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washingtonblade.com - vol. 41, issue 39 - september 24,2010

washingtonblade.com - vol. 41, issue 39 - september 24,2010

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the lgbtq community's news source
the lgbtq community's news source

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Sep 23, 2010
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the lgbtq community news source
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 39 • september 24, 2010 • Still sharp after 40 years
copingwith cancer
Friends rally tosupport Va. coupleater woman losesleg to disease.
Gay cop who shotdog in Adams Morgansays he was justifed inkilling aggressive animal.
Gay hostage - andormer Blade staer -recounts horror oDiscovery HQ drama.
Repeal supporters pinhopes on lame ducksession after election
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Supporters o “Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell” repeal are pickingup the pieces ater a devastat-ing loss in the U.S. Senate and— amid ears the opportunity orrepeal has been lost — anticipat-ing another shot at passing leg-islation that would end the lawater Election Day.Aubrey Sarvis, executive direc-tor o the Servicemembers LegalDeense Network, said he contin-ues to see a path or legislative re-peal o “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” thisCongress as he acknowledgedthe need or new eorts.“We do have a shot in the lameduck,” he said. “And, I think,rankly, it’s better than 50/50, butwe’ve got to change the mix. …It’s unlikely the vote will be thatdierent.”Still, Sarvis said “time is theenemy” even as he maintainedthat sufcient time remains thisyear to move orward with “Don’tAsk, Don’t Tell” repeal.“We’re only talking about ouror fve days in November, andit’s unclear how many days inDecember,” Sarvis said. “Thisbill is tough to do in the best ocircumstances when you aren’tup against time. I think it can bedone, but time is a actor or sure.”Alex Nicholson, executive di-rector o Servicemembers Unit-ed, said the legislative route torepeal will be a “challenge” and“those who let this vote ail yes-terday really made it difcult orus all moving orward.”“But we have no choice but togive it our all and try our best topush it through,” Nicholson said.
Picking up the pieces after ‘Don’t Ask’ defeat
Fenty beat Gray
in gay precincts
But visible LGBT enclaves aremostly in white neighborhoods
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
Election returns or the city’s Sept. 14 Demo-cratic primary show that Mayor Adrian Fenty wonin 13 o the 15 electoral precincts believed tohave high concentrations o LGBT residents, eventhough many LGBT activist leaders backed CityCouncil Chair Vincent Gray or mayor.Gray won the primary with a citywide vote o 54percent to 44 percent, making him the strong avor-ite to win the November general election in a citywhere registered Democrats outnumber Republi-
Tools or buyers and sellers alike in our special real estate section.
Vincent Gray
’s drubbing o Adrian Fenty in lastweek’s primary, the incumbent mayor prevailed in precinctswith high concentrations o gay voters.
Continues on page 12Continues on page 6
Tim Gunn tends bar, Tom Goss sings, Nancy Pelosispeaks in busy week o local events.
PAGE 36A closer look at the vote by precinct.PAGE 6Who will Gray pick to run GLBT Affairs?PAGE 19
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
‘The White House didn’t lit a fnger to help and certain gay rights organizations reused to criticize Sen. Reid while he derailed thevote in advance,’ said
Alex Nicholson
, executive director o Servicemembers United.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Former Bladeemployee givesharrowing account oour-hour standof
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
 A gay man who was one othree hostages held at the Dis-covery Channel headquartersin Silver Spring, Md., on Sept. 1used hand signals to initiate hisand a ellow hostage’s escapeseconds beore police shot andkilled a gunman who threatenedto blow up the building.Christopher B. Wood, 25, aormer Washington Blade em-ployee who works as a marketingspecialist with Discovery Com-munications, gave a harrowingaccount o his our-hour ordealin captivity at the hands o a dis-turbed gunman that has attract-ed national media coverage.Seconds ater Wood and Dis-covery Channel producer JimMcNulty ran or the exit door in aplan orchestrated by hand sig-nals between Wood, McNulty,and a security guard who wasalso held hostage, memberso a police swat team shot andkilled the gunman, James Lee.Authorities described Lee as adisturbed “environmental extrem-ist” who believed the DiscoveryChannel was broadcasting harm-ul programs that would worsenglobal warming and other envi-ronmental problems.In an interview with the Blade,Wood explained how he wasable to clandestinely respond toa text message that a co-workersent him rom outside the build-ing. Wood said the text messagecame at a time when he be-lieved he would likely die at thehands o the gunman, who hadexplosives strapped to his body.“Please tell Mark I love him,”Wood told co-worker CarlosGutierrez in a text message re-erring to Wood’s partner.About two hours later, whilethinking o his partner Mark andother loved ones while beingorced to lie ace down on a mar-ble oor in the Discovery building’slobby, Wood said his right andanxiety began to change to anger.“I started to think in myhead…no, this is not the waythis is going to end,” he toldthe Blade in discussing histhoughts o a plan to escape.“I’m not going to die here on theoor. I’m not going to let some-body take over my lie and tellme when I’m going to die.”According to Wood and ac-counts by authorities, both Woodand ellow hostage McNulty walkedinto the Discovery building lobbyshortly ater returning rom theirlunch break about 1 p.m. on Sept.1. McNulty said he saw Lee point-ing his gun at the building’s lobbysecurity guard and initially thoughtthe two were actors participatingin the flming o a movie until Leepointed the gun at him and orderedhim to lie ace down on the oor.Wood said he frst noticedMcNulty lying on the oor whenhe entered the lobby minuteslater and thought McNulty wasill and wondered why some-one wasn’t helping him. Beorehe could take more than a ewsteps, Wood said Lee pointedthe gun at him and ordered himto lie on the oor.During their our hours in cap-tivity, Lee orced Wood and Mc-Nulty to remain on the oor ex-cept or times when he orderedthem to stand and answer hisquestions about the plight o theearth, Wood said. Wood saidthe security guard remainedat a desk where there was aphone that police hostage ne-gotiators used to talk to Lee onand o throughout his stay inthe building’s lobby.Wood said he sized up Lee’sstate o mind ater hearing himtalk to the negotiators through aspeakerphone, where both par-ties could be heard.“[T]he negotiator was askinghow the hostages were,” saidWood. “And he kept saying, ‘Idon’t care about these hostag-es. I don’t care i they die. I don’tcare about them. I just careabout what I want…I I blow upit will take all o them with me.”Wood said that Lee “ranted”at McNulty ater asking McNultyi he had kids. When McNultytold him he had two children Leeshouted that having children con-tributes to overpopulation, whichis destroying the natural environ-ment, according to an accountby McNulty in media interviews.When Lee called Wood overto the guard’s desk to questionhim, Wood said he had deter-mined he would try to say aslittle as possible to avoid an-tagonizing Lee.“So the gunman [said], ‘Standup, you stand up. Put your hands onthe desk,’” Wood said. “I walked upover to the desk, put my hands onthe desk. And he [said], ‘He looksfne. Look at him, young, healthy.’”From that point on, Wood said,Lee allowed him and McNulty toremain standing. It was at thattime that Wood noticed the guardmaking subtle gestures thatWood thought suggested that heand McNulty should attempt to“make a run or it.”“I looked at the guard,” saidWood. “I fnally got his attentionand I mouthed the word ‘run.’And he shook his head yes.And so I then turned my bodytrying to get Jim’s attention.”Ater what seemed like an eter-nity, Wood said, McNulty looked to-ward him “and I mouthed the word‘run.’ He shook his head yes.”Wood said he then begancounting down with his fngersto McNulty with his body turnedso that Lee could not see his fn-gers counting down rom threeto one, when the two would boltor the door.“And as soon as the gunmanlooked down toward the nego-tiator [on a speaker phone] Idropped my arms and ran tothe same door that I came in,”he said, noting that he heard thesound o a “pop.”Although he did not witness it,Wood learned later the sound heheard was the frst o several shotsfred by the Montgomery Countypolice swat team. Police said mem-bers o the swat team, who enteredthe building earlier and were readyto rush into the lobby, shot Lee sev-eral times, killing him instantly.“I’m not sure what the nextchapter holds,” Wood said. ButI will say that I have a wholenew perspective on lie. I wentrom dying and thinking I wasdead to making a decision tolive, making the decision to bethe one that got us out o theresaely and ran and made the ini-tial stand. And my lie will neverbe the same.”
Caretaker, animal rescue groupcall or police investigation
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
A gay D.C. police ofcer and a gay caretakero a dog named Parrot have become involved ina highly emotional dispute ollowing the ofcer’sdecision to shoot the dog beore dozens o by-standers at D.C.’s annual Adams Morgan Dayestival on Sept. 12.Dale Edwin Sanders, an attorney represent-ing Ofcer Scott Fike, said extensive mediacoverage o the incident has ailed to report thatFike is a dog lover assigned to the department’scanine unit and takes home each night one othe unit’s German Shepherds.“He’s being portrayed as a monster by blog-gers and it’s totally unair,” Sanders said. “He’sthe last person in the world to shoot a dog i itwasn’t absolutely necessary.”But Dupont Circle resident Aaron Block, 25,who was caring or Parrot through a dog ostercare program run by the local volunteer groupLucky Dog Animal Rescue, told the Blade thatFike shot and killed the dog without justifcationater Parrot and a poodle being walked by awoman got into a fght on the street.Fike said he isn’t authorized to speak to themedia and reerred a reporter to Sanders orcomment. The owner o the poodle, Adams Mor-gan resident Sheila Martins-Silva, could not bereached.John Valentine, an attorney representing Lucky
This screen capture shows the text messages that Chris Wood was able to send duringthe time he was held hostage at Discovery’s headquarters earlier this month. Mark ishis partner.
2 washingtonblade.com • september 24, 2010
Gay hostage initiated escape at Discovery
Continues on page 16
Chris Wood
was held hostage or our hours with two other men on Sept. 1 by JamesLee, who was killed in the stando.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wood
Gay cop says shooting dog was necessary
Visit washingtonblade.comfor a full transcript of ourinterview with Chris Wood.
september 24, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 3

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