Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Circumcision foes to protest Castro fundraiser for gay state Senator Mark Leno

A fundraiser for gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) that a Castro gay bar owner has been trying to throw for months is now set to take place tomorrow night, Friday, April 20.

In addition to being greeted by supporters, Leno will also face circumcision opponents who plan to protest the event.

Billed as a “Spring Cabaret” and meant to fill Leno’s campaign coffers as he seeks a second term in the Senate this year, the campaign event seems to have been cursed from the start.

Initially set to take place in early March, the host venue Trigger was shut down the week prior by state regulators due to a tax dispute. The Market Street dance club owned by Greg Bronstein, a longtime supporter of Leno’s political career since his days as a city supervisor, was able to reopen within days.

Leno’s campaign, however, initially told the Bay Area Reporter that the March 9 event had been canceled and would be rescheduled. But five days prior to the planned fundraiser, Bronstein sent out an email saying the event was a go.

It wasn’t until the day prior that he announced the cabaret-themed party was being postponed to April. The festivities will now kick off at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. A minimum donation of $100 is being asked of attendees.

They will be met outside the venue at 2344 Market Street by members of the group Bay Area Intactivists, who oppose male circumcision and in 2011 tried to get the practice banned in San Francisco. Their local ballot measure proposal was blocked, though, after Leno last fall pushed through state legislation preventing cities from having control over the procedure.

“Because of Mark Leno’s disregard, opposition and failure to protect the rights of men to genital integrity, on parity with females, we urge his constituents, particularly those 12,000+ San Francisco registered voters who oppose routine infant circumcision to withhold their support from Mr. Leno,” wrote Lloyd Schofield, a proponent of the San Francisco male circumcision restriction initiative, in an April 19 email announcing the protest plans.

According to the event invite, Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascon, City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener are all expected to attend.

“Mark continues to do great things for our community and state since the time he was District 8 supervisor through now as a California Senator. Come show your support and give your thanks for all he has done!,” wrote the organizers of the event.

— Matthew S. Bajko, April 19, 2012 @ 5:07 pm PST
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