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Gay News Briefs — Feb. 17, 2017

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Gay News Briefs, News, Opinion & News | No Comments

SAN DIEGO JOINS AMICUS BRIEF CHALLENGING PRESIDENTIAL EO

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the San Diego City Council voted almost unanimously to join the amicus brief along with other cities across the nation, which will challenge the executive order brought forward by the President of the United States restricting non-citizen travel to the U.S.

“I’ve been overwhelmed in recent months as tens of thousands of San Diegans have mobilized themselves in defense of each other and the values of respect and inclusiveness that define our city,” Councilmember Chris Ward said in a press release announcing the vote. “I’ve been proud to stand with them in those efforts and today, I’m proud that their City Council has said loud and clear that we will continue to fight for you.”

Ward called the vote “an important first step” for San Diego as it begins to assess how it will respond to efforts by the executive branch, which will “threaten to undermine the safety of our communities and the human rights of all our neighbors.”

Ward, who took office in December, represents District 3 including the communities of Downtown, Little Italy, Bankers Hill, Mission Hills, Middletown, Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, Normal Heights, Old Town, South Park and Golden Hill.

ATKINS INTRODUCES BILL TO EASE NAME AND GENDER CHANGES

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, state Sen. Toni G. Atkins introduced Senate Bill 310, which offers to help ease the name-change and gender-change application process for transgender prisoners within the state of California.

State Sen. Toni G. Atkins

“SB 310 guarantees that people who are incarcerated can submit their legal request for a name change or a name-and-gender change in the same manner as non-incarcerated people,” stated a press release that announced the bill. “This gives incarcerated transgender people the ability to match their legal identification with their gender identity, which gives them a sense of validation during incarceration and increases their chances for successful reentry into society.

“People who are incarcerated should have the same right as anyone else to legally change their name or gender and be recognized for who they are,” Atkins said in the press release. “SB 310 will simply ensure that incarcerated transgender people have equal access to the courts by removing the possibility for arbitrary or retaliatory denials.”

The bill would guarantee prisoners the same legal process afforded to non-incarcerated people and to match their legal identification with their identity. It would also require prison staff to use any new name established in the process.

Janetta Johnson, executive director of the Transgender, Gender-Variant, Intersex Justice Project, said the bill will bring back some of the dignity lost to those transgender people residing in prisons across the state.

“It is important, especially during this current political moment, that our folks inside prisons and jails can finally claim their name and gender as they are,” Johnson said.

For more information, visit senate.ca.gov/Atkins.

ESCAPE ON AN OVERNIGHT TRIP TO BAJA’S WINE COUNTRY

The Wine Pub — located in Point Loma and a participant in the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Dining Out for Life event — recently announced plans to offer an all-inclusive overnight trip to Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe.

The trip promises to be one of both adventure and relaxation in Baja’s popular wine country region, organizers said.

“Valle de Guadalupe has so much to offer that we often felt it difficult to fit all the magic into just one day,” Wine Pub owner Sandy Hanshaw said in a press release. “With the overnight trip, guests can enjoy the wineries and soak in the beauty of the region in greater depth.”

The trip will begin at 8 a.m. at The Wine Pub, located at 2907 Shelter Island Drive #108, in Point Loma, on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 25. Destinations listed on the itinerary for day one include dining at Tortas Washmobile and Corazón de Tierra, as well as stops at the following wineries: Paralelo, TrasLomita and Alximia.

Day two will include downtime and a wine-pairing meal at Almazara with Magoni wines and an afternoon craft beer tasting at Agua Mala Brewery before participants head back across the border on Sunday, Feb. 26.

The tour will be led by Hanshaw and wine expert Fernando Gaxiola, whose family is one of the largest importers of wines from the region. Tickets are $495 per person for double occupancy; $455 for triple occupancy; and $635 for single occupancy. All transportation, fees, meals, expedited border crossing and lodging are included.

Reservations are required. Visit tinyurl.com/hu22var for tickets and more information.

IMPERIAL COURT LAUNCHES ‘CIVIL RIGHTS ARM’

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the governing body of the International Imperial Court (ICC), including activists from Canada, Mexico and across the U.S., converged upon San Diego to celebrate the 45th annual Coronation of the Imperial Court de San Diego and have its annual meeting. During the meeting, the ICC announced the launch of “The National GLBT Network U.S.A,” a new civil rights organization to be run by the Imperial Court System.

Established in the wake of the recent U.S. presidential election and the national Women’s March, which drew court members in cities all across the nation, the National GLBT Network U.S.A. will be open to all with a mission of working with other national LGBT organizations to continue the fight for full equality.

“The next four years will be an especially critical time for the GLBT rights movement and our allies,” San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, the new national chair and the executive director of the new National GLBT Network U.S.A., said in a press release.

The Imperial Court System has a history of activism and has joined in the fight for LGBT rights since its inception.

“We will be working with the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Human Rights Fund, the Victory Fund and other civil rights organizations,” Scott Seibert, national vice-chair and deputy director, said in the release. Seibert resides in Portland, Oregon.

“The next four years now more than ever all GLBT organizations, clubs, churches, etc. must get more involved in our continuing fight for equality,” Seibert said.

For more information, visit nationalglbtnetworkusa.org.

GLORIA INTRODUCES BILL TO END CRIMINALIZATION OF HIV

Assemblymember Todd Gloria of San Diego and state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco recently jointly introduced a bill that not only seeks to modernize current state HIV laws, but will help end stigmatization of those with HIV. Assemblymember David Chu, also of San Francisco, is a co-author of SB 239.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria is co-sponsoring SB 239, to decriminalize and
destigmatize HIV.

“It’s time for California to reevaluate the way it thinks about HIV/AIDS and reduce the stigma associated with the disease,” Gloria said in a press release announcing the bill. “Current state law related to those living with HIV is unfair because it is based on the fear and ignorance of a bygone era. With this legislation, California takes an important step to update our laws to reflect the medical advances which no longer make a positive diagnosis equal to a death sentence.”

The bill would repeal many of the criminal laws related to HIV that were initially enacted in the early days of the AIDS crisis when fear overrode science, and many imposed harsh penalties for those simply living with the disease.

Weiner called the laws “discriminatory, not based in science and detrimental to our HIV prevention goals.”

Many of the laws the bill will address dealt with the quarantining of people.

“California passed these discriminatory criminal laws and singled out people with HIV for harsher punishment than people with other communicable diseases,” Weiner said in the release. “It’s time to move beyond stigmatizing, shaming, and fearing people who are living with HIV. It’s time to repeal these laws, use science-based approaches to reduce HIV transmission — instead of fear-based approaches — and stop discriminating against our HIV-positive neighbors.”

The bill is backed by the ACLU of California, Equality California, the Black AIDS Institute, APLA Health, Lambda Legal, and Positive Women’s Network – USA. All these organizations are part of the Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform (CHCR), a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and other health service providers, civil rights organizations, and public health professionals dedicated to ending the criminalization of HIV in California.

BIKE-FRIENDLY CAFÉ TO OPEN IN POINT LOMA

Avid bike riders and coffee consumers now have a place to meet and mingle. “The Coffee Hub and Café” — a locally owned, “bike inspired café” — has been serving breakfast and lunch since its soft opening Feb. 4, and will have a grand opening Saturday, March 4, from 8 a.m. to noon.

On that day, the community is invited to participate in bike-themed activities and conversation, while drinking complimentary coffee and raising money for children’s creativity programs. Bike frames painted by children and local artists will be auctioned off for the charity.

“We wanted the introduction of the Coffee Hub to encompass our community values, including tasty coffee and local causes,” Coffee Hub & Café owner Sandy Hanshaw said in a press release. “At the grand opening, we’ll share coffee with old friends and new customers while giving back to this one-of-a-kind group of artists making our neighborhood a better place.”

Hanshaw’s husband, Andy Hanshaw, is the executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

As part of the grand opening, those on bikes will be invited to embark on a “casual tour” of noteworthy Point Loma sites before returning to bid on the bike frames.

For more information, visit Facebook.com/CoffeeHubSD.

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