San Diego, Where Being Called ‘Faggot’ During a Gay Bashing Doesn’t Make It a Hate Crime

Jacob Harshbarger, the San Diego man called a "fucking faggot" during a Halloween gay bashing he suffered while walking his dogs, might see his assailants meet some justice: 23-year-olds Michael Brandon and Christopher Blount have been charged with felony battery counts. Police initially called the attack a matter of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," and not a hate crime. It appears they're sticking to it: prosecutors aren't levying any hate crime element to the charges.


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San Diego Firefighters Harassment Judgement Upheld

Remember this case where several San Diego firefighters sued their city for forcing them to participate in in a gay pride parade in 2007 in which they claim they suffered sexual harassment? The firefighters testified that after the parade, they experienced "headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and other stress-related symptoms." A jury found in their favor last year. Now an appellate court has upheld that judgement.

Sdfire The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:

Joseph Infranco, co-counsel in the firefighters’ case, said he hopes the ruling “will end the city’s attempts to defend its act of compelling people to participate in sexually charged events against their moral and personal convictions.”

The individual firefighters were awarded damages ranging from ,000 to ,200. The trial court also awarded attorney fees to the firefighters in the amount of 2,980 and costs in the amount of ,383. Those fees and costs, plus 7 percent interest, must be paid, according to the appellate ruling. In addition, fees for fighting the appeal will also be assessed in an amount to be determined later.

This was the second time the firefighters went to trial on the sexual harassment claim. A jury deadlocked in October of 2009. In that trial, the jury was asked to award each firefighter up to million. LiMandri didn’t request a specific figure in this trial.

According to th San Diego Union-Tribune, "a spokeswoman for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, said the city has not yet decided whether to take the case to a higher court."

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Where In The World Is The San Diego Gay & Lesbian Times?

The San Diego Gay & Lesbian Times wasn't in print this week, relays Don Bauder, nor was its online edition posted on its website. (The cover image, seen here, does appear online; the link to the digital edition brings up last week's issue.) Google says the website was last updated since Oct. 7. "Owner Mike Portantino is ailing. According to one rumor, employees have been told they have been laid off, but I could not pin that down. According to a recorded message on his phone, Portantino's mail box is full and can't accept more messages."

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—  John Wright

Activists Arrested in San Diego Prop 8 Sit-in

Protester Brian Baumgardner is handcuffed after being arrested during a sit-in for Gay Marriage at the County Clerk’s office on Thursday. Photo by Sandy Huffaker Jr./Sign On San Diego

Reports of more civil disobedience actions from the LGBT community. From Sign-on San Diego.

On the day hundreds of gay and lesbian couples statewide planned to obtain their long-awaited marriage licenses, a crowd of about 50 people gathered at the county clerk’s office Thursday to protest a federal judge’s stay of a federal ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

“We believe that county officials and the Attorney General have the authority and the obligation to allow marriage licenses to proceed based on both federal court findings and that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and the governor’s filings in Prop. 8 cases,” Tyler Dylan-Hyde said. “We are asking you to do what’s right.”

Three heterosexual couples had approached for their scheduled appointments this morning. The group refused to move and allow the couples access to the office.

Call me a radical, but I’m a fan of no Justice, no peace strategies myself. (Protestors in fact shouted: “We shall not be moved. No equality. No business as usual.”) I see these actions as a helpful addition to the public discourse, but by no means a replacement. We can still work, in the courts, at the ballot box, in the halls of Congress.

But, the political disenfranchisement of LGBT community and our disadvantage of being a small minority make such tactics an uphill battle. It’s so easy to ignore our community’s call for equality, in the media, in the political sphere. And, of course, there are always so many more important things going on…

The forces that fight us are relentless, tireless, Machiavellian and do everything in their power to remain covert. While many of our allies remain feckless and disengaged. We need to demonstrate how important these goals are to our community. Our civil rights are at stake, the government’s obligation to treat us equally under the law.

And we’re not afraid to take our fight out into the sun, into the spotlight, because we’re right. Our actions will be vindicated by history, as have the similar actions of those who came before; fighting unjust wars, the right for women to vote, and the right for men to be men, not property.

I salute these activists.

GetEqual tweeted 12 were arrested, this report says 3 arrested, 6 “later removed.” Investigating. Sure more details will become available soon.
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—  John Wright