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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 27, july 8, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 27, july 8, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Jul 07, 2011
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JULY 08 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 27
Tea Party fave opposes LGBT rights;husband backs ‘ex-gay’ therapy
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
The anti-gay rhetoric and voting record of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) came under scrutinythis week in the wake of her announcement that she is running for the White House in 2012.In a speech last week in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, the Tea Party favorite pledged to continueadvancing conservative causes as she formally declared her candidacy.“I want to bring a voice, your voice, to the White House, just as I have brought your voice to thehalls of Congress to secure the promise of the future for our generation and generations to come,”Bachmann said.But based on her voting record in Congress since she started representing Minnesota in the U.S.House in 2007, a Bachmann presidency would likely be bad news for LGBT Americans.In addition to voting against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, she also opposed hate crimes legislation.
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is dead’
Calif. court ruling meansgays can serve openly
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
A federal appellate court in California onWednesday overturned a stay on an injunction thathad barred the U.S. government from enforcing“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” allowing gay servicemembers to start serving openly in the armed forces.In the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. UnitedStates, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth CircuitCourt of Appeals granted the plaintiffs’ request tolift the stay of the injunction that was put in place lastyear by a U.S. district judge.“Appellee/cross-appellant’s motion to lift thiscourt’s November 1, 2010, order granting a stayof the district court’s judgment pending appeal isgranted,” the decision states.The decision to lift the stay on the “Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell” injunction comes from a three-judgepanel within the Ninth Circuit made up of Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Circuit Judges KimWardlow and Richard Paez.After ruling in September that “Don’t Ask, Don’tTell” was unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips put an injunction in place to halt theenforcement of the military’s gay ban. The injunctionlasted for eight days until the Ninth Circuit placeda stay on the order upon request from the JusticeDepartment, making gays once again unable toserve openly in the military.The ruling on Wednesday reverses this decisionand once again allows for open service. The NinthCircuit must still decide on the constitutionality of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but until it does, the anti-gay law will no longer be enforced.Cynthia Smith, a Defense Departmentspokesperson, said the Pentagon is studying thedecision with the Justice Department, but willcomply with the court order and take “immediatesteps to inform the field of this order.”
has a long anti-gay record and supports afederal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Chief Cathy Lanierdefends policeresponse to anti-LGBThate crimes in city.
Hot forTeacher
We talk to Glee’sMatthew Morrisonabout his tour andshow’s gay appeal.
Bachmann’s record isno laughing matter
Gay man’s killer gets 50 years
A D.C. Superior Court judge on June 30 sentenced 21-year-old Antwan Holcomb to 50years in prison for the December 2009 shooting death of gay D.C. resident Anthony Perkins.Police and prosecutors said Holcomb, a District resident, met Perkins through a gaytelephone chat line on Dec. 27, 2009, with the intent of luring him to a secluded street inSoutheast D.C. for the purposing of robbing him.During his trial earlier this year, prosecutors said Holcomb shot Perkins in the head at point blankrange inside Perkins’ car that same day and made off only with a single pack of Newport cigarettes.“Antwan Holcomb shot a man in the head for a pack of cigarettes,” said Ronald C. MachenJr., the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, in the statement released Thursday.“It is difficult to imagine a more senseless murder, but it is not surprising from a criminal who twoweeks earlier shot another man in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down,” Machen said.Machen was referring to a separate incident in which Holcomb pleaded guilty to chargesof assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon. In a combined sentencinghearing June 30, Judge Lee Satterfield sentenced Holcomb to an additional period of incarceration for those offenses, resulting in a combined sentence of 88 years in prison.“Today’s 88-year sentence is just punishment for a killer who showed such shockingdisregard for human life,” Machen said.In his trial for the Perkins murder, a Superior Court jury found Holcomb guilty of first-degree murder while armed, armed robbery, possession of a firearm during thecommission of a crime of violence, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,and carrying a pistol without a license outside the home.In addition to the 50-year prison term for the murder conviction, Satterfield sentencedHolcomb to 15 years for the armed robbery count linked to the Perkins murder. But heordered that the 15 years be served concurrently with the murder sentence, resulting in atotal of 50 years to be served for the murder and robbery of Perkins.The verdict followed a five-day trial in which a witness who knew Holcomb testified thathe overheard Holcomb say on the night of the murder that he shot the “faggy” in thehead and robbed him of a pack of cigarettes before fleeing the scene on foot.In a video recording of an interview of Holcomb by D.C. police homicide detectives,which was shown to the jury during the trial, Holcomb said he called the gay chat linebecause he knew men who used the service had money and would not likely report beingrobbed by someone they met through the venue.But he denied killing Perkins, saying someone else entered Perkins’ car and committedthe murder. Prosecutors disputed that claim and pointed to evidence showing thatHolcomb was the one who shot Perkins.“I’m not of that nature…I’m a cold-blooded man,” he told the detectives, in explainingwhy he used the gay chat line. “I don’t like fags. I never will.”The D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence said it planned to submit a pre-sentencing statement to Judge Satterfield calling for a lengthy prison term for Holcomb.
Attorneys mum on Wone settlement rumor
Attorneys on both sides of the $20 million wrongful death lawsuit pending againstthree gay men over the 2006 stabbing death of D.C. attorney Robert Wone have notresponded to media calls about an unconfirmed report that the parties have reached asettlement in the case.The blog WhoMurderedRobertWone.com cited an unidentified source as saying KathyWone, Robert Wone’s widow, and other Wone family members reached a settlement withJoseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward. A settlement would end the case andeliminate the need for a trial scheduled to begin in October.Attorney Benjamin Razi, who represents Kathy Wone in the case, and attorney andformer D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti, who is on the legal team representingthe three gay defendants, did not return calls from the Blade.The D.C. Superior Court’s online case docket, which keeps track of public records in pendingcases, did not have any information about a settlement as of Wednesday. However, the docketshows that on May 25, Judge Michael Rankin cancelled a court-ordered mediation sessionbetween the parties scheduled for June 14 at the request of the attorneys for Price, Zaborsky,and Ward. The docket doesn’t say why the defendants sought to cancel the mediation session.But court-ordered mediation sessions are sometimes cancelled when a settlement isreached through other channels.The three gay men were found not guilty in June 2010 on criminal charges of obstruction of  justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and evidence tampering in connection with Robert Wone’smurder. Wone, a friend of the three men, was found stabbed to death in the guest bedroom of their Dupont Circle area townhouse. Authorities have yet to charge anyone with the murder.Kathy Wone filed her wrongful death lawsuit against the three men in November 2008.The case was placed on hold during the criminal trial at the request of the attorneysrepresenting Price, Zaborsky and Ward. All three men have refused to answer questionsin pre-trial depositions for the civil case on grounds that doing so would violate their FifthAmendment right against self-incrimination.Sources familiar with police and prosecutors say authorities could still charge the threemen with first or second degree murder or manslaughter in connection with Wone’sdeath if new evidence surfaces in the case.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.washingtonblade.com
Longtime Dupont club Apex closes
Apex, a popular gay dance club near Dupont Circle, had its last night of businessSaturday though nobody knew it at the time. Employees found out Tuesday thatSaturday had been its last night.“I knew it was for sale and it would be closing eventually but we didn’t havea closing date,” said Joey Oldaker, general manager who started at the club in1993. “None of us knew it was coming as quickly as it did.”According to Oldaker, who works as a DJ as “Joey O.,” the business has beensold. He said the new buyer wished to remain anonymous and he had “no idea”if the new owner plans to continue as a dance club of any kind. Longtime Apexowner Glen Thompson, who also owns Omega — another P Street/Dupont Circle-area gay bar, declined to be interviewed through Oldaker, who said Omega willremain in business.“He’s very private about his personal life and his business dealings,” Oldakersaid of Thompson.How had business been in recent years? Oldaker said steady but also not asstrong as it once was.“Businesses come and go,” he said. “We survived the Tracks era, the Nationphase, the Town era. It just got to a point where it was a lot different financialclimate in which to be in business in the last three to four years with the economythe way it has been.”Including subcontractors, Oldaker said Apex employed about 25 people. Theyfound out about the closing on Tuesday, he said. Apex opened in May 1983 asBadlands. Oldaker said he plans to go back to school and perhaps get a teachingdegree.
closed this week after being sold, according to its general manager.
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