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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 13 - april 1, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 13 - april 1, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Mar 31, 2011
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‘Mike Miller wants it dead, it’s that simple’
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
The chief sponsor of a transgender non-discrimination bill in the Maryland Legislature took the un-usual step of publicly criticizing the president of the State Senate on Wednesday, saying he was beingdisrespectful to her and those who would benefi t from the bill by seeking to kill it in committee.Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s & Anne Arundel Counties) said she was dismayedthat Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Prince George’s & Calvert Counties) diverted the Gen-der Identity Non-Discrimination Act to the Senate Rules Committee, where it will likely die without a voteor hearing.“Mike Miller wants it dead, it’s that simple,” Pena-Melnyk told the Blade in an interview Wednesday.“Out of 94 bills that the House passed and sent to the Senate in a timely fashion, this was the only bill
D.C.’s special election isset for later this month.Political groups announceratings and endorsements.
PAGES 2 & 4
Cherry weekend ishere with a packedslate of DJs, includingAlyson Calagna.
the lgbtq community news source
 washingtonblade.com • vol. 42, issue 13 • april 1, 2011 • Still sharp after 40 years
Ready to introduce bill,seeking more co-sponsors
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced on Wednesday that he’sprepared to unveil the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for the112th Congress but is still in the process of lining up additional co-sponsors before formally introducing the bill.During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Frank said the upcomingintroduction of ENDA would help educate lawmakers and the publicabout the bill as he continued to express skepticism that it would ad-vance with Republicans in control of the House.“This is a chance to continue — not begin, but continue — a lob-bying effort that I am convinced will be successful, frankly, next timethe Democrats take back the House of Representatives,” Frank said.As it was introduced in the 111th Congress, ENDA would bar jobdiscrimination against LGBT people in most situations in the publicand private workforce. According to Frank’s offi ce, job discriminationon the basis of sexual orientation is legal in 29 states and legal in 38states on the basis of gender identity.Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a planned original co-sponsor ofENDA, called for continued lobbying and education on ENDA for atleast two years under GOP control to ensure its passage in later years.
Md. lawmaker blasted
for derailing trans bill
Frank skeptical about ENDA’s chances
Celebrating Elizabeth Taylor’s contributions to lm, LGBT rights.
PAGES 19 & 30 Continues on page 4 Continues on page 16
Cherry Fund board member James Decker answers 20 questions.
David Muse, StudioTheatre’s artisticdirector, on the newseason’s exciting lineup.
Barney Frank 
said this week that he’s ready to introduce ENDA to help educate his colleagues about anti-LGBT discrimination.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
Modest ratings forDemocrats Biddle, Weaver
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
D.C. City Council candidates SekouBiddle and Bryan Weaver, both Demo-crats, each received a rating o +5.5 thisweek rom the Gay and Lesbian ActivistsAlliance, the highest score given by thegroup or the nine Council candidates run-ning in the city’s April 26 special election.GLAA, a non-partisan political group,rates candidates on LGBT and somenon-LGBT issues on a scale o -10 to+10. The group says it bases its ratingson responses given by candidates to aGLAA questionnaire and on their recordon LGBT and AIDS issues.“No candidates in the April 26 specialelection or At-Large D.C. Council mem-ber approached the ‘perect tens’ romthe Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliancethat were earned in recent elections byCouncil members Jack Evans, DavidCatania, Jim Graham, and Phil Mendel-son,” the group said in a statement. Cat-ania and Graham are gay.Republican candidate Patrick Mara andStatehood-Green Party candidate AlanPage each received a +4 rating. DemocratVincent Orange, a ormer Ward 5 Coun-cil member, received a +3.5 rating; andDemocrat Joshua Lopez, an aide to ormerMayor Adrian Fenty, received a +2.5.Democratic candidates Tom Brownand Dorothy Douglas and independentcandidate Arkan Haile each received arating o “0.” GLAA said the three ailedto return the questionnaire and the groupautomatically assigns a 0 rating to suchcandidates unless it can veriy a recordon LGBT-related issues.Each o the candidates that returnedthe questionnaire expressed support orLGBT rights, including support or thecity’s same-sex marriage law.In a statement accompanying the re-lease o its ratings, GLAA acknowledgedthat the candidates indicated in theirquestionnaire responses that they supportGLAA’s positions on nearly each o the 14issues the group raised in its questions.It said most o the candidates lost pointsby not providing sufcient substance totheir responses, which, according to thegroup, would demonstrate a better graspand understanding o the issues.“We just don’t want yes or no an-swers,” said GLAA Vice President RickRosendall. “We want the substance be-hind the answers.”Rosendall said the substantive issuessurrounding each o the questions askedo the candidates are included in a 24-page GLAA “agenda” briefng paper orthe D.C. LGBT community published onthe group’s website. He said the groupsent each candidate a copy o the paperalong with the questionnaire.The subjects covered in the question-naire, among other things, include mar-riage and amily, public health, publicsaety, human rights, youth, and protec-tion or LGBT consumers and businesses– all in connection to how they pertain tothe LGBT community, according GLAA.One question asks what steps thecandidates would take to improve theperormance o the city’s AIDS ofce.Another asks, “Do you support the righto adults in the District to choose adult-oriented entertainment or themselves,and the right o appropriately licensedand zoned businesses to provide it?”All o the candidates answering thequestionnaire responded with a “yes” an-swer to the latter question, although theygave diering explanations o their viewson the subject o adult businesses.Each o the candidates except one —Statehood-Green Party candidate Page —gave a “no” answer to a question askingi they would consider supporting decrimi-nalizing, zoning, taxing, and regulatingprostitution in the District. GLAA noted inits questionnaire that marginalized groupssuch as low-income LGBT and transgen-der youth sometimes turn to prostitution asa means o economic survival and otenare subjected to urther difculties i ar-rested or engaging in the sex trade.Page and the other candidates saidtheir avored solution to the problems oLGBT and trans youth is city-sponsoredjob training, substance abuse counsel-ing, and enorcement o non-discrimina-tion laws that would eliminate the needor marginalized groups to turn to prosti-tution or survival.GLAA said Biddle’s questionnaire was“generally positive but oered limitedsubstance and was oten vague.” TheGertrude Stein Democratic Club, thecity’s largest LGBT political group, en-dorsed Biddle.Mara, a member o the city’s board o ed-ucation rom Ward 1, has expressed strongsupport or LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage. GLAA said he lost points onhis rating, among other things, becausehe lobbied Congress or a ederal schoolvoucher program. The program pays D.C.students’ tuition in private, religious elemen-tary and secondary schools that are exemptrom the city’s human rights law, which bansdiscrimination based on sexual orientationand gender identity.In his questionnaire response, Marasaid he backs the program because itallows students rom low-income amiliesto attend schools considered better aca-demically than city public schools.Mara this week received the endorse-ment o the Log Cabin Republicans oWashington.Copies o the candidates’ responsesto the GLAA questionnaire and a break-down o their ratings by points can beviewed at glaa.org.
2 washingtonblade.com • april 1, 2011
Forum addressesLGBT issues, bullying
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
The Gertrude Stein Democratic ClubTuesday night endorsed gay rights andWard 8 civic activist Phil Pannell or aseat on the D.C. State Board o Educa-tion or Ward 8 in the city’s April 26 spe-cial election.The club made the endorsement ol-lowing a orum in which candidates run-ning or the Ward 8 and Ward 4 schoolboard seats spoke to club members ona wide range o issues, including issuesrelated to LGBT youth.“I’m honored and humbled,” Pannellsaid ollowing the endorsement vote.“This is an endorsement that I reallywanted and that I really need. And I thinkit’s important or people to know in thiscity that there are those o us in the LGBTcommunity who put public education atthe top o our agendas.”Pannell, a longtime member o theStein Club, received 62.5 percent othe votes cast, bringing him over the 60percent vote threshold required or anendorsement under the club’s rules. Hisclosest rival was D.C. civic activist andLGBT rights supporter Eugene Kinlow,who received 34 percent o the vote.Ward 8 candidate Sandra Williamsreceived 3 percent and the remainingthree Ward 8 candidates attending theorum – Tijwanna Phillips, Larry PretlowII, and Cardell Shelton – did not receiveany votes.Three other candidates running in thenine-candidate Ward 8 race – TrayonWhite, R. Joyce Scott, and Anthony Mu-hammad – did not attend the orum.In the Ward 4 race, none o the ourcandidates participating in the SteinClub orum received 60 percent o thevote, preventing the club rom makingan endorsement in that contest. Ward 4educator An Almquist came close, cap-turing 54.5 percent o the vote in a sec-ond ballot runo against Ward 4 activistD. Kamili Anderson, who received 39.3percent o the vote. The other two Ward 4candidates who participated in the orumwere Andrew Moss and Bill Quirk.Adam Tenner, executive director othe local group Metro Teen AIDS, servedas moderator or the orum. Among thequestions he asked was how the can-didates would address the D.C. publicschool system’s high drop-out rate, whichTenner said was believed to be highamong LGBT students. He also askedabout HIV prevention programs, includ-ing condom distribution in the schools.Pannell said school bullying and ha-rassment o LGBT students was a con-tributing actor in students’ decision todrop out o school. He said many stu-dents, including LGBT students, regu-larly ail to attend school, contributingto what he called an unacceptably hightruancy rate in the school system.“So many o our LGBTQ students fndthat the school experience isn’t workingor them,” he said.In addition to improving programsaimed at curtailing bullying, Pannell saidhe would push or allowing students toorm LGBT-related student organizationsand or encouraging them to serve asvolunteers or LGBT-related organiza-tions in the city such as the Whitman-Walker Clinic and Us Helping Us.Each o the other candidates par-ticipating in the orum also promised toprovide support in varying ways to LGBTstudents in the city’s schools.Pannell and the other candidates ex-pressed support or age appropriate HIVprevention and sex education programs.All o the candidates said they would re-strict condom distribution in the schoolsto parental consent.
Stein Club endorses Pannell in school board race
GLAA awarded a +5.5 out o a possible +10 points to Sekou Biddle and Bryan Weaver, who arerunning or Council.
Washington Blade fle photo
GLAA activists grade D.C. City Council hopefuls
april 1, 2011 • washingtonblade.com 3
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