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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 33 - august 19, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 33 - august 19, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Aug 18, 2011
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AUGUST 19 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 33 •
Renewed debate over LGBT issuesas parties prepare for 2012 conventions
By PHIL REESEpreese@washblade.com
The Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Fla., and the Democratic NationalConvention in Charlotte, N.C., are 13 months away, but many are already wondering howthe two parties will address LGBT issues in their 2012 platforms.“The platform from 2008 was a pretty good platform, as are most of the platforms of stateDemocratic parties around the country,” said Michael Mitchell, executive director of theNational Stonewall Democrats. “So the vast majority of them are very LGBT inclusive, the
Will Dems embracemarriage in platform?
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
Since he officially announced his candidacy forpresident last weekend, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) hasreminded Republican voters of his support for a U.S.constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.Perry, who has emerged as one of the three leadingGOP presidential contenders, has also remindedconservative party activists that he played a lead role inhelping to pass a 2005 Texas constitutional amendmentbanning both same-sex marriage and civil unions.Political observers have said Perry appears tobe pushing his credentials as a same-sex marriageopponent following criticism he received from socialconservative leaders last month, when he said theNew York State Legislature’s approval of a same-sexmarriage bill could be defended on the principle of states’ rights.“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed astatute that said marriage can be between two peopleof the same sex,” Perry told an audience in Aspen,Colo. “And you know what? That’s New York, and that’stheir business, and that’s fine with me,” he said.“That is their call,” he added. “If you believe in
Perry shakes up GOP presidential race
Texas guv — subject of gay rumors — opposesmarriage equality
A Texas newspaper has reported on rumorsthat Gov.
had an affair with a malestaffer, something his supporters deny.
Should President Obama award FrankKameny the Medal of Freedom?Some supporters hope so.
Back toSchool
As D.C. students prepare forclasses, city hopes to expandnumber of GSAs.
Gay band’s surprise flash mob
The D.C. Different Drummers, an LGBT-inclusivemarching and symphonic band, performed in asurprise flash mob at Dupont Circle on Monday, muchto the delight of unsuspecting bystanders. The bandperformed an unexpected set of top-40 hits like LadyGaga’s “Pokerface” and “Bad Romance” as well asKe$ha’s “Your Love is My Drug.”
LGBT event planned forMLK dedication week
An LGBT discussion event is planned for Wednesdayat 6:30 p.m. in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill tocoincide with the festivities surrounding the dedicationof the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial next weekend.The event, a joint effort conceived by the D.C. HostCommittee, the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs, NationalBlack Justice Coalition, the Task Force and HumanRights Campaign, is planned to ensure gay visibility inthe bounty of special events surrounding the dedication.“We knew we wanted something specifically LGBT tobe front and center at the beginning of the week,” saidNick McCoy, who’ll speak. “So this is the signature piece.It’s totally a partnership. We all moved together on this.”There’s no cost to attend. No online information wasavailable at mlkdchostcommittee.com as of Blade presstime Wednesday, but look there over the weekend tofind specifics about this and other free Host Committeeevents. This is a separate organization from Dedicatethe Dream (dedicatethedream.org), which has ticketedevents that will help pay for the cost of the memorial.
Chesapeake Pride tobe held Saturday
Chesapeake Pride has its annual event slated forSaturday from noon to 6 p.m. at Mayo Beach Park inEdgewater, Md. It’s about 35 miles from D.C. just southof Annapolis. The event is free but organizers are takingdonations at the gate to defray costs.It’s the culmination of several Pride events scatteredthroughout the past week. Last Saturday, 50 went onan evening cruise and two discussions were held onweeknights. This is the first year the event has had morethan the Saturday beach party main day.Planning committee co-chair Kim Hinken said theexpansion was a logical step since the event has grownby about 20 to 30 percent the last few years.“I just think more people know about is now,” shesaid. “By next year I hope we can have a full week’sworth of events.” Visit chesapeakepridefestival.org for details.
Stephen J. Brown, 82
Stephen J. Brown, Ph.D., a former president of theGertrude Stein Democratic Club, died July 23 at hishome in Dupont Circle. He was 82.Brown was born in Moline, Ill., and grew up inWashington. He died at home in his sleep, accordingto his friend, Donald Bitsberger, who said Brown was inrelatively good health. The cause of death is unknown.Brown spent his entire career as a professor of English literature, teaching in Washington at GeorgeWashington University for several years and completinghis career as professor of English at the George MasonUniversity in Virginia. He was a graduate of YaleUniversity where he earned his bachelor’s degree in1950, and his Ph.D. in 1959. Brown also attended ClareCollege, University of Cambridge, England.Brown, who was gay, was a lifelong political activist inWashington working for gay rights. He was a Kennedydelegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968.Loyal Snyder, a longtime friend, said Brown was a“kind, generous and caring man. He was a scholar withgreat interest in the history of homosexuality in Westernliterature. He was best known for his ready sense of witand strongly held political opinions,” Snyder said.Brown is survived by his sister, Virginia (Mimi) of EssexFalls, N.J. He will be missed by his friends, Donaldand Diane Bitsberger, Snyder, and many friends fromthe Yale Class of 1950, the faculty of George MasonUniversity, and the local D.C. political community. Hismarriage to the late Loraine Brown, ended in divorce.He was cremated and will be buried with his parents inRock Creek Cemetery. A memorial service is scheduledfor Wednesday at 11 a.m. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church,(4700 Whitehaven Parkway, N.W.) in Washington.Donations in memory of Brown may be made to theReel Affirmations, c/o One In Ten Inc., 1920 N St., N.W.,Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20036 or to the charity of choice.
LGBT activists meetwith D.C. police chief 
Thirteen representatives of the LGBT communitymet on Tuesday with D.C. Police Chef Cathy Lanier andother police officials to discuss what participants saidwas a range of issues related to police response to anti-LGBT violence.“It was very productive and a lot of information wasexchanged,” said Rick Rosendall, vice president of theGay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.According to accounts by Rosendall; Chris Farris,former chair of the local group Gays and LesbiansOpposing Violence (GLOV); and gay activist NickMcCoy, Lanier made it clear that she would take strictdisciplinary action against police officers who fail tofollow the department’s policies for responding to callsfor help by citizens, including LGBT citizens.The activists said Lanier was referring to the widelypublicized incident in late July when five lesbians wereattacked and beaten by two male suspects outside theColumbia Heights Metro station and police officersresponding to the scene refused to take a report.Two of the victims in the attack said the officers alsoreleased one of the attackers after initially holding himafter the victims identified him as one of the men whoassaulted them.Police have since arrested one of the two attackerson a charge of simple assault and making threats of bodily harm. The charges were listed as anti-lesbianbias-related crimes.Lanier has said the matter was under investigationbut the officers could be fired for failing to take a policereport.Farris said Lanier also expressed concern and promisedto look into reports by the activists attending the meetingthat members of the department’s Gay and LesbianLiaison Unit have been far less visible in the communityover the past few years compared to past years. GLOVmembers have complained that officers and policeinvestigators, such as homicide detectives, haven’t beencalling on the GLLU for assistance in LGBT-related casesin an apparent violation of department policy.McCoy said that in response to concerns raised bytransgender activists Earline Budd, Jeri Hughes, andothers, Lanier promised to determine whether thedepartment can improve its communication with theLGBT community when seeking help in solving crimesagainst transgender people. Hughes raised concerns thathomicide investigators have yet to make visible progresson at least three unsolved murders of transgender women.“She made a commitment to follow up on all of thesethings,” said Farris.Among those attending the meeting, in additionto Rosendall, Farris, Budd, and Hughes, were BrianWatson of Transgender Health Empowerment; RubyCorado and Jason Terry of the D.C. Trans Coalition;June Crenshaw and Shauna Fecher of RainbowResponse Coalition, a local group that monitors LGBT-related domestic violence; A.J. Singletary of GLOV; andlocal activists Alison Gardner and Isaiah Toney.Deputy Chief Diane Groomes was among the policeofficials who joined Lanier at the meeting.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.washingtonblade.com
AUGUST 19, 2011 • 03

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