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    In the News: June 23, 2016

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan


    Bay Area Cities Honor Victims of Orlando Club Shooting

    Through vigils, memorials, rainbow flags raised at half-mast and more, cities throughout the Bay Area joined others across the world in honoring the victims of the June12 shooting that killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in the U.S., and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in the U.S. Shortly after the event occurred, Mayor Ed Lee issued the following statement: “On behalf of the people of San Francisco, I express our deepest sorrow for the people of Orlando and members of our LGBT community after the evil act of terror carried out this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives by yet another mass shooting. San Francisco stands in solidarity with the community of Orlando and the nation in the aftermath of this terrible day. This is a stark reminder of the violence that still threatens our LGBT community. Senseless acts of violence against innocents, fueled by hate and easy access to deadly firearms, have become all-too frequent. We must continue to work each day to reduce gun violence and ensure every community is safe. Profound tragedies and acts of hate again leave us heartbroken, even numb and speechless. But we resolve today, more than ever, that love, strength and unity will always triumph over hate, fear and violence. San Francisco grieves with the people of Orlando, the LGBT community and the nation today.” (For more about the June 12 vigil in San Francisco, see story on page 13.)


    San Francisco Pride Announces Screening and Bag Checks for 2016 Celebration Attendees

    There will be security screening and metal detectors at all points of entry for the 2016 San Francisco Pride Celebration and Festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 25, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Sunday, June 26 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at San Francisco’s Civic Center. Bags are highly discouraged, and no bags over 18” x 18” will be admitted. Everyone attending the Celebration must pass through the screening process. All items will be subject to inspection at the entry gates, and there are no lockers for storage of oversized bags. For more information:


    Mayor Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener Call for Ballot Measure to Increase Neighborhood Safety

    Mayor Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener this week submitted the Safe Neighborhoods Ordinance for the November 2016 ballot to require the creation of the Neighborhood Crime Unit within the San Francisco Police Department. The Unit would investigate neighborhood crimes such as home burglaries, automobile break-ins and automobile thefts, and would enforce laws to deter neighborhood crimes. By creating one consolidated Unit with dedicated staffing, the proponents say SFPD would be better able to respond to 311 and 911 calls. Supervisor Wiener said, “Our residents deserve safe neighborhoods, not the auto break-ins, burglaries, vandalism, bike chop shops, and other crimes that they experience every day. We need police officers out on our streets walking beats and working proactively with the community to address our crime problems. The Safe Neighborhoods initiative will help us to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods and create stronger and safer communities.”


    Oakland Councilmember Kaplan Reacts to Ongoing Oakland Police Department Scandals

    As the Oakland Police Department faces 3 chiefs fired in 9 days, sex scandals, and allegations that Oakland officers sent racist texts, openly lesbian Oakland City Councilmember-At-Large and San Francisco Bay Times columnist Rebecca Kaplan responded. “What a disturbing week in Oakland. Getting the right attitudes, demographics and character into Oakland’s police department has been a long challenge. This week, I submitted a proposal to improve the Oakland Police Department’s hiring and recruitment to address under-representation of women, LGBT people and people of color, and screening out problematic attitudes.” She added, “We need to ensure that we are building the conditions that make it possible to have trust and healing between the community and our law enforcement officials.”


    Universal ‘All Gender’ Restroom Access Bill Advances in CA Legislature

    A bill authored by Assemblymember and San Francisco Bay Times columnist Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to establish the nation’s most inclusive restroom access law among states passed a key vote in the State Senate this week. Sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California NOW, Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 would require single-occupancy restrooms in California businesses, government buildings and places of public accommodation to be universally accessible and identified as “all gender.” It passed the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing with a preliminary 8–2 vote and now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for further review. Additional information about AB 1732 is available online:


    Dyke March to Take Place on June 25 with Theme #stillherestillqueer

    The 24th annual Dyke March will start this year at 6:00 pm from 18th & Dolores. Participants will march the original route ending at Castro & Market, where the first official SF Dyke March began in 1993. Event programming will begin beforehand at Dolores Park at the stage in the southeast corner at 1:00 pm. Those who come will hear from local community activists, dance to the grooves of local DJs, sing along with some cool musical artists, and snap along with local poets. New this year is an “Emotional Security Tent,” where individuals can mourn and process the Orlando tragedy together in community. Nicole Richards of the SF Dyke March Committee says, “Every year, our community faces yet another loss; whether it’s a local bar where folx gathered for over a decade, or a home of a queer activist. We’re feeling the displacement of the LGBTQ community down to our core. It lives in our bones, making us ache with grief for what has been lost and what we’ll continue losing if something doesn’t change. Also, after the tragic shooting in Orlando, we as a community are grieving. We stand in solidarity with Orlando and want to support our community in any way we can.”


    Pink Triangle Recruiting Volunteers for Installation on Twin Peaks

    The Pink Triangle of Twin Peaks in San Francisco is a visible, yet mute, reminder of man’s inhumanity to man, especially the Nazi Holocaust that slaughtered innocent gays. The Pink Triangle, a one-acre display that can be seen for 20 miles, is here to educate others about the hatred of the past to help prevent it from happening again. Installation by volunteers is Saturday June 25, 7 am–10 am. Even an hour of your time is a big help. Coffee, pastries and Pink Triangle t-shirts will be provided to all who help out. The Commemoration Ceremony follows at 10:30 am with various dignitaries including elected officials and some grand marshals—plus the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and musical theater star Leanne Borghesi. Take-Down is Sunday June 26, 4:30 pm–8 pm after the Parade. Dinner will be provided afterwards at a Thai restaurant for all who have helped.


    Trans March to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot

    Trans March 2016 happens tomorrow, June 24, starting at 1 pm. Organizers say, “This year is really special because we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, which happened in August, 1966, years before Stonewall. The riot occurred in the Tenderloin, and was one of the first recorded transgender riots in U.S. history. The schedule for this year’s Trans March (subject to change) is as follows: Youth & Elder Brunch (hosted by LYRIC & Open House) @ Dolores Park: 11 am-2:30 pm; Stage Performances & Speakers @ Dolores Park: 3–6 pm; Street March from Dolores Park to Taylor & Turk Streets: 6–7:30 pm; 50th Anniversary of the Compton’s Cafateria Riots Rally @ Taylor & Turk Streets: 7:30–8:30; Official Trans March After Party “Bustin’ Out” a TGIJP Fundraiser @ El Rio bar (21+):
    8 pm–2 am.


    Mayor Lee Announces Appointment of Theresa Sparks as Senior Advisor for Transgender Initiatives

    Mayor Lee announced the appointment of Theresa Sparks as the Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Transgender Initiatives to work directly with the Mayor and City Administrator on LGBTQ policies and oversee development of new transgender initiatives. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to have a position dedicated to advancing the rights of, and creating policies for, the transgender community. “With 11 states suing the Obama administration over the rights of transgender individuals, and many states on the verge of passing more discriminatory laws, San Francisco must lead the fight against this inequity,” said Mayor Lee. As the Mayor’s Senior Advisor, Sparks will assist in leading the Mayors Against Discrimination (MAD) coalition, which the mayor helped form in the wake of discriminatory laws enacted against LGBT individuals in North Carolina and Mississippi. Her appointment is effective July 1, 2016.


    Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Share SF Pride Parade Judge Duty with Community Activists

    The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who have served as San Francisco Pride Parade judges for nearly a decade, have invited community activists including Edwin Lindo, leader of the Frisco Five Hunger Strike, to serve as parade judges in support of the parade theme “Racial and Economic Justice” and in solidarity with Orlando and victims of violence within our own Bay Area Communities. “As your pride judges, we stand in solidarity with Orlando and dedicate our service to celebrating the joy, resilience and power of our communities,” said Sr. Merry Peter, who has helped organize volunteers for the past five years. “As you pass by our table, we hope you will see your own courage and beauty reflected and amplified in our smiles, cheers and applause,” she continued.


    Positive Resource Center and Baker Places Announce Merger

    Positive Resource Center, a San Francisco-based nonprofit whose mission is to assist people living with HIV/AIDS or mental health disabilities, recently announced its agreement to combine with local nonprofit Baker Places, which provides a comprehensive array of residential treatment services to people with mental health, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS-related issues. PRC also announced that it is exploring a deeper collaboration with AIDS Emergency Fund, an emergency financial assistance provider for low-income residents disabled by HIV/AIDS. That could also result in a merger of AEF and PRC. Brett Andrews, PRC’s current executive director, would be CEO of the consolidated organization. See the February 25, 2016, issue of the San Francisco Bay Times for more about Andrews and PRC:


    AIDS/LifeCycle 2016 Raised Millions for AIDS Charity

    More than 2,300 bike riders rolled from San Francisco into Los Angeles at the culmination of a 545-mile ride that is the world’s largest annual AIDS fundraiser. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the AIDS/LifeCycle event. The event also coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Center for Disease Control’s first reported HIV cases. Fundraising for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS services of Los Angeles LGBT Center, AIDS/Lifecycle raised over $16.1 million for the HIV prevention and care services that serve tens of thousands every year. The top fundraiser, Eric Rozendahl, raised over $64,000. During the seven days of the ride, over 2,300 cyclists and over 600 volunteer roadies pulled off the event. The youngest rider was 18 and the eldest was 83.


    SoMa’s Gay-Owned Beatbox Nightclub to Close in July, After Pride

    The five-year-old nightclub Beatbox (314 11th Street) has announced it will shut down for good as of July 3, the weekend following Gay Pride. The gay-oriented nightclub and performance venue had debuted during 2011’s Pride weekend. The announcement was made via a press release by co-owners Brian Kent, Paul Saccone and Andy Zivic. The trio says that the club has been sold—and given its prime location on SF’s club row, 11th Street, it is likely to remain a nightlife venue, though not likely an exclusively gay one.


    Obama Issues Pride Month Proclamation

    Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing marriage equality in all 50 states was an historic victory for LGBT Americans, ensuring dignity for same-sex couples and greater equality across State lines. For every partnership that was not previously recognized under the law and for every American who was denied their basic civil rights, this monumental ruling instilled newfound hope, affirming the belief that we are all freer when we are treated as equals, said President Barack Obama. “The fight for dignity and equality for LGBT people is reflected in the tireless dedication of advocates and allies who strive to forge a more inclusive society. They have spurred sweeping progress by changing hearts and minds and by demanding equal treatment—under our laws, from our courts, and in our politics. This month, we recognize all they have done to bring us to this point, and we recommit to bending the arc of our Nation toward justice.” Obama signed an Executive Order in 2014 that prohibits discrimination against Federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.