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    In the News: 7.12.2018

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan

    London Breed Sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco During Historic Inaugural

    On Wednesday, July 11, London Breed made history, becoming San Francisco’s first African-American female Mayor. Mayor Breed highlighted unity in her inauguration speech, expressing her desire to bring diverse political factions together to solve the City’s many difficult and pressing challenges. Mayor Breed attended a pre-inaugural event on July 9 at Third Baptist Church. She said, “I want to work with members of the board. I want to work with others to address (the City’s) issues. And it’s going to take time and it’s going to take patience. I’m committed to doing what’s necessary to get us to a better place.” The inauguration ceremony, which lasted for about an hour, had seating for approximately 1,500, with 1,000 of those going to the public. Many LGBT individuals are part of her transition team, such as former Mayor Gavin Newsom’s director of public policy Joyce Newstat, Matthew Rothschild of the City Attorney Office, former supervisor Roberta Achtenberg and former city health commissioner Roma Guy.

    LGBTQ and Civil Rights Groups React to Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

    Following President Trump’s announcement late Monday, July 9, that federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh is his nominee to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court, reaction was swift and uniformly negative from dozens of LGBTQ and civil rights groups. Lambda Legal, ACLU, HRC, GLAAD, Planned Parenthood, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, Freedom for All Americans, One Colorado, Equality California, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National LGBTQ Task Force were among the groups that issued statements. HRC President Chad Griffin expressed the concerns of many: “In nominating Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump has followed through on his threat to nominate a justice who would undermine LGBTQ equality, women’s reproductive rights and affordable healthcare. Now, the Senate has a responsibility to fulfill its constitutional duty, serve as a check on this reckless president and reject Brett Kavanaugh‘s nomination. This nominee was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality—and the prospect of a Justice Kavanaugh threatens to erode our nation’s civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation and allow a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life. The 2018 midterm elections just became the most consequential elections of our lifetime, and we must seize the opportunity to pull the emergency brake on this regime. We need to vote this November like our lives depend on it—because they do.”

    San Francisco LGBT Democratic Clubs Participate in Resist-a-Thon Week

    Resist-a-Thon, which began on July 9 and ends on July 15, is celebrating the 43 Democratic wins since November 2016 and is working to recruit, train and mobilize activists to build a blue wave to the 2018 midterm elections. Members of San Francisco’s two LGBT democratic clubs have been participating, particularly in light of the announcement concerning judge Kavanaugh. The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club also issued this statement: “We, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club as an organization, insist on implementing a sex-positive, queer, feminist, pro-environment, pro-human agenda, regardless of the push-back. We insist that our two U.S. Senators do whatever it takes to block any judicial nominee from this so-called president from serving on the Supreme Court, whatever the cost. And we call for defunding ICE if and when Democrats take back the House of Representatives, no matter how advantageous 45 thinks this issue is to his base.”

    Anti-LGBT Organization Vetted and Approved Brett Kavanaugh

    Family Research Council (FRC), an organization that believes “homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed,” was one of the right-wing organizations that vetted judge Brett Kavanaugh. FRC issued the following statement following the July 9 announcement: “From the day Justice Kennedy retired, the Left has sought to make this vacancy all about abortion—even though many other significant issues are at stake including religious freedom and free speech. Under the Obama administration, we saw a growing assault on religious freedom and the courts became a battleground for secularists seeking to remove faith from the public square. Judge Kavanaugh resisted this trend in at least two instances—an HHS contraceptive mandate case and in an opinion supporting inauguration prayers.” The statement reminds that a critical tenant of our nation’s founding—separation of church and state—remains under serious threat.

    Southern Poverty Law Center’s FRC page:

    Kavanaugh Viewed as a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ for Trump

    Although judge Kavanaugh contributed to a 1998 report calling for former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Kavanaugh has since expressed doubts about investigating or prosecuting a sitting President. For example, he said, “Whether the Constitution allows indictment of a sitting President is debatable.” He has since become an ardent supporter of presidential power. Referring to the special counsel investigation of President Trump, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) this week told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “This seems to be the most self-serving person he (Trump) could choose to protect himself from this criminal investigation.” Senator Booker went on to call Kavanaugh a “political actor” and “get out of jail free card” who would protect Trump, advance the President’s agenda, and roll back rights and political victories progressives won in court over the years. and

    #SaveSCOTUS Effort Now Underway

    #SaveSCOTUS is a joint project of multiple organizations, such as MoveOn, the National Center for Transgender Equality and many others. The project has created a toolkit for opposing President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee ( and is a resource for resistance events nationwide. On the night of July 9, the national group Refuse Fascism staged a related protest outside of San Francisco’s Federal Building. The group, which includes many LGBTQ individuals and supporters, chanted: “No fascist Supreme Court, Trump and Pence have got to go.” and

    Hundreds of Immigrant Families, Activists Demand End to Family Detention

    Echoing the message of the Nationwide Day of Action, San Francisco organizers pushed to #AbolishICE through creative art and direct action. On Monday, July 2, outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters in San Francisco, hundreds of immigrant families, children, community organization leaders and allies rallied and took direct action to demand the end to family detention and the Muslim Ban, and to call for the dissolution of ICE. Some protesters carried placards stating, “Families Belong Together,” “No Human Is Illegal,” and “No Justice, No Peace.” There were American flags, rainbow flags, banners, drummers, chanting, marching and street theater. The message was clear by one activist: “The daily horrors being committed by the U.S. government against immigrant families and individuals at border crossings are a crime against humanity. Those on the frontlines who have been living with and resisting America’s hardline and inhumane immigration policies are warning us: what happens at the U.S.-Mexico borderlands is the laboratory for what happens in the rest of the country.”

    UCSF Seeks Participants for Major Health Research ‘Pride’ Study of U.S. LGBTQ Adults

    UCSF researchers Mitchell R. Lunn, MD and Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, are conducting the first-ever longitudinal health research study of LGBTQ adults in the U.S. The main question the team wants to answer over many years is: How does being a sexual or gender minority influence physical, mental or social health? “While it may seem like research is not important right now, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Kai River Blevins, SLDN Director of Education, Chapter & Veteran Services. “With better data about our community, we will not only be able to make policy changes, we will have a better understanding for ourselves of the challenges our community faces.” It takes about 60 minutes to complete all sections of enrollment, depending on the details of one’s health history. Participants will be asked questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and physical, mental and social health.

    Half of LGBTQ Employees in the U.S. Remain Closeted at Work

    HRC has released the results of a survey of employees across the nation, “A Workplace Divided,” revealing the persistent daily challenges that have led nearly half of LGBTQ people to remain closeted at their workplaces. “While LGBTQ-inclusive corporate policies are becoming the norm, LGBTQ workers too often face a climate of bias in their workplace,” said Deena Fidas, director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program. “LGBTQ employees are still avoiding making personal and professional connections at work because they fear coming out—and that hurts not only that employee, but the company as a whole. Even the best-of-the-best private sector employers with top-rated policies and practices must do more to nurture a climate of inclusion for all.”

    AIDS Walk SF Continues to Benefit Dozens of AIDS Service, Research and Education Organizations

    AIDS Walk San Francisco, which will take place this Sunday, July 15, has raised more than $90 million for HIV programs and services in the Bay Area since 1987. Last year, the thousands of participants—many of whom were members of corporate and community teams—raised more than $1.8 million. The primary beneficiaries are ACRIA, the world’s leading research organization on HIV and aging; Positive Resource Center and Project Open Hand.

    Nearly One Million Attended San Francisco’s 2018 Pride Parade

    More than 240 contingents—including floats, marching groups and more—took part in this year’s Pride Parade in San Francisco. The theme was “Generations of Strength.” Nearly one million onlookers and participants attended this year’s peaceful event under blue skies and that was kicked off per tradition by the always impressive Dykes on Bikes. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) called the theme very appropriate in the current political environment that has enveloped Washington. “There are so many people in the (LGBTQ) movement who have been fighting for generations and are still fighting for the right things,” Harris said. “We are going to fight for everyone’s equal rights, we are going to fight for always doing the right thing … especially in these moments where there are people sowing hate and division among us.”

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    Castro Community on Patrol Seeks Volunteers

    Castro Community on Patrol (CCOP) has been the City’s only “Walking Neighborhood Watch” since 2006. New volunteers allow CCOP to put teams out more frequently to keep the neighborhood safer. Volunteers walk in teams of three or more to provide visibility, report unsafe conditions and to educate the public about their own well-being. They ask for only one patrol (three hours) a month for a low commitment of time. The next free training workshop is on July 17. For more information and to sign up, go to