End of an era, as Lambda Rising to close
Owner Maccubbin says‘mission accomplished’
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.firstname.lastname@example.org
Lambda Rising, a bookstore serv-ing the LGBT community in thenation’s capital for 35 years, is clos-ing its D.C. store in Dupont Circle andits remaining out-of-town store inRehoboth Beach, Del., in January.The closings, announced lastweek, become another in a series ofgay bookstores that have shut downin recent years in other cities, includ-ing New York and Baltimore.Deacon Maccubbin, 66, thestore’s founder and co-owner, toldD.C. Agenda in an exclusive inter-view that he plans to retire soon andthat he and co-owner Jim Bennett,his domestic partner of 32 years,decided they would rather close thestores than sell them to a new ownerwho might change their focus andmission.“The phrase ‘mission accom-plished’ has gotten a bad rap inrecent years but in this case, it cer-tainly applies,” Maccubbin said.“When we set out to establishLambda Rising in 1974, it wasintended as a demonstration of thedemand for gay and lesbian litera-ture,” he said, noting that few if anymainstream bookstores and news-stands carried gay-related books andperiodicals at the time.“Today, 35 years later, nearlyevery general bookstore carriesGLBT books, often featuring them inspecial sections,” he said.Maccubbin said the Internet alsoenables people today to accessLGBT-related information fromalmost any location in the country,accomplishing yet another part ofLambda Rising’s mission: to provideup-to-date information to a communi-ty that could not obtain it elsewhere.He said he first opened the storein June 1974 in a converted town-house on 20th Street, N.W., nearDupont Circle, with an initial invest-ment of $3,000 and an additional$1,000 borrowed from a local gayactivist. The shop consisted of 300square feet of space and just 250gay and lesbian book titles.“That’s all there were at the time,”Maccubbin said.The store, along with the LGBT com-munity and gay civil rights movement,grew dramatically over the next threedecades, moving in 1977 to a largerstorefront space on S Street, N.W., a fewblocks away. In 1984, the store moved toits current location at 1625 ConnecticutAve., N.W., in a storefront building thatMaccubbin and Bennett own.
Congressman says bill‘can’t pass right now,’sees action on othermeasures in 2010
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@dcagenda.com
The sponsor of a bill that would over-turn the Defense of Marriage Act saidrepeal won’t happen in this Congressand that efforts next year will instead befocused on building support on the issue.Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) saidin an interview with DC Agenda thatlawmakers will work on passing otherpro-LGBT bills next year, and couldtake up legislation to repeal DOMA— known as the Respect forMarriage Act — at the end of the two-year session starting in 2011.“The Respect for Marriage Act is abill that we can’t pass right now; weknow we can’t pass it right now,” he said.Nadler said Congress won’t take upthe DOMA repeal next year becauseother LGBT-related bills, including theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act,legislation providing partner benefits forLGBT federal workers and a repeal of“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” are taking prece-dence. Supporters hope to pass thosemeasures by the end of 2010.“The Respect for Marriage Actcomes up after that, maybe at theend of the next Congress, maybeafterward,” he said.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
will close in January after a 35-year run.
DC Agenda photo by Aram Vartian
No DOMA repealnext year: Nadler
said the Respectfor Marriage Act, which would over-turn the Defense of Marriage Act,won’t pass next year.
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Miss Gaye America D.C. pageant at Ziegfeld’s.
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Vice President Bidenadministers oath togay ambassadorto New Zealand,David Huebner.
Local trans womanarrested in carjackingof Sen. Bob Corker’sdaughter in city.
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dcagenda.com • vol. 1, issue 4 • december 11, 2009
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