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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 8 - february 25, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 8 - february 25, 2011

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DOMA, Gay Senator, Oscars, Freddie's, Gay News, Gay Entertainment, Gay Nightlife, Gay Arts
DOMA, Gay Senator, Oscars, Freddie's, Gay News, Gay Entertainment, Gay Nightlife, Gay Arts

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Feb 24, 2011
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Gay Rep. Cicilline on being in the minority,the prospects for a pro-LGBT omnibusbill  and D.C.’s social scene
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
As Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and his fellow House Dem-ocrats are discovering, being in the minority is rough.The freshman lawmaker  and fourth sitting openly gaymember of Congress  offers help to the best of his abilities to a group of disability advocates fromhis district, but knows his infl uence is limited with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) runningthe chamber and pledging to slash billions from government programs.The Blade spent a day shadowing Cicilline last week. Six weeks into his fi rst term as a member ofCongress, he meets with about a dozen constituents working on disability issues in his offi ce at theCannon Offi ce Building.The meeting is one of four today for the Providence, R.I., mayor-turned-member of Congress, which
marylandnews
State Senate advancessame-sex marriage billas House prepares forhistoric vote on equality.
PAGE 6
districtnews
Mayor Vince Grayannounces plansfor new commissionon HIV/AIDS in city.
PAGE 2
the lgbtq community news source
 washingtonblade.com • vol. 42, issue 08 • february 25, 2011 • Still sharp after 40 years
Historic decision triggers calls for repealof federal ban on same-sex marriage
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
The Justice Department, in a historic announcement this week,said it would no longer defend the controversial Defense of MarriageAct in court.“After careful consideration, including a review of my recommenda-tion, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, in-cluding a documented history of discrimination, classifi cations basedon sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened stan-dard of scrutiny,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.“The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as ap-plied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standardand is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the Presidenthas instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases.I fully concur with the President’s determination.”LGBT rights groups quickly praised the decision.“The administration today acknowledges that there is no legitimatereason for this discrimination and therefore it cannot be defendedunder the Constitution,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom toMarry. “This a momentous step forward toward Freedom to Marry’sgoal of ending federal marriage discrimination and fully protecting all
Adjusting to freshman life on the Hill
Justice Dept. drops defense of DOMA
socialagenda
Gay dancer fi nds success working with Lady Gaga.
PAGE 25 Continues on page 10 Continues on page 8
nightlife
agenda
Freddie’s Beach Bar marks 10 years with month-long celebration.
PAGE 20
hollywood’sbig night
Where does DustinLance Black keep hisstatuette?  Gay winnerstalk all things Oscar.
PAGE 17
Attorney General
Eric Holder
announced this week that the administration will no longer defend DOMA in court.
Washington Blade fi le photo by Michael Key
Rep.
David Cicilline
became the fourthsitting out gay member of Congress whenhe joined the House just weeks ago.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
 
LOCALNEWS
2 washingtonblade.com • february 25, 2011
Gray creates new
HIV/AIDS commission
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was scheduled to an-nounce on Wednesday that he has created a newMayor’s Commission on HIV/AIDS “to help end the HIVepidemic in the District o Columbia, according to astatement released by the mayor’s ofce.“The commission will ocus on treatment, the needso people living with HIV and expanded prevention tostop new inections,” the statement says.“The objectives include the best way to achieve‘Treatment on Demand,’ examining emerging trendsand needs, developing evidence-based policies, im-proving access to critical support services (mentalhealth, substance use, housing), recommending orga-nization changes and improved citywide coordination,[and] maximizing research opportunities,” accordingto the statement.It adds that the new commission would also adviseGray on the best ways the city can adopt PresidentObama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy or D.C.’s AIDSprograms.The initial statement announcing the creation o thecommission did not include a list o the names o thecommission’s members. Visit washingtonblade.com oran update.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
 
Pannell runs forWard 8 school board seat
Veteran gay and Ward 8 community activist Phil Pan-nell has emerged as one o nine candidates competingor a vacant seat on the D.C. State Board o Educationor Ward 8 in the city’s April 26 special election.Pannell, a recognized expert on issues and prob-lems related to city neighborhoods east o the Anacos-tia River, said he is running on a platorm to addresssuch issues as school truancy, improved reading skillsand ways to curtail an “epidemic” o youth violence inschools.He said anti-LGBT bullying and harassment atschools is also an issue he plans to address i electedto the school board.Races to fll vacancies or the Ward 8 and Ward 4seats on the Board o Education have received ar lessmedia coverage than the competition or an at-largeCity Council seat vacated by Democrat Kwame Brown,who won election in November as Council Chair. TheCouncil race will also be decided in the April 26 spe-cial election.Ten candidates are competing or the Council seat.The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largestLGBT political group, is scheduled to hold a candi-dates orum and vote on an endorsement in the Coun-cil race at a meeting on March 14, to be held at Townnightclub.The club voted at its monthly meeting Tuesday nightto hold a separate orum or school board candidateson March 28, at which time the club will vote on en-dorsements in those two contests.Pannell, a longtime member o the club, is expect-ed to be among the rontrunners or a Stein Club en-dorsement at the March 28 meeting. He is the onlyout gay running in any o the three races in the April26 election.The other candidates competing with Pannell or theWard 8 school board seat are Eugene Dewitt Kinlow,Anthony Muhammad, Tijwanna Phillips, Larry PretlowII, R. Joyce Schott, Cardell Shelton, Trayon White Sr.,and Sandra Williams.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
 
Longtime lesbian activist
Carlene Cheatam leaving D.C.
Veteran lesbian activist Carlene Cheatam, whohelped orm the D.C. Coalition o Black Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Men and Women in 1978,will be honored at a March 19 arewell party ollowingher announcement that she will be moving to New Jer-sey later that month.Cheatam said she is joining her partner, who residesin New Jersey, shortly ater Cheatam retires rom herjob with the D.C. government, where she has workedat various city agencies as an administrator or morethan 30 years.The Rainbow History Project, which has designatedCheatam as an LGBT community pioneer, describesher as a highly acclaimed community organizer whohas “actively expanded opportunities or Washington,D.C.’s gay and lesbian community, particularly or Ari-can Americans.”The arewell tribute to Cheatam is scheduled or8 p.m. March 19 at the Dupont Circle gay bar FabLounge at 2022 Florida Ave., N.W.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Gay youth gang linked toassaults, robberies in Chinatown
A gang or “crew” o gay male teenagers based inthe city’s Trinidad neighborhood has been linked tothets, fghts with other gangs, and some robberiesover the past year or more, according to D.C. DeputyPolice Chie Diane Groomes.Groomes and Ron Mouten, co-ounder o the D.C.group Peaceoholics, which works to discourage youthparticipation in gangs and acts o violence, said thegay gang calls itsel the “Check It” crew. Mouten saidCheck It has as many as 100 active members.“Most o them act in an eeminate way, but they aretough, very tough,” said Mouten. He said the CheckIt crew got into a violent altercation with a rival crewlast month outside the Potomac Gardens public hous-ing complex on Capitol Hill, which is located about fveblocks rom the headquarters and drop-in center o theSexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL),which oers programs or LGBT youth.Groomes said a number o Check It members havebeen arrested or thets and fghts in the Chinatown-Gallery Place area near the Verizon Center.Gay and community activist Phil Pannell, who is run-ning or a seat on the city’s school board rom Ward 8,said he would push or stepped up action by the city toaddress the youth gang problem in the city i electedto the board.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
 
Gay man accused of hatecrime pleads guilty
A gay man charged with assaulting a panhandlerand threatening him with a chain during an altercationoutside the 17th Street, N.W. gay bar JR.’s in Januarypleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to two o three charges fledagainst him as part o a plea bargain agreement.D.C. police initially charged Kevin “Jaden” Perry,35, with assault, possession o a prohibited weapon (achain), and threats to do bodily harm at the time o hisarrest on Jan. 23. Police designated the incident as agay-related hate crime.The ollowing day, the United States Attorney’s o-fce dropped the hate crimes designation at the timeo Perry’s appearance in court or an arraignment. Apolice report said ofcers listed the incident as “biasedrelated” because the panhandler and an unidentifedwitness said Perry repeatedly called the panhandlera “aggot” at the time he allegedly assaulted him bypunching him in the back. The police report says thepanhandler was not injured in the incident.Perry disputed those allegations, telling the Bladeollowing his arraignment in D.C. Superior Court thatthe panhandler started the incident by calling Perry a“aggot” and lunging at Perry with his fsts raised aterPerry reused his request or money. Perry said he re-peated the word aggot in the orm o a question, say-ing he raised his own fsts and waved a chain he car-ries to attach his wallet to his pants at the panhandlerin sel-deense.According to the police report, the witness quotedPerry as saying to the panhandler, “I will kill you. You’rea aggot…I’m a real aggot, bitch. You don’t want touck with a real aggot, bitch. I will ucking kill you.”Perry disputed that account, saying no one was onthe street to witness the incident except the panhan-dler and two riends o Perry’s, who let JR.’s with Perryminutes beore the altercation started. The two riendsbacked up Perry’s version o what happened.According to court records, Perry pleaded guilty tocharges o threats to do bodily harm and simple as-sault in exchange or the government dropping thecharge o possession o a prohibited weapon.Perry was scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23,ater the Blade’s print deadline. Visit washingtonblade.com or updated news.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
 
Transgender woman founddead in Baltimore
A transgender woman was ound dead Saturday ina vacant building in Northwest Baltimore, according toa report in the Baltimore Sun. An autopsy revealed thatAnthony Trent, known as Tyra, died o asphyxiation.Trent, 25, had been reported missing two weeksearlier. Homicide detectives are investigating.A amily member told the Sun that Trent was a vi-brant person who loved animals and worked with peo-ple with disabilities.Trent had been arrested dozens o times between2003-2008 on charges o loitering and prostitution buthad not been arrested since 2008.
STAFF REPORTS
Mayor
Vince Gray
this week announced creation o a newcommission ‘to help end the HIV epidemic in the District oColumbia.’
Washington Blade fle photo by Michael Key
 
february 25, 2011 • washingtonblade.com 3

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