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she get here?
Deborah Cox, star of
Cherry Weekend, talks
about her early career and
reconnecting with gay fans.
With more out
for Congress, could 2010
be the Year of the Gay?
Only fools rush in:
A look at the legal and
of getting married.
the lgbtq community’s news source
Both seen as gay allies;
race triggers shakeup
in Council contests
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent
Gray’s announcement this week that
he will challenge Mayor Adrian Fenty in
the mayoral race will force many LGBT
activists to choose between two strong
allies, local activists said.
But as of this week, many of the city’s
top gay Democratic activists said they
were not ready to take sides in the race, a
development that some viewed as a sign
that activists have concerns about Fenty.
Gray’s entry in the mayoral con-
test also opens the way for at least
three gay-supportive Council mem-
bers, whose names have surfaced as
possible candidates for Council chair,
to enter that race, creating another
difficult choice for LGBT voters.
“One way to look at this is it’s a
good thing,” said Rick Rosendall,
vice president of the Gay & Lesbian
Activists Alliance. “It’s a luxury to be
able to choose among friends.”
Rosendall and other activists
have noted that in many parts of the
country, the LGBT community still
faces elections where most candi-
dates capable of winning are hostile
to their interests.
Some City Hall observers are pre-
dicting that Gray’s entry into the may-
oral race will also prove to be a major
benefit to gay Council candidate Clark
Ray, who is challenging Council mem-
ber Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) in
the September Democratic primary.
Mendelson reportedly is seriously
considering running for the Council
chairman post now that Gray is vacating
the seat. Should Mendelson run for that
position rather than for re-election to his
current at-large seat, Ray would be in a
far stronger position to win that contest.
In an announcement that surprised no one,
Ricky Martin confirms he's gay. Page 12
D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent Gray will challenge Mayor Adrian Fenty this fall. A third candidate, millionaire developer
R. Donahue Peebles, is expected to join the race.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Continues on page 8
Dr. Shannon Hader, head of the D.C.
Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS
Administration, said a study of men
who have sex with men found that 40
percent did not know they were HIV
positive until they were tested.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
14 percent of gay, bi men
in D.C. have HIV: study
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Local activists and health officials
this week called for new approaches
in HIV prevention following a city
study that shows 14 percent of test-
ed gay and bisexual men were HIV
positive and 25 percent of black gay
male participants were positive.
During a March 29 town hall
meeting organized by the D.C.
Center for the LGBT community to
discuss the study’s findings, a num-
ber of AIDS activists noted the study
included a sample of just 500 male
respondents and did not cover the
full demographics of all men who
have sex with men.
But most activists speaking at the
forum said the study reveals a num-
ber of important new findings showing
high-risk behavior among those sam-
pled and should not be dismissed
because it’s less than perfect.
“Because we’ve determined that
it is not a truly representative sample
due to methodological limitations of
the research, we can’t say that 14
percent of D.C.’s gay [and men who
have sex with men] population is HIV
positive,” said Daniel O’Neill, chair of
the D.C. Center’s HIV Prevention
“The reality: It’s probably far
worse than 14 percent, as the data is
both dated and under-represents
some of the most at-risk subgroups.”
Dr. Shannon Hader, director of
the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration,
‘The numbers are staggering’
Continues on page 18
Fenty vs. Gray presents tough choice for LGBT voters
dcagenda.com • vol. 2, issue 14 • april 2, 2010
Plenty of blame to go around
for HIV rate, Page 22
What happened to
silence=death? Page 22
2 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 3
Anti-gay group vows to
publicize vote ‘against’
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
The U.S. Senate voted 59-36 last
week to block consideration of an
amendment that would force the
District of Columbia to hold a refer-
endum calling for overturning the
city’s same-sex marriage law.
Marriage equality activists hailed the
March 25 vote as an important sign that a
majority of lawmakers believe D.C. should
be allowed to pass its own laws, even if
some lawmakers don’t agree with gay
marriage. But same-sex marriage oppo-
nents, led by the National Organization for
Marriage, promised to portray senators
who voted to kill the amendment as act-
ing against traditional marriage.
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah)
introduced the amendment about 1
a.m. during a marathon Senate ses-
sion in which Republicans introduced
dozens of amendments aimed at
derailing a health care reconciliation
bill backed by President Obama.
Senate Democrats remained unit-
ed in opposing Bennett’s amend-
ment, as they had for all other
amendments offered to the reconcili-
ation measure, saying an unfettered
health bill was essential for complet-
ing a two-pronged process of finaliz-
ing their health care reform package.
The vote to block Bennett’s amend-
ment came in the form of a Republican
proposed motion to waive a ruling by
the Senate parliamentarian that the
amendment was not germane to the
health care reconciliation bill. Sen. Max
Baucus (D-Mont.), the Senate floor
manager of the reconciliation bill,
requested the non-germaneness ruling
by raising a parliamentary point of order.
Bleary-eyed senators then voted on
whether to defeat the motion to waive
the point of order, with all Democrats
voting against the waiver motion and all
but two Republicans voting for it.
Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
and Susan Collins (R-Maine), both
supporters of LGBT rights, were the
only two Republicans to break ranks
with their party and join Democrats to
vote against the waiver.
Five senators — three Republicans
and two Democrats — did not vote on
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who
presided over the Senate at the time of
the vote, announced the result of what
some political observers say was the
first of several expected votes in
Congress on D.C.’s same-sex marriage
law over the next several months.
“The yeas are 36, the nays are
59,” Brown declared from the podi-
um. “Three-fifths of the senators duly
chosen and sworn not having voted
the affirmative, the motion is not
agreed to. The point of order is sus-
tained. The amendment fails.”
“It is always offensive when
Congress tries to meddle with the deci-
sions of the democratically elected gov-
ernment of the District of Columbia, but
this is unfortunately nothing new,” said
Trevor Thomas, a spokesperson for the
Human Rights Campaign.
“What is deeply cynical about the
Bennett Amendment, however, is the
attempt by Senate Republicans to use
marriage equality in the District as a
political wedge to kill the historic effort to
improve the health care system for all
Americans. Fortunately, a strong majori-
ty of Senators rejected this political ploy.”
The defeat of the Bennett amend-
ment followed an e-mail alert from
the anti-gay National Organization
for Marriage informing its members
and supporters that Bennett planned
to introduce the amendment.
“For weeks, we’ve been working to get
a vote on the D.C. Marriage Referendum,”
Brian Brown, the group’s executive direc-
tor, said in the alert. “And Sen. Bob
Bennett has championed the cause,
pushing for the floor vote that will put the
entire Senate on record on marriage.
“[O]ur senators need to know that
we are watching, and will remember in
November, how they vote on the D.C.
marriage referendum,” Brown said.
In a March 25 report on its web
site, NOM included a link to the
Congressional Record’s roll call vote
on whether the Bennett amendment
should be ruled germane, showing
how each senator voted.
“Kudos and thanks to Utah Sen.
Robert Bennett for insisting [on] and
winning a vote that puts these politi-
cians on the record,” Brown said in a
message. “There’s an election this
fall, in case they haven’t noticed.”
Brown’s alert and subsequent
message suggests that anti-gay
groups would likely portray the vote to
disallow the Bennett amendment from
being taken up as a direct vote on gay
marriage in D.C., despite assertions
by Senate Democratic leaders that
the vote was aimed only at keeping a
non-germane measure off of the
health care reconciliation package.
Backers of the health care reform
package noted that if just one
Republican amendment to the recon-
ciliation measure was approved by
the Senate, the entire package would
have returned to the House of
Representatives for a vote.
Bennett’s amendment was entitled,
“To protect the democratic process and
the right of the people of the District of
Columbia to define marriage.”
Similar to an amendment that
Bennett filed two weeks ago but did not
introduce, his amendment defeated by
the Senate called for forcing D.C. to
stop issuing marriage licenses until an
initiative or referendum was held to
allow voters to decide the issue.
“It was good to see a supermajori-
ty of the Senate reject a hypocritical
effort to undermine D.C.’s marriage
law as well as health care reform,”
said Evan Wolfson, executive director
of the national same-sex marriage
advocacy group Freedom to Marry.
“The D.C. City Council and mayor
duly enacted a law ending exclusion
from marriage, and Congress chose
not to interfere during the oversight
review period before the law took
effect,” Wolfson said. “Couples have
now married, families have celebrated,
and the sun still rose. Members of
Congress should focus on ending dis-
crimination, not trying to reinstate it.”
But Bob Summersgill, a gay D.C.
activist, predicted that anti-gay
groups like NOM would continue
relentlessly to attempt to kill the city’s
same-sex marriage law.
“I am hopeful that the Congress will
not force a ballot measure on marriage
equality, but it may happen,” he said.
“We must prepare for it. We must con-
tinue to talk to our families, friends,
neighbors and coworkers about our
families and why marriage equality is
important for all of us. We must show
that politicians will not lose their seats
because they voted for marriage
equality, but rather they will gain votes.”
Local gay activist Peter Rosenstein
called the vote against the Bennett
amendment “a recognition by mem-
bers of Congress that they should not
interfere with D.C.’s home rule.”
The five senators who did not vote
on the motion that resulted in the
defeat of the Bennett amendment
were Christopher Bond (R-Mo.),
Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Johnny
Isakson (R-Ga.), Frank Lautenberg
(D-N.J.) and George Voinovich (R-
Ohio). Capitol Hill observers said
some or all of the senators not voting
may not have been able to reach the
senate floor in time for the late-night
vote and their not voting may not have
been intended as an abstention.
Among the senators from
Maryland and Virginia, Barbara
Mikulski (D-Md.), Benjamin Cardin
(D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and
Jim Webb (D-Va.) voted to defeat the
4 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was one of
two Republican senators who voted
to block the chamber from consider-
ing a measure that would have forced
D.C. to hold a referendum on its
same-sex marriage law.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
New GLLU officers
welcomed at reception
More than one dozen recently designated affiliate members of the
D.C. police’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit were formally introduced March
25 during a reception at the D.C. Center.
Close to two dozen GLLU affiliate officers, who work out of the
department’s seven police districts throughout the city, are part of Police
Chief Cathy Lanier’s plan to expand and decentralize the unit.
“This is just the beginning,” said Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane
Groomes. “Chief Lanier would say this is a work in progress.”
Groomes said more officers have expressed an interest in joining the
GLLU than any of the other special liaison units, including the Latino,
Asian & Pacific Islander, and Deaf & Hard of Hearing units.
The reception was hosted by the D.C. Center; Gays & Lesbians
Opposing Violence, a center project; and Rainbow Response, a local
coalition that advocates for LGBT people victimized by domestic vio-
lence. GLLU officials have said that the largest percentage of calls the
unit receives for assistance are related to domestic violence matters.
Kelly Prickard, GLOV’s co-chair, told the gathering that her group is
hopeful that the expanded GLLU and its newly designated members will
help local activists more aggressively combat anti-LGBT hate crimes.
She noted that D.C. has the largest number of anti-LGBT hate crimes
recorded among most U.S. cities.
“You are heroic in what you do, day and night,” she told officers at the
Rainbow Response official June Crenshaw echoed Prickard’s senti-
ments, saying, “We depend on you.”
LOU CHIBBARO JR.
Equality Maryland staffer
to focus on marriage
Equality Maryland announced March 25 the appointment of Aimee
Martin as its field organizer for marriage equality.
A resident of Montgomery County, Martin joins Equality Maryland
with experience in mobilizing support on behalf of legislative and elec-
“Aimee has labored in the trenches in the recent battles in New Jersey,
Maine and California,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Equality Maryland’s
executive director. “She has done the hard work of advancing marriage
equality in some of the toughest circumstances. We are thrilled to have her
join us as we ramp up our efforts to win marriage in the Free State.”
Martin’s initial tasks will include winning stronger support for Equality
Maryland from straight allies and the religious community and training
speakers to discuss issues related to partner recognition.
Martin’s appointment is effective April 12. Equality Maryland is planning
a series of events to introduce Martin and Owen Smith, the group’s recent-
ly appointed field organizer for transgender equality issues, this summer.
STEVE CHARING/BALTIMORE OUTLoud
Officers representing the D.C. police’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit met with
community members Thursday at the D.C. Center. Officers introduced them-
selves and representatives of Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence and
Rainbow Response talked about the need to work more closely with the unit
and other D.C. police officers.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
D.C. marriage law
survives Senate vote
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 5
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LGBT Equality Caucus talks immigration reform
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank talks with Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Jarrett
Barrios and others during a March 25 reception the group organized with the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus and LGBT Equality Caucus to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. Reps.
Nydia Velzaquez, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis also attended the Capitol Hill reception in the
Rayburn House Office Building.
Photo by Joe Tresh
GMU retains anti-discrimination policies
Not even Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s own alma mater is siding with him
on his push to overturn LGBT non-discrimination policies on public college campuses.
The George Mason University Board of Visitors adopted a resolution last week affirming
the school’s existing policies banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
“[A] diverse and inclusive learning environment that respects and enhances the poten-
tial of all members of our community is vitally important to the mission of George Mason
University to achieve excellence in teaching, research and service,” says a board statement.
Board members praised the “outstanding contributions” of LGBT faculty, students
and staff and said all employees and students deserve statutory protections against
The decision came March 24, one day after Cuccinelli returned to his former law school
for a question-and-answer session with students. He was greeted by a protest of about 50
to 60 current and former George Mason law students opposed to his efforts to overturn the
Many public universities in Virginia are disregarding Cuccinelli’s March 4 letter, which
advised that such policies were illegal, after Gov. Bob McDonnell issued an “executive direc-
tive” calling on public agencies to not discriminate against people based on their sexual ori-
entation or other factors.
University of Virginia President John Casteen III praised the directive’s clarity and
McDonnell’s “civility and decency” on the issue.
“As rightly alarmed as many of us and I, myself, were by [the] attorney general’s letter, I
was struck through the week by the wisdom and dignity of the discussion that occurred,” he
said in a statement. “Let us hope that the subsequent discussion will rise to the level of the
model struck in the directive.”
Activists playing defense in Maryland
Just one pro-LGBT bill remains in play in Maryland’s General Assembly for 2010, a year
in which Equality Maryland has tallied more defensive than offensive wins.
House Bill 462, which would add LGBT non-discrimination protections for teachers in
public schools, passed the House in advance of Monday’s crucial crossover deadline. Bills
must pass at least one chamber before the deadline to advance this session.
The Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee will next consider the
bill. No hearing date was immediately scheduled.
Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Equality Maryland’s executive director, said her organization’s
work this year focused on playing defense.
“There have been a half dozen bills introduced that would have rolled back rights and in
addition we’ve had to watch out for bad amendments to our bills,” Meneses-Sheets said.
“The thing about defense: It’s behind the scenes. We know we’ve had many successes by
holding back these attacks, but in terms of proactively moving forward, this HB 462 [is a
measure] we hope will pass this year.”
Equality Maryland is opposing another bill, Senate Bill 385, which would give public
funds to private religious schools without requiring adherence to the state’s non-discrimi-
“We certainly respect that they’re looking for ways to support local schools, but at the
end of the day, providing public money to a private religious school that refuses to uphold
out state anti-discrimination laws is just inappropriate and unacceptable.”
The bill was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee on April 1,
after DC Agenda deadline.
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Ray has been campaigning for the seat for near-
ly a year and has lined up support among many
LGBT activists. But Mendelson’s strong record on
LGBT rights and his leading role in pushing the city’s
same-sex marriage bill to a successful 11-2 vote in
December prompted large numbers of LGBT
activists and rank and file gay voters to remain loyal
to him, according to Mendelson supporters.
Ray said he's heard rumors that Mendelson
might be considering running for the Council
chair position now being vacated by Gray.
"I am focused on my race and running my
campaign on the issues that I talked about all
along--like education reform and reducing
crime," he said. "So that's where my focus is."
Ray said he doesn't plan to make an imme-
diate endorsement in the mayor's race.
"I think it's great for the residents of the
District of Columbia to have choices," he added.
"It makes for a better process. So I will be just like
the rest of the Washingtonians. I will sit back and
watch whomever is in the mayor's race and I will
make my decision on whom I think is the best to
lead the city in the next four years."
A Ray-Mendelson race was expected to
divide the gay vote, with many political pundits
predicting that Mendelson would win the elec-
tion due to his strong, citywide support.
Mendelson spokesperson Jason Shedlock
said Tuesday that Mendelson would have no
immediate comment on speculation that he
was considering running for Council chairman.
Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2),
another longtime supporter of LGBT rights, is
also strongly considering entering the Council
chairman race, according to Ward 2 political
insiders. Others have said that Council member
Kwame Brown (D-At Large), an LGBT rights sup-
porter who, like Evans and Mendelson, voted for
the same-sex marriage bill, is yet another possi-
ble candidate for the Council chairman seat.
Gay Democratic activist Kurt Vondran, a for-
mer president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic
Club, the city’s largest gay political group, said
political insiders are predicting Fenty and Evans
would run as a team for mayor and Council chair-
man. The two have been longtime political allies.
Lining up against them in a rival slate would
most likely be Gray and Mendelson, who are
not only allies on the Council but longtime
With this as a backdrop, the Stein Club and
other LGBT organizations will be forced to walk
a fine line to avoid alienating longtime political
friends in the city government, who likely would
be needed for future LGBT-related initiatives.
Stein Club President Jeffrey Richardson said
the club and its officers won’t take sides in the may-
oral race until it holds a mayoral candidates forum
scheduled for June 14. He said the club will vote on
an endorsement at the conclusion of the forum.
Ashley Smith, vice president of the D.C.
Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Men & Women, said his group
has no immediate plans to endorse a mayoral
candidate and would assess whether to make
an endorsement at a later date.
“At this point in time, it’s an open bag,” he said.
“People will need to look at the candidates, includ-
ing other candidates who may enter the race.”
Rosendall noted that his non-partisan group
rates candidates rather than endorses them. He
said the GLAA will carefully rate all mayoral and
Council candidates based on their known records
on LGBT issues and their responses to a ques-
tionnaire asking their positions on the issues.
But some LGBT activists point to what they
perceive to be a strong feeling of dissatisfaction
with Fenty — just as public opinion polls have
shown is the case among residents in many parts
of the city. A Washington Post poll released in late
January showed Fenty’s popularity dropping in all
parts of the city over the previous two years.
Blacks changed from a 68 percent approval for
Fenty in his first year in office to a 65 percent dis-
approval in the Post’s January 2010 poll. Overall,
the Post poll showed 42 percent of D.C. residents
approved of the job Fenty was doing compared to
49 percent who expressed disapproval.
The Post poll did not break down its sample
to show the sentiment of LGBT voters.
But gay Democratic activist Phil Pannell, a
member of the executive committee of the
Ward 8 Democratic Committee, said gay and
straight residents east of the Anacostia River,
which includes wards 7 and 8, appear to be in
agreement in their dissatisfaction with Fenty.
“People east of the river are almost 100 per-
cent against Fenty,” he said. “And I don’t see
much of a difference between LGBT people and
the community as a whole. It’s mostly because of
his personality, but also because folks don’t see
D.C. City Council member David Catania said choosing among three mayoral candidates who are
strong on LGBT issues is ‘going to be a very tough call.’
DC Agenda file photo by Michael Key
Activist says LGBT community
‘frustrated’ with Mayor Fenty
Continued from page 1
Continues on page 16
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Large number of out
By CHRIS JOHNSON
The unprecedented number of
LGBT candidates expected to seek
political office this November could be
setting up 2010 as the “Year of the Gay.”
A number of gay candidates are
running for high-profile office this
year. In addition to the three openly
gay lawmakers in the U.S. House
seeking re-election, several non-
incumbent gay candidates are run-
ning for Congress.
Steve Pougnet, the gay mayor of
Palm Springs, Calif., is seeking a House
seat and David Cicilline, the gay mayor
of Providence, R.I., is also running for
Congress. Another gay candidate, Ed
Potosnak, is running to represent New
Jersey in the U.S. House. All three men
are campaigning as Democrats.
Gay candidates are also seeking
election to prominent statewide offices.
In Massachusetts, Richard Tisei, a
state senator, is in contention to
become the Republican candidate for
lieutenant governor. In Connecticut,
Kevin Lembo, a health care advocate,
is seeking the Democratic nomination
to become lieutenant governor.
Additionally, several LGBT people
are seeking election or re-election in
races at the local level. Notable can-
didates include Kathy Webb, a les-
bian who’s running for re-election to
the Arkansas State House; Jolie
Justus, a lesbian who’s running for
re-election to the Missouri State
Senate; and Heather Mizeur, a les-
bian who’s running for re-election to
the Maryland State House.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund,
which backs qualified LGBT candi-
dates for political office, has
endorsed for the November election
68 candidates for federal and local
races. That’s the highest number of
candidates the organization has ever
endorsed at this point prior to a
Denis Dison, a spokesperson for
the organization, projected the
Victory Fund will endorse at least
112 candidates by the time the gen-
eral election arrives. It would be more
candidates than the organization has
ever endorsed for a general election.
“When people see someone like
[lesbian] Annise Parker win election
as mayor of Houston, they question
their assumptions about what’s pos-
sible, and I think that when people
see other LGBT candidates succeed,
they believe they can they can do it,
too,” Dison said.
The potential for the election of so
many gay candidates to office could
make 2010 a milestone in terms of
visibility for LGBT officials. Such a
change would echo a political phe-
nomenon from 1992, which became
known as the “Year of the Woman.” At
the time, Democratic nominee Bill
Clinton’s victory was accompanied
by the election of four female
Democrats to the U.S. Senate.
Three of those women still serve in
the Senate today: Sens. Dianne
Feinstein (D-Calif.), Barbara Boxer (D-
Calif.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Carol
Moseley Braun, a presidential candidate
in 2004, was also elected to represent
Illinois in the U.S. Senate. Never before
had four women been elected to the U.S.
Senate in one election.
Dan Pinello, a gay government
professor at the City University of
New York, said the 1992 election’s
outcome was the result of greater
attention paid to feminist issues such
as the Equal Rights Amendment and
the Anita Hill hearings on Capitol Hill.
“Maybe the same thing is happen-
ing now in the LGBT community, given
what’s occurred in the last decade or
so around the issue, for example, of
relationship recognition,” he said. “So
there may be a correlation there in
terms of there being events that spark
attention to a particular community,
and then, a decade or so later, it’s rec-
ognized enough to have members of
that community be acknowledged
publicly through election to public
office in substantial numbers.”
Despite this potential for gay wins,
Pinello said even if three LGBT non-
incumbent candidates were elected to
Congress, it wouldn’t yet proportion-
ately reflect the LGBT population if, as
some national exit polling data indi-
cates, around 4 percent of American
voters self-identify as lesbian or gay.
“Thus, in order to increase the
openly lesbian and gay membership
of Congress so that it would be com-
parable to the proportion of the pop-
ulation that is gay, you’d need about
18 more members, or an additional
600 percent,” he said.
Pinello was skeptical, though,
whether wins for LGBT candidates
seeking office in Congress this
November should be considered
substantial. He said a greater num-
ber of candidates would be neces-
sary to make representation more
closely reflect the American public.
“If there were like eight or 10 out
there, and 435 total seats in the
House, that would be notable,” he
said. “That would be a dramatic shift,
but I don’t know that anything short
of that would be.”
Nonetheless, Pinello said every
additional LGBT person elected to
office would be a representational
win, and called having known LGBT
candidates running for office “a sub-
Noting the lack of LGBT represen-
tation in public offices throughout the
country, Dison said LGBT people have
a “long way to go” toward achieving
representation in elected office, even if
2010 brings significant success.
“There are over half a million elect-
ed offices in the country and only 470
right now are filled with openly LGBT
persons,” he said. “We’re still at the
beginning of this effort to have our
voices heard in government.”
But Dison said with so many LGBT
candidates seeking office, 2010 could
bring a surge in LGBT representation
and predicted that a majority of
Victory Fund-endorsed candidates
would be successful in their races.
“Our win rate has fluctuated sort of
between 65 and 75 percent over the
last five years,” he said. “If that tradition
holds, we’ll see roughly 70 percent.”
Michael Mitchell, executive director
of the National Stonewall Democrats,
said his organization intends to help
LGBT candidates win election at the
federal level as part of their overall plan
to help Democrats win races this year.
“There are some great gay candi-
dates out there — some who are
already in, obviously, some who are run-
ning,” he said. “We are in the process of
fine tuning our election plan and we’re
going to be launching that very, very
soon in the next couple weeks.”
Mitchell said he’s planning a coor-
dinated campaign with an online
presence intended to engage people
across the country, using a model
similar to what was used for the elec-
tion of Parker as Houston mayor.
“We had folks from all across the
country calling with Stonewall folks from
Texas, and we were responsible for
about 10,000 calls in one day,” Mitchell
said. “We want to do similar things for
the candidates that we are focused on,
and I’m sure that some of those LGBT
candidates will be included in our races.”
Dison said so many wins for LGBT
candidates would benefit LGBT
Americans because it would help
ensure the community’s voice is heard.
“When people are able to speak from
an authentic place as an LGBT person,
it really changes the debate in the rooms
where the decisions are made on things
that affect our lives,” Dison said.
Chai Feldblum joins EEOC
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
President Barack Obama on Saturday
invoked his power to make appointments
while the Senate is in recess, clearing
the way for lesbian law professor
Chai Feldblum to join the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission.
In a controversial move, Obama
used his recess appointment powers
to put in office Feldblum and 14 others
he nominated to key government posi-
tions but whose confirmation was
being blocked by Republican senators.
Senate rules allow one senator to
place an indefinite hold on a presi-
dential appointment that requires
Senate confirmation. Earlier this
month, one or more unidentified sen-
ators placed a hold on Feldblum, a
nationally recognized gay rights attor-
ney, and four other EEOC nominees.
“The United States Senate has
the responsibility to approve or dis-
approve of my nominees,” Obama
said in a statement. “But if, in the
interest of scoring political points,
Republicans in the Senate refuse to
exercise that responsibility, I must act
in the interest of the American peo-
ple and exercise my authority to fill
these positions on an interim basis.”
The president was referring to an
interpretation of the Constitution that
presidents can make appointments
when the Senate is in recess only
through the end of the congressional
period in which the appointment is
made. In this case, the recess
appointments of Feldblum and others
are expected to last through the 111th
Congress, which ends Dec. 31.
If the Senate doesn’t vote to confirm
the appointments by that time, the
appointees would have to step aside until
a Senate vote to confirm them occurs.
The Senate Committee on Health,
Education, Labor & Pensions approved
Feldblum’s nomination in December.
During a confirmation hearing in
November, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa),
the committee chair, asked Feldblum
about her views on polygamy. He
noted that groups opposed to her nom-
ination pointed out that she signed a
controversial gay rights manifesto in
2006 that, among other things,
endorsed LGBT families headed by
adults in polygamous relationships.
“I do not support polygamy,”
Feldblum said at the hearing. “I am
sorry I signed that document and I have
asked that my name be removed.”
LGBT activists have speculated
that anti-gay groups opposing her
nomination, such as Focus on the
Family and the Traditional Values
Coalition, may have persuaded one
or more GOP senators to place the
hold on Feldblum’s nomination.
She currently serves as a law pro-
fessor at Georgetown University’s
School of Law and has been credited
with playing a key role in drafting and
helping push through Congress in
the 1990s the Americans with
Disabilities Act, which includes pro-
tections for people with HIV/AIDS.
The EEOC serves as the federal
government’s enforcement agency
for federal anti-discrimination laws
involving employment. The office
would play a key role in enforcing the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act,
which calls for banning job discrimi-
nation based on sexual orientation
and gender identity, if it is passed.
10 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
Obama approves lesbian nominee in recess appointment
David Cicilline, the gay mayor of
Providence, R.I., is seeking a U.S.
House seat in this year’s election.
Photo courtesy of Cicilline Committee
Steve Pougnet, the gay mayor of
Palm Springs, Calif., is running for
U.S. House this year.
President Obama appointed Chai
Feldblum, a professor at Georgetown
University’s School of Law, to the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Photo courtesy Georgetown University
Could 2010 be ‘Year of the Gay?’
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 11
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Marine Corps leader wants
separate rooms for gay troops
The uniform leader of the Marine Corps says he would seek separate quarters for Marines
should Congress repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
In an interview with Military.com published March 25, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James
Conway said he wouldn’t require straight Marines to bunk with gay Marines on base, if the situa-
tion can be avoided, should Congress repeal the law.
“We want to continue [two-person rooms], but I would not ask our Marines to live with some-
one who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it,” Conway said. “And to me that means we have
to build [bachelor enlisted quarters] and have single rooms.”
Conway said the Marine Corps is the only service that has two-person rooms because the
service thinks it good for unit cohesion, but should the law change allowing open service, the
Marine Corps would want to have single rooms.
“If we believe [two-person rooms] is going to be adverse to unit cohesion, then why wouldn’t
we join every other services’ standard and say that, you know, under the previous regulations it
was conducive, under the current regulations, it’s got the potential to cause friction,” he said.
In the course of engaging Marines on their positions on gays in the military, Conway said an
“overwhelming number” have “significant concern” about issues regarding repeal of “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell,” although he wouldn’t estimate a percentage.
“If perception is reality, we just think our corps would not want to see it changed,” Conway said. “If it
is changed, it’s going to require some leadership engaging to make sure that our orders are carried out.”
Pressed further by Military.com on why separate rooms are necessary, Conway said he would
“want to preserve the right of a Marine that thinks he or she wouldn’t want to do that, and again,
that’s the overwhelming number of people that say they wouldn’t like to do so.”
Media sources during the past several months have cast Conway as one of the leading oppo-
nents of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in discussions among the service chiefs.
In a statement, Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Palm Center, a think-tank on
gays in the military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said Conway’s proposal does-
n’t square with decades of research on gays in the military.
“Decades of research, including all of the conclusions of the 1993 RAND study, shows that
separating gays and straights is a bad idea,” he said. “RAND found that creating policies that are
applied only to one group of people or to accommodate the prejudices of another group of peo-
ple only undercut the larger mission of a unified, integrated force.”
Boxer introduces COBRA bill to benefit partners
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation last week that would allow same-sex domes-
tic partners to have the same access to COBRA benefits as married couples in some circumstances.
The bill, known as the Equal Access to COBRA Act, would allow LGBT people to continue to
receive coverage for their same-sex partners under COBRA if they lose their job and their former
employer offered health benefits to domestic partners.
In a statement, Boxer called the issue the legislation would address “a question of fairness.”
“Every family deserves access to health insurance, especially in this tough economy,” she
said. “This bill ensures that domestic partners and their families will have equal access to health
coverage after a job loss.”
According to Boxer’s statement, more than half of Fortune 500 companies cover domestic
partners under their health plans.
Under COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, employers must con-
tinue to offer health care coverage to departing workers and their beneficiaries for up to 36 months.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that Boxer’s
bill is important because same-sex couples “are equally affected by economic hardships and
should have equal access to important benefits like COBRA continuation coverage.”
“In these troubled economic times, when many Americans are concerned about the security
of their jobs and health insurance, LGBT people should not also have to worry whether the
COBRA safety net will be there to help protect the health of their families,” he said.
Ricky Martin announces he’s gay
Ending years of speculation, Ricky Martin came out as gay Monday in an open letter published to
his official web site. “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” he wrote. “I am very
blessed to be who I am.” Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Jarrett Barrios
applauded the announcement. “When someone like Ricky Martin comes out, hundreds of millions of
people now have a cultural connection with an artist, a celebrity and, perhaps most importantly, a
father who happens to be gay,” Barrios said.
Photo courtesy of rickymartin.com
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Changes intended to
reflect ‘common sense
and common decency’
By CHRIS JOHNSON
Defense Secretary Robert Gates
announced last week that the Pentagon
is changing how it will implement “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell,” including limiting third-
party outings and raising the rank of the
officers handling inquiries.
Joined by Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen,
Gates unveiled the changes to enforcing
the ban on gays serving openly during a
Pentagon press conference March 25.
“I believe these changes repre-
sent an important improvement in the
way the current law is put into prac-
tice, above all, by providing a greater
measure of common sense and com-
mon decency to a process for han-
dling what are difficult and complex
issues for all involved,” Gates said.
Gates said Mullen, Vice Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James
Cartwright and the service chiefs are
unanimous in their support for these
While unveiling the changes,
Gates said in response to a DC
Agenda question that he doesn’t rec-
ommend legislative action to repeal
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” until the
Pentagon working group completes
its review of the law.
Gates established the working
group in February to examine the
implications of repealing the 1993
ban on open service. The group’s
study is set for completion by Dec. 1.
“I do not recommend a change in
the law before we have completed our
study,” he said. “There is a great deal
we don’t know about this in terms of
the views of our service members and
trying to get the views of our families.”
Gates said the working group also
is needed to examine changing regu-
lations for benefits and to look at
other implementation issues.
“I think we need to do this thorough-
ly and professionally,” he said. “I think we
need to do this right, if you will, and I
think doing it hastily is very risky and I
think does not address some of the con-
cerns that have been expressed by the
chiefs of staff of the services and a num-
ber of the questions that have been
raised associated with this.”
Mullen, who testified in favor of
open service for gays, lesbians and
bisexuals in February, said he would
“echo” Gates’ remarks with regard to
legislative action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” before the working group com-
pletes its study.
“It’s very important for us to go
through this process — and doing it with
haste could easily generate a very bad
outcome,” he said. ”So understanding
where we are — having that information
from those it will affect most — is a very
important part of this process.”
Asked whether the White House
shares this view on the timing of
repeal, Gates replied, “You would have
to ask them, but I would tell you that my
impression is the president is very
comfortable with the process that
we’ve laid out, and certainly with the
changes that I have announced today.”
A senior defense official, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity,
later clarified for DC Agenda that the
Pentagon isn’t taking a position on
legislation related to “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” before the working group’s
review is complete.
“It’s been very consistent out of
here that the issue is not whether, it is
how,” said the official. “In doing this,
because this is the military, they want-
ed to do this in a way that is profes-
sionally thorough. So they are not
going to be taking any position on any
legislation at all. They’re not going to be
supporting any legislation; they’re just
not taking any position on legislation.”
The official said that Gates’ remarks
during the press conference were con-
sistent with his congressional testimo-
ny and other statements.
“This is not taking sides,” said the
official. “There is no position on legis-
lation. The position is follow through
with this process, and he basically
stated that they’d like to see this
process be done to inform legislation.”
In a statement, Human Rights
Campaign President Joe Solmonese
said Congress should undertake
repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as the
Pentagon continues work on its study.
“Two branches of government can
and should work concurrently toward
repeal,” he said. ”There is no reason for
Congress to wait for the details on
implementation when Secretary Gates
and the president have made it clear
that this law should be repealed.”
Also during the press conference,
Gates noted that the goal of the
working group’s study on “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” is to determine how to
“The study is about how you
implement it — if the law changes,
how we deal with it,” Gates said. “This
study is not about should we do it;
this study is about how we do it.”
Gates added the working group will
take into consideration the feelings of
service members and their families.
“We need to identify where [there]
might be problems and issues — or just
issues to be addressed — whether it’s
a change in regulations or benefits or
something like that, so then when the
time comes we have some idea of what
we have to do in order to carry forward
with the change,” Gates said.
But the new regulations issued last
week will change implementation of
the law until legislative action is taken.
Specifically, the new changes will:
• raise the rank of the officer who can
start fact-finding inquiries or separation
proceedings to a general or admiral;
• raise the rank of the person who
can conduct fact-finding inquiries to
lieutenant colonel or Navy com-
mander or above;
• raise the level of the officer who
can separate an enlisted service
member to general or admiral;
• raise the bar for what constitutes
credible information to start an inquiry
or separation proceeding, by mandat-
ing, for example, that information from
third parties be given under oath and
that use of overheard statements and
hearsay are discouraged;
• raise the bar on what constitutes
a reliable person upon whose word
an inquiry can begin, with special
scrutiny of third parties who may
want to harm a service member;
• and specify that certain confi-
dential information cannot be used for
discharge proceedings, such as infor-
mation provided to lawyers, clergy or
psychotherapists; information provid-
ed to medical professionals for med-
ical treatment; information provided in
seeking assistance for domestic or
physical abuse; or information about
sexual orientation discovered during
security clearance investigations.
Gates said the new regulations will
take effect immediately and would
apply to all open and future discharge
cases. He noted that the services have
30 days to conform their own regula-
tions to these changes.
Following the briefing by Gates,
Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s general
counsel who helped draft the new reg-
ulations, offered additional details.
In response to a question regard-
ing what would happen in pending
cases if a service member was outed
by what is now considered unreliable
information, and, following the start
of an investigation, the service mem-
ber acknowledged they were gay,
Johnson said he didn’t know what
would happen in such a situation.
“That’s a good question — and we’ll
have to work that through,” he said.
In a statement, Rep. Patrick
Murphy (D-Pa.), the sponsor of “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation in the
House, praised the Pentagon for
implementing the changes, but said
full repeal is still necessary.
“Today’s announcement from
Defense Secretary Gates is another
step forward in the fight to repeal the
discriminatory policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell,’ and a signal that momentum for
change continues to build,” he said.
“While I am encouraged by the
Pentagon’s announcement, I remain
committed to working toward full legisla-
tive repeal of this law, which hurts our
national security and military readiness.”
Revisions would have
enabled gay man to
stay in Air Force
By CHRIS JOHNSON
New regulations unveiled last
week to ease the burden of LGBT
service members serving under
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were well
received by advocacy groups — but
a former Air Force officer discharged
under the law called news of the
changes “bittersweet” because they
came too late to help him.
Mike Almy, a gay former Air Force
communications officer who recently
testified before the Senate on being dis-
charged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”
said the new changes would have
helped him stay in the service when he
faced expulsion from the U.S. military.
“On a personal level, it’s kind of bit-
tersweet from the standpoint that these
regulations, this new guidance would
have helped me a few years ago when
I was going through my discharge pro-
ceedings,” Almy said. “In all likelihood, I
would still be on active duty under the
new guidance that Gates issued.”
Almy was discharged from the Air
Force after another service member dis-
covered personal e-mails revealing infor-
mation about his sexual orientation and
reported them to commanders. Almy
said he was expelled from the Air Force
even though he never made a statement
to the military divulging he’s gay.
Even though Almy said he’s dis-
appointed the new regulations
weren’t in place to help him at the
time of his proceedings, he noted
that on a larger scale, the changes
represent “a positive step” forward
that provides more momentum for a
full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“It’s still not a substitute, but it’s a
definitely a move in the right direc-
tion, and it’s going to help thousands
of service members who are in the
military today,” he said.
The new changes, unveiled last
week by Defense Secretary Robert
Gates, will limit third-party outings by
requiring such information to be given
under oath, and raise the rank of the offi-
cers handling inquiries and discharges.
Almy said the new regulations will
have a “direct bearing” on many
LGBT service members he knows on
“The ones that I know that are still
on active duty that are still serving —
they’re very encouraged by the first ini-
tial step as well as the climate overall
and the momentum that’s going on in
the House and the Senate, and cer-
tainly the Pentagon, to fully repeal
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director
14 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
‘Don’t Ask’ changes too late for discharged officer
Gates unveils new ‘Don’t Ask’ regulations
The way Pentagon officials implement ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is changing, Defense
Secretary Robert Gates announced last week.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Mike Almy, a gay former Air Force communications officer, was discharged under
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Continues on page 21
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 15
A spokesperson said gay D.C. City Council member Jim Graham is 'going to make a formal announce-
ment about [the mayor’s race] in the near future but he’s not prepared right now to make a statement.'
DC Agenda file photo by Michael Key
16 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
any real change in their community.”
Pannell said he won’t back a candidate in the
race until the Ward 8 Democratic Committee
votes on an endorsement later this spring.
Gay Democratic activist Lane Hudson said
this week he is supporting Gray for mayor,
becoming one of the few LGBT activists so far
to take sides in the race.
“My impression is that the LGBT communi-
ty is very frustrated with Adrian Fenty for never
showing up [at community events] except for
the high-heel race, never doing anything to
really get down to addressing the problems
that our community has to deal with,” he said.
Hudson was referring to a concern raised by
some LGBT activists that Fenty has declined to
attend most LGBT community events, including
meetings of LGBT groups. The mayor has attend-
ed an annual Halloween high-heel race on 17th
Street, N.W., each year since he took office and
has also marched in the Capital Pride Parade
each year since becoming mayor. The parade,
which draws tens of thousands of participants, is
part of the city’s annual LGBT Pride events.
While acknowledging that Fenty takes strong
pro-LGBT positions on virtually all issues of
importance to the community, many activists
have complained that he has declined to take a
more visible role in speaking out on issues,
especially anti-LGBT violence and hate crimes.
The local group Gays & Lesbians Opposing
Violence has complained that Fenty has ignored
their longstanding calls for him to deliver a speech
addressing the high number of anti-LGBT hate
crimes in the city or appear in a public service
announcement addressing the hate crimes issues.
‘A very tough call’
Gay D.C. Council members Jim Graham (D-
Ward 1) and David Catania (I-At Large), like
many activists, haven’t taken sides yet on the
mayoral race. Both are running for re-election
this year, with political observers saying each
appears to have a good shot at winning.
Brian DeBose, Graham’s press spokesper-
son, said Graham is “going to make a formal
announcement about [the mayor’s race] in the
near future but he’s not prepared right now to
make a statement.”
Graham has been a long-time political ally
of Fenty, and some City Hall insiders believe
he’s leaning toward Fenty.
Catania this week had praise for both Fenty
and Gray in their respective roles in advancing
the same-sex marriage bill that Catania wrote
and introduced last year.
Asked how he feels about having to choose
between Fenty and Gray, Catania said, “That’s
a predicament I’m facing as a person and as a
voter myself because I happen to like both of
them as individuals and as public officials.”
“So it’s going to be a very tough call,” he
said. “Both have excellent scores as far as I’m
concerned on LGBT issues. Both were very
early and strong supporters of marriage equal-
ity. Both support me in the work we’re trying to
do to overhaul the HIV/AIDS Administration.”
While praising Fenty’s actions, both on LGBT
and other issues, such as overhauling the city’s
public school system, Catania acknowledged that
the mayor has “injured himself” on how people
perceive him in connection with his personality.
“He’s picked some fights that people don’t
understand and they’re hard to explain at
times,” Catania told DC Agenda. “I think that’s
hurt him in the eyes of some voters, who want
in a chief executive, who want in a mayor a dif-
ferent demeanor at times than what we’ve seen
demonstrated by Adrian.”
Gay activist and attorney Edward Grandis,
executive director of the local business association
Dupont Circle Merchants & Professionals, said he
does not perceive strong dissatisfaction toward
Fenty from Dupont Circle area residents and busi-
nesses, where large numbers of gays live.
“In my business circles, I don’t see a large
anti-Fenty sentiment,” he said. “And in Ward 2 in
general, I don’t feel people are down on Fenty.”
Grandis said he agrees with activists who feel
Fenty should have been more outspoken on LGBT
issues such as hate crimes, “but I don’t feel most
rank and file gays are dissatisfied with Fenty.”
In a related development, the Washington Post
reported that millionaire developer R. Donahue
Peebles said Monday that he is “planning to run”
for mayor, adding a third candidate with the
resources to compete with Fenty and Gray.
A Peebles spokesperson told DC Agenda
two weeks ago that Peebles supports the city’s
same-sex marriage law. But the spokesperson
could not confirm whether Peebles supports or
opposes a voter initiative, which, if approved,
would repeal the gay marriage law. Peebles’
business office did not respond to a DC
Agenda request for an interview.
Catania, however, said Peebles expressed
to him a commitment to LGBT equality when
the two spoke earlier this year.
“We didn’t talk about a referendum or an ini-
tiative. That subject didn’t come up,” Catania
said. “But unprompted, he did tell me how
delighted he was about marriage equality and
how much he supported it, how he finds that all
of our rights are interconnected. And he does-
n’t feel it’s appropriate to deny one group of
rights because that same strategy was used
against the community that he belongs to.”
Peebles, who is black, has sometimes
referred to his admiration of the black civil
Continued from page 8
City’s LGBT voters will have
plenty of choices in November
Q&A with Catania
Visit dcagenda.com for a transcript of
our interview this week with gay D.C.
City Council member David Catania.
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 17
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opened the town hall meeting with a
45-minute presentation explaining
the study’s findings and comparing it
to existing city data on HIV preva-
lence among MSM, homosexuals
and injection drug users, the three
key groups used by researchers to
measure the AIDS epidemic.
Hader and O’Neill were among
five panelists who spoke at the town
hall meeting and fielded questions
from about 50 people who attended.
The other panelists included Jose
Gutierrez, a gay Latino activist affili-
ated with La Clinica Del Pueblo, a
D.C. clinic that provides services to
people with HIV/AIDS; Ken Pettigrew,
director of programs for Us Helping
Us, a local AIDS advocacy group that
provides services for mostly black
gay men; and Calvin Gerald, an
organizer with the D.C. Center’s HIV
Prevention Working Group.
Hader’s presentation followed the
city’s release of the study’s findings
March 26 at a news conference out-
side the Wanda Alston House for
LGBT youth in Northeast D.C.
A first-of-its-kind look into the
behavior of men who have sex with
men in the District of Columbia, the
study’s main finding was that 14 per-
cent of those sampled were HIV pos-
itive. The figure represents an HIV-
positive rate nearly five times higher
than the 3 percent HIV infection rate
among all adults and teens in the
city, according to separate data gath-
ered by the HIV/AIDS Administration.
The MSM study also found that
black men who have sex with men,
who participated in the study, had an
HIV infection rate of 25 percent, com-
pared to an 8 percent infection rate
among white MSM who participated
in the study.
“The numbers are staggering, but
they are changeable,” says a report
accompanying the study, which was
conducted for the city by George
Washington University’s School of
Public Health and Health Services.
“We are convinced that there are no
foregone conclusions to getting HIV
for men who have sex with men.”
Although gay and AIDS activists
attending Monday’s town hall meet-
ing said the high HIV positive rate
findings among MSM did not sur-
prise them, some expressed surprise
and puzzlement over other findings.
Among them are that men under age
30 “generally had safer sex behav-
iors” while men over 30 “got tested
less and used condoms less and had
more sex partners.”
The study also found that more
than 40 percent of the men participat-
ing did not use a condom at the time
of their last sexual encounter and
more than one-third did not know the
HIV status of their last sex partner.
Another development that came
as a surprise to many activists, more
than half of the study’s participants
reported an annual income of
$50,000 or greater, an education sig-
nificantly higher than a high school
degree, and were believed to be
“socially connected” with the LGBT
Hader and some of the AIDS
activists attending the town hall meet-
ing said this suggests that many gay
men who should be aware of the need
for greater condom use and overall
less risky behaviors were nevertheless
continuing to engage in risky behavior.
In a finding said to highlight a
seeming paradox among black MSM,
the study found that black MSM of all
ages used condoms more frequently
than whites. Yet the infection rate for
black MSM remains high, the report
says, most likely because the number
of infected black MSM is significantly
higher than white MSM, increasing
the chance of infection even if safer
sex is practiced most of the time.
“Though white men were more
likely to engage in higher risk sexual
behavior, more men of color were
impacted by HIV,” says the report.
The report also notes that,
“Contrary to some perceptions,
younger men generally had safer sex
behaviors, while older men got test-
ed less and used condoms less and
had more sex partners.”
The study found that about 66
percent of black MSM reported using
a condom during their most recent
instance of anal sex, compared to
about 47 percent of white MSM.
Hader said the study was con-
ducted using protocols established
by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control & Prevention for similar stud-
ies in other cities.
She said that similar MSM studies
will be conducted every three years,
alternating with studies of HIV-related
heterosexual sexual behavior and stud-
ies of injection drug users conducted.
“The data are the data are the
data,” she said at the town hall meet-
ing. “They’re not the whole picture or
the only picture, but they’re really
“And they’re not the answers So my
hope is our data is to be used to start to
come up with the answers, to reinforce
anything we think we’re on the right
track on, to bring up new ideas.”
‘We have more
work to do’
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty joined
Hader and other officials with the
Department of Health and its
HIV/AIDS Administration at the news
conference March 26 announcing
the release of the study.
D.C. Council member David Catania
(I-At Large), who chairs the D.C. City
Council’s Committee on Health, also
participated in the news conference. He
praised Fenty and Hader for working
hard during the past three years to
transform what he called a highly
flawed public health data gathering sys-
tem into a “world class” system recog-
nized and praised by health depart-
ments in other cities and states.
Fenty joined Hader and Dr. Pierre
Vigilance, director of the D.C.
Department of Health, in noting that the
study’s troubling findings of high HIV
infection rates among MSM were offset
by what they said were highly useful
new data generated by the study.
“Knowing the facts about our
HIV/AIDS epidemic improves how
we fight this disease,” Fenty said.
Pointing to a separate study
released last week, he noted that,
“we’ve already shown that we can
make progress against HIV by reducing
AIDS cases and deaths and increasing
people getting into medical care.”
“This study shows that we have more
work to do to fight HIV/AIDS among men
who have sex with men,” he said.
The D.C. MSM study consisted of
500 participants who were recruited “at
open air venues, gyms, bars, restau-
rants, and clubs where men who have
sex with men tend to frequent,” says
the study report. “Participants were
interviewed at these venues, which
were located in wards 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8.”
The study, which was conducted
in 2008, doesn’t identify the specific
venues, and representatives of the
GWU team that conducted the sur-
vey declined at the news conference
to disclose the names of the venues.
The report acknowledges that the
study did not reach all MSM and
most likely under-represents some
groups, including MSM who don’t
identify as gay or bisexual, and
younger white MSM.
It notes that of the nearly 100
white men under age 30 who partici-
pated in the study, none were found
to be HIV positive.
Vigilance and Hader said that
while most of the MSM participants in
the study reported having been tested
for HIV, 40 percent did not know they
were HIV positive until they were test-
ed at the time of the study. Among
those who tested positive during the
study, nearly three-quarters had seen
a doctor or other health care provider
at least once in the previous 12
months, but were not tested.
Vigilance and Hader noted that a
D.C. public health policy established four
years ago calls for all adults in the city to
be tested routinely for HIV during regu-
lar doctor visits, just as they are tested
for high blood pressure and diabetes.
As a result of the study’s findings,
Vigilance said the health department is
calling on MSM to be tested for HIV
twice a year instead of the once-a-year
recommendation made four years ago.
Hader also announced at the press
conference that the Department of
Health is launching a new MSM HIV
screening project in partnership with the
Whitman-Walker Clinic and the Crew
Club, a gay male gym and social venue.
According to Hader, the yearlong
project will screen about 500 men at
the Crew Club considered to be at
high risk for HIV. She said pharma-
ceutical company Gilead Sciences,
Inc., is contributing $40,000 to the
project and the Crew Club is con-
tributing more than $5,000 along with
special accommodations on its
premises to conduct the screening.
She said that while the 14 percent
HIV infection rate among MSM in D.C. is
too high, previous MSM studies in
Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
and San Francisco found a combined
infection rate of 25 percent in 2005. She
noted that in Baltimore, the MSM infec-
tion rate was found to be 40 percent.
‘What are we
The panelists who joined Hader at
the town hall meeting and members
of the audience expressed differing
views on whether existing HIV pre-
vention programs in the city, includ-
ing those operated by community
organizations like Us Helping Us and
the Whitman-Walker Clinic, have
been effective in their mission.
“There is a notion to say what are
we doing wrong?” said Pettigrew of
Us Helping Us. “But you can also
ask, ‘What are we doing right?’”
He noted that one of the key find-
ings in the MSM study was that men
under 30 years old had a lower rate
of HIV infection and were engaging
in less risky behavior.
Ernest Hopkins, a veteran AIDS
activist involved with programs in D.C.
and San Francisco, said the D.C. gov-
ernment has been less aggressive
and less visible in its AIDS preven-
tion messages than in the past. He
and D.C. Center Executive Director
David Mariner called for greater city
funding for community based HIV
programs, including programs organ-
ized by the Center.
AIDS activist Chris Lane, a former
official with the Sexual Minority Youth
Assistance League, noted that a
mental health component appeared
to be missing from the MSM study.
Hader said the full scientific report
on the study, which is to be published
soon on the Department of Health’s
web site, discusses mental health-
related issues and that the city would
pursue these issues when its reviews
its overall HIV prevention programs
in the next few months.
Gerald of the Center’s HIV
Prevention Working Group cautioned
against placing all the responsibility of
HIV prevention on the city. He expressed
concern that not enough black gay men
have attended meetings and planning
sessions to address the issue.
“We should not just wait for the
government to do something,” he
said. “We should educate our own
people in the black community. We
can let the government go so far, but
we have to take it up from there.”
The study, titled “MSM in D.C.: A
Life Long Commitment to Stay HIV
Free,” is available through the
Department of Health’s website,
18 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
‘This study shows that we have more work to do to fight HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men,’ said D.C.
Mayor Adrian Fenty.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Continued from page 1
Health officials call for new approach to HIV fight
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 19
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of the Servicemembers Legal Defense
Network, said his organization is still examining
the implications of the changes and what they
mean for LGBT service members.
“It’s premature to say until we complete
our legal analysis,” he said. “I think it will be
helpful for some service members. It will
reduce the number of investigations and,
therefore, it will, in all likelihood, reduce the
number of discharges.”
Sarvis said he wasn’t yet in a position to quan-
tify how discharges would be reduced under the
new regulations, but he noted that fewer people
would face “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discharges.
Among the issues SLDN is examining,
Sarvis said, is what will happen in pending
cases where a service member was outed by a
third party under the old regulations, and sub-
sequently announced their sexual orientation of
their own accord.
“I would imagine in many cases that service
members who are in the pipeline for discharge
under the old regulations and the old [Department
of Defense] directives, in essence, would have the
opportunity to start over again,” he said. “In many
cases, we know it’ll go back to their commanders.”
As SLDN examines the changes, Sarvis
said his organization plans to publish this week
new guidance for LGBT service members serv-
ing under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He said SLDN
has received numerous inquiries from active
duty and reserve service members regarding
the new regulations.
Among those serving who are pleased with
the changes is a gay U.S. Army soldier current-
ly in Iraq, who spoke to DC Agenda on condi-
tion of anonymity to avoid being discharged
under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The soldier, who has been seeing a psy-
chotherapist in part because of the stress of
serving under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said
the new change allowing LGBT service
members to disclose their sexual orientation
to mental health experts would be particular-
ly beneficial for him.
During his therapy sessions, the soldier said
he had been dodging questions about his sex-
ual orientation, or even unrelated matters that
he thought may have outed him under the law.
But with the new regulations in place, the sol-
dier said he plans to come out to his psy-
chotherapist in an upcoming session.
“In my particular instance, it’s the fact that I
can talk about more than just any problems that
I’m having at work or any problems that I’m
having at home,” he said. “I can talk about
issues that I’m having with my ex-boyfriend —
and just identity issues. It just takes off a lot of
stress because you can discuss more without
having to censor yourself.”
The soldier said he also thinks Gates’ deci-
sion to raise the rank of those starting and con-
ducting inquiries under “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” was “a remarkably ingenious way” to limit
“It makes it virtually un-enforceable, except
for cases where disclosure would be unprofes-
sional anyway,” the soldier said. “Generals [and]
admirals have far more important things to do
than worry about whether Private John Smith,
or Lt. Jane Doe, are homosexual.”
Another case on which the new regulations
could have an impact is the pending discharge
of Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, an Air Force pilot
who’s facing discharge under the law.
In 2008, Fehrenbach was accused of raping
another man and was only able to clear his
name after saying he had consensual sex with
his accuser. But his admission of having homo-
sexual sex meant outing himself under “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Sarvis said he doesn’t think Fehrenbach is
moving toward discharge as a result of the new
“But I think in all likelihood, his file should go
back to the [the commanding officer] and the
[commanding officer] will make a determination
on whether or not to reinitiate the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell’ investigation,” Sarvis said. “Without going into
a great deal of detail, we think that there may be
more than one avenue that will be beneficial for Lt.
Col. Fehrenbach under the changes announced
by Secretary Gates last week.”
Sarvis said SLDN has advised Fehrenbach
not to engage in further media interviews while
his case is pending.
What affect the new regulations will have on
efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislative-
ly remains to be seen. Sarvis said the new regu-
lations could “work both ways” in the effort to
repeal, leading some members of Congress to
say the situation has been addressed and others
to say discharges must be reduced to zero.
“One side will say, ‘What’s the rush? Why
should Congress have to deal with this?
Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen just
announced some significant changes?” Sarvis
said. “And the flip side of that is, ‘OK, they’ve
made some changes, but you still have the
statute on the books. You’re not getting down to
zero discharges because of sexual orientation
until you repeal the statute.”
Sarvis said that full repeal is necessary to
eliminate completely the discharges of LGBT
“The most important thing is ‘Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell’ has not gone away,” he said. “Service
members are still at risk and LGBT service
members cannot serve openly under ‘Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 21
Continued from page 14
‘Don’t Ask’ changes too little, too late for some
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HIV rates among gay men
in D.C. are higher than ever
By VICTOR MALDONADO
Recently, over dinner, a friend con-
fided in me that he was starting on HIV
medication for the first time. Although
I’ve known he was HIV positive, the
realization that he was about to start
taking medication — a process that will
last him a lifetime — hit home. Here he
was, late 30s, good looking and strong,
but carrying a virus that will, without
proper medication, kill him.
Despite being mature, coming
from a good home, having a great job
and a wide circle of friends, he felt
demoralized, guilty and alone. He
made a stupid mistake, and now he
was dealing with the repercussions.
So we talked and that night he went
home and took the two pills that
will forever become a part of his
life. My friend is living the new reality
of HIV in America — he’s going to
live a long, normal life, but he will for-
ever be dependent on expensive
drugs for survival.
According to a recent study pub-
lished by the DC HIV/AIDS
Administration, my friend is not alone.
Fourteen percent of gay men in the
District are HIV positive. The number is
staggering. Despite nearly 30 years of
research and education on the disease,
the number of gay men living with HIV in
Washington is increasing. Even more
shocking, the same study estimates 25
percent of black, gay men in D.C. are
HIV positive along with 20 percent of gay
men over age 30. The numbers paint a
picture of a disease running rampant in
our community. So what is being done?
First ask, “What am I doing to stop
the spread of HIV?” When was the last
time you got an HIV test? When was
the last time you didn’t practice safe
sex? When was the last time you
assumed someone’s HIV status with-
out asking the question? Answer
these questions honestly and you may
find, despite everything you know, you
are not doing enough to protect your-
self, and others, from HIV.
Second, ask, what your communi-
ty is doing to support HIV prevention
efforts. LGBT organizations do a crim-
inally bad job of discussing issues of
gay men and HIV. HIV and gay men’s
health issues are, in many cases,
actively avoided by some of our most
prominent spokespeople. “HIV is not a
gay disease,” they say. True, but it is a
disease disproportionately affecting
gay men living in D.C. We need to
remind our civil rights leaders that
rampant HIV rates drain our commu-
nity’s human and capital resources
and, as our public face, they have the
responsibility to raise awareness of
HIV prevention — at least when
addressing the community.
What about the local business
community — the gyms, bars, stores,
clubs and restaurants catering to a
predominantly gay clientele? What are
they doing to support community-
based prevention efforts? When was
the last time you saw condoms distrib-
uted at area gyms? When was the last
time you saw an HIV prevention mes-
sage promoted at area bars? If we
cannot get our own community to sup-
port HIV prevention efforts, what can
we expect from others?
Third, ask, “What is the District
government doing to support preven-
tion efforts in the gay community?”
To date, the Fenty administration has
not given a dime to the LGBT
Center’s HIV prevention programs,
despite two consecutive years of
funding applications. The City
Council is no better. Council member
Vincent Grey personally worked to
ensure that Effi Barry HIV/AIDS pro-
gram funding went exclusively east
of the river, a decision that left nearly
all LGBT organizations (located west
of the Anacostia) ineligible for a
major source of the District’s HIV
prevention funds. City government
has almost completely failed to sup-
port the LGBT community’s grass-
roots HIV prevention efforts.
There is blame to go around. District
government has been negligent in sup-
porting HIV prevention efforts in the gay
community, but we are all responsible
for our community’s health. Each of us
is guilty of not doing enough, not caring
enough, not talking enough. But that
can change. We can start by taking con-
trol of our own health and get tested for
HIV every six months. We can become
empowered consumers, asking doctors
for an HIV test if one is not offered. We
can recognize the truth, that we live in a
community at high risk for HIV and
make sure we always, always, practice
safe sex. We can support prevention
efforts by donating to, or volunteering
for, HIV organizations providing servic-
es to gay men. And we can back local
leaders who support HIV prevention
efforts in the gay community.
As for my friend, it’s been two
weeks since he began taking med-
ication and he feels fine. He is taking
steps to ensure he protects himself
and others: taking his meds, disclos-
ing his status to potential partners,
always using a condom. But for all of
all the medication, and all the
empowerment, the truth is he is still
scared, still scarred, by a virus he will
never shake. He is the human face of
the HIV epidemic in D.C. He knows
he won’t die from HIV; his struggle
(and that of too many in our commu-
nity) seems to be how to live with it.
Victor Maldonado is is a District
resident working to raise HIV aware-
ness in the LGBT community and can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
22 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
Lack of attention to HIV
fuels spread of disease
By DAVID MIXNER
If you listen to gay rights discus-
sions these days, you’d think that
marriage equality and “Don’t ask,
Don’t tell” are the only issues that
matter. And they do matter — for our
dignity and our fundamental civil
rights. But there is a fire in our house
that we are no longer talking about,
that we pretend no longer exists: the
unchecked spread of HIV.
Not only did HIV never leave the
gay community, it’s getting worse.
New HIV infections among gay men
have doubled in the last 15 years. Last
week, the Centers for Disease Control
& Prevention reported that gay and
bisexual men are more than 44 times
as likely as straight men to test posi-
tive for HIV. But instead of increasing
funding in response, states are slash-
ing their prevention budgets.
Amid this crisis, the silence from
our community is deafening. Where’s
the outrage? Where’s the protest?
Understandably, after decades of
coping with AIDS, we’ve been eager
to change the subject. But in our
impatience to move on, we’ve over-
shot the mark. Our silence is fueling
the spread of HIV.
Recently, I was at a large dinner
party, and the conversation turned to
AIDS. Most people seated at the table
said that they didn’t know anyone who
was HIV positive. I knew for a fact that
two had recently become infected.
They sat quietly and chose not to
reveal their status. My heart broke for
them. They were closeted about HIV
in a room full of out gay men.
In the early days of AIDS, silence
equaled death. We had to come out
of the closet to confront the disease.
With illness and death all around us,
we had a powerful motivation to stay
safe. As a community, there was a
shared sense of responsibility to help
protect our friends.
Mercifully, younger gay men never
had to experience that era. And with
our community largely silent about the
disease, it’s all too easy to think of it as
a thing of the past. Who can blame
young men for thinking that they’re not
really at risk, that they don’t need to be
tested, or even that getting infected
isn’t all that bad given effective anti-
retroviral therapy? But many younger
men may not realize that even when
treatment works, the side effects can
be terrible and long-term. New
research is finding that more than half
of people with long-term HIV have
early senility or another cognitive prob-
lem, not to mention a host of prema-
ture geriatric illnesses such as bone
loss, arthritis, and organ failure, as well
as insulin and cholesterol problems.
You wouldn’t choose to get diabetes or
emphysema. Why HIV?
The struggle to stay safe is hard
for older gay men too. The fight
against AIDS has been exhausting
and long. I lost nearly 300 friends to
the disease. Many of us feel isolated
and alone, depressed, guilty and
tired. For more than 25 years we
have been expected to have safe
sex, every time. That is not easy to
sustain, even with the powerful mem-
ories of those we have lost.
Recent studies underscore just
how hard it is for us to confront the
reality of HIV. One major study found
that nearly half of HIV-positive gay
men don’t know their status — a sign
that many of us are afraid to be test-
ed or in denial about our risk. Studies
also find that half of HIV-negative gay
men don’t know the HIV status of
their casual partners.
It’s time to end our collective
silence about HIV.
Gay rights organizations need to
put it back on the agenda. Over the
past year, just 2 percent of press
releases from some of the top national
organizations were about HIV, and two
major gay organizations didn’t issue a
single release on the topic. I know that
many gay organizations have
HIV/AIDS programs, but what’s gone is
the advocacy. When AIDS organiza-
tions became well funded and well
established in the 1990s, gay groups
largely abdicated responsibility for the
disease to them. But today, the major
AIDS organizations rightly serve a very
diverse group of people — gay and
straight men, women, IV drug users. If
the CDC’s numbers tell us anything, it’s
that gay men are still far more affected
by this disease than anyone. Our lead-
ers have a responsibility to speak out
more forcefully and more often.
We need to demand more of
Congress and the administration. HIV
prevention works, but just 20 percent
of gay men have access to effective
prevention programs. Prevention
funding is just a tiny sliver of the fed-
eral AIDS budget, and has been
largely flat for 6 years. Last year,
California, which has been a leader in
fighting HIV, cut its prevention budget
from $54 million to $18 million, and
many other states cut their budgets as
well. And HIV prevention campaigns
often don’t resonate with gay men. We
need new approaches that are rele-
vant to gay men today — young and
old, black, Latino and white.
But real change won’t come from the
government or big organizations. It will
come from each of us. Ask yourself: Have
I been tested for HIV in the last year?
Have I talked about HIV with my part-
ners? Have I reached out to friends that
I’m worried about, who may be at risk?
As tragic as this disease has
been, AIDS galvanized a generation
of gay men, and it showed that we
are a force to be reckoned with.
Today, a new generation is taking gay
rights to a place that was inconceiv-
able just a decade ago — fighting for
our right to marry and to serve our
country openly and with honor.
But taking care of ourselves and
each other is just as important to our
future. Every one of us needs to con-
front the resurgence of HIV. The first
step is ending our silence.
David Mixner is an author, blogger,
political strategist, civil rights activist
and public affairs adviser. Reach him
After 30 years the fight continues
What happened to silence = death?
Vol. 2, Issue 14
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By JOSEPH KAPP
“Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our
Never have the lyrics from Simon
and Garfunkel been more apt for
same-sex couples. But, as Elvis sang,
“Wise men say, only fools rush in.”
In the early days of love, it is easy to
rush in and get married without think-
ing about the financial consequences.
However, after the glow of love sub-
sides and the reality of marriage sets
in, the financial complications could be
significant for couples that have not
thought through the ramifications or
done advanced planning. Thanks to
the Defense of Marriage Act, federal
law and the IRS do not recognize rela-
tionships between same-sex couples;
neither does the People’s Republic of
Virginia, for that matter. As a result,
where D.C. and Maryland laws overlap
federal law, a new state is created —
the state of confusion.
For example, there are no transfer
taxes when adding a spouse to the
title of your home. However, because
federal laws do not recognize our
relationships, adding a partner could
trigger a gift tax of up to 35 percent in
2010 of the value of the equity.
Another complication that often aris-
es is your tax filing status. Your federal
taxes need to be filed as an individual.
If you live in the District of Columbia you
can file your D.C. taxes either jointly or
as an individual. However, according to
Equality Maryland, “In the past
Maryland taxpayers have generally
been required to file their tax returns
using the same ‘single’ or ‘married’ sta-
tus they use on their federal returns.
Because of the discriminatory federal
DOMA, married same-sex couples
have had to file their federal returns as
‘single.’ Further analysis will be needed
to determine whether married same-
sex couples can file their state returns
jointly as married.”
So, what’s a newly married couple
to do? Below is a list of frequently
asked questions about the financial
issues of marriage. Keep in mind that
every situation is different, so speak-
ing with a qualified adviser about your
particular situation is recommended.
Should we get married?
The answer really depends on your
goals. Marriage is a legal act and carries
with it significant financial and legal obli-
gations. It should not be entered into light-
ly. In situations where one partner is
heavily in debt or has a serious health sit-
uation that may require the spending
down of assets to qualify for state provid-
ed aid, marriage may not make sense.
Should we combine our finan-
cial assets like bank accounts or
Probably not. Thanks to the Defense
of Marriage act, same-sex marriages
are not recognized for the purposes of
federal law. As a result, combining
assets like financial accounts can trig-
ger a federal gift tax of up to 35 percent
when your partner withdraws funds in
excess of the annual gift exclusion,
which for 2010 is $13,000. This tax is
payable by the giver.
Should I add my partner to the
title of my home?
Again, probably not. This is a common
mistake that many couples make. Adding
a partner to the title of a home could cre-
ate a federal gift tax of up to 35 percent in
2010 of the half of the equity. The tax is
payable in the year the gift is made and
paid by the homeowner. Secondarily, if
the home has already appreciated signif-
icantly in value, you could also be creating
a future capital gains problem.
Should we still get a will and
other estate planning documents?
Absolutely. If your partner ends up in
a Virginia hospital, your marriage may
not be recognized. As a result, you
could be denied access to visit your
partner. Having medical powers of
attorney and back up documents are
important, as they will give you the
authority to act in circumstances where
your marriage is not recognized.
What about filing our taxes jointly?
As mentioned earlier, for federal
taxes, the law is clear: same-sex mar-
ried couples can only file their taxes
as single. For the state of Maryland it
is still up in the air as there is no clear
guidance on how to file taxes in the
state. In the District, same-sex mar-
ried couples can now file their taxes
either jointly or as single.
Should we sign a prenuptial
There are many financial considera-
tions for signing a prenuptial agree-
ment. These situations typically arise
when one of the partners brings signifi-
cantly more assets to the relationship
or makes appreciably more income.
Some of the questions that ought to be
asked, include: How will responsibility
for the debts acquired before the mar-
riage be paid? How will debts incurred
during the marriage be divided? How
will non-financial assets such as hous-
es, automobiles, collections or artwork
be divided? Are you both going to
name each other as beneficiaries on
life insurance policies and retirement
assets such as 401(k)s, TSPs or IRAs?
Are there any other financial con-
siderations we should consider?
Yes, federal estate taxes could
be a future problem. Unless
Congress acts, next year the feder-
al estate laws change, exposing
significantly greater numbers of
same-sex married couples to the
federal estate tax upon the death of
a partner. Keep an eye out for next
week’s article with more details
about the impact of this.
This information is not legal or tax
advice. Consult a professional
regarding your specific tax and other
potential legal obligations. Seek
counsel from your own professional
advisors when making tax, estate
and/or financial planning decisions.
Joseph Kapp is a financial
planner with Lincoln Financial
Advisors Corp. Reach him at
Only fools rush in
A legal guide to
By J. MAX BARGER
To be certain, there are more than
five things to consider before you
decide to get married: Where are we
going to live? Will we grow old togeth-
er? Should we open a joint checking
account? How will we file our income
taxes? At which parent’s house will
we spend the holidays? These are all
examples of what may come to mind.
Thankfully, gays and lesbians in the
District and in Maryland now have the
opportunity to consider entering a mar-
ital union that is recognized by their
state of residence. In the District, the
historic vote by the City Council in
December 2009 allowed same-sex
couples to obtain valid marriage licens-
es and get married effective March 3,
2010. In Maryland, Attorney General
Douglas Gansler published an opinion
on Feb. 23 opening the door for the
recognition of same-sex marriages that
are validly performed in other states.
Many gays and lesbians have
never had to seriously concern our-
selves with exchanging vows. Never
having had a talk about marriage with
a parent or other mentor may have left
an information gap. Faced with the
reality that we really can marry, many
of us are not prepared for all that mar-
riage offers, nor what it requires of us.
Simply put, you don’t know what
you don’t know. The excitement of our
newly gained right, the love, the
romance, the feeling of freedom and
justice may crowd out some very
important questions to ask about mar-
riage and about your soon-to-be
spouse. Before you tie the knot, jump
the broom, take the plunge or settle
down, take time to consider and talk
through the non-romantic aspects of
marriage: finances, economics, and
the law. Here are some considerations.
Marriage is not a cure-all to protect
your partner and your relationship.
Marriage is still not recognized by the
federal government because of the
Defense of Marriage Act. That means
protections afforded to opposite sex
married couples in the tax code,
ERISA, Social Security, Medicare and
Medicaid, the Family and Medical
Leave Act, immigration laws and many
other areas of the law are not available
to same-sex married couples.
Many states like Virginia have dra-
conian laws invalidating your marriage
while you visit there. For example, if you
and your spouse hike the Appalachian
Trail and you get seriously injured near
Roanoke, your spouse may not be
allowed to visit you in the hospital.
Recognition of our marriages is a
giant step forward in protecting our
loved ones, but you should not stop at “I
do” and assume your affairs are in order.
You still need to put an estate plan in
place, a health care power of attorney
(including a HIPAA authorization and liv-
ing will), a durable financial power of
attorney, and a last will and testament
— and for some, a revocable living trust.
Your spouse can now sue you for
alimony if you get divorced. Not a pleas-
ant thought to have as you walk down
the aisle; however, the economics of
marriage are important to understand.
Historically, a spouse who is wealthier
may get saddled with alimony pay-
ments to support the less wealthy
spouse upon a separation or divorce. In
addition, all the income earned by both
spouses during the marriage, including
wages, dividends and appreciation in
investments, is considered marital
property. A judge may decide how to
divide your marital property at the time
of a divorce regardless of who earned it
or added the most equity to it.
The law looks at marriage as an eco-
nomic partnership between the spous-
es. One may contribute money, while the
other supplies sweat equity. Unless you
agree otherwise before the nuptials, all
the marital property is equitably divided
upon dissolution. This problem can be
addressed in a prenuptial agreement (a
“prenup”). In some states you can make
an agreement during the marriage, too.
A creditor of your spouse can take
your assets. One common mistake cou-
ples make is to title assets in their names
as joint tenants with rights of survivorship,
but without considering the conse-
quences. In some cases, titling an asset
like a house or a checking account as
joint tenants with rights of survivorship
can be a good choice. For example, it can
create a cohesive feeling of permanence
and shared experience. It can also be a
good tool to practice communication and
navigate interdependence. But it comes
with severe risk for the unwary.
If your spouse — or for that matter a
non-spouse who is your joint tenant on
an asset or account — has a judgment
creditor, that creditor can come after the
entire jointly owned asset — yes, even
your share of it. While this may seem
counterintuitive, property law deter-
mines that parties to a joint tenancy
(with rights of survivorship) each own an
undivided share in the whole asset.
Therefore, the creditor of one of the joint
tenants has a right to the entire asset.
There are other reasons to avoid
joint tenancies, such as gift tax con-
sequences and loss of control. The
easiest way around this problem is to
simply avoid co-mingling assets and
keep your possessions in your own
name. Talk to your estate planning
attorney about it. Know the benefits
and risks prior to changing title.
You may become disqualified to
receive certain public benefits by being
married. Eligibility for public benefits like
Medicaid is complex. Eligibility require-
ments vary from state to state and can
be negatively affected by either (1) mar-
riage because of family income levels;
or (2) a wealthier spouse leaving an
inheritance to a less wealthy spouse.
If the couple has minor children who
are dependent on public health care, it
is imperative that the couple carefully
weigh how marriage will impact their
ability to qualify for public benefits, or to
qualify in the future. In other words, do
not make a quick emotional decision.
Instead, get reliable advice before
applying for the marriage license.
“You can’t disinherit your spouse” or
“Divorce is not cheap and easy.”
Marriage is an officially authorized union
with a long and rich legal history. Part of
that history includes laws that require
that you take care of your spouse. You
cannot leave them with nothing.
Consider this scenario: Chris and
Kim, residents of Maryland, just got mar-
ried in D.C. They are economically inde-
pendent and each has their own assets.
They have no children. Eight months into
the marriage, Chris and Kim begin to
drift apart after an argument. Kim moves
out less than a year after their nuptials.
Both move on with their lives, but they
never officially end the marriage. Upon
Kim’s death, 10 years later, Chris claims
one-half of Kim’s estate.
Even if you have an estate plan in
place, your spouse (or your spouse’s
representatives) may un-do your plan.
Generally speaking, a surviving spouse
is entitled to anywhere from one-third to
one-half of the deceased spouse’s prop-
erty at death. In addition, a surviving
spouse may have certain allowances for
property against the estate. The only
way to make certain that the goals of
your estate plan are accomplished is by
executing a prenuptial (or marital) agree-
ment with your spouse waiving your
respective rights to your estates.
Just because you can does not
mean that you should get married. Many
of us fight and advocate fiercely for the
right to get married. Now that our com-
munity enjoys that right in some places,
we must carefully consider if it is the right
decision for us individually. If it is, be well
prepared so that you can reduce or elim-
inate the unintended consequences
from the legal side of marriage.
J. Max Barger, an attorney and
MBA, is Senior Council at Ackerman
Legal where he leads the Estate
Planning, Business Succession and
Probate practice group. Max will be
presenting “Five Things You Should
Do Before You Say “I Do” at the Hillyer
Museum and Art Space on
Wednesday April 7 at 7 p.m. The sem-
inar is sponsored by Merrill Lynch,
GAYLAW and Ackerman Legal.
5 things you should know before you say ‘I do’
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 23
DC Agenda, Equality Maryland
and the DC Center will sponsor a
series of free estate and financial
planning workshops to help local
couples navigate new laws related
to same-sex marriage. RSVP to
Kevin Walling at Kevin@equality-
maryland.org or 410-685-6567.
Join us in Baltimore, Silver
Spring or Washington to learn more:
April 13, 7 p.m., 190 W. Ostend
St., Suite 201, Baltimore, MD.
April 14, 7 p.m., 8720 Georgia
Ave., Suite 303, Silver Spring, MD.
April 15, 7 p.m., 1330 Mass-
achusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
friday, april 2
RAW returns to the Green Lantern,
1335 Green Court N.W., from 10
p.m.-3 a.m. RAW is inspired by gay
parties of the early 80s, filled with fog,
strobe lights and throbbing music,
along with go-go boys. The hosts for
the evening are Karl Marks and resi-
dent DJs, Shea and Bil. DJ RAD (of
Pink Sock) will be the special guest
DJ. Catch his set on the 1st floor from
10 p.m. to midnight. Entry is free
before 11 p.m., and $3 after that. 21+
GAY DISTRICT, a weekly, non-church
affiliated discussion and social group
for GBTQ men between 18 and 35 is
held from 8:30-10:30 p.m. at St.
Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 1820
Connecticut Ave., N.W. For more infor-
mation, e-mail email@example.com.
NADA SURF plays the 9:30 club, 815
V St., N.W., at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.
“LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS” is
on stage at Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th
St., N.W., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range
from $39-$55; call 202-496-4200 for
FRIDAY NIGHT EREV SHABBAT
SERVICES are held from 8:30-10
p.m. at the Washington Jewish
Community Center, 1529 16th St.
saturday, april 3
CHERRY FUND’S annual Cherry
Weekend HIV/AIDS Fundraiser will
be held at Freddie’s Beach Bar, 555
23rd St. S., Arlington, VA. A $5 dona-
tion is being asked that will help
HIV/AIDS Prevention & Education
Efforts in the region. DJ JFX returns
from L.A. to throw down your favorite
anthems, vocals and progressive
house vibes. The party starts at 9 p.m.
The HOMOSONIC dance party will
be held at the Black Cat Mainstage,
1811 14th. St., N.W., from 9:30 p.m.-
3 a.m. The event is co-ed gay/mix,
trans inclusive and straight friendly.
Cover charge is $10.
CODE returns to Motley Bar above
EFN Lounge, 1318 9th St. N.W., for
its monthly installment. Gear, rubber,
skin, uniform or leather dress code
will be strictly enforced. Music provid-
ed by DJ Michael Hades. Admission
is $10. Code is an 18+ event. There
will be an open bar from 9-10 p.m.
The first Saturday of each month is
ladies night with JAM at Mova,
1435 P St., N.W. Entry is free plus
the first 50 people get a free beer
courtesy of Miller Lite. Music will be
provided by DJ GEMZ with a little
something for everyone.
‘LAUGHTER AND REFLECTION
WITH CAROL BURNETT’ at the Lyric
Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal
Ave., Baltimore at 7 p.m. Tickets range
from $42-$72, call 410-685-5086.
THE GREAT VIGIL OF EASTER is cele-
brated at the National Cathedral, a min-
istry for all faiths, at 8 p.m. Easter Sunday
services at 8 and 11 a.m. Massachusetts
and Wisconsin avenues, N.W. Visit nation-
alcathedral.org for more information.
sunday, april 4
EASTER SERVICES at Metropolitan
Community Church of Washington,
474 Ridge St., N.W., at 9 a.m.
Dignity Washington, a group for
LGBT Catholics, celebrates EASTER
MASS at 6 p.m. at St. Margaret’s
Church, 1820 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
BurGREENdy - recycling during the
National Cherry Blossom Festival.
BCV is going to be working to encour-
age recycling during the National
Cherry Blossom Festival. Volunteers
will encourage festival attendees to
recycle their empty beverage contain-
ers by placing them in recycling con-
tainers that are located around the
Tidal Basin. There will be two shifts
between 3:30-6:30 p.m. Visit burgundy-
crescent.org for more information.
monday, april 5
The DC Center invites bears and
their allies for the first “BEARS DO
YOGA,” starting today. This four-
week class will serve as an introduc-
tion to yoga for all different body
types and physical abilities. Classes
will take place four consecutive
Monday evenings: April 5, 12, 19 and
26. Classes begin at 6:15 p.m. in the
DC Center Activity Room and last for
one hour. There is a suggested $5
donation. To RSVP for this class e-
VIVIAN GREEN, a former backup
singer for Jill Scott, plays the
Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave. in
Alexandria at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are
$35; call 703-549-7000 for information.
tuesday, april 6
PACKING PARTY at EFN Lounge/
Motley Bar, 1318 9th Street, N.W.,
from 7-8 p.m. Volunteers will be
assembling safer sex kits and enjoy-
ing drink specials at Motley.
wednesday, april 7
Maryland Attorney General DOUGLAS
GANSLER will speak about his recent
legal opinion regarding recognizing out-
of-state same-sex marriages at 6:45
p.m., Govans Presbyterian Church,
5828 York Rd., Baltimore. A meal will be
served at 5:45 p.m.; RSVP required for
the meal, 410-435-9188.
Join the D.C. chapter of the NATIONAL
LESBIAN & GAY JOURNALISTS
ASSOCIATION for happy hour at
Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St., N.W.,
from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Get to know other
professionals working in journalism,
communications and related fields.
Information on the 20th anniversary
NLGJA convention this September in
San Francisco will be available.
THE RAINBOW HISTORY PROJECT
presents readings from “Persistent
Voices”: Poetry by Writers Lost to
AIDS. Starting at 7 p.m. in the
Lecture Hall at Summer School
Museum and Archive, 1201 17th
St., N.W. The anthology includes
works by several D.C.-based poets,
including Essex Hemphill. The
evening will be moderated by Philip
Clark, Rainbow History board mem-
ber and co-editor of the book. Clark,
Richard McCann, Kim Roberts and
Bernard Welt will read selected
poems from the anthology. For more
information call 202-821-7532.
DC ICE BREAKERS, a GLBTQ social
group, will meet and ice skate at the
Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston,
on top of the Ballston Common Mall
parking garage, 627 N. Glebe Road,
Arlington. The ice skating events take
place on first and third Wednesday
nights, with a social after at a local bar.
Skating is from 7:45-8:45 p.m. Ice skat-
ing novices are welcome. No member-
ship fees and no RSVP needed (for
most events), simply show up.
VERDI’S RIGOLETTO will be shown at
7 p.m. as part of the Opera and Ballet
in Cinema series at the Atlas
Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St., N.E.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased
at the box office, at atlas arts.org/tickets
or by calling 202-399-7993.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT AT THE
DC CENTER, 1810 14th St. N.W., from
3-4 p.m., brings trained and experi-
enced volunteer human resource pro-
fessionals to offer support with job
searches, interviews skills, resume writ-
ing and individual career goal counsel-
ing. For more information, contact the
Center at 202-682-2245 or careerde-
thursday, april 8
The Cherry Fund presents
“CHERRY WEEKEND: A RETURN
TO TRADITION.” The events of the
weekend kick off on April 8 with the
Opening Party at Mova, 1435 P St.,
N.W. from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Music by
DJ Jason Royce. Complimentary
admission. The event is 21+. See
related story on page 28.
DCBIWOMEN, the area’s social
group for bisexual and bi-curious
women, will meet from 7– 8 p.m. at
Cafe Luna, 1633 P St., N.W., at 7
p.m. The group’s goal is to create an
accepting, encouraging environment
for bisexual women regardless of the
gender of their partner or what they
are looking for, meet other cool bi
women and affirm the existence of
the bi-identity. For more information
24 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
Legendary comedienne CAROL BURNETT brings her latest show to
Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Burnett
Sunday is Easter; there are multiple LGBT-friendly religious services offered in
the area by MCC-DC, Dignity Washington and others.
Photo by iStockphoto.com/TriggerPhoto
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 25
Center for the Arts
On the Fairfax campus, six miles west of Beltway exit 54 at the intersection of Braddock Road and Rt. 123.
888-945-2468 or cfa.gmu.edu
Garth Fagan Dance
Saturday, April 10 at 8 p.m.
Acclaimed for his choreography for Broadway’s The Lion King, Garth Fagan remains one of
the great reformers of American dance. With dancers unmatched for excellence, individuality,
unmannered approach, and athleticism, Fagan’s accessible and entertaining blend of ballet,
modern, and Afro-Caribbean movements dazzles. Join us for an evening of classic pieces and
contemporary favorites. “A prime example of the versatility and sophistication of concert dance
in this new century.” (Los Angeles Times)
$44, $36, $22
African Children’s Choir
Journey of Hope
Sunday, April 11 at 4 p.m.
Born in war-torn Uganda, the African Children’s Choir was founded in 1984 by human rights
activist Ray Barnett, who wished to show the world that the choir’s members, like the millions
of orphaned children in Africa, have beauty, dignity, and unlimited potential. Their engaging
performance blends song and dance from the entire continent of Africa and features more than
ten languages, unique cultural dancing, and uplifting gospel music. “It’s difficult to tell who is
having more fun—the choir or the audience.” (The Scotsman)
$42, $34, $21
Visit us at cfa.gmu.edu
FAMILY FRIENDLY: Youth through grade 12 half price!
26 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
18th annual Equality
informative fun in Philly
By JOEY DIGUGLIELMO
For many LGBT activists, the most
efficient way to get an up-to-the-minute
handle on the state of the gay rights
movement — and also have some fun
mingling — is the annual Equality Forum,
always in Philadelphia and slated for April
26 to May 2. With about 50,000 in atten-
dance, organizers say it’s the largest gay
civil rights forum in the world.
“It’s really the one location where all
our major issues are discussed and it
really brings together literally all the
major and preeminent movement lead-
ers and we’re very proud of the fact
that there’s no registration fee and so
many of the programs are free,” says
Malcolm Lazin, the Forum’s executive
director and one of its founders.
The International Equality Dinner,
the event’s central event which is slated
for May 1 at Philadelphia’s National
Constitution Center, will feature an
especially heady list of honorees this
year. David Boies and Ted Olson, the
straight attorneys working to have
California’s Prop 8 overturned, will
receive a role model award. CNN’s Tony
Maddox will pick up a business leader-
ship award on behalf of the network.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania’s
Gov. Ed Rendell and Maryland’s Gov.
Martin O’Malley are scheduled to
attend. Several leaders from national
gay rights groups will also be there rep-
resenting some of the movement’s most
influential players. Dan Choi, an officer
in the U.S. Army facing discharge
because of his outspoken gay rights
activism, is also scheduled to attend.
Past honorees have included
straight allies like San Francisco Mayor
Gavin Newsom and New Mexico’s
Gov. Bill Richardson and lesbian tennis
legend Martina Navratilova.
“We’ve always honored folks
who’ve been on the cutting edge of
our movement and folks who per-
haps when they step forward, weren’t
always as appreciated by our com-
munity but we believed in what they
were advancing,” Lazin says.
The Forum also promises seven
days of panels and parties. The highlight,
organizers say, will be SundayOUT! at
the Piazza & Liberties Walk on May 2,
which is a seven-hour street festival slat-
ed for Philly’s newly revived Northern
Liberties area, an old brewery that’s
been dubbed “the Piazza.”
No registration is required. Except
for the dinner, where tickets run
$200, most events cost between $5
and $10. Panel discussions are free.
Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is the
official Forum hotel.
Organizers say a must-see event is
the Brian Sanders Dance Tribute on
April 30 at Merriam Theater. The 11th
annual Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibit will
feature the works of photographers
Richard Renaldi and Marc Yankus. A
panel featuring appointees of President
Obama will highlight the visibility of
LGBT people in this administration. Two
new LGBT-themed documentary films
will be shown and nine parties are
scheduled. Visit equalityforum.com for
a complete schedule of events.
Judd Proctor, a Richmond, Va.,
resident who produces LGBT history
radio show “The Rainbow Minute,”
attends the Forum annually and says
he finds the experience enriching.
“There’s a little bit of something for
everyone who attends,” he says. “I espe-
cially enjoy the evening panels based
on current LGBT topics. They always
have activists and people in the know
and the Q&A sessions give attendees a
chance to participate and meet leading
experts and activists nationwide.”
Bruce Yelk, who heads the gay divi-
sion of Greater Philadelphia Tourism
Marketing Corporation, the city’s mar-
keting arm for leisure tourism, works
with the Forum to help promote its
events and coalesce its offerings with
other aspects of gay Philadelphia which,
Yelk says, has become one of the East
Coast’s most gay-friendly cities.
“We have a very strong community,”
Yelk says. “I don’t know if anybody has a
number other than the traditional 10 per-
cent [for LGBTs]. We’re not a Ft.
Lauderdale or a Miami, not a resort des-
tination, but a traveler who has gone to
the traditional beach resorts and really
wants a more sophisticated sort of
vacation, with great museums, we have
a lot of that. It’s hard to compare to New
York, but we do offer lots of arts and cul-
ture here. Also our gayborhood is right
in the heart of the city. You don’t have to
get on a train and travel 25 minutes from
where all the tourists would be.”
The Equality Forum is just one of 10
gay events scheduled for spring in the
city. Mr. Gay Philadelphia, a celebrity-
judged pageant, is April 17 at Voyeur
Nighclub. Also that week is Philadelphia
Black Gay Pride. Every Saturday in
May is the Frontrunners Philly Fun Run
and a Pride event in nearby New Hope,
Pa., in Bucks County (May 13 to 16).
And the Liberty Bell Classic, the city’s
largest LGBT sporting event, hosts a
weekend of softball competitions at the
end of May (go to visitphilly.com or
uwishunu.com for more information).
Philly Gay Pride is June 13. QFest,
Philly’s gay film festival, is July 8 to 19.
And if you haven’t been to the City
of Brotherly Love in a few years, some
aspects of nightlife have changed. Tabu
Lounge & Sports Bar, which opened
this month at 200 South 12th St., is the
newest space. Several others, includ-
ing Voyeur Nightclub at 1221 St. James
St. (formerly Pure), Q Lounge and
Kitchen at 1234 Locust St. (formerly
Bump) and Westbury Bar and
Restaurant at 261 South 13th St., have
had major renovations. JR’s Lounge
(no connection to Washington’s JR.’s)
opened about six months ago at 1305
Locust St. It was formerly Camac Bar.
Yelk says the pizza there is first rate.
And speaking of food, a couple
new gay restaurants are also worth
checking out, Yelk says. Look for
Sampan (sampanphilly.com) at 124
South 13th St.; Chifa (chifarestau-
rant.com), the latest from superstar
chef Jose Garces at 707 Chestnut St.;
and nearby Knock Restaurant and Bar
(knockphilly.com) at 225 South 12th
St., which Yelk says is the best place to
go for Friday night happy hour.
mixing business with pleasure
The Equality Forum has become a
Philadelphia tradition. This year’s event,
scheduled for the end of April, is its 18th.
Photo courtesy of Equality Forum
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Singer, actress to
perform at Town
By TYRONE FORD
Special to DC Agenda
Many young, up-and-coming musi-
cal sensations get their start thanks to
overzealous parents forcing them into
the industry. Not so for chart-topping
singer and actress Deborah Cox. Her
interest in the business came from a
genuine love of music.
Cox was born in Scarborough,
Toronto, and she was singing in TV
commercials at age 12 and performing
in talent shows. In her teens, Cox
began performing in nightclubs and
was writing her own music. For a short
period of time in the early 1990s, Cox
continued her musical career as a
backup vocalist for Celine Dion. In
1994, she realized that to advance her
career, she would need to move to Los
Angeles with her producer/songwriting
partner, Lascelles Stephens.
The legendary Clive Davis signed
her to Arista Records in 1995 and she
released her self-titled debut album that
year. It wasn’t until 1998 that the release
of her album “One Wish” brought Cox
huge pop success with the release of
the album’s first single “Nobody’s
Supposed to Be Here.” The song spent
14 weeks at #1 on the Hot R&B charts
in the U.S., as well as eight consecutive
weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album went platinum, becoming
Cox’s biggest-selling album to date.
Deborah Cox has enjoyed a
career that has produced multiple
chart-topping hits and a Broadway
debut in the Elton John-Tim Rice
musical “AIDA” in 2004. In addition,
she has shown her commitment to
her gay fans as part of Cyndi
Lauper’s “True Colors Tour” in 2008
and she performed at last year’s
Delaware Pride celebration in
Rehoboth. Cox will appear at Town
Danceboutique, 2009 Eighth St.,
N.W., for the Cherry Fund sanctioned
event "Town Presents Deborah Cox
w/ DJ Ed Bailey" on April 10. The
event starts at 9 p.m. with an
entrance fee of $25. The event is
people age 21 and older.
The DC Agenda talked to Cox
about her career and her musical
DC Agenda: You started your
career at age 12. What was the pres-
sure like starting at such a young age?
Deborah Cox: I don’t remember
there being much pressure. When I
started, I was having a lot of fun, work-
ing with a lot of great people. I always
found the business part to be the most
challenging; like when it came time to
find people to represent me, it was
about finding people to trust, who had
the same vision. Fortunately, I found
those people at an early age and I was
able to move forward.
DC Agenda: You began writing
music as a teenager. What was your
source of inspiration?
Cox: I have always listened to a lot
of different artists. I have been greatly
influenced by gospel music and artists
like Yolanda Adams, Aretha Franklin
and Whitney Houston. Those were the
ones who really stood out in my mind;
they really provided inspiration.
DC Agenda: What was your impres-
sion of Los Angeles having moved from
Canada to pursue your career?
Cox: My initial impression of Los
Angeles was that everybody was
really nice. It wasn’t a genuine nice
though, it was the kind of nice that
you could tell there was a motive
behind it. Friendly with a motive you
could say. Fortunately, I was able to
sift through everyone and find the
real genuine people. Now that I’m
away from L.A., I have so many
friends I miss back there, and some
great memories of the city.
DC Agenda: What was your
impression of the legendary Clive
Davis and how were you treated by
Cox: To me it was like the law of
attraction. Throughout my career, so
many things have happened to me
based on what I’ve focused on, what
I believe in, so teaming up with Clive
Davis on the first go around made
perfect sense. My mentor growing up
was Whitney Houston and I believed
so much in her talent, her gift and her
voice; Clive must have heard some-
thing similar in me as he did with
Whitney. Clive is a consummate song
man; he lives for the music, and is
totally driven by the people and
vocalists that he loves. I feel so fortu-
nate to have had the opportunity to
learn a lot of this business from him.
DC Agenda: “Beautiful U R”
peaked at #3 on the Canadian Hot AC
Chart in January 2009 and hit #1 on
the U.S. dance chart, becoming your
10th song to do so. It included lyrics
such as, “It takes time/Don’t have all
the answers/No matter how hard it
gets/Hold on to what’s inside” and
“Don’t never let nobody tear your world
apart/Look in the mirror and see who
you are/Beautiful U R.” Why do you
think the song proved so popular?
Cox: I think “Beautiful U R” was
one of those songs that really res-
onated with the core of women. It
came from the perspective that I’ve
felt for a long time that during hard
times you sometimes need to lean on
yourself, and try and find a way
through any negativity going on and
really love yourself no matter what.
You can’t wait for validation from the
world, and that is hard sometimes for
women because we are expected to
do and be so much for so many peo-
ple that at times we forget about our-
selves. I also believe “Beautiful U R”
branched off beyond women and
spoke to everybody. Anyone can find
a song that they can totally relate to.
DC Agenda: What projects are
you working on now?
Cox: I’m currently working on my
new album and I’m also preparing to
be on Broadway in the role of
Josephine Baker in “JOSEPHINE.”
DC Agenda: You made your
Broadway debut in the Elton John-
Tim Rice musical “AIDA.” What was
that experience like?
Cox: I’ve been a fan of Elton John’s
music for a long time; I love his songs,
the lyrics and music. Elton has had a
very colorful career, and I think his
music is very diverse. I’ve always clung
to artists who have an amazing time
being very diverse, and Elton definitely
is. Playing the role of Aida was defi-
nitely the opportunity of a lifetime
because the songs are just so moving
and I felt a lot of passion singing them.
DC Agenda: You will be appear-
ing in D.C. at Town Danceboutique.
What should your fans expect?
Cox: It’s definitely going to be high
energy. I haven’t been to D.C. in a
while so it’s going to be really exciting
to see all my fans and reconnect with
all of them. I really do love my fans so
it is so exciting to get to connect one
on one. I get such an adrenaline rush
from performing in front of an audi-
ence, so I can’t wait to be back in D.C.
Deborah Cox lives in Miami. She is
married to her manager, Lascelles
Stephens. They have three children,
Isaiah, Sumayah and Kaila Michelle.
R&B sensation DEBORAH COX will perform at Town next weekend as part of Cherry Weekend.
Photo courtesy of Deco Entertainment
28 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
deborah cox anxious to reconnect with gay fans
Cherry Weekend, the annual
charitable lineup of gay parties and
other events, arrives next week and
runs April 8-11. For full details and to
purchase tickets, visit cherryfund.org.
Events benefit HIV/AIDS youth
service organizations. Full coverage
in next week’s DC Agenda.
A PARTIAL SCHEDULE
APRIL 8: Opening party with DJ
Jason Royce at Mova, 1435 P St., N.W.,
10 p.m.-2 a.m. Admission is free, 21+
APRIL 9: Dark Cherry emceed
by Tim Woody at EFN Lounge, 1318
Ninth St., N.W., 5:30-9:30 p.m. 21+
APRIL 9: Friday Night Party w/ DJ
Alyson Calagna and opening DJ
Jason Horswill at Apex, 1415 22nd St.,
N.W., 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Cover is $11; 18+
APRIL 10: Moody Mia
(Moody’s Birthday Party) with Joe
Gauthreaux at Town, 2009 Eighth
St., N.W., 2-7 p.m. 21+
APRIL 10: Town Presents
Deborah Cox with DJ Ed Bailey at
Town, 2009 Eighth St., N.W., 9
p.m.-4 a.m. Cover is $25, 21+
APRIL 11: Sunday Morning Party
with DJ Susan Morabito at Cobalt,
1639 R St., N.W., 4:30-9:30 a.m.
Cover is $15, 21+
APRIL 11: Sunday Closing Party
with DJ Abel and opening DJ tim e at
Town, 2009 8th St., N.W., 8:30-1:30
a.m. Cover is $20, 21+
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 29
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Will the real Paul
please stand up?
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN
Special to DC Agenda
On Good Friday and Easter 2010,
oh what a liberal target is Saint Paul,
said by right-wing scourges to be the
Christian pillar of their self-righteous
Saint Paul was thought by many to
be a voice of fiercely misogynist views
of the inferiority of women in their
roles in marriage and in the church.
Saint Paul, whose conventional por-
trait is of a man deeply hostile to anything
of the flesh, whether opposite or same
sex in coupling, elevated celibacy alone
to be the ideal state preferred by God.
But suppose this Paul is essentially
a fiction of those who came after him
— later church fathers in particular who
unscrupulously added in their own
contemporary interpolations editorially
amending his letters written to early
Christian believers. To these “primitive
Christians” living before there were
churches or priests or bishops or even
any of the New Testament writings,
themselves, their only source of insight
into their Messiah was an oral tradition
coupled with occasional letters dis-
patched by missionaries such as Paul
and other Apostles to far-flung commu-
nities in the Diaspora, across Rome,
Greece and Asia Minor.
These letters are consequential, for
they form together with the so-called
Gospels — of Matthew, Mark and Luke,
with John being suspect now and
Thomas more and more seen as
canonical — the bedrock foundation of
Christian doctrine. We know them of
course as the Epistles of Paul — to the
Romans, the Galatians, the Philippians,
the Thessalonians, Corinthians.
From the standard translations of
Paul we get a hectoring voice, often
written at the level of a rant or a dia-
tribe, hurling thunderbolts at wayward
Christians, urging them to mend their
ways, haggling sometimes over fine
points of the Mosaic purity codes, of
food cleanliness as well as marital
practices. From this stereotype of Paul
— arguably a version of Paul in fact
very foreign from the original figure,
the “real” Paul if we could but know
him — comes the dark shadow of the
anti-sexual Pauline mask cast across
the face of the Jesus message.
That hauntingly simple message is
really a call to love, not hate or divide. It
is to love God and to treat our neighbors
as ourselves — the new law brought to
Earth to amend but not of course entire-
ly erase the old law of Jewish customs
and commandments handed down as
part of the chosen covenant with God.
Yet of Paul there persists this view of
him as the betrayer of Jesus, with a bet-
ter right to that title than Judas Iscariot,
who handed him over to his enemies on
Gethsemene. Thomas Jefferson, for
example, famously called Paul “the first
corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus and
George Bernard Shaw declared in 1928
that, “it would have been better for the
world if Paul had never been born.”
Paul of course never met Jesus, but
his writings are the very first written
record of what Jesus said and did, and
in fact precede by several decades the
actual books of the “Gospel” or good
news but perhaps best translated from
the Greek as “revelation.” So with Paul
— who never thought of himself as
other than a Jew and certainly never
considered himself a “convert” out of
Judaism — we have the original record-
ed account of the man he called Jesus-
Messiah. And he was surely a zealot,
termed by Garry Wills in his 2006 book
“What Paul Meant” an “embattled mes-
senger” and a “voluble street fighter, a
man busy on many fronts often harried,
Another writer called Paul “a feral
creature” — something like “the theo-
logical Scarlet Pimpernel” — in Wills’
colorful comparison, appearing here
and then there, “sometimes leaving
footprints the size of craters, at other
times, no marks at all, save a half-
sentence in a later letter as the only
mark of his coming and going.”
In all Paul’s peripatetic comings and
goings, several principles are constant,
and contrary to the stereotype of him
he did not view women as unequal of
men. According to Wills: “Paul believed
in women’s basic equality with men,” a
view of such gender equality consistent
with all the early Christian Diaspora
“gatherings. What, therefore, does Paul
mean in the First Letter to Timothy
when he bluntly tells women to shut
up? “A woman must be an entirely sub-
missive learner,” he writes. “I forbid a
woman to ... take the lead over her hus-
band — she should also hold her
peace.” But as Wills and others quickly
point out, Paul almost certainly did not
write this epistle — someone else did
later, adopting his name as author.
But in a letter Paul almost certainly
wrote, First Corinthians, he also declares
that in religious gatherings “women must
be silent (and)... submissive,” though this
language is also thought to be a later
interpolation, added by other parties.
Says Wills: “The pseudo-Paul has intrud-
ed upon real Paul.” It’s true, however, that
the real Paul was essentially opposed to
marriage although he was a pragmatist
and also conceded that it was “better to
marry than to burn.” In fact, Paul assert-
ed that the ideal Christian state of sexu-
ality was to ignore it in favor of evangel-
ism and waiting for the swift approach (or
so he thought) end of days.
We must understand Paul of course
as a man of his era, when polygamy as
often as monogamy was in practice.
We must also realize that he lived in a
tradition of Jewish purity codes — of
kosher food and kosher sex. But as
Wills said in 2006 at a Politics and
Prose bookstore stop on his book tour:
“There’s only one reference to homo-
sexuality in Paul and I wouldn’t call it a
condemnation of homosexuality.
“It’s in the form of a diatribe, back and
forth, and he does argue against it,” Wills
concedes, because unlike the Greeks
and Persians and Arabs and Turks, the
Jews did consider it “unclean.” Because,
Wills explained, “you were fixing things
improperly — one a man, the other a
man, in the form of a woman.”
But Paul knew that Jesus himself said
nothing external makes you “unclean,”
that as Wills pointed out, “it’s what comes
out of your heart — and Jesus tran-
scended that division of mankind into the
‘clean’ and the ‘unclean.’ There could be
nothing more distant from the gospel of
Jesus.” Echoing Jesus, Paul wrote in
Romans 14:14, “I know, relying on Lord
Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself.
Only if a man supposes it unclean does
it become unclean for him.”
For Jesus himself said of the inher-
ited Jewish purity code (Matthew 15:
10-11) “Understand what you hear from
me: what a man takes into his mouth
does not make him unclean.” Purity,
Jesus said, is a matter of the heart and
intention, not of ritual observances.
Soon the controversy over what
Paul really said may be put at least
partly to rest, for this fall leading
scholars of the Jesus Seminar will be
bringing out their translation of seven
of Paul’s epistles, the ones authenti-
cated to be by Paul and not someone
writing under his name. Two of the
translators, Arthur J. Dewy, professor
of theology at Xavier University, and
Roy W. Hoover, professor emeritus of
biblical literature and religion at
Whitman College, spoke recently at
a Jesus Seminar on the Road pres-
entation on Paul held at St. Mark’s
Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill.
“Will the real Paul please stand
up,” was their message. This autumn
with their new translation, in the
works since 1996, we may finally get
to see him and his message of radi-
cal equality and love.
sexuality and the human heart
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Church of Rehoboth
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
“REHOBOTH” – Room for Us, Room for ALL !
MCC Rehoboth is seeking a permanent pastor for
a small but enthusiastic congregation which is poised to
grow. We are located on the shore of Coastal Delaware,
and our ministry is open and inclusive for ALL who wish
to join us on our journey.
We seek a people-loving, outgoing pastor who is
dynamic in nature, visionary in thinking, and proficient
in attracting, maintaining, and supporting congregational
Our pastor would demonstrate joy and affirmation
of everyone as a child of God, welcome in our growing
fellowship and sharing our common lives.
MCC Rehoboth offers this position half-time to start,
increasing to three-quarters and then full time as quickly
as our growth in membership and finances allow.
Please submit letter of interest and CV or resume to:
Metropolitan Community Church of Rehoboth
Pastoral Search Committee
PO Box 191
Rehoboth Beach DE 19971
Friday April 2, 2010 Good Friday
Weslyn Choir & Higher Praise
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Sunday April 4, 2010
6:00 AM Sunrise Service
8:30 AM Worship Service -
10:30 AM Worship Service -
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OUR DOORS ARE ALWAYS OPEN TO ALL
926 11th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Rev. Dr. Louis Shockley, Senior Pastor
Regular Sunday Morning Services
8:30 AM and 10:30 AM
32 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
a Shakespeare classic
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN
Special to DC Agenda
Tongues cut out, hands chopped
off, a sliced off phallus held as if in rigor
mortis, do we have your attention now?
And the literal disembowelment of
one character, Lavinia, after being raped
by the invading Goth barbarians — all
this in grisly, stomach-churning homage
to Shakespeare’s early revenge-tragedy
In other words, welcome to “Mondo
Andronicus,” from the gore-fest world
of “Grand-Guignol,” the French
Theatre of Horror, and the peculiarly
morbid yet theatrically alive spawn of
the Molotov Theatre Group, a troupe
of horror-theatre aficionados based in
D.C. and founded in 2007 to pay trib-
ute to this drama for those with a taste
for what the poet Coleridge called “the
fascination of the abomination.”
“Mondo,” for short, Molotov’s latest
cocktail of horror and body-part splat-
ter, retells the original Shakespeare
tale of murder and revenge set in
ancient Rome. It has only two more
nights to run — 8 p.m. Friday and
Saturday at the intimate backroom
stage at the 1409 Playbill Cafe on 14th
Street, N.W. It’s so intimate that if you
sit too close to the stage, you may fear
for your own limbs.
Without a doubt if your idea of fun
is a snuff film or the wretched excess
of the “Hostel” film series of S&M tor-
ture scenes of the young and the sex-
ually desirable, then this one’s for you.
But it may also be for you if you
simply can savor the comedy-gore
subtleties of blood and guts, which
after all merely brings to the actual
stage the nuanced viscera of every
single act of torment and mutilation
that Shakespeare relegated to the off-
stage back story. For the Bard, the
main event was how the Roman gen-
eral, the eponymous Titus Andronicus,
simply endures pain and suffering such
that Job would have seen his own tor-
ments as merely a day at the beach.
“Notoriously Shakespeare fills his
action with bizarre, numbing atrocities
... and paints a malignant, nightmarish
‘wilderness of tigers,’ a Rome featur-
ing sizzling entrails, rape, dismember-
ment, slit throats, cooked heads in a
pie, a cannibal feast,” wrote the
English biographer of Shakespeare,
Park Honan, who was fascinated by
the playwright’s Tudor view of the bes-
tiality of ancient Rome.
So how different are we today?
That’s the question “Mondo” forces us
to confront, in Obama-era America.
Consider Afghanistan and the sanitized
havoc of innocent women and children
killed by U.S. drone-fired missiles.
“Our culture is so immersed in
violence,” says D.C. newcomer and
gay actor and Molotov troupe mem-
ber Cyle Durkee, who plays coward-
ly Saturninus and savage Demetrius.
“We’ve become desensitized to it.”
“Grand-Guignol is so intense, it
breaks the fourth wall,” adds Durkee.
“This is not a comfortable thing — you
confront the audience with the violence
and force them to think about the horri-
ble things happening in the world. It re-
sensitizes people to violence.”
But says Molotov co-founder Alex
Zavistovich, “goremeister” to the
troupe, who plays Titus: “You can’t
have a light without a dark to stick it
in, and we provide the dark; it’s real-
ly not a whole lot more than that.”
See “Mondo” and decide for your-
self: What does the dark have to
teach us about the light?
This is the last weekend to catch the gory ‘MONDO ANDRONICUS’ at 1409 Playbill Café.
Photo courtesy of Molotov Theatre Group
Through April 3 at 8 p.m.
Tickets at the door
The Theatre at 1409 Playbill Cafe
1409 14th St., N.W.
17TH & RHODE I SLAND AVE. , NW
202 872 1126 WWW. BBGWDC. COM
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april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 33
34 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
1639 R St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle area; popular with men
but check schedule for other events.
1409 PLAYBILL CAFÉ
1409 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Logan Circle area restaurant and bar
(Dupont Circle Metro) popular with the
theater crowd and featuring open-mike
nights, karaoke and other special events.
Longtime organizers of drag events in the
city; most events held at Ziegfeld’s. See
web site for full list of upcoming events.
1609 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle area; popular longtime
restaurant and steakhouse with recently
renovated Upstairs Lounge.
1415 22nd St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
In Dupont Circle area; popular with men, but
check schedule regularly for other events.
1104 8th St., SE
Washington, DC 20003
Longtime bar popular with African-
American men in Capitol Hill area.
500 8th St., SE
Washington, DC 20003
Popular Capitol Hill area restaurant and
bar (Eastern Market Metro) for both men
and women. Features Cuban, Mexican
and Puerto Rican cuisine.
815 V St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Created by musicians Bob Mould and
Richard Morel, Blowoff is an occasional
dance event popular with men. Events are
held in clubs around the country; D.C.’s
Blowoff parties are held at the 9:30 club
in the popular U Street corridor.
Organizes regular women’s events around
town. Check web site for updated information.
1639 R St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle area; part of complex
of LGBT businesses at this address,
including Level One restaurant on
street level and 30 Degrees bar.
1321 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Men’s 24-hour gym in Logan Circle area,
featuring steam rooms, lounges,
private dressing rooms and more.
639 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
The popular Levi/leather bar’s origins date
to the 1960s. Features billiards, regular
tournaments and other special events.
Located near the convention center, two
blocks north of Gallery Place Metro.
3734 10th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017
Longtime bar popular with African-
American men in Brookland
neighborhood; hosts regular ladies night.
Check web site for special events.
1637 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle area, above
Dupont Italian Kitchen.
2004 18th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Popular restaurant and bar in the
Adams Morgan area; happy hour
specials and many other special events.
See web site for updated schedule.
EFN LOUNGE/MOTLEY BAR
1318 9th St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-341-8281 • 202-642-4537
efnlounge.com • motleybar.com
Funky, edgy neighborhood lounge in
Logan Circle with special events galore.
Popular with men and women; features
dancing, videos. Check web site for
1805 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
In Dupont Circle area; popular with men
but hosts regular women’s events.
2161 P St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
In Dupont Circle area; neighborhood bar
popular with men.
1335 Green Court, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Friendly bar for men hosts regular happy
hours and special events, including
karaoke and shirtless drink special
nights. Check web site for details.
McPherson Square Metro.
1527 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dupont Circle area restaurant popular
with men and women.
1519 17th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Longtime friendly Dupont Circle area
bar popular with men; videos, regular
2214 Rhode Island Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20018
Every night is ladies night at Lace;
features regular special events for women
in Brookland neighborhood. Check web
site for details on happy hour specials.
1836 18th St., NW
Washington, DC 20009
Dupont Circle area bar and restaurant
popular with both men and women.
Alternative dance party for queer men and
women featuring electro, alt-pop, indie
rock, house, disco and New Wave. Check
web site for 2010 schedule of events.
1435 P St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Trendy Logan Circle bar and lounge
popular with men features regular happy
hour and other specials. Formerly known
as Halo, MOVA re-launched in early
2010 as a environmentally friendly bar
with an emphasis on community service.
NELLIE’S SPORTS BAR
900 U St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Sports bar featuring poker events, drag
bingo, trivia contests and other specials.
Popular bar with massive outdoor deck
and plenty of TVs for watching sports.
2122 P St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dupont Circle area bar and club popular
with men featuring dancing, drag and
other special events.
525 8th St., SE
Washington, DC 20003
The Phase opened in 1970 and remains
a popular lesbian bar and club. Features
regular special events, including Jell-O
wrestling, 80s theme nights and more.
Check web site for details.
639 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20003
Popular country/Western nightclub in Capitol
Hill neighborhood with more than 6,000
square feet of space for dancing and billiards.
One half block west of Eastern Market Metro.
2009 8th St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Dance club and bar popular with men
and women, features regular drag per-
formances. U Street Metro.
911 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Large dance club with gay-friendly
events and vibe located downtown near
1824 Half St., SW
Washington, DC 20024
Featuring all-nude male dancers
Wednesdays-Sundays, drag performances,
large dance floor and many regular
special events, contests and more.
Large parking lot available; located in
Buzzard’s Point warehouse district.
dcagenda lgbt nightlife guide
1722 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Multi-level after-hours dance club attracts
a mixed crowd but remains gay-friendly.
2002 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Longtime Levi/leather bar not far
from Mount Vernon offers friendly bar,
billiards, outdoor patio, videos and a
full store for your leather needs.
Mostly men, but welcoming to women.
1 W. Biddle St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Mount Vernon-area downstairs bar
attracts men and women; friendly service.
205 W. Read St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Another of Baltimore’s friendly neighbor-
hood bars in Mount Vernon featuring
billiards, jukebox and welcoming service.
1735 Maryland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Longtime bar and restaurant popular
with African-American clientele.
1001 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Large entertainment complex featuring
friendly pub, lesbian bar Sappho’s upstairs
and a dance club on the first floor.
1 W. Eager St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Large club popular with men and
women featuring billiards, top
DJs/dancing, karaoke, videos and
more. Opened in 1972, Hippo’s motto
is “where everyone is welcome.”
JAY’S ON READ
225 W. Read St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Piano bar attracts a mostly male
crowd, though welcoming to women
and straight patrons.
870 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
In business for more than 50 years,
Leon’s is the oldest gay bar in
Baltimore and among the oldest in
the country. Friendly bar with jukebox
gets especially busy on Sunday nights.
Tyson Place is a restaurant bar
located behind Leon’s with a
PORT IN A STORM
4330 E. Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21224
Friendly neighborhood lesbian bar gets
especially popular when the Ravens
play. Features billiards, music and more.
3607 Fleet St.
Baltimore, MD 21224
Neighborhood bar in Highlandtown
area is popular with men and women
and offers billiards.
1001 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Part of the Grand Central complex,
Sappho’s attracts a lesbian crowd
and offers comfy couches, outdoor
patio and more in its second
FREDDIE’S BEACH BAR
555 23rd St. South
Arlington, VA 22202
Freddie Lutz’s Virginia establishment
includes a restaurant and friendly bar,
regular specials and is popular with
men and women. Crystal City Metro.
9855 N. Washington Blvd.
Laurel, MD 20723
Restaurant and bar is popular with gay
and lesbian sports fans and is known
for its superb burgers.
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 35
Come and see
what you’ve been
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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
CIVIL DIVISION C.A. NO. 0001815-10
IN RE: HOWARD LEE SMITH, Applicant
ORDER OF PUBLICATION - CHANGE OF NAME
Howard Lee Smith, III having filed a complaint
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name to Cookie Lee Smith and having applied
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weeks before said day in the DC Agenda.
Provided further that pursuant to SCR 205(b)
notice be sent to applicants creditors by regis-
tered or certified mail and that proof of service
mailing be made in the manner provided in SCR
Probate Rule 19(b). A True Copy Test: Clerk
Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
SPRING INTO WELLNESS with body work to
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ITALIAN JOCK Give full body massage.
Masculine, muscular, VGL masseur, offers, full-
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a table, near fireplace, including stretching. See
my photos on www.massagem4m.com/jockguy.
Located downtown, parking available. Brian
ASIAN MALE MASSAGE Swedish, Deep Tissue,
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WEDDINGS & SERVICES
RC priest, American Catholic affiliation, licensed DC
marriage officiant. Many years experience working
with gay & straight couples in secular & religious
services. No venue too small. Let me help you make
your special day simple, elegant, memorable. Call
Ed (202) 445-0366, email@example.com.
Alan Lopez and Brad Edwards
celebrate their 20-year anniversary on April 14.
"Patience, love, and understanding are what have
helped us through the years."
STEVE O’TOOLE PHOTOGRAPHY Fine Art
Photographer for portraits, weddings & dating
photos for the internet. Call (703) 532-3031.
KASPERS LIVERY SERVICE Since 1987 Gay
Owned Luxury Sedan or Stretch Limousine 24 HR
Reservations (202) 554-2471 or (800) 455-2471.
LGBTQ AFFIRMING THERAPY at Dupont Metro.
Individuals, couples, families, adolescents. Over 15
years serving the community. Mike Giordano, LICSW.
COUNSELING FOR GAY MEN. Individual/couple
counseling with volunteer peer counselor. Gay
Men's Counseling Community. 202-265-6495. gay-
menscounseling.org. No fees, donation requested.
FULL SERVICE LAW FIRM Representing the GLBT
community for over 25 years. Family adoptions, estate
planning, real estate, immigration, employment. (301)
891-2200. Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A. &
Kirstin Gulling, Of Counsel. www.SP-Law.com
EMPLOYMENT LAW ATTORNEY - Wrongful
Discharge, Sexual Harrassment, Contract Review,
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FAST CASH!!! Wanted Cars & Trucks. Don’t
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vehicle. Call Marty Salins, at Auto Plaza, in
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Floral Designer - Top special event company seek-
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full time or part time work. Email/fax resume to
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ALL GAY THEMES. G BOOKS. 1520 U St, NW.
202-986-9697 Brandonchan99@msn.com. 4pm-
10pm. P.S. our lubes, DVDs & gear cheaper than online.
PETS & SUPPLIES
ADOPT AN ADORABLE PUPPY OR DOGAll-breed,
non-profit rescue. 100% volunteer run. Donations
welcome & needed. www.aforeverhome.org.
FURNITURE FOR SALE
GLASS AND CHROME. As good as new. Drop
leaf table with no drop. Extensions swing under
table in fluid easy to execute motion. Best offer.
MATCHING MODERN CHERRY COFFEE
TABLES. Immaculate. Chrome appointments.
Best offer. LBrown@dcagenda.com
NO LONGER AVAILABLE: “Pavilion Chairs” and
matching sofa. Get the look without spending big
bucks. High quality reproductions barred from fur-
ther production. Get the look now for less. Chairs
$1800 each Sofa $2500 LBrown@dcagenda.com
EAMES OFFICE CHAIRS. Modern design com-
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five. $300 each. LBrown@dcagenda.com
JOHN HENRY MOVERS Since 1990, the area's
favorite gay owned crew. Expert packing, pianos.
Experienced, equipped & punctual as hell.
Cheapskates love us! 703-597-5561
GULLIVER'S MOVERS - Swift & gentle reloca-
tion's. Packing, pianos, antiques. Local & long dis-
tance 202-483-9579 www.gulliversmovers.com
TOO NEAT GUYS INC. Residential & commercial
cleaning in DC & Northern VA. Over 12 years
experience, gay owned, licensed, bonded &
insured (703) 622-5983.
POWER CLEANERS, LLC. Experienced,
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Gay owned and operated. Call Matt for free
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A CLEANING SERVICE invites you to relax
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friendly professionals provides top-quality
cleaning service to your home or office.
Excellent refs, satisfaction guaranteed.
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Call today for a free estimate. (703) 892-8648.
GREEN, ECO-FRIENDLY HARDWOOD FLOOR
REFINISHING Specializing in all areas of wood
floors, installations, dust-free sanding and refin-
ishing. Call 202-468-2660 for a free estimate!
Cap Hill (2-1/2 blocks eastern mkt) small bright
furn/unfurn BR share w/ 3 leather friendly men,
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ALEX $650 Private furnished BR & BA w/ Shower
& Jacuzzi Tub, near So. Towers & Express bus to
Pentagon. Several parks, quiet, treed neighbor-
hood, 2 Westies, Wi-Fi, Sat. TV + 1/3 utilities. Call
HERNDON – Seeking prof NS M to share
newly remodeled, 3 lvl, 3 BR, 3.5 ba TH.
11x11 rm & priv BA. $800/mo. Util incl. Call
Kevin (703) 955-1982
36 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
THE BRITISH CONNECTION
English massage therapist in dupont.
Professional massage therapist in modern
calm comfortable studio. Offering Deep tissue,
Swedish & sports massage.
RELAX, REGENERATE, REJUVENATE The
3 Rs to Health. Experienced Certified
Massage Therapist helps you with the 3Rs:
Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reiki, Energetics.
Call Bruce (202) 491-8306. MT0697.
RELAXING, SOOTHING MASSAGE by
experienced massage therapist. Convenient
Arlington location. Evenings and weekends.
$60/hr, $85/90 min. Visa/MC
Errol (703) 525-4616.
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2035 2nd St. NW - #GL-05,
Washington, DC 20001
Voted Washington Blade's "Best
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'06, '07' & '08.
REPAIRS • NEW ROOFS • GUTTER CLEANING
P.J. McTavish & Co., Inc.
Licensed • Bonded • Insured
EMERGENCY REPAIRS – 24 HOUR SERVICE
Serving the community for over 20 years!
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april 2, 2010 • dcagenda.com 37
ALL-AMERICAN BOY 24y/o, 5'9, 138lbs, 29w.
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38 dcagenda.com • april 2, 2010
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1607 S St NW
Grand Victorian Town home with modern ameni-
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DWIGHT MORTENSEN 202-361-4400
DAVID BEDIZ 202-352-8456
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1606 13th St. NW
Gorgeous 4 story
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J JAMES BRAEU
909 T Street NW
• 4 BR/2.5 BA
• 1 BR/1 BA Legal
• 2 Metros Closeby
• A Million
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
1219 C Street SE
Offered at $559,000
Charming renovated 3
story condo alternative on
winsome tree lined blk!
Sleek "WOW" contem-
pory kitchen with acres of
SED brick. Inviting large
"Garden Party" rear that's
accessible fr sunny, open,
french doored LR. Treetop
master suite w sizable
DELUXE spa BA: frame-
less glass shower/sepa-
rate oval tub/double
Nice 4.5 blk stroll to
Eastern Market. Good
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
1309 Euclid St NW
Great 4 unit - 4 level
Victorian in Columbia
Heights. Separate elec-
tric and gas for each unit,
including separate elec-
tric house meter. Easy
condo conversion of
existing units! Parking is
a non issue being locat-
ed so close to metro.
Needs work and sold
Totally As-is, how you
see it, just as it is. Seller
will make no repairs. All
reasonable offers consid-
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
29 7th Street NE
Offered at $569,900
Picture perfect front porch Capitol Charmer! Prime LOCA-
TION on coveted, quiet, tree lined 7th St NE @ A St NE.
OPEN LR-DR W/fplc, built-ins, exposed brick walls, and
glowing wide width original hdwd flrs. Sunny MBR/ NEW
BATH/updated gourmet Kit w/granite and SS. Secluded
garden W/ New Deck! Nice ambience in Historic district.
Walk to METRO, rest'nts shops, and all
the Hill has to offer. IT IS A WINNER !!
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
4701 Connecticut Av NW #205
Offered at $595,000
Sunny 2 BR, 2 full Bath Condo in bldg once home to
Harry Truman. Features huge recently renovated kitchen
w/ SS appl & granite. Also, tall ceilings, hdwd flrs, unique
arched doorways, & thick, solid plaster walls throughout.
Monthly fee includes parking, gas,
water, hot water & radiator heat. Pet
friendly. Parking space conveys!
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
CHEVY CHASE DC
4750 41st St NW #508
Offered at $2,200,000
Extraordinary & Unique 4,100+ square feet, 4 BR 3.5BA
penthouse on 3 levels (private elevator)w/ massive pri-
vate roof terrace & multiple balconies. Wonderful views
of Ft Reno Park & sky from every window. Small bou-
tique building. 2 master suites (main & 2nd lvl), office, 2
dens,& more. Front desk . Walk to Whole Foods, Tenley
& Friendship Metros, shops. 2 garage
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
Owned and Operated
by NRT Incorporated
A tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers and up to $6,500 for qualified current
home owners is available for those buyers under contract on or before April 30 with a closing by June 30.
Time left to purchase: 27 DAYS Time left to close: 86 DAYS
Countdown to savings -
the tax credit provides an outstanding
opportunity for home buyers!
MOUNT VERNON SQUARE
910 M St NW # 1007
Large & bright 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath unit with bal-
cony at the Whitman. Includes extra storage unit
& parking. Kitchen features granite counters, &
SS appliances. Washer/Dryer in unit. Pet-friendly,
with 24 hr a day front desk staff, party room with
billiards, gym, & a roof deck with
pool, grills & phenomenal views!
DWIGHT MORTENSEN 202-361-4400
DAVID BEDIZ 202-352-8456
1506 17th ST #12
• Top Floor Overlooking Dupont
• One Bedroom with Sitting Area
• Granite, Stainless &
• Two Fireplaces
COLDWELL BANKER DUPONT
Call CBRB Dupont at
*exclusions: in-stock, stock options plus & love programs / mgbwhome.com
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1526 14th Street NW (P & Q Streets) Washington, DC 202.332.3433 M-F 10am to 8pm, Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 6pm Convenient daily parking from 10am - 6pm
20% OFF THRU MAY 9
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