Letters to the editor: Correcting the record on Bezis v. Wysinger

  • Thursday August 12, 2021
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Letters to the editor: Correcting the record on Bezis v. Wysinger

Correcting the record on Bezis v. Wysinger

I was disappointed to read the article "East Bay attorney calls on SF Pride board prez to resign" in the August 11 edition of the Bay Area Reporter. Much of the article is the one-sided self-serving ramblings of a straight white man of privilege attacking a queer Black woman. I am not surprised that only one person chose to go on the record and respond to the reporter's queries on the topic since most people I know choose to run far away from anything Jason Bezis is involved in.

Let's review what happened. We start off the article by finding out that Bezis, an attorney, was being suspended from the Democratic county central committee. We find out the reason why, but we only have his perspective and his explanation why he feels it was unfair. What he doesn't mention, of course, is that the county party rules require confidentiality on the hearing to protect the accused as well as those who choose to speak out so that they may speak freely. He uses that to his advantage because anyone who was present for his hearing is severely limited in what we can say. One thing we can say, though, is that the rules also require over two-thirds of our membership to find someone guilty in order to impose judgment. You can certainly infer from the fact that he was suspended that at least two-thirds of our voting members were concerned with the allegations and found them to be credible.

Next we have the heart of his accusations. The quotes Bezis attributes to Carolyn Wysinger, however, are not 100% accurate. Nevertheless let's take a look at what, according to Bezis, was so egregious about Wysinger's statements. He says she accused him of attacking and disrespecting a woman of color and a queer woman. Let's take a step back for a moment and recognize the irony here. In his complaint to SF Pride and in the article he is attacking a queer Black woman. It is an ongoing pattern of behavior. He is using his power and privilege as a straight white male attorney in an attempt to remove a queer Black woman from a position of prominence in an LGBTQ+ organization! You need no further proof to understand where the truth lies and how despicable his accusations truly are.

In addition, the Contra Costa Herald incorrectly quoted Bezis when they said he was the first member to be disciplined by the county party. (He was the only source for that article, too.) The county party previously removed two of our members for fraud, one of whom was then sitting as our vice chair. They were prohibited from serving as members for two to five years. Bezis was a close friend and ally of the removed members, so he was well aware that he was not the first. It's just another misrepresentation of the facts, as he often twists the truth to a pretzel of his own self-serving purposes until it is no longer recognizable.

Another completely inaccurate and self-serving mischaracterization is his suggestion that Wysinger has "contempt not only for core American constitutional values, but also for basic universal norms of empathy and decency." This from a man who has attacked our very democracy by attempting to use his knowledge of the law and Robert's Rules to prevent our county party from making real progress. This from a man who has unrelentingly attacked our members to the point of terrorizing them. I have had many discussions with members who have remarked that our most productive meetings of the last eight years have been those in which he was absent.

I know that difficulty first-hand. I served our county Democratic Party as its first openly gay chair several years back, and I had to deal with Bezis' constant interruptions and belligerent tirades. He has filed numerous complaints against our county party with the state party's oversight commission, so many in fact that one of the commission members, while discussing his latest complaint just this past Monday, referred to Bezis as a "vexatious complainant" (someone who repeatedly files complaints that lack merit).

I do not believe Bezis hates those of us who identify as LGBTQ+, but I wouldn't go so far as to call him an "ally." In truth, he is an equal opportunity bully who has no right to accuse anyone else of a lack of human decency or empathy. He will bully anyone who disagrees with him or crosses him in any way. I know for a fact that he bullied the genderqueer transwoman who filed the complaint against him as well as many others. His bullying in many circumstances has risen to the level of terrorizing his victims.

The board of directors of San Francisco Pride should continue to ignore the animus and frenetically bigoted ramblings of a bully who is also a straight white male attorney of privilege. And the B.A.R. should follow its lead. He is not worth any more of our time.

Jeff Koertzen

Concord, California

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