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dcagenda.com - vol 2, issue 4 - january 22, 2010

dcagenda.com - vol 2, issue 4 - january 22, 2010

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Jan 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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she's totallyinappropriate
Suzanne Westenhoefer
talks about her earlycareer, coming out andher hilarious new show.
Kudos to a handfulof LGBT-orientedgroups that areworking to help Haiti.
Maryland DemocraticDel. Burns introducesbill to bar recognitionof same-sex marriages.
the lgbtq community’s news source
dcagenda.com • vol. 2, issue 4 • january 22, 2010
Political shock in Mass. as Brown claims Kennedy’s seat
Democrats lose key60th vote, puttingLGBT agenda in doubt
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@dcagenda.com
Republican Scott Brown secured avictory Tuesday in the Massachusettsspecial election, leaving many LGBTactivists stunned and angry over theloss of the filibuster-proof Democraticmajority in the U.S. Senate and won-dering whether the LGBT agenda canadvance in Congress.Brown, a state senator, won his bidto capture the seat previously held bythe late Edward Kennedy after taking52 percent of the vote, according tothe Associated Press. Turnout washigh; more people reportedly voted inMassachusetts on Tuesday than inany non-presidential general electionin the state since 1990.Many in the LGBT community weredisappointed by Brown’s victorybecause he has a history of oppositionto same-sex marriage and hasn’texpressed an interest in fighting forLGBT causes in Congress. In 2007, hevoted for a failed state constitutionalamendment that would have endedsame-sex marriage in Massachusetts.By comparison, Democratic con-tender Martha Coakley, as the state’sattorney general, last year filed a law-suit on behalf on the State ofMassachusetts against the Defense ofMarriage Act, citing that 16,000 mar-ried couples in the state are deniedfederal benefits because of the law.Dee Dee Edmundson, politicaldirector for MassEquality, said Brown’swin was “a call to action” for LGBT peo-ple to become more politically involved.“This is a rallying cry that we needto step up our efforts; we can’t beapathetic anymore,” she said. “If the
Committee chairmenhold sway overDefense matters
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@dcagenda.com
President Obama is being pres-sured to include a “Don’t Ask, Don’tTell” repeal as part of his upcomingdefense budget request to Congress,but the response from two keyDemocrats to such a proposal couldhinder any change in the law.Two lawmakers with considerablesway over defense matters — andwhether a repeal will initially be part ofthe fiscal year 2011 defense budget —are House Armed Services CommitteeChairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) andSenate Armed Services CommitteeChairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.).As leaders of the congressional com-mittees that handle defense matters,Skelton and Levin get first crack at deter-mining what’s included in the defensebudget after the president sends hisbase bill to Congress in February. Thelawmakers can make changes to thepresident’s request in their chairman’smarks to the legislation before the rest ofCongress takes action.So if Obama includes “Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell” repeal as part of hisdefense budget request, it’s possiblefor either Skelton or Levin to strikethe language from the bill if they don’twant it there.
Scott Brown
defeated his Democratic opponent handily in Tuesday’s special election for U.S. Senate.
Photo courtesy of Brown
Photos from Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend.
Page 18
Dustin Lance Black 
to speak at JCC next week.
Page 23
Continues onpage 12Continues onpage 12
Even if President Obama includes a‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal as part ofhis upcoming defense budget request,the language could be yanked bySenate Armed Services CommitteeChairman
Carl Levin
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Levin, Skelton could inhibit‘Don’t Ask’ repeal
2 dcagenda.com • january 22, 2010
 january 22, 2010 • dcagenda.com 3

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