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    In the News: 4.19.2018

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan

    War on Data Could Erase LGBT Victims of Crime

    Several Bay Area organizations are expressing concern over the Department of Justice plan to stop asking 16 and 17-year-olds about their sexual orientation and gender identity in the National Crime Victimization Survey. The national survey, conducted twice a year, asks about 135,000 households questions about the frequency and nature of reported as well as unreported crimes. Since July 2016, the questions concerning sexual orientation and gender identity have been included. In a Federal Register notice on April 11, however, the Bureau of Justice Statistics requested to raise the minimum age for those questions from 16 to 18 “due to concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents.” Since the data is used in creating public policy, there is concern that the lack of LGBT-specific information will quietly erase many LGBT victims of crime. As Shannan Wilber, youth policy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said, “When groups of people are invisible, their problems are invisible.” The Bureau’s request is open for public comments until May 11. For more information, see the Federal Register page (

    Women’s Community Clinic Is Moving to Lyon-Martin Health Services Location

    Lyon-Martin Health Services and Women’s Community Clinic are both programs of HealthRIGHT 360 and both for many years have provided safe, high-quality and culturally sensitive services for LGBT community members. Beginning May 8, both will be located at 1735 Mission Street. Women’s Community Clinic, which is presently located at 1833 Fillmore Street, 3rd Floor, will begin the move on Friday, May 4. Lyon-Martin Health Services will be open for a half day on that Friday, from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm. Together, they will reopen on the following Tuesday at 8:30 am. A statement released by Lyon-Martin mentions: “In a healthcare environment that makes it increasingly difficult for small clinics to survive, Lyon-Martin Health Services and the Women’s Community Clinic will be stronger together than we could possibly be apart. But this move is about more than just our financial sustainability: we see this as an opportunity to strengthen our mission and deepen our impact on people who have struggled to find safety and care in the traditional healthcare system.”

    Mayor Mark Farrell Signs Legislation Renaming Airport Terminal After Harvey Milk

    Mayor Mark Farrell was joined by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, David Campos of the San Francisco Democratic Party, San Francisco International Airport’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Littlefield and Stuart Milk of the Harvey Milk Foundation to sign legislation that will rename San Francisco International Airport Terminal 1 after Harvey Milk. The brief ceremony was held on April 16 at 11 am on the Mayor’s Balcony at City Hall. San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk was the state’s first openly gay politician. He was assassinated in 1978. Prior to the mayor’s signing the legislation, it had been approved unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

    Rotary Club of SF Named First LGBTQQ Rotary Club in the World

    On March 25, the Rotary Club of San Francisco Castro gained official status as being the first LGBTQ+ Rotary Club in not only the U.S., but also the entire world. According to Rotary International, such clubs bring businesses and professional leaders together in order “to exchange ideas, and form friendships and professional connections while making a difference in their backyards and around the world.” Altogether, there are 1.2 million members within the approximately 35,000 clubs. The San Francisco club’s official “rebranding” as LGBTQQ allows them to focus their efforts on bettering the local gay community. They already have held related speaker events, participated in Pride parades and more. Membership chair Gary Keener said that anyone is welcome to join, even if they do not identify as being LGBTQQ.

    Third Harvey Milk Plaza Community Meeting Held

    San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza, at the heart of the Castro District, is sacred ground for LGBT civil rights history. Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP) is undertaking an effort to reimagine and reinvigorate this public space into a fitting and lasting tribute to the plaza’s history and namesake, so that Milk’s legacy may continue to educate and inspire generations of visitors. Accordingly, FHMP has been holding a series of community meetings to get feedback. The April 7 meeting, third of a fourth and final to come, at Most Holy Redeemer Parish Hall had 11 roundtables of 5 each gathered to discuss four different architectural design plans by Perkins-Eastman architects. The four different plans were entitled: “Harvey’s Journey/Your Journey;” “Castro’s Living Room;” “A Soapbox for Many;” and “Castro’s Perch.” Three important aspects were requested: adding a second elevator, widening the sidewalk near Collingwood Street, and replacing existing lighting. Of most importance were universal access to all and a memorial to Milk that would educate and inspire. The final meeting open to the public will take place in Sanchez Elementary School on May 15. After that, City approval will be required before production can begin. FHMP is now asking the public to examine the four designs and make comments (

    Lambda Legal Challenge to Military Trans Ban on Course to Proceed to Trial

    On April 13, a federal court in Seattle rejected the Trump Administration’s claim that its new discriminatory plan to ban transgender people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Services passes muster. Instead, the court found that the implementation plan the Administration issued in late March was not a new policy, but rather threatens the very same constitutional violations and that the lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN can proceed to trial. Furthermore, the court also found that the effort to ban transgender people from military service must meet the most demanding level of scrutiny because it so clearly targets transgender people. Meanwhile, the preliminary injunction the court previously granted remains in place, preventing the implementation of the ban pending trial. “Until the ban is put on trial, transgender people serving or wishing to serve in the military are protected by four separate court injunctions barring its implementation,” Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Peter Renn said. “If history is any prediction of the future, the ban is still doomed at its next reckoning.”

    Castro Street Fair Board Seeks Public Input

    The Executive Board of the Castro Street Fair is seeking community input at a public forum on April 21 to discuss the present state, history and future of the Castro Street Fair. The public is asked to meet at Eureka Valley Rec Center, 100 Collingwood Street, from 3–5 pm. Traditionally held on the first Sunday in October, the Castro Street Fair has been a consistent community celebration since Harvey Milk founded it in 1974. The Fair has evolved along with the neighborhood and the increased challenges of producing large outdoor community events in the San Francisco urban landscape. The Board of Directors is seeking community feedback to address the needs of the neighborhood that hosts the event and the Fair attendees. Castro Street Fair is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has raised nearly $1.5M in event proceeds for community organizations. They are not only a celebration, but also a vehicle to provide much needed community support.

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    NCLR Looks for New Executive Director

    The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is seeking an Executive Director (ED) with a pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to serve as an inspirational leader for NCLR and the LGBTQ communities and movement. NCLR is a national nonprofit, public interest law firm that serves at the forefront of advancing the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people and their families through precedent-setting litigation, legislation, policy and public education across the country. Their legislative victories have been blazing trails in support of justice, fairness, and legal protections for all LGBTQ people for over 40 years. The Executive Director is based in the national San Francisco office. NCLR also has a Washington, D.C., office. The position requires frequent domestic travel. The ED reports to the Board of Directors. The Board has two co-chairs who partner closely with the ED. The ED directly supervises the Director of Development and Community Engagement, Deputy Director, Legal Director, and Communications Director. The ED will be responsible for managing a budget of approximately $5 million.

    San Francisco Community Health Center Kicks Off National Transgender HIV Testing Day

    San Francisco Community Health Center in collaboration with UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health kicked off National Transgender HIV Testing Day on April 18 at 730 Polk Street by holding a daylong event to engage the transgender community in their healthcare. According to the 2016 San Francisco Epidemiological report, from 2006 through 2016, there were 144 transgender persons newly diagnosed with HIV in the City. 90 % of these diagnoses were trans female. “Trans women, especially trans women of color, are especially hard hit,” said Nikki “Tita Aida” Calma, Associate Director of HIV Prevention and Health Promotion. “The HIV epidemic is particularly hard because of the harsh conditions we face by multiple oppressions that stem from racism, classism, homophobia, etc. This day was to bring together the community and highlight these issues as well as to test and link others to healthcare options.”

    Civil Rights Bill for Transgender People in Correctional Facilities Approved by Senate Public Safety Committee

    The Senate Public Safety Committee has approved the Dignity and Opportunity Act, a bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), to expand civil rights protections for transgender individuals in California jails and prisons. This includes creating certain gender identity rights and preventing exclusion from programming and work opportunities. SB 990 was passed by a bipartisan vote of 6–0 and now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing. Senate Bill 990 requires correctional facilities to allow people in custody to register their preferred gender identity and first name, and also that facility staff address people by these expressed preferences. “Transgender people deserve to be treated with dignity and be granted the opportunities to work and access programming just as everyone else does,” said Senator Wiener. “We shouldn’t be excluding anyone or treating them worse than others, simply because they are transgender or have a gender identity that differs from what their birth certificate says. This bill is an important step to expanding the rights of transgender people.”

    After Boston Marathon Clarifies Policies on Transgender Athletes, Care2 Petition Asks San Francisco to Do the Same

    After the Boston Marathon announced it will allow transgender runners to compete under the gender they identify with, a Care2 petition is asking the San Francisco Marathon to clarify its policies around transgender runners, as well. The Care2 petition has already gathered over 1,000 signatures. “With the Boston Marathon joining Chicago, New York City, London and Los Angeles allowing transgender athletes to run under the gender of their own designation, it’s time for San Francisco to do the same,” said Sarah Rose, Care2’s Senior LGBTQ Issues Advocate. “This Care2 petition gives the City a chance to show what San Francisco values are all about—and join the movement for transgender equality for marathon runners.” A form on the San Francisco Marathon’s website requires people signing up to select a gender, male or female. “We would love to see San Francisco Marathon clarify whether or not it honors gender identity for transgender and genderqueer individuals,” the Care2 petition reads.