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Washingtonblade.com, Volume 45, Issue 8, February 21, 2014

Washingtonblade.com, Volume 45, Issue 8, February 21, 2014

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Washingtonblade.com, Volume 45, Issue 8, February 21, 2014
Washingtonblade.com, Volume 45, Issue 8, February 21, 2014

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Feb 20, 2014
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Catholic chaplain halted sacrament when heart attack patient came out
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
A Roman Catholic priest working as a chaplain at D.C.’s Washington Hospital Center refused to administer last rites and communion to a heart attack patient earlier this month after the patient told him he’s gay and believes Pope Francis is sympathetic to gay people, the patient told the Blade.D.C. resident Ronald Plishka, 63, a retired travel agent and lifelong Catholic, said he asked a nurse to arrange for a priest to see him on Feb. 7, one day after he was admitted by ambulance to the hospital emergency room for a heart attack. He said that at the time he wasn’t sure he would survive.A short time later, Plishka said, Father Brian Coelho, a priest assigned to the hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care, arrived at his bedside. He said Coelho offered to take his confession before proceeding with communion and last rites, which the church now calls the sacrament of anointing of the sick.“We started talking and I told him I was so happy with this new pope because of his comments about the gays and his accepting the gays,” Plishka said. “And I mentioned that I was gay. I said it and then I asked him does that bother you? And he said, ‘Oh, no, that does not bother me,’” said Plishka.“But then he would not proceed with administering the last rites or communion. He couldn’t do it.”According to Plishka, Coelho, who brought a supply of holy water to his hospital room, never said in so many words that he was refusing to administer communion and last rites.Asked what Coelho told him, Plishka said, “Well, I mean he stopped. He would not do it. By him not doing it I assumed he would not do it because why was he getting ready to do it and all of a sudden when I say I’m gay he stops?”Plishka said Coelho gave no reason for not giving him the sacraments he requested but offered instead to pray with him.
As more lawsuits advance, experts predict high court ruling in 2015
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Not even a year has passed since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decisions against the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s
FEBRUARY 21 2014 VOLUME 45 ISSUE 08
 CELEBRATING 45 YEARS AS AMERICA’S GAY NEWS SOURCE
• WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
 CONTINUES ON PAGE 12
IN MEMORIAM
Green Lantern owner
dies, leaving legacy of support for community.
PAGE 2PAGE 22PAGE 21
 CONTINUES ON PAGE 10
DAVID BOIES
 and
TED OLSON
 are leading the Virginia lawsuit that may land at the U.S. Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY 
STILL STYLISH
Mitchell Gold and
Bob Williams celebrate25 years in business.
Awaiting Supreme action on marriage
Gay man says priest refused him last rites
TOASTING SUE ELLEN
Linda Gray talks ‘Dallas’
without J.R. and her love for show’s gay fans.
JUDGE INVOKES LINCOLN, STRIKES VA. MARRIAGE BANPAGE 4
Father
BRIAN COELHO
 
Zehnacker, 55, a popular figure in D.C. gay community
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
Greg Zehnacker, 55, the principal owner of the D.C. gay bar Green Lantern since 2001 and a popular figure in the D.C. LGBT community for more than 30 years, died Feb. 18 while on vacation near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.“It is with overwhelming sadness that we share with you the death of Green Lantern’s beloved owner, Greg Zehnacker,” a statement released by the bar says. “It appears that he died peacefully in his sleep.”The statement, which was posted on the Green Lantern Facebook page, says Zehnacker was a fixture in the D.C.-area LGBT community since the 1980s, when he worked in several gay bars, including the Lost and Found, Pier 9, Rascals and Peppers.“He was a supporter of D.C.’s many gay clubs and organizations, and routinely provided space at Green Lantern for charity events and meetings, including, among others, the D.C. Center’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Working Group, the Centaurs MC [motorcycle club], and the Washington Scandals Rugby Club,” the statement says.“Greg loved bringing together people from all walks of life and ensuring they had a good time under the Green Lantern’s roof,” according to the statement. “In that spirit, and as a way of honoring Greg, we will be open during this difficult time and encourage all to come in, raise a glass to Greg, and share your favorite memories of our friend and colleague.”Derrick Jones, Green Lantern’s social media director, said Zehnacker was also involved in past years in real estate endeavors. Jones said Zehnacker was born and raised in the D.C. area.Joel Weinstein, co-owner of the D.C. gay bar Fireplace, said he and his brother and business partner Steve Weinstein along with another partner first opened the Green Lantern in the early 1990s. He said he and his partners closed the bar around 1995 or 1996 due to, among other things, their opening and operating other gay bars in D.C. and Pennsylvania.He said he was pleased to learn several years later that someone had opened a new gay bar in the same building and called it the Green Lantern. Although he didn’t know Zehnacker, Weinstein said he wished the new owner well in his effort to bring the establishment back to life.The Green Lantern’s statement says further details regarding memorials and tributes to Zehnacker would be announced soon.Zehnacker is survived by his partner, Tom Tarantino, who, along with Zehnacker, has lived in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood; his parents, Raymond and Charlotte Zehnacker; and his brother Mike Zehnacker and sister-in-law Carol.
washingtonblade.com
02 • FEBRUARY 21, 2014 LOCAL NEWS
Green Lantern owner dies in Florida
College Park considers trans, LGBT contractor bias bills
 The College Park, Md., City Council has directed its city attorney to draft three separate bills that would ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression and require that contractors doing business with the city adopt policies of non-discrimination for their LGBT employees and provide equal benefits for employees’ same-sex spouses.According to College Park City Council member Patrick Wojahn, who’s gay, the Council informally discussed the idea of drafting the three bills at a Feb. 4 work session. Wojahn said a clear majority of the eight-member Council expressed support for the bills. He said the Council then asked the College Park city attorney to draft the bills.Wojahn said the Council expects the attorney to complete the drafting process within a month or two.Both the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County, in which College Park is located, have existing laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation. But neither the state nor P.G. County has laws banning discrimination against transgender people. Nearby Montgomery County and three other counties in Maryland, including Baltimore, have transgender non-discrimination laws on the books.Fellow Council member P.J. Brennan, who’s also gay, is among the Council members pushing for the three new laws, Wojahn said.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
 
Study looks at HIV risk among black gay men
 The D.C.-based LGBT advocacy group Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health are joining forces on a new research project to determine the reasons for the higher risk of HIV infection among black men who have sex with men.The project is being funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research.According to a joint statement released Feb. 10 by the Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh, the project plans to enroll nearly 6,000 African-American men who have sex with men (MSM) who attend Black Gay Pride events throughout the country, including in D.C., to participate in the project.“It has become clear in recent years that the major reason that African-American MSM have such high rates of HIV infection is not that these men have high rates of risk-taking behavior for infection,” said Ron Stall, director of Center for LGBT Health Research at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. “Rather, the reason for elevated infection has far more to do with lack of access to HIV testing and medical care,” he said in the statement.The men to be recruited at Black Gay Pride events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. will be asked questions as part of an anonymous survey “that will help researchers understand the barriers and facilitators to HIV testing and care,” the statement says.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Obituary
MARY TUCKEY REQUA, 65
 Mary Tuckey Requa died Dec. 16, 2013 at her home, according to her cousin, Susan McMillan. She succumbed to rectal cancer at the age of 65 and had been a Phelps, Wis., resident.Originally of Lake Forest, Ill., Requa (who always went by “Tuckey,” her middle name) attended Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington and continued to reside in Maryland for 34 years. In the 1970s, she worked for VIVA (Voices in Vital America) and for the Close-Up Foundation, which brings high school students to D.C. to learn about democracy.For 20 years, Requa worked in theater administration, for Harlequin Dinner Theatre and NETworks, a theatrical production company that produces national tours of Broadway shows. She specialized in box office management as well as becoming an IT specialist. Requa, a lesbian, regularly sang and played guitar in Friday night cabarets at the theaters.Requa was proficient in Spanish and in American Sign Language. She performed as a “voice actor” in musical theater productions at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet University in Washington, serving as the singing voice for deaf actors who performed the roles using ASL. She was a great slow pitch softball player and played for the Montgomery County Gold Diggers Women’s team from 1982-‘90.She also enjoyed singing and playing guitar. She was an original member of the D.C. Area Feminist Chorus. One of her proudest moments was the chorus’s performance with Margie Adam at the “On the Road for Women’s Rights” concert in 1980. Tuckey performed both as a soloist and with friends at D.C.-area restaurants and clubs and at events, including at the Other Side, D.C. Pride, and at D.C. landmark club Mr. Henry’s. She also performed at fundraisers for several organizations, including a women’s shelter, My Sister’s Place. Requa performed on Judy Reagan’s 1982 album “Old Friends.” She sang with the Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington and the Not What You Think a cappella ensemble for many years, and also played with the band, the Tom Boys. She loved nothing more than singing harmonies with friends. Requa loved her many guitars and treasured one originally owned by Steve Goodman whom she had opened for in Chicago in the ‘70s.In 2005, Requa left D.C. to return to the Northwoods where her family had spent summers for more than a century. Requa moved to Phelps, Wis., and became the computer technician for the Phelps School District. She designed websites for local businesses through her Nakapaglaja Web Design. From 2005-2011, she co-hosted a local afternoon music show on public radio called “Your Favorites,” with her father Charley. She was the vice-chair of the WXPR board of directors. She was devoted to the town and volunteered countless hours for the Long Lake of Phelps Lake Association and the Phelps Chamber of Commerce. Requa was also an avid darts and horseshoe competitor.She is survived by a large extended family and many friends.Memorials can be sent to Patrick Requa (22486 West Illinois Route 173, Antioch, IL 60002). Initially, to be used to establish an osprey nest on Long Lake, a second memorial with the Phelps School District will also be created. A service and celebration of a great life will be held on July 27 at Hazen’s Inn, Phelps, Wis.
JOEY DiGUGLIELMO
 
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM FEBRUARY 
 21, 2014 • 03

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