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San Diego Pride will not be Resisting

Activists urge organizers to reconsider some corporate sponsors



Wells Fargo has been one of several large corporate sponsors of San Diego Pride that activists say also fund LGBT community opponents. (Photo by Tristan Looper)

During his recent visit to San Diego, LGBTQ rights leader Cleve Jones, a close confidant and protégé of the late Harvey Milk, said that queer people have a unique opportunity to resist the regressive perils of Trumpism.

“I think Harvey would want to celebrate the amazing achievements we have accomplished in the last four decades,” said Jones, who was in town receiving a lifetime achievement award at the annual Harvey Milk Breakfast here.

“But I think Harvey would caution us to be vigilant. We cannot take things for granted,” he stressed.

Yet according to some activists, major multinational companies and Wall Street banks, not least among them Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, and Wells Fargo Bank, take annual Pride celebrations for granted by trying to have it both ways, often sponsoring our opponents to a greater degree than they support our champions.

It’s a situation that has San Diego equality activist Will Rodriguez Kennedy worried.

“We’re probably going to give (San Diego Pride) our endorsement,” Rodriguez Kennedy, president of San Diego Democrats for Equality, told the Los Angeles Blade. “But before that happens, we want to know that San Diego Pride understands this year’s different—that the progress LGBTQ people made under Obama is now being threatened.”

Rodriguez Kennedy’s group is one of the largest LGBTQ Democratic clubs in the nation.

“We’re not asking them to cancel the Pride parade,” he said. “But we are asking them to act with more integrity and selectiveness to avoid taking funds from, and promoting companies…that hurt our community by supporting politicians like Donald J. Trump.”

In June of this year, as #ResistMarch was underway in cities nationwide, including one unrelated to Pride in San Diego that attracted 5,000 people, Rodriguez Kennedy’s organization initially withheld endorsement of a San Diego Pride as usual.

“Look, [San Diego Pride] did have a (protest) march in June,” Rodriguez Kennedy said. “That’s good—that’s really good – but what a lot of us in the progressive movement want to resist taking corporate funding. What L.A. and other cities did in June was to show that you can.”

Rodriguez Kennedy insists he’s not against all Pride affiliations with corporate America.

“It just can’t be the only thing you’re about,” he said. “But you have to be vigilant and make sure you’re not giving your endorsement to companies that support politicians who consistently vote against our equality. It’s hypocrisy. They support equality on the one hand, then fund our enemies with the other hand.”

National Equality March for Unity and Pride co-chair, San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez says vigilance is indeed needed.

But he isn’t convinced that the national queer resistance movement is harmed by San Diego Pride’s corporate affiliations this year—or that doing so is an endorsement for “business-as-usual” mood in 2018.

“I agree that the commercialism has become too great when we’re still fighting for our equality,” Ramirez told the Los Angeles Blade. “We need to be vigilant, and all parades should be prepared to be marches in 2018. But this year, in San Diego, we’re just going to have a parade.”

As national co-chair of the Equality March in Washington, D.C., Nicole Murray Ramirez received reports about the degrees to which cities across the nation converted their Pride parades to resistance marches. Aside from Los Angeles, there wasn’t much resistance, according to him. That assertion runs contrary to other reports.

“I understand that San Diego is the last major parade of the year,” Murray Ramirez said. “I’m not too concerned that it will be a parade and not a march. But like I said, we have to be vigilant for next year. If anything happens, we should be ready to march nationwide.”

Inasmuch as San Diego organizers may be inclined to look to Los Angeles to shape their Pride parade, there’s a wealth of experience to consider.

“The leadership of Christopher Street West were against the idea at first,” said Los Angeles #ResistMarch organizer, Brian Pendleton. “They had their hearts set on a business-as-usual parade.These guys are music festival producers and were worried that a march would impact them financially.”

A veteran event producer himself, Pendleton understood the concerns of CSW’s board, which organizes L.A Pride. But understanding isn’t the same as agreeing.

“…[A]fter seeing the overwhelming support from the Southern California community, they waived a bunch of rules, and invited me to join the board,” he said.

It could be argued that L.A.’s march was as much a response to years of growing dissatisfaction and a widening perception that Christopher Street West had itself become over-commercialized, as it was a reaction to the potential perils of far-right forces taking over all three branches of government.

Last year, a Los Angeles Times headline screamed that very sentiment with cutting clarity: “LA Pride has sold out and become ‘gay Coachella,’ critics say.”

But San Diego’s reputation as a more modest, milder-mannered metropolis than Los Angeles appears to be holding fast as thousands of visitors arrive for this weekend’s Pride events. Despite rumblings that self-proclaimed #Resistance protesters might show up to shadow the parade, San Diego Pride appears poised to call its tiny version of last month’s march in solidarity with L.A.’s #ResistMarch “good enough” for 2017.

“I don’t think they’re going to cancel the parade and call for a march,” Rodriguez Kennedy said. “And that’s fine. But if they’re going to be part of the movement, San Diego Pride’s board needs to be diligent about where their corporate funds are coming from and not sell us out.”

Brian Pendleton recognizes there may be differences between Los Angeles and San Diego.

“While we’d love to see a sister march in San Diego to keep #ResistMarch momentum going, we support whatever they do,” he said. “Every city has its own politics. Every city has its own economics.”

San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune: Tijuana Gay Men’s Chorus

The group is one of only two active gay men’s choruses in all of Mexico, where the LGBTQ+ community still faces stigma & discrimination



Tijuana Gay Men’s Chorus (Screenshot/YouTube The San Diego Union-Tribune)

TIJUANA, Mexico – San Diego Union-Tribune journalist Wendy Fry takes readers on journey through the power of music in an unlikely place to find a gay men’s chorus, the rough and tumble world of the raucous border city of Tijuana.

Fry writes about the importance of the presence of the chorus, especially in elevating the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in Baja as well as beyond.

Story excerpt below read the full story here: [Link]

The group is one of only two active gay men’s choruses in all of Mexico, where like in other parts of the world the LGBT community still faces stigma and discrimination

The chords and notes from the Tijuana Gay Men’s Chorus spilled out from the basement of the red brick Casa de la Cultura and into the still night.

The immense border city was quieter than usual at this hour, following a recent wave of arson and cartel threats that had forced residents into hiding on a recent weekend night. But not on this block, where the 11-member vocal group belted out harmonies as part of their Wednesday night vocal technique class.

One of only two active gay men’s choruses in all of Mexico, the group aims to create a safe space for the artistic development of Tijuana’s gay and transgender community.

“This type of project in this city was more than necessary,” said Edgar Gheno, the director of the chorus. “Because we know that — or rather in my personal experience — not being who you are and not being able to express yourself generates problems

But there is also a larger mission: to raise the profile of the LGBT community at a time when there have been advances and set-backs.

“What better way than through music to promote a message of respect, non-discrimination and tolerance,” explained Gheno.

“Power of Music”: Tijuana’s Gay Men’s Chorus:

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San Diego County man charged with a hate crime after homophobic attack

“Anyone considering committing a hate crime should think again as they will be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable under the law”



Los Angeles Blade graphic

CHULA VISTA – A dispute between neighbors that escalated to physical assault which included homophobic slurs has landed a South Bay man in court charged with a hate crime.

Robert Frank Wilson, 40, is accused of directing slurs at his neighbor in a Nov. 10 altercation in the victim’s driveway. According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Wilson blocked the neighbor’s driveway, yelled homophobic slurs, then reached into the victim’s vehicle and struck him in the face, KFMB-TV, CBS 8 reported.

Wilson, who is currently out of jail on bond, appeared Monday in-person in a Chula Vista courtroom and pleaded not guilty to a felony count of battery, plus a hate crime allegation.

“This case and these events demonstrate that those who are motivated by prejudice often spread their hate around to various groups, attacking our neighbors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or other grounds,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said.

“Hate against one group is a threat to everyone and we won’t tolerate these crimes in our community. Anyone considering committing a hate crime should think again as they will be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable under the law.”

In an non-related case, Wilson and several others were charged by the San Diego County District Attorney for hanging “a large anti-Semitic poster on the fence of an Interstate 805 overpass” on Dec. 18, in violation of the San Diego City Municipal Code.

In a statement released Monday, the DA’s office noted that although hate speech in and of itself may not always rise to the level of criminal activity, [it] “is relevant as it could escalate to criminal behavior. Hate crimes are often preceded by hate speech.”

The DA’s full statement on the incident: 

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced criminal charges today against a man who attacked his neighbor on November 10 while yelling anti-gay slurs. Robert Frank Wilson, 40, is charged with one count of felony battery and a hate crime allegation. He was arraigned today in San Diego Superior Court in the South Bay and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say Wilson blocked his neighbor’s driveway, got out of his vehicle and started yelling homophobic slurs at the victim. At one point, Wilson reached into the window of the victim’s vehicle and struck him in the face.

About five weeks after the incident, on December 18, Wilson was cited by the San Diego Police Department for working with a group of people to hang a large anti-Semitic poster on the fence of an Interstate 805 overpass in violation of the San Diego City Municipal Code. The DA is including the code violation as part of the charges it filed against Wilson. If convicted, he faces up to three years, six months in prison.

“This case and these events demonstrate that those who are motivated by prejudice often spread their hate around to various groups, attacking our neighbors on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation or other grounds,” DA Summer Stephan said. “Hate against one group is a threat to everyone and we won’t tolerate these crimes in our community. Anyone considering committing a hate crime should think again as they will be investigated, prosecuted and held accountable under the law.”

Prosecuting hate crimes is a priority for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. The DA has nearly tripled the number of hate crime cases it has prosecuted in recent years, filing 21 cases in 2020 and 30 such cases in 2021.

Last year, in response to reports of hate-related incidents aimed at the Asian community across the nation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District Attorney’s Office announced a new online form and hotline where the public can report suspected hate incidents and hate crimes they’ve been a victim or witness to in San Diego County. The online reporting form can be found on the District Attorney’s website here. The Hate Crimes Hotline number is 619-515-8805.

Individuals submitting information about a suspected hate crime will be contacted with information about the DA’s review of the report and any action that may be taken. The public is reminded that hate speech in and of itself often does not rise to the level of a hate crime but is relevant as it could escalate to criminal behavior Hate crimes are often preceded by hate speech. By law, a hate crime is a criminal act committed against another person that is motivated by prejudice against that person’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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Trans woman ‘viciously attacked’ in men’s jail cell lawsuit says

“Hopefully the sheriff’s department takes this incident serious and makes the changes necessary to ensure people in their care are kept safe”



The San Diego Sheriff’s Department Logo (Photo by Tristan Loper)

SAN DIEGO — Kristina Frost, a trans woman, was “viciously attacked” after being placed in a men’s holding cell by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, according to court documents. 

Frost was a book-and-release detainee at the San Diego Central Jail in November of 2020. After informing the jail staff that she is a trans woman, she was placed in a holding cell alone. Frost’s DMV records and driver’s license state her gender is female, according to a civil complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. 

But she was later moved to a “minimally monitored” cell with three men “without any reasonable justification,” according to the lawsuit.

“No reasonable deputy would have put Ms. Frost in a minimally monitored cell with three men,” her lawyers wrote. “She was forced into the cell anyway.”

Frost eventually fell asleep in the cell but awoke to one of the men striking her head with closed fist punches, resulting in a broken jaw that has required two surgeries. 

The lawsuit alleges that deputies observed the assault but didn’t immediately intervene. Frost said one or more deputies paused before they entered the cell and removed the assailant.

Frost then had to wait upwards of 12 hours without medical care before she was released, according to the complaint. 

San Diego Sheriff’s Department Deputy Mason Cassidy, who is named as one of the defendants in the case, is believed to be the one who placed Frost in the men’s cell. The lawsuit states that Cassidy “was deliberately indifferent to Ms. Frost’s safety risks and needs as a pretrial detainee.”

The County of San Diego, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore and other unknown San Diego Sheriff’s Department personnel are also named as defendants in the case. 

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Blade that they “are committed to an inclusive environment within our agency and the communities we serve.”

“The incident occurred in November 2020 in a temporary holding cell during the Intake process, not a housing unit,” the department said. “It was in the Intake area of the facility, where people are waiting to complete the booking process or pending release. Miss Kristina Frost was temporarily placed in a holding cell with other individuals who were also identified as being in protective custody status. The person who allegedly assaulted Miss Frost stated he was assaulted by Miss Frost first and stated he acted in self-defense. Additionally, Miss Frost declined to press charges.”

The Blade attempted to reach the County of San Diego for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publishing this article. 

The complaint also alleges that the incident involving Frost was “foreseeable” as department personnel have shown a pattern of failing to keep people in custody safe. 

“The mortality rate in San Diego County jails is the highest among California’s largest counties,” Frost’s attorneys wrote. “At least 140 people died in County custody from 2009 to 2019.”

Frost’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment, but one of Frost’s lawyers, Brody McBride, told ABC 10 News San Diego that he hopes some good comes out of the case. 

“Hopefully the sheriff’s department takes this incident serious and makes the changes necessary to ensure people in their care are kept safe and treated with dignity,” McBride said. 

According to a 2020 NBC News report, trans people are often housed according to their sex assigned at birth, not their gender identity. Out of 4,890 trans prisoners across the U.S., NBC News could only confirm 15 cases in which a trans prisoner was housed according to their lived gender.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law this past September requiring prisons in the state to house trans people according to their gender identity.

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US Navy Fleet Oiler & supply ship, USNS Harvey Milk launches

“For far too long, sailors like Lt. Milk were forced into the shadows or, worse yet, forced out of our beloved Navy”



USNS Harvey Milk christening & launch ceremony, photograph courtesy of General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company

SAN DIEGO – The United States Navy christened and launched its latest John Lewis class of fleet replenishment oilers Saturday as the U.S. Naval Ship Harvey Milk slid down the ways at the General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, NASSCO, shipyards into the waters of San Diego Bay.

The ship is named after slain openly gay LGBTQ+ rights activist and former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who along with LGBTQ+ ally Mayor George Moscone was assassinated by disgruntled former Supervisor Dan White, in their offices in San Francisco City Hall on November 27, 1978.

The time-honored christening ceremony with a bottle of champagne broken over the bow was executed by Paula Neira, the Clinical Program Director for John Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Stuart Milk, the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk’s nephew, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and California State Senate President pro Tem, Senator Toni Atkins, whose Senate district includes the area of San Diego where the U.S. Navy’s sprawling naval base is located as well as the NASSCO shipyards.

Dignitaries also included Out San Diego city and county commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, San Diego’s openly gay Mayor Todd Gloria, Supervisor Milk’s campaign manager and advisor Anne Kronenberg and Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Nathan Fletcher.

Addressing the audience of attendees, Secretary Del Toro told them; “The secretary of the Navy needed to be here today, not just to amend the wrongs of the past, but to give inspiration to all of our LGBTQ community leaders who served in the Navy, in uniform today and in the civilian workforce as well too, and to tell them that we’re committed to them in the future.”

The Secretary then directly spoke to Milk’s sexual orientation and his being forced from naval service.

“For far too long, sailors like Lt. Milk were forced into the shadows or, worse yet, forced out of our beloved Navy,” he said. “That injustice is part of our Navy history, but so is the perseverance of all who continue to serve in the face of injustice.”

In 2016, then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus decided that six new fleet oilers scheduled to be built would be named after civil and human rights leaders.

Del Toro told Mabus, who attended the christening, that it was a courageous decision.

The Milk is a fleet oiler and will be assigned the tasks of replenishing fuel oil and dry goods to U. S. naval vessels at sea. The Milk is the second ship in the new John Lewis class of fleet oilers. The future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) , is named for the former civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman, and is also under construction at NASSCO San Diego.

The first six vessels in the Lewis class of fleet oilers are named after prominent civil rights activists and leaders, in addition to the USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) are; USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) – LGBT activist Harvey Milk; USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207) – Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) – U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) – Women’s rights activist Lucy Stone; USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) – Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

Also addressing those in attendance, Stuart Milk, the co-founder and president of the Harvey Milk Foundation referring to his uncle’s naval service said;

“He has a less-than-honorable discharge. He was forced to resign because he was gay,” Stuart Milk said, adding that “we have to teach our history to prevent ourselves from going backwards and repeating it.”

Milk told the audience that although there is a process for reversing such discharges, he said it was important to not do that for his late uncle in order “to keep the memory of how we did not honor everyone in this very honorable service.”

Milk enlisted in the Navy in 1951 and attended the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. By 1954 he was a lieutenant (junior grade) stationed at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, which during Milk’s tenure of service was the Naval Air Missile Test Center near Oxnard, California. He was serving as a diving instructor.

As the Bay Area Reporter wrote in an article in February 2020, Milk was given an “other than honorable” discharge from the U.S. Navy and forced to resign on February 7, 1955 rather than face a court-martial because of his homosexuality, according to a trove of naval records obtained by the paper. It contradicted an archival document housed in the San Francisco Public Library’s San Francisco History Center that authors of several recent biographies of Milk had used to claim that Milk was honorably discharged from the Navy.

The christening and launch ceremony for the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206):

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Dignitaries tour the 60% completed USNS Harvey Milk

This past week on the eve of what would have been Milk’s 91st birthday Milk’s nephew elected officials and other dignitaries toured the ship



Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk (U.S. Navy Photo Illustration)

SAN DIEGO – The construction work on the future U.S. Navy fleet oiler named for slain gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk is nearly sixty-percent completed according to a spokesperson for the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company division of General Dynamics Corporation commonly referred to as NASSCO.

This past week on the eve of what would have been Milk’s 91st birthday on Saturday, Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk, elected officials and other dignitaries were given two separate tours of the vessel.

The Milk is a fleet oiler and will be assigned the tasks of replenishing fuel oil and dry goods to U. S. naval vessels at sea. The Milk is the second ship in the new John Lewis class of fleet oilers. The future USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) , is named for the former civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman, and is also under construction at NASSCO San Diego.

The first six vessels in the Lewis class of fleet oilers are named after prominent civil rights activists and leaders, in addition to the USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) are; USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) – LGBT activist Harvey Milk; USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207) – Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren; USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208) – U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) – Women’s rights activist Lucy Stone; USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) – Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.

San Diego City & County Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez arranged the private tours led by Dennis DuBard, Manager of Government Relations at General Dynamic NASSCO on behalf of the shipbuilders.

Photos by Anthony Paolino, General Dynamics NASSCO

Among the dignitaries were Stuart Milk- Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, San Diego’s openly gay Mayor Todd Gloria; State Senate President Toni G. Atkins; City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn; State Assemblymember Christopher Ward; Congressmember Sara Jacobs; State Commissioner Robert Gleason; The Center’s Cara Dessert; and Navy veteran, Chief Petty Officer Morgan M. Hurley, USN Ret. former chair of the LGBTQ Veterans Wall of Honor.

L to R-  masked men, NASSCO personnel, including Dennis DuBard- Manager of Government Relations at NASSCO, 
BACK ROW- Morgan Hurley, Ryan Bedrosian- Hillcrest Business Association, 
MIDDLE ROW- Mike Phillips-San Diego Historic Task Force, City/County Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez, Eddy Rey- Executive Director Equality Business Alliance, Stuart Milk- Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation 
FRONT ROW- Bevan Dufty- Former San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, Charles Rozanski- International Imperial Court Council 

Also given a tour were Bevan Dufty, former San Francisco Board of Supervisor- District 8, member of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors and Executive Director of H.O.P.E. for the City & County of San Francisco; Ryan Bedrosian, business man, owner of Rich’s San Diego and secretary of the Hillcrest Business Association; Charles Rozanski, businessman, president and CEO of Mile High Comics, and member of the International Imperial Court Council; Michael “Bigmike SanDiego” Phillips, philanthropist, and chair of the newly minted San Diego LGBTQ historic Task Force; Eddie Rey, Executive Director of the Equality Business Alliance.

Photos by Anthony Paolino, General Dynamics NASSCO

Eddie Rey, Executive Director of the Equality Business Alliance noted; “The naming of the USNS Harvey Milk is historic for multiple reasons- including that it’s the first military ship named after a service member who was harassed, court martialed and then dishonorably discharged- simply for being gay; but most importantly to me — because it tells the world that our nation now honors and supports LGBTQ individuals. It is my hope that someday the military will reverse and rectify the wrongful “Other Than Honorable Discharge” given to thousands of our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and siblings. As for Harvey Milk- the message of his less than honorable discharge and naming of a ship is a powerful message- that the family wishes to keep as is.”

Milk was given an ‘other than honorable‘ discharge from the US Navy on February 7, 1955 after being forced by U.S. Navy investigators to describe his sexual relationships in a 152 page document. Some twenty-two years later he was the first openly gay person elected to a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk would go on to only serve 11 months in office, until he and then San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, were murdered in their office spaces at City Hall on the morning of November 27, 1978 by disgruntled former supervisor Dan White.

Every year on his birthday, the foundation that bears his name celebrates Harvey Milk Day to remember and teach about his life and his activism work to stop the discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and in California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized by the state’s government as a day of special significance for the Golden State’s public schools. 

The day was permanently established by the California legislature and signed into law by then Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009.

A NASSCO spokesperson said that the Milk is on schedule for a November ‘ship’s christening’ with commissioning to follow at an unspecified date.

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Federal probe into former backer of Prop 8 in ‘pay or play’ scheme

Manchester said he was offered the Bahamas post the day after Trump was sworn in



Doug Manchester with Donald Trump. Photo via Manchester’s personal website

WASHINGTON – A Federal grand jury is issuing subpoenas in a criminal investigation into the nomination of a wealthy San Diego real estate and longtime business developer and the past chairman and publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, Douglas Frederick Manchester, as U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas by former President Trump.

Manchester was an early supporter of Trump. The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the case appears to focus on the Republican National Committee and its two senior leaders, and possibly members of Congress.

Manchester has long had deep financial ties to the Republican Party as a major donor and to GOP elected officials and candidates. He was first nominated to become the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas in May 2017, just months into the Trump administration.

But the nomination stalled in the U.S. Senate, prompting Trump to re-nominate Manchester to the post early in 2018. That nomination also was held up from Senate approval. Manchester withdrew his nomination in October 2019, saying that he was removing his name from consideration due to threats to his family, the paper reported Saturday.

The Union-Tribune is reporting that focus of the subpoenas is in emailed or other communications involving communications between Manchester, his former wife, the Republican National Committee, (RNC) and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Co-Chair Tommy Hicks.

In November of 2019 CBS News chief investigative correspondent Jim Axelrod reported that Manchester, was asked by the RNC to donate half a million dollars as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance. A Trump supporter, Manchester donated $1 million to the former president’s inauguration fund. According to Axelrod, Manchester said he was offered the Bahamas post the day after Trump was sworn in.

Trump tweeted his nomination of Manchester after which, according to emails obtained by CBS News, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel hit up Manchester for a donation. It was no small sum. In an email, obtained exclusively by CBS News, she asked Manchester, “Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?”

Axelrod reported, “He wrote back to McDaniel’s request for $500,000, “As you know I am not supposed to do any, but my wife is sending a contribution for $100,000. Assuming I get voted out of the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday to the floor we need you to have the majority leader bring it to a majority vote … Once confirmed, I our [sic] family will respond!””

It was that email the Union-Tribune and CBS both reported that is the heart of the potential “pay or play” scheme. Justice Department officials did not respond to requests for statements outside of confirming that the Federal probe began during the final year of the Trump administration.

Manchester, 78, a native Californian was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego and is known for his real estate and business empire. He was responsible for construction and development of some of San Diego’s premier properties including the First National Bank Center, and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. In the 1990s, he constructed the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel San Diego.

In 2011, he purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune and a year later in 2012, he bought the North County Times and merged it and its subsidiary, The Californian, into the Union-Tribune. He also bought eight local weeklies in the San Diego region, which continue to be published as separate papers. In 2015, he sold The San Diego Union-Tribune to the Tribune Publishing Company.

During the national debate and politicking over the issue of same-sex marriage Manchester was an opponent. Georgetown Law notes; “Among the advocates for Prop 8 were religious organizations, most notably the Roman Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

Manchester, who was appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his 2017 Senate confirmation hearing for his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, responding to a line of questioning from Senator Bob Menendez, (D-New Jersey), acknowledged that he had donated $125,000 to support Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that prohibited same-sex marriage in California that passed with 52 percent of the vote.

“I was asked by the Catholic bishop of San Diego, and I am Catholic, to contribute and I did. And my family was opposed to it,” Manchester said. “And I want to clarify the issue: that was a huge mistake and I have more than done everything to rectify that mistake.”

Prop 8 was later overturned in the 2013 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry.

He told the Senators that he has had thousands of employees, including those who are gay and lesbian. He then pointed out that he’s contributed a like amount of money to LGBTQ causes, adding he is“ totally 100 percent for human rights all across the board.”

Manchester then told the Committee; “I certainly support gay and lesbian marriage, for the record,” he said.

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Trans USMC vet injured in attack police say may be hate crime

Three men decided to approach Shane and brutally assaulted him for being who he is



Shane Devereaux (Photo credit: Screenshot via KFMB-TV CBS News 8 San Diego)

CARLSBAD – Police investigators in this coastal city in North San Diego County are investigating an attack on a U.S. Marine Corps veteran as a possible hate crime.

Shane Devereaux, a transgender male Marine veteran, was with his girlfriend leaving the Coyote Bar and Grill on Carlsbad Village Drive when he was attacked.

According to Carlsbad police, officers were dispatched to the bar’s location last Saturday, March 20, just before midnight for a report of a fight. Carlsbad Police Department spokesperson Lt. Kevin Lehan told KFMB-TV CBS News 8 San Diego, that officers found four people were involved in what they called “mutual combat” and two of those involved had left before officers arrived. Lehan said that police believe alcohol played a role in the incident. 

Officers reported witnesses saw the group involved in an argument, including “name-calling” while leaving the bar. One of the men pushed Devereaux, which caused him to fall backward and hit his head on the ground. According to police they opened a ‘battery’ investigation at that time.

(Photo credit: Screenshot via KFMB-TV CBS News 8 San Diego)

Then, on March 22, police said Devereaux’s girlfriend gave an additional statement to investigators that prompted them to investigate the incident as a “possible hate crime.” 

“We have received conflicting statements about what occurred, and we are working hard to sort the information and find the facts,” said Lt. Lehan in an email to News 8 on Thursday. “We take allegations like these very seriously in Carlsbad.  The investigation is active and ongoing, once completed it will be submitted to the District Attorney’s Office to evaluate for the most appropriate charges.” 

Friends of Devereaux created a GoFundMe to defray the cost of his hospitalization and in the description they noted:

“On 3/20/2021 Shane was involved in a tragic hate crime. Shane is a beautiful soul. […] Shane is a handsome transgender male which many adore and admire him for his bravery. Shane has bravely served in our military and has put himself out there to protect this country. Shane and his girlfriend Jennifer were out casually having drinks at the Coyote Bar&Grill in Carlsbad.”

While on their date three men approached the couple and decided to have drinks with them. They were casually talking and having a great a conversation. As the night progressed the three men found out Shane was a transgender male.

As the night ended Shane and Jennifer made their way to their car and the three men decided to approach Shane and brutally assaulted him for being who he is. Currently Shane is in the hospital suffering from a fractured skull, broken back, but most importantly a broken heart. Shane can’t talk, can’t move, and can’t use the restroom alone.”

Shane Devereaux (Photo Credit: Via GoFundMe campaign page)
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2020 Election

San Diego’s new Mayor makes LGBTQ history

If we dream big, work together and believe in San Diego, we can accomplish anything



Todd Gloria takes the office of office, Thursday, December 10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Office of the Mayor of the City of San Diego)

SAN DIEGO – In a pandemic zoom-style virtual inauguration ceremony presided over by the President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Toni Gayle Atkins, former Democratic State Assemblyman Todd Gloria was sworn in as the 37th mayor of the City of San Diego on Thursday, December 10 before the San Diego City Council.

San Diego’s new mayor made history across a spectrum of significant firsts as in addition to being the first openly gay person to lead the city, Gloria, “the son of a hotel maid and a gardener” is also the first person of color in the Mayor’s chair. Gloria is a third-generation San Diegan of Filipino, Native American, Puerto Rican, and Dutch descent.

In a March 2019 interview with journalist Karen Ocamb, Gloria told the Blade that he officially came out to his parents at 18, though he jokingly says he was never “in” the closet since he and apparently everyone at school knew he was gay. But he survived those difficult times to go on and graduate summa cum laude from the University of San Diego, having majored in history and political science.

In his inauguration address after he took the oath of office, Gloria thanked his parents, Linda and Phil, and his brother and his family. Gloria also thanked his partner, Adam. He paid tribute to his political mentors and then the people who helped get him elected. He then addressed his city as the duly-elected Mayor for the first time;

“My fellow San Diegans, it is with pride that I stand before you today as the 37th mayor of our city. I’m humbled by your support; I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve; I’m hopeful about the future of our city,” Gloria said. “Today is the day that we start building a San Diego that is truly for all of us.”

“As a kid who grew up in Clairemont, I didn’t see people who looked like me leading practically anything — let alone the 8th largest city in the United States,” Gloria said at his inauguration Thursday. “But today, I stand before you as the first person of color and LGBTQ person to ascend to our city’s highest office.”

“This is a testament to what we all know: San Diego is a unique place, with incredible people, where anything is possible,” he continued. “It is the birthplace of California and a bridge between two nations. It’s the home of artistic creativity, groundbreaking innovation and research that changes the world. It is the place where the son of a hotel maid and a gardener, a Native American, Puerto Rican, Dutch gay guy has just become your mayor.”

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria gives his inauguration address during a virtual ceremony.
(Courtesy of the Office of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria)

As Gloria outlined his plans for his first 100 days in office, he stressed that his greatest priority is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We will be rolling out an aggressive strategy to address the worsening public health crisis in COVID-19,” he said. “The economic crisis that is impacting San Diego’s families, small businesses, and our city budget. The housing and homelessness crisis that has become even more dire.”

“My team and I are moving swiftly and decisively to protect our most vulnerable. And we’ll do it with a long-term goal of building a more resilient city in the process,” Gloria added. “It’s not enough to get things back to normal. Normal wasn’t and won’t be good enough.”

The Mayor then promised San Diegans that he and his team would build a coalition effort to work across all sectors of the city to accomplish the goals he was outlining.

“If we dream big, work together and believe in San Diego, we can accomplish anything. We will change the narrative — not just for the privileged few, but for everyone — especially those who have traditionally felt unheard,” he said.

“It’s the dawn of a new era. We will recover and build back better and stronger from COVID-19,” the mayor continued. “We will stand up for workers and create good-paying, local jobs that bring neighborhood improvement to all corners of our city.”

Gloria addressed the issues of racial equality and the Black Lives Matters movement.

“We will center racial justice and equity not just in public safety but in everything we do recognizing that Black Lives Matter,” he said.

He then vowed to “fully and faithfully” implement San Diego’s climate action plan “to ensure that the city that we love is here for generations to come.”

“I believe in us, San Diego,” the mayor said. “I know who we are and who we can be. I am so proud to be the mayor of this great city but I’m even more excited about what we can accomplish together. Because together, I know we will build a San Diego for all of us.”

If we dream big, work together and believe in San Diego, we can accomplish anything.”

In the March 2019 interview, addressing the LGBTQ community in his city, Gloria told the Blade, “We had a recent report where there’s 40,000 San Diego young people in their late teens and early 20s who are completely disconnected from the worlds of education and the world of work. Those are young people who are going un-utilized in our economy and that’s a missed potential towards the vision I have of a great city.”

Gloria says he wants to “keep that ladder of opportunity in place. I want to rebuild it where it may have been broken. I believe it because I’ve experienced it and I want others to have that same experience. And right now I think there’s good reason to doubt that that ladder exists. But my goal, my ambition, my vision is to rebuild it – not just for queer kids of color like me but really for every person who is going to work hard in San Diego.”

It’s a power of compassion, strength and responsibility that Gloria told the Blade that he hopes to bring home to San Diego. “I often talk on the campaign trail about this being a mayoral campaign and a hopeful administration that is focused on real people and on real problems,” Gloria says, adding that he carries the voices of LGBT history with him. “Hopefully, I can make our community proud.”

As one commentator reflected, now that he’s mayor, he has that chance.

Additional reporting by Karen Ocamb

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Newsom orders limited stay at home order as COVID surges

The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic



California Governor Gavin Newsom (Blade file photograph)

SACRAMENTO – In light of an unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced Thursday afternoon that a limited Stay at Home Order generally requiring that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier.

This includes Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The order will take effect at 10 PM Saturday, November 21 and remain in effect until 5 AM December 21. This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 PM and 5 AM and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” the Governor said. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

Non-essential businesses and personal gatherings are prohibited between 10 PM and 5 AM beginning Saturday, November 21 at 10 PM

This limited Stay at Home Order is designed to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. Activities conducted during 10 PM to 5 AM are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance.

“We know from our stay at home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”

“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting Public Health Officer.

“It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”

COVID-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. As a result, Governor Newsom and California’s public health officials have announced a list of measures to protect Californians and the state’s health care system, which could experience an unprecedented surge if cases continue their steep climb.

During his regularly scheduled press briefing Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that effective Tuesday, November 17, he would be pulling the “emergency brake” on the state’s efforts to reopen its economy and lifting societal restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom told reporters. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet –faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer.”

“The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes,” he added.

Late last week, Newsom issued a travel advisory for California joining Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, urging people entering their states or returning home from travel outside of the state(s) to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisory urges against non-essential out-of-state travel, asks people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourages residents to stay local.

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CDC warns Americans- Don’t travel for Thanksgiving

“The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to stay home and celebrate with people who live in your household.”



Centers for Disease Control Atlanta Headquarters (Photograph via CDC)

ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans do not travel this Thanksgiving. Speaking to reporters in a press briefing Thursday, Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said that his agency is “recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period.”

“The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members from coming to this family gathering and they could end up severely ill, hospitalized or dying. And we don’t want that to happen,” Walke said. “These times are tough, it’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months or and we understand people are tired.”

“We understand that people want to see their family and relatives and do it as they’ve always done it. But this year we’re asking them to limit their travel,” he added.

In a media statement released Wednesday, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Los Angeles County Director of Public Health said, “The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to stay home and celebrate with people who live in your household.  Connect with friends and family you don’t live with using all of the technology that allows us to see and hear each other from afar.”

“If you do choose to gather, closely follow the guidance for private gatherings.  Gather outdoors with no more than two other households, and no more than 15 people; wear face coverings unless eating or drinking and stay at least 6 feet apart. Limit the gathering to no more than two hours and do not share food or utensils,” she added.

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