The recently re-formed Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) is ending a seemingly violent 2008 with a commitment from Mayor Adrian Fenty to meet with the group on Jan. 16. GLOV Co-Chair Chris Farris announced the news Dec. 30, advising that Washington Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier will also attend.
The meeting comes on the heels of a Dec. 17 letter to Fenty signed by Farris and Todd Metrokin, Farris' GLOV co-chair and a victim of one of 2008's most violent bashings. The year has also been grimly notable for the beating death of Tony Randolph Hunter, attacked Sept. 7, and Durval Martins, fatally shot Dec. 16. Both men were gay. One suspect has been charged in the Hunter case, while police are still looking for information regarding the attack on Martins.
''I'm very grateful that the mayor has accepted our request for a meeting,'' Farris said Dec. 31. ''Hopefully it shows that he's willing to listen to our concerns and being able to address them directly.''
GLOV's Dec. 17 letter was critical of the mayor for not presenting a higher profile as attacks against gay people have increased anxiety within the community.
''We need to meet with you to present our concerns personally, to hear that you understand the issues, to learn what your plans are to address them, and to see how we can all -- city agencies, the police, the prosecutors, community organizations, and business leaders -- work together to end the hate-filled violence that is plaguing our community,'' the letter read, in part.
Whatever the tone of that letter, Farris emphasized that he sees this upcoming meeting as a ''friendly'' and constructive opportunity to work with the mayor, rather than in any way confrontational.
Farris said that he and Metrokin will serve as GLOV's representation at this meeting.
For more information about Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, visit them online at www.glovdc.org.