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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Harvey Milk Club Asks Mayor Ed Lee to Leave Ross Mirkarimi Alone Already

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM

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Turns out, Tami Bryant and the inmates over at San Francisco County Jail aren't the only ones who want everyone to leave Sheriff-in-limbo Ross Mirkarimi alone. 

The Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club this week passed a resolution demanding Mayor Ed Lee let Mirkarimi go back to work and publicly apologize to Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, for humiliating her through all of drama. They also want the city to give the sheriff back pay for the months since he was suspended after pleading guilty to false imprisonment stemming from a domestic dispute with his wife.

We at the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club are committed to justice for Eliana Lopez, Ross Mirkarimi, and their son, Theo Mirkarimi. The current process as it stands now gives us no confidence that this will take place: Over the past several months, Eliana Lopez's wishes have been blatantly disregarded, and opportunities for Ross Mirkarimi to come to terms with his behavior and the after-effects of his actions have been compromised at the altar of political spectacle.

The club notes that the legal process governing domestic violence aims to hold the abuser accountable for their violent actions, requiring, among other things, classes in violence reduction and anger management. "We believe that this process has been deliberately misused in the case of Ross Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez," the resolution states. "District Attorney George Gascón has piled on inappropriate charges, evidence was made public against the will and without the consent of Eliana Lopez in a wide variety of media outlets, and Sheriff Mirkarimi was wrongfully suspended from his job without pay.

"Eliana Lopez may have had marital problems in her life, but this does not give the mayor, the courts, prosecutors, the media, or a handful of anti-domestic violence advocates the power to erase her agency as a human being," the group said.

Let's be clear: The Harvey Milk Club is strongly opposed to domestic violence, and firmly believes in women's rights. However, the group asserts that the circumstances surrounding Mirkarimi's domestic dispute with his wife were already addressed by the courts.

At this point, Mayor Lee is the villain, according to the group, which says his "egregious politicization and fiscal irresponsibility on this issue diminishes the seriousness of domestic violence and disrespects the expressed wishes of Eliana."

The resolution notes that Mirkarimi has consistently advocated for funding for domestic violence response programs, programs protecting the rights of women, services for the homeless and other vulnerable populations, and demonstrated a commitment to serving his community. "In this light, we feel he has been unjustly targeted. We also believe it is critical that he be given the opportunity to serve as Sheriff, per the will of the voters who elected him in November of 2011."

And they don't stop there. The club also wants the mayor to publicly apologize to Lopez for humiliating and disempowering her.

By the way, this resolution was crafted by longtime LGBT activists, feminists, social justice advocates, survivors of domestic violence, as well as members of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club of San Francisco.

Jim Ross, a local political consultant, says this organized movement to support Mirkarimi looks more like a political campaign than a court proceeding. "His supporters have professional looking signs and people have been turning the hearings into rallies for him," Ross tells us. "I think going out and developing political support is part of the plan to get the votes he needs at the Board of Supervisors."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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