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

"That wasn't reflexive," she said. "If you've ever run for public office, you know it's a really exhausting experience, not only for yourself, but also for your family and friends. It's something you always weigh very carefully."

Schipske was silent for a second or so. "But speaking of reflexive," she resumed, "my reflexive nature in that situation was more motivated by the opportunity to run against Laura Richardson than that the position opened. My contention and that of my supporters was that I had come so close to beating [the late Republican Congressman Steve] Horn in 1996 that I could easily, easily defeat Laura Richardson, so that's what I was weighing. Ultimately, I was asked by the Democratic Party to step aside so that [the late state Senator] Jenny Oropeza could run, so I did."

On June 11, 1996, the Long Beach City Council was well into a discussion of domestic partnerships (limited legal recognition for couples, regardless of sex) when Councilmember Jerry Shultz of North Long Beach's Ninth District signaled that he had something to say. For the next 17 minutes, Shultz stunned everybody with an address that still stands as the most sexually explicit, relentlessly cruel, socially deviant and personally indulgent in the history of that council chamber. Shultz, who was also a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, shared his philosophy on the human sex drive, describing it as a powerful instinct that "may become inappropriately affixed to underwear, corpses, animals, children, footstools and members of the same sex."

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

Pleasing only himself and insulting others for maximum effect, Shultz linked the gay residents of Long Beach to bizarre sex acts and "immoral behavior." His diatribe shopped around the fringes of sexual practices, periodically picking out something for an exploration that dwelt lasciviously on the moistest details. At one point, Shultz paused to pose a question for class(less) discussion: "What do we say to the man who leads his favorite ewe down the aisle, demanding recognition and acceptance of his attraction to a female sheep?" Neither the City Council nor the Human Relations Commission mustered the votes to censure Shultz, who adamantly refused to apologize.

*

GERRIE SCHIPSKE: Jerry Shultz is now my constituent in the Fifth District. Another former councilmember, Doug Drummond, wanted to quarantine gays in camps for having AIDS. He's in my district, too. You know, when you are elected, you are an elected official for everyone. Makes the case for tenacity. If you stick with who you are, things come around and people finally get it, and I think that's what's happened in Long Beach.

That even happened for gays and lesbians. There's a split. Still some of it—whether or not we should push for marriage equality—part of it is "Whoa! Whoa!" This is really pushing something to its ultimate conclusion that no one—I think, in my age group—ever thought would happen. We just went through the whole battle of domestic partners. From that into marriage. I'm glad they're doing it. The people who pushed it were right.

OC WEEKLY: Did you have reservations?

No! You know, I came from a traditional Catholic family, and I didn't think this would ever happen or ever be a possibility. There's a spectrum of beliefs and ideas in the community. I'm grateful they pushed it forward because I think it not only pushed that issue, but it also pushed the rest of the stuff that would have taken years and years. This is the argument hopefully that the Supreme Court deals with it now. Because if they don't and let it go state by state, we will be fighting this battle state by state—and not just about marriage, but the whole issue of equality, discrimination. It needs to get out of the way.

*     *     *

'A FEDERALLY CERTIFIED, DULY SWORN LESBIAN'
My cell phone rings from across the room, probably too far across the room to reach before . . . damn, what is it about this ringtone that always starts the dog howling? Naturally, the call's important—Gerrie Schipske's on the line—but now the other two dogs have joined the high, lonesome holler. "Hmmm. I . . . wonder . . . what . . . I . . . should—Too late! The call's gone to voicemail. And later, while the dog's asleep, I retrieve that message.

*

GERRIE SCHIPSKE: I'm going to quickly tell you a story that I forgot to tell you: That I'm a duly sworn lesbian! Federally certified!

In 1996, I was a national finalist for a White House Fellowship—this was during the Clinton administration—and they were doing my top-secret clearance. I had a little law office at the time, and they came to my office—two investigators—and asked me who Flo Pickett was, and I said she and I owned a home together.

And they said, "Well, we have found out that you are lesbians."

And I said, "Uh-huh, we are. . . . Is that a problem?"

She said, "Well, you didn't say you are a lesbian."

I said, "You didn't ask about it in any of the 22 pages I had to fill out."

Finally, they made me stand up—they actually made me stand—at my desk and swear under penalty of perjury that I was gay, and that although I had not told them I was a lesbian, I had not been trying to keep it from them.

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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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