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the lgbtq community’s news source
NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Vol. 1, Issue 1

Our mission continues

News Editor
Features Editor
By KEVIN NAFF LGBT residents of the city. JOEY DiGUGLIELMO
It’s been a tough week for Sr. News Reporter
Don’t judge us too harshly us, but we are buoyed by the LOU CHIBBARO JR.
News Reporter
— the edition of DC Agenda outpouring of support from CHRIS JOHNSON
you’re holding is a modest, people all over the city and be- Staff Photographer
early iteration of what we yond. We welcome and need MICHAEL KEY
hope to achieve in the wake your help and will respond to PRODUCTION
of Washington Blade’s sud- each offer as soon as possible. Art Director
den closing this week. Thank you to all who have
The news that parent com- pledged to stick with us, espe- WEB
Online Creative and DCATV
pany Window Media was shut- cially our advertisers. Please Exec. Producer ARAM VARTIAN
tering and liquidating its visit for up- Online Editor
newspapers came as a shock to dated information on DC REBECCA ARMENDARIZ
the staff, some of whom de- Members of the DC Agenda staff gathered with local supporters Agenda or to make a gift to SALES & ADMINISTRATION
voted their careers to the paper Wednesday night at Hard Rock Café. (Photo by Joe Tresh) support the new venture. Ad Operations Manager
that became an institution. We The strength of the Wash- JEANNI CENTOFANTI
Sr. Acct. Executive
were ushered out the doors of united and DC Agenda repre- Washington Blade’s work re- ington Blade did not lie in its BRIAN PITTS
our offices with no severance, sents our effort at continuing mains unchanged. We will brand name — it came from Sr. Acct. Executive
canceled paychecks and more the important mission and cover Congress, the White the spirit of those who ANDREW HARTSFIELD
questions than answers about work of the Blade. It will grow House, the LGBT rights move- worked passionately to serve Acct. Executive
why this was allowed to happen. and evolve to include a much ment, the D.C. marriage fight, and inform our community. Classifieds Manager
The former staff of the larger and more diverse group local hate crimes and other po- Those people are still here. DANIELLE KING
Washington Blade remains of voices. But the core of the litical issues important to the Our work continues. Display Classifieds Sales
Distribution Coordinator

House panel approves DP benefits bill

of DC Agenda are expressed in
editorials and in editors’ notes
as determined by the paper’s
By CHRIS JOHNSON Asked whether there are Rep. Patrick Kennedy editors. Other opinions are those of
enough votes in the House to (D-R.I.) rebuked the intro- the writers and do not necessarily
represent the opinion of
A U.S. House committee pass the legislation, Baldwin duction of the measure, call- DC Agenda or its staff.
Wednesday approved legisla- replied, “Our vote counting ing it “totally superfluous” © 2009, TWB Employee
tion that would benefit the has been going very well and and “absolutely an effort to Acquisition, LLC. All rights reserved.
partners of LGBT federal I think we will.” play up people’s prejudice.”
workers after beating back But during the markup, Another amendment put
amendments that inflamed Republican lawmakers intro- forth by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-
passions among lawmakers. duced amendments on a Calif.), which failed 15-20,
The House Oversight & range of contentious issues, would have required partners to From the staff
Government Reform Com- including same-sex marriage be screened through the E-Ver-
mittee reported out the legisla- and illegal immigration. ify program under immigration We are deeply grateful for the
outpouring of community support
tion, known as the Domestic Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) law to ensure they are not illegal and interest following this week’s
Partnership Benefits & Obli- put forth an amendment that immigrants and have a lawful closing of the Washington Blade.
If you would like to be part of this
gations Act, 23-12. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) would have mandated noth- presence in the United States. new venture, please contact us at
The legislation, H.R. (Photo by Michael Key) ing in the legislation would be The measure riled Kennedy, or
2517, would make available “considered to modify, super- who accused its supporters of
to the same-sex partners of Committee has set guidelines sede, or otherwise affect the bringing it up to “play on big- And, if you would like to contribute
LGBT federal workers bene- for debate on the legislation. Defense of Marriage Act.” otry.” He suggested Republi- financially, you can do so at The staff is
fits afforded the spouses of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D- The amendment, which can lawmakers were making currently working on a volunteer
straight employees, including Wis.) the only out lesbian in ended up failing 12-22, inspired people of color, immigrants basis; financial support will be
used to cover printing, distribution,
health and pension benefits. Congress and sponsor of the ire over bringing the issue of and others targets of bigotry in equipment and other related costs.
Now that the committee House bill, told the Agenda she marriage into the debate as well the legislation. Thank you for supporting us.
has approved the legislation, it hopes a floor vote would take as controversy over bringing
will proceed to a House floor place after lawmakers return what some called a “last-minute Story continues at DC Agenda staff
vote after the House Rules from Thanksgiving recess. amendment” to the committee.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
– G

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2009

Whitman-Walker Clinic is committed to building an inclusive, affirming and healthy

community for all, regardless of race, gender, orientation or gender identity.
On this 11  N T D  R,
we hope that our efforts will inspire others to do the same. • Nov. 20, 2009

Gay Catholic group urges city to defy church opportunities
Archdiocese threatens Catholic Charities would be its social service programs needs people throughout Thanks-
barred from denying benefits under city contracts if the mar- giving Day. From 4:45 to 7 a.m. volun-
to end social services to their employees’ same-sex riage bill doesn’t waive these
teers are needed for unspecified
duties. From 10 a.m. to noon, the
if marriage bill passes married spouses. non-discrimination require- group's seventh annual "Clear OUT
Your Closets" Thanksgiving Clothing
In a letter to the City ments for Catholic Charities Drive for the homeless will be held at
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. Council, Jane Belford, the and other religious groups. She Rosemary's Thyme restaurant (18th
archdiocese’s chancellor, said noted the bill “does not permit and S streets, N.W.) with clothing
drop-offs from noon to 2 p.m. From
Dignity USA, a gay Catholic the bill’s wording would force Catholic Charities and other 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. the group will
group, is encouraging the D.C. Catholic Charities to provide religious service organizations serve Thanksgiving dinner to the
homeless (service starts at noon)
City Council to ignore calls a health insurance benefits to freely function as religious also at Rosemary's. And from 10 a.m.
from the Catholic Archdiocese plan to its employees in which entities serving the needs of to 3 p.m., lunch will be served at the
Green Door Clubhouse, a home for
of Washington to amend the spousal benefits must be of- District residents.” people with mental illness located at
proposed same-sex marriage fered to the “same-sex married Literature on the archdio- 1623 16th Street, N.W. To volunteer
bill so that the church’s charita- partner of a gay or lesbian em- cese’s web site says Catholic for any of these events, e-mail
ble arm can discriminate Raymond Panas, president of ployee.” Doing this would vi- Charities provides services to For more information, visit www.bur-
against gay employees. Dignity Washington (Photo cour- olate Catholic teachings that 68,000 people in the District.
Dignity’s comments came tesy of Panas) marriage must be restricted to It says the group, among other FOOD & FRIENDS is accepting vol-
after Catholic Charities, which a man and a woman, she said. activities, operates city-owned unteers. Frozen Thanksgiving din-
ners called "turkey boxes" are
is run by the local archdiocese, An official with the archdio- She said the bill also would homeless shelters that serve delivered throughout the week to
said it would discontinue op- cese said the version of the Re- require Catholic Charities and one-third of the city’s home- those suffering from life-threatening
erating dozens of city-funded ligious Freedom & Civil other religious-oriented social less population. illnesses who live outside Food &
Friends' usual delivery area in the
programs that serve as many as Marriage Equality Act of 2009 service providers to facilitate Raymond Panas, president Washington region. Deliveries take
68,000 low-income people if approved Nov. 10 by a City an adoption or foster care for a of Dignity Washington, said about two hours and routes can be
selected that are most convenient
the Council doesn’t make cer- Council committee narrowed same-sex couple and would re- he doesn’t believe the threat by for the volunteer. Two hour shifts are
tain changes in the bill. rather than broadened a reli- quire a local religious commu- the archdiocese to withdraw available to help with food prepara-
tion and packing groceries through-
“It’s shameful of the gious exemption clause that the nity to “make its hall available its services to the needy. out the week. Four delivery shifts are
church to put its dogmatic archdiocese and other religious for events inconsistent with “While this may be the available on Thursday: 8, 9, 10 and
position above the needs of groups had been calling for. the community’s sincere reli- decision of the hierarchy, it 11 a.m. Volunteers are also needed
in the kitchen throughout the morn-
the needy people receiving The bill does not require gious beliefs.” certainly does not reflect the ing. Call 202-269-2277 to volunteer.
these services,” said Mari- religious organizations to per- Belford sent her letter to views of all of us who were Visit for
more information.
anne Duddy-Burke, Dignity form same-sex marriages or members of the Council’s baptized as Catholics and
USA’s executive director. make their facilities available Committee on Public Safety make up part of the Catholic On Wednesday at 4 p.m., Whitman-
Walker Clinic’s SaVANNA WANZER
“I would encourage the City for such marriages. But under & Judiciary, which voted 4-1 Church,” Panas said. is seeking help cooking a Thanks-
Council to say, ‘Fine — we’ll existing laws, including the to approve the marriage bill. giving charity dinner. Leave a mes-
take our programs to another D.C. Human Rights Act, re- She said the archdiocese Story continues at sage for her at 202-797-3509 for
more information.
vendor,’” Duddy-Burke said. ligious organizations such as could not continue to operate

D.C. board rejects marriage initiative

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. tives which violate the ruling in June to D.C. Supe-
Human Rights Act,” says rior Court, which upheld
For the second time this the ruling. “Because the the board’s decision. Jackson
year, the D.C. Board of Elec- initiative would authorize has said he would file a sim-
tions & Ethics has issued a discrimination prohibited ilar appeal if the board ruled
ruling denying a measure by the HRA, it is not a against his more recent pro-
that seeks to ban same-sex proper subject for initia- posal for a voter initiative.
marriage in the District. tive, and may not be ac- He said he filed the initia-
In a 13-page ruling cepted by the board.” tive proposal in anticipation
released Tuesday, the election The board issued a similar that the City Council would
board said a proposed voter ruling in June when Bishop pass separate legislation this
initiative filed by a Maryland Harry Jackson, pastor of a fall that would allow same-sex
minister that seeks to ban gay Beltsville, Md., church, filed marriage to be performed in
marriage would violate the papers for a voter referendum the city. Gay Council mem-
city’s Human Rights Act, to overturn a separate law ber David Catania (I-At
which prohibits discrimination passed by the City Council Large) introduced the legisla-
based on sexual orientation. and signed by Mayor Adrian tion, the Religious Freedom
“The District’s Initia- Fenty that recognizes same- & Civil Marriage Equality
tive, Referendum & Recall sex marriages performed in Act of 2009, in October.
Procedures Act requires other jurisdictions.
the board to refuse to ac- Jackson and several sup- Story continues at
cept referenda and initia- porters appealed the board’s • Nov. 20, 2009

The rumors of the death of gay media are greatly exaggerated
By Bob Witeck that touches all our lives. Or the paper reported stories that Washington’s gay publica- now among the most popu-
even more simply, what is the mainstream press initially tions as well as those in Dal- lar channels for travel and
I’m not superstitious. At going on Saturday night that didn’t or wouldn’t cover.” las, Chicago, Detroit, Boston hospitality, arts and enter-
all. Friday, Nov. 13, arrived some of us care about espe- So what actually went and Los Angeles succeed pre- tainment, for home décor
and like clockwork, so did cially when we’re single. wrong with the Washington cisely because they are nim- and services, real estate and
my weekly issue of the (Personal confession: I have Blade (or more to the point, ble – fine-tuning their automobiles, to name a few.
Washington Blade. read the Blade since it was with the Blade’s recent, dis- business strategies as they Especially when ad budgets
With Washington, D.C., first published.) tant ownership)? Who really emerge and dig deeper into are tighter than ever, ad
on the tipping point of mar- When the Washington knows? I do not plan to in- suburbs too. Remember “vi- agencies are looking to
riage equality, and down the Blade suddenly expired on vestigate that story personally. atical ads” and the HIV phar- squeeze out more value.
street, the Congress and White Monday morning, the shock I will just leave that to experts maceutical explosion in the Our stories always will be
House huddling on ENDA, waves were felt everywhere. on grassy knolls and schemes 1980s, or just a few years told. Today they matter even
debating the military ban on Consider just last week, hatched by Bernie Madoff. ago, when marriage equality more, when we rely on gay
openly gay men and women in Rachel Maddow saluted the Getting it right is not became a reality in Massa- media to educate, inform, as
military service, and consider- Washington Blade for break- easy for the largest media chusetts. It may seem like well as to entertain and mo-
ing same-sex partner benefits ing the news that repeal of ownership companies, how- boom and bust, which is tivate each other and our
for federal employees – the the military’s “Don’t Ask, ever, for the gay media, the partly true, but also reflects straight families and friends.
agenda that matters most to us Don’t Tell” rule is most likely formula works. What other the changing needs and op- As long as we have writers
is stacked high. to be included in next year’s media in America can deliver portunities of businesses and editors to cover them,
On Friday the 13th, the defense authorization bill. so much and so often on a looking for audiences. publishers sturdy enough to
Blade was filled with some of The Washington Post edi- shoestring year after year? Years ago, gay publica- build a committed local
those stories, and more. torial page added this praise: The Washington Blade tions seemed confined al- business, LGBT newspapers
That’s partly why reading “The Blade’s importance to prospered because of its inno- most exclusively to alcohol and readers will thrive.
the Washington Blade for our area cannot be overstated. vation, deep commitment to advertising and sexually
the past four decades has From the HIV/AIDS epi- the local community, and of charged display ads. Gay Bob Witeck is co-founder and
made such a difference; to demic to hate crimes to the course, by seeking many more media channels today are far CEO ofWiteck-Combs Communi-
really know what’s going on drive for marriage equality, eyeballs online. more sophisticated, and are cations, Inc.,

Protect your partner with the right documents.

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Partnership Agreements
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Serving the GLBT Community in DC/MD/VA since 1983 Washington, DC 20009
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