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San Francisco Chronicle
S.F. gay pride group hurls a 'Pink Brick' at Gov. Schwarzenegger
- Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is preparing to embrace gay Republicans at a fundraiser in Southern California next week -- but back in San Francisco, a brick is headed his way over his veto of last year's same-sex marriage bill.
Schwarzenegger is this year's recipient of the "Pink Brick'' award, a raspberry handed out annually by organizers of the San Francisco gay pride parade.
The governor received nearly a third of the 3,043 mail-in ballots cast in advance of this Sunday's parade. That was well ahead of the second-place Concerned Women for America, a Christian-based group that campaigns against same-sex marriage.
Last year's brick winner was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, for her analysis that the "too much, too fast, too soon" push for same-sex marriage rights had helped cost the Democrats the 2004 presidential election.
"It's just another way to put pressure on a leader to look at our community ... and take our issues seriously," said Lindsey Jones, executive director of the San Francisco pride parade.
The brick wasn't the only snub Arnold got in repayment for his veto in September of Assemblyman Mark Leno's bill granting same-sex partners the right to marry.
Organizers of gay pride events in San Diego, Long Beach and elsewhere declined to publish the greeting and letter of appreciation that Schwarzenegger sent out last month ahead of the celebrations.
In San Francisco's case, organizers ran the governor's letter in their gay pride magazine -- but also included a side letter pointing out both Schwarzenegger's good deeds and failures when it came to issues of interest to the gay and lesbian community.
Asked about his refusal to back same-sex marriages during a Webcam conversation with the public Tuesday, Schwarzenegger -- whose chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, is a lesbian -- emphasized his support for domestic partner rights. But he said voters had sent a loud and clear "no" in 2000 when they passed Proposition 22, which reaffirmed the state's definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
And you can bet he will be singing much the same tune June 29 when he's scheduled to appear at a big Hollywood gathering benefiting the gay Log Cabin Republicans. It's his first appearance before a gay audience since taking office in November 2003.
"It's a way of saying 'thank you' to an organization that supported him during the recall and during his reform agenda last year, and that has supported his re-election -- and it's the only gay group that frankly did that," said Chris Bowman, a local GOP gay activist who plans to attend the dinner.
As for the governor's veto of the Leno bill, Patrick Guerriero, national president of the 20,000-member Log Cabin Republicans, said, "The governor has signed scores of (gay) supportive legislation.
"We recognize that there is a lot of education work to do, not only with the governor, but with Californians, as well," Guerriero said.
Not good enough, Leno says. He thinks Schwarzenegger continues to "play to his far right,'' noting that the governor has announced he will veto a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would require school textbooks used in California to reflect the achievements of gays. The bill has passed the Senate but is still awaiting action in the Assembly.
"I can't recall another instance where a governor took a position on a bill so early in the process,'' Leno said.
Not so fast: Despite Ron Dellums' call to hold off, outgoing Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown said he plans to make board and commission appointments right up to the very end of his term.
Right now, there is one vacancy on Oakland's Port Commission, two vacancies on the Planning Commission and three on the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board -- all potentially key appointments when it comes to development deals.
Dellums, who will replace Brown in January, asked the mayor to leave the Port Commission appointment till he takes office. The mayor-elect wants someone who will hold the port's feet to the fire on environmental issues.
Dellums also said he wants the new appointments to the Planning Commission to reflect the diversity of Oakland -- a not-so-subtle jab at Brown's penchant for development deals that riled various communities.
Brown spokesman Gil Duran said Tuesday that while the mayor would be open to discussing the matter, he planned to continue the "settled practice of the mayor exercising his authority through the end of the term, just as they do in San Francisco and in Sacramento."
Duran also noted that Brown predecessor Elihu Harris' last appointment -- to the Library Commission -- was approved the day after Brown took office.
Old Glory: Congratulations to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department for getting Old Glory back up the flagpole at North Beach's Washington Square Park.
And it took only four months and two days to do it.
That was the amount of time between when police Capt. Jim Dudley, head of the department's Central Station, recovered the stolen flag off a purple-haired kid near the park and when the city got it back up.
Why so long?
What else? Money and bureaucratic back and forth.
At one point, the gang at Central Station even offered to take up a collection to get the job done.
Eventually, however, Rec and Park was able to:
A) get a contract for an outside steeplejack (the city doesn't employ one);
B) scrape together the $575 for the steeplejack to climb the pole and replace the string that was cut in the theft; and
C) get everyone's schedule together to get the job done.
"Earlier would have been nicer,'' said Rec and Park spokeswoman Rose Dennis. "But it's up now, and hopefully everyone leaves it alone."
Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. They can also be heard on KGO Radio. Phil Matier can also be seen on KRON4 News. Got a tip? Call them at (415) 777-8815, or drop them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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June 22, 2006
Schwarzenegger snubbed by gay San Franciscans
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been making news lately for his embrace of the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans, who will honor him at a fund-raiser next Thursday in Los Angeles. But gays and lesbians in San Francisco want him to know they are not happy with the governor’s veto of a same-sex marriage bill last year. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Schwarzenegger is this year’s recipient of the “Pink Brick” award, a raspberry handed out annually by organizers of the San Francisco gay pride parade, which will take place this Sunday. In being considered for the brick, Schwarzenegger scored well ahead of the second-place finisher, the notoriously antigay Christian group Concerned Women for America. The onetime mega–movie star received nearly a third of the 3,043 mail-in ballots cast. Last year’s brick winner was U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein, who said that the push for same-sex marriage in 2004 was “too much, too fast, too soon,” implying that the issue had cost the Democrats the 2004 presidential election. “It’s just another way to put pressure on a leader to look at our community...and take our issues seriously,” Lindsey Jones, executive director of the San Francisco pride parade, told the Chronicle. The brick wasn’t the only snub Schwarzenegger received for having vetoed the same-sex marriage bill, authored by gay California assemblyman Mark Leno. Organizers of gay pride events in San Diego, Long Beach, and elsewhere declined to publish the greeting and letter of appreciation that Schwarzenegger sent out last month ahead of the pride celebrations. Asked about his refusal to back same-sex marriages during a Web cam conversation with the public on Tuesday, Schwarzenegger—whose chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, is a lesbian—emphasized his support for domestic-partner rights. But he said voters had sent a loud and clear “no” in 2000 when they passed Proposition 22, which reaffirmed the state’s definition of marriage as being the union of a man and a woman. (The Advocate)