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A simple apology would have saved thousands of dollars

Commentary: Conversations with Nicole

Joseph Rocha and Lori Saldaña

Well, I’ll be out of town for about six days for the Harvey Milk Foundation and a religious pilgrimage.

Will Walters vs. San Diego Pride

I recently read the lawsuit filed in federal court against the City and San Diego LGBT Pride by 30-year-old Will Walters and I’m concerned. First of all, Will is represented by the powerful and successful law firm of Mike Aguirre. San Diego Pride’s attorney is Todd Stevens (partner of popular Judge David Rubin). This is going to cost Pride some money to defend this case and all this could have been avoided if San Diego Pride would have issued an apology to Will.

Will Walters was in a great-looking leather outfit and walked all over the parade route and no police officer said a word. Then, wearing the very same outfit to the festival Will gets harassed and arrested because his leather outfit was now too revealing. The charges against Will Walters were, of course, dropped and San Diego Pride assured him that this incident will never happen again as it seems that Pride security not only overly cooperated with the uptight police officers but “banished” him. While I agree that there should be no “weenies, tits, butts” showing at our Pride events Will’s outfit was in no way lewd. Our Pride festival should especially be a place we can all express ourselves. I don’t think San Diego Pride handled this situation well at all and now, instead of issuing Will Walters a simple, deserved apology, they refused and now have a lawsuit against them. After all, Will Walters was harassed and subjected to some homophobic treatment at the county jail and its high-ranking “commander” personally apologized to Will on behalf of the Sheriff’s Dept. and that’s why they aren’t being sued. San Diego Pride’s refusal to also apologize will cost the organization thousands of dollars to now defend this lawsuit or settle it or lose it. A gamble that San Diego Pride should not have taken. Period.

Five days in the state capitol

I love their new airport. I presented some awards to veterans and GLBT leaders at the West Sacramento City Hall (their mayor is gay). Nice to see city council candidate Steve Hansen and Thelma Harris formerly of San Diego and now with Glaxo Smith Kline. The Waterboy continues to be my favorite restaurant. Yes, when I got back to town I, once again, had to check into the hospital, but I’m doing fine now.

Why Lori Saldaña over Peters

All of San Diego loved the late Junior Seau.

It seems all that Scott Peters and his supporters talk about is that he has lots of personal money to win. This has become the verbal “No. 1” talking point of the Peters campaign. Well, good for him that he, like Romney, is another “Mr. Money Bags,” but this congressional district is a lot about average families and blue collar workers.

Don’t forget that Lori Saldaña won her assembly race against two powerful establishment candidates who both out-spent her. Saldaña is a “bold progressive fighter.” Don’t we have enough rich businessmen in Congress? Let’s send a very qualified woman who can relate to the average struggling American. The choice is very clear. If you really want change in our nation’s capitol: Lori Saldaña for Congress!

About the Rainbow Flag issue

Many of you have been asking me questions and are concerned about the Planning Commission voting down, not once but twice, the Rainbow Flag project. First of all, we should all appreciate the very hard work the Hillcrest Business Association and others have done on this important project and we must continue to support it when it comes before the city council. I do feel that bringing up the huge Rainbow flag in the “Castro” of San Francisco is a mistake. We are San Diego and are “America’s Finest City” and our community stands on its own. I do wish that huge American and Rainbow flags could fly together in Hillcrest in honor of our military personnel and veterans. At any rate, this great project needs all of our support, so let’s get behind the Rainbow Flag project!

F.Y.I.

More than 950 tickets have been sold for the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast (May 25). There are only a few tables left, so contact The Center today as it will be soon sold out again. Hey all you Latinos and Latino lovers out there, this coming Saturday (May 5) is the 14th annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Show time is 6:30 p.m. Your host: Carlos Silva. Video stars Brent Everett and husband Steve Pena of San Diego are on the cover of Just Us Boys magazine. North County’s new LGBTQ Center will be having their annual gala We are Family May 19 at the Oceanside Museum of Art. For more info: 760-672-1848. Russell Roybal, the deputy director of the N.G.L.T.F. in Washington, D.C., was in town this past weekend. San Diego hopes to host another Creating Change conference in the future. Stuart Milk will be in San Diego May 22 for the Harvey Milk Street dedication. Joseph Rocha tells me the recently established GLBT Veterans Advisory Council is in place and soon names will begin to be placed on the Ben F. Dillingham and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor of San Diego County. Word is that Lei’s Lounge will reopen in June. Look for many San Diego civic and community leaders to drop their voter registration as Republicans and Democrats and become Independents in support of the new group “Move to the Middle” and Nathan Fletcher after the primary. Yes, plans are coming along for the first Harvey Milk American Diner to open in Hillcrest and soon to sweep America!

Super-popular Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be in Hillcrest May 23 campaigning for Bob Filner to be held at Rich’s (5 p.m.). The Ben F. Dillingham Community Grant recently paid for yet another cremation of a gay father of two who died of AIDS. This fund also paid for many cremations for those who could not even afford this last dignity in ones life. Look for the return for one night only of The Dating Game at Flicks for a charity fundraising event.

Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for well over 40 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last five mayors of San Diego. He is also a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council of the USA, Canada and Mexico. Nicolemrsandiego@aol.com.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on May 3, 2012. Filed under Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “A simple apology would have saved thousands of dollars”

  1. You do know that Saldana endorsed Mike Aguirre, right?

  2. Todd Stevens? He’s a real estate lawyer, and a lousy one. Pride should stop going to the usual suspects and find a lawyer who knows what they’re doing (not just at the Palm Springs resorts)!

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