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

Sisters plan Saturday march against hate crimes

San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are planning a march for Saturday, August 13, to raise safety awareness and conduct blessings at the sites of recently reported hate crimes.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. at Jane Warner Plaza (Castro and Market streets) and make its way to the intersection of Market and Sanchez streets for a brief ceremony.

Police have reported that there, at 9 p.m., Saturday, August 6, three white boys ages 13 to 15 beat a 52-year-old man with a baseball bat while yelling, “Fuck you, faggot.”

After marchers leave that spot, they’ll travel back to Blue restaurant (2337 Market).

Police have said there, at about 2 a.m., Sunday, July 31, a woman called one of the Sisters “faggot” and shoved her. At the request of the Sister, who police have said was in full nun drag during the incident, they have not released her name.

This Saturday’s event will end at Castro and 18th streets.

The victim in the baseball bat beating didn’t report it until the next day, and his name hasn’t been released. Police said he’s from Santa Barbara. He declined an interview request made through Park Police Station Captain Denis O’Leary.

O’Leary said the man was struck four times on his side, and an investigating officer saw bruises, but the man refused treatment. O’Leary said the boys, who also stole the man’s keys, were wearing black hooded sweatshirts and black jeans. It’s not clear if there were witnesses.

No arrests appear to have been made in either case.

For more information on this Saturday’s march, visit the Stop the Violence page on Facebook.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 11, 2011 @ 2:41 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

After sparring over same-sex marriage, Lockyer now backs Herrera for SF mayor

At one time City Attorney Dennis Herrera and former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (seen at right) were courtroom opponents over the rights of same-sex married couples.

In the famous case named after the East Bay lawmaker, Lockyer vs. the City and County of San Francisco, the California Supreme Court voided the 4,000 same-sex marriages that took place in San Francisco in the winter of 2004.

That decision then spurned the In Re: Marriage Cases in which Herrera’s office led the successful legal fight to overturn the Golden State’s anti-gay marriage statutes. Lockyer was caught in a balancing act of having to defend the state’s laws in court while, at the same time, avoid pissing off LGBT voters.

Now Lockyer, who is currently California’s state treasurer, has taken the unusual step of injecting himself into San Francisco’s mayoral race by endorsing Herrera. In a release sent to reporters today (Thursday, August 11), Herrera’s campaign trumpeted the news as marking the first official endorsement in the race by a statewide elected official.

“I don’t often endorse in local races, but I’ve worked closely with Dennis Herrera to fight public corruption, protect our environment, and defend consumers from greedy energy companies,” stated Lockyer.  “Among the current candidates for Mayor, no one has better demonstrated the experience and independence necessary to lead San Francisco through the daunting challenges facing every level of government today. I’ve said before Dennis Herrera is the best City Attorney in the nation. I’m confident that he’ll be an outstanding Mayor of San Francisco.”

It is not the first time Lockyer has gotten involved in a campaign with an openly gay candidate, in this case gay former Supervisor Bevan Dufty is the sole out person among the top tier of candidates running to be mayor.

Last year Lockyer used his political muscle and money to help his wife, Nadia Lockyer, defeat openly gay former Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling in the primary for a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. She went on to win the seat in the November general election.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:41 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Mayor Lee hires gay men for campaign posts

Interim Mayor Ed Lee has hired two gay men for top posts in his campaign to secure a full-term in Room 200 at City Hall.

Joining his day-to-day operations as campaign manager is Bill Barnes, a gay HIV positive black man. Barnes (seen at right) broke the news on his Facebook account just hours after Lee pulled papers to enter the mayor’s race this morning (Monday, August 8).

By doing so Lee broke the pledge he made to not run for the office when he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in January to serve out the remainder of former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s second term.

“I am so proud to join the campaign of our Mayor, Ed Lee as day-to-day campaign manager,” wrote Barnes.

The job puts Barnes at odds with his former boss, District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, whom Barnes worked for as a City Hall aide. Daly switched his Facebook profile picture to one of Lee with the word liar in all capital red lettering superimposed over it. He is also planning to heckle the mayor at tonight’s mayoral debate in the Castro.

But Barnes also has ties to former Mayor Willie Brown, having served as one of his HIV policy czars. Brown was a key player behind the efforts to recruit Lee to seek a full-term as mayor and has been credited with initially floating Lee’s name as a potential caretaker of the job.

Handling the media as Lee’s campaign spokesman is Tony Winnicker, a gay man who served as Newsom’s chief spokesman. Winnicker also worked as a spokesman for former Supervisor Susan Leal during her unsuccessful mayoral bid against Newsom back in 2003. He later joined Leal as her chief spokesman when she ran the city’s Public Utilities Commission.

On his own Facebook page this morning, Winnicker simply wrote the word “liftoff” over a link to a San Francisco Chronicle story about Lee’s reversing course on being a mayoral candidate.

Winnicker notified the press late Sunday night (August 7) that Lee would be at the city’s Elections Department this morning to make his bid official.

Lee also launched a website today at

Tonight’s debate at the Castro Theater begins at 7 p.m.

— Matthew S. Bajko, August 8, 2011 @ 1:38 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Police: Sister of Perpetual Indulgence attacked in Castro hate crime

A Sister of Perpetual Indulgence was called “faggot” and knocked into a Castro area restaurant window  early Sunday morning, July 31, according to San Francisco police.

The Sister, whose name police have withheld because the case is considered a hate crime, was dressed in “official attire” while walking on Market Street at about 2 a.m. Sunday, the police report obtained by the Bay Area Reporter says.

The outfit included “clothing that resembles a Catholic nun” and black and white face paint, according to the report. That attire is typical of what the Sisters, who appear frequently in the Castro gayborhood to raise money for charity, wear.

The Sister told police he was walking past The Crystal Way, 2335 Market Street, when he saw a woman and said, “Hello, my darling. How are you this evening?”

The report says the woman responded by grabbing the Sister’s waist, pushing him, and yelling at him. The Sister was unsure what the woman said, but “does distinctly remember that the suspect called him a ‘faggot,'” the report says.

The suspect then shoved the Sister again, knocking him into the window of 2337 Market Street (the address of the restaurant Blue) and causing him to fall, according to police. The woman then either punched or used an object to break The Crystal Way’s window before fleeing.

The Sister didn’t believe he was injured and had no visible injuries, the report says. He told police he thought he was attacked “because of his sexual orientation and that he was dressed as a female nun,” police reported. The Sister told police he wanted to prosecute the suspect if she’s found, and said he would recognize the woman.

According to the report, Kathleen M. Carter, a Crystal Way owner, was contacted and came to the scene. She estimated the damaged window would cost $1,500 to replace.

Linda Amburgey, another Crystal Way owner, said in an interview today (Friday, August 5) that from what she knew, the incident was “just an extension of rage, apparently,” and not meant to target her shop in particular.

She said nothing had been taken from the shop, and they’ve replaced the window.

Police have not reported finding the suspect.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 5, 2011 @ 5:45 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Missing gay SF man’s ex-fiance describes last message

The ex-fiance of Maurice “Mo” James II (seen at left), the gay San Francisco man recently reported missing, described in an interview today (Thursday, August 4) the most recent message he received from James.

Michel Pignatiello, 26, said  that the last time anyone appears to have heard from James, 29, was when he received an email from James’s iPod Monday at about noon.

“It was a note about our past relationship, essentially,” Pignatiello said.

Asked if James had seemed upset about something, Pignatiello, who struggled briefly for words, said, “No, he seemed to just want to remind me of … Basically, he just wanted to let me know he loved me. That was pretty much the gist of the entire email.”

Pignatiello said the fact that James sent the message from his iPod was “very unusual,” since James usually emailed from his computer. He said they talked more than once a week, but usually did so through Facebook or text messaging.

The message “was slightly out of the blue,” said Pignatiello, who added that James had sent the email to an old account, and he didn’t actually see it until Wednesday morning.

A few hours later, he started hearing from friends that nobody had seen James. That’s when “I got a little nervous,” Pignatiello said.

Pignatiello said he and James met at a party in Marin around 2000, and were together for about four years. They were engaged at one point.

He said they broke up in part because of the physical distances that come with military service.

“It was a pretty amicable thing,” Pignatiello said. “We’ve been really great friends ever since.”

He said that James had been in the Army and served several tours in Iraq. Pignatiello served in the Air Force. (That information couldn’t immediately be verified.)

Pignatiello, who identifies as gay and now lives in New York, said neither of them had been out about their sexual orientation while they served, and they were both honorably discharged. They started dating about two years before either of them joined the military, he said.

Pignatiello said he didn’t have any idea would could have happened to James.

“I think most people are really confused as to what could have happened,” he said. James was “a very happy kind of guy.”

James showed that through his laughter, Pignatiello said.

“I think everyone that knows him, really knows about his laugh,” he said. “… He has the most loud and contagious laugh ever. He was always, always laughing.”

Friends apparently are hopeful they’ll hear that laugh again.

“Everyone is trying to stay as optimistic as possible,” Pignatiello said.

The missing person report number is 110619408. Anyone with information is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-0123.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 4, 2011 @ 6:30 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Friends search for missing SF man

Friends of a gay San Francisco man who’s gone missing are asking for help in finding him.

Maurice “Mo” James II, 29, (pictured at left) was last seen by roommate Jennifer Masangcay in their Bayview neighborhood apartment late Sunday night, July 31, or early Monday morning, August 1, according to a friend.

James is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds. He has a shaved head and hazel eyes, and has two tribal-looking tattoos on one arm (one tattoo is near the elbow. The other is near his shoulder). He’s possibly wearing silver-framed glasses and a black leather coat.

Masangcay, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, found James’s wallet and phone at their home, but his Muni Clipper card was missing, according to friends. He didn’t show up for work Tuesday or Wednesday, and missed a scheduled massage Monday morning. He was also a no-show for a meeting with a friend that day.

Michel Pignatiello, his ex-fiance, is believed to be the last person who heard from James. Pignatiello received an email from him Monday around noon, friends said. Pignatiello couldn’t be reached for comment today (Thursday, August 4).

Bradley Mena, 25, a friend of James’s, said Thursday that he last saw James on Sunday afternoon leaving the Up Your Alley street fair in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

“He seemed fine,” Mena said. “He didn’t seem upset or depressed about anything.”

Mena said he has no idea where James might have gone. “It seems really, really out of character for him,” he said.  James “would never miss work for anything. … For him to not show up for work for two days is really, really alarming,” he said.

Mena didn’t know of anyone that James had been dating. He said it’s possible James left his apartment to meet someone, “but the fact he left his cell phone and wallet at home is weird.”

Mena said James is “definitely not the type of person to use drugs. He did drink, but no more than anyone else who’s 29 and living in San Francisco.”

“He’s the most outgoing person,” Mena said. “… He’s the most bubbly person, and he has the most infectious laugh.”

“He is the life of the party, everywhere we go,” he added. He also said, “I can’t imagine Mo committing suicide, not at all.”

Friends, who’re offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to James’s safe return, have established a “Mo, where did you go?” Facebook page.

A missing person report has been filed, friends said. They say they’ve contacted hospitals and offered a description of James, apparently to no avail.

The report number is 110619408. Anyone with information is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department at (415) 553-0123. Police did not immediately respond to a request to verify that a report had been made.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 11:33 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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