We Shall Not Be Moved Safety Walk: Nick McCoy
(Photo by Todd Franson/File Photo)
House Democrats – 83 of them plus Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – opened August with a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging her to recognize, in writing, the relationships of binational same-sex couples. ”By issuing written guidance, DHS can keep LGBT families from being separated and thus prevent the irreparable, permanent harm to families that is caused by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act — discrimination the Department of Justice has determined to be unconstitutional,” the Democrats wrote.
Locals advocated for themselves Aug. 9, when LGBT activists Amy Loudermilk and Nick T. McCoy organized a rally and march against violence in D.C.’s Bloomingdale and Eckington neighborhoods. Violence took an unexpected turn, however, on Aug. 15, when a man walked into the D.C. headquarters of the anti-gay Family Research Council and shot a security guard, Leonardo ”Leo” Reno Johnson, who nevertheless managed to subdue the shooter. The suspected shooter, Floyd Corkins II, who has pleaded not guilty, had been a volunteer at The DC Center.
The Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC) won a big honor in August, being named LGBT Chamber of the Year at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 9th Annual National Business & Leadership Conference in Chicago.
In the marriage debate, the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee unveiled the language it would be sending to September’s Democratic National Convention calling for marriage equality. At the other end of the spectrum – but in the same party – Maryland Del. Emmett Burns Jr. (D-Baltimore Co.) sent a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens football team, asking that linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo be blocked from speaking out in favor of marriage equality.