Tag Archive | "gay"

Joe Shaw: gay, but not the ‘gay councilman’


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

After being sworn in last Monday for his first term on the Huntington Beach City Council, Joe Shaw, who is openly gay, said he wasn’t surprised that he was elected.

“When I first came to Huntington Beach with my then partner eight years ago,” he reminisced in his acceptance speech , “we opened a business downtown and at once we were warmly embraced by the people of downtown, our customers and people from all over the city.”

Shaw says he and his partner were accepted “unconditionally and without judgment” and that “I looked at this beautiful city and its wonderful people and knew I had found a new home.”

Surf City does offer domestic partner benefits for city employees, but its citizens also reelected Dana Rohrabacher, one of the most homophobic representatives in Congress, by overwhelming vote margins for the past several decades.

Rohrabacher opposes marriage, adoption and military enlistment rights for openly gay or lesbian adults and he favors amending to the Constitution to define marriage as an act to occur between men and women only.

Rohrabacher’s anti-gay views might not be openly shared by most of his Surf City constituents, but they still hold sway in Orange County Republican politics and, at least indirectly, in Surf City politics.

One of the main reasons that the Orange County GOP didn’t endorse Barbara Delgleize—who lost fourth place in the city council election to Shaw by a handful of votes—is that she supports the right to same-sex marriage, according to reports in the Republican blog Red County, including one written by OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh.

Robert Gentry, who served on the Laguna Beach City Council 1982 – 1992, was the first openly gay elected official in Orange County, but Shaw is the only one currently holding office in the county.

Shaw will concentrate on being the “best councilman I can be,” not the “gay city councilman,” he said. But he believes that his victory should provide hope to others.

“I must acknowledge it,” he said, “because it will make a difference in many peoples’ lives to know that this is possible in Huntington Beach and Orange County. It does get better.”

Lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people want the same things in life that everyone else does, Shaw said, explaining the broader significance of his victory. “We want good schools, safe and well maintained streets, clean water and air, and abundant open space,” he said.

For his first-term priorities, Shaw hopes to tackle the city’s tough financial problems. “First, we have challenging financial conditions ahead of us. We have made some difficult cuts and will likely have to negotiate more. I intend to be fiscally prudent without harming our ability to provide our essential services,” he declared.

Not harming “essential services” is the obligatory mantra of even the most hawkish fiscal reformers on the city council, and those services are usually defined as police, fire and infrastructure, which includes just about everything a city government provides.

Protecting those services won’t be easy under the ongoing recession—likely to be exacerbated by plans to cut a $25 billion state budget deficit and federal tax cuts for the rich proposed by Obama and the new Congress—with little hope for state or federal bailout money for cities across the country.

Shaw’s goals for Surf City’s future are optimistic, however, including a proposed 25-year mobility plan designed to accommodate future development with alternative modes of transportation, “including buses, trollies, trains and bike ways.”

Shaw seeks to develop a more sustainable city by encouraging projects like the Community Garden set to open soon in the southeast portion of the city and he will try to encourage new business creation through deregulation, making sure that “all of our citizens are treated as valuable customers by the city.”

Shaw also announced that he will reappoint Blair Farley to the Planning Commission. Farley, who narrowly trailed Delgleize in the election, campaigned with Shaw and co-victor Connie Boardman as part of Team Huntington Beach.

Photo: Arturo Tolenttino for the SCV

Please Give Generously Now



Other Amount:



Your URL or E-mail :



Posted in UncategorizedComments (1)

Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice (Book Review)


Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice by Adam Bereki.  Costa Mesa: Spartan Associates, 2010.

Reviewed by Daniel C. Tsang
Special to the Surf City Voice

I made the mistake of initially dismissing as a flimsy account Adam Bereki’s slim (160-page) personal narrative about being drummed out of the Huntington Beach Police Department because of his sexual orientation .  But on re-reading his book, Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice, I came to realize that his book is a stunning indictment of what the author perceived as the deep machismo, laced with homophobia, of the Surf City’s police department

Adam Bereki, . Photo courtesy Mike Lee of Starlight Photography

Current Police Chief  Ken Small, who headed the department during Bereki’s short tenure, is quick to dismiss (in the Orange County Register) Bereki’s work as “fiction”.  Yet Bereki tells a believable if horrifying  story where truth is stranger than fiction, such as when a trusted mentor turned on him by simulating anal sex with him during police training exercises and another fellow cop made jokes about it being his “day off” when someone was reported masturbating in public.  He also got demerits for being gung ho about police work, thus  putting his lazier fellow cops to shame.  In fact, his personnel  evaluations  miraculously shot up when he briefly slacked off and in his own recounting, did what many other cops did: read a book, sit under a tree, or browsed the Internet during work hours.  Bereki  also claims most cops file reports that are never acted upon; more than once, he felt tempted to tell crime victims that dark secret.

Bereki, passionate about police work since he started in the Explorer program as a teenager, went to police academy and was initially welcomed into his hometown police department.  But soon rumors of his sexual preference began spreading, especially after his housemate, a cop whom Bereki viewed as his mentor, “Junior,” found him in bed with another guy, who was actually a fellow gay cop, “Justin,” from Laguna Beach Police Department . It didn’t matter that the two were zonked  out drunk after a night on the town in L.A.  The mentor  went to the “police association’s bar and told everybody the story.”  His tormentor would later scream at him, according to Bereki, saying: “I don’t want gay rumors or roommates in this house.  I don’t know where you and Brad have been doing up in LA, but that’s where all the fags go.” Brad was another friend of Bereki’s. Read the full story

Posted in UncategorizedComments (0)

Tea Party Rage in OC Sheriff’s Race: “Most of the queers are liberal…Fuck you!”


A local Tea Party enthusiast wants to “tea bag” liberals, denies homosexuality exists in the Tea Party movement and says “fuck you” at a campaign rally for Orange County Sheriff’s candidate Bill Hunt. Hunt was joined by Sheriff Joe Arapaio from Arizona, who is famous for using police state tactics against immigrants and others. Hunt has said that he wants to be like Joe Arpaio if elected to office in November.

Posted in UncategorizedComments (0)


Donations

Please Give Generously Now



Other Amount:



Your URL or E-mail :



Calendar: Click for that day’s posts

November 2014
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930