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

Busy weekend for SF LGBT politicos

With this being the second to last weekend before Election Day Tuesday, November 6, it is shaping up to be a busy one for LGBT politicos.

Tomorrow (Saturday, October 27) is chock-a-block with events for LGBTs to help various candidates seeking local office. There is canvassing to educate voters and several fundraisers are planned.

Out in the Richmond district on San Francisco’s west side is a get-out-the-vote event with District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar. The progressive member of the board is in a heated battle for his seat against businessman David Lee.

Looking to secure Mar a second term, gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and members of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club will be walking with Mar as they talk to voters. Volunteers are asked to be at Mar’s campaign headquarters at 5812 Geary Boulevard at 22nd Avenue by 10 a.m.

Mar has also designated Monday nights as “LGBT Volunteer Day” and is asking queer supporters to help with his re-election effort from 5 to 8 p.m. at his HQ October 29 and November 5.

Supervisor David Campos

Across town, also at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos is holding his own campaign mobilization. Campos, who is running unopposed but has his eyes on seeking Ammiano’s Assembly seat in 2014, will not only be canvassing for votes for himself but has invited school board candidate Matt Haney to join him.

Supporters are asked to meet first at Campos’ campaign HQ at 3224 22nd Street between Mission and Bartlett.

Later that night his backers are hosting a Halloween-themed fundraiser for Campos at gay Mission bar Esta Noche, 3079 16th Street. The “Hallo-queen Extravaganza” runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature drag performances, specialty drinks and a costume contest.

Students and people with low-incomes are asked to pay $10, while individual tickets for everyone else begin at $25.

Campos is among a number of LGBT leaders who are hosting a fundraiser tomorrow night for gay college board candidate Rafael Mandelman. The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at 3869 26th Street.

“Sometimes running for office feels a bit like being a professional panhandler.  But the sad truth is that it takes money to pay for campaigns, and even more money to pay for a citywide campaign for an office like the City College Board of Trustees,” wrote Mandelman in an emailed invite to the fundraiser.

Members of the more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club will also be out this weekend working to elect its endorsed candidate in the District 5 supervisor race, London Breed, and educate voters in the gay neighborhoods of District 8 about local ballot measures.

Alice members are gathering at 10 a.m. at the Duboce Park Cafe, 2 Sanchez Street, before doing literature drops in Districts 5 and 8.

Incumbent District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague, a bisexual Latina, is also asking her backers to help call voters and canvass the district as she seeks election to a full term having been appointed to fill a vacancy earlier this year. Her campaign is phone banking every night from 5 to 9 p.m. in Suite 301 at 425 Divisadero Street at Oak.

She is also holding a canvassing event Saturday and is asking people to first gather at 10 a.m. at Patricia’s Green. The Hayes Valley park is at the corner of Hayes and Octavia Streets.

“With 10 days to go, come out and support District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague in her fight to the finish line. While big development interests continue dumping money into other district 5 campaigns, we at Olague HQ are hitting the streets to let voters know that Christina Olague is the best choice for Progressives in the d5 race,” her campaign wrote in a Facebook post.

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 26, 2012 @ 4:51 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Captain suspends colorful updates of crimes in Castro, Haight

Captain Greg Corrales (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The veteran San Francisco policeman and language enthusiast whose weekly newsletters offered colorful descriptions of crimes in parts of the Castro, Haight, and other neighborhoods announced today (Friday, October 26) that he’s suspending the newsletter. A stripped-down version is expected soon.

Captain Greg Corrales, who oversees the San Francisco Police Department’s Park Station, said in an email today, “I am very sad to report that due to my crime fighting responsibilities I will be delegating the production of the Park Station Newsletter to a member of my staff. I have enjoyed writing the newsletter very much and I appreciate the tremendous support I have received, but I must devote all of my time to the safety of the district.” (He didn’t say who the new author would be.)

Corrales, who recently selected out gay Officer Jim McMahan as the station’s liaison to the LGBT community, said the new newsletter would come in two to three weeks. It would be in the style of the 1960s TV series Dragnet – “just the facts,” he said.

The most recent newsletter includes some prime expamples of Corrales’s style. He described an October 15 arrest at 15th and Castro streets by saying two officers “encountered a remorseless reprobate and flagrante delicto, inside the victim’s auto in the act of burglarizing it. The frantic felon attempted to escape the officers on foot, to no avail.”

Corrales often described marijuana as “the weeds with roots in hell,” but that was not the case in his description of an October 12 incident in which a suspect was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and violation of probation.

In that case, the police captain wrote that officers had “observed a dope dealer they knew to be on felony probation for marijuana sales in the midst of a marijuana sale. Upon their approach, the scoundrel made the astute observation, ‘Oh S—t, you got me!’ Further investigation revealed that the deplorable drug dealer was in possession of a quantity of marijuana possessed for the purpose of sale.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:06 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Come out for Kaplan Saturday

Out at-large Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan is having a fundraiser for her re-election campaign this Saturday, October 27 at the Bench and Bar in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. The event, dubbed “Coming Out for Kaplan” is a happy hour reception with LGBTQ and allied supporters.

Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Kaplan is in a tough battle for a second term on the Oakland City Council, as District 5 Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente is also running for the at-large seat, having decided to forgo what would have been an easy re-election in his Fruitvale district.

Several notable LGBT community leaders have signed on as hosts for the event, which takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. at 510 17th Street (at Telegraph). They include former California state Senator Sheila Kuehl, Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore, United Democratic Campaign co-director Michael Colbruno, and retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning, who is an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. The East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club, which endorsed Kaplan, is also a host for the event and several of its members are expected to attend.

The happy hour party will include entertainment by comedian Karinda Dobbins and DJ Luna will be spinning. Christiana Remington will serve as emcee.

Tickets range from $16 for one ticket or $50 for two tickets to a maximum of $700 for six tickets. To purchase tickets online, visit To RSVP email or call (510) 463-4WIN.

— Cynthia Laird, October 25, 2012 @ 3:21 pm PST
Filed under: Politics

Spanish artist plans to use prize money to attend unveiling of Castro LGBT history project

Carlos Casuso, the Spanish-based architect whose design was chosen for the Rainbow Honor Walk, plans to use his prize money to attend the unveiling of the LGBT history project in San Francisco’s Castro district.

As a Bay Area Reporter story in today’s paper (Thursday, October 25) noted, the project’s steering committee selected Casuso’s proposal over 20 other entries. At right is a mock-up he created of a plaque for Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, one of the 20 honorees so far chosen for inclusion in the walk.

In an emailed response to questions, the Venezuelan-born Casuso told the B.A.R. that he entered the competition as a way to give back to a city he often visits and loves.

“I saw the announcement for the contest online and have visited San Francisco many times, as my brother and his husband live there,” wrote Casuso, whose brother-in-law, David Perry, is a co-founder of the honor walk. “I have a close relationship with the city and have many friends and family living there with whom I’ve spent many great moments… so it was a good opportunity to give something in return.”

[According to honor walk officials, Perry had no involvement in the blind jury selection process. When it was revealed that the jury of six arts professionals had selected Casuso, Perry disclosed how he was related to him prior to the steering committee members voting to approve the jury’s decision.]

Casuso, who wrote that he is “not very much into labels” when asked if he is a gay man, hopes that through his design people viewing the plaques along the walk will be able to learn more about the honorees and their contributions to society.

“We live in ‘image’ based times … so I think that including the honorees faces and signatures, as well as the written texts would give more information to visitors,” he wrote. “They also remind of classical bass reliefs but done in a contemporary fashion.”

Living in Madrid currently, Casuso intends to use the $1,000 prize from the design competition to pay for his airfare to attend the unveiling of the project. Organizers must raise at least $200,000 and win approval from the city’s arts commission before they can install the first set of plaques.

The earliest a ceremony would be held is during Pride month next year. More information about the Rainbow Honor Walk, including the first 20 honorees, is available on the project’s website.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 3:12 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Walker to speak on LGBT issues in the judiciary

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The out gay judge who ruled California’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional is set to address LGBT issues in the judiciary Monday, October 29 in San Francisco.

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker will appear as the 4th annual Chief Justice Ronald M. George distinguished lecturer. After his talk, he’ll take part in a conversation with a panel of LGBT judges. The event is from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday at Golden Gate University School of Law, PG&E Auditorium, 77 Beale Street. Keith Wetmore, the out gay chair of the law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP will moderate the panel.

Walker oversaw the San Francisco trial in what’s now known as Hollingsworth v. Brown, which was filed by same-sex couples after the state’s voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008. In August 2010, he ruled the ban is unconstitutional. (He didn’t come out as gay publicly until after issuing his decision.) The law’s backers appealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in November whether they’ll take up the case.

George was chief justice of the California Supreme Court when, by a 6-1 vote, that body upheld Prop 8 in May 2009. The justices unanimously ruled that the 18,000 marriages that took place during the five months before the ban went into effect were still valid under California law.

Monday’s panel will include Judge Deborah A. Batts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Justice Virginia L. Linder, Oregon Supreme Court; and Presiding Judge Tonya Parker, 116th Civil District Court, Dallas, Texas.

“At a time in our country and in California when LGBT rights, which are really civil rights, are at the center of conversations and courts, we are pleased to welcome these distinguished LGBT jurists from across the nation to share their unique experiences and perspectives,” Rachel Van Cleave, Golden Gate University School of Law’s interim dean, said in a statement.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:50 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sisters, Castro patrol distributing new Clubber’s Guide

Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Castro Community on Patrol will begin distributing an updated version of the Clubber’s Guide to Safety tonight (Friday, October 19) from 9 to midnight.

The pocket-size pamphlets are designed to help people avoid pickpockets on the dance floor, hate crimes, car break-ins, and other trouble. Among other tips, club goers are encouraged to let friends know when they’ve leaving a bar with a stranger. Texting a photo or description to friends is one suggestion police and others have made.

“We’re going to try to hit just about all the bars in the Castro,” including the Café, Toad  Hall, the Mix, and others, “and also people in the streets,” Sister Eve Volution, a.k.a. Scott Bray, said.

The Sisters and others are hearing an increased number of anecdotes of people being “roofied [where drugs are slipped into their drinks], robbed, and worse,” Eve Volution said.

“It seems to be dovetailing at a time when it sounds like we’re having more and more of these incidents in the Castro,” she said.

She added, “I don’t know if this crime is more prevalent than it has been in the past, but it’s certainly coming to light more. Maybe if we shine this light brighter” on such incidents “people will feel more comfortable in reporting it. That is key to cutting down on this type of crime, for victims to step up and talk about it.”

Greg Carey, of Castro Community on Patrol, said that the guides will also be distributed in the South of Market neighborhood  and other areas and, for the first time, Spanish versions will be available.

For more information, visit the Stop the Violence page on Facebook.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 19, 2012 @ 6:09 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Milk club expected to rescind Davis endorsement in D5 supe race

The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club will meet in special session Monday night to consider rescinding its endorsement of Julian Davis in the District 5 supervisor race.

Davis has been accused of groping two women six years ago and the issue has dedeviled his campaign all week since the SF Weekly broke the news online Monday. Following the report the SF Examiner, Bay Guardian, and Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos have all withdrawn their endorsements of Davis’ candidacy.

He has denied the accusations and pledged to remain in the race. At the same time Davis and his supporters have tried to paint the story as politically motivated coming three weeks prior to Election Day November 6.

But the fallout from the explosive allegations continues to consume progressive circles. At its meeting Tuesday night the Milk club voted to hold an emergency general membership meeting next week to reconsider its backing Davis in the race for the Haight and Western Addition seat.

District 5 candidates Julian Davis, Supervisor Christina Olague, and Thea Selby took part in a candidate forum co-hosted by nonprofit providers and the University of San Francisco.

The club had voted in September to solely endorse Davis, a straight man who is on leave as president of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center due to the campaign.

The meeting is set to take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, October 22 at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street. Following a discussion about the issue, Milk club members will then cast two votes.

The first will be a yes or no vote on whether to rescind the Davis endorsement.

The second will be on if that passes, then should the club give an unranked endorsement to the incumbent, bisexual Supervisor Christina Olague, and two of her challengers: college board president John Rizzo and Lower Haight community activist Thea Selby.

According to an email from the club following this week’s meeting, the proposal to vote on a reconsideration of the endorsement passed by two-thirds, as did a motion to suspend Milk’s by-laws in order to vote on the multi-candidate endorsement.

The motion to back Olague, Rizzo and Selby also passed on a two-thirds vote.

Should the triple endorsement pass it will mark quite the turnaround for Olague, who has faced intense criticism within progressive circles since Mayor Ed Lee appointed her to fill the vacant District 5 seat earlier this year.

Her ties to Lee and his allies, votes on development projects and other issues have sparked concern from progressives. But some of their worries began to dissipate when she bucked the mayor and voted last week to reinstate her predecessor, Ross Mirkarimi, as sheriff despite his arrest on domestic violence charges.

It would also be a boost for Rizzo, who narrowly lost nabbing the Milk club’s endorsement during the first vote last month, and Selby, who has had trouble garnering attention due to her low name recognition with voters.








— Matthew S. Bajko, October 18, 2012 @ 1:32 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Another federal court rules against DOMA

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York issued a 2-1 decision today (Thursday, October 18) that a key provision of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage is unconstitutional because it violates equal protection.

Evan Wolfson, president of the national group Freedom to Marry, said in a statement, “Today’s ruling is the second by a federal appellate court and the tenth ruling in a row from judges appointed by presidents from Nixon to Reagan to George W. Bush, all agreeing that this disgraceful and discriminatory gay exception to the way the federal government treats married couples must end. The Supreme Court should swiftly agree to hear one or more of these cases and definitively strike down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, removing this harsh, unfair and unconstitutional burden from families, businesses, the military, and others who want to treat all married couples as what they are: married.”

The New York case, Windsor v. U.S., involves Edith Windsor, 83, who is the surviving spouse of a same-sex couple that was married in Canada in 2007, and who was a New York resident at the time of her spouse’s death in 2009.

Windsor, who was taxed more than $363,000, was denied the benefit of the spousal deduction for federal estate taxes solely because Section 3 of DOMA bars the IRS and other agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs explained in the court’s decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce next month whether it will decide on the constitutionality of DOMA. The court is also set to reveal soon whether it will take action on California’s same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8.

According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-San Francisco) office, Windsor and Thea Spyer had been together for more than 40 years when Spyer died. In a statement, Pelosi criticized House Republicans for wasting nearly $1.5 million defending cases like Windsor v. U.S. and stated, “As a federal appeals court again recognizes that a law denying federal benefits to same-sex married couples is unconstitutional, we move closer to the day when marriage equality is a reality for all.  We look forward to the day when DOMA is ultimately found to be unconstitutional and all of America’s families can enjoy the blessings of equal protection under the law.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 10:49 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Police search for missing Twin Peaks man

Joe Balducci

Police are looking for a gay San Francisco man who appears to have been suicidal.

Joe Balducci, 60, a.ka. Joe Gulliver, was reported missing at about 2:30 p.m. September 5 by a family friend, according to a San Francisco Police Department email. Balducci “has a history of depression and is considered at risk,” police said.

He’s described as 6 feet 3 inches and 180 pounds, with gray/black hair, and brown eyes.

Arturo Jackson, a friend and former partner of Balducci’s, said he last spoke with Balducci about two months ago.

Jackson said that Balducci had little income and at the time of their last conversation, “he was struggling to hold on to his apartment, which he’d been living in for 30 years. He was very despondent, and very depressed.” Balducci lived on Corbett Avenue in the Twin Peaks neighborhood.

“He’d been having a hard time the last few years,” Jackson said. Balducci had sustained serious neck and back injuries from an auto accident and was in “a lot of pain,” he said.

Balducci, who Jackson said was a noted photographer, “would never leave San Francisco, not even to go out of town for a day,” and he had no idea where Balducci could be.

San Francisco police Inspector Anne MacKenzie said no notes, clothes, or other belongings of Balducci’s have been found. She doesn’t suspect foul play.

“He has not been located,” MacKenzie said. “He does have a lot of friends who are trying to help locate him.”

Anyone with information in the case may contact the SFPD missing persons unit at (415) 558-5500 or the dispatch unit at (415) 553-0123. The report number is 120 710 949.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 12, 2012 @ 5:08 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF Police rescind #2 endorsement of Olague

District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague continues to face fallout from her vote this week to reinstatement her predecessor, Ross Mirkarimi, as sheriff.

The San Francisco Police Officers’ Association announced today (Friday, October 12) that it was rescinding its second place endorsement of Olague, who is in a tough re-election battle this fall.

“Ms. Olague has demonstrated her lack of empathy and support for victims of domestic violence during her recent vote before the Board of Supervisors and the SFPOA can no longer support her in this very important race,” wrote SFPOA President Gary Delagnes in an email that was circulated to police officers and reporters.

Delagnes reiterated the group’s number one endorsement of London Breed, executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex, in the closely watched race for the Haight and Western Addition centered supervisor seat.

“The SFPOA continues to endorse and support London Breed for District 5 Supervisor so when you vote on Tuesday November 6th vote for a candidate who cares. Vote… London Breed, District 5,” Delagnes wrote in his email.

It was the latest criticism Olague has faced since joining with three of her board colleagues Tuesday to reinstate Mirkarimi. The decision was a major blow to Mayor Ed Lee, who had  suspended the sheriff without pay in March on grounds of official misconduct after Mirkarimi pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight he had with wife last year.

Olague’s decision has caused tension between her and Lee’s administration and his allies. The mayor tapped Olague to fill the vacancy created when Mirkarimi resigned to become sheriff.

Her bucking Lee drew a rebuke from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein during an editorial board meeting with the Bay Area Reporter Thursday. One of Lee’s gay aides and former mayoral campaign spokesman, Tony Winnicker, sent Olague a text message telling her he was disgusted by her vote, as the Bay Guardian first reported. (Being a District 5 resident, Winnicker defended his speaking out.)

Yet Olague’s breaking with the mayor has also brought her plaudits. The Guardian‘s founding publisher, Bruce Brugmann, wrote on his blog that she and the three other supervisors had “earned profiles of courage” for their vote.

And the Bay Area Reporter editorial board Thursday awarded Olague, the first out bisexual person to serve on the Board of Supervisors, a number one endorsement in the race. The city’s main LGBT newspaper wrote that it was “extremely pleased with the courage she exhibited Tuesday night in voting to reinstate Sheriff Mirkarimi.”



— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:41 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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