City and County of San FranciscoHuman Rights Commission

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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the September 16, 2003 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Jason Alley, Melchor Bustamante, Chris Caldeira, Scott Campbell, Jay Dwyer, Julie Frank, Ted Guggenheim, Bill Kirkpatrick, Nancy Lawlor, Johnnie Pratt, Aleem Raja, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Lisa Scheff, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil, Lauren Williams.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Martha Knutzen (excused), Commissioner Theresa Sparks (excused), Virginia Benavidez, Kirsten Boyd, Sally Buchmann, Danny Kirchoff (excused).

Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Ellise Nicholson, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Ren Phoenix.

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

    Because there were no Commissioners present, Ms. Frank agreed to chair the meeting. She called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. Ms. Nicholson called the roll.

  2. Approval of Minutes of August 19, 2003:

    Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Romero-Lozano seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:


  4. Report of Police Department/Transgender Task Force:

    Marcus Arana, an HRC staff person, reported that for the last year and a half, staff has worked in collaboration with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and several community-based organizations on how to mitigate complaints reported by transgender people in which the perpetrators are police officers. This task force to created a package which will be presented to the Police Commission. The task force identified areas where changes can be made to assure that officers to adhere to a code of demeanor by revising the departmental general orders (DGOs) and issuing Type A priority bulletins. Both of these make the officers accountable for the information received because they must sign off on them. The police department and the Office of Citizen Complaints (OCC), which enforces citizens’ complaints against police officers, use the DGOs as their standard. So the stronger the DGO language can be made, the more enforcement OCC would have and the more accountability on the street. Lastly, training materials would be created to be used at all police stations during roll call. There, officers would be held accountable for their training since they must sign off on it as well. Mr. Arana was pleased to report that the SFPD worked with Staff cooperatively and with an open mind on the issues. One of the directives in this process provides for training for the command staff because until now, only cadets received transgender education. A training for the command staff was conducted by Sgt. Stephan Thorne with James Green. Half the Command Staff was trained in June 2003 and the rest of the command staff will be trained on September 18. The revised DGOs made it through the SFPD’s legal department with only minor changes to language. Mr. Arana feels confident that the package will be approved by the Police Commission next month.

    Ms. Frank asked if there was any resistance by the SFPD. Mr. Arana said that some resistance was passive/aggressive in that a commander would work on his logs during training. It was reported that this same commander was to attend a second training and to affirmatively participate. Ms. Scheff asked if there would be any follow-up data collection to see the effects of training. Mr. Arana said part of the recommendations is that an oversight body be created, including SFPD, community members, and staff, to conduct a review on the one-year anniversary of the adoption of materials.

  5. Gender Identity Task Force Report:

    Mr. Arana reported that the task force is currently finalizing the revisions of the Gender Identity Guidelines. He said that it has been a difficult process because there are tangible changes that, socially, need to move forward, but there’s the political reality of how fast & how far they can move. The two biggest challenges are addressing situations where there is unavoidable nudity and the concept of requiring all single-occupancy bathrooms in San Francisco businesses to be gender neutral. The task force is currently investigating if HRC can do this or if any building codes need to be altered. He added that in looking at the building codes involved, though the HRC may have the right to legislate something like this, this may not be the best way to go. A better way might be to make a strong recommendation in the guidelines and work with groups like PISR to lobby the City Departments that oversee the building codes. At the last meeting, the task force discussed whether or not there would be a need to continue meeting after the revision of the guidelines. The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, at 5:30 p.m.

  6. Activism Task Force Report:

    Mr. Alley reported that not all members of the task force were present due to scheduling conflicts and were unable to move forward on the activism forum. The task force will have an ad hoc meeting after tonight’s Committee meeting to discuss having a full proposal to present to the Committee by next month’s meeting.

  7. Intersex Task Force Report:

    Mr. Arana reported that working on the task force has been an amazing process because it’s a governmental body that is addressing this unique issue. He reported that he and Becca Lunine, former staff intern, gave a 45-minute report at the Commission meeting last Thursday. He added that the Commissioners sincerely engaged and asked very thoughtful questions. One of the goals of the task force was to offer this presentation to educate the Commissioners. He believes that the two things to come out of this task force will be a resolution passed by the Commission supporting the work of the activists looking into these issues, and a public hearing. He said that areas identified include strengthening parental consent, and educating parents that they don’t have to rush a baby to surgery to have their genitals changed cosmetically. They would be given options and counseling information. Parents would be put in touch with other parents of children with intersex conditions. Mr. Arana added that the task force is made up of members of various community groups such as the Intersex Society of North America, Kleinfelders Syndrome Support as well as community members who have intersex conditions.

  8. Work Group on Impact of Budget Cuts Report:

    Mr. Kirkpatrick said that since the work group doesn’t "meet", they do more monitoring. He said that so far there is nothing conclusive to report. As soon as any red flags arise, he will pass info along.

  9. Homeless Queer Youth Task Force Report:

Ms. Nicholson said that the panelists from last month’s Committee meeting were invited to be part of the task force. The first meeting date is set for Thursday, October 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the HRC.

10. Commissioners’ Report:

Nothing to report.

  1. Staff Report:

    Ms. Nicholson reported that Mr. Brinkin had mailed 120 more letters relating to the LGBT Senior Issues recommendations totalling 260 letters sent. Mr. Brinkin has been receiving responses from these agencies and will share them with the Committee at next month’s meeting. At last month’s meeting, Mr. Brinkin mentioned that Cynthia Goldstein of staff is working with the Board of Supervisors to get some changes to the Domestic Partner Registry to be voted on the March 2, 2004 ballot. Supervisors Dufty and Ammiano are co-sponsoring them. Proposed changes would affect the Retirement System since married people can obtain retirement benefits to kick in after a year without having to submit proof of marriage whereas domestic partners are unable to obtain retirement benefits if they do not. Another legislative change would allow for the Board of Supervisors to change the DP registry rather than having them voted on by voters. Ms. Nicholson said that she and Mr. Arana attended a training session put on by Horizons and CUAV which addressed racism and white privilege in LGBT organizations. There will be a follow-up to this training in December. Staff will be tabling at the Minority Business Trade Fair all day on Thursday at the Hyatt Embarcadero to provide information to minority- and women-owned businesses on doing business with the City. Staff is participating on an art project sponsored by the S.F. Public Library to create a piece using vandalized LGBT books. Ms. Nicholson said that AB17 passed the legislature; however, unlike AB205, it’s unclear whether Governor Davis will sign. Ms. Nicholson reported that SB2 just passed the legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. This would require businesses of a certain size to offer health insurance to their employees and families, which includes domestic partners. Staff received a grant from the Gill Foundation with which a consultant was hired to help update our list of insurance companies that provide domestic partner benefits. When updated the list will be available for online research.

  2. Old/New Business:


  3. Announcements:

    Ms. Caldeira reported that she spoke with Anne from Dimensions, an organization that serves San Francisco’s LGBTQQ youth and who spoke at last month’s Committee meeting, who mentioned that they need donations of soap, shampoo, and socks. Ms. Caldeira will collect donations from the Committee at next month’s meeting. Mr. Kirkpatrick said that on September 18, at noon, at New Leaf Services, 1853 Market Street, there will an employee union picket line protesting the wage and benefits package. Ms. Phoenix said that a fundraiser for the breast cancer fund will be held at Harvey’s on Sunday, September 21.

  4. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.