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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 40 - october 7, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 40 - october 7, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Oct 06, 2011
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OCTOBER 07 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 40 •
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
• WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
Tells enthusiastic HRC crowd that jobbias, DOMA repeal are next priorities
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
President Obama, who delivered the keynote speechat last week’s HRC National Dinner, said this week thathe’s “still working” on his evolution on marriage equality,a view that was repeated by his chief spokesperson.Under questioning from the Washington Blade, WhiteHouse Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama remains ina state of evolution on the issue.“I don’t have an update for you on his position,” Carneysaid. “The remarks he made last year stand.”Asked when this evolution might conclude, Carneysaid he doesn’t have “anything new.”Obama first suggested his views on the issue couldevolve in October 2010 during an interview withAMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay. Some advocates have beenpushing him to complete this evolution and publiclyendorse same-sex marriage before the 2012 election.In 1996, Obama, during his bid to become an Illinoisstate senator, said in a questionnaire response to theWindy City Times, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages,and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
More twists in GOP race
Cain says homosexuality a choice;Palin, Christie bow out
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Republican presidential candidate HermanCain made headlines this week, after saying thathomosexuality is a choice, just as a new poll showedhim moving into a tie for second place for the GOPnomination.Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, cameunder fire from LGBT advocates for indicating onTuesday he believes people can choose their sexualorientation.During an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” whenasked by host Joy Behar whether he believes beinggay is a choice, Cain replied, “Yes.”“Well, you show me the science that it’s not and I’llbe persuaded,” Cain said. “Right now it’s my opinionagainst the opinions of others who feel differently.That’s just a difference of opinions.”Cain’s remarks ignited a firestorm among manyLGBT groups who called on the presidential hopeful— as well as other GOP candidates — to repudiatehis remarks.Joe Solmonese, president of the Human RightsCampaign, said in a statement that Cain’s remarksare “frankly, jaw-dropping and certainly unbecomingof a presidential hopeful.”“Leading medical organizations, including theAmerican Psychological Association, the AmericanMedical Association and the American Psychiatric
CONTINUES ON PAGE 18 CONTINUES ON PAGE 16
Obama still evolving on marriage
 VISITWASHINGTONBLADE.COMTO VIEW AND PURCHASE PHOTOS FROMHRC’S 15TH ANNUAL NATIONAL DINNER. 
PRESIDENT OBAMA
received multiple standing ovations at last week’s HRC dinner and vowed to work for repeal of DOMA
WASHINGTON BLADE PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEY 
Shop Online
Starting today, you canbuy new and historicBlade photos and giftitems on our website.
WASHINGTONBLADE.COM
Closeted History
To mark LGBT HistoryMonth, we look into rumorsthat President Buchanan and Vice President King were gay.
PAGE 23
 
O’Malley launches video campaign for marriage equality
 Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley this week delivered the first in what marriageequality advocates say will be a series of video messages calling for the approvalof a same-sex marriage bill next year by the Maryland Legislature.The video campaign, organized by the newly formed Marylanders for MarriageEquality Coalition, is modeled after a similar campaign in New York State, whichpassed a same-sex marriage bill earlier this year under the leadership of New YorkGov. Andrew Cuomo.“I’m Gov. Martin O’Malley and I’m a Marylander for marriage equality,”O’Malley said in the video message recorded from his office at the State Housein Annapolis.“As a free and diverse people of many different faiths, we choose to begoverned under the law by certain fundamental principles – among them equalprotection of the law for every individual and the free exercise of religion withoutgovernment intervention,” he said.“The legislation we plan to introduce in the 2012 legislative session will protectreligious freedom and equality of marital rights under the law,” he said. “I ask youto join us as we work to pass marriage equality in the State of Maryland.”Raquel Guillory, O’Malley’s communications director, said the governor’s officeprovided the video equipment used to record his message. She said the HumanRights Campaign, which coordinated a similar video campaign in New York,arranged for O’Malley to make the video on behalf of the coalition.HRC officials say they are working on additional videos expected to be recordedover the next few months by civil leaders, sports figures and “regular Marylandcitizens.”In addition to HRC, the coalition members include the state LGBT advocacygroup Equality Maryland, the NAAP Baltimore Chapter, the ACLU of Maryland,the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199, Parents and Friendsof Lesbians and Gays of Maryland, Progressive Maryland, National Black JusticeCoalition, Catholics for Equality, Maryland Faith for Equality, the National Gay andLesbian Task Force, and the National Organization of Women of Maryland.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Man dies in Southwest nightclub
D.C. police issued a statement Wednesday saying they were investigating thedeath of a patron of the Southwest D.C. gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, who wasfound unconscious at the club “in the early morning hours of Oct. 2.”Police late Wednesday identified the patron as 43-year-old Patrick Coats of Richmond, Va.Capt. Edward Delgado, director of the police Special Liaison Division, whichoversees the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, said Coats was taken toa hospital where he died a short time later.“The death is being investigated by the MPD’s Homicide Branch and the causeof death is undetermined,” the police statement says.Police officials have said the Homicide Branch investigates all deaths in caseswhere the cause has not been determined. In many cases, those deaths are laterfound to be due to natural causes or accidental injuries, police have said.A statement released by Ziegfeld’s/Secrets general manager Jon Parks says anemployee found the patron later identified as Coats outside the club’s first floorbathroom and the club immediately called 911 for help. The statement, which wasprovided to the Blade by another club employee, says the staff and managementare cooperating with the police investigation.
LOU CHIBBARO JR.washingtonblade.com
02 • OCTOBER 07, 2011LOCAL NEWS
Trans victim upset overplea deal in shooting
Maryland Gov.
Martin O’Malley
is a‘Marylander for marriage equality.’
WASHINGTON BLADE FILE PHOTOBY MICHAEL KEY
Woman says she was notconsulted about loweringcharge in case
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.lchibbaro@washblade.com
A transgender woman says shedisagrees with a decision by the UnitedStates Attorney’s office to lower the chargeagainst a man arrested for shooting her inthe neck on Sept. 12 while she sat in hercar parked in Southeast Washington.District resident Darryl Willard, 20,pleaded guilty last week in D.C. SuperiorCourt to a charge of aggravated assaultwhile armed in connection with theshooting. His plea came after prosecutorsagreed to drop a more serious charge of assault with intent to kill while armed.D.C. Superior Court Judge AnnO’Reagan Keary scheduled a sentencinghearing for Willard on Dec. 6.The assault with intent to kill chargecarries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail and a possible maximum jail term of 20 years. The aggravatedassault charge, to which Willard pleadedguilty, carries a mandatory minimumsentence of five years in prison and apossible maximum sentence of 10 yearsin jail.“I told them I was willing to go to a trialand testify” if prosecutors went with themore serious charge, said the victim, whospoke on condition that her name waswithheld.She said prosecutors informed herof their decision to lower the charge inexchange for Willard’s guilty plea lastweek shortly after she was released fromthe hospital and after the decision wasreached.“They said that going to trial with a jurycould be a problem because they [thedefense] would bring up my lifestyle,” thewoman said.Local transgender activists Earline Buddand Jeri Hughes said they, too, disagreewith the lowering of the charge. Both saidthey were troubled that the U.S. Attorney’soffice apparently didn’t consult the victimin advance of its plea bargain decision andappears to have presented her with a faitaccompli on the matter.“How about if a U.S. Attorney gets shotin the neck?” said Hughes. “Let’s seeif someone gets just five years for that.That’s crazy. It’s an outrage.”Budd, an official with the local groupTransgender Health Empowerment,arranged for the woman to speak with theBlade.A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’soffice has said the office never commentson why it chooses to offer plea bargainagreements that lower charges in specificcases.In discussing its general policy on pleabargain decisions, the U.S. Attorney’soffice in the past has said it considersfactors such as whether a jury would belikely to convict someone on a moreserious charge.A police arrest affidavit says the victimand Willard had known each other formore than a year and that Willard allegedlyhad paid the woman for sex in the past.It says the woman picked up Willard inher car at 22nd and Savannah streets, S.E.,and the two drove around the area. It saysWillard asked the woman to perform oralsex on him and she refused. When shepulled over to let Willard out of the car, hepulled out a gun and demanded she turnover her money, the affidavit says.According to the affidavit, the womanrefused to hand over her money,prompting Willard to shoot her at closerange in the neck.“The shot hit her in the right side of her neck, punctured both of her lungs,and lodged near her heart, where itremains,” says a statement released bythe U.S. Attorney’s office on Tuesday. “Thedefendant turned himself in to police thefollowing day and has been in custodyever since,” the statement says.
 
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