A bill authored by state Senator Scott Wiener and sponsored by Equality California to protect the rights of LGBT seniors in long-term care facilities was passed Wednesday by the California state Senate in a vote of 26-12. SB 219, dubbed the LGBT Senior Long-Term Care Bill of Rights, is a major step forward in advocating for the vulnerable and often marginalized LGBT senior population in the state, and it will now head to the Assembly for their vote.
The state Senate approved a bill that would allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. Wednesday, bringing San Francisco and other California cities one step closer to a later last call.
The bill, which state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced in February, would allow communities to decide if local bars can serve alcohol past the current 2 a.m. cutoff. It will now move to the state Assembly for a review and vote — one of the last steps for the bill before it hits the governor’s desk.
To address the imbalance, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) designed Senate Bill 35. It would require many local governments to say “yes” to new housing in areas zoned for high-density development so long as developers include some affordable units. Senate Bill 167 from Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would add teeth to existing state law that hinders cities from blocking affordable housing projects.
“While I understand why an attorney, in order to win a case, might be tempted to inquire about immigration status, as a matter of public policy it’s a terrible idea,” Wiener said. “The minute people feel unsafe going to court and testifying, our public safety is harmed.”
"It's great that this important public health and safety bill took another step forward," gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who co-authored the bill with Eggman, told the Bay Area Reporter. "Having a safe space where people can inject will mean less injecting in public spaces, fewer needles on the ground, and more opportunities to get people into recovery programs. Our current situation isn't working. Let's try this pilot and see if it works. If it doesn't work, we can pivot away from it. But let's at least try."
Stepping in to centralize more land use decisions in Sacramento would reveal that there is a strong broad statewide interest in more development. It would mean more jobs and higher middle class living standards, but also higher tax revenue and more resources available for social housing.
“I think LGBT people in San Francisco understand what LGBT people in other states go through in terms of living under discrimination and really being attacked and marginalized,” Wiener said. “So we feel a special responsibility to stick up for our brothers and sisters in all 50 states, including South Dakota; there are a lot of LGBT people in South Dakota and they need advocates.”
San Francisco was ground zero, with three times as many AIDS cases per capita as New York and 10 times as many as Los Angeles. At one point, about half of San Francisco’s gay men were infected and most expected to die within 10 years. I’ve heard horror stories from gay men with gray hair, many of them tearing up just thinking about all the friends and partners they lost.
So it’s telling that it’s a gay man from San Francisco, Sen. Scott Wiener, who is pushing the bill that would greatly reduce the penalties for transmitting HIV.