-- Police arrested homosexual activist Larry Brinkin -- a long-time human rights activist -- on Friday in San Francisco for alleged possession of child pornography. Brinkin, 66, retired in 2010 after serving 22 years on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
Brinkin spent Friday night in county jail, posted bail, and was released on Saturday.
The investigation reportedly was sparked by representatives of America Online who contacted authorities after discovering emails that contained pornographic images of children on one of the company’s subscriber accounts.
The Los Angeles Police Department, initially in charge of the case, then traced the IP address associated with the email address Zack3737@aol.com
, to Larry Brinkin. Police then discovered Brinkin had paid for the email service with his credit card, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Police said that Brinkin, a former city employee, apparently had photos of children, as young as 1- or 2-years-old, performing sexual acts and being sodomized by adult men in attachments linked to the email address, reported The Chronicle. The email account was also linked to Yahoo discussion groups involving sexual exploitation of young people.
Concerning Brinkin, Theresa Sparks, director of the Human Rights Commission, told the Huffington Post, “It's almost incredulous, there's no way I could believe such a thing.”
"He's always been one of my heroes, and he's the epitome of human rights activist,” she said. “This is [the] man who coined phrases we use in our daily language. I support Larry 100 percent; hopefully it will all come out in the investigation."
Because of Brinkin’s pro-homosexual activism over the years, Bevan Dufty, the Castro District supervisor, designated the first seven days of February 2010 as “Larry Brinkin Week.”
Brinkin, who filed the first U.S. lawsuit in 1982 seeking domestic partner benefits from an employer, currently is president of the board of directors for the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO).
According to its website “CAHRO works to advance public policies in support of tolerance and understanding, hate violence prevention, intergroup relations, and human and civil rights for all.”
According to CAHRO, before working with the Human Rights Commission -- a group overseen by the City of San Francisco and funded by tax payers – Brinkin had co-founded the organization “Bay Area Gay Liberation.”
Brinkin’s biography on the CAHRO website says that, prior to the Human Rights Commission, Brinkin was involved in the Society for Individual Rights, the Lesbian/Gay Labor Alliance, and the Gay and Lesbian Alternative Dispute Resolution Service.
“He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO), a member of the steering committee of the LGBT Senior Community Partnership, and a member of the Community Advisory Panel for KQED (San Francisco’s PBS stations),” says the organization.
The CAHRO website also said that Brinkin supported and helped to craft laws against discrimination based on height and weight.
Brinkin was legally married in 2008 to his long-time partner Wood Massi. Brinkin has a teenage son with two mothers, according to the San Francisco Bay Times.