Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

SF board to vote on resolution supporting transgender East Bay student

Transgender student Jewlyes Gutierrez (Photo: Jo-Lynn Otto)

Transgender student Jewlyes Gutierrez (Photo: Jo-Lynn Otto)

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday, February 4 on a resolution calling on the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office to dismiss battery charges against a transgender high school student.

The DA’s office charged Jewlyes Gutierrez, a 16-year-old sophomore at Hercules Middle/High School, with battery in January after an investigation into a November incident. Three girls who allegedly attacked Gutierrez, meanwhile, have not been charged.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel Cabral has said, “I can’t speak about the case at all.”

The resolution also calls on the DA’s office “to offer community-based alternatives and processes that will ensure accountability, and facilitate and support healing and restoration for the youth involved and impacted” by the incident.

Gay Supervisors David Campos and Scott Wiener, along with Supervisor David Chiu, the board’s president, and Supervisors John Avalos and Eric Mar are sponsoring the resolution.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 31, 2014 @ 5:22 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF LGBT Dem club set to early endorse Supe Wiener’s re-election bid

Supervisor Scott Wiener (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

Supervisor Scott Wiener (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club is set to early endorse the re-election bid of gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, a longtime member and former co-chair of the group.

Wiener, who represents San Francisco’s Castro, Diamond Heights, Noe Valley and Glen Park districts at City Hall, was first elected in 2010 and is seeking another 4-year term this November.

So far two people have pulled papers to run against him. According to the city’s Ethics Commission, nudist activist George Davis has filed to run. And local blogger Michael Petrelis, a well-known AIDS and global LGBT rights activist, pulled paperwork from the elections department.

Due to an incident in a bathroom at City Hall, where Petrelis photographed Wiener, he is under a restraining order that requires him to remain 150 feet away from the incumbent lawmaker. It remains unclear how, or if, he would be able to take part in forums and debates in the race.

A formidable campaigner, Wiener at this point is widely considered to be a shoo-in for re-election, despite vocal critics of his upset with his push to ban public nudity in the city and what they see as a lack of attention on the city’s affordable housing crisis, among other issues. Despite years of searching for a well known progressive to run against him, his opponents have yet to field a candidate.

Thus, it came as no surprise that the Alice club, the city’s more moderate LGBT political group, announced today (Thursday, January 30) that its political action committee voted  Monday, January 27 to recommend the club early endorse Wiener as its sole endorsee. Under the city’s ranked-choice voting, voters can select up to three candidates in order from first to third.

If no candidate secures 50 plus one percent of the vote, then the candidate with the least votes drops out and their voters’ second choices are tabulated. The system is repeated until a winner emerges.

The Alice membership is set to vote at the club’s February 10th membership meeting to allow for the early endorsement vote. If approved, then the members will vote on the sole endorsement of Wiener at the club’s March 10th membership meeting.

In its email to members, Alice’s board wrote that Wiener “has been active in tackling difficult issues on the Board of Supervisors.” It pointed to his “work aggressively to have MUNI funded, he supports rent control while also looking for ways to increase housing options for individuals and families in the City.”

The email also highlighted Wiener’s fighting to maintain HIV funding levels and securing the funding to widen sidewalks along Castro Street in the heart of the city’s LGBT business district.

And it noted that Wiener “has been active in supporting nightlife, and was the first Supervisor to ever ask the City Economist to conduct a study of the fiscal benefits of city nightlife.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 30, 2014 @ 3:24 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Lesbian former CA state senator Kuehl rules out run for Congress

ONLINE_Political_Notes_21_13One person who will not be seeking the House seat of longtime Congressman Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who announced today he will retire this year after serving 40 years, is lesbian former state Senator Sheila Kuehl.

While she lives in the seaside district, Kuehl has no plans to abandon her bid for a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors seat.

“No.  I’m staying in my race for supervisor,” Kuehl told the Bay Area Reporter this afternoon (Thursday, January 30) in an email. “I feel very prepared for the role by my fourteen years in Sacramento dealing with all the same issues and I have always preferred being in a position where you can make a difference by your service.”

Should she win her supervisor race, Kuehl would make history as the first out LGBT county supervisor in Los Angeles. She has been preparing her supervisorial bid since being termed out of the state Legislature in 2008.

The county board’s third district supervisor seat is currently held by Zev Yaroslavsky, who is termed out this year. Under a change Los Angeles County voters instituted in 2002, supervisors are no longer able to serve lifetime terms on the board and are termed out after three consecutive terms totaling 12 years.

The race for Yaroslavsky’s seat is the first open seat to become up for grabs under the new rules.

This month former Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, 59, the son of Sargent and Eunice Shriver and the nephew of President Kennedy, jumped into the race. His candidacy had long been expected.

Others seeking the seat on the June Primary ballot include gay West Hollywood Councilman John Duran and former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich.

The district covers the western part of Los Angeles County, including the Westside, most of the San Fernando Valley, the Conejo Valley and the Santa Monica Mountains to the Ventura County line.

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

East Bay assemblywoman snubs bi candidate seeking her seat

Assembly candidate Andy Katz (Photo: Katz for Assembly campaign)

Assembly candidate Andy Katz
(Photo: Katz for Assembly campaign)

Andy Katz, a bisexual candidate seeking an East Bay state Assembly seat, was dealt a significant setback today when the current holder of the seat announced she had endorsed one of his opponents in the race.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) came out this morning (Wednesday, January 29) with an endorsement of Elizabeth Echols, a former regional administrator for the Small Business Administration appointed by President Barack Obama. Echols lives with her husband, Parviz, and their daughter, Theresa, in Oakland.

In a statement issued by Echols’ campaign, Skinner said she had been impressed with Echols “substantive public and private sector experience” working in both Obama’s administration and as an e-commerce adviser to former Vice President Al Gore. Echols also worked as the director of policy at Google and was a key executive at the U.S. Green Building Council.

“As someone who entered my 2008 race for Assembly in the January before the primary, I held off in my endorsement to let the process unfold and to take the time to review and observe candidates,” stated Skinner, who will be termed out of office in December. “It is clear to me that Elizabeth Echols is the candidate with the stature necessary to be a strong and effective representative for AD15, will hit the ground running when she enters the Assembly and stands for the progressive values that constituents throughout the district express to me on a daily basis.”

Echols has attracted significant support for her campaign for the seat, which stretches across Northern Alameda County and Western Contra Costa County including the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, and parts of Oakland.

Considered the frontrunner in the race, Echols’ endorsers include state Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland), Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and gay Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore.

“I’m honored to receive Assembly member Skinner’s endorsement,” stated Echols. “She has been a leader on many issues I intend to champion in the state Assembly, including investing in job creation, providing a world-class public education and protecting our environment. I’m grateful for her trust, and excited for the opportunity to carry on a tradition of progressive leadership.”

Katz, an elected board member of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, has yet to secure the endorsement of any sitting state lawmaker, according to a list of endorsers on his campaign website. He has attracted support from a number of local elected officials, including several LGBT leaders such as BART Board Member Rebecca Saltzman, Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Joaquin Rivera, and California Democratic Party Delegate Gabriel Quinto.

In December Katz reportedly fell short by one vote securing the endorsement of the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club. After Peggy Moore, an out lesbian who had secured an early endorsement from Stonewall, abandoned her bid for the Assembly seat the club revisited its decision.

Club leaders said Echols’ campaign worked to block the endorsement of Katz. She could nab Stonewall’s backing when the club votes for a third time in March on an endorsement in the race, as this time members will be allowed to vote for any of the Democratic candidates regardless of their sexual orientation.

Katz is also the sole non-incumbent LGBT candidate seeking a state legislative seat to have yet won the endorsement of Equality California, the statewide LGBT advocacy group. EQCA in late 2013 endorsed the two other gay Assembly candidates: San Francisco Supervisor David Campos and Campbell Councilman Evan Low.

If he survives the June primary, where the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation move on to the general election, and were to win the seat in November then Katz would become the first out bisexual person elected to the state Legislature.


— Matthew S. Bajko, January 29, 2014 @ 4:31 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Court upholds ban on gay conversion therapy


Senator Ted Lieu

California’s ban on gay conversion therapy for minors will remain in place after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday (January 29) denied a rehearing by the full court. A three-judge panel of the court had previously upheld the law, Senate Bill 1172.

Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who authored SB 1172, which was signed into law in 2012 and is the first law of its kind in the country, said in a news release Wednesday, “Supporters of equal rights can now rest more easily. Today’s decision is cement over the nail in the coffin of the bogus practice of ‘reparative’ therapy.”

The law prevents state-licensed mental health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of minors. Some therapists filed a lawsuit trying to undo the law, claiming it violates their free speech rights.

John O’Connor, executive director of Equality California, which sponsored SB 1172, stated his organization is “grateful for medical and mental health associations that supported the law and helped to educate the Legislature about the serious dangers posed by scientifically baseless efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression. No ethical professional should put a young person’s life and well-being at risk by engaging in these ineffective and dangerous practices.”

Three of the Ninth Circuit’s 27 active judges dissented from Wednesday’s ruling, “based on disagreement with the original panel’s reasoning,” according to a news release from Equality California. “The dissenting judges took no position on whether the statute is valid, stating: ‘The regulation at issue may very well constitute a valid exercise of California’s police power[.]”

New Jersey enacted a reparative therapy ban in 2013. A federal district court upheld that state’s law in November, and it’s currently the subject of an appeal before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 4:04 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Virginia AG won’t defend marriage ban

The attorney general of Virginia announced Thursday (January 23) that his office will no longer defend the constitutionality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

At a news conference, Attorney General Mark Herring told reporters his legal analysis of the state’s constitutional ban has determined the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process and that it discriminates against gay people on the basis of sexual orientation.

(Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: Reuters)

(Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: Reuters)

Addressing critics who say he should defend all state laws, regardless of whether he believes they are unconstitutional. Herring said that would be violating his oath and noted that his predecessors, including Republican Ken Cuccinelli, refused to defend other state laws they believed to be unconstitutional.

“Having determined after thorough and rigorous analysis that this unconstitutional law infringes on Virginia families,” said Herring, “I have a duty and authority to protect them and their rights. It does not mean the case will end or that the ban will go undefended or unenforced. Until the courts can rule on the matter, state registrar Janet Rainey will continue to enforce the current ban, but neither she nor I will defend its constitutionality.”

The announcement comes less than three weeks after Herring was sworn in and just one week before a federal judge in Norfolk is set to hear arguments in the first of two lawsuits challenging the ban in federal court in Virginia.

A spokeswoman for Herring told the Richmond Times Dispatch, “We will file a brief that will change the commonwealth’s legal position and we will argue along with the plaintiffs.” The state’s solicitor general is expected to present Herring’s position when the court hears oral arguments.

Supporters of marriage equality were elated.

“It is a critical and important development when the attorney general – the keeper of the federal and state constitution in the commonwealth – joins us in arguing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is clearly unconstitutional,” said Greg Nevins, counsel in Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund’s southern regional office based in Atlanta. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union are representing same-sex couples in one of two lawsuits currently challenging the Virginia ban in federal district courts.

“This is a great day for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Theodore Olson, who is leading the other Virginia lawsuit. “Attorney General Herring’s actions today have brought Virginia that much closer to the quintessential American ideals of equality under the law and the freedom to pursue happiness. We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to working with him to strike down Virginia’s odious marriage ban.”

In another dramatic development, plaintiffs’ attorneys on Wednesday submitted the recent 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in SmithKline v. Abbott that found heightened scrutiny is required for cases involving disparate treatment based on sexual orientation. They ask the judge to apply that reasoning in the summary judgment hearing “or, in the alternative,” grant a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Virginia’s ban against the two plaintiff couples in this case.

Herring’s announcement Thursday represents a climax in an intense political drama over same-sex marriage in Virginia in recent months. Democrat Herring, who voted for the ban when he served as state senator in 2006, won election last November against Republican Mark Obershain, who opposes same-sex marriage, by fewer than 200 votes. In fact, Herring only last August shifted his position on allowing same-sex couples to marry, telling the Dispatch, “I would not want the state to tell my son or my daughter who they can and cannot marry.”

Just one day before Herring took office, Cuccinelli issued an official advisory opinion that the governor “may not direct or require any agency of state government to allow same-sex couples to receive joint marital status for Virginia income tax returns.”

Herring’s spokeswoman, Ellen Qualls, told the Dispatch, “The attorney general has a strong interest in the courts adjudicating this matter, which will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court.”

On January 30, Judge Arenda Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia is scheduled to hear arguments at a summary judgment hearing in Bostic v. Virginia. Famed attorneys Olson and David Boies, who led the American Foundation for Equal Rights’ successful challenge against California’s Proposition 8, are heading the Norfolk legal team. It is not yet known whether Thursday’s announcement might require postponement of next week’s hearing.

The initial named defendants in Bostic are now State Registrar of Vital Records Janet Rainey and Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer.

The amended brief submitted by Herring under Rainey’s signature states that “marriage is a fundamental right protected by the federal Constitution” and that current Virginia law “improperly denies same-sex couples access to” that fundamental right, “without legal justification, and therefore violates the federal constitution guarantees of due process of law and the equal protection of the laws.”

The court also granted intervenor status to Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele McQuigg on January 17, noting that plaintiffs did not object.

A second lawsuit, Harris v. Virginia, led by Lambda Legal and the ACLU, is pending before a U.S. District Court for the Western District.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia has too often argued on the wrong side,” said Herring, referring to historic cases on desegregation in 1954, on interracial marriage in 1967, and on women entering the Virginia Military Institute in 1996.

“The same legal principles that applied in those cases apply in this case today,” he added.

Referring to his 2006 vote in favor of the ban on same-sex marriage, Herring was blunt.

“I was wrong to stop short of marriage equality,” said Herring, but he added his decision now “is not based on my policy preferences” but “based on my thorough analysis of applicable law and the constitutional questions raised by this case.”

“Virginia is, in many ways, the cradle of democracy,” said Herring, noting that many of the nation’s early presidents and authors of key government documents, including the Constitution, were written by Virginians.

“Too many times in our history our citizens have had to lead the way on civil rights while our leaders have stood against them,” said Herring. “It is time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of law.”

– Reported by Lisa Keen

— Cynthia Laird, January 23, 2014 @ 12:38 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics

SF District Attorney’s gay homicide chief resigns

ADA Scot Clark in July (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

ADA Scot Clark in July (Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Scot Clark, the out gay assistant district attorney who heads the homicide unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, has resigned.

As the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, Clark, 51, has been at the heart of a gag order that Public Defender Jeff Adachi is seeking against participants in the case against Barry White Jr., who’s accused of killing two people at the GiftCenter and JewelryMart in July.

Clark has been the prosecutor in that case, and the motion refers to Clark’s “highly inflammatory comments to the press” in the case against Nikhom Thephakaysone, who’s charged with murdering Justin Valdez as Valdez exited a Muni train in September.

Among other comments, Clark called Thephakaysone “a cold-blooded hunter who was determined to kill that night.” (According to the Chronicle, “The statements Clark made … were said in court, in arguing for higher bail amounts, before they were repeated outside court to members of the media.)

In an interview Wednesday (January 22) with the Bay Area Reporter, Clark, who gave his notice Tuesday, January 21, said his resignation isn’t related to the gag order request.

Clark, whose current appointment in San Francisco  was announced in July, said he’s resigning because of “a combination of things.”

The “biggest reason,” which “people won’t understand,” is related to his dogs, he said.

Clark said that his Irish setter, Cricket, died just before Christmas, and he and his husband recently got a Gordon setter puppy named Raven and are about to get an Irish setter puppy named Rienzi.

He said he’s returning to his previous role as a deputy district attorney for the Riverside County District Attorney’s office, and his house in Palm Springs, which he bought three years ago.

“I want the dogs to have that yard,” he said.

If he were to stay in his current home, he said, the dogs would be “cooped up” in his high-rise apartment with trips to the dog park their only exposure to the outdoors.

Asked whether anyone had asked him to leave, Clark said, “Of course not. [District Attorney George Gascón] was very surprised, and I think he was very gracious, but it has to do with my personal situation.”

He said another reason he’s leaving is “some misgivings I have about dealing with the San Francisco Police Department,” but he declined to elaborate.

“I don’t want to go out on that kind of note,” he explained.

“For me, there are challenges” in Riverside County, where he’ll prosecute murders. “I can do good work down there, and I want those dogs to have that property,” said Clark. “Those are the big motives for me. I don’t really want to get into negative stuff. I don’t think there’s any profit in that.”

As for the gag order, he indicated he’d rather not talk to reporters, anyway.

“I’m not very comfortable with the media stuff,” he said. “I’m kind of an old school guy who’d rather leave that up to the communications director.”

Clark said that if a judge prohibited him from going in front of a TV camera, “I would view that as a positive.”

However, Clark acknowledged, “I’m a pretty candid guy, and not a diplomat.”

Another reason behind his departure is his discomfort with being an administrator.

“I got a taste of the administrative side of things, and it’s not just my cup of tea,” said Clark, who referred to himself as “a trial dog.”

“Part of the frustration with an administrative role” is that you can’t carry as much of a caseload as you want, he said. “You become very involved in them. It’s tough to let them go. It’s like giving up a child.”

Asked about people suspecting there must be more to his departure than his dogs, Clark said, “People will think that if you make them think that. For me, it’s a big quality- of-life issue. For me, there’s nothing more important than my partner and our dogs.” He said there’s “something we get out of it that non-dog lovers would never get.”

Clark will remain in the San Francisco DA’s office until the end of February.

He said his experience with the DA’s office “has been positive. I love the people in this office. I’m a big admirer of George Gascón.” He added, “This is my third tour of duty” working in the office.

Clark doesn’t know who will replace him in San Francisco, but he said, “I’m sure whoever it is will be imminently well-qualified” and there will be “a seamless transition.”

Alex Bastian, Gascón’s spokesman, declined to comment on Clark’s departure, since it’s a personnel issue.

Asked whether the gag order request would be withdrawn in light of Clark’s departure, Tamara Aparton, Adachi’s spokeswoman, said, “We haven’t made a decision on that yet.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 22, 2014 @ 5:33 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sexual orientation, gender id can’t be basis for blocking jurors, appeals court panel rules

People may not be removed as potential federal jurors based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Tuesday (January 21).

The decision stems from a 2011 case between drug manufacturers Smithkline Beecham Corporation, doing business as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Abbott Laboratories, in which GSK argued that Abbott had unfairly priced the HIV drug Norvir.

According to the National LGBT Bar Association, a lower court ruled in favor of Abbott, but GSK appealed that ruling, claiming “that Abbott had unfairly removed a juror based on sexual orientation.”

The company cited Batson v. Kentucky, a 1986 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “peremptory challenges could not be used to remove a juror based solely on their race,” according to the bar association.

LGBT advocates applauded the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision.

D’Arcy Kemnitz, the National LGBT Bar Association’s executive director, said in a statement, “Excluding jurors based on their sexual orientation and gender identity denies countless individuals a jury of their peers. The LGBT bar commends the Ninth Circuit for its commitment to equality and for ensuring that jurors will no longer be discriminated against while performing a civic duty.”

David Codell, constitutional litigation director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a news release, “Today’s ruling by the Ninth Circuit, which covers much of the western United States, is a major advance for equality” for LGBTs.

Codell added, “The court recognized that laws that treat persons as second-class citizens based on sexual orientation are anathema to the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equality. Today’s ruling will make it exceedingly difficult for states to justify laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.”

Meanwhile, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D – New Hampshire) and others have introduced the Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection Act. The bill would amend federal law to protect people from being removed from a jury based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without cause.

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-California) has introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act, a companion bill, in the House.

In its news release on Tuesday’s decision, the bar association said it has a board member who works with GSK, “but he in no way affected our handling or reporting of this issue.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 21, 2014 @ 3:13 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

No arrests yet in November murder near SF club

Michael Sione Green(Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

Michael Sione Green(Photo: Courtesy SFPD)

Two months after a woman was fatally shot near a gay nightclub in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, police still have not made any arrests in the case, despite releasing the name and photo of the suspect soon after the incident.

Melquiesha “Mel” Warren, 23, had been celebrating the birthday of her partner at Club OMG, 43 Sixth Street, before Warren was killed at about 2:10 a.m. November 17.

Shortly after the incident, police announced they were looking for Michael Sione Green, 23, as the man who allegedly shot Warren and another woman.

Officer Gordon Shyy, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, said an email this week that an investigator in the homicide unit couldn’t answer questions, including what the biggest challenge is to finding and arresting Green, because “most of [the] questions are items that would compromise the investigation.”

In the November 17 incident, after they’d left Club OMG, Warren and a friend got into a “minor” car accident in a parking lot nearby, police said in a news release.

A woman approached Warren’s friend, who was the car’s driver, and tried to open her door. Warren got out of the car “in an attempt to calm down the angry female suspect,” police said. Green appeared with a gun and shot Warren and the car’s driver, according to police.

Warren was shot in the head, and her friend was shot in the torso. Both were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where Warren was pronounced dead. Her friend was eventually released.

Green, whom police described as “extremely dangerous,” was last seen wearing a beard and long hair past his shoulders and has been described as Tongan. He is 5 feet 11 inches and 230 pounds, and he may be traveling in a 2001 Mercedes with California license plate 4UIP704. The woman who approached Warren’s friend has been described as Pacific Islander, over 6 feet tall, in her early 20s, and wearing a red dress.

Anyone who knows Green’s whereabouts is asked to call 911.

People who knew Warren have described her as ambitious and kind. She was originally from Oakland and graduated in 2012 from California State University, Sacramento with a criminal justice degree.

Superior Court records in San Mateo County show that he has a violent history that includes assault and domestic violence charges.

Anyone with information in the case can contact the SFPD anonymous tip line at (415) 575- 4444. People may also text a tip to TIP411. Type SFPD in the subject line. The incident number is 130 973 739.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 17, 2014 @ 5:35 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Author of controversial Matthew Shepard book coming to SF

Stephen Jimenez (Photo: Michael Lionstar)

Stephen Jimenez (Photo: Michael Lionstar)

The author of a recent book purporting that the murder of Matthew Shepard wasn’t an anti-gay hate crime and that Shepard had been involved with methamphetamine will be in San Francisco Tuesday, January 21 to discuss the book.

Stephen Jimenez, author of The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard, will appear at 6:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street. A book signing will begin at about 7:30. There’s no cost to attend.

Shepard, a gay college student, was 21 in October 1998 when he left a Laramie, Wyoming bar with Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Less than a day later, he was found brutally beaten and tied to a fence. He soon died from his injuries. A jury found McKinney guilty of second-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery. Henderson took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to felony murder and kidnapping charges. Both men are expected to spend the rest of their lives in prison. A national hate crimes law signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 bears Shepard’s name.

Jimenez, who’s gay, said he relied on his interviews with over 100 people – including McKinney, Henderson, and numerous law enforcement officials, and several people who knew Shepard – as well as “voluminous public records.” However, some have criticized Jimenez for, among other reasons, including anonymous sources.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 16, 2014 @ 4:21 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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