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]


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]

The Universe in Us

We are surrounded by social and physical frontiers we can explore, or not

Carl Sagan, host of the original 1980 Cosmos series, said we are made of star stuff, because our atoms were created billions of years ago inside a star. Sagan's words are echoed by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of New York's Hayden Planetarium who hosts the new Cosmos. Tyson's enthusiasm for science is infectious. And he holds his ground. When creationists demanded equal time on Cosmos, he said, ''You don't talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say ... [Read]

RIP, Fred Phelps

Your Legacy Is Not What You May Think

While many people will be celebrating the death of Fred Phelps, whose name is synonymous with irrational hate and vitriol, I think that today the world lost someone who did a whole lot more for the LGBT community that we realize or understand. I know because I have had to deal with the Phelps clan for over 15 years as an activist and countless times have talked with the media about the merits and faults of giving him and his ... [Read]