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    In the News

    By Dennis McMillan

    San Francisco Records All-Time Low in Number of HIV Infections and Deaths

    San Francisco HIV infections and related deaths are at an all-time low, according to the SF Department of Public Health. There were 302 new HIV diagnoses last year and 177 deaths of HIV-infected people—down from 371 and 209 the year before, thus resulting in a 17% drop overall. For comparison, just 8 years ago—in 2007—there were 527 new diagnoses and 324 deaths. Many are looking at the introduction of the drug Truvada (which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Admin-istration as an HIV/AIDS prevention drug in 2012) as a reason for the sharp decline in new infections. Additionally, public health officials are recognizing the wide availability of HIV/AIDS testing and rapid access to antiretroviral treatment via UC San Francisco as other key components in the drop-off rate.


    You Can No Longer Be Fired for Being Gay

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, created to enforce and implement the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ruled this week that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal. The ruling states that employers who discriminate against LGBT workers are violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination “based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” It’s a new interpretation of the law with wide-reaching potential. “Sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination because it necessarily entails treating an employee less favorably because of the employee’s sex,” the EEOC concluded.

    Tenderloin Museum Opens Its Doors

    After years of planning, fundraising and construction, the Tenderloin Museum opened its doors to the public. The Tenderloin Museum, which was created to memorialize and honor the neighborhood’s rich history, is a museum by day, and on at least one evening a week, the space at 398 Eddy Street will double as an events venue, complete with speakers, panels and performers. Kicking off the opening was a program that featured transgender activists Tamara Ching, Veronika Fimbres and filmmaker Susan Stryker, who worked on The Screaming Queens, a documentary about the Tenderloin’s 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria riot.

    Video of Arson Suspect in LGBT Mural Defacement Released

    Police have released a video of the suspect who set fire to the LGBT mural (on Bryant at 24th Street) that is curated by the Galería de la Raza. The incident took place on June 29 and was the fourth time the mural—a digital triptych showing gay men and women on one side with a transgender person in the middle—had been vandalized. The video shows a slender man dressed in a black sweatshirt, black pants, white tennis shoes and white gloves with a black cloth covering the lower half of his face. He throws some liquid at the mural, strikes a match and then runs away as the liquid explodes into fire. The suspect is estimated to be 6’, 190 lbs., and “was last seen running southbound on Bryant towards 25th Street.” Police ask anyone with information to call the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or “Text-a-Tip” at TIP411 including “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.

    Equal Protection for All Families Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

    The California Senate Judiciary Committee has voted in favor of legislation that updates California’s assisted reproduction laws to help ensure that all families are equally protected by law. Assembly Bill 960, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Our Family Coalition (OFC), ensures that all couples using assisted reproduction are fully recognized as parents. Specifically, AB 960 would recognize unmarried people using assisted reproduction as legal parents from the moment of their child’s birth just as married parents are recognized.

    Alice Early Endorses Alex Randolph

    The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, a San Francisco-based association and political action committee for LGBTQ Democrats, has early endorsed fellow Alice Board member, City College Trustee Alex Randolph. Randolph has served in leadership positions within Alice for many years, and has been doing the work of rebuilding City College since his appointment to the Board of Trustees this past April. “Alex has demonstrated his commitment to the City and the LGBT community, and he will continue to be a valuable asset to City College,” say Brian Leubitz and Zoe Dunning, Alice Co-Chairs. “We look forward to working hard to elect Alex this fall and support him in his continued service to CCSF.”

    Thousands Participate in AIDS Walk San Francisco

    Thousands of people walked over six miles to raise money during the annual AIDS Walk San Francisco event held in Golden Gate Park. Members of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band serenaded the walkers on Sunday July 19. Some marched with pictures of victims of AIDS to be remembered. AIDS Walk San Francisco is touted as the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California.

    Cat Boarding Coming to the Castro

    The Castro offers an overwhelming number of businesses that cater to furry canine companions, but when it comes to cats, there isn’t much in the neighborhood—a void that new cat-boarding business The Kitty Chateau hopes to fill. Earlier this month, the fledgling business took out a permit for the former home of travel agency Now, Voyager at 4406 18th Street. (Now, Voyager, which closed amid controversy over an eviction, reopened in a new 19th Street location in January.) A representative for the Planning Department confirmed that the space would be a cat-boarding service, which is why it requires a permit. The project is still in the early stages of approval, and still needs to go before the Planning and Health departments.

    Fire Breaks Out at 260 Castro Street

    A fire broke out at 260 Castro Street between Beaver and 16th Streets at around 9:30pm last Saturday. The façade of the house sustained fire damage and some water damage, but it didn’t lose power. The property was recently sold. According to a tweet from San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, the blaze began as a grass fire, then spread to the structure.

    Castro Starbucks’ Outdoor Seating Removed After Permit Issue

    The Castro Starbucks has temporarily lost their outdoor seating, after receiving a warning from the City due to a lapse in their permit. After failing to submit their outdoor seating permit, they had to remove the furniture following a warning from the City of San Francisco and a subsequent ticket on Thursday, July 16. On July 20, an agent of Starbucks delivered the check to the City with a request for the permit. If all goes well, they will then have to post a notice of intent for 10 days. After the 10 days they can then apply and receive their permit. Once they have the permit, they will return the furniture immediately. The removal (even temporary) of outdoor seating is unusual for the neighborhood, where outdoor areas for diners and drinkers have proliferated of late.

    Senate Votes, Fails to Pass Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT Students

    The U.S. Senate voted on an amendment, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, to explicitly protect LGBT students in public schools across the country. While the amendment, which was offered by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), fell short of the required 60-vote threshold, it garnered the support of 52 senators, including seven Republicans. While activists say they are disappointed that the Senate failed to act to explicitly protect LGBT children in our nation’s public schools from discrimination, it is, they say, encouraging that a bipartisan majority of senators came together in support of the idea that all children, regardless of who they are, deserve the right to learn in an environment that is safe and free from the fear of discrimination looming over their heads. The fight for explicit protection for LGBT students under federal law will continue.

    Restore Honor to Service Members Act Introduced

    United States Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) joined by United States Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Restore Honor to Service Members Act. This legislation is being introduced to help service members discharged for no other reason than their sexual orientation to correct their military record to reflect their honorable service. More specifically, this legislation accomplishes several key items: It codifies the current Department of Defense policy as it pertains to service members discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to correct their records to reflect honorable service; ensures that the appeals process remains open, available and accessible to service members; simplifies the paperwork requirement necessary for discharge upgrades and for service members to initiate a review; and opens discharge upgrades for the estimated 100,000 service members discharged for their sexual orientation prior to the implementation of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    Lyon-Martin Seeks Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

    Lyon-Martin currently has an open position for a primary care nurse practitioner as an opportunity for someone who wants to work in a mission-driven community setting seeing patients as a part of a supportive care team. All primary care providers work collaboratively as part of a team consisting of talented and dedicated medical assistants, mental health providers, patient care coordinators and registered nurses to provide patients with comprehensive quality healthcare that addresses both biomedical and psychosocial needs. The core responsibilities include a high degree of interpersonal competence with both staff and patients and evidence-based approaches to routine preventive care, chronic disease management, contraceptive technologies and gender transition-related care. They will also have opportunities to use new technologies in healthcare, such as EClinical Works EHR and San Francisco General Hospital’s Lifetime Clinical Record.