Wow, Gay San Francisco Stands Up for Dennis Herrera at Harvey Milk Plaza – Ammiano Harshes Ed Lee + “WTF, Chronicle?”

[UPDATE: Oh, the Chron* was there. As was Steve T Jones of the Bay Guardian. And here's a short highlight clip.]

Well, a large crowd showed for today’s noontime rally in support of City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Herrera. It came in reaction to this bit from John Coté and Heather Knight in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Consider this rally, complete with pretty much all of Gay San Francisco (gee, who wasn’t there?), a strong retort.

Click to expand

1 of 4 - Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart and Senator Mark Leno:

2 of 4 – Assemblymember Tom Ammiano: “WTF, Chronicle?” (Ouch.) And then, on a different tack: “I think we all know who was doing it.” Uh, would that be Ed Lee? And do you think Tom’s talking about Ed Lee here? “…Healthy San Francisco, supporting it, not trying to decimate it. Honoring Occupy San Francisco and their ability to mediate and to collaborate. How about some fucking leadership?

(Here’s the short version, complete with Henny Youngman-style one-liners.)

And check out Cleve Jones at around 8:00: “And finally, to Ed Lee, whose campaign began with a lie [and] is ending with a lie. And in between the lies, what did we see but cronyism, fake grass-roots organizations coming out of nowhere, vote tampering like we haven’t seen in a long, long time, money laundering, and now we’re ending with a big lie, a slur against Dennis Herrera. And how stupid do you think we are? Please.”

(Here’s the short version.)

This is the clip with the vitriol:

3 of 4: City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the man himself:

4 of 4: Herrera’s closing plus Harvey Milk Club and Alice B Toklas Club, united:

All the deets:

“News conference on Dennis Herrera’s record of support for LGBT marriage equality: TODAY, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon, Harvey Milk Plaza
SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 27, 2011) — Leaders in the LGBT community and marriage equality movement including Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Scott Wiener, Molly McKay, Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, Cleve Jones, Julius Turman, Reese Isbell, representatives from both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LBGT Democratic Clubs, and a growing list of others will hold a news conference to defend City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s consistent record of support for marriage equality.
The news conference at noon today is in response to political attacks published in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday from anonymous sources who questioned City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s commitment to marriage equality.   
                      LGBT Community Press Conference
                      Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market
                      TODAY – Thursday, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon 
Below is a letter issued yesterday from Phyllis Lyon, the LGBT civil rights pioneer.  Lyon and her late wife, Del Martin, were the first same-sex couple married in San Francisco.”
MESSAGE FROM PHYLLIS LYON: OCT. 26, 2011
Subject: Dennis has always defended us
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - - 
Now, we need to defend him!
Please join Senator Mark Leno, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Supervisor Scott Wiener, representatives from both the Alice B. Toklas and Harvey Milk LBGT Democratic Clubs, and many other LGBT community leaders for:
                      LGBT Community Press Conference
                      Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market
                      Thursday, Oct. 27, 12:00 noon 
With less than two weeks until Election Day, a petty smear campaign is underway to personally discredit City Attorney Dennis Herrera over his years of work for marriage equality.  Incredibly, despite all the heroic efforts of Dennis and his office right from the start, anonymous sources have pushed a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that Dennis wasn’t “supportive” of Mayor Newsom’s decision to issue same-sex marriage licenses back in February 2004.  It’s not true.  These politically motivated attackers are hoping we’ll forget the years of hard work Dennis and his deputies invested — and continue to invest even now, in the federal challenge to Prop 8 — for LGBT equality.
My late wife, Del Martin, and I were the first same-sex couple married back in 2004. 
So I remember the heartfelt and tireless work that Dennis, Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry Stewart, and the City Attorney’s Office committed to defend our marriage from day one.  Yes, it was an uphill battle.  We all knew it, and we all expressed doubts.  But that doesn’t mean we weren’t “supportive” of marriage equality! 
That’s why these anonymous political attacks are such an outrage.
It’s not just insulting to a good man and longtime LGBT ally.  It insults the intelligence of LGBT voters who know that Dennis has been a consistent and effective champion for our community for years:
  • In the 1990s, as Police Commission President, Dennis established groundbreaking protocols to require police to treat transgender detainees with the dignity and respect they deserve. 
  • Dennis successfully defended our landmark Equal Benefits Ordinance in his first years as City Attorney, finally defeating challengers who opposed domestic partner benefits.
  • In 2002, Dennis and the Assessor ended tax re-assessments homeowners faced after the death of a domestic partner — so LGBT survivors on fixed incomes wouldn’t lose their homes.
Dennis’s heart has always been with us.  That’s why he was elected and re-elected City Attorney with overwhelming LGBT community support.  That’s why he’s now the only candidate for Mayor endorsed by both the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club (#1) and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club (#2).   
Dennis Herrera never shrank from defending the LGBT community — not once.  Now, it’s our turn to defend him.  
Please join us at Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market, Thursday, Oct. 27, at 12:00 noon. 
Sincerely,
Phyllis Lyon”
 ~
Mark Leno:

DJH with wife Anne:

And here’s part of the crowd descending the steps of Castro Station:

And, bonus, a special hug for Harvey and Alice:

So, uh, who’s the “political genius” who thought it was a good idea for former Gavin Newsom staffers to go to the Chron a few days back?

Because this whole affair, well, it’s not good for Ed Lee.

Not good at all…

*I swear, I don’t really get photojournalism and that sole shot presented is a good example of why. It doesn’t really transmit all that much info, it doesn’t really show who was there, and it’s not arty or anything. But it does juxtapose “applause” and “Herrera” so I guess that’s telling stories with photos and I guess that’s what PJ is supposed to be about. I suppose. (Is that day’s work, BTW?) Anyway, I prefer the camera-held-level-at-two-yards-altitude, you-are-there look.

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2 Responses to “Wow, Gay San Francisco Stands Up for Dennis Herrera at Harvey Milk Plaza – Ammiano Harshes Ed Lee + “WTF, Chronicle?””

  1. Keith Lesnick says:

    Great article — thanks for posting.

  2. I love the Alice B. Toklas Gay Democratic Club for coming to the aid of a good public servant, who happens to be straight, Dennis Herrera. By doing that, the oldest gay political group in S.F. became light years ahead of the others gay political groups who always throw their support behind gay candidates only.

    Many years ago, The Bay Area Reporter called future S.F. District Attorney Terry Hallinan anti-gay when he was running against Harvey Milk. However Hallinan was elected to 2 terms as D.A. and he appointed over 40 Openly gay lawyers and workers to his administration. This is the 21 Century and it’s time that we choose our elected public officials on their record and not just because they are gay.