California lawmakers have passed a bill intended to fix a legal disparity that treats gay sex offences more severely than straight ones, despite far-right anger and death threats.
Gay Democratic lawmaker Scott Wiener was threatened with “public execution” after far-right conspiracy theorists latched onto his bill, SB 145, which seeks to close a loophole in California’s sexual offence laws.
Under current state law it is a crime to have sex with someone under the age of 18, but judges have a discretionary power to keep teenagers off the sex offenders’ register for having sex with people of a similar age, such as a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old.
However, the powers only apply to “penile-vaginal intercourse”, which means that LGBT+ teens are liable to be added to the sex offenders’ registry for having consensual sex, where straight teens are not.
Wiener’s bill to fix the issue has led to him being smeared a a “paedophile” by followers of QAnon – the far-reaching but unfounded conspiracy theory that, among other things, claims Donald Trump is at war with an elite, international ring of Satan-worshipping child sex traffickers.
California lawmakers pass bill to end sex offence disparity.
Despite attacks for simply trying to ensure existing laws apply equally to everyone, the bill cleared the California legislature on Monday (August 31), the last day of the legislative session.
It passed the California assembly by a vote of 41 to 18, before being approved by a vote of 23 to 10 in the state senate.
Despite merely seeking to apply the existing law for straight people to gay people, the bill faced opposition in the legislature, including from some Democrats.
It will now head to the desk of the state’s governor Gavin Newsom, who has until the end of September to sign it.
In a Facebook post, Wiener said the bill would “end discrimination against LGBTQ young people on the sex offender registry”.
He added: “Currently, these youth are forced onto the registry for consensual sex — even if a judge doesn’t think it’s appropriate — in situations where straight youth are not. This discrimination destroys lives.”
Scott Wiener faced ‘violent, homophobic, antisemitic attacks’ from far-right QAnon trolls.
One message received by Wiener reads: “You’re dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. I’ll publicly execute you. I’m gonna embarrass you. Paedophile.” Another threatens: “I’ll come cut your head off and deliver it to your mom if you even considering introducing your ‘bill’. Got it?”
In a Facebook post in August, Wiener wrote: “I’ve been the target of violent, homophobic, antisemitic attacks from the QAnon/anti-vax right, including death threats.
“I have thick skin — politics has a way of giving you that — but this has been scary, particularly with the assassination of a federal judge’s son last week.
“There is so much misinformation about SB 145 — similar to misinformation about COVID, vaccines, masks, and the like — and it’s hard to track where it starts. Those who think homophobia and antisemitism are over are not paying attention.”
Californians who haven’t paid their rent since March 1 because of the coronavirus can stay in their homes through at least Jan. 31 under a new state law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed late late Monday — one day before statewide eviction protections are set to expire.
The pandemic has devastated California’s economy, causing millions of people to lose their jobs as the government ordered businesses to close for months to slow the spread of the disease. In April, the Judicial Council of California — the rule-making authority for the state’s court system — halted most eviction and foreclosure proceedings during the pandemic.
But those protections end on Wednesday, meaning landlords could resume eviction proceedings on tenants who haven’t paid their rent.
Monday — the final day of the legislative session — state lawmakers approved a bill that would ban evictions for tenants who did not pay their rent between March 1 and Aug. 31 because of the pandemic. The bill would also ban evictions for those same tenants through Jan. 31, but only if the tenants pay at least 25% of the rent owed during that time.
Newsom signed the bill about an hour after lawmakers passed it. In a news release, Newsom called the law “a bridge to a more permanent solution” from the federal government.
“We need a real, federal commitment of significant new funding to assist struggling tenants and homeowners in California and across the nation,” Newsom said.
Tenants would have to sign a document, under penalty of perjury, that says they have experienced a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19. Wealthy tenants — defined as earning a salary of at least $100,000 or 130% of the area’s median income, whichever is higher — would have to show proof that they cannot pay.
The bill does not halt foreclosures for landlords whose tenants have stopped paying rent, but it does extend some state protections to rental properties of four units or less — protections previously only available to owner-occupied homes.
“It’s often said a sign of compromise is both side are dissatisfied, and that’s certainly true here,” Assemblyman David Chiu said, a Democrat from San Francisco and author of the bill. “This bill is an imperfect and necessary solution to an enormous crisis.”
Friday, September 412:00–1:00 p.m. Online programFree Careful financial planning ensures that our legacies live on by providing for our spouses, partners, children, relatives and friends. The second event in our two-part series offering estate-planning tools and resources for LGBTQ people, this workshop focuses on a range of financial-planning strategies and instruments. Attorney Alma Soongi Beck will discuss wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, marriage and domestic-partnership considerations, document language for nonbinary and transgender people, property tax, and co-ownership issues for unmarried couples who are not domestic partners. This event will include a Q & A session. Learn more about this series and how to plan for the future here. Register online here.
Saturday, September 1212:00–1:30 p.m. Online programFree | $5 suggested donation The search for a “patient zero” — popularly understood to be the first person infected in an epidemic — has been key to media coverage of major infectious-disease outbreaks for more than three decades. Yet the term itself did not exist before the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. At this event, historian Richard A. McKay will read selections from his book Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic (Chicago University Press, 2017) which examined how this idea came to exert such a strong grip on the scientific, media and popular consciousness. The book, which used materials in the GLBT Historical Society’s archives, focuses on the life of Gaëtan Dugas, a gay man who received widespread posthumous infamy when he was incorrectly identified as patient zero of the North American AIDS outbreak. McKay will also engage in a conversation with historian Gerard Koskovich about his archival research and take audience questions. Register online here.
Wednesday, September 166:00–7:30 p.m.Online programFree | $5 suggested donation
To celebrate the birthday of the iconic San Francisco disco diva Sylvester (1947–1988), join us at this event that will highlight the GLBT Historical Society’s archival holdings documenting the singer’s life and times. The society’s museum registrar and curatorial specialist, Ramón Silvestre, will present some of the Sylvester-related objects in our Art and Artifacts Collection. We will also be presenting clips of some of our archival footage, including a rare video of the diva’s 40th birthday celebration in 1987. This footage features some moving clips of Sylvester performing sentimental standards backed by a jazz band. Register online here.
Sunday, September 204:00 p.m.Sunday, September 271:00 p.m.Online programsTickets available from Frameline
The GLBT Historical Society is serving as a copresenter for two films focused on queer history at the 44th Frameline Festival, the world’s oldest and largest LGBTQ film festival. The full festival runs from September 17 to 27; each film is scheduled for a formal virtual screening, but will be available for viewing during the entire duration of the festival. For more information and to buy tickets, click on the film titles below or visit the Frameline Festival home page. Killing Patient Zero. Right-wing bigots exploited AIDS to demonize gay men, and no one was more villainized than Gaëtan Dugas, the Canadian flight attendant dubbed “Patient Zero” of the North American AIDS outbreak. In this groundbreaking documentary, director Laurie Lynd explodes the myth of Patient Zero using beautifully framed interviews with Dugas’s friends and the scientists who were unlocking the mystery of what was still known as the “gay cancer.” Killing Patient Zero is an important work of queer archaeology that shines an empathetic light on a generation traumatized not just by a virus but by society’s blame and vitriol. Screening: The formal screening takes place at 4:00 p.m. on September 20 and will be followed by a Q & A. Cured. For most of the 20th century, homosexuality was formally diagnosed as a mental illness and LGBTQ people were subject to drastic medical interventions posing as “cures.” But in 1973, in one of the most significant turning points in LGBTQ history, the American Psychiatric Association removed the stigma of mental illness from its medical manuals. This riveting documentary by Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer goes behind the scenes to reveal the inspiring, courageous efforts of the scrappy band of gay and lesbian activists in the 1960s and 1970s, both within and outside the psychiatric field, who took on the mainstream medical establishment’s views about homosexuality. Screening: the formal screening takes place at 1:00 p.m. on September 27 and will be followed by a Q & A.
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced the endorsement of five openly LGBTQ+ champions for local offices across California. The endorsements come just 76 days before the November 3, 2020 election.
Oakland City Council, At-Large: Rebecca Kaplan Tracy City Council, At Large: William Muetzenberg San Francisco Community College Board: Tom Temprano San Francisco Community College Board: Shanell Williams Desert Healthcare District 2020, Zone 1: Dr. Les Zendle
Names shown in bold indicate an openly LGBTQ candidate.
Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:
“Equality California is thrilled to officially endorse Rebecca Kaplan, William Muetzenberg, Tom Temprano, Shannell Williams and Dr. Les Zendle. They have shown themselves to be incredible advocates for our LGBTQ+ community and the diverse communities to which we belong. We look forward to the election of each of these candidates in November and urge everyone who can to vote for these amazing trailblazers.”
For a full list of Equality California’s 2020 endorsements to date, visit eqca.org/elections.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org
Multiple wildfires are burning in the greater North Bay. Cal Fire is referring to them collectively as the LNU Lightning Complex. LNU stands for Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, and you can find the latest evacuation info here. A map of the fire is available here. The biggest fires are:
Hennessey Fire (merged with Gamble, Green, Aetna, Markley, Morgan, Spanish and Round): Napa County, 299,763 acres, 33% contained
Walbridge Fire (merged with Stewarts): Sonoma County, west of Healdsburg, 54,923 acres, 17% contained
Meyers Fire: Sonoma County, north of Jenner, 2,360 acres, 97% contained
The LNU Lightning Complex in California’s Wine Country saw minimal spread overnight, growing from 356,326 acres to 357,046 acres, according to Cal Fire’s Wednesday morning status report.
Before nightfall, containment stood at 27%. This morning it is at 33%.
The LNU Complex started as a group of blazes sparked by lightning strikes more than a week ago. As fires merged, it grew into a monstrous inferno, leveling California’s parched landscape and incinerating homes. The third-largest fire in California history, the LNU Complex is spread across five counties: Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Solano and Yolo.
Crews were focused on increased fire activity outside the town of Middletown in Lake County overnight. Crews are setting backfires and using bulldozers and hand crews to solidify containment lines.
“If you look at that whole northern portion of the fire that’s going into Lake County is where we’ve been putting our efforts to wrap around it,” Cal Fire public information officer Chris Bridger said Tuesday night. “You have Calistoga down below it and Middletown above it. There are a lot of residences in there. That portion of the fire was our priority today, and we’re working to get lines wrapped around that area.”
KTVU reported that aircraft were unable to take off from the Cal Fire heliport in Lake County on Tuesday due to active fires and thick smoke.
“Firefighters performed what is called a backfiring operation,” KTVU reported. “Backfiring operations are fires deliberately set so that the fire burns up the hill instead of down the hill where it has an open field run toward Middletown.”
“This is the last, most difficult part of the fire,” Chris Waters, the Cal Fire operations section chief, said at a Tuesday press briefing. With good weather conditions over the next few days, he’s hopeful crews will make progress by the end of the week.
The number of homes destroyed continues to grow as ground crews conduct investigations in burn areas. The latest count is more than 978 structures destroyed, 256 damaged and 30,500 threatened.
Crews have gained containment of the fire in recent days with cooler temperatures, humid conditions and stable winds suppressing fire activity and allowing firefighters to build containment lines. A huge win came on Monday when the North Bay dodged thunderstorms moving across Northern California; the lightning and erratic winds in the forecast never materialized.
The fire has taken five lives and injured four civilians.
Cal Fire has reduced some evacuation orders to warnings, and many evacuated zones are expected to be repopulated in the coming days, Cal Fire officials said Tuesday. For full evacuation orders and changes, visit here.
FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services announced survivors of the numerous wildfires across Northern California may now register for financial assistance from the federal government. Funds will go toward home repair and replacement, rent, and other miscellaneous expenses. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov/ for more information.
No matter where you live, catastrophe can strike without warning. Even if you’re not susceptible to hurricanes or floods, you could be at risk for unpredictable disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, chemical spills or even a house fire. Alice Moon-Fanelli, Ph.D., a certified-applied animal behaviorist with Animal Behavior Consultations in Brooklyn, Connecticut, can attest firsthand that crises happen when you least expect them. Several years ago, her chimney burst into flames. “My husband yelled at me to get the cats,” she says. “The crates were in the cellar. Who plans on having a nightmare? As soon as the carriers came out, the cats disappeared.” So, how do you evacuate with cats?
How to evacuate with cats? Start by planning ahead.
Get your cat acclimated to her carrier before disaster strikes. Photography by Kachalkina Veronika / Shutterstock.
According to the American Kennel Club, approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires every year. In the event your kitchen catches fire or you’re ordered to evacuate, you need an emergency plan in place that includes your cats.
Jim Carson, who has a cat named Indiana and dog named Heidi, also had a close encounter with a house fire. At 1 a.m., firefighters woke him up, concerned that a nearby house fire could spread to his home.
“I kept carrying cages in the front closet,” he says. “It was quick and efficient, and I would never think about keeping them anywhere else. The outside situation was chaos and the animals were scared to death. I was able to put them in the car and out of harm’s way. I have no doubt that if they weren’t in the cages they’d have bolted.”
The Electrical Safety Foundation International suggests attaching a pet alert sticker to a window near your front door. If you get outside without your cat, immediately tell firefighters your pet is trapped inside. Don’t go back in once you are outside.
When you evacuate, never leave your animals behind even if officials promise you’ll only be gone for a few minutes. If it isn’t safe for you, it’s not safe for your cat. A few minutes can expand into weeks before you’re permitted to return.
Dr. Dick Green, the senior director of disaster response for the ASPCA, says because disasters such as train derailments or earthquakes provide no warning, “we have to be dependent on preplanning. Anticipate. If you get word of a nearby wildfire, put [your pet] in the safe room with his toys, food and bed.
How to get your cat safely in his carrier during an emergency:
Cats can be challenging to catch during an emergency because they instinctively hide from danger. Of course, the best-case scenario includes a well-trained cat trotting into his carrier. However, since most cats associate the appearance of the carrier with the vet, they hide. Instead of bringing the carriers out first, slip a cotton pillowcase over the cat. Once he’s in the pillowcase, slide him into a carrier and head for safety.
Because your animal may not be able to hear your voice over alarms Herb Carver (aka The Catastrophe Geek) recommends training your cat to respond to a whistle. If you’re unable to catch him, you can whistle to him in a disaster’s aftermath.
Just like fire drills in school, go through the motions occasionally, says Lynn Molnar, founder and president of Thankful Paws mobile food bank for pets. “Know where you will drive to be safe,” she says. “Pick several locations, just in case something prevents you from taking your preferred route. If you have a plan and stay calm, your cat will too. They take their emotional cues from us.”
Be proactive if a disaster like a hurricane or flood is even a possibility.
When you are given a lot of warning time, as with a hurricane or rising floodwaters, be proactive. Take a day of vacation and leave the potentially affected area early. You won’t need to take as many supplies. A three-day supply of cat food, water and cat litter should suffice. Your destination will have grocery stores.
Survival Weekly’s Jim Cobb warns shelters may require proof of immunizations, so have a complete copy of those records in your evacuation kit.
If your community doesn’t have an emergency shelter for people and pets, start the conversation now, and ask about how to start one. There are lots of pet people out there: As soon as one person speaks up, other people will join in to help!
Make sure your cat has identification.
Your cat should wear current rabies tags and a name tag engraved with your cell phone as well as a relative’s number. Should you become separated, his ID tags will provide information that can reunite you. But remember collars can come off, and with them your pet’s identity.
A microchip ensures your pet will never become separated from his ID. And equally as important as implanting the chip is registering it and notifying the registry whenever your contact information changes. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, keep a picture of him on your cell phone for identification purposes.
Prepare an evacuation kit.
Each pet needs his own carrier and a “go bag” with everything he’ll need during an evacuation. Keep emergency provisions in sturdy containers that can be carried easily (plastic tub, duffle bags, covered trash containers, etc.). Tape the checklist below to it. Make note whenever you replace food, water and medications (every six months is a good method).
Your cat’s emergency kit should include:
An accessible carrier for every pet. You don’t want to have to dig under 20 years of Cat Fancy back issues in the attic when Barney Fife is telling you to leave. Carriers should be large enough for your cat to stand up and turn around in. Line the carrier floor with puppy pads or give kitty a shoebox litter box. Write your contact information in permanent marker on the carrier and duct tape his photo to it.
A photo of each of your pets and a description of their breed, age, sex, color, and markings.
Copies of your cat’s medical and vaccination records. In the event your vet’s clinic receives a direct impact, you’ve lost those records. Veterinary records may be needed for transport across state lines.
Photocopies of ownership papers and city license.
A list of phone numbers including: your veterinarian, pet-friendly motels, emergency clinic, animal poison control center, and area animal shelters.
Cat food — at least a three-day supply or two weeks, depending on your situation. If you feed wet food, look for the pouches or small cans with pull tabs, says Paul Purcell of Disaster Prep 101. ”You may be in a situation with no power for refrigeration so food cannot be stored. Duct tape a three-gallon bag filled with dry food to the side of the carrier and regularly replace old food with fresh kibble. Don’t forget your kitty’s comfort food.
Water. One gallon per pet per day.
Food and water bowls.
Harness with a D-ring for a leash. If you or shelter volunteers need to scoop the litter box, a harness gives you more control over a frightened, fractious cat who could slip out of his safety collar.
Medications. If your cat requires maintenance medications, ask your vet for a two-week supply in pills or un-reconstituted powder, or keep an unfilled drug prescription with your evacuation paperwork.
Litter box, litter scoop, preferred brand of litter, and plastic bags for poop. Aluminum baking pans make great disposable litter boxes.
Paper towels and baby wipes.
Pet first aid kit.
Comfort items. A beloved toy, blanket or bed reassures your kitty that everything is going to be OK. Place one of your unwashed T-shirts in a zippered plastic bag. It can be used as bedding and make him feel more at ease.
Brush/comb, for long-haired pets.
Tranquilizers or calming remedies. Rescue Remedy, Feliway, etc.
Duct tape, in case the carrier is damaged.
Have you ever had to evacuate with your cat? Tell us how it went in the comments.
The impact of COVID-19 has been difficult for the San Francisco Bay Times, as it has for so many small businesses. We are scraping and tinkering with our operation to make sure everything is efficient and tidy. The paper continues as does our online SF BAY TIMES website , Castro Street Cam , e-blast system, and our very popular Social Media. Please “like” us on Facebook .
But we need your help! Your support is graciously appreciated and we thank you, in advance, for joining Team SFBT, making it possible for us to continue our services in all formats. Click the link below to find out more about why we’re asking and how you can help! CLICK HERE TO FIND THE CAMPAIGN
On Sunday August 16th, 2020, Instagram influencer Eden the Doll and her friends Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene White Rose were robbed, beaten, and chased through the streets of Hollywood.
The incident began when the women were waiting for an Uber and one of the men stole Eden’s phone. The group started throwing objects at the women as they tried to retrieve the phone and mocked them.
To make matters worse, one of the attackers posted a video of it all to social media.
The video shows passersby refusing to help as the women pleaded for assistance and laughing at them as they were attacked on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
One man who passes by stops to take multiple photos of the women in the street. A woman passing by refuses to help, saying she doesn’t see blood so it must not be too bad. A police car drives up but quickly leaves without stopping as Eden cradles an unconscious Jaslene in the street.
“This was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me,” Jaslene posted on Instagram with photos of the attackers. “Not just the fact that I was hit by a grown man, but because there were so many men watching this happen to me and my friends. And we begged for someone to call the police, but they were too busy recording and laughing.”
According to HRC, at least 26 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. in the year 2020, and most of them are Black transgender women. Many stories go unreported in the media and police frequently misgender victims, which means that the real number is likely higher.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people are at a higher risk than other populations for violence and violent death. The HRC says “a toxic mix of transphobia, racism and misogyny” makes Black transgender women particularly vulnerable to transphobic attacks.
Mitch O’Farrell, council member of the 13th district of the City of Los Angeles released a statement pertaining to the incident. O’Farrell states “The video of three transgender women of color being physically attacked, chased, robbed, and jeered at by a hostile crowd of cisgender men and women has me infuriated-and- determined to see all perpetrators are brought to justice. I spoke with LAPD Capt. Lurie and he assured me that a full investigation has been launched and detectives are making significant progress. My office will continue to monitor the situation until there is a full resolution. Transgender women face a disproportionate amount of violence and I will continue my mission of doing everything in my power to ensure their safety anywhere in Los Angeles and in the 13th district where we welcome everyone.”
A spokesperson for the LAPD told The Pride LA that the incident was under active investigation and would be labeled a hate crime. They are also reviewing the response of officers in the area one squad car, in particular, passed by the scene with its lights activated en route to another emergency call according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Who also added that he planned to find out what call the first officer was responding to, whether the officer realized what was happening to the women as he passed by, whether the officer alerted dispatch to the incident and “whether or not we took appropriate action.”
Update: Two men are in custody. Willie Walker, 42, was arrested in Hollywood Wednesday and on an extortion charge, police said on Friday August 21st, and Carlton Callway, 29, was arrested Thursday on a robbery charge with a hate crime enhancement. Police said they’re still looking for 22-year-old Davion Williams, who is suspected of assaulting the victims with a deadly weapon.
Voting is now open for the 2020 History Makers Award!
The people nominated represent an incredible range of advocates, organizers, artists, community builders and more who have all made history. We are excited to have such incredible public engagement and look forward to highlighting the finalists and more folks from throughout our history at Reunion: Making History on Friday, October 16.
Click on the button below to cast your vote on the finalists and let your voice be heard. Voting closes on Tuesday August 25, 2020.
This process uses approval voting, so you can support as many people as you believe are deserving of an award. Anyone who wishes to vote is eligible. After August 25th, the top vote recipients will be presented to the GLBT Historical Society’s Board of Directors for final confirmation. The list of honorees will be announced publicly by Tuesday, September 1 and to members and gala registrants in advance. Click here to become a member, or here to register for the live broadcast on October 16th, as well as sneak peeks of early content along the way.
Interested in becoming a Sponsor or a Virtual Table Captain? Click on the buttons below to learn more about how you can get involved and help us raise funds to continue preserving and sharing our irreplaceable history.
There are six different indicators that can land a county on the watch list:
1. A seven-day average of fewer than 150 tests conducted per 100,000 residents
2. More than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days
3. More than 25 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days AND a seven-day average of test positivity over 8%
4. A 10% increase in the three-day-average for hospitalizations
5. Having less than 20% of ICU beds available
6. Having less than 25% of ventilators available
All nine Bay Area counties remain on the list, which was previously frozen while state officials cleared a backlog of 300,000 unreported test results and disseminated new data to individual counties. While county websites still have yet to update case counts and test positivity from the past two weeks, the state’s site reports updated case figures from the past 14 days for each county.
The state site shows that not a single Bay Area county is close to coming off the list anytime soon, as all nine are well over the state’s threshold of 100 recorded cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days.
Here’s where all nine Bay Area counties currently stand:
Cases over last 14 days: 216 per 100K residents
Other indicators marked: None
Cases over last 14 days: 281 per 100K residents
Other indicators marked: None
Cases over last 14 days: 260.4 per 100K residents
Other indicators marked: None
Cases over last 14 days: 204.1 per 100K residents
Other indicators marked: None
Cases over last 14 days: 146.3 per 100K residents
Other indicators marked: None
Cases over last 14 days: 170.2 per 100K residentsMore for you
“It is possible that our county may remain on the watch list for a very long time because we aren’t going to be able to change those behaviors adequately to reduce the numbers,” he said. “The cause of the outbreak is something we have very little control over.”