Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

EQCA endorses 4 out candidates for Assembly

Four more out candidates seeking state Assembly seats this year have garnered the endorsement of Equality California, the statewide LGBT advocacy group announced today (Monday, April 9).

The additional endorsements bring the number of LGBT legislative candidates that have EQCA’s support to 11, a record number according to EQCA’s Political Action Committee.

Among the new candidates winning EQCA’s support are Peralta Community College Board Trustee Abel Guillen, who is seeking the 18th Assembly District seat in Oakland and identifies as two-spirit, and lesbian Stockton City Councilwoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, who is running for the Assembly District 13 seat in the Central Valley.

The other two out candidates with EQCA’s backing are San Fernando Valley businesswoman Laurette Healey, an out lesbian running in Assembly District 46, and gay Latino leader Luis Lopez, running for Assembly District 51 in Los Angeles.

In addition, seven straight candidates, three of whom are incumbents, also recently won the backing of EQCA. Among the newcomers seeking a state office are San Francisco Assessor/Recorder Phil Ting, a former EQCA board member running for the city’s westside Assembly District 19 seat, and Riverside Community College District trustee Jose Medina, who is seeking the Assembly District 61 seat.

The incumbents winning EQCA’s endorsement includes Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who is seeking re-election in Assembly District 9, and Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), seeking the Assembly District 48 seat.

“As we continue our work to achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Californians, few things are as powerful a force for change as having LGBT people and our steadfast allies serving in the state legislature,” stated EQCA Board President Clarissa Filgioun. “Equality California’s record-breaking endorsement this year of 11 strong gay and lesbian candidates — some from unlikely districts — is just one more indication that the tide is turning inexorably toward equality.”

The LGBT rights group had previously announced endorsements for more than 30 incumbent state legislators. For the full list of EQCA’s endorsed candidates in 2012, visit here.

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 9, 2012 @ 4:55 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Gay SF resident joins cast of Bravo’s new Silicon Valley reality show

A gay San Francisco resident is part of the cast of a new show on Bravo that will showcase Silicon Valley up-and-comers.

Marcus Lovingood, 26, (seen in photo at left) had tried to make it big on Broadway – he was part of the cast for the international tour of West Side Story – before moving to the Bay Area in 2010 to dive into the tech world.

The online media entrepreneur and producer is the founder of FutureLeap, a social marketing and branding company for filmmakers. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in March, Lovingood recently launched the Pride PAC, a super PAC aimed at getting LGBT voters to re-elect President Barack Obama to a second term this fall.

While the initial rollout of the Pride PAC has been slow-going, it could receive a huge boost if the new cable show Lovingood will star in is a hit with viewers.

According to Bravo, the series has the working title of Silicon Valley and is being co-produced with Randi Zuckerberg, the older sister of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In an announcement posted online April 2, Bravo described the show as “captur[ing] the intertwining lives of young professionals on the path to becoming Silicon Valley’s next great success stories.”

When the show will begin airing has not been announced. But the series has already prompted a backlash among Silicon Valley watchers and players, with Zuckerberg, who left her job with Facebook recently, taking to the Internet – i.e. her Facebook page – to defend the series.

 

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 4:19 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


San Jose Dems pick gay newcomer over incumbent for city council seat

The local Democratic Party in San Jose has picked a gay political newcomer over the incumbent in a contentious city council race.

Last Thursday the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee voted to solely endorse Steve Kline (in photo at right) in the San Jose City Council District 6 race, rejecting one of their own committee members, incumbent council member Pierluigi Oliverio, who had twice before received the party’s endorsement.

“I am humbled and thankful for the endorsement I received from the Democratic Central Committee last night.  Our campaign has always been about fighting for neighborhood values and moving our city forward in a positive direction,” stated Kline, who lives with his husband, Layne Kulwin, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood.

The outcome was expected, however, as many labor leaders and Democratic Party officials have been upset with Oliverio’s siding with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on several votes seen as anti-union. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a March story, Oliverio has also upset party insiders and Democratic groups by supporting Reed’s pension reform plan on the June ballot.

The measure is fiercely opposed by labor groups and city employee unions. And it is a key issue Kline is running on and using to gain support.

The Democratic Party’s endorsement decision could signal serious trouble for Oliverio, as it carries significant weight with voters and allows Kline to marshal the party’s resources and volunteers for his campaign. The election will take place on the June 5 primary. If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the vote, then a runoff will be held with the top two vote-getters on the November 6 ballot.

“The endorsement committee’s recommendation and the vote of the body clearly demonstrate the party’s confidence in Steve Kline to better represent the constituents in District 6 and the values of Democrats in the City of San Jose,” stated DCC Chair Steve Preminger in a release sent out by Kline’s campaign. “Steve Kline shares the core values of the Democratic Party, the same values we expect to define our economic and social policies at City Hall.”

Kline would be only the second out person to serve on the San Jose City Council. The first, Ken Yeager, resigned in 2006 after winning a seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors that year.

Oliverio, a San Jose native who is single and straight, won a special election in March of 2007 for Yeager’s seat, which covers the gay-friendly neighborhoods of downtown San Jose. He then won election to a full four-year term in 2008.

He defended his record in an interview with the B.A.R. in March, noting that he does not always support Reed’s stances. In particular, Oliverio said he disagrees with Reed’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 3:37 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Folsom Street Fair organizers seek filmmaker

Folsom Street revelers in 2011

Folsom Street Events is looking for someone to make a film about its signature party, the Folsom Street Fair.

The group’s board of directors approved a request for proposals this week seeking independent filmmakers to tell the story of the fair, which began in 1984. Known for leather and fetish wear, the Folsom fair is set for September 23 this year.

Folsom Street Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis said today (Friday, April 6) that as they’ve approached their 30th anniversary, “We realized that our history really hasn’t been documented in a way that can reach the number of people we want it to.”

He added, “I think for us it’s about telling the personal stories around Folsom Street Fair. What is it about [the fair] that makes this so unique and so special? What happens when people come for their first time?”

The festival is “such a unique experience in terms of sexual expression,” said Moshoyannis. “It can really transform lives, and we’d like to see what those stories can do in the hands of a capable filmmaker.”

Last year, more than 250,000 people attended the Folsom Street party, and over $330,000 was donated to charities. This year’s beneficiaries include AIDS Housing Alliance, Maitri, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, and Queer Cultural Center, among others.

The RFP notes that the fair started as an “effort to mobilize citizens and businesses to address the growing concern of gentrification in the South of Market neighborhood.” Since then, it’s become the third-largest single-day outdoor event in the state, “serving as an international beacon for sexual and erotic freedom,” the document says.

“We’re already getting some very good initial feedback and responses,” Moshoyannis said. “It looks good.”

No budget or timeline for the film has been set.

Moshoyannis said that Folsom Street is willing to provide some seed money to get the filmmaker started, if they want it, but the nonprofit also wants to avoid having a “conflict of interest,” he said.

“If the documentary is about us, and we’re also simultaneously funding it, it presents a bit of dilemma for a filmmaker,” said Moshoyannis.

Folsom Street is willing to help raise money, including sending out email blasts, and provide access to historical documents and agency contacts, among other help, he said.

However, “We decided very early on we did not want this to be a marketing piece,” he said. “Otherwise, we’d fund it ourselves.”

Proposals, along with examples of previous work, should be sent by 5 p.m., Thursday, May 31 to Folsom Street Events, 131 10th Street #302, San Francisco, 94103.

For more details, view the RFP or contact Moshoyannis at (415) 777-3247 or demetri@folsomstreetevents.org.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 6, 2012 @ 2:37 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Judge orders repayment for gay, married court worker in insurance case

A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered that a gay court employee be repaid after administrators refused to allow his husband to join his his health insurance plan.

In a ruling issued this week, U.S. District Court Chief Judge James Ware said, “The denial of this compensation to [complainant Christopher Nathan] because he is in a same-sex marriage clearly constitutes discrimination, both on the basis of sex and sexual orientation.”

Nathan, 38, a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, filed a complaint after court administrators, citing the federal Defense of Marriage Act, denied his request to enroll his husband in his coverage.

Christopher Nathan, left, and Thomas Alexander

Nathan, a member of the nonprofit Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who goes by the name Sister Risque, and Thomas Alexander, 39, married in San Francisco in 2008, during the time such unions could be legally performed in California. The state’s voters passed the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban in November 2008.

The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages.

Nathan, who’s worked for the court since 2001, requested that Chief Judge James Ware hold DOMA unconstitutional, reverse the benefits denial, award back pay, and give him “front pay” until the federal government provides health benefits to same-sex partners. He also requested the creation of a “health care reimbursement program for similarly situated employees,” but eventually dropped that request, according to court documents.

Ware conducted a hearing March 15 with Nathan, the clerk of the court, and the chief deputy of administration.

In his order issued Tuesday, April 3, Ware said he wasn’t authorized to declare DOMA unconstitutional, since the hearing involved the state’s Employee Dispute Resolution Plan. He also said he wasn’t allowed to reverse the benefits denial.

However, he granted Nathan an award consisting of back pay for the time in which he was forced to buy health insurance coverage for Alexander. He also ordered that Nathan receive front pay to cover the period in which Nathan remains married and court administrators refuse to provide the coverage.

How much money Nathan should get is to be discussed at another hearing Friday, April 13.

In his order, Ware cited other recent court decisions recognizing the rights of same-sex couples including Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In that case, another federal judge in San Francisco ruled in February that DOMA is unconstitutional.

In an email today (Thursday, April 5) about his case, Nathan said, “My goal in initiating this process was to create a path for other gay and lesbian employees in the federal court system to obtain health benefits for their spouses. I think Chief Judge Ware’s order will go a long way to helping our cause, and I’m proud to work in the same district as him.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, April 5, 2012 @ 2:27 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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