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    In the News – November 12, 2015

    By Dennis McMillan

    Mayor Lee Partners with MAC AIDS Fund In SF’s Aim to be First to Get to Zero

    Mayor Edwin Lee announced San Francisco’s intention to become the first city to “get to zero” in the battle against HIV/AIDS. With the new partner MAC AIDS Fund, $1.7 million in new funding is to be invested in getting to zero by propelling prep, rapid testing and retention in care for HIV/AIDS patients. Mayor Lee has dedicated $1.2 million to support Getting to Zero and announced a $500,000 donation from MAC AIDS Fund, the largest corporate funder of HIV/AIDS work

    Equality Act Vote Blocked in House Committee Meeting

    House Republicans blocked a vote on the Equality Act—aiming to protect LGBT people from discrimination—that was brought forward during a meeting of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee. The amendment was blocked by a voice vote of the panel upon the objection of Rep. David Roe (R-TN) who said the Equality Act is not germane to the main bill.

    Shanti Women’s Cancer Program Announced at City Hall

    San Francisco Supervisors Malia Cohen, Jane Kim and Katy Tang hosted a press conference with Shanti Project at City Hall to announce the start of Shanti’s Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program. With increased support from the City and County, the expanded program will now serve all women diagnosed with any type of cancer, and not just breast cancer as was the policy in the past.

    Trans Activists and Their Friends Urge “Keep the T in LGBT”

    A group of gay/bi men and women of “Drop the T,” ( have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community. “Drop the T” is asking that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and queer media outlets stop representing the transgender community as they feel transgender ideology “is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.” Opponents have formed their own petition site at

    Gay Veterans March in SF Veterans Day Parade

    The Alexander Hamilton Post 448 of the American Legion, the only post whose membership is predominantly LGBT, marched in the San Francisco Veterans Day Parade. They were among the first groups to carry the Rainbow Flag in such a parade anywhere in the United States.

    DAPA and DACA Expansion Obstructed by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to allow the Deferred Action for Parents of American and Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs to take effect. The federal court’s ruling will negatively affect the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants and their families, many of whom are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals. NCLR and other queer legal advocates are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review and correct “this distressing miscarriage of justice.”

    EVNA to Hold General Meeting on Wednesday

    Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA) has announced its next General Meeting. The monthly meeting of EVNA convenes at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, 4235 19th Street (at Collingwood Street), Wednesday, November 18 from 7–8:30 pm. Topics include SPUR and the Housing Plan; Supervisor Scott Wiener and the Master Subway Plan; and Open Member’s Forum.

    Largest Jewish Group in America Embraces Transgenders

    The biggest Jewish movement in North America has endorsed a policy to embrace transgender people and to campaign against discrimination in a move hailed as a historic step. The biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism, meeting in Orlando, Florida, overwhelmingly backed a motion detailing specific steps to be taken by synagogues and congregations. They include the adoption of gender-neutral language and the provision of gender-neutral restrooms, as well as training and education.

    GGBA Elects New President


    The Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) Board of Directors unanimously selected Jon Paul (JP) Leddy to serve as their new president. Leddy is the first Chamorro and Pacific Islander from the United States Territory of Guam to serve in this position in the 41-year history of the organization. He is serving his second term on the GGBA’s board.

    Facebook May Soon Allow All People to Use Names As Desired

    After prolonged backlash to its “real name” policy, Facebook is taking steps to change the policy that has affected certain members of the queer community, Native Americans, performers and others whose preferred name may not match their legal documentation. Facebook will now allow users to provide more information about why they have chosen a certain name if it differs from their legal name. Additionally, a new requirement will be part of the confirmation process, directed at the people who flag a name as fake: those reporting an allegedly fake name will be required to provide detailed information, in an effort to prevent trolling, a frequent complaint among trans users.

    AHF Submits 550K Signatures for 2016 Drug Pricing Ballot Measure

    AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed 550,000 signatures throughout California by the November 2nd deadline, far more than the 365,880 signatures needed to qualify the measure for the November 2016 California ballot. California Drug Price Relief Act will require state officials to pay no more for prescription drugs than the Department of Veterans Affairs, which generally pays 20% to 24% less than any government program.

    Largest Ever Survey of LGBTQ Prisoners Released

    Black and Pink, an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other, is releasing its report: “Coming Out of Concrete Closets,” a comprehensive analysis of the largest ever national survey of LGBTQ prisoners. Black and Pink’s report exposes a pipeline of prejudice that leads to high incarceration rates of LGBTQ people, and it gives voice to the crisis proportions of abuse and violence inflicted on LGBTQ people in American prisons.

    Gays with Kids Website Launched

    With a website, active social media, and a YouTube account, gives dads around the country a place to learn about adoption, surrogacy, marriage, day-to-day child rearing, legal issues, and also videos of gay couples with their children sharing their stories. The couples featured are from all over, interracial, binational, previously in heterosexual relationships, or transgender, providing a look at how diverse gay parenthood can be.

    Out at Work Forum Offered

    “Out at Work: Trans Experiences in Our Workplaces” is a forum offered as an opportunity to hear from a panel of transgender individuals about their experiences as employees in our organizations and for interaction with advocates from both the Transgender Law Center and the Trans Employment Program (TEEI) at the SF LGBT Center. The program takes place on November 18, 5 to 7:30 pm at PG&E, 77 Beale Street (Auditorium). Register at