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Preview: SFGate Features: Gay & Lesbian

Gay & Lesbian


Mayor names new adviser for transgender issues: Clair Farley of SFLGBT Center

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:19:13 UT

Prominent transgender advocate Clair Farley has been appointed to be San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s senior adviser on transgender initiatives, the mayor’s office announced Monday. Farley, currently director of economic development at the San Francisco LGBT Center, will replace Theresa Sparks, who’s retiring at the end of the year after working for the city in various capacities for two decades. “Clair Farley has been an inspirational leader in our city on LGBTQ economic and social rights issues,” Lee said in a statement.

Moore supporters’ hostility worries LGBT advocates

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:57:04 UT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A smiling Roy Moore stood shoulder to shoulder with his fiercest religious allies. Flanked by a sign for Moore’s Senate campaign, one supporter railed against the “LGBT mafia” and “homosexualist gay terrorism.” Another warned that “homosexual sodomy” destroys those who participate in it and the nations that allow it. Still another described same-sex marriage as “a mirage” because “it’s phony and fake.

LGBT activists make gains at local level

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 21:11:12 UT

At the U.S. Capitol and in most statehouses nationwide, supporters of LGBT rights are unable to make major gains these days. Instead, they’re notching victories in seemingly unlikely venues, such as Morgantown, W.Va., and Birmingham, Ala. They are among scores of cities and towns in Republican-governed states that have acted on their own, passing resolutions and ordinances pledging nondiscrimination protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the absence of comparable statewide laws. De Pere, Wisconsin — a Green Bay suburb not noted for LGBT activism — took a big step last week toward joining the movement.

Harvey Milk memorialized in light and art in the Castro

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 14:15:16 UT

Before the rain came the rainbow. On the 40th anniversary of the election of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, shafts of multicolored LED lights rose into the clouds as “Harvey’s Halo” came alive in the Castro on Wednesday night. The light sculptures shine from the top of the old Bank of America building at Harvey Milk Plaza at the corner of Market and Castro and were created by Illuminate, the nonprofit that has bedazzled the Bay Bridge and the Conservatory of Flowers, and is slowly transforming the city’s skyline in LED. An estimated crowd of 600 stood on both sides of Castro Street to watch the dedication.

Who are California’s transgender adults? New study finds some surprises

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 07:01:00 UT

Transgender adults in California have about the same poverty and education levels as people who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, but they are more likely to be white and to be struggling with suicidal impulses, according to a new UCLA study. The report, which is being released Tuesday as part of UCLA’s annual California Health Interview Survey, found that there are an estimated 92,000 transgender adults in California, or 0.35 percent of the state’s over-18 population. UCLA billed the study as the most comprehensive survey of transgender demographics ever conducted in California.

Global trend favors decriminalizing same-sex relations

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 21:31:31 UT

UNITED NATIONS — Laws criminalizing consensual gay sex have been scrapped in about 25 countries in the last 20 years, but more than 70 nations still have such prohibitions, according to a U.N. expert. And in many places around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people live in “a crucible of egregious violations” of human rights, enduring violence and discrimination, said Vitit Muntarbhorn, the U.N.’s first-ever independent expert investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. The world body’s Human Rights Council appointed him last year, in a move that met significant opposition amid deep international divisions on gay rights.

Prominent chefs oppose baker in major gay rights case

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:05:39 UT

WASHINGTON — Prominent chefs, bakers and restaurant owners want the Supreme Court to rule against a Colorado baker who wouldn’t make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. The food makers say that once they open their doors for business, they don’t get to choose their customers. They say that abiding by laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation does not strip them of creative control of a dish or a pastry. Celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Elizabeth Falkner and Carla Hall, the owners of a popular Washington, D.C., cupcake shop and a small-town baker from Mississippi are among those who are signing onto a legal brief being written by the Human Rights Campaign.

Not illegal to be gay in Indonesia, but police are cracking down anyway

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:24:50 UT

JAKARTA, Indonesia — In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, homosexuality is legal and the state largely stays out of issues of private morality. But as conservative religious groups become more prominent in political life here, police are increasingly finding other ways to crack down on LGBT communities. This weekend they arrested 58 Indonesians and foreigners at a Jakarta sauna popular with gay men, allegedly for violating the country’s pornography laws.

Dozens arrested in raid on gays in Indonesia

Sun, 8 Oct 2017 20:53:37 UT

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Dozens of men, including several foreigners, were arrested in a raid of a gay sauna in Indonesia’s capital, police said Sunday, as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face increased hostility in the world’s most-populous Muslim nation. Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Friday’s raid in downtown Jakarta will lead to seven people being charged under Indonesia’s pornography law, including the sauna’s owner and staffers. They face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and fines. Yuwono said the other 51 men will be released if they are found to not be criminals or carrying drugs.

1st gay couples in Germany celebrate new right to marry

Sun, 1 Oct 2017 21:48:28 UT

BERLIN — Germany celebrated its first same-sex weddings Sunday, after a new law came into force putting gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples. Town halls in Berlin, Hamburg and elsewhere opened their doors to mark the event, made possible by a surprise vote in Parliament three months ago. “We’re making a single exception to fire a symbolic starter pistol because same-sex marriages are possible from today,” said Gordon Holland, a registrar in Berlin’s Schoeneberg district. Holland said it was appropriate for Schoeneberg to hold the first same-sex wedding in the country because it has long been a center of gay life in the German capital.

News of the Day From Across the Nation

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 23:32:11 UT

1 Mormon conference: A top Mormon leader reaffirmed the religion’s opposition to same-sex marriage Saturday during a church conference in Salt Lake City watched by members around the world. Dallin Oaks, a member of a top governing body, urged members to follow church teachings that dictate that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual men and women. The speech followed a push in recent years by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to uphold theological opposition to same-sex relationships amid widespread social acceptance while trying to foster an empathetic stance toward LGBT people. The church received backlash in 2008 for helping lead the fight for a ban on gay marriage in California.

Brontez Purnell reading, performance at City Lights

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:34:06 UT

Brontez Purnell, a fixture of the Bay Area queer-punk-art scene for more than a decade, will read from his novel, “Since I Laid My Burden Down,” at City Lights on Wednesday, Sept. 20. His band, the Younger Lovers, is also set to perform. The reading and performance begin at 7 p.m. at City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco. — Ryan Kost

Pelosi on hand to help GLAAD honor LGBT media leaders

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 21:03:36 UT

Don Lemon’s responsibility as a CNN anchor fell second to his responsibility as an openly gay public figure, even as Hurricane Irma neared the coast of Florida. When it became clear a major and deadly weather event would strike the South on the very weekend he was due to receive an award from GLAAD, the cable news anchor asked his boss what to do. “He said, ‘You’ve got to go,’” Lemon explained, standing on the red carpet of City View atop the Metreon on Saturday night. “So Anderson (Cooper) is doing double duty.” Lemon described awards from GLAAD, a 32-year-old national organization that monitors the media on LGBTQ issues, as “the Oscars of gay awards.

Cheery, colorful Oakland Pride day draws thousands, puts politics aside

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 22:12:59 UT

For a few hours Sunday morning, Oakland residents forgot about the hurricane hurtling across Florida, the wildfires scorching the state and the national politics that consume conversation. Instead, they spent those blissful hours in a more celebratory mood, waving rainbow flags for the annual Oakland Pride. Thousands of people flooded the city’s main roadways for a parade, marching from Oakland City Hall to a festival at Broadway and 20th Street. Women braided rainbow feathers into their long hair, and children wore rainbow flags draped over their shoulders like capes. Revelers knotted rainbow bandannas into the collars of their dogs.

Stunning debut in masterful LGBT coming-of-age study

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 20:15:23 UT

The bold, masterful “Beach Rats,” one of the most exquisitely haunting LGBT coming-of-age stories ever told, takes place in the unhip fringes of Brooklyn, a land that time has forgotten. But nothing about this film is forgettable. Frankie (Harris Dickinson, in a breathtaking debut) is an aimless 19-year-old who spends most of his time smoking pot and hanging out with homophobic hoods — when he’s not secretly chatting with older men on online cruising sites. He has no job, his father is dying of cancer, and he’s trapped in a world where it’s impossible to be himself.