News Briefs: Marriage initiative is Prop 3 on Nov ballot

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday July 10, 2024
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Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Francisco last month for the Northern California campaign kickoff for Proposition 3, the Freedom to Marry initiative. He was joined by, at right, Assemblymember Evan Low and state Senator Scott Wiener. Photo: Rick Gerharter<br>
Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Francisco last month for the Northern California campaign kickoff for Proposition 3, the Freedom to Marry initiative. He was joined by, at right, Assemblymember Evan Low and state Senator Scott Wiener. Photo: Rick Gerharter

The Freedom to Marry initiative on California's November 5 ballot has a number. It will be Proposition 3, the secretary of state's office announced last week.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5, as it's formally known, was authored last year by gay legislators Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino) and state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). It seeks to remove the "zombie" Proposition 8 language that remains in the state constitution even though the 2008 anti-same-sex marriage law was overturned by the courts. That led to the resumption of same-sex marriage in the Golden State in 2013.

Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Francisco to launch the Northern California campaign to repeal the Prop 8 language. He told the Bay Area Reporter that he'll do "whatever I can do" to help the Freedom to Marry initiative pass this fall.

If Prop 3 passes, the state's governing document would be amended to state that "the right to marry is a fundamental right" and remove the anti-LGBTQ Prop 8 language that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Prop 3 is one of 10 statewide ballot measures that voters will decide. The others are:

Prop 2, a $10 billion bond for K-12 schools and community colleges for repairs and upgrades.

Prop 4, a $3.8 billion climate bond for safe drinking water, drought, flood, and water resiliency.

Prop 5, which would lower the threshold to 55% for bonds supporting low-income housing, road and transit expansions, parks, wildfire resilience, and other infrastructure projects, as the Los Angeles Times noted.

Prop 6 is Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 8. This would prohibit slavery in any form. (The state constitution already prohibits slavery in any form and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.) Prop 6 would prohibit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from disciplining any incarcerated person who refuses a work assignment.

Prop 32, which would extend minimum wage annual increases ($1 per year) until minimum wage — currently, $15 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees, and $14 per hour for smaller businesses — reaches $18 per hour.

Prop 33, which would expand local governments' authority to enact rent control on residential property.

Prop 34, which is aimed at Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation and would restrict spending by health care providers meeting specified criteria. AHF has for years spent millions of dollars on various statewide initiatives. The Times reported that the initiative applies only to health care providers that: spent over $100,000,000 in any 10-year period on anything other than direct patient care; and operated multifamily housing with over 500 high-severity health and safety violations. The Times noted it is sponsored by the real estate industry.

Prop 35 provides funding for Medi-Cal health services by making permanent a tax on managed health care insurance plans that was to expire in 2026. The state uses this money to pay for health care for low-income families with children, seniors, people with disabilities, and other groups covered by Medi-Cal.

Prop 36 would revise parts of Prop 47 that was passed by voters in 2014. It would change the law to make a third offense of theft, regardless of the value of the merchandise, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, the Times reported. The measure also would make possession of fentanyl a felony. Finally, the measure would impose a "treatment-mandated felony" the third time someone is arrested for drug possession.

For more information on the ballot measures, go to the secretary of state's website.

Tenderloin cleanup day

The Civic Joy Fund will hold a cleanup day in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. Interested people should meet at the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy Street. People will be picking up trash, painting graffiti, and power-washing streets in the district, according to an email announcement.

Afterward, participants can enjoy free food and DJs.

To sign up, click here.

MORE! Pride party raises over $100K for LYRIC

San Francisco drag artist Juanita MORE! has announced that she raised over $100,000 for LYRIC at her June 30 Pride party.

In an email to supporters, MORE! stated, "We raised over $127,000 from the party, with more donations still coming in."

The funds will help LYRIC with its youth programs.

"The funds raised from the Juanita MORE! Pride event will go straight to youth stipends, helping to sustain their livelihoods and ensuring they have the resources they need to thrive," Gael Lala-Chávez, LYRIC's executive director, previously told the B.A.R. "The support from the Juanita MORE! Pride event will be nothing short of a lifeline for LYRIC, ensuring that we can continue providing critical services to our community."

Lala-Chávez, who is nonbinary, wrote in a July 8 email that the funds raised now reaches $134,000.

"In an act of remarkable leadership and generosity, Juanita MORE! has significantly impacted LYRIC: Center for LGBTQQ+ Youth," they wrote. "A simple text on February 12 marked the beginning of a transformative journey for the organization during an exceptionally challenging year.

"Juanita MORE!'s bold leadership and unwavering support have been a source of inspiration, especially at a time when queer and trans youth face relentless attacks both nationally and locally," Lala-Chávez added. "These youth, often forgotten by the broader community, have found a steadfast ally in Juanita."

LYRIC, located in San Francisco's LGBTQ Castro neighborhood, has been fearful of city budget cuts, as the B.A.R. has reported. MORE! stated that she was glad to be able to help.

"I am proud that we can support LYRIC's mission," wrote MORE! "I want to keep building our community's future by helping our queer youth in their quest to carry on the legacy of our queer elders. I'm proud to say that this annual event has become one of the biggest nonprofit parties over Pride weekend."

People interested in donating to LYRIC can do so here.

Benefit for SF Public Press

A benefit for San Francisco Public Press' 15th anniversary will also enlighten attendees about the underreported rise in secret deal-making between local governments and corporations. According to an email announcement, the event takes place Thursday, July 11, at the Kanbar Performing Arts Center, 44 Page Street in San Francisco. A fundraising reception will be held at 5 p.m., followed by the program at 6.

The discussion will feature veteran investigative reporter and editor Miranda Spivack in conversation with Lila LaHood, executive director of the San Francisco Public Press.

For 20 years, Spivack was a reporter and editor at the Washington Post, where she broke stories about how local governments failed in their responsibility to be transparent, the email stated.

Her series "State Secrets," for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, was honored with the Sunshine Award from the Society for Professional Journalists.

Spivack will also discuss her forthcoming book, "Backroom Deals in Our Backyards: How Government Secrecy Harms our Communities — and the Local Heroes Fighting Back," scheduled to be published in 2025 by New Press.

Tickets are $250 for the fundraising reception, and sliding scale $10-$35 for the discussion. No one will be turned away for lack of funds for the main event.

To purchase tickets or for more information, click here.

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