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    In the News

    By Dennis McMillan 

    news2Center for American Progress Calls Out GOP Candidates on LGBTQ Issues

    The Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund is calling out the field of 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls after the Republican debate for being out of touch with the electorate, and for the harmful impact their policies have had on LGBT Americans. “GOP candidates showed the emptiness of their rhetoric in touting opportunity for all when speaking about LGBT Americans,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive VP of CAP. “Not only did their comments about the LGBT community show that they are out of touch with the majority of Americans, but they also used the guise of religious liberty to argue that our nation should move backwards in affording all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, equal rights. Instead of discussing policies to broaden protections for LGBT Americans, such as comprehensive nondiscrimination reforms, the GOP candidates played to their conservative base.”

    Silicon Valley Pride Parade & Festival Is Coming

    The Silicon Valley Pride Parade & Festival is Sunday, August 30, 10:30am, with parade at Market Street (starting at St. John and ending at Park Avenue). The Festival is on Almaden Blvd. at noon until 7pm (entrance gates at Park Avenue and San Fernando Street). Family Garden is noon to 4pm. $10 advanced tickets online and $15 at event.

    NCLR Launches Campaign to Reform State Parenting Laws

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights launched its #Equality4 Families campaign to raise awareness about the need to reform state laws so that they fully protect LGBT parents’ rights to care for their children. The campaign launch comes on the heels of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court freedom to marry victory, which brings tremendous progress to the LGBT movement, but does not fully protect all LGBT families, especially parents and their children. In nearly every state across the country, LGBT parents will continue to face obstacles in caring for their children because state laws have not caught up to the needs of the LGBT community’s diverse families. Many families are left vulnerable: parents can lose parental rights as they travel across state lines, may be unable to seek custody of their own children, or may not be afforded the same parental recognition as non-LGBT parents.

    PAWS Merges with Shanti Project

    Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) – a San Francisco-based human services organization that supports people living with disabling illnesses and disabilities in caring for their pets – is merging with Shanti – serving people with HIV and women with breast cancer. The newly-formed organization will retain the Shanti name, and PAWS will become a program of the merged organization. PAWS services will continue from its current location in the Mission District, and Shanti will assume ownership of the current PAWS building, while still maintaining their main office location at 730 Polk Street.

    California Becomes First State to Pay for Inmate’s Transgender Surgery

    In a historic victory for transgender rights in prisons, California became the first state to agree to pay for the sex reassignment surgery of Shiloh Quine, a transgender woman who has been serving a life sentence for the past 35 years and who is represented by the Transgender Law Center. California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said that it would pay for Quine’s medical care and move her to a women’s prison after completion of the surgery. The corrections department further said that every medical expert who examined the case testified that “this surgery is medically necessary for Quine,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 385 transgender inmates in California are currently receiving hormone therapy paid for by the state.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates Renewal of Vows for Out U.S. Ambassador

    While on an official trip to Vietnam sponsored by the State Department’s U.S. Speaker Program, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at the vow renewal ceremony of U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius and his husband Clayton Bond. The two were legally married in Canada in 2006, and Osius told The Washington Blade that they used the same vows at the small affair held in their Hanoi home. Osius, who is one of six openly gay American ambassadors, and his husband have two adopted children. Speaking of the ceremony, he said, “We thought it might be meaningful not only to us, but (also) to the LGBT community in Vietnam.”

    Port of Oakland Receives Leadership Award for LGBTQ Diversity

    The Port of Oakland has been selected by the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club to receive its 2015 Corporate Leader Award. The award is given to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to supporting LGBTQ diversity in the workplace. The ports of Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego formed an LGBT Affinity Group within the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) in 2013. CAPA is comprised of the state’s 11 publicly owned, commercial ports and is dedicated to maintaining a vigorous and vital port industry in California. The LGBT Affinity Group aims to increase inclusion within the workplace and provide training to educate port workers about LGBT issues. Port representatives will receive the award at the Oakland Pride Breakfast, which will be held at the California Nurses Association on September 13.

    Chi Chi LaRue Reaches Out to Fund Rehab

    Chi Chi LaRue, famed director of porn, has fallen on hard times and needs help. LaRue (aka Lawrence David), internationally known gay icon, launched a account to aid in his alcohol and drug rehabilitation. As of last week, the fund of 136 people had raised $10,870 in 10 days. Family and friends of LaRue, who control the fund, are asking for $40,000 to cover the famed diva’s Minnesota rehab experience. On the account, it is reported that LaRue is “embracing” the rehab.

    Jose Cisneros Running Unopposed for Treasurer

    Openly gay San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros is seeking a third full four-year term and is running unopposed. The Latino politician is the only LGBTQ person to hold one of the City’s seven elected executive positions. In September 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Cisneros as Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco. As Treasurer, he serves as the City’s banker and chief investment officer, managing all tax and revenue collection for San Francisco. He was elected to a full term in November 2005.

    Audrey Joseph Reappointed to Entertainment Commission by Mayor

    Audrey Joseph has been reappointed for another term by Mayor Ed Lee to the Entertainment Commission. Joseph was appointed to the Entertainment Commission by Mayor Willie L. Brown and took office July 1, 2003. She has served as the first Vice President 2003-2004 and the President of the Commission 2004-2005. Joseph produced the dance stage at the Folsom Street Fair for many years and is still the main stage producer for San Francisco’s Gay Pride celebration. Recently she received the eponymous inaugural Audrey Joseph Entertainment Award as San Francisco Entertainment Commissioner, activist, and record executive.

    Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration Relocates Locally

    ORAM, the Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration, the leading agency advocating for LGBTI refugees worldwide, has moved from Geneva to San Francisco, where it was originally founded. The nonprofit is the only international nongovernmental organization (NGO) focusing exclusively on refugees and asylum seekers fleeing sexual and gender-based violence. ORAM’s caseload includes clients seeking refugee status as well as resettlement in the US, Canada, Australia and other countries. Many of ORAM’s clients have undergone or have been marked for imminent imprisonment or torture. Some faced execution.

    Day of Decision Organizers Thank CCOP

    The organizers of the Day of Decision event that celebrated the Supreme Court of the United States 5-4 decision in support of marriage equality thanked Castro Community On Patrol (CCOP) for their assistance in the planning and support. “Now that the dust has settled from Pride Week, I wanted to take a moment to send you our heartfelt thanks for all your help in making #DecisionDay possible,” wrote Joanie Juster, #DecisionDay Organizing Committee, in an email. “Seriously, we couldn’t have pulled it off without your help. Your long-established relationships with the SFPD, city agencies, and Castro merchants smoothed the way.” Juster gave special thanks as well to the many CCOP volunteers, saying it was an historic night on Castro Street, and they will always be grateful to CCOP for making possible a night to never forget.