Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 50 / 14 December 2017
 

Initiative to repeal Prop 8 cleared for signature gathering

Backers attempting to place an initiative to repeal Proposition 8 on the November 2010 general election ballot have announced that they’re starting gathering petition signatures today.

The state attorney general’s office approved five versions of the initiative on Friday, November 13. The initiative’s proponents selected one version.

Prop 8, which passed by 52 percent in November 2008, changed the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The initiative approved Friday voids Prop 8, and spells out that religious entities can’t be sued or have their tax-exempt status revoked if they refuse to perform same-sex weddings.

The proponents of the ballot initiative have 150 days to gather approximately 1 million signatures. The initiative officially needs 694,354 valid to qualify for the ballot. The signatures are due on April 12, 2010.

Backers have launched a Web site – www.SignForEquality.com – to aid in their efforts.

“SignForEquality.com brings the campaign back to the people,” said John Henning, who is heading the web effort as executive director of Love Honor Cherish. “We’re going to qualify this initiative person by person, and signature by signature.”

Look for more on this story in Thursday’s Bay Area Reporter.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 16, 2009 @ 11:59 am PST
Filed under: News,Uncategorized


Fernando and Greg set to return to radio

Fernando Ventura (right in photo) and Greg Sherrell, the out duo that used to host the morning drive time show on the now-defunct Energy 92.7 FM, will return to the local airwaves next week on Movin’ 99.7 FM.

BLOG_Greg_Fernando

The pair is set to join KMVQ on Thursday, November 12, from 5 to 9:30 a.m. The station is owned by CBS Radio.

Ventura and Sherrell were dropped from Energy in September, when the radio station was sold and the format was changed. At the time, both men hoped to return to broadcasting in the Bay Area.

“It is fantastic to be back on the air in th Bay Area and with Movin’ 99.7. After five years, I am excited to have the opportunity to finally get a chance on a big signal,” Sherrell said in a statement.

Energy’s signal was much weaker, meaning the station didn’t reach as many listeners.

— Cynthia Laird, November 6, 2009 @ 2:55 pm PST
Filed under: News


Former ADA James Hammer given initial nod for police post

By a 2-1 vote Thursday, November 5 the Board of Supervisors’ Rules Committee selected former assistant district attorney James Hammer, an out gay man, for a vacancy on the city’s Police Commission. Hammer’s nomination for the post now goes before the full board for final approval.

Blog_Hammer

The vote split the committee’s two progressive members who normally side with each other: Supervisor Chris Daly backed Hammer, whom he said would provide “gravitas” to the police oversight panel and would be a “game changer” from day one of his term, while openly gay Supervisor David Campos favored giving the seat to Robert Retana, an out gay Latino who works as an attorney for the state court system.

Campos stressed his vote was not meant as a knock against Hammer, rather he felt Retana’s connections to immigrant and LGBT communities were what was needed as the city has become embroiled over police policies relating to immigrant communities.

“I think this is the right choice for where we are right now with what San Francisco is dealing with,” said Campos, who illegally entered the country as a teenager. “I really believe he is the best choice.”

Providing Hammer with the deciding vote was moderate Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who said she liked Hammer’s history of being “very vocal for women rights” and felt his background of having worked once as a police officer and later as an attorney would provide “unique perspective” on the Police Commission.

Speaking in support of his application were Steve Adams, president of the Castro merchants group, and one of the women who witnessed De Anza College baseball players rape a woman at an off campus party and denounced how law enforcement authorities handled the case.

He told the panel that should he be selected, “I can make a difference.”

Should Hammer be approved by the full board he would be the only openly LGBT person on the Police Commission. Campos resigned last December after winning his seat to the board, and this summer, the commission’s former transgender president, Theresa Sparks, stepped down to head the city’s Human Rights Commission.

Hammer would serve the remainder of Sparks’s term, which ends April 30, 2011. A likely candidate for district attorney, should that seat open up next year if Kamala Harris is elected as the state’s attorney general and resigns from the position, Hammer said should he enter the race and felt it conflicted with his role as a police commissioner he would resign from the panel.

He said he would have no qualms about standing up to the powerful Police Officer’s Association and does not support seeing the Police Commission’s oversight of officer complaints be watered down. He also pledged to oppose any move to have police officers act as immigration officials.

“If a whiff of it gets out there then witnesses would dry up and they would run away. Then we would all be unsafe,” said Hammer, a former Fox News cable channel legal analyst who has his own private practice in the city.

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 5, 2009 @ 2:57 pm PST
Filed under: News


Lesbian couple credited with federal law leaves US

art.karin.judy

A South Bay lesbian couple credited for convincing Congressman Mike Honda (D-Campbell) to add rights for binational same-sex couples to his comprehensive immigration reform bill has left the country.

San Jose resident Judy Rickard, on the right in the photo, and her European-born partner, Karin Bogliolo, will board the Queen Mary II Thursday, November 5 and set sail for England. Bogliolo’s six-month tourist visa expired this month and was forced to jump the pond again until she can re-apply for entry to the United States.

“We thought we would treat ourselves to a fashionable crossing of the Atlantic,” said Rickard in a phone interview from the Denver airport this week.

It is the first time that the couple, together four years, has left the country together for an extended period of time. In the past Rickard had remained stateside, apart from a days-long visit overseas, while awaiting Bogliolo’s return to the Bay Area.

“No law allows me to sponsor her” for American citizenship, said Rickard, who found a housemate to take care of her home and cat while she is away. “I did apply to sponsor her through Mike Honda’s office, of course it was denied when it went to the next step.”

The women, whose story was picked up by the national media this summer, have rented an apartment in the south of France for two months and then plan to travel throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Bogliolo, who was born in Germany and has British citizenship, could not say for sure if the women would return to America sometime next year.

“I don’t know if I will ever be back there. The likelihood is they will grant me a new visa but there is no guarantee,” she said. “It is hard seeing friends and family and saying goodbye. Right now I am okay today.”

The couple attended a community forum that Honda held in the South Bay and related their struggle to remain together on American soil. After pondering the women’s predicament, Honda instructed his staff to incorporate rights for binational same-sex couples into the Reuniting Families Act he is pushing through Congress.

The legislation faces an uphill battle and has been put on hold as lawmakers in Washington struggle to pass health care reform. It is unclear if Democrats will make it a priority in 2010 when House members will be up for re-election.

“I have hope, I am not sure about confidence, of seeing laws for binationals passed. We will see how things work in Washington,” said Bogliolo. “I am not sure I have real confidence but I do have real hope. I do think it will happen one of these days but not sure how quickly.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 4, 2009 @ 3:53 pm PST
Filed under: News,Uncategorized


Golden Girl hospitalized, Castro event canceled

Rue McClanahanA Golden Girls tribute event planned for the Castro Saturday, November 14 has been canceled due to the hospitalization of actress Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche Deveraux on the campy NBC sitcom.

In a statement McClanahan apologized for having to miss her San Francisco appearance but said she had to be a no show on doctor’s orders.

“My darlings, I’m just devastated that I am going to have to miss my own tribute at the Castro Theatre,” stated McClanahan from her hospital room, according to the e-mailed statement. “Unfortunately, my doctor has laid down the law, and I’m currently having some maintenance on the old ticker. Trust me, I’d much rather be in San Francisco having fun and being adored by all of you.”

McClanahan, 75, is one of two surviving cast members from the beloved television series. Betty White, 87, who was the ditzy Rose Nylund on Golden Girls, is still acting.

Beatrice “Bea” Arthur, who played Dorothy Zbornak on the show, died in April at the age of 87. Estelle Getty, who played Arthur’s mother Sophia Petrillo on the show, died in 2008 three days shy of her 85th birthday.

Event producer Marc Huestis announced the sudden cancellation Wednesday, November 4. A VIP reception with the aging actress and Del Shores, who was to interview McClanahan on stage, had nearly sold out while tickets for the event were selling briskly, according to Huestis.

“I understand that many folk were excited to attend this tribute, and deeply and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this unfortunate situation has caused,” Huestis stated. “Our collective hearts go out to Ms. McClanahan for a speedy recovery.”

Huestis said he hopes to reschedule the event. For now refunds can be secured through ticket vendors, and refund information is available at (415) 863-0611.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:01 pm PST
Filed under: Arts


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