taking onthe far right
Amid boos, GOProudworks to changehearts and minds atconservative conference.
Visit DCAgenda.com for newson 'Don't Ask' hearings inCongress; Sen. Liebermanto sponsor repeal measure.PAGE 14
Same-sex couples planto line up for licensesnext week, as marriagefinally arrives in D.C.
the lgbtq community’s news source
dcagenda.com • vol. 2, issue 9 • february 26, 2010
Attorney general issuesopinion as D.C. couplesprepare to wed
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.email@example.com
Maryland Attorney General DouglasGansler issued a long-awaited opinionWednesday saying same-sex mar-riages performed in other states orcountries most likely would have fulllegal standing in the state.But in his 53-page legal opinion,Gansler said the Maryland Court ofAppeals would have the final say in thematter should opponents of same-sexmarriage choose to contest the legalstanding of married same-sex couplesliving in or visiting the state.Gansler’s opinion comes oneweek before a law allowing same-sexmarriages to be performed in D.C. isexpected to take effect March 3.Same-sex couples in Maryland havesaid they would likely make weddingplans in the District in response to afavorable opinion from Gansler.The attorney general’s opinioncomes nine months after state Sen.Richard Madaleno (D-MontgomeryCounty), who is gay, asked Ganslerto issue an official opinion on thequestion of whether the state couldlegally recognize same-sex mar-riages from other jurisdictions.“You have asked whether thosemarriages may be recognized understate law,” Gansler said in his opinion,which is addressed to Madaleno. “Theanswer to that question is clearly ‘yes.’”Madaleno could not immediatelybe reached for comment, but he toldthe Washington Post in a brief inter-view that changes in state policycould now result from a court ruling,legislation or administrative action,though none of those is imminent.Gansler says in the opinion thatwhile he believes the legal concept ofstate “public policy” favors recogni-tion of out-of-state gay marriages,others might raise legal grounds tocontest that view.In particular, he points to the 2007ruling by the Maryland Court ofAppeals upholding the state’s mar-riage law banning same-sex mar-riages from being performed in thestate. In that 4-3 ruling denounced byLGBT activists, the court ruled thatrestricting marriage to a man and awoman doesn’t discriminate againstsame-sex couples or deny them rightsunder the state constitution. The courtheld that the ban on same-sex mar-riage instead promotes the state’s“interest” in traditional heterosexualmarriage as a means of fostering pro-creation and protecting children.But Gansler says in his opinion thatthe appeals court decision should notbe a key factor in determining whetherMaryland could recognize same-sexmarriages from other jurisdictions.“The Court of Appeals would startfrom the general principle that a mar-
Sparks fly as
takes onMaggie Gallagher at forum.
Part 3 of our wedding series looks at gay-friendlyhoneymoon destinations.
Maryland Attorney General
issued this week an opinion statingthat same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions most likely have full legalstanding in the state.
Photo courtesy of Maryland state government
Continues onpage 15
‘Girls, Jell-O, bikinis, kick-ass drinkspecials, awesomeness — they all gohand in hand,’ says Phase manager
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Iconic D.C. lesbian barcelebrates 40 yearsthis weekend
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMOjdiguglielmo@dcagenda.com
Time is a blur of memories for thePhase 1 “back-in-the-day” old schoolcrew. It’s not senility or old age —these D.C. lesbians are only in their50s and early 60s. It’s just thatevents and dates blur together forthem like they do for everyone else.It’s Sunday night about 8:30.Phase manager Angela Lombardihas gathered a few women whosehistories are inextricably linked to thebar for interviews in anticipation ofthis weekend’s 40th anniversary fes-tivities. The subject nobody can man-age to agree on is when longtimemanager Mary Knowles, who ran thebar for about 13 years, died.Pam Porter, who tended bar atthe Phase from 1975 until about fouryears ago, tries to pinpoint the dateby whom she was dating at the time.She met all her girlfriends at thePhase and half of them worked therewith her — Cheryl Gordon for 17years, Ellie Seelow for four years,Keri Boyd for two-and-a-half yearsand PJ Felt for the last 12 years.Porter and her longtime gal pal JeanHomza, another former Phaseemployee, try to nail down the year.“I know it was November,”Homza says.“I’m trying to think who I was withat the time,” Porter says with a giggle.“It must have been the early2000s,” Homza says. “Because, welllet’s see, she was here, what, 13 or14 years? And she started in, what,about ‘84?”
Not just a Phase
Continues onpage 22
Md. may recognize out-of-state gay marriages