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    In the News

    By Dennis McMillan

    Save the Mission Protest Brings Out Hundreds
    A diverse crowd of protesters, including many queer activists, assembled in City Hall for the peaceful demonstration, “No Monsters in the Mission-Stop the Evictions!” Supervisors David Campos, John Avalos and Jane Kim participated with hundreds of demonstrators.

    Harvey Milk’s Stance on Affordable Housing Still Rings True for Many
    On last Friday’s Harvey Milk Day, Milk’s words in the late ‘70s about luxury condos are still relevant today for many San Franciscans. He said, “As soon as you destroy the middle economic class and drive them out of The City, you’re driving out the incentive for education, to get ahead, and The City becomes awful.” He added, “High rise – I’m saying that’s the wrong way. Speculation…that’s going to crunch the economy very badly…is not healthy; it is not good. Restoration is good. Speculation is offensive.”

    Lavender Seniors Releases First Training Film of Its Kind
    The Lavender Seniors of the East Bay has written and directed a short, dynamic, trailblazing teaching film entitled Creating a Welcoming Healthcare Practice for LGBT Seniors. It teaches basic skills both licensed and non-licensed professionals can use to better understand the needs of LGBT seniors, practice more effective communication, and create a clinical environment that communicates a sense of safety and welcome.

    Ireland Congratulated by MEUSA Marriage Equality
    Marriage Equality USA is congratulating the people of Ireland for exercising their Constitutional right and for recently voting “yes” for equality. MEUSA says that this campaign for marriage equality has been transformative. It has given LGBT people in Ireland permission to love themselves and come out more comfortably and completely, some for the first time ever.

    New Gallery to Open in Castro District
    Next door to Mollie Stone’s in the Castro, Spark Arts will be opening in the space formerly occupied by Adhikara Yoga at 4229 18th Street. The brainchild of owners Angie Sticher and Aviva Kanoff, the new gallery will offer classes in art and dance, and also serve as a space for gallery shows and speakers. Spark aims to open on June 1.

    Neighborhood Boot Camp for Tenants’ Rights Offered
    The San Francisco Tenants Union is presenting a Tenants’ Rights Boot Camp, the first of its kind in a series of 10 citywide workshops meant to empower renters to stand up to speculators and prevent displacement. The next session is scheduled for June 10 in the Lower Haight at Bean There Cafe.

    ACLU Argues Against DHS Blood Ban Deferral for Gay and Bisexual Men
    ACLU opposes the Department of Health and Human Services publishing a draft on their proposal to move from a lifetime blood donation ban for all gay and bisexual men to a one-year deferral period. When the Food and Drug Administration first announced the proposal, the ACLU concluded that the deferral would continue to function as a de facto lifetime ban, and that criteria for determining blood donor eligibility should be based on science, not stereotypes.

    ABC to Air New Christian-Protested Dan Savage Sitcom
    Despite the efforts of conservative Christian organizations and the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council (FRC), ABC has announced that it is picking up The Real O’Neals, the Dan Savage-inspired comedy about a Catholic family whose gay teenage son comes out. FRC, One Million Moms (OMM) and the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) had their members sign petitions, make 4,000 phone calls and send 21,000 postcards protesting the sitcom demanding that ABC dump the project. Refusing to give in to homophobia, ABC plans to air the series as part of its new line up.

    Police Commission VP Turman Reappointed
    Police Commissioner Julius Turman was unanimously reappointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as vice president for his fourth year. Supervisor David Campos noted Turman is an openly gay black man, has the ability to listen to both sides, and will push for more transparency and accountability, which Campos said is badly needed.

    California’s Bathroom-Bounty Ballot Initiative Proposed
    A California ballot initiative was recently proposed that would require folks to prove their gender before using a restroom, and would provide cash rewards for reporting people who don’t comply with gender stereotypes. Many LGBT activists believe that the initiative is unconstitutional and unenforceable, and clearly targets transgender and gender nonconforming people. However, Transgender Law Center points out, anyone could be singled out, and therefore everyone would be at risk for harassment and bullying.

    San Francisco Gay Men Spend More than Straights on Dates
    A new study reveals many gay bachelors are paying considerably more than straight men do for first dates. The popular dating site,, pulled member data to determine just how much single gay men are willing to spend on a shot at love. According to the study, gay men in San Francisco are the tenth most generous in the nation, offering $202 on average for a first date, nearly two times more than their straight counterparts.

    EQCA Reacts to Call to End Ban on Gay Scout Leaders
    In response to a call by Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates for the organization to end its ban on gay adult scout leaders, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement: “Mr. Gates today recognized a simple truth: that BSA’s discriminatory ban on gay men as scout leaders is out of step with public opinion and unlikely to withstand further legal challenges. Gay men have always been a part of scouting, both as scouts and as adult leaders, whether they’ve been open about it or not.”

    Transgender Teen Comes Out in Emotional Ceremony in El Cerrito
    In front of his friends, teachers, parents and sisters, Tom, a transgender student, publicly came out at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito as a boy. He received his new name, Tom Chai Sosnik – Tom meaning “innocent” in Hebrew and Chai meaning “life.” Since the ceremony, his story has gone viral. A YouTube video of his speech,, has been viewed more than 83,000 times.

    Sam Smith to Create Foundation for Gays
    Four-time Grammy Award winning singer Sam Smith said he’d like to become a voice for gay youth in difficulty around the world, and has created a foundation involving “money going to gay guys who are struggling to come out in different countries.” He added that he enjoys the idea that there may be homophobic men who buy his music and have no clue he’s gay.

    Mayor Lee Announces New Rush Hour Congestion Strategy
    Mayor Ed Lee has announced the Rush Hour Congestion Strategy to minimize congestion and maximize reliability for drivers and transit riders. The multimodal strategy focuses on four areas of targeted intervention – construction projects, double parking, delivery trucks and Don’t Block the Box – during the rush hour commutes on major transit and traffic arteries. The new congestion initiatives will focus on better enforcement and smarter deployment to hopefully ensure that all modes of transportation can move safely, smoothly and predictably throughout the City.