NOVEMBER 18 2011 VOLUME 42 ISSUE 46 •
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR STORIES SINCE 1969
In ﬁrst, gay partners welcome
at Marine Corps balls
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
It was a night to remember for Marine Corps GunnerySgt. Sandy Lemmer and her longtime partner Patricia LaVoie.For the ﬁrst time — thanks to repeal of “Don’tAsk, Don’t Tell” — the lesbian couple was able tocome together to celebrate at a Marine Corps ballcommemorating the anniversary of the military service.The ball they attended at Camp Pendleton, Calif., onNov. 10 was among several throughout the country inhonor of the Marine Corps’ 236th birthday.Lemmer, who has served in the Marine Corps formore than 17 years and currently serves as a logisticschief, said the experience of bringing her partner to theball inspired tremendously good feelings.“It was amazing to be open and honest and not haveto hide,” Lemmer said. “I’ve never taken anybody tothe ball because of that reason right there. This is myﬁrst opportunity and it was exciting.”Uncertain of the reception from her fellow Marines,Lemmer, 38, said she was nervous upon ﬁrst enteringthe ball with LaVoie, 39, but later found “everythingwas heartwarming.”“From my colonel on down, everyone was veryaccepting,” Lemmer said. “No one that we knew of ever said one word [that was] negative.”LaVoie, an EKG technician at a local hospital, alsosaid the experience was “amazing” and she and herpartner heard “no negative responses whatsoever.”“My partner is the one in the Marine Corps, and sheintroduced me to everyone as her partner,” LaVoie said.
A night to remember
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.firstname.lastname@example.org
LGBT activists said they were hopeful that the threat of alawsuit by Democratic members of the Virginia Senate thisweek would persuade Republicans to share control of thechamber and decrease the chance that it will enact anti-LGBT bills following the GOP gains in last week’s election.No one disputes the fact that Republicans havegained a one-vote legislative majority in the VirginiaSenate after Republican candidates defeated twoincumbent Democrats in the 40-member Senate,resulting in a 20-20 split between the two parties.Under the Virginia Constitution, the lieutenant governor
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Christian conservatives ‘in driver’s seat’ in Va.
Virginia Lt. Gov.
would cast the deciding votein any tie on bills coming up for consideration, effectivelygiving Republicans a razor-thin majority in the Senate.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA.ORG
James Hormel on hisrole as nation’s ﬁrstout gay ambassadorand new memoir.
Dems consider lawsuit to forcepower-sharing as activists fearonslaught of anti-gay bills
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