City and County of San FranciscoHuman Rights Commission

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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the July 15, 2003 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Commissioner Martha Knutzen, Jason Alley, Kirsten Boyd, Sally Buchmann, Melchor Bustamante, Chris Caldeira, Scott Campbell, Ted Guggenheim, Johnnie Pratt, Aleem Raja, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Lisa Scheff, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Theresa Sparks (excused), Virginia Benavidez, James DeVinny, Jay Dwyer (excused), Julie Frank (excused), Danny Kirchoff (excused), Bill Kirkpatrick (excused), Nancy Lawlor (excused), Yoseñio Lewis(excused), Lauren Williams (excused).

Staff Present: Larry Brinkin, Ellise Nicholson, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Ren Phoenix.

Call to Order and Roll Call:

Commissioner Knutzen called the meeting to order at 5:42p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.

Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2003:

Stephen Schwichow moved to approve the minutes as written. Chris Caldeira seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:


Approval of Letters Implementing Senior Issues Report Recommendations

Larry Brinkin reported that in order to save money, copies of the Report will not be printed. Instead, the Report will be on the HRC website and on the website of the Aging and Adult Services Commission. Mr. Brinkin changed the letters to reflect this. Mr. Brinkin will attach a copy of the recommendation section of the Report to each letter, and will print copies of the entire Report upon request. Committee members issued no objections to this decision. Mr. Brinkin reported that he received a list of all senior services organizations in the City and will send the letter approved by the Commission to these organizations this week or next. Regarding the letters up for approval by the Committee at today’s meeting, one letter is to City College and the other is to LGBT community organizations that are not senior specific. The letters ask them to look at their programs and outreach and to be inclusive of LGBT seniors. The third letter is to health providers. Upcoming letters will be written to housing organizations as well as the Social Security Administration and other federal and state agencies. Mr. Brinkin will have these letters ready for Committee review next month. Letters for approval today are in the same format as those already approved, so it will not be necessary to take them to the full Commission for approval. Stephen Schwichow made a motion to approve the letters as written. Jorge Romero-Lozano seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Gender Identity Task Force Report:

Mr. Brinkin reported that the Deputy City Attorney is back. Mr. Brinkin, the Director, Cynthia Goldstein and Marcus Arana have met with her twice. She needs to conduct more legal research on some of the issues concerning the guidelines. She has stated that we can probably go ahead with the single use bathroom idea. However, mandating that all City businesses with single use bathrooms maintain those bathrooms as gender neutral would be a legislative move that would have to come from the Board of Supervisors. Further, the City Attorney asked that we meet with a representative from the Building Inspection Department regarding this issue, although she already spoke with him and he does not foresee any problems. Although there may be some resistance from business owners because of the small cost of changing their signs, Mr. Brinkin does not anticipate any significant costs that would preclude us from mandating such a change. Mr. Brinkin mentioned that we might want to discuss this change with activists from the disabled community to look into how this change might impact disabled people. For example, there may be some fear that new businesses would build less bathrooms (i.e. one gender neutral bathroom instead of one men’s and one women’s room) thereby lessening disabled bathroom availability. Mr. Brinkin pointed out that it is possible to write the legislation to avoid such a result. Ren Phoenix encouraged the Commission to be a model and frontrunner on this issue, which is central to preventing discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Commissioner Knutzen suggested that we present an education piece and testimony to the Commission when we bring this issue there. Mr. Brinkin reported that the City Attorney is still conducting research on the question of unavoidable nudity. Her research thus far indicates that there does not seem to be anything that would prohibit pre and non-operative transgender people from being in the locker room that matches their gender identity, but courts often look at current mores in evaluating such issues. Mr. Brinkin added that there will be another meeting with the City Attorney again in two weeks, and a lot of this research should be done in time for the next task force meeting.

Activism Task Force Report:

Jason Alley reported that the Activism Task Force had its first meeting last Tuesday. Members structured the conversation around moving away from the initial two day conference idea to a one or two day forum. Mr. Alley reported that they are thinking of the forum as an opportunity for San Francisco based individuals and organizations to come together with idea about sharing resources, networking, identifying gaps in resources and services, etc. Participants will generate the conversations. The plan is to have a guiding question/framework. The forum would be co-sponsored along with other LGBT organizations, each of which would contribute $50, and individual participants would be asked to donate $10 if possible. The task force is hoping to have a concrete proposal for the Committee next month. The ultimate goal is to have the forum in February of 2004. The next meeting of the Task Force is August 12, 2003. Commissioner Knutzen asked whether the proposal would have goals and hoped-for outcomes. Mr. Alley stated that it would. Mr. Brinkin proposed that the Task Force develop a question or series of questions for suggested discussion at the forum. Commissioner Knutzen stated that the proposed format pegs the forum as unique and valuable, and she imagines that the outcome will be a discovery of resource issues and needs that the Commission can subsequently look into. Kirsten Boyd added that Task Force members are trying to target a broad base of people and organizations who have been successful in various types of organizing and who will bring diversity of thought and excellence of opinion. Ren Phoenix stated that her experiences collaborating with other activists have been very effective, especially in Colorado around the Amendment 2 Initiative. Members also discussed allowing for tabling at the forum, and the possibility of televising the forum. Aleem Raja inquired about the order of bringing the proposal to the Committee and inviting organizations to co-sponsor the forum. Commissioner Knutzen stated that we should agree on the proposal as a group before inviting others to join us.

Intersex Task Force Report:

Mr. Brinkin reported that the Intersex Task Force has not met yet. HRC intern Becca Lunine is working on developing goals and will bring proposed goals to the first meeting.

Work Group on Impact of Budget Cuts Report:

Sally Buchmann reported that this group has not met. Ms. Buchmann read a report from the SEIU on services saved by the recent City contract negotiations.

Summary and Discussion of Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Sodomy Laws and Affirmative Action:

Staff member Ellise Nicholson summarized the recent Supreme Court decisions in the case of Texas v. Lawrence, Grutter v. Bollinger, and Gratz et. al. v. Bollinger. Members discussed the implications of these decisions for affirmative action and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights.

Commissioners’ Report:


Staff Report:

Mr. Brinkin reported on the Complaint Database and the upcoming report to be generated therefrom. He also reported on the police/transgender task force. The police legal department is still reviewing the proposed changes. Once approved, the revisions will move to the Police Commission for approval. Marcus Arana will be giving a presentation to this Committee at the September meeting regarding these changes. Mr. Brinkin reported that the staff Training Committee, which consists of himself, Cynthia Goldstein, Marcus Arana and Ellise Nicholson, is developing components, strategies, and varieties of trainings. He added that the Gill Foundation has awarded us a grant to update and enhance the list of insurance providers in the United States willing to include domestic partners and to create a searchable web application from this list. Regarding the budget, Mr. Brinkin reported that the Commission had two layoffs and lost a Coordinator position, but no further layoffs are currently foreseen.

Old/New Business:



Johnnie Pratt stated that he and Mr. Lawis have joined the Transcendence Gospel Choir. Stephen Schwichow announced that the United Church of Christ’s National Synod unanimously passed a resolution making gender identity a protected category. Morningstar Vancil stated that she will be performing in the Philippine LGBT Pride festival drag king show.

13. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40p.m.