Williams Institute Makes Virginia Estimate

UCLA think tank sees up to $60 million added to state's economy within first few years of marriage equality

A report released Tuesday by the Williams Institute, an LBGT-focused policy think tank at the UCLA School of Law, says that extending marriage to same-sex couples in Virginia could generate up to $60 million. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 14,244 same-sex couples live in Virginia. Of those couples, the Williams Institute estimates that 50 percent would choose to marry in the first three years after same-sex marriage is allowed in Virginia, a pattern observed in Massachusetts and other states ... [Read]

Maryland Coalition Launches ''Stand for Fairness'' Campaign

Multimedia outreach effort supports new transgender-rights law ahead of possible ballot backlash

The Maryland Coalition for Transgender Equality (MCTE) -- a bloc of more than 50 political, social-justice, religious and community groups advocating on behalf of transgender rights -- on April 16 launched a campaign aimed at educating the public about a recently passed transgender-rights bill that is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). The bill, SB 212, which is also known as the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, passed the Maryland Senate 32-15 and the House ... [Read]

Columbia Heights Murder Charge Dismissed

Minus indictment, government files motion to dismiss case against suspect in shooting, immolation death of gay man

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia on Wednesday filed a motion in D.C. Superior Court to dismiss without prejudice the case against Jermaine Brown, who faced a charge of felony murder in the killing of a gay man who was shot, then set ablaze in his Columbia Heights apartment last July. This development comes two days before Brown was scheduled to appear in Superior Court for a felony status hearing. At Brown's last hearing, April 18, Assistant ... [Read]

Alexandria's Rainbow Tuesdays Adds Services

Semimonthly clinic offering HIV/STD testing expands services aimed at Northern Virginia's LGBT community

The Rainbow Tuesdays Clinic, a semimonthly testing clinic aimed at reaching the LGBT community in Northern Virginia, announced last week the expansion of its HIV/STD testing services, courtesy of grant funding from the Virginia Department of Health. James Leslie, an HIV-health educator and the chief organizer of the Gay Men's Health Collaborative (GMHC), which sponsors the Rainbow Tuesdays Clinic, says the funding from the Department of Health has allowed Rainbow Tuesdays Clinic to pay for an onsite nurse practitioner who ... [Read]

City Fund Takes Flak

Groups fault D.C.'s ''critical services'' fund for overlooking LGBT-specific organizations in assigning grants

A coalition of LGBT advocacy groups and service organizations released a statement Monday evening expressing their disappointment that no LGBT-specific groups were named among 58 organizations awarded grants under the City Fund, a $15 million fund intended to provide support for nonprofit organizations that provide ''critical services'' to District residents. Signatories of the letter include The DC Center, the District's major LGBT community center, whose programming includes efforts to counter violence, drug use and HIV, as well as support LGBT ... [Read]

Assault Charges Dropped

Second woman implicated in Manny & Olga's beating completes community service, terms of deferred sentencing agreement

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia on Tuesday agreed not to press charges against the second of two women implicated in the beating of Miles DeNiro, who performs in drag as Heidi Glüm, in a Manny & Olga's restaurant last June after the suspect, Raymone Harding of Gaithersburg, complied with the terms of a deferred-sentencing agreement offered to both women in September. Both women were required to plead guilty to the assault in exchange for having the ... [Read]

Equality Endorsements, Round 4

Equality Maryland PAC releases more endorsements of General Assembly candidates

Equality Maryland PAC, the political action committee for the Free State's major LGBT-rights organization, released a fourth wave of candidate endorsements for those seeking office in the General Assembly, expanding its total number of legislative endorsements to 91. The organization previously endorsed the ticket of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman for governor and lieutenant governor, and state Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery Co.) for attorney general. The 36 endorsed candidates include one incumbent state senator, four ... [Read]

Virginia Plaintiffs Respond to Defendants' Marriage Appeal

Attorney General Mark Herring, legal teams urge court to uphold decision overturning same-sex marriage ban

Supporters of marriage equality seeking to overturn Virginia's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, along with the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, filed appellate briefs April 11 in the case of Bostic v. Schaefer urging the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen finding the marriage ban unconstitutional. Allen, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled in February that the ban violates the due process ... [Read]

Frosh Gets Equality Maryland PAC Nod

State senator wins endorsement of LGBT-rights group in attorney general's race

Equality Maryland PAC, the political action committee for the Free State's most prominent LGBT-rights group, announced on Monday it was endorsing state Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery Co.) in the race to succeed Attorney General Doug Gansler, an LGBT ally who is pursuing a bid for governor. Frosh, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, which oversaw deliberations regarding both the marriage-equality bill during the 2011 and 2012 sessions and the recently passed bill to prohibit ... [Read]

Groups Rally Against PFZs

Transgender activists, sex-worker advocates gather at Wilson Building to blast D.C.'s prostitution-free zones

About 20 community activists and advocates rallied Friday outside the John A. Wilson Building, which houses the mayor's office and the D.C. Council chambers, to call for the repeal of ''prostitution-free zones'' (PFZs), which opponents say has led to profiling and harassment of transgender people, particularly transgender women of color. The April 11 rally, organized by the local service organization HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) was held with the dual purpose of calling for a repeal of PFZs, as well ... [Read]

Wanda Alston Foundation Announces Misuse of Funds

Provider of services to homeless LGBT D.C. youth shares new fiscal safeguards, assures donors of remediation

The Wanda Alston Foundation, which operates the Wanda Alston House providing housing and support services for homeless and at-risk LGBT youth in the District, announced Tuesday evening that the foundation has put in place additional controls to prevent misuse of funds following the revelation that a staff member, since removed, used funds for personal use. According to a statement released by the foundation that was sent to the donors and media, the foundation's board of directors asked an external accountant ... [Read]

D.C. GOP Commits to Full Slate

Republicans announce plan to fill empty post-primary slots with appointed candidates

The D.C. Republican Party announced April 7 that it intends to place candidates who did not declare their intentions prior to the party's April 1 primary onto the general election ballot in November, potentially changing the dynamic in several local races, including the mayor's race. The D.C. GOP announced Monday that its chairman, Ron Phillips, advised the D.C. Board of Elections in March that the party would ''reserve its right to appoint a Republican candidate for any office for the ... [Read]


Finding Hope at Youth Pride Day

One day in Dupont Circle invites LGBTQ young people into a fearless celebration of affirming possibility

In my early teenaged years as I navigated adolescence and high school, it was hard to imagine what my future would hold. Where would I go to college? What kind of career would I have? And one of the most pondered questions: Would I find that special someone to share my life with? For many, these questions are familiar. It's in our nature to want answers. But what is different for young adults who identify as LGBTQ is that answers ... [Read]

Ding-A-Lings of Spring

Political pregnancies, creationists and cattle-rancher Cliven

The rain of ridiculous ravings from America's political right continued unabated as spring took hold. Let's look at a few examples. Last week, Chelsea Clinton announced that she and hubby Marc Mezvinsky are expecting a child. Conspiracy mongers in the right-wing media went crazy. Steve Malzberg of Newsmax suggested, based on a thick file of nothing, that the pregnancy was deliberately timed to help Grandma Hillary's expected presidential campaign. Oh, sorry, he did have one bit of evidence: Chelsea had ... [Read]

A Thought for Food & Friends

A relationship can give you a new family, whether bound by blood or benevolence

Roughly 12 years ago, I was toiling on the floor of a pal's dining room, constructing a banner. I'd just begun dating the man I'd eventually marry, and was keeping myself occupied during our first stretch apart since meeting. He was off riding his bike to raise money for Food & Friends, as I slapped together a ''welcome home'' banner with which to greet him on the National Mall. I've never volunteered for Food & Friends myself, but I've certainly ... [Read]

The ''Sore Winners'' Fallacy

Those who call gay people intolerant for defending ourselves are twisting the concept beyond recognition

Several prominent gay writers deplored the furor that brought down Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla Corp. last week for supporting California's anti-gay Proposition 8. Andrew Sullivan blogged against ''a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else.'' Jonathan Rauch tweeted, ''I agree with @RameshPonnuru: trying to punish dissenters like Brendan Eich is no way to advance civil rights.'' Frank Bruni wrote in the Grey Lady, ''Such vilification won't accelerate the timetable of victory, which is certain. And it ... [Read]

Twin Birthdays

April 4 should be a date that lives in humanity's aspirations

Celebrating my husband's birthday last week, there were a couple unintentional themes at play. I'd taken him to Puerto Rico for a long weekend, a place where it's impossible for me as a Washingtonian not to feel some kinship in an ''American, but not United States'' kind of way. A second theme was 9/11. I know, I know -- we're party people. {One World Trade Center (Photo by Joe Woolhead / Courtesy Silverstein Properties)} The husbear's bestie, Jenny, down from ... [Read]