Could Gerrie Schipske Be Long Beach's First LGBT Mayor?

The councilwoman stands on the cusp of making that title a reality. But getting there hasn't been easy

I said to her, "That's not why I'm here, really. I'm broken-hearted. I don't know anybody. I don't want to lose my job. I don't want to reach out to anybody." And I also was having some really bad stomach pains.

Laura Schlessinger said, "Well, that's emotional constipation" and all this other stuff, you know. [Becoming sarcastic.] But she was very accepting of gays and lesbians. She got this bright idea that I needed to haul my parents up to North Hollywood, where she had her practice off Highland, that I needed to haul them in there and, uhh, come out to them. So, I did.

It was the dumbest thing I ever did. That's not the way you come out to your parents. But I did. And it was very painful for them, it was very painful for me, and then, as we all know, Laura Schlessinger wound up turning on the gay community—and that was just the height of hypocrisy. It was a bad thing she did.

Gerrie Schipske
John Gilhooley
Gerrie Schipske
Schipske speaking at a rally for marriage equality
Courtesy of Gerrie Schipske
Schipske speaking at a rally for marriage equality

[Schipske takes a momentary, assessing pause, then resumes.] So I told my parents. And my parents weren't happy about it, and looking back, I wish I had done it another way. But my parents said they already knew. Most parents do. They said they knew, and my mother said, "I'm praying for you to find a husband." My dad didn't say much. My dad was very quiet about it.

And then I met Flo. I was open with them about Flo. I brought Flo to the house. They liked Flo. Then when I adopted my children, they were wonderful, loving grandparents to my children. Every once in a while, my mother would say, "We're still praying for you. We're praying for Flo, too." But after that point, it was never anger.

*     *     *

NURSING, MOTHERHOOD AND RIDING A BIKE
GERRIE SCHIPSKE:
In 1980, I quit the City of Long Beach and decided to go to nursing school. I was fed up with politics, government, all kinds of stuff. I wanted to do something that could really help people. I went to Golden West College. My first nursing job was at UCLA—the neonatal intensive-care unit—and I got the opportunity to go to Harbor/UCLA, the nurse practitioner program, working OB/GYN, family planning, that kind of thing. After doing family planning for a bit, I decided I wanted to adopt kids, so I became a licensed foster parent.

I had a big battle with the county over that because they didn't want to license a lesbian. But I never told them I was a lesbian, and they never asked.

But one day, a social worker asked me, "Do you bicycle a lot?"

"What?"

"Do you bicycle a lot?"

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Oh, that explains what the neighbors said."

I kind of took that as code.

At first, the county wouldn't give me a full license—I'm working in neonatal nursing, and a story came out that a heterosexual foster-care couple murdered a child. I called the county and said, "Excuse me, you've been advertising for single people, and you won't license me because you think I'm gay?"

So they gave me a license, then told me I had to go find my own baby. Some social workers told me, "There are so many babies—nobody tells you to get your own baby." They brought me what turned out to be my son. After 22 months, they brought my oldest daughter. Then her birth mother became pregnant, and I had adopted my second daughter.

And then I had my telephone lines tied so they could never call me again.

*     *     *

ROUGH SEX AND POLITICS
OC WEEKLY
: What about the issue of being gay or lesbian in political campaigns?

GERRIE SCHIPSKE: Sadly, it's always been an issue. My only campaign that it wasn't an issue in was when I ran for the Long Beach City College Board of Trustees. I think because I was underestimated in terms of being able to win.

*

Just days before the March 1996 Democratic Party primary election for the California Assembly, candidate Laura Richardson—a member of the Long Beach City Council—mass-mailed a pamphlet attacking her fellow Democratic candidate for being a lesbian. The mailer accused Schipske of being "committed to the radical gay agenda" and strongly backed by ultra-liberal Santa Monica Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl, the Assembly's only openly gay member at the time. Eleven years later, when Long Beach-area Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald's death from cancer necessitated a 2007 special election to fill her seat, Richardson—recently elected to the California Assembly—declared her candidacy. So did Schipske, whose narrow election to the Long Beach City Council less than a year before had snapped a streak of close losses. She soon reconsidered, however, and withdrew from the race.

I asked Schipske about that brief candidacy in August 2011 during an interview on Greater Long Beach Radio With Dave Wielenga (on the Cal State Long Beach online station, KBEACH.org). When it was suggested that throwing her hat into the ring might have been a reflexive response after running for offices so many times, Schipske was dismissive.

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25 comments
normru
normru

Gerrie, there's a huge pro marijuana vote in Long beach. Many remember ur stance on the dispensaries. If u lose 5-10% of that vote u lose the election. We all know u were leading the charge along w/Shannon. Yes u were part of the 8-1 vote but many of the others would have worked on a comprimise.

Look I know ur a highly intelligent person but many of the voters that were hurt by ur comments on the dispensary issue.. I believe this iis going to be a problem for u going forward. I really believe ur out of step with most voters in Long Beach on this.

deadjogger
deadjogger

The Naval Hospital referred to in the article is not the current Veteran's Administration Hospital near CSULB.  There used to be a Naval Hospital at the site of the current Long Beach Town Center site near the 605 and Carson.

James Rose
James Rose

Gerrie schipske is just like the rest of LB city council - lining their pockets with money. She also voted to shut down all medical marijuana dispensaries. The only thriving new businesses in long beach filling our vacant store fronts and bringing money into our city.

babybird8
babybird8

u go Gerrie Schipske, you have come a long way-don't stop now.

James Rose
James Rose

Only ugly people want to be politicians.

Oldschool Rocker
Oldschool Rocker

I don't mind a lesbian for Long Beach mayor, but why can't it be a hot lesbian? Why does it have to be a fat, bull-dikey, musty-pussy lookin' lesbo?

myming
myming

while no one is perfect, she comes close.

many fine achievements !

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

She has a lot of explaining to do to the LGBT community on why she chooses to be a tyrant in the area of medical marijuana.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

I am not being racist or not being hatred here but frankly I don't care about the LGBT crowd because it's vile behavior and they can't have babies the natural way anyway and Sodom and Gammorah were destroyed over it, so there.

"If a man lies down with anothe man it is a vile thing". - So they know that they are wrong but continue in thier vile behaviors anyway. 

egschipske
egschipske

@deadjogger  Sorry the Naval Hospital was located at 7th which is now the Veterans Hospital. The Naval Hospital was moved from 7th to the Carson site and then later closed.

egschipske
egschipske

@James Rose  So Mr. Rose, have you ever looked at my campaign reports or my form 700? Prey tell how am I "lining my pockets?" Unlike my colleagues who took money from the med pot owners and then voted to close them, I did not.

Johnny_K
Johnny_K

@Oldschool RockerOne look at Oldschool Rocker's facebook photos and you evidently tell that he fucks fat, bull-dikey, musty-pussy lookin' bitches.

egschipske
egschipske

@paullucas714  Hmmm. This comment puzzles me since Vice Mayor Garcia actually made the motion that closed the med pot places down..and it was supported 8-1. I ain't that powerful Paul.

egschipske
egschipske

@tongue_twister_for_t  Never said anything about two women. In fact, Jesus never said anything about the entire topic. Guess he didn't think it was too bad.

SickSnail
SickSnail

@tongue_twister_for_t "I am not being racist or not being hatred here...."

No, but you are doing a great job of being ignorant. And I'm not even remotely referring to your opinion about homosexuality. "
I am not being racist"..... well, duh. There is no reference to race so congratulations. You are not being racist. "not being hatred"..... being hatred? WTF kind of grammar is that, you moron? As if people with your views didn't have a tough enough time towing that line, it will always be an impossible task when they have to drag idiots like you along.

aliberaltexan
aliberaltexan

tongue twister:  You are full of sh*t period.

MaherSawaf
MaherSawaf

Seriously you should try it, you won't regret it ;)

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

@egschipske 


Gerrie here is your response when I asked you about the comparrison between Liquor Stores and Tobacco Shops in relation to cannabis collectives;

Gerrie Schipske "Until marijuana is made legal and growing is strictly regulated there is no comparison with liquor stores and smoke shops. Go for it. I am out of office in 18 months."
4 minutes ago · Like

This comment was in a thread you and I had on your page some months ago. I find it shocking to be honest. By that logic, until Same Sex Marriage is legal at the federal level but it is legal in CA since the Federal Govt doesnt recognize the legality of cannabis in CA at the Federal Level but it is legal under state law. Am I wrong to thin that in this situation, just as it is with Same Sex Marriage, especially since medical marijuana was brought to  us in the search for compassion for AIDS patients, we should be counting on you to fight for the rights of Long Beach and CA residents to have unfettered access to medical marijauna? And to go even further; shouldnt we feel safe that an elected member of the LGBT community will stand by the rights of CA residents to get unfettered access to medical marijuana? And as  nurse, shouldnt you be a warrior for the rights of seriously ill patients get unfettered access to medical marijuana?

Who the heck are you Gerrie Schipskie? For reals man?

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

@egschipske@paullucas714 

Gerrie here is your response when I asked you about the comparison between Liquor Stores and Tobacco Shops in relation to cannabis collectives;

Gerrie Schipske "Until marijuana is made legal and growing is strictly regulated there is no comparison with liquor stores and smoke shops. Go for it. I am out of office in 18 months."
4 minutes ago · Like

This comment was in a thread you and I had on your page some months ago. I find it shocking to be honest. By that logic, until Same Sex Marriage is legal at the federal level but it is legal in CA since the Federal Govt doesnt recognize the legality of cannabis in CA at the Federal Level but it is legal under state law. Am I wrong to thin that in this situation, just as it is with Same Sex Marriage, especially since medical marijuana was brought to  us in the search for compassion for AIDS patients, we should be counting on you to fight for the rights of Long Beach and CA residents to have unfettered access to medical marijuana? And to go even further; shouldnt we feel safe that an elected member of the LGBT community will stand by the rights of CA residents to get unfettered access to medical marijuana? And as  nurse, shouldnt you be a warrior for the rights of seriously ill patients get unfettered access to medical marijuana?

Who the heck are you Gerrie Schipskie? For reals man?

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

@egschipske @paullucas714  

Gerrie, you have done everything in hour power to stymie, hinder harrass, and confound any semblance of a workable scheme to facilitate the obtai8ning of medical cannabis to ALL Patients in your city. That includes those too ill with HIV, AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes etc etc etc. This is especially troubling in light that you are a medical professional. 

Think of it as akin to Marriage equality. Apparently on the books, one can marry a member of the same gender. But at every turn, the states or Federal Govt are in the practice to stymie, hinder harass, and confound the ability of ALL individuals to exercise that right. 

You voted against the dispensaries and worked to shut them all down. Even if it was as slight as turning a blind eye to the civil rights violations and outright fraud conducted by the agents of the city who are under your purview, this is akin to "Silence equals consent". 

In a conversation you and I had, you lamented the perception that the clients of dispensaries are "Stoners" and the operators as "drug Dealers".  Have you  done anything to  facilitate the acquisition of medical marijuana for the community members who are "truly Ill" and In need of Cannabis"? This seems to tbe the mantra of the prohibitionists such as yourself as I always hear from  the plikes of you that you are so in favor and support of those who "truly need cannabis" to use it.

So now my question for you is this; Since youve chosen to throw the babies out with the provrebial bathwater; how the heck do you propose to demonstrate your support for the LGBT community by taking effective steps on behalf of the city in support of the LGBT community to get the medicine they need in their hands without fear of prosecution from the authorities in LB Uniforms or under the cross deputizing of the Federal Agencies you call in like some sort of Pontius Pilot to allow you to wash your hands of this great violation of our rights under state law?

Maybe we should Ask Mellisa Etheridge a cancer Survivor how she feels about supporting your campaign when you have such a horrible track record on the issue of Medicinal Cannabis?

Will you tell her like you told me "oh well, go for it Im termed out anyway". Do you remember telling me that? IN WRITING!!??


paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

@egschipske @tongue_twister_for_t  

What would Jesus do if the Magi were taking the medical marijuana away from the Leppars because although it was legal under Hebrew Law, Rome forbid it?

 
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