Recent News Articles

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]

GLOV Co-Chair Leaving

Tuesday fundraiser offers a chance to celebrate Hassan Naveed's contributions before his July departure

The local Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) group, a program of The DC Center and one of the key community partners in combating area hate crimes, is hosting a fundraiser social Tuesday, April 8. GLOV is raising money to continue major initiatives, including an LGBT-crisis hotline, outreach to community groups, LGBT cultural competency training, and collecting hate-crime data. Attendance is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. The happy-hour event also marks GLOV's first gathering since the announcement that ... [Read]

OHR Launches ''#safebathroomsDC''

New campaign aimed at enforcing city requirement that single-stall restrooms be gender-neutral

The D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR) today launched a new public-awareness campaign, ''Safe Bathrooms DC,'' aimed at making it easier for transgender people in the District to access facilities without fear of reprisal by ensuring that all single-stall restroom facilities in the District are gender-neutral. The requirement that single-stall facilities be gender neutral is already part of existing statute. When the District amended its Human Rights Act in 2006 to include nondiscrimination protections for individuals based on their gender ... [Read]

Next Gen Nominations Open

NGLF on the lookout for 2013's outstanding young LGBT leaders

The Next Generation Leadership Foundation (NGLF), the D.C.-based, national nonprofit aimed at encouraging and mentoring LGBT youth leaders, announced Thursday that it has opened nominations for the sixth annual Next Generation Awards, which recognize local LGBT leaders under the age of 30. Selected from community nominations, the honor celebrates the leadership and achievements of young LGBT people. The success of the Next Generation Awards, which were launched in 2009 and presented by Metro Weekly, led to NGLF's foundation last year. ... [Read]

Bowser Beats Gray for Dem Nomination

Ward 4 councilmember romps in LGBT-heavy precincts on way to victory, while Graham loses to Nadeau in Ward 1

District voters went to the polls April 1 to select nominees from each of the city's four major political parties for various offices in this November's general election, turning incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray and four-term Councilmember Jim Graham (Ward 1) out of office in their respective Democratic primaries. Gray, who has been the target of a federal investigation looking into a shadow campaign during the 2010 mayoral election, was frequently under attack and had flat-lined in polls following a plea ... [Read]

Andrew Barnett's Goodbye

SMYAL's longtime leader stepping down to pursue academic goals

After nearly a decade, Andrew Barnett is bidding the organization he has worked for goodbye. The 31-year-old Barnett, who started as an intern and later rose up the ranks to executive director of Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), announced on March 11 that he would be leaving SMYAL to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at George Washington University. Barnett's goal is to add more research to the study of mental health among LGBT and questioning adolescents. ... [Read]

NGLF Camp Applications Open

Leadership foundation readies its inaugural weeklong D.C. program for LGBT youth

For some youths, summer camp provides all the traditional offerings of canoeing, cabins and popsicle-stick crafts. For the select 20 who will spend a June week in Washington as participants in the Next Generation Leadership Foundation's Leadership Camp, however, crafting will have nothing to do with yarn projects, but everything to do with these LGBT teens crafting their futures. ''It's going to be a high-impact series of days,'' promises Sean Bugg, NGLF's president and executive director, as well as Metro ... [Read]

LHP Ceremony Celebrates Women

D.C. LGBT Latino group holds third annual ''Mujeres en el Movimiento''

The Latino GLBT History Project (LHP) will offer its third annual ''Mujeres en el Movimiento'' awards ceremony and networking happy hour Friday, March 28, honoring Latina lesbians in the D.C. area who have made contributions to both the local Latino community and the LGBT community. The event also celebrates National Women's History Month. This year's event will feature Monica Palacio, the newly appointed director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights, as the guest speaker; and DJ Rat of Maracuyeah ... [Read]

Charge Against Sahle Dropped

Simple assault case from Manny & Olga's beating disposed after first defendant completes community service

A D.C. Superior Court judge last week disposed a case against one of two women accused in the June beating a local drag performer in a take-out restaurant following the accused woman's completion court-ordered community service. Rachel Manna Sahle, of Gaithersburg, Md., was charged with one count of simple assault stemming from an attack against drag performer Heidi Glüm, aka Miles DeNiro, in a Manny & Olga's restaurant on 14th and T Streets NW. Video of the attack, which showed ... [Read]

POFEV Rallies On

Virginia interfaith group holds rescheduled Loudon Co. rally for marriage equality

A group of about 50 people, led by the pro-LGBT group People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV), gathered behind the Loudoun County Circuit Courthouse in Leesburg, Va., at noon Thursday, March 20, to demonstrate their support for marriage equality and call for changes to Virginia laws that prohibit any recognition of same-sex relationships. While Virginia has a statutory ban on same-sex marriages, at issue in recent weeks has been its 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment, known as the Marshall-Newman ... [Read]

Pettigrew To Lead Wanda Alston Foundation

Director of programs appointed interim executive director, as Lisa Dupree, director of operations, also promoted

The Wanda Alston Foundation, which operates the Wanda Alston House providing housing for homeless and at-risk LGBT youth in the District, announced Tuesday that Ken Pettigrew, formerly the director of programs for the foundation, has been appointed interim executive director following the departure of former Executive Director Brian Watson, who left to pursue other opportunities. Prior to joining the Wanda Alston Foundation, Pettigrew served as chief of programs at Metro TeenAIDS and as senior program director of Us Helping Us/People ... [Read]

Mizeur Nets Democracy for America Endorsement

Progressive political-action organization backing Montgomery County delegate in Maryland governor's race

The progressive political-action organization Democracy for America (DFA) on Wednesday announced it was throwing its support to Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery Co.), one of three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to become Maryland's next governor. In endorsing Mizeur, a lesbian, DFA has issued its first gubernatorial campaign of the 2014 cycle, although it has endorsed various candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House races this year, including incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). {Heather ... [Read]

GLAA Revises Ratings for Three Candidates

Additional information from candidates prompts revised scores, including extra point for Jack Evans

The nonpartisan Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) of Washington, D.C., on March 12 released revised ratings for three candidates running in the April 1 Democratic primary after the candidates provided additional information about their advocacy or work on behalf of LGBT rights. GLAA members considered the additional information at its March 11 meeting and adjusted all three candidates' ratings upward by a point. GLAA's rating scale ranges from -10 to 10, but the organization does not make endorsements in ... [Read]

Community Responds to Task Force Recommendations

Seven local groups issue response to report assessing the relationship between D.C. police and LGBT residents

Seven local groups that deal with LGBT rights issued a combined response Thursday to findings of the Anti-Defamation League's Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force (HCATF) as well as to the Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) response to recommendations made in the HCATF report, which was released Feb. 26. The Anti-Defamation League initially interceded to establish the task force at the request of MPD Chief Cathy Lanier after relations between MPD and several local LGBT groups became strained over concerns related to ... [Read]

Catania Enters Mayor's Race

Gay at-large councilmember files as independent for November general election, citing record and ''vision'' for the District

Councilmember David Catania (I-At Large) filed papers with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance Wednesday morning declaring his intent to seek the city's mayoralty in the November general election. In a conference with reporters outside the city's Reeves Center Municipal Building, Catania tamped down speculation that he was prompted to enter the race due to news that broke on Monday regarding the guilty plea of Jeffrey E. Thompson, a local businessman accused of funneling illegal contributions to various political campaigns, ... [Read]

Equality Virginia Names OUTstanding Virginians

Awardees will be honored for representing Virginia's LGBT community with distinction in their respective fields

Equality Virginia, the commonwealth's major LGBT organization, on Monday announced the winners of its OUTstanding Virginians awards, which are given annually to LGBT Virginians who have made an impact on behalf of the LGBT community and represent the community with distinction. The awards, which are given out at Equality Virginia's annual Commonwealth Dinner, the organization's biggest fundraiser, now in its 11th year, will be presented to the recipients at the Richmond Convention Center on April 5. This year's dinner will ... [Read]

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