Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 3 / 19 January 2017
 

Out CA Assembly members given leadership posts

CA Assemblyman Todd Gloria

CA Assemblyman Todd Gloria

Three of the California Assembly’s out lawmakers received top leadership posts today, while the fourth, lesbian Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), landed on an important committee during her freshman year.

The group’s other freshman member, gay Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), will be a part of the Assembly Democratic Leadership for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) announced this morning (Tuesday, December 27) that he had named Gloria one of two assistant majority whips.

Gloria had faced token opposition in his race to succeed lesbian lawmaker Toni Atkins, who was termed out of her Assembly seat and elected to the state Senate this year. The former San Diego city councilman represents the 78th Assembly District, comprised of the city of San Diego as well as the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, and Solana Beach.

Returning lawmakers lesbian Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) and gay Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) were both given chairmanships of Assembly committees. Eggman will chair the accountability and administrative review committee while Low will chair the elections and redistricting committee.

As for Cervantes, who ousted Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona) from his 60th Assembly District seat centered in northwestern Riverside County, she was given a seat on the rules committee.

Today’s committee assignments mean all but two of the seven members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus will hold leadership posts during the next legislative session. As noted in a blog post last week, Atkins was snubbed by the state Senate’s leader and was not named a committee chair.

Incumbents lesbian state Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and gay state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) both received committee chair positions as did freshman gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 27, 2016 @ 11:40 am PST
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Trio of out CA senators given top posts while Atkins snubbed

State Senator Toni Atkins

State Senator Toni Atkins

A trio of out state senators received top committee assignments this week for the new legislative session, while a fourth who challenged her party’s legislative leadership last year was snubbed.

Lesbian state Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) had risen to the top leadership post in the state Assembly, becoming the first out woman to serve as Assembly speaker. Faced with being termed out of her Assembly seat, she shocked the Statehouse last year when she announced she would run against state Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) for his Senate District 39 seat.

Block had the support of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) made no secret of his displeasure with Atkin’s decision, which she said was due to Block agreeing to step down after one term so she could run. (He admitted the two talked of such an arrangement at one point but insisted he had not agreed to it, though he eventually did drop his re-election bid.)

Apparently de León is not ready to let Atkins off the hook. As Politico noted in its California Playbook email this morning, he snubbed her from any committee chair or floor leadership position yesterday when he released the assignments for senators.

She was assigned to serve on the Senate committees for health, labor and industrial relations, natural resources and water, rules, and transportation and housing.

Lesbian state Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and gay state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who won re-election in November, both received committee chair positions.

Lara received the coveted chair slot of the appropriations committee, where legislation that has any fiscal impact is heard. He will also serve on the committees overseeing environmental quality, and governance and finance.

Galgiani was named chair of the Senate agriculture committee, a key post for the Central Valley lawmaker. She will also serve on the committees overseeing business, professions and economic development, and education.

Galgiani and Lara were also both named to the banking and financial institutions committee and the governmental organization committee.

Gay freshman state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), seen as a rising star in the state Democratic Party, was named chair of the Senate human services committee as well as a member of the appropriations committee. He will also serve on the committees overseeing energy, utilities and communication, public safety, and transportation and housing.

“I’m excited that these committees will put me at the heart of so much of the critical work we need to get done for California,” stated Wiener. “As long as I’ve been an elected official, I’ve been passionate about developing regional and statewide solutions to our aging and insufficient public transportation systems so that we can ease the gridlock on our streets and highways and create a more sustainable transportation future.”

Wiener added, “We also need to reverse course on our failure to produce the housing we need for our residents so that people aren’t being evicted or forced to leave our state because they can’t find housing near where they work.”

The designated committee chairs and membership will be formally adopted by the Senate Rules Committee when it convenes on January 11.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 22, 2016 @ 2:15 pm PST
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Homeless Youth Alliance raises funds to help pets

Photo: Homeless Youth Alliance

Photo: Homeless Youth Alliance

Homeless Youth Alliance, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps homeless youth get access to health care, housing, and other services, is raising money to help people’s pets.

“For HYA’s staff, helping kids’ pets is the first step in encouraging them to accept help for themselves,” the group said in announcing its campaign, which is being sponsored by the anti-poverty organization Hand Up. “… More often than not, a life-changing course of positive change begins very simply, with a young person asking one of our counselors, ‘Do you guys have food for my dog?'”

HYA is hoping to bring in $30,000 by January 5. As of Wednesday afternoon, almost $19,000 had been raised.

Money raised during the campaign will go to pay for pet food and help provide case management sessions with clients. In those sessions, clients get a hot meal and help with getting housing, medical care, employment, legal IDs, and other assistance.

Each year, the nonprofit sees about 1,000 dogs accompanying its clients, including many who are LGBTQ.

“Most are ‘rescues,’ large breeds that are disproportionately euthanized at shelters but are loyal and constant companions to our participants, who can relate to how it feels to be unwanted and discounted,” HYA said. “These pets are often the only link to love, trust, and family that they experience day-to-day.”

The nonprofit pointed to a client named Susan who finds it “easier to ask for help for her dogs than it is to ask for anything for herself.”

“When you give to our campaign, you’re helping to keep alive a vitally important resource, one that not only keeps pups happy and healthy, but that paves the way for our counselors to build long-term, trusting relationships with youth that ultimately lead to stability, recovery, and permanent transition off the streets,” HYA said.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 21, 2016 @ 4:06 pm PST
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Prowler arrested at Castro house

Photo: Rick Gerharter

Photo: Rick Gerharter

A man was arrested at a house in San Francisco’s Castro district early Tuesday morning after allegedly being caught prowling.

At 2:40 a.m., a 63-year-old man in the 4000 block of 17th Street “heard noise in his living room” and searched the house, according to Officer Robert Rueca, a police spokesman. The homeowner caught the suspect in the house and detained him until police got there

Police haven’t released the suspect’s name, but Rueca said he’s a 30-year-old black male.

Nothing was taken in the incident.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:53 pm PST
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Gay SF gardener returning to TV show ‘Survivor’ in 2017

SF resident Tai Trang (Courtesy CBS)

SF resident Tai Trang (Courtesy CBS  Entertainment)

At the end of Wednesday night’s finale of the latest season of Survivor it was confirmed that Tai Trang, a gay San Francisco resident, would be returning for the long-running TV show’s 34th season next spring.

Trang, 52, a gardener for the Port of San Francisco, was a fan favorite of the 32nd installment of the show, Survivor: Kaoh Rong, which was played on the islands of Cambodia and aired in the spring. He ended up in third place but was surprised with a $50,000 reward from the singer Sia during the finale.

She also announced she would donate $50,000 to an animal rights charity of Trang’s choosing. A vegetarian, Trang had protected a chicken he named Mark from the boiling pot during the show and brought it to the last tribal council of the season.

The next season of the show has been dubbed Survivor Game Changers — the Mamanuca Islands. All of the 20-person cast are returning players who helped advance the game play on the show, which pits groups of tribes against each other at first and then becomes every person for themselves until only one person is left and wins $1 million.

After a preview of the new season was shown Wednesday night at the end of the finale show for the 33rd season – which can be viewed here – Trang joined the host Jeff Probst and several of the other returning players on stage at CBS Studios in Los Angeles.

Filming of the 34th season took place over the summer on the islands of Fiji, where the fall season also was located. In May fan sites for the show first reported that Trang would start off on the 10-person Nuku Tribe along with another cast member from his first season, Debbie Wanner.

On the competing 10-member Mana Tribe will be two other castaways from Kaoh Rong: Caleb Reynolds, whose wedding earlier this year Trang attended, and Aubry Bracco, who came in second place, according to fan sites of the show. In an August 1 posting to his Facebook fan page, Trang hinted about his being away to tape the show this summer.

“Hey Everyone. sorry I was so busy the last couple months and not able to do any social media stuff but now i am back,” he wrote.

As he explained in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter in April, Trang’s being on Survivor was somewhat of a fluke. In the summer of 2014, he and his partner, Mark Philpot, 56, who works as a nurse in the Tenderloin for the city’s public health department, had applied to be contestants on another CBS competition show, The Amazing Race.

Although the couple wasn’t picked, Trang caught the eye of a casting director, who recommended he think about applying for Survivor. He sent in an audition tape, was picked, and left in March of last year to tape the show.

Because of his being selected to return for another season on Survivor, Trang missed this June’s AIDS/LifeCycle that benefits the Los Angeles LGBT Community Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which he had told the B.A.R. he planned to ride in again. Trang has been a participant of the fundraiser the past 13 years and “has raised an incredible $71,292,” according to event officials.

The next Survivor season will debut at 8 p.m. March 8.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 16, 2016 @ 4:03 pm PST
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Oversight bodies approve SF parks management plan

The above graphic shows how off-leash dog areas will be reduced at three sites under a park management plan that won support this week. Courtesy Recreation and Park Department.

The above graphic shows how off-leash dog areas will be reduced at three sites under a park management plan that won support this week. Courtesy Recreation and Park Department.

Two San Francisco oversight bodies this evening approved a plan that will bring sweeping changes to how the city manages its natural areas in city parks over the next two decades.

While supported by park advocates, environmentalists and city gardeners, the plan drew strong objections from dog owners, golfers, and others who want to protect the city’s existing forest canopy, especially on Mt. Davidson.

Known as the Recreation and Park Department’s Natural Resources Management Plan, it covers not only Mt. Davidson’s forest but also the grasslands of Bernal Hill, Twin Peaks’ coastal scrub lands, and Islais Creek in Glen Canyon. Also covered are the wetlands of India Basin and Lake Merced, and portions of McLaren Park, Buena Vista Park, and the Oak Woodlands of Golden Gate Park.

“San Francisco is quite rare in terms of other American cities … we have uniquely robust access to wild spaces,” said Dawn Kamalanathan, the rec and park department’s director of planning and capital management division. “These natural areas are, quite literally, steps away from many people’s front door instead of miles away.”

Recreation and park staff stressed that the plan is only a guiding principal and that more community input would be sought for how to implement it at individual park sites.

“Most conversations have been around the edges of the plan. These negotiable edges in each of the parks is over how much square footage should be shifted from one use to another or how many trees should be taken down one year and the next,” said Kamalanathan. “Those conversations will continue to go on, likely forever, and we welcome them.”

There are 32 local park sites designated as natural areas, which encompass 1,100 acres and 30 miles of trails. Many of the sites are popular with dog owners as they provide recreational access within walking distance from their homes, as noted in a story in today’s (Thursday, December 15) Bay Area Reporter.

The purpose of the management plan, under discussion for close to 25 years, is to protect the city’s native habitats and species, some found nowhere else in the world, such as the San Francisco garter snake and mission blue butterfly.

“Without these special natural places, the most sensitive species cannot survive,” said Amber Hasselbring, executive director of Nature in the City, who urged the oversight panels to adopt the plan.

With that goal in mind, the plan calls for the removal of a total of 19.3 acres of off-leash dog areas from the city’s parks. The other 75.9 acres where dogs can play off-leash would remain, and parks officials stressed that dogs on-leash are allowed at all city parks.

Dog advocates argue that adopting the city’s plan at the same time as the National Park Service intends to remove nearly all the off-leash dog areas in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area will negatively impact the city’s parks, as dogs and their owners will crowd into the remaining dog play areas in their local parks.

“As the population of San Francisco grows, we will need more off-leash areas not less,” said Sally Stephens, the long-time chair of the San Francisco Dog Owners Group, who added that the EIR did “not adequately” address how the move by the GGNRA would impact the local parks.

And she warned that due to how the plan is written, “San Francisco might close 80 percent of the dog play areas over time.”

The city’s plan also lays out how rec and park intends to cull 18,000 non-native eucalyptus trees and other species parks officials have identified as either dying or in poor conditions. It calls for replacing one-for-one any trees that are removed, though they likely would not be planted in the same spot.

That drew vocal protests at today’s hearing, as did complaints from parents and others about how the plan would allow the use of pesticides in the city’s parks.

Also included in the plan is how the parks department intends to upgrade habitat for two endangered species, the red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake, at Sharp Park, which is located in San Mateo County. The 12th hole would be removed from the historic 18-hole golf course at the park as part of the proposed changes.

Not only have golfers raised objections to the plan over the golf course changes, the Sierra Club also opposed the plan being certified and adopted if it included the golf course. The environmental group, alongside others, has long been at odds with city officials over how to manage Sharp Park and delivered letters from 325 of its members to the hearing today asking that the golf course not be included in the natural areas management plan. They argued it should be addressed on its own since it is not being managed as a natural area.

After hearing more than five hours of testimony, the city’s planning commission voted 6-1 to approve the plan’s environmental impact report. Following that vote, the recreation and park commission voted 5-0 to adopt the plan, which will now go before the Board of Supervisors for final approval sometime in early 2017.

“I am proud of this EIR document. It is comprehensive and meets the criteria,” said planning commissioner Myrna Melgar.

Planning Commissioner Kathrin Moore agreed but was the one vote against the EIR.

Mark Buell, president of the rec and park commission, noted that the plan is meant “to give guidance” as the agency moves forward with the various projects, which are yet to be funded.

“This doesn’t mean that tomorrow chainsaws will be out clear-cutting Mt. Davidson or any other part of the city,” he said.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 15, 2016 @ 8:24 pm PST
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Homeless memorial set to honor lives lost in SF

Photo: San Francisco Interfaith Council

Photo: San Francisco Interfaith Council

Homeless advocates in San Francisco are set to honor the lives of about 150 homeless people who died in the city this year.

The San Francisco Interfaith Council and the San Francisco Night Ministry will hold their annual memorial at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 21 on the Polk Street side of Civic Center Plaza. People are asked to bring candles.

“Homelessness is arguably the most pressing and visible crisis facing San Francisco,” Michael Pappas, the council’s executive director, said in an email to the Bay Area Reporter. “It is a failure of society that shows no discrimination to religion, gender, race or sexual orientation. In addition to hosting our city’s interfaith winter shelter, this memorial is a sacred and powerful occasion to pause outside in the cold and dampness of the winter solstice, hear the names and pray for [the] precious souls who died on our streets without family or loved ones.”

The interfaith winter shelter serves up to 100 homeless men every night at numerous local churches.

According to city survey estimates, 29 percent of homeless people in San Francisco identify as LGBTQ.

“If the homeless count is accurate and 1/3 of our city’s homeless self identify as LGBT, those in our LGBT community have an even greater and more compelling obligation to gather, remember and support one another in the face of the loss of our own,” said Pappas, a gay man who chairs the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s LGBT Advisory Committee.

As the community prepares to honor homeless people who have died, one organization says that the wait list for homeless people in the city seeking shelter has reached more than 1,000.

“There are 1,009 waiting for a 90 day single adult shelter bed,” Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, announced Wednesday, December 15. “If someone misses curfew, or if one of the shelter beds is set aside for a special population such as Care not Cash, the bed is offered for one night only, usually released late at night. Those on the wait list may try their luck for a one-night bed, or find a friend or family member to let them stay, or find a place on the cold streets or wet parks. Those on the street or in parks are rousted frequently and often given tickets for being destitute.”

In response to emailed questions, Friedenbach said, “Homelessness is an independent risk factor for a number of illnesses, and homeless people themselves are susceptible to increased health problems due to high stress, sleep depravation, unsanitary surroundings, lack of access to hygiene facilities, and a myriad of other symptoms inherent with living without stable housing. Subsequently, they are 3 to 4 times more likely to die prematurely then their housed counterparts.”

 

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 6:31 pm PST
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Saltzman elected president of BART board

BART board member Rebecca Saltzman was elected president of the transit oversight panel at its meeting Thursday, December 15.

(BART board member Rebecca Saltzman speaks at the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club meeting Wednesday. Photo: Cynthia Laird)

(BART board member Rebecca Saltzman speaks at the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club meeting Wednesday. Photo: Cynthia Laird)

Saltzman, a lesbian who represents District 3 (portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties), sent out a statement saying she was excited about the leadership role. She was re-elected to her second four-year term last month.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the board through the next year, as we take on many big opportunities and challenges,” she said in the statement.

Saltzman said that priorities for the board in 2017 include putting the first of 750 new BART cars into service; issuing the first portion of the voter approved $3.5 billion bond to reinvest in BART’s aging infrastructure; and expanding BART’s work on transit-oriented development, including the opening of a 100 percent affordable housing development at the San Leandro BART station and planning a mixed-use development at the El Cerrito Plaza station. The former station is in Saltzman’s district and the latter is partially in her district.

Other priorities include opening the Warm Springs BART station in Fremont and improving BART stations in downtown Berkeley and El Cerrito Plaza Del Norte.

At an East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club party Wednesday, December 14 celebrating the election victories of several East Bay candidates, Saltzman did not hint she was in the running for the BART board presidency but she did seem excited about the coming year.

“It’s a new day at BART,” she told attendees, who had gathered at the Health and Human Resource Education Center on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.

In addition to Saltzman’s re-election, new BART board members elected last month include Bevan Dufty, a gay man who is a former San Francisco supervisor; Lateefah Simon, a daily BART rider who is a community organizer and legally blind; and Debora Allen.

Saltzman also thanked the club for its advocacy to get BART to start trains earlier on the Sunday of the San Francisco Pride parade. This year trains began running about an hour earlier than the usual 8 a.m. Sunday start time, allowing parade participants and others to get to the city early.

“It would not have happened without Stonewall advocacy,” Saltzman said.

As president, Saltzman said that she plans to introduce several initiatives to improve workflow and accessibility of the BART board. She wants to reestablish four standing policy committees, bring back evening board meetings, and bring some board meetings to BART stations.

Serving as BART board vice president will be Robert Raburn, an ally of Saltzman’s who was first elected to the panel in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

— Cynthia Laird, @ 2:51 pm PST
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Hearing continued for man accused of putting meth in co-worker’s Snapple for sex

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-4-07-23-pmA preliminary hearing that had been set for Wednesday (December 14) for a Bay Area man accused of putting methamphetamine in a co-worker’s drink to help him “relax and have long lasting sex” has been delayed.

Jose Daniel Calvillorios, 42, of Redwood City, was arrested in August. According to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s summary, on August 8, Calvillorios and another man were working at Torres Auto Repair, at 2905 Flood Avenue. At 8 a.m., the victim bought a Snapple from a food truck and started drinking it. During the next 20 minutes, he sometimes left the drink unattended, and then he started “feeling very warm, nauseous, sweaty,” and numb.

He asked Calvillorios if he’d put something in the drink, but Calvillorios “denied it,” Wagstaffe said. At 5 p.m., the man’s condition got worse and he again confronted Calvillorios, who “then admitted to putting something in his drink to help him relax and so it would permit him to have long lasting sex.”

Calvillorios refused to tell his co-worker what he’d allegedly put in the drink. Eventually, the man went to Stanford Hospital and gave the emergency room doctor a urine sample, which showed methamphetamine was in his system.

Another co-worker reported Calvillorios “admitted to putting something in the victim’s drink to relax and have long lasting sex,” but his “motive remains unclear,” Wagstaffe said.

The sheriff’s office arrested Calvillorios and found a “small amount” of meth and a pipe on him.

Calvillorios, who faces charges of felony food tampering, possession of methamphetamine, and posssession of drug paraphernalia, posted a $100,000 bond August 15 and is out of custody. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wednesday, San Mateo Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak granted a motion from the prosecution and defense teams to continue the preliminary hearing in order to examine recently received medical records. The next preliminary hearig date, when a judge will determine whether there’s enough evidence to hold him for trial, is set for January 10.

In a brief call with the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday, Edward Pomeroy, Calvillorios’ attorney, wouldn’t discuss evidence or share his reaction to the charges. Pomeroy said he has “no idea” whether Calvillorios is gay.

A man who answered the phone at Torres Auto Repair said Calvillorios doesn’t work there, and he didn’t know anything about the case.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 14, 2016 @ 4:59 pm PST
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Jury sides with San Diego officials in Pride nudity case

A photo used in court shows the rear side of the outfit Will X. Walters wore to the 2011 San Diego Pride festival.

A photo used in court shows the rear side of the outfit Will X. Walters wore to the 2011 San Diego Pride festival.

A gay San Diego resident lost his federal lawsuit against the city and several police officers after a jury determined the public officials had not discriminated against him due to the leather outfit he wore to the 2011 Pride festival.

After five days of testimony, the eight-person jury announced its verdict Tuesday afternoon (December 13). It took just two hours to deliberate its decision.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted in a story in its December 8 edition, the case had drawn attention statewide as it had the potential to impact how police departments throughout California enforce nudity laws at various community events, such as LGBT pride festivals, and outdoor gatherings.

The lawsuit centered on allegations that San Diego police use different standards when enforcing the city’s rules governing public nudity depending on the venue. It stemmed from an incident five years ago where police cited Will X. Walters for violating the nudity rules while attending that summer’s Pride festival.

Walters’ attorney, Chris Morris, had argued to the federal jury that the police enforced a more restrictive policy at the LGBT event than they did at straight venues like the beach or the annual Comic-Con gathering. Deputy City Attorney Stacy Plotkin-Wolff had countered that police not only had approached other Pride attendees about their outfits but also people at the more straight-oriented events.

“The jury confirmed what we’ve always known, which is that San Diego does not discriminate in its enforcement of nudity laws,” City Attorney’s Office spokesman Gerry Braun said in a statement. “Our office would not tolerate discrimination against the LGBT community or any other group.”

Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told the San Diego Union Tribune that she was pleased with the verdict, telling the paper that the jury “confirmed our officers acted appropriately in the way they addressed the municipal code regarding nudity at special events throughout our city.”

In a statement Wednesday in response to the B.A.R.‘s request for comment, a representative for Walters said despite his legal team presenting strong evidence of discriminatory enforcement by the police, the jury was nonetheless “unmoved.”

The press release included the same comment Morris had given to the Union Tribune yesterday, in which he stated he and Walters were “extremely disappointed” with the verdict. But he also said Walters’ lawsuit, nonetheless, would have a lasting impact on the police department.

“Victories are often preceded by defeats,” Morris told the paper. “While we may have lost this battle, I can’t imagine the city will ever engage in this type of unequal enforcement of the nudity statute again in the future.”

Walters has yet to comment publicly about the jury’s decision.

The legal case had wound its way through the courts since 2012, when Walters first filed a complaint against the city, several police officers, and Pride organizers. In March 2013 San Diego Pride’s motion for dismissal was granted, and Walters amended his complaint.

In 2014, U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo ruled in the city’s favor, and Walters appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel on the appellate court overturned her decision this past April and sent the case back for a jury to decide if the San Diego police had violated Walters’ 14th Amendment right to equal enforcement of the law.

He had sought unspecified damages for emotional distress, as he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the incident. According to his lawyer, Walters has incurred $1 million in legal fees in pressing his case.

Walters, 35, attended both the 2011 Pride parade and the ticketed festival area adorned in a custom-tailored, fine-leather gladiator kilt and upper-torso leather harness outfit, which included thong underwear beneath. He had worn the same outfit, which cost him $1,000, the year prior without incident.

But while inside the gated festival area’s beer garden in 2011, Walters was approached by San Diego police Lieutenant (now Captain) David Nisleit and told his outfit was not compliant with the city’s dress code because his buttocks were visible. Walters disputed that his outfit was an issue and told the officer to either cite him or leave him alone.

Nisleit then left but returned a short while later with several other police officers and told Walters he was going to cite him for his outfit. Walters claims a female officer then grabbed him from behind and led him out of the beer garden and just outside of the festival area.

Eventually, the police told him they would cite him and he would then be free to go on his way, said Walters. But when he refused to sign the citation without being able to read it, he was arrested.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:52 pm PST
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