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washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 51 - december 23, 2011

washingtonblade.com - volume 42, issue 51 - december 23, 2011

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Published by: Washington Blade Newspaper on Dec 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Clinton’s gay supporters from 2008weigh in on Obama’s performance
By CHRIS JOHNSONcjohnson@washblade.com
Would a President Hillary Clinton have made moreprogress on LGBT issues over the course of her first termas opposed to what we’ve seen under President Obama?The secretary of state certainly stole the spotlight onLGBT issues earlier this month when she gave a high-profile speech in Geneva calling for an end to anti-gay abuses overseas and emphasizing her previouslystated belief that gay rights are human rights andhuman rights are gay rights.“In our lifetimes, attitudes toward gay people inmany places have been transformed,” Clinton said.“Many people, including myself, have experienced adeepening of our own convictions on this topic overthe years, as we have devoted more thought to it,engaged in dialogues and debates and establishedpersonal and professional relationships with peoplewho are gay.”Clinton had a strong LGBT following in 2008 when
she was competing against Obama for the Democratic
nomination for president. There were many high-profileLGBT Clintonistas, although many of them becameObama supporters after he won the Democratic mantle.Former members of Clinton’s 2008 LGBT steeringcommittee praised her speech in Geneva, but notedthat it took place as part of a coordinated effort underthe Obama administration.Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of theHuman Rights Campaign and a Clinton backer in 2008,said the Clinton speech was “bold and historic,” butwouldn’t have taken place if President Obama didn’twant it to happen.“It was as deeply thoughtful and intelligent asSecretary Clinton herself,” Birch said. “But we allknow that the secretary of state serves the presidentand our nation. This speech took place because thisadministration — including Secretary Clinton —
Many of Secretary of State
s2008 gay supporters now praise
President Obama’s performance on LGBT issues.
Eyes on Iowa
A preview of the Iowa caucuses and how gayissues are impacting the campaign there.
Would we be better off under President Hillary?
Last Chance
It’s not too late to do your holiday shopping.Ideas for last-minute gifts in our guide.
Happy Holidays
Local non-profits reveal holiday wish lists,
Schedule of area religious services,
Preview of New Year’s Eve parties,
Photos from GMCW’s ‘Red and Greene,’
LGBT community invited tomarch in King Day Parade
At the suggestion of gay and Ward 8 communityactivist Phil Pannell, organizers of D.C.’s Martin LutherKing Jr. Holiday parade, set to take place Jan. 16, 2012,are inviting members of the LGBT community to take partin the event.Lead organizer Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer, the city’s African-Americancommunity newspaper, said a parade organizingcommittee has been reaching out to all communities,including the LGBT community, in an effort to boostparticipation in the parade.She noted that 2012 will mark the first time in sevenyears that the King parade will take place on the MartinLuther King Day holiday, which commemorates King’sbirthday.Organizers in 2005 changed the parade date to April,saying the weather would be better in the spring. Butaccording to Barnes, community activists this year calledfor returning the parade to the King Day holiday, whichtakes place each year on the third Monday in January.Pannell said he is encouraging LGBT organizations tomarch in contingents in the parade. He said he had hopedthe city’s LGBT marching band, the Different Drummers,would participate. But Barnes told the Blade on Mondaythat a representative of the band said the band doesn’tperform in January and February.The parade is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. on Jan. 16at the intersection Milwaukee Pl., S.E. and Martin LutherKing Jr. Ave. and continue north on Martin Luther KingAve. for about a mile and a half, Barnes said. It will endon the 4200 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. at thesite of Leckie Elementary School. Parade contingents andfloats are scheduled to assemble at the starting point of the parade at 9:30 a.m.A signup form for entering floats or contingents in theparade, along with more details of the event, are availableat mlkholidayparadedc.org.
U.S. Attorney drops chargein D.C. gay drug bust case
 The United States Attorney’s Office on Dec. 6dismissed a charge of possession with intent to distributemethamphetamine against a gay man who was arrestedNov. 23 during a police raid on his house in the city’s Shawneighborhood.A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office saidthe office never comments on its reasons for dismissingcharges but added that the investigation into the case iscontinuing.A police arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court sayspolice arrested Nicholas H. Fittro, 27, and his roommateand boyfriend, Justin W. John, on Nov. 23 after enteringtheir rented house at 901 S St., N.W., and confiscating justunder 14 grams of a white crystal substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.The affidavit says police also confiscated two digitalscales, $2,511 in cash, and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency and money orders.Court records show the U.S. Attorney’s office dismissedthe charge against John a short time after his arrest.William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’sOffice, declined to disclose the reason for the dismissal of the case against John. But court records show that at thetime of his arrest, Fittro waived his Miranda rights to remainsilent before consulting with an attorney and “claimedownership of the contraband which was recovered frominside his home.”Miller said this week that the dismissal of the chargeagainst Fittro on Dec. 6 appears to have been issuedwithout prejudice, a legal status that allows prosecutors toreinstate a charge at a later date.Fittro’s attorney, Marie Haldane, declined to commentother than to say she was “delighted” the governmentdismissed the case against her client.Dale Edwin Sanders, an attorney who practices criminallaw in D.C. and who reviewed the court records in theFittro case, said a decision to drop the case while theinvestigation continues could mean prosecutors needmore evidence or they are expanding the investigationwith the intent of making more arrests.“Continuing the investigation in a case like this usuallymeans they are going after bigger fish or they need moreevidence in this case,” Sanders said. “It would be a safeassumption to make that the investigation is broadeningin scope.”In a joint news conference on Monday, D.C. PoliceChief Cathy Lanier and officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the FBI,and the Drug Enforcement Administration announced thearrest of 70 suspects for the possession and distributionof narcotics and firearms in D.C. They said the drugs andarms seized in the operation had a street value of $7.1million.The officials said city and federal authoritiesseized, among other things, about 80 pounds of methamphetamine in the crackdown. It could not beimmediately determined whether the Fittro case waslinked to this investigation.
Results Gym owner seekssupport for Haiti charity
 The gay owner of Results Gym, a popular D.C. fitnessfacility on Capitol Hill, is calling on city residents andbusinesses, including members of the LGBT community,to contribute to a charitable organization he created toassist those in need in Haiti.Doug Jefferies, founder of the charitable group Mission:Results, organized a campaign earlier this month to obtaindonated household and building supplies as well as cashdonations, which he arranged to have delivered by cargoplane to Haiti on Dec. 14.“The aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haitidevastated the region, spurring an outbreak of homelessness, starvation, and disease,” Mission: Resultssaid in a statement. “Right now, 55 percent of Haiti’s9 million people live on less than $1 U.S. a day,” thestatement says.Jefferies says his organization has established acommunity center in the Haitian town of Santo and iscalling on the D.C. community to donate tents, sheets,school supplies, building tools, generators, laptopcomputers, DVD players, clocks, and children’s clothes,among other items.“We are making arrangements to bring more suppliesto Haiti,” said Jeffries, who added that he has traveledto Haiti at least once a month for the past 18 monthsto coordinate the organization’s relief efforts there.Announcements and updates on Mission: Resultsprograms and projects in Haiti can be found on theorganization’s website and Facebook page.He said potential donors can bring the supplies toResults Gym at 315 G St., S.E., or they can contact theorganization to arrange for someone to pick up the itemsfrom the donor’s home or business. For more informationgo to missionresults.org or contact Nicholas
Goga atnicholasgoga@results.org.
Rehoboth moves to extendhours for outdoor bars
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — The Rehoboth BeachBoard of Commissioners preliminarily voted on Dec. 16 toextend the hours of operation for businesses with patiosto 1 a.m., to make those hours comply with end of servingtimes inside those establishments. Four commissionersand Mayor Sam Cooper voted in favor, one was absent,and Commissioner Stan Mills recused himself fromthe vote. Mills was cited by the state’s Public IntegrityCommission for personally urging the police and mayorto crack down on businesses that he felt were violatingregulations regarding restaurant patios.The issue arose in September 2010, when severalbusiness owners were arrested and cited for noiseviolations, including at LGBT favorites Aqua and BlueMoon. Charges ended up being dropped when the cityrealized that it could not effectively enforce this regulation,and in one case, when an establishment proved it did notfall under this regulation.The Commission discussed and debated for severalmonths into the spring, when it voted in March on amoratorium until Jan. 1, 2012, on enforcement of theregulations involving patios.It was noted during the Commission’s meeting thatthere were only five complaints filed this summer aboutpatios and noise, a considerable drop from more than 100last year.The vote set in motion a procedure to change theregulation, with a public hearing on the proposed changeto be held Jan. 20, 2012, followed by a vote by thecommissioners.
PETER SCHOTTwashingtonblade.com
has urged organizers of the city’s MLKHoliday parade to invite the LGBT community to join the festivities.
DECEMBER 23, 2011 • 03

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