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

Lesbian CA finance chief arrested for suspected DUI

Department of Finance director Ana J. Matosantos has apologized and offered to resign after being arrested early today (Friday, October 28) on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Governor Jerry Brown reportedly rejected her resignation, and she reported to work today.

Matosantos, 36, an out lesbian married to Sally Espinoza, was pulled over by California Highway Patrol officers who noticed her black, 2004 Acura weaving in downtown Sacramento at 12:43 a.m., according to press reports.

The officers also noticed the vehicle registration had expired. She had been driving west on P Street about 12:30 a.m.

CHP Lieutenant Rick Campbell, with the Capitol Protection Section, told reporters in the Capitol that Matosantos appeared intoxicated and an officer concluded she was drunk after conducting a field sobriety test. He said she was taken to the Sacramento County Jail where Matosantos was booked and later released.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger first appointed Matosantos as the state’s chief financial official. Matosantos, a Democrat, is the state’s first finance director to be appointed by two governors of different parties, according to the Sacramento Bee

Matosantos was 34 years old when she first started and is not only the youngest person to hold the job but also the first LGBT person to do so.

“My decision to drive last night was reckless and irresponsible,” said Matosantos in a prepared statement. “I accept full responsibility and there is no excuse for my actions.”

Brown spokesman Gil Duran told reporters that Matosantos had called the governor to tell him about the incident and “acknowledged that she made a serious lapse in judgment and she takes full responsibility for it.”

“She offered her resignation and it was not accepted and she reported to work this morning,” he added.

She isn’t the first LGBT official to make headlines after being pulled over for erratic driving.

Last year gay former state Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) was arrested on DUI charges after reportedly leaving a Sacramento gay club with a younger man. The incident led Ashburn to come out of the closet, and he was termed out of office that December.

In 2007 lesbian former state Senator Carole Migden caused a minor three-vehicle accident in Fairfield that left one person injured. It was later revealed that Migden suffers from leukemia, and she blamed medication she was taking at the time for causing her to become disoriented while driving.

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 28, 2011 @ 4:28 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ammiano backs gay Latino for LA Assembly seat

Gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has endorsed a gay Latino activist seeking a Los Angeles-area Assembly seat.

This week Ammiano announced his support for Luis Lopez, a founding board member of the Latino LGBT political action committee Honor PAC. In a statement released by Lopez’s campaign, Ammiano called him “living proof the California dream is still alive.”

“He has come from an immigrant family in East Los Angeles and persisted through hardship to get excellent training and apply it capably in service to his neighbors,” stated Ammiano, who is running for re-election himself next year.

He added that, “Luis doesn’t back down in a fight. He has repeatedly shown leadership in advancing full equality for LGBT people and families.”

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund earlier this year also endorsed Lopez. And in a rare decision, as she often does not make political endorsements, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean has also decided to publicly support Lopez.

“Luis has not only taken leadership and founded organizations that have become a vital part of the fabric of our community like Honor PAC, an organization that has really been setting a national trend for empowering Latino LGBT people in the political realm, but he has been involved in other sorts of grassroots organizations that are designed to make the community stronger,” Jean recently told the Bay Area Reporter. “And not just the LGBT community but they also make our city work better.”

Lopez is running for the Assembly’s 51st District, which encompasses Northeast Los Angeles and East L.A. Yet he and his partner, Hans Johnson, (seen in photo at left) own a home in Silver Lake that falls into the newly drawn 43rd Assembly District based in Burbank where an incumbent Assembly member will be seeking re-election.

The boundary line between the two districts is basically at his property line, said Lopez. Because state law requires legislative candidates to live within the district they are seeking, the couple recently rented a place in Eagle Rock.

“I am the proudest, newest, happiest resident of the Eagle Rock community,” Lopez told the B.A.R. during a fundraiser he held in San Francisco this month. “It’s an area I’ve always liked. We are going to love it; we already do.”

The couple is keeping its Silver Lake home, and Lopez said he isn’t concerned about being labeled a “carpetbagger” by his opponents for moving into a different district.

“I was born in East L.A. and served on the Silver Lake Council as its president,” said Lopez, noting that most of Silver Lake falls within the new 51st Assembly District.

He also served as president of the East Area Planning Commission, which he has served on since 2008. The planning body, noted Lopez, covers most of the district he wants to represent. Its jurisdiction excludes East L.A. since it is an unincorporated area.

“The reality is no one has a deeper track record of service in the district than I have,” said Lopez.

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

Current Headlines

News in Brief: Berkeley to host Pride party

Berkeley is bringing back its LGBT Pride festival, which will take place Sunday, October 30 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way.


Out There – Indian inked, organ master & others

The new YBCA exhibition The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India spotlights photography, sculpture and video created by artists from India, living there or abroad.


Out & About – Ofrenda

In Mexico, “ofrenda” means an offering, a gift, at this time of year, to the dead, on Dia de los Muertos. Halloween, originally a Celtic ritual, is about more than grabbing a bagged Slutty Nurse costume and smearing on lipstick, kids. It’s about the planetary shifts, about spirits and harvest and pre-Christian spooky stuff nobody seems to care about anymore.


Film – Toxic paper boys

Margin Call is a disturbing drama about the recent collapse of values in our bedrock financial institutions, a film Occupy Wall St.’s growing army should see without delay.

— admin, @ 12:29 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Current Headlines

Bay Area service member among plaintiffs in DOMA lawsuit

A Bay Area Army reservist is among several plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act and its use in denying to gay service members spousal benefits equal to that given to their straight counterparts.


Candidates address AIDS policy

A majority of the leading candidates for San Francisco mayor would name a designated adviser on HIV and AIDS policy in their City Hall administration should they be elected next month.


Spate of hate crimes target gays

A handful of anti-gay hate crime incidents have caught the attention of San Francisco law enforcement officials in recent weeks.


Chills & thrills: Halloween DVDs

Charles Laughton (1899-1962) was one of the great actors from the first half of the 20th century. He lived his entire life in the closet.


Baubles, bangles & beads

‘Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts’ at the Asian Art Museum.

— admin, October 27, 2011 @ 3:33 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Current Headlines

Wedding Bell Blues: Report highlights same-sex couples, kids

A New York-based adoption institute has released a report examining same-sex couples raising children in the U.S.



Richard (“Dick”) Guy Hillman passed away peacefully at home on October 9 at the age of 58 of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Anthony Lee Jaqua – We met when I was skinny and he had hair. Although our relationship was platonic, our love was passionate. Tony was my best friend of 30 years and the closest thing I’ll ever come to a husband.

Raymond Delmar Neal Jr. lost his valiant battle with cancer on October 9 in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Jack Random died recently after a long illness.


Dixie chicks & dudes

There’s good and bad news when it comes to Broadway diva, film and TV actress Kristin Chenoweth’s country album Some Lessons Learned(Masterworks). The good news is that it’s not as humiliating as Gwyneth Paltrow’s country music movie Country Strong.

— admin, October 25, 2011 @ 11:30 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Current Headlines

Political Notes: State department official praised by LGBT leaders

Daniel B. Baer, the openly gay deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. State Department, has impressed LGBT human rights leaders since being sworn in nearly two years ago.


Col. George Middleton: Black Revolutionary War hero

During the time of the American Revolution, George Middleton (1735-1815) was recognized as a great fighter for liberty and independence, and a respected leader among the community of blacks living in Boston. Local politicians, neighbors, and other contemporaries viewed him as a central figure in promoting and garnering freedoms while advancing America’s cause. Middleton stands out in Boston and queer histories because of his relationship and the home he built and shared with Caribbean friend Louis Glapion.


Harvey Milk plaque stolen

A plaque devoted to slain gay icon and former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk at a plaza bearing his name has been stolen. The bronze piece had been by the entrance of the underground Muni station at Harvey Milk Plaza, which is near Castro and Market streets, since the 1980s. It had been bolted into a cement pillar next to several photos of Milk.


Theatre – Missing person  

It’s a story that almost doesn’t need a playwright to be told. But that “almost” is a big one in the case of Bellwether. This is a story of a child who goes missing, the parents’ frantic appeals to the police and the public to help find their precious offspring, the increasing media attention, and the accusing finger you just know is going to turn 180 to point back at the parents.


Theatre – Transitory life

It’s good and proper that your parents should die before you. We all understand that but still don’t quite expect that this inevitability will apply to us personally. How a family maneuvers through this predictable but nonetheless traumatic physiological reality may be the most revealing moment in that family’s history.

— admin, October 24, 2011 @ 11:40 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Disabled couple with AIDS served with eviction notice

Two disabled San Francisco men living with AIDS appear to be on the verge of eviction. Edward Breyburg, the couple’s landlord for 19 years, told the Bay Area Reporter today that he’s wiling to evict David Ellenberg, 54, and Cuauhtemoc “Temo” Andrade, 52, over $200.

“They were good tenants,” Breyburg said. “I don’t have any problems” with them. He acknowledged they’d recently attempted to pay their rent, but “it was not full payment.” The couple’s rent has been approximately $1,800 a month. Breyburg wants them to pay just over $2,000.

The couple had previously expected an unlawful detainer notice, but Breyburg had appeared to be holding off after the B.A.R. reported on the situation earlier this month. Ellenberg had expressed optimism that Breyburg’s attorney, Daniel Bornstein, was working out a deal with his lawyer from AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Jamie Rush. The eviction note caught the couple by surprise.

“I was shocked, because I thought there was going to be a resolution,” Ellenbeg said. He’s said he wants to share his and Andrade’s situation publicly because even though they are low-income and living with AIDS, it appears their eviction is legal. They want others who may find themselves in a similar situation to be aware.

Breyburg answered a few of the B.A.R.’s questions but repeatedly referred queries to Bornstein and eventually hung up the phone. Calls to Bornstein and Rush late today (Friday, October 21) weren’t immediately returned.

Breyburg’s been trying to raise the rent for months, but the couple, who rely on Social Security Disability Insurance and Section 8 housing assistance, say they can’t afford the higher rate. Their 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom unit in the 300 block of Shotwell Street is not protected by San Francisco’s rent control laws.

Ellenberg said they received an unlawful detainer notice Thursday, October 20. He provided a copy to the B.A.R. The notice, dated Tuesday, October 18, says, “To respond, you must file the proper written documents with the court immediately or you may lose the case and be evicted.” Ellenberg said that he and Andrade had received assurances a deal would be reached, and he didn’t appear to know how they would respond to the notice.

The couple have been trying to find another place to live, and are wiling to move to a smaller apartment. But the units they’ve looked either can’t be covered by their Section 8 allowance, or won’t accept their poodle, Cooper.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 21, 2011 @ 6:27 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Current Headlines

Political Notebook: State seeks new Office of AIDS director

The California Department of Public Health is looking for a new chief of the state Office of AIDS following the resignation of Oakland resident Dr. Michelle Roland, who left to take a job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Tanzania.


Out & About: Stag party

Two favorites in the “hot straight guys who are cool with gays,” aka the pejorative term Fag Stags, are in town this week; rugby veteran and anti-bullying spokes-stud Ben Cohen and “aging punk icon” Henry Rollins. Plus a lot of totally gay arts events, too.


News in Brief: Harvest Market craft fair at LGBT center

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center will be holding a Harvest Market craft fair Saturday, October 22 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Organizers said it will be a family-friendly event where artists will be selling their work, teaching their craft, and connecting with the artistic and LGBT communities. The center will receive proceeds from the event.

— admin, @ 1:04 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bock, Gascón get LGBT lawyers group’s nod for DA

The LGBT group Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom is dually endorsing Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock and current San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón for the the DA’s office.

Bock announced the endorsements in a statement Wednesday, October 19.

“We need to do more than simply prosecute the hate crimes that occur – we need strong programs to prevent them,” she said. “As DA, I look forward to working with BALIF and LGBT attorneys to ensure we do exactly that.”

Gascon didn’t release a statement on the BALIF endorsement. But in response to a request for comment, Maggie Muir, his campaign spokeswoman, said he was “thrilled to have BALIF’s support, and to know they support the work he’s doing right now as district attorney, particularly his work in addressing hate crimes in the LGBT community.”

Susan Bluer, chair of the judiciary committee and a member of BALIF’s board, said in an interview, “Both of these candidates stuck out as being leaders in terms of embracing the kinds of issues we care about in terms of commitment to LGBT equality, such as who they would appoint to important positions.”

Bluer, an out lesbian, said Bock is a “lifelong prosecutor who is just very dynamic and impressive in terms of the work she’s done in Alameda County, as well as her supervisorial role within that department.” She also mentioned Bock’s work to eliminate sex trafficking.

Bock is the only candidate for DA who is currently a prosecutor. She has years of experience trying cases in Alameda County and works as assistant district attorney in charge of special operations and policy development for the DA’s office there. She supervises specialized trial units responsible for solving unsolved murders and rapes, political corruption, and other types of cases.

Bluer said her organization was “impressed” by Gascón’s “breadth of experience in criminal justice.” Gascón served as San Francisco’s police chief before former Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed him to be DA in January. He was previously the police chief in Mesa, Arizona, as well.

Involvement with LGBTs

Bock stated she’d been “immensely moved” by the “tragic” murder of Gwen Araujo, the transgender teen who was beaten and strangled to death at a Newark house party in 2002 at the age of 17. Bock noted the Alameda County DA’s office prosecuted the case, although she wasn’t directly involved.

In her statement, Bock, a San Francisco resident, also discussed her plans for protecting LGBTs and people living with HIV and AIDS.

She said she’d work with law enforcement officials to increase protection in areas where transgender people are vulnerable, such as public transportation. She’d also increase sensitivity and training among juries, judges, and others, she said.

Bluer said Gascón has “broad-based support among LGBT attorneys … and seems very committed to the promotion of LGBT attorneys and the prosecution of cases that affect our community, as well.”

In the questionnaire responses he provided to BALIF, Gascón noted that as San Francisco’s police chief, he created an LGBT advisory board for the department to improve relations between the gay community and police.

As DA, he said, “I have made prosecuting hate crimes against LGBT individuals a top priority.” He added his office has a dedicated hate crimes prosecutor, Victor Hwang. Both Hwang and Gascón appeared at a recent hate crimes forum organized by the LGBT advisory panel.

BALIF bills itself as “the oldest and largest LGBT bar association in the country.” Candidates for endorsements in the November race went through extensive interviews with the group and completed questionnaires, among other steps. Then, BALIF’s judiciary committee made recommendations and sent 600 ballots to active members, Bluer said. The organization’s membership includes lawyers and law students.

Bluer said they needed 20 percent of the ballots to be returned, but they fell short of that. She wouldn’t say what the gap was. Since there was a lack of input from the general membership, the board made the endorsements. She declined to share the board’s vote tally.

Previous arrest

In response to a question about previous arrests, Gascón wrote that as a young man in San Diego, he’d been arrested for speeding. He didn’t provide details of the incident.

In her questionnaire, Bock said she’d never been arrested.

Candidates David Onek, a criminal justice expert and former San Francisco police commissioner, and longtime attorney Bill Fazio didn’t respond to the Bay Area Reporter’s emailed requests for copies of their questionnaires. Bluer said Vu Vuong Trinh, a former deputy public defender, was the only DA hopeful who didn’t participate in BALIF’s endorsement process.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 12:01 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Current Headlines

Breaking: Ex-AIDS czar lashes out at Lee, Chiu at mayoral forum

Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Board of Supervisors President David Chiu came under withering attack at Wednesday night’s mayoral forum on HIV and AIDS issues.


Leno: EQCA ‘unstable’

State Senator Mark Leno is expressing serious doubts about the future of Equality California, the largest – and only – statewide LGBT lobbying organization.


Let the sun shine in

At age 79, the co-creator and one of the original Broadway stars of Hair is feeling a return of some of the counterculture energy that defined a generation more than four decades ago and helped turn Hair into one of the icons of that period.


In the heart of the heart of the circus

Last summer Out There was among a small group of journalists invited to tour the Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, the hub of artistic, administrative and media efforts for Cirque productions worldwide.

— admin, October 20, 2011 @ 2:47 pm PST
Filed under: Blogroll,Politics

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