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

Infighting mars new LGBT vets group

Its aim is to advocate for the rights of LGBT veterans in San Francisco. But so far, the new LGBT Veterans Caucus within the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club is off to a rocky start.

Infighting has erupted over just who should serve as chairs of the caucus. At its meeting earlier this month, those in attendance voted in LGBT vets Morningstar Vancil and Daniel Foos as its co-chairs.

But John Caldera, a gay man who sits on the city’s Veteran Affairs Commission and was one of 10 Milk Club members who pushed last year to form the new vet caucus, is crying foul.

He claims he and six other founding members of the caucus were never told of the meeting and wants the votes for the chairs invalidated.

“The fact is this meeting was held but we were not notified about it and this election is not valid,” Caldera protested at the club’s general membership meeting this week.

Vancil countered that the caucus’ meeting was announced at the club’s December meeting and that e-mail notices did not go out this month because the club’s Web site was down.

“We sent an e-mail to John and there was no response,” Vancil said in response to Caldara’s complaints. “The club’s Web site was down. That was not our fault.”

The club’s membership voted to let the caucus deal with the leadership imbroglio at its next meeting. Member Shona Gochenaur, who lost her bid for Milk’s presidency this week, implored the LGBT vets to work together.

“Let’s try to have the warring factions come together instead of getting into petty politics and power struggles,” she said.”All three of you are amazing people who have served the LGBT community. Let’s move forward.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 28, 2009 @ 4:08 pm PST
Filed under: News

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