San Francisco, CA

Cal. agency says state law covers roommates

September 06, 1998
With misgivings about invading apartment dwellers' privacy, a California state civil rights agency awarded $2,744.35 in damages to a black Oakland woman rejected as a roommate by two white women because of her race.
     The Fair Employment and Housing Commission said people who rent a house or apartment and seek a roommate are covered by California's law banning racial discrimination in housing.
     While taking part in the 4-0 decision, two commission members said the Legislature should change the law.
     The law ``intrudes too far into individuals' choice of living arrangements, and may also raise constitutional issues of privacy and association,'' wrote commissioners Theron Johnson and Ann-Marie Villicana.

EDITORIAL: Bias may cost S.F. HUD dollars

August 14, 1998
On July 29, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a provision, introduced by Frank Riggs, R-Windsor, that would strip San Francisco of federal housing money, totaling $65 to 265 million. Riggs introduced the measure to punish San Francisco for The City's policy requiring any company with which it does business to offer
domestic partner benefits to employees.
     Riggs' curious message - that equality is an ideal to be fought against vigorously - is a dangerous one. The denial of public funds to San Francisco flies in the face of the right of citizens to enjoy the basic freedoms and benefits afforded by their community without discrimination. 

Disabled inmates win state protection

August 12, 1998
The state admitted Tuesday that disabled prisoners had been victims of discrimination and agreed to develop a program to fix the problem.
     The pledge stems from a class-action suit filed two years ago in federal court in San Francisco, accusing the Department of Corrections of failing to protect mentally retarded and developmentally disabled prisoners from harm by other inmates.
     It comes less than two months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prisoners are protected under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which bars discrimination against certain groups. 

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