firm was not involved in the campaign. He said the substantive material Raja referred to pertains to the inventory portion of what EQCA did.

The recommendations are based on the firm’s 30 years of experience running political campaigns in California, said Green.

“We took an objective look at what Equality California did,” Green said when asked if his volunteer role with the campaign could taint the evaluation. “We came at it from the view of people who wanted to see Prop 8 defeated” and see marriage equality in California.

Green said he couldn’t say how much EQCA is paying for the assessment.

There’s no word yet on when the larger assessment of the No on 8 campaign will be available. That evaluation is being conducted by UCLA.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 9, 2009 @ 12:25 pm PST
Filed under: News

Same-sex marriage victory in Vermont

The Vermont House voted 100-49 Tuesday, April 7 to override a veto of the equal marriage rights bill, following the Senate’s 23-5 override vote
Tuesday morning. The overrides make Vermont the fourth state where same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses the same as
straight couples – following Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa.

Filed by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

— Cynthia Laird, April 7, 2009 @ 8:41 am PST
Filed under: News

Party to support North Beach eatery

Everyone’s invited to gather for lunch at Caffe Macaroni – Sciue Sciue, 124 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 7.

After an incident last month involving restaurant’s owner, in which prize-winning gay author Mark Doty claimed he was called “faggot,” angry bloggers announced they would never eat at either of Mario Ascione’s North Beach restaurants again.

But Ascione has denied the word “faggot” was used and has said, “We love gay people.”

And plenty of gay people appear to love him, too. Ascione’s LGBT supporters, some of whom have known him for years, came up with the lunch idea and many of them plan to appear in drag.

“I love it!” said Ascione.

For more information about the lunch, look up “Lunch @ Caffe Macaroni” at, or call (415) 217-8400.

To read the Bay Area Reporter’s previous coverage of the story, visit

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 3, 2009 @ 1:33 pm PST
Filed under: News

Celebrate Iowa court marriage decision tonight

Supporters of same-sex marriage will join Marriage Equality USA at Castro and Market streets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. tonight (Friday, April 3) to celebrate the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to uphold same-sex marriages in that state.

There will be an update on plans for California’s “day of decision,” when the state Supreme Court announces whether it will overturn Prop 8, the measure passed by 52 percent of California voters in November that eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry. The court’s decision is due by June 3.

Popcorn – an Iowa staple – will be available and country western dancers will be on hand.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:06 pm PST
Filed under: News

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
Newsletter logo
twitter logo
facebook logo