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washingtonblade.com - vol. 41, issue 46 - november 12, 2010

washingtonblade.com - vol. 41, issue 46 - november 12, 2010

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Homeless Gay Youth, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Gay News, Gay Entertainment, Gay Nightlife
Homeless Gay Youth, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Gay News, Gay Entertainment, Gay Nightlife

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Nov 11, 2010
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Deendant in killingo Brian Betts pleadsguilty to frst-degreeelony murder.
Newly elected Marylandlawmaker Mary Washingtonmakes history and is confdentmarriage equality is coming soon.
Kye Allums, a transbasketball player at GW,praised as role modelor young athletes.
the lgbtq community news source
washingtonblade.com • vol. 41, issue 46 • november 12, 2010 • Still sharp after 40 years
Activists pressure senators toend ban during lame duck session
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Supporters o “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal arepushing the Senate to end the law in the lameduck session o Congress amid questions aboutwhether sufcient support exists to complete thetask by year’s end.One Democratic aide, who spoke on conditiono anonymity, told the Blade that Senate passageo major deense budget legislation to which“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal is attached wouldrequire “all the stars aligning” as well as activesupport rom President Obama and DeenseSecretary Robert Gates.Asked this week whether those elements werecoming into alignment as the lame duck sessionapproaches, the aide said, “Hell no. We ain’t any-where near alignment.”Senate Armed Services Committee Chair CarlLevin (D-Mich.) told reporters on Tuesday thatpassing the fscal year 2011 deense authoriza-tion bill with the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal lan-guage presents challenges.“We’re trying to get both things accomplished,and we just don’t know i we can,” Levin said, ac-cording to the Grand Rapids Press.“Republicans have flibustered the whole de-ense bill because o that [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’]provision. There’s some people who say that unlessthe deense bill has that provision, that we shouldn’tpass it,” he continued. “My position is, we shouldtry to get both things done some way or another.”Media reports circulated this week that Levin wasengaged in talks with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) toadvance the deense authorization bill ater strippingit o the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language.But while some see challenges in moving or-
Crunch time for ‘Don’t Ask’
Homeless gay teen survives streets, eyes college
Photos rom Shi-Queeta-Lee’s birthday party this week at Nellie’s.
PAGE 38Continues on page 14Continues on page 4
Barney Frank says ‘zero chance’ o pro-LGBT bills in next Congress.
Kadeem Swenson
says his parents kicked him out o the house or being gay two years ago. He spent a year living in abandoned buildings in D.C. while attending Ballou STAY school.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Youth lived in D.C. abandoned buildingswhile on honor roll at local high school
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
Kadeem Swenson looks orward to graduating rom D.C.’s BallouSTAY High School in June and is applying or admission to college.He gets good grades and his principal considers him a promisingstudent with a good uture.But the strapping, 6-oot-tall 18-year-old, who came out as gay atage 16, says he spent most o the past year hiding a part o his liethat became ar more difcult to deal with than his sexual orientation.Forced by his parents to leave his home in Waldor, Md., twoyears ago ater he told them he’s gay, Swenson stayed with riendsand relatives in D.C. and North Carolina or several months. He andhis grandmother then prevailed upon his mother to enroll him in Bal-lou STAY, one o the D.C. public school system’s vocational and aca-demic high schools that oer classes at night.
Mayor-elect Vincent Gray last week named gayormer D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnolettias co-chair o his transition team’s Committee onLegal Aairs and Public Saety.Spagnoletti, who served as attorney generalduring the administration o ormer Mayor AnthonyWilliams, is currently a partner in the D.C. law rmSchertler & Onorato, which specializes in criminaland civil litigation.Earlier this year, Spagnoletti took part in awidely reported trial as deense attorney or DylanWard, one o three gay men charged with obstruc-tion o justice, evidence tampering and conspira-cy in connection with the 2006 murder o Washing-ton attorney Robert Wone. A D.C. Superior Courtjudge ound Ward and ellow deendants JosephPrice and Victor Zaborsky not guilty on all charges.Prior to becoming attorney general, Spagnolettiserved as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’soce in D.C. He is credited with helping to cre-ate programs to assist LGBT crime victims, includ-ing victims o hate crimes and domestic violence.His appointment by Gray to a mayoral transitionteam panel that will make recommendations onpublic saety issues comes at a time when LGBTactivists have raised concern that D.C. policehave not adequately addressed anti-LGBT hatecrimes in recent years.“This committee will look at the agencies re-sponsible or public saety and make recom-mendations on how to best ensure sae neigh-borhoods; and examine the government’s legalservice operations and make recommendationsor improvement,” an announcement by Gray ohis transition team says.Gray named Karl Racine, a local attorney andormer Clinton administration White House legalcounsel, as co-chair o the transition team’s LegalAairs and Public Saety Committee.Spagnoletti and Racine are two o 14 transi-tion team appointments that Gray announced at anews conerence on Wednesday. Others includeormer D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, ormer Clin-ton administration ocial Alice Rivlin, and ormerGeorge Washington University President JoelTrachtenberg.Mayoral transition team leaders usually don’t goon to permanent appointments by D.C. mayors,although some have served as inormal advisers.
Former D.C. Attorney General
Robert Spagnoletti
was named co-chair o Vincent Gray’s transition team’sCommittee on Legal Aairs and Public Saety.
Washington Blade fle photo by Michael Key
2 washingtonblade.com • november 12, 2010
Gray makes firstgay appointment
Teen pleads guilty to murderof gay principal
A 19-year-old D.C. man pleaded guilty Monday to rst-degree elony murder in connection with the April 14 shootingdeath o gay D.C. middle school principal Brian Betts.Alante Saunders, one o our teenagers charged in Bet-ts’ murder, agreed to a plea bargain agreement oeredby prosecutors that is expected to result in a sentence re-duced rom lie in prison to 40 years. The plea took placeduring a hearing beore a Montgomery County Circuitcourt judge in Rockville.Betts was ound shot to death April 15 in his SilverSpring, Md. house.Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney SherriKoch told Judge John Debelius in a hearing that evidenceshows that Saunders shot Betts to death in the secondfoor bedroom o his house ater meeting the popular mid-dle school principal through an Internet chat line.Sources amiliar with the case have said the chat linewhere the two met caters to gay men seeking to meetother men or sex.In details o the case that had not previously been dis-closed, Koch told the court that Betts told Saunders that thedoor to his house would be unlocked and instructed himto enter and walk upstairs to his bedroom upon his arrival.Police and prosecutors have said Saunders and threeother men, one 19 and two 18, hatched a plan to meetsomeone on the chat line or the purpose o committinga robbery. Saunders’ lawyer, David Felsen, and Kochagreed that Saunders and the others charged in the casedid not intend to kill Betts.“This was, or want o a better word, a robbery that wentbad,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John Mc-Carthy at a news conerence ollowing the guilty plea.“This case should serve as a reminder to all those in thecommunity who use chat lines that there are dangers,” hesaid at the news conerence.Neither McCarthy nor Koch, in her courtroom remarks,mentioned that Betts was gay or that the youths chargedwith his murder met him through a gay sex chat line.Court observers believe the State’s Attorney’s oce is ne-gotiating with attorneys representing the other deendantsover possible plea bargain agreements that would avoidthe need or a trial. The others charged in the case are JoelJohnson, 19; Shari Tau Lancaster and Deontra Gray, both18. Each is charged with murder, even though authoritiesbelieve they may not have been in Betts’ house at the timeo the shooting.Police have said some or all o the other three men en-tered the house at some point ater the shooting to helpSaunders steal Betts’ belongings, including credit cardsand his car.Saunders is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 23.
Md. attorney gen’l:No marriage bill in 2011
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler told a gaybusiness group this week that he doesn’t expect lawmak-ers to pass a same-sex marriage bill next year.“We won’t get marriage equality in the legislative ses-sion this year,” Gansler told the Maryland Gay & Lesbi-an Chamber o Commerce. “It will happen through thecourts.” He cited a coalition o Republicans, Catholicsand certain older black lawmakers who oppose same-sexmarriage as the reason or the lack o movement.A marriage bill is among Equality Maryland’s top legisla-tive priorities and hopes or progress were high ater threegay and lesbian candidates joined our openly gay incum-bents in winning last week’s elections. Maryland now hasseven openly gay and lesbian state lawmakers.“Attorney General Gansler stated that a marriageequality bill is unlikely to advance in the General Assem-bly due to lack o support rom certain constituencies,”said Charles Butler, Equality Maryland’s board chair, in astatement to the Blade. “We appreciate the AG’s unequiv-ocal support or marriage equality, but respectully dis-agree with him on his recent statement. Maryland votersjust embraced two important pro-marriage candidates inre-electing Gov. O’Malley and the AG. … With this kind osupport or equality, we believe the Legislature will do theright thing, honor the trust that the electorate has placed inits members, and enact marriage equality legislation dur-ing the upcoming session.”
Gay bar Mova files forbankruptcy in Florida
The owner o the D.C. gay bar Mova led or Chapter11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 20 in U.S. BankruptcyCourt in Miami, Fla., according to court documents.Mova owner Babak Movahedi led the bankruptcy docu-ments through Logan Circle Spectrum, LLC, the companythat owns Mova bars in both Washington and Miami Beach.Movahedi is the sole shareholder o the company, accordingto bankruptcy documents.Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows companies unable topay creditors to reorganize and make arrangements topay o the debt over an extended time period without go-ing out o business. Movahedi has said he intends to keephis Mova bars open.The bankruptcy ling shows that Logan Circle Spec-trum, which is headquartered in South Miami Beach, hasliabilities totaling $874,817 and assets totaling $72,507.The largest single creditor is PNC Bank, which is owedmore than $560,000, according to the ling.Gay D.C. businessman and drag perormer David Lettand Lett’s company, Harlet Enterprises, Inc., holds the pri-mary lease to the building in which Mova D.C. is locatedat 1435 P St., N.W. The bankruptcy ling records showthat Mova owes Harlet, Mova’s landlord, $77,745.It says the money owed to Lett and Harlet Enterprises isor “leases, permits, agreements, personal property, urni-ture, xtures, equipment and all other assets located in orupon the premise or used in connection with the businessconducted in the premises.”
LGBT program atUniv. of Md. wins award
The University o Maryland’s One Project won the 2010National Orientation Directors Association’s InnovativeProgram Award.The One Project is the First-Year Experience programor LGBT and ally students at the university developed byDian Squire, assistant director o orientation. It is a jointeort by the Oce o LGBT Equity (lgbt.umd.edu) and theOrientation Oce (orientation.umd.edu).“We’re just really looking to connect students to otherstudents … and the community at large,” Squire said.The award gives the program a proessional stamp oapproval because it comes rom an association that spe-cializes in these types o programs, he said.“The criteria or the award is, one, it’s innovative, andtwo, that the NODA board sees that the program can betaken and used anywhere in the nation,” Squire said.The program is meant to help students make a smoothtransition to college and “represents a hope that the LG-BTQA community can come together in an intellectual,social and civically minded way to support each otherthrough the rst year o college.”“I went to Luke Jensen [director o the Oce o LGBTEquity] and asked i there was something I could do,”Squire said as to why he developed the One Project. “Hesaid ‘Why don’t we start a rst year program?’ and I tookthat small seed and ran with it.”The award will be presented at the association’s annualconerence, Nov. 6-9 in St. Louis.For more inormation on the One Project or NODA, visittheir respective websites, theoneprojectumd.com andnodaweb.org.
november 12, 2010 • washingtonblade.com 3
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