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

Newsom bows out of gov race

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who made worldwide headlines when he ordered city officials to marry same-sex couples in 2004, abruptly bowed out of the 2010 governor’s race Friday, October 30.

“With a young family and responsibilities at City Hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to – and should be – done,” Newsom said in a statement.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsom canceled a planned fundraiser in southern California, leading to speculation he was leaving the race.

Newsom, 42, had been lagging in public opinion polls and fundraising for months, trailing Attorney General Jerry Brown by as much as 20 points. Brown has not formally declared himself a candidate for governor – a job he held for two terms in the 1970s – but is widely expected to seek the office.

Newsom enjoyed support from many in the LGBT community because of his actions in 2004, just a few weeks after being sworn in as mayor, that allowed same-sex couples to marry. The weddings continued for a month, and the marriages were later invalidated by the state Supreme Court, setting he stage for the court’s ruling last year that legalized same-sex marriage.

However, the passage of Proposition 8 last November ended the nuptials.

[Updated: Openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty said he was “stunned” by Newsom’s announcement.

“I’m really stunned,” said Dufty, who this month announced he is running for mayor in 2011.

Dufty said Newsom ran a good campaign, and inspired people, despite the fact that he was unable to parlay that support into campaign contributions.

“I think he was a great candidate,” Dufty said.

In his statement, Newsom said that he would “continue to fight for change and the causes for which I care deeply – universal health care, a cleaner environment and a green economy for our families, better education for our children, and, of course, equal rights under the law for all citizens.”]

— Cynthia Laird, October 30, 2009 @ 3:42 pm PST
Filed under: News

New ED for New Leaf

Thom Lynch, the former executive director of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, has stepped in as interim executive director for New Leaf: Services for Our Community, which helps LGBT people with substance abuse and mental health issues and provides senior services.

Lynch, 50, who started the job Wednesday, October 21, replaces Ann Harrison. He said that he expects to be in the position for six to nine months, as the agency goes through a strategic planning process.

New Leaf “has had tremendous success,” said Lynch, but it’s also “facing major changes in health insurance with Healthy San Francisco and whatever comes out of Congress this year, so it’s a great time for the organization to look at its strengths and challenges.”

Healthy San Francisco isn’t health insurance but was designed to make health care services accessible and affordable to uninsured San Franciscans.

Health care legislation is grinding toward the finish line in Congress.

Lynch said that insurance changes could include possible new limits on the number of times people can see a counselor.

“The organization’s in pretty good shape financially, but there are of course challenges,” said Lynch.

He said that he isn’t anticipating changes to services.

New Leaf’s not looking for a new permanent executive director right away, but the plan is to have a new head in place by the end of the planning process, said Lynch.

Lynch indicated he’s not interested in the job himself.

“That’s not part of what I’m looking at,” he said.

Since he left the LGBT Community Center in August 2007, Lynch said that he’s been consulting, and returned two months ago from Spain, where he’d been working for one company looking for venture capital and helping manage a data storage company.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 22, 2009 @ 1:16 pm PST
Filed under: News

Magnet to host first D8 Town Hall

Magnet, the gay men’s health center in the Castro, next week will play host to the first town hall with the major candidates running for District 8 supervisor.

All four of the well-known out candidates competing to succeed termed out Supervisor Bevan Dufty in 2010 have agreed to attend the event. Dufty, who is running for mayor in 2011, will also be on hand at the public’s first chance to meet and greet the wannabe supes contenders. The town hall will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, October 27.

The get together comes one night after the board of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club is set to vote on a contentious proposal to suspend its bylaws and do an early dual endorsement for D8 candidates Rebecca Prozan and Scott Wiener.

The idea to split Alice’s nod between the two former co-chairs of the club is roiling the more moderate LGBT political group and has incensed the campaign of Laura Spanjian, another past Alice co-chair.

Along with shutting Spanjian out of the competition for Alice’s endorsement, the proposal would also block former Alice board member Rafael Mandelman from the endorsement process altogether. Wiener’s and Prozan’s backers say they have the votes needed to push through the dual endorsement, but Spanjian’s supporters have been hitting the phone lines to try to stop it in its tracks.

The Alice board meets behind closed doors, so it will be interesting to see if the internal club dispute spills out into the open Tuesday night.

That same evening the more progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club is set to vote on whether to give its endorsement in the D8 race to Mandelman, its current president. Considering none of the other candidates plan to be at the Milk Club meeting, which starts at the same time as the town hall, it is a safe bet that Mandelman has the endorsement locked up.

Magnet is located at 4122 18th Street, while the Milk Club meeting takes place at the Women’s Building at 3543 18th Street.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 10:37 am PST
Filed under: News,Politics

SF Supe Daly denounces homophobic caller

After the Bay Area Reporter‘s Political Notebook reported last week that a gay man who publicly opposed a change to the city’s sanctuary city policy received a homophobic phone message, liberal San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly contacted the paper to denounce the hate speech.

The anonymous caller left the diatribe on the answering machine of Colin Gallagher, who had spoken out against legislation that would restrict city officials from reporting illegal immigrant youth who are arrested to federal immigration authorities until after they are convicted of their crimes.

The unidentified male caller contacted Gallagher at home and left him a message that both attacked Gallagher and praised Daly, who supports the policy change introduced by openly gay Supervisor David Campos.

Following the publication of the column in the October 15 edition of the B.A.R, Daly e-mailed to say he was surprised to see his name come up in the item and denounced the caller for using hate speech in a policy dispute.

“As you know, I have prided myself on my work on behalf of San Francisco’s LGBT community and immigrant communities. I truly believe that peoples’ liberation struggles are interdependent,” wrote Daly. “I also take this opportunity to denounce the homophobic comment reported in your column, as I denounce the many racist and anti-immigrant comments that I have received.”

At their meeting Tuesday, October 20 the Board of Supervisors passed Campos’ legislation by a mayoral-veto-proof majority of 8-2, with Supervisors Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd opposed. Supervisor Michela Alioto Pier was excused to attend a funeral, while openly gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty, a mayoral candidate in 2011, provided the vote needed to block Mayor Gavin Newsom’s veto threat.

But the mayor’s spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle that the policy change is unenforceable and will be ignored by the mayor.

“The Campos bill isn’t worth the paper it’s written on – it’s unenforceable and he knows that,” Ballard told the daily paper. “We are not going to put our law enforcement officers in legal jeopardy just because the Board of Supervisors wants to make a statement.”

To read the rest of the Chronicle’s coverage of the policy dispute, visit

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 21, 2009 @ 2:42 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

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