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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 16 - april 22, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 16 - april 22, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Apr 25, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Boehner hires pricey attorney infight to preserve marriage ban
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
The U.S. House has hired a private attorneyto defend the Defense of Marriage Act in courtat a cost that could reach $500,000 and at ablended rate of $520 an hour, according to acopy of the contract obtained by the Washing-ton Blade and other media outlets.The contract was executed by House gen-eral counsel Kerry Kircher, whom U.S. House
Delaware extends allrights of marriage tosame-sex couples vianew civil unions law.
Terry Miller and husbandDan Savage turn their‘It Gets Better’ campaigninto moving, if profane, book.
the lgbtq community news source
 washingtonblade.com • vol. 42, issue 16 • april 22, 2011 • Still sharp after 40 years
Wooing crowds at Town,Nellie’s and Ziegfeld’s as lowturnout expected next week
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
At least four of the nine candidates running in theApril 26 special election for an at-large D.C. City Coun-cil seat are aggressively courting LGBT voters in a racethat political observers say is highly unpredictable.With special elections known for yielding a low voterturnout, LGBT voters could be the deciding force in theelection if they coalesce behind one candidate, accord-ing to activists following the race.Many of the city’s LGBT activists are supportingDemocrat Sekou Biddle, a former Ward 4 school boardmember who won an interim appointment to the at-largeCouncil seat in January. Biddle has expressed strongsupport for LGBT rights.But Democrat Vincent Orange, a former Ward 5 Coun-cil member, and Republican Patrick Mara, a Ward 1school board member, have surprised some LGBT ac-tivists by recruiting prominent LGBT supporters and bywaging active campaigns targeting the LGBT community.In the Ward 8 race for a vacant seat on the city’sBoard of Education, veteran gay Democratic and Ward8 civic activist Phil Pannell is leading a field of nine can-didates in money raised and spent, according to a cam-paign finance report he filed on April 18, the last reportto be filed before the April 26 election.Pannell has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTrights, including same-sex marriage, in a ward wherethe majority black population is known to be more con-servative on social issues. The Ward 8 Council member,
$520/hour to defend DOMA
Council candidates compete for LGBT vote
 Continues on page 18 Continues on page 16
our community, our stories
Next week, the Blade kicks off the next chapter in our nearly 42-yearhistory as we debut a new logo,redesigned print edition, new websiteand mobile apps. America’s leading gaynews source keeps you up to datein print, online and on your phone.Check out all the changes on April 29.
A Bible lesson, tips onEaster decorating and meeta lesbian minister who’sperformed 100+ gay weddings.
Sekou Biddle
Patrick Mara
Vincent Orange
are seen as the frontrunners in next week’s special election to fill a vacant seat on D.C. City Council.
Washington Blade file photos
House Speaker
John Boehner
(R-Ohio) is asking the Obamaadministration to help pay for costs associated with defendingDOMA in court.
Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key
2 washingtonblade.com • april 22, 2011
Police, prosecutors pledgefight against hate crimes
 D.C. Police Chie Cathy Lanier and ocials with theUnited States Attorney’s Oce and the Oce o theD.C. Attorney General called or improvements in thecity’s juvenile justice system as a means o address-ing a sharp increase in hate crimes targeting the LGBTcommunity.Lanier and the other ocials answered questionsand pledged to redouble eorts to combat anti-LGBThate crimes at an April 14 Town Hall meeting spon-sored jointly by the D.C. group Gays and LesbiansOpposing Violence, the Mayor’s Oce o GLBT Aairs,the Oce o the D.C. Attorney General and the D.C.Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.GLOV Chair A.J. Singletary opened the meeting,held at the city’s Reeves Center municipal building at14th and U Streets, N.W., by reviewing recent D.C. po-lice crime statistics showing that hate crimes in the citytargeting LGBT people increased by 40 percent overthe past year.“This troubling increase in hate crimes against theLGBT community must be stopped,” he said. “GLOVis committed to ensuring the District government is do-ing all that it should to protect our community, and wemust ensure that the community is doing what it can toprotect itsel.”Singletary and GLOV Vice Chair Hassan Naveedtold o GLOV’s programs aimed at educating LGBTpeople on steps they can take to avoid being targetedor a hate crime and how best to respond when threat-ened with anti-LGBT violence. Details o the group’santi-violence programs can be accessed at glovdc.org.Lanier and Robert Hildum, deputy D.C. AttorneyGeneral or public saety, said a large number o hatecrimes targeting the LGBT community are committedby juveniles, who, upon arrest, must be processedthrough a juvenile justice system they described asfawed. The strict privacy rules required under D.C.’sjuvenile justice laws oten prevent D.C. police romproperly investigating crimes o violence by some-times barring them rom questioning youth charged incrimes.In addition to Singletary and Naveed, others speak-ing at the town hall were Andrew Barnett, executive di-rector o the LGBT organization Sexual Minority YouthAssistance League (SMYAL); Chris Farris, ormerGLOV co-chair; and Wendy Pohlhaus, Executive As-sistant U.S. Attorney or External Aairs.Pohlhaus said the U.S. Attorney’s oce, which pros-ecutes criminal cases in D.C., must careully decidewhich cases should be prosecuted as hate crimesbased on the language in the city’s hate crimes statute.“It’s sometimes hard or the community to under-stand that the government must prove that a crime wascommitted because o hatred or prejudice” in order tosuccessully prosecute a case as a hate crime, shesaid.Singletary said it was signicant that much o the topbrass o the police department attended the town hallmeeting, including Deputy Chie Diane Groomes andthe heads o the police units that oversee the GLLU.
Free State Legal Projectto open in Maryland
 The Free State Legal Project, a pro bono and re-duced-ee legal service or low-income LGBT people,will open May 23 in Maryland, according to an an-nouncement rom the group.The organization has hired its rst ull-time execu-tive director, Lee Ann Hopkins, a longtime LGBT ad-vocate. The group estimates there are about 25,000low-income LGBT people in need o its services in theBaltimore Metropolitan Area.Initially, Free State will accept cases limited to hous-ing discrimination, landlord and tenant concerns, di-vorce and dissolution, employment discrimination,name changes and sex change corrections or birthcerticates and other orms o identication and, nally,basic estate planning, which will include wills, power oattorney documents and advance directives, the groupsaid.Client intake hours will be by phone rom 9 a.m. to 1p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and rom 5 p.m. to 7p.m. on Wednesdays. The phone number is 410-625-5428. Inormation can be ound online at reestatele-gal.org.Area residents who are members o the bar andwould like to be placed on the pro bono and reduced-ee volunteer panels are asked to contact Lee AnnHopkins, at lhopkins@reestatelegal.org or 410-625-5428.
Arrest of gay bar ownersprompts action in Rehoboth
In a continuing eort to correct what CommissionerDennis Barbour called a “sting” and an “unjust action,”the Rehoboth Board o Commissioners voted on Apr.14 to begin the process o expunging the criminal re-cords o those business owners who were arrested inSeptember or violating the city’s little-used noise ordi-nance.Owners o two o the most popular gay establish-ments in Rehoboth, John Berdini o Cloud Nine and BillShields o Aqua were arrested in the raid. Even thoughthe city did not pursue the cases, the owners now havearrest records, which can prevent them rom pursuingother business interests or licenses.The Board o Commissioners voted 6-0 to assist anyo the arrested parties who sought to expunge theircriminal records i asked. They also indicated theywould pay costs associated with the resolution. Com-missioner Stan Mills, who initiated the raid, recusedhimsel, based on a suggestion rom the state’s Pub-lic Integrity Commission. The commission ound thatMills, who owns property behind several gay establish-ments, “is using public oce to secure unwarrantedprivileges, private advantage or gain.”For several months the commission discussed theissues related to late night noise rom patios and attheir March meeting decided to allow establishmentsto keep their patios open until 1 a.m. until at least theend o 2011.
D.C. police move to blocktestimony in Wone civil trial
 The ongoing criminal investigation into the 2006murder o attorney Robert Wone inside the DupontCircle area home o three gay men could be harmed iattorneys or the men are allowed to orce homicide de-tectives to testiy or the deense at an upcoming civiltrial on the Wone case.That was the argument made by Assistant D.C. At-torney General Patricia Bonkor on Tuesday on behal opolice ocials at a D.C. Superior Court status hearingin the $20 million wrongul death lawsuit that Wone’swie, Kathy Wone, has brought against the gay men.Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward wereound not guilty in a criminal trial in 2009, in which theyaced charges o obstruction o justice, conspiracy toobstruct justice and evidence tampering in connectionwith Wone’s murder. Authorities did not charge the menor anyone else with the murder, and D.C. police saythey are continuing their investigation.Many court observers believe police and prosecu-tors hope to charge one or all o the three gay deen-dants with the murder i new evidence suraces in theirinvestigation. With that specter hanging over theirheads, the three deendants have invoked their FithAmendment right to reuse to testiy in the civil case ongrounds that such testimony could violate their consti-tutional protection against sel-incrimination.In Tuesday’s status hearing, Donkor said attorneysrepresenting the men led a subpoena calling or thecourt to orce at least our homicide detectives to tes-tiy, rst through pre-trial depositions and possibly atthe trial itsel, without speciying what questions theyplan to ask the detectives.She told Judge Michael Rankin, who is currentlypresiding over the civil case, that disclosure o any in-ormation that had not be disclosed in the criminal trialwould be highly damaging to the ongoing police probeinto Wone’s murder.Benjamin Razi, the lead attorney representing KathyWone in the civil case, told Rankin his client isn’t takingsides in the dispute over the police testimony, saying,“We don’t have a dog in this ght.”But Razi reiterated his longstanding concern thatthe deendants’ reusal to testiy or submit to deposi-tions on all questions posed by the plainti overstepsthe bounds o the Fith Amendment protection againstsel-incrimination and amounted to an obstruction oMrs. Wone’s ability to shed light on what happened onthe night her husband was ound stabbed to death inthe guest bedroom at the deendants’ townhouse onSwann Street, N.W.Rankin cut Razi o, saying those issues would bedecided later. He directed deense attorneys to coop-erate with Donkor and D.C. police ocials in seekingto reach an agreement over what the detectives wouldbe asked i he eventually allows the deense to ques-tion them in depositions or at the trial. He scheduled aollow-up hearing on the matter or May 5.The Wone civil trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 7.
D.C. Police Chie
Cathy Lanier
and ofcials with the UnitedStates Attorney’s Ofce vowed to redouble their eorts atera sharp increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes in the city.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key
april 22, 2011 • washingtonblade.com 3
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