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Posts for March, 2014

San Diego Mayor co-chairs marriage equality group

Timothy Kincaid

March 27th, 2014

From Freedom to Marry:

Today Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego became a chair of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, joining fellow chairs Kasim Reed of Atlanta; Julián Castro of San Antonio; Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Annise Parker of Houston; Greg Stanton of Phoenix; and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.

“I am a strong supporter of marriage equality,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I came to my decision after speaking with my fellow San Diegans about the importance of ensuring that everyone in love has access to the respect, dignity and protections offered by marriage. I value freedom, family, and individual liberty, and I’m proud to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry to continue making the case for marriage nationwide.”

The group has about 400 mayors from cities in 38 states.

San Diego mayoral candidate leaves Republican Party

Timothy Kincaid

March 28th, 2012

San Diego is beautiful. The weather is lovely, Balboa Park is peaceful, housing isn’t insane, and the people are generally nice. If I win the lottery, San Diego is on my possible cities list.

San Diego is also home of an odd mix of political views: pro-business, pro-military, pro-gay. It’s currently helmed by Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican former chief of police who is a fierce advocate for marriage equality.

But Sanders’ term is up and there are four credible candidates running to replace him: three Republicans and a Democrat. Or there were three Republicans until today; State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher – who gave an eloquent endorsement for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on the Assembly Floor – just left the Party to become Independent.

Which leaves only two Republican candidates: District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and City Councilman Carl DeMaio, both of whom are gay.

No one in San Diego thinks this is odd.

A mayoral race without “values” distractions

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2012

The term of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, an advocate for our community, is coming to an end and San Diegans will be selecting a new mayor. Their choices are Democrat Bob Filner or Republicans Nathan Fletcher, Carl DeMaio, or Bonnie Dumanis.

Filner, a congressman, has taken action to support our community in a possible hate crime and in challenging our nation’s relationship with Uganda.

Fletcher, an assemblyman and former marine, is best known to our community for his articulate and compelling speech calling for the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Fletcher is endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans.

Carl DeMaio, city counselor, is in a relationship with Jonathan Hale, the publisher of the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.

Bonnie Dumanis, attorney general, married her wife, Denese Neleson, in 2008 during the window of marriage opportunity.

All candidates are in agreement on issues of importance to our community, including marriage equality. Which means that in San Diego, candidates can compete on the positions and ideas that will best benefit the city without distractions over what portion of the populace should not receive the same rights as others.

Congratulations, San Diego.

The Daily Agenda for Friday, 11/11/11

Jim Burroway

November 11th, 2011

TODAY’S AGENDA (OURS):
Veterans Day: Nationwide. This will be the first Veterans Day commemoration since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which means that this will be the first Veterans Day commemoration in which gay and lesbian servicemembers will be able to participate fully. I know of two cities  in which LGBT veterans will be celebrated as part of the mainstream events:

  • San Diego, CA: San Diego LGBT Pride extends its welcome to all LGBT veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families and supporters to walk with us in the San Diego Veterans Day Parade. The contingent will meet at 10am on the west side of the north Parking lot of the Country Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego CA 92101. The Parade will kick off at 11am.
  • San Francisco, CA: Today’s 92nd annual Veterans Day Parade will be led by San Francisco Freedom Day Marching Band. “It’s just the right thing to do,” said Wallace Levin, the parade coordinator. “Future generations of Americans will look back on this issue and wonder what all the fuss was about.” The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Market and Montgomery streets, and will go down Market Street to McAllister Street and then continue up McAllister to the reviewing stand across from City Hall.

I’m sure there are others. If you know of any, please let us know in the comments.

Lou Engle at TheCall in Nashville, 2007

TODAY’S AGENDA (THEIRS):
Lou Engle’s TheCall Rally: Detroit, MI. Engle is apparently transfixed by certain numbers when they repeat themselves on the calendar. When July 7, 2007 rolled around, Engle held a TheCall rally in Nashville which he believed would mark the end of a forty year period of rebellion since the “Summer of Love” in 1967. Apparently believe that God conforms himself to the man-made western Gregorian calendar, Engle has managed to read some sort of significance into the date 11/11/11, although what that would be is anybody’s guess. Targeting the substantial Arab-American community of Dearborn, Engle’s goal for TheCall Detroit is the conversion of “millions of Muslims” to Christianity and what he calls the transformation of “urban communities.” And gays. Don’t forget the gays, although it looks like he really has his sights set on Muslims this time. He took care of the gays in 2010 at a rally in Kampala, Uganda, where he lent tactical support for the proposed “Kill the Gays” Bill.

Today’s rally begins tonight at 6:00 p.m. and continues for twenty-four hours until tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. And Engle has issued some pretty crazy warnings if he doesn’t get a massive turnout in Detroit: ” If we actually have The Call and you don’t sustain prayer ongoing you open a vacuum for demons seven times worse to come in. If black and white can’t move together in prayer and sustain it, forget it let’s not even go there, you get demons seven times worse.” So yeah, there’s that to chew on.

TODAY IN HISTORY:
Woman Who Posed As Man 60 Years, Dead: 1907. That was the headline in The Trinidad (Colorado) Advertiser above this news item:

Katherine Vosbaugh, who for sixty years posed as a man, wearing male garb, living the rough life of the pioneers in the Southwest and who even “married” another woman, died yesterday morning at the San Raphael Hospital in this city, where she had been a county charge since he secret of her life was discovered by Dr. T.J. Forham, of this city two years ago.

Born nearly four-score years ago in France of a good family, this remarkable woman donned male garb when but a slip of a girl, came to America and worked as a back clerk, bookkeeper, restauranteur, cook, and sheep herder for over half a century without her sex being known.

In July, two years ago, “Frenchy,” a cook and sheep herder on the Sam Brown ranch, near this city, was taken with pneumonia and brought to the hospital where her secret was revealed. Even then, this strange woman refused to wear skirts. Clad in regulation man’s attire, she has since worked about the hospital and was known by the nickname of “Grandpa.”

Katherine Vosbaugh was left an orphan at the age of twenty years. Her father, a well educated man of considerable means, gave her an excellent business education. At hi death she was an expert accountant and spoke her native tongue, English, German, and Hungarian. Her only motive in assuming the disguise at first seems to have been to enable her more easily to secure employment.

She worked in several cities all over the country before settling at Joplin, Mo., where she worked for fifteen years as a bank clerk, and it was in this city where she married. The name of her “wife” was never learned, but the ceremony seems to have taken place for the purpose of saving the woman’s good name. A few months after the marriage a child was born to the wife, which died after a few months.

Shortly after the death of the child the two women came to this city and opened a restaurant on Commercial street. Here she was known as “Frenchy” and the establishment was one of the most popular restaurants in the Southwest.

Wheat became of “Frenchy’s” wife is not known. She drifted away and her “husband” refused until the time of her death to reveal the woman’s name.

After leaving here the woman secured a position as cook on a big sheep ranch near Trinche ranch. The eccentricities of youth became more pronounced as she grew older and more and more she came to look like a man. For years she lived with men on the ranch, cooking for them, assisting them in the ranch work, and sleeping in the same rooms, but her secret was never suspected.

Two years and four months ago she was stricken with pneumonia, and it was then that her secret was discovered. Since then she failed rapidly in body and mind and her death was due to a general breakdown.

From Jonathan Ned Katz’s Gay/Lesbian Almanac (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), pages 323-324.

If you know of something that belongs on the Agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

As always, please consider this your open thread for the day.

Active Duty Military Marches In San Diego Pride

Jim Burroway

July 8th, 2011

Now that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been half-lifted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, LGBT members of the U.S. military in the San Diego area marched in the city’s Gay Pride parade this weekend as out and proud LGBT Americans.

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San Diego is home port for the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and the area is dotted with ports, naval air stations, national guard facilities — and the Marine’s Camp Pendelton is just up the cost in north county. This appears to be the first organized march by active duty military personnel in a U.S. Gay Pride parade.

Prop 8 Rallies Planned

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

As Timothy mentioned yesterday afternoon, we received word that a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected this afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (PDT). Already, Prop 8 supporters have already filed a request for stay of judgment pending appeal, in case Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8. If granted, this would prevent any marriages taking until the Court of Appeals hears the case.

Meanwhile, a large number of rallies are planned in California and across the U.S., forty so far and counting. Rex Wockner is keeping up to date with the latest additions.

GOProud to Break Manchester Boycott

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2010

The conservative gay Republican group GOProud has announced that they will hold a fundraiser at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Deigo. This development comes despite an active boycott by local LGBT advocates over a $125,000 donation by owner Doug Manchester to California’s Proposition 8 campaign which stripped LGBT people of their right to marry.

According to a donations page set up by GOProud:

GOProud’s “Don’t Tread on Us” reception will feature Fox News Channel political analyst and national radio talk show personality Tammy Bruce as the program’s MC. The event will benefit GOProud, the nation’s only political organization for gay conservatives and their allies. (Program speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.)

GOProud defends their choice:

We understand that Mr. Manchester has apologized for his support of Prop 8 and has made a substantial monetary commitment to the LGBT community,” GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia told The Advocate. “We believe strongly that the gay community should be in the business of winning new friends not making enemies.”

In fact, Manchester hasn’t apoligized for his support for Prop 8, although he did try to buy off local LGBT groups with a $125,000 donations and hotel vouchers in exchange for an end to the boycott. But without the apology, local groups declined the offer.

It looks like GOProud’s “don’t tread on us” warning doesn’t extend to Manchester himself. He can tread on us all he wants. GOProud won’t mind.

San Diego candidate learns not to buddy up to ex-gay gadfly James Hartline

Timothy Kincaid

March 17th, 2010

hartline2It never pays to buddy up to ex-gay activist James Hartline. You’re going to get burned. Even if you agree with everything that Hartline supports, you have to be as extreme and wacky as he is or he’ll turn on you.

And San Diego City Council candidate Lorie Zapf has just found that out. Hartline is sharing some of their communications with the press. (Union-Tribune)

Hartline said he distributed the e-mail to media outlets this week because Zapf was not living up to his anti-gay standards.

zapfIt all started in 2006 when Zapf supported a candidate for City Council who endorsed the mayor who was known to be tolerant of gay people. Although she had attended church with him at Mission Valley, this was enough to lead Hartline to suspect Zapf’s anti-gay credentials. Or as Hartline tells it (in the third person):

It was because Hartline and Zapf knew each other at MVCF that Hartline began to email Zapf regarding her obviously hypocritical involvement with the campaigns of Judy Riddle, a member of the cult Mormon Church, and pro-homosexual San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Hartline could not understand at the time how Zapf could be involved in promoting Mormon candidates when MVCF had taught her that Mormonism is a cult. Equally perplexing for Hartline was the idea that Zapf was so involved with Jerry Sanders after the years Sanders had marched in San Diego’s pornographic gay pride parades.

Initially, Zapf attempted to manipulate Hartline in emails, telling Hartline that she was firmly in his camp on the homosexual issue. As Hartline responded with emails showing Zapf was compromising, she began to take a sinister turn, emailing Hartline’s pastors in an attempt to shut Hartline down. It appears by her responses in the recent Union Tribune article, that the sinister Zapf is once again replacing the “Aunt Bee” Lorie Zapf.

Hartline’s view of “compromising” is probably a bit different than yours. Zapf was pretty clear where she stood: (City Beat)

“I absolutely want to keep homosexuals out of public office and not be allowed to influence our schools, textbooks, altering marriage, children, and on and on”

“I like that you are trying to keep homosexuals and homosexual activists out of public office because we both know what the long term agenda is.”

“I do believe homosexuality is a sin. I have three homosexual first cousins. I love them all and would ‘be seen’ in a photo with them. I believe they all live in sin and frankly all are very unhappy people and had horrible childhoods as well.”

But hating the gay isn’t enough for Hartline. You have to be fire-breathing, take no prisoners, crazy-ass in your hating of the gay. But crazy-ass homophobia doesn’t sell with in San Diego. Yes, this is a Republican city, but it likes its Republicans to be either gay supportive or gay themselves.

So Zapf is now clarifying. She says that she didn’t mean gay people, per se, just gay activists (ya know, the gay folk who aren’t closeted, delusional, ex-gay, or like Roy Ashburn).

And she’s a victim. It was just taken out of context.

“This is what keeps good people from running for office,” she said. “Everyone’s got something. It’s going to be a little sentence plucked out, taken out of context … and then used against me to try to destroy me and my family.”

Zapf said voters should note that Hartline’s anger stems from her support of gays.

“The irony is that James Hartline, of all people, who is so rabidly anti-gay, is trying to hurt me because I’m not,” she said. “He doesn’t think I’m anti-gay enough. I’m not at all.”

Oh, I dunno, Lorie. I think you’re plenty anti-gay.

Even if you would ‘be seen’ in a photo with me.

Commemorating the Anniversary of an Ex-Gay Conference In Uganda

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2010

Just LoveIt was exactly one year ago today when three American anti-gay activists stepped before a small crowd attending a conference in the posh Triangle Hotel in downtown Kampala, Uganda. Exodus International will, err, commemorate that anniversary by holding a “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in San Diego, in order to peddle the same junk science they helped to bring to Uganda twelve months ago.

But there will be a better commemoration of that date across town, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. I’ll be there, along with former Exodus alumnus Michael Bussee, Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, Straight Spouse Network founder Dr Amity Pierce Buxton, Director of the LGBT Rights Division of Human Rights Watch Scott Long, and many others. And if you’re in the San Diego area, we invite you to join us:

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, a one-day event will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in San Diego. The 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. which will confront and challenge the “ex- gay movement” – a national movement to “convert” gay and lesbian people to heterosexuality through purported “reparative” therapy efforts. To help educate people about the truth of such claims, and the legacy of harm they leave behind, a day-long conference will be held to expose and counteract this movement.

…Morning sessions, to be held in the Great Hall of the cathedral, will feature authors, psychologists and experts in the field. These will focus on the genesis and subsequent history of the ex-gay movement, the nature of and harm done by reparative therapy, the impact of both on the struggle for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and the ex-gay movement’s connection to the looming human rights disaster in Uganda.

It was on March 5, 2009 when we watched in horror as Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer and a relatively unknown International Healing Foundation unlicensed “counselor” Caleb Lee Brundidge joined forces with perhaps one of the most notorious anti-gay extremist, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively. We had no idea what the fruits of that conference would be, but knowing full well the reigns of terror that the Ugandan gay community had suffered in the very recent past, we feared the worst.

But our fears for the worst turned out to be a gross underestimation of what would actually happen as a result of that conference. The “Nuclear Bomb” that Scott Lively and his cohorts delivered that day would leave a devastating fallout: public outings of gay men and women in the press, arrests at at least one suspicious death believed to be at the hands of police, and general threats of mob violence. And all of this culminated in the tabling of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill before Uganda’s Parliament, a bill that calls for the death sentence of gay people under certain circumstances (a penalty which could conceivably be extended to include just about anyone due to the bill’s sloppy language), and the virtual criminalization of anyone who knows or comes in contact with gay people.

A year later, the “nuclear bomb” delivered by American ex-gay activists continues to spread its toxic fallout in that troubled land. We stand committed to confronting that very same danger here. If any moment can crystallize the dangers that the ex-gay movement can so callously and carelessly deliver to an unsuspecting population, this is it. And today is the day to commemorate it.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located at 2728 6th Ave in San Diego. Just Love will take place on Saturday, March 6, from 9:00 to 5:00. I look forward to seeing you there.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Prop 8 Donor Doug Manchester’s Sacred Marriage Is Ending

Jim Burroway

August 13th, 2009

San Diego hotelier Doug Manchester, whose $125,000 donation to support California’s Prop 8 sparked a boycott against his Manchester Hyatt and San Diego Marriot hotels and Grand Del Mar and White Tail Club Resorts, is divorcing his wife of 43 years.

Manchester said he made his Prop 8 donation to “preserve marriage” because of “my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church” — the very same church that condemns divorce. His Catholic faith doesn’t restrain him from thumbing his nose at the Church in ending his own marriage, but it does serve as a convenient excuse for denying others the right to marry.  There’s a word for that, isn’t there?

Sailor Accused of Killing August Provost Commits Suicide

Jim Burroway

August 1st, 2009
Seaman August Provost

Seaman August Provost

The murder case of August Provost, the bisexual sailor who was found dead and burned at his guard post at Camp Pendleton, has taken a surprising turn. The suspect in the case was found dead in his cell yesterday afternoon:

Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster, was found unresponsive in his cell at about 12:20 p.m., taken to the base hospital and declared dead about 1:15 p.m.,the Los Angeles Times reported.

Campos, a petty officer 2nd class, apparently asphyxiated himself with toilet paper. He had been on suicide watch in the brig and was last checked at 11:45 a.m., according to a Navy written statement.

A full statement from the Navy can be found here. Campos was charged with murder, drug possession, burglary and several other crimes. According to Navy investigators, Campos shot Provost, who was standing guard duty at the time, as Campos was trying to get onto the base to destroy property and attack other sailors. Navy investigators say there is no evidence that Provost’s death was the result of a hate crime.

What “Grace and Truth” Look Like in the Exodus Church Network

Timothy Kincaid

July 27th, 2009

Exodus International is the umbrella organization for protestant ex-gay ministries. And one of Exodus’ latest emphases is its Exodus Church Network. This is an affiliation of churches of various denominations through which Exodus hopes to equip chuches to be a pivotal part of healing and restoration.

One, we hope to exhort the church at-large to stand confidently and boldly on the truth of scripture with regard to homosexuality. Two, we hope to equip churches to minister to the individuals within their own congregation who are struggling with unwanted homosexuality, as well as the family members of a gay loved one. And three, we hope to create a nationwide referral list of churches, including your church, for those who are searching for a church family that will walk alongside them in their journey.

Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus, often speaks of how churches need to become loving and welcoming of those “struggling with homosexuality”. But what does this loving welcome look like?

In the Exodus Church Network application package, Exodus emphasizes the importance of these churches in the life of the struggler.

Central to this redemption is Exodus’ desire to unite and equip the Church to carry out this healing process. Exodus bridges the gap between Christians who respond to homosexual men and women with ignorance and fear, and those who uphold homosexuality as a valid, Christ-centered lifestyle. To Exodus, both extremes fail to convey to the homosexual the fullness of redemption found in Christ – He who embodies grace and truth, and invites us to partake of Him.

If would certainly appear, from this, that Exodus Churches do not respond with “ignorance and fear.” Rather, they convey “grace and truth.” But what does this grace and truth look like?

To get a sense of the ideal Exodus Church, perhaps we can look to Alan Chambers’ newest book, Leaving Homosexuality. In this book, Chambers again takes “the church” to task and implies what an Exodus Church does better.

In fact, if I had one thing to say to my fellow believers who are the body of Christ regarding how we have historically treated homosexuals it would be, “We were wrong in our attitudes and thus mishandled the situation.” In the name of Christ many people helped create the angry and bitter Pro-gay Movement because of their pride and arrogance and un-Christlike heart toward people in need. Let’s wake up. Let’s repent of our hostility and recommit to boldly loving sinners as Christ did…and does.

So an Exodus Church will not treat homosexuals as they historically have but would instead boldly love sinners as Christ did and does. But what does this bold love look like?


Perhaps we can look at the ideal Exodus Church, the one that Exodus so admires that the pastor has spoken at Exodus’ Freedom Conference, the church so in line with boldly loving grace and truth that Alan Chambers invited the pastor to write a recommendation published with his new book: Miles McPherson of The Rock Church in San Diego. Here’s what McPherson said about Chambers’ new book:

Alan’s stories will break your heart, convict your conscience, and hopefully inspire today’s church to reexamine its message on this complex issue.

But what does this reexamined message look like?

You may recall The Rock as being the home church of “opposite marriage” endorser Carrie Prejean. But The Rock and Miles McPherson are so much more: they are examples of what Exodus upholds as a glowing beacon of Christlike love for homosexuals as expressed in grace and truth.

So what does grace and truth looks like at The Rock?

Well, according to this article written by Miles McPherson and hosted on The Rock Church’s website:

God’s Word tells us differently and He provides us of the evidence that homosexuality is not natural or normal. There are physiological repercussions from homosexual behavior; male homosexuals are 430 times more likely to contract HIV than a heterosexual, while heterosexuals have a 1-in-750,000 chance of contracting the virus responsible for HIV, a male homosexual has a 1-in-165 chance of getting HIV. A 20 year old gay male has a 30% chance of either dying or contracting AIDS before the age of 30. They are also 23 times more likely to get other sexually transmitted diseases than a heterosexual.

There are also moral repercussions stemming from homosexual behavior as evidenced by the fact that one third of all sexual crimes against children are committed by homosexuals even though they are representative of only one percent of the population. Pedophilia has even been called central to the gay lifestyle. The agenda of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is to lower the age of consent so that sex with children will be legal.

Emotionally people suffer from homosexuality. Gays are five times more likely to commit suicide than a straight person. They are suffering depression because of God’s judgment and their alienation from Him. So God not only tells us what is right and wrong but that by continually doing what is wrong there will be consequences and this is all evident to us so we have no excuse in suppressing the truth.

and

The homosexual agenda is being pushed upon this nation, to the point where it may become illegal for pastors to preach against homosexuality from the pulpit, that is where even such preaching is deemed a crime. In some countries this is already the case.

and

It is clear among statistics that homosexual relationships are mainly about sex, this is attributed to the fact of the amount of sexual partners a homosexual person has a year, regardless of whether he is in a monogamous “marriage” relationship.

This is presented, of course, as justification for McPherson’s and The Rock Church’s political efforts to deny rights to gay and lesbian Californians. And, of course, as an example of The Rock’s “grace and truth.”

Have we heard all of this before? Yes, we have. And we have debunked it time and time again.

These are lies. They are not misstatements, they are not exagerations, they are not misunderstandings. They are deliberate and intentional demonizations of gay men and women with the express intent of horrifying the reader and firing them up to attack the civil rights and liberties of the segment of the population that McPherson despises.

Oh but wait, it gets better:

Recently in Pennsylvania, a woman was arrested and sentenced for 47 years in prison because she had the following bumper sticker: God loves homosexuals, but homosexuality is a sin. This is only one of the many current and shocking examples of Christian prosecution presented in today’s message.

WFT?? This is a new one even for me. And it’s a new one for Google as well. This appears to be a flat out fabrication, apparantly made up by Miles McPherson himself to scare his flock through ignorance and instill hatred and fear of gay people, precisely what Chambers claims to oppose.

This is evil.

This is what “grace and truth” looks like in the Exodus Church Network.

Did DADT Kill August Provost?

Jim Burroway

July 6th, 2009
Seaman August Provost, in a photo posted to his Myspace page.

Seaman August Provost, in a photo posted to his Myspace page.

Questions remain over the murder of Seaman August Provost who was shot wile standing sentry duty sometime overnight Tuesday at Camp Pendleton Marince Corp Base. His body was found at the end of his shift at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. It had been burned in an apparent attempt to conceal evidence.

Hus aunt, Rose Roy, of Beaumont, Texas, told CNN on Friday that Provost told her that he was being arassed because of his sexual orientation and race:

He was frustrated by it,” she said. She said she had advised him to speak to someone of higher rank, but said she wasn’t sure if he had done so.

“He went to serve and protect, but he didn’t get the protection,” she said. Brown said Thursday that he had no information on claims of harassment.

Asked whether she believed her nephew was killed because of race and sexual orientation, she said, “In my heart, I do.” She added, “it was like an execution-style killing, and nobody does that unless you have that kind of hatred in your heart.”

It’s unclear that Provost reported the harassment to higher-ups. Doing so would have revealed his sexual orientation to his superiors, which may trigger an investigation under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Such an investigation would then have led to Provost’s dismissal from the Navy.

Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) has already asked the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps to investigate whether the killing at Camp Pendleton was a hate crime. So far, the Navy, which is leading the investigation, says they have no evidence that Provost’s murder was a hate crime. The Navy has one sailor in custody who “has been linked to the commission of this crime through both physical evidence and his own statement,” according to Navy spokesman Capt. Matt Brown.

A candlelight vigil is planned to honor Provost in front of Camp Pendleton this Friday, July 10 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Live

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2009

A sailor, August Provost of Houston, Texas, was found dead at Camp Pendleton near San Diego at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Sources say he was shot and burned, which lead authorities to believe that it was foul play. A “person of interest” is in custody. Some believe it wasn’t an ordinary murder, but a hate crime:

Ben Gomez, head of the San Diego chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights, a national advocacy group for gay and lesbian military personnel, said he and other local activists believe Provost’s death was a hate crime. Citing unnamed sources with access to a report on the seaman’s death, Gomez said Provost was killed during an argument with another sailor over the victim’s sexual orientation. On his MySpace page, Provost made references to same-sex dating and identified another Houston man as “the love of my life.”

Boycotted Hotelier Looking For Resolution

Jim Burroway

May 8th, 2009

Last summer, San Diego hotel owner Doug Manchester donated $125,000 to the effort to pass California’s Proposition 8. Gay activists responded with a call to boycott the hotels he owns and operates. Those hotels include the the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, the Grand Del Mar, Whitetail Club and Resort, and the big daddy of them all, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Now it looks like Manchester is trying to get out from under the boycott:

His plan – which his people warned this newspaper against publishing, even after a Hyatt representative discussed it – is to give $25,000 to a national organization that promotes civil unions and domestic partnerships. Manchester also is considering offering $100,000 in hotel credit to local gay and lesbian organizations so they can use the Grand Hyatt for events such as fundraisers. The $125,000 total matches what he gave to Proposition 8. So it would be even-steven.

Is Manchester now among those who say they oppose same-sex marriage but have no objection to civil unions or domestic partnerships? If so, we’ve heard those words before. If that’s the point he’s trying to make, I don’t know of any national organization that promotes civil unions and domestic partnerships exclusively, or at the expense of marriage.

Besides, donating $125,000 now to ostensibly pro-gay causes, after his large donation previously helped to strip LGBT Californians of their rights last summer isn’t exactly “even-steven.” It might have been a legitimate “even-steven” offset during last fall’s campaign, but it’s not now after the damage has been done.

Fred Karger, whose Californians Against Hate is spearheading the boycott, says he has not been contacted by anyone associated with Manchester, and local San Diego LGBT groups haven’t heard anything about the proposed credits. I don’t see how any resolution can be achieved without dialog with representatives of the local gay community.

San Diego Firefighters Win Harassment Suit

Jim Burroway

February 18th, 2009

A San Diego jury yesterday found that four firefighters were sexually harassed after being ordered to participate in a gay pride parade. The jury awarded the four $34,300 in damages, which must be split between the group. That works out to a little over $8,500 per firefighter, before attorney fees. Plaintiff’s attorney Charles LiMandri has indicated he will ask the judge to have the city of San Diego pay his legal fees.

The firemen claimed that they faced “faced pervasive or severe harassment from spectators and participants” while riding a fire engine in the July 2007 Gay Pride parade. The experience, they said, made them suffer stress-related problems such as headaches, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. But an examination of their original complaints revealed that their sense of being offended came from two fronts:

  • Even the most innocuous of calls (”Hey, Honey”, or “look at the big firemen”) were viewed as insults, affronts, or harassment. 
  • They were offended that they were lectured by anti-gay protesters. Since they were not gay, they felt that they didn’t deserve to be lectured — as if anyone deserves such a lecture, gay or straight.

The Jurors deliberated for about two and a half days before reaching the verdict. During an earlier trial last September, that jury was not able to reach a verdict. Plaintiffs’ attorney Charles LiMandri had asked for up to $1 million for each of this four clients. He didn’t ask for an award during the second trial.

Attorneys for the city have indicated that they will appeal the verdict. The San Diego Fire Department has since changed its policy, which now calls for volunteers to participate in parades.

Bill Clinton Will Cross A Picket Line To Collect His Speaking Fees

Jim Burroway

February 13th, 2009

We asked yesterday whether Clinton will honor a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, or speak before the International Franchise Association which is holding a convention at the hotel. The other alternative, of course, would be to move the venue for his talk as others have done.

The Manchester Hyatt boycott began when it was revealed that Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign to strip thousands of Californians of the right to marry. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt as well as the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, which are also being boycotted. Yesterday, eight prominent supporters of organized labor and gay marriage released an open letter to Clinton requesting that he call off or move the speaking engagement.

But a spokesman for the former president said yesterday that Clinton will speak at the Hyatt. I wasn’t aware that franchisees were one of his favored causes. It can only be his exorbitant speaking fees. Money before principle.

Former Pres. Clinton To Break Manchester Hyatt Boycott?

Jim Burroway

February 11th, 2009

Former President Bill Clinton makes a lot of speeches and gets paid a lot of money to speak. This Sunday, he’s scheduled to speak before the International Franchise Association in San Diego, which just happens to be meeting at the Manchester Hyatt.

The Manchester Hyatt has been under a boycott ever since it was learned that Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign to strip thousands of Californians of the right to marry. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt as well as the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, which are also being boycotted.

A coalition of advocates and community leaders have signed an open letter asking President Clinton to move his speech so as to not violate the boycott.

San Diego Church Apologizes for Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 25th, 2008

MissionGathering Christian Church of San Diego put up this billboard, which reads:

MissionGathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights & equality of so many in the name of God.

www.missiongathering.com
Our hearts are with you.
Christianity for all.

MissionGathering is a part of the Christian Church denomination (Disciples of Christ).

Ex-Mormon Marches Against Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

November 18th, 2008

In the San Diego Reader a straight woman, an “old hippy” and former Mormon, tells of her experience protesting Proposition 8. It’s delightfully full of exploded stereotypes and down-home observations. It made me smile… and tear up a little.

I would have made a great flower child. I didn’t expect to be enthused about turning 50 on November 14, but thanks to Obama and Prop 8, I’ve never felt more energized. As a child, I wished I could march for the rights of blacks and women. But my parents were conservatives in an upper-middle class neighborhood and didn’t have anything to protest. I didn’t even experience music by the Beatles. They listened to Perry Como and Doris Day.

Read more here.

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