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creations agenda agenda

Ernesto Santalla designs Annual Cherry Weekend Charges dropped against
calming spaces; city’s features parties galore, four protesters who
real estate market surges — including performance targeted Nancy Pelosi
see our special section. by Deborah Cox. with sit-in last month.
Home & Garden, PAGE 26 PAGE 20 PAGE 6 • vol. 2, issue 15 • april 9, 2010

With clock ticking, all eyes on Congress

Inaction on LGBT bills on the members that we have in the
House and the Senate to pass legis-
likely to trigger ‘anger lation. So, in short, I do think that
there will be anger in the community.”
in the community’ Herwitt said this anger would like-
ly manifest itself in LGBT voters feel-
By CHRIS JOHNSON ing disconnected from Congress and from the Obama administration.
This disconnect, Herwitt said,
Supporters of LGBT rights are turn- could affect political donations or dis-
ing up the heat on Congress in their courage people from getting involved
efforts to pass several key bills after law- in re-election campaigns as well as
makers return from recess next week. “not door knocking, literature drop-
Allison Herwitt, legislative director ping, all that kind of stuff.”
for the Human Rights Campaign, Herwitt also urged a stronger
alluded to potential political conse- voice from the White House in advo-
quences if the bills don’t advance in cating for legislation like the
this Congress. Employment Non-Discrimination Act
“I do think that there will be many and the Domestic Partner Benefits &
LGBT Americans frustrated and dis- Obligations Act, as well as repeal of
appointed if any of these [bills] don’t “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
move,” she said. “Even though we “I do think that it is important that DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
don’t have a pro-LGBT majority in the president and the administration
the House and the Senate — this is do strongly indicate to the House and President Obama joined families on the White House lawn for this week’s Easter egg roll. LGBT rights supporters are calling
our highest majority that we have on him to be more vocal in his support for several key bills still pending in Congress, including repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
and we need to obviously capitalize Continues on page 16

Evans, Brown enter

race for Council chair
Anti-gay candidate have said they are not ready to take
sides in the Council chair contest,
runs in at-large contest expressing an interest in seeing the
LGBT-friendly candidates for mayor
nationalagenda By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
and Council chair speak out on both
gay and non-gay issues.
Actress Anna Pacquin comes out as bisexual in web video. Page 6 However, Evans’ strong support for
D.C. City Council members Jack LGBT rights extends over 20 years in
Evans (D-Ward 1) and Kwame Brown his role as the Council’s most senior
(D-At Large) have announced they member. His longer record on LGBT
are candidates for the Council chair- issues is expected to give him an
man’s seat, creating another citywide edge over Brown for the gay vote — at
contest where LGBT voters must least in some parts of the city.
choose between friends. “We have a process for endorsing
Evans and Brown entered the candidates and we’re going to follow DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Council chairman race after the cur- that process,” said Jeffrey Richardson,
rent chairman, Democrat Vincent president of the Gertrude Stein D.C. City Council member Jack
Gray, declared his candidacy for Democratic Club, the city’s largest Evans, seen here at an event cele-
mayor, challenging Mayor Adrian LGBT political group. brating the passage of same-sex mar-
Fenty’s bid for a second term in In a timetable approved earlier this riage, is running for the Council chair-
nationalagenda September’s Democratic primary. year, the club will hold an endorse- man’s seat. He will run against
Two gay Georgia teens prepare for controversial prom date. Page 14 Much as they did with the mayor’s Council member Kwame Brown.
race, most gay Democratic activists Continues on page 16
2 • april 9, 2010
april 9, 2010 • 3
4 • april 9, 2010


Getting our stories told Gansler dodges

PR expert Cathy Renna “So we wore rainbow leis, so festive
and appropriate, and lots of straight
impeachment attempt
Saber-rattling from Maryland Republicans against Attorney General
among business families had them on also, they knew Douglas Gansler’s same-sex marriage ruling, including calls for
who we were, and they were supportive. impeachment and state funding cuts for agencies that recognize out-of-
chamber honorees In some ways it was a political state- state marriage licenses, have so far amounted to nothing.
ment,” she said, “to highlight that families Del. Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel) demanded a House floor vote on
By DAVID J. HOFFMAN can come in all shapes and sizes, and his resolution to impeach Gansler, but was denied by Speaker Michael
Special to DC Agenda we’ve gone every year since.” Busch, who acted on advice from the parliamentarian that any resolution
She described such direct mes- should be referred to the House Judiciary Committee first.
Cathy McElrath Renna, founder of saging “the goal of the work we do as Only delegates were permitted to speak at a hastily arranged hearing
Renna Communications, an LGBT a firm — and the tagline for our firm at 3 p.m. March 31, but Dwyer declined to speak to the substance of the
media strategy firm, said she laughed is ‘we’ll get your story told.’” She said impeachment charges, saying to do so would legitimize what he labeled
when told she was this year’s recipient the LGBT community has come of a “kangaroo court.”
of the Business Leadership Award age in the last 20 years. Dwyer, a Judiciary Committee member, instead used his allotted time
from the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian “We are no longer abstract — we to declare that he would bring charges against Busch.
Chamber of Commerce. exist. … Change won’t come until peo- Gansler did not attend the hearing, but Democratic delegates on the
“I just laughed, because I would ple understand the stories behind that committee defended him and his marriage opinion during their allotted times.
have never imagined my activism as need for marriage equality or for The committee voted 17-5 that there was insufficient evidence to pro-
a business,” she said. employment rights. We’re doing a bet- ceed with impeachment. A second vote was held to dismiss the resolution.
Renna will receive her award ter job now, but we still have a long way Later that day, Equality Maryland operated a phone bank to persuade del-
tonight at CAGLCC’s 20th anniver- to go, but we’re getting there because egates to oppose Dwyer’s announced state budget amendment to cut funding
sary awards dinner. now we’re a whole lot smarter.” for recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses. Ultimately, no such
Longtime New Yorker and current Also being honored at the awards amendment was presented before either legislative chamber.
Mount Pleasant resident Renna is dinner April 9 are: “We’re pretty confident this is over for now,” said Morgan Meneses-
quick to share credit for the success of • David von Storch, owner of Sheets, Equality Maryland’s executive director.
Renna Communications with her wife. Photo courtesy of Renna Capitol City Brewing Company and A committee hearing on House Bill 462, which would add LGBT non-
“I wouldn’t have this business if it Vida Fitness among other business- discrimination protections for teachers in public schools, was scheduled
weren’t for my wife,” she said. “Don’t ‘I would have never imagined my es, for excellence in business; for Wednesday, after DC Agenda deadline. To become law, the bill must
ask me to even balance a checkbook,” activism as a business,’ says Cathy • Jonathan Blumenthal, co-founder pass the Senate before April 12.
she added, noting that her wife, Leah Renna of Renna Communications. and president of Burgundy Crescent HARLEY DENNETT
McElrath Renna, has experience as a Volunteers, as volunteer of the year;
financial planner and “I trust her more D.C. Clergy for Marriage Equality has • Thomas Sanchez, principal of
than anyone in the world.” ironically been getting in the way of Wamwaw LCC, a web development and- Hearing set for suspect in gay man’s murder
The firm was founded in March planning their own wedding. But the strategy firm, as emerging entrepreneur; More information surrounding the murder of a gay man inside his car
2006, when their daughter Rosemary couple made time to take Rosemary • Bob Summersgill, longtime in Southeast D.C. is expected to surface during a court hearing this
— now 4 — was just 6 months old. to the White House Easter Egg Roll LGBT activist instrumental in passing month for the 20-year-old man arrested in the case.
“On Friday I’m not going to step from this week. Renna Communications the marriage equality law in D.C., for Police on March 12 charged Antwan Holcomb of D.C. with first-degree
that podium until Leah joins me on the got a big boost from the White House community advocacy; murder while armed in connection with the shooting death of Anthony
platform,” Renna said, “because she Easter Egg Roll event in April 2006 • and Wachovia as corporate partner of Perkins, 29, on the 2900 block of Fourth Street, S.E.
so deserves to do so.” — just a month after the firm opened. the year. Police said Perkins was pronounced dead on the scene around
They’re not legally married yet. “But “It was the first big thing the firm did,” The awards dinner is at the Mandarin 5:15 a.m. Dec. 27 after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. Officers
we’re working on it … we’ve just been too she said. “In 2006, there were about Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave., found Perkins unconscious inside his car, which had steam billowing
busy working on D.C. marriage equality.” 150 LGBT families, about 400 people. S.W. It begins with a silent auction and from its engine.
Helping to spearhead the media We understood it was not a political networking at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $180 A friend of Perkins said the man might have been the target of a thug
coalition work of the D.C. Campaign issue, but for us, I like to say that just for CAGLCC members and $195 for who had been “terrorizing” the Congress Heights neighborhood. Rev.
for All Families, D.C. for Marriage and like breathing, our existence is political. non-members. Anthony Motley, a D.C. minister running for an at-large seat on the D.C.
City Council and a longtime friend of Perkins, said a mutual friend told
him that the killing might be linked to a man believed to be responsible
for a string of robberies that Perkins learned about.
“It is said that the individual Anthony knew who was robbing people
had become paranoid that Anthony would talk [to police],” Motley told DC
Agenda in January. “It’s assumed that is why he was shot.”
Police said Holcomb was being held at the D.C. Jail on an unrelated
matter when he was charged with Perkins’ murder. Police have not said
whether Holcomb is the person Perkins’ friend believes was robbing peo-
ple in the neighborhood where Perkins was killed.
Holcomb, who is being held without bond, is scheduled to appear
April 21 in D.C. Superior Court. Prosecutors at that time could outline the
evidence that police obtained linking him to the murder.

Md. group steps up gay marriage support

The Maryland Black Family Alliance is taking a more public profile in
the fight for same-sex marriage.
“We wanted to make sure that people know who we are what we
stand for,” said Lea Gilmore, one of the group’s founders. “We want it
known that there is significant and organized support in Maryland’s black
communities for marriage equality and LGBT civil justice.”
Gilmore said to counter the perception that there are no visible
straight black allies in the LGBT civil rights movement, MBFA recently
conducted a photo shoot outside Brown Memorial Park Avenue
Presbyterian Church in Baltimore.
“The images will be included in ads that will appear in our very
respected African-American local and regional media,” Gilmore said. “We
will do a broader campaign in the near future.”
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key The ads, funded by the Human Rights Campaign, are intended to illus-
trate black support for same-sex marriage and LGBT civil rights issues.

On a roll at the White House

Several families headed by same-sex couples joined the festivities Monday at the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll. The
“As African Americans, we more than most know the pain that injus-
tice causes,” Gilmore said, “so we hope with these ads to galvanize even
more organized support for equality.”
event included appearances from author J.K. Rowling, tennis champion Billie Jean King, and the cast of “Glee.” STEVE CHARING/BALTIMORE OUTLoud
april 9, 2010 • 5
6 • april 9, 2010


Charges against ENDA

protesters to be dropped Anna Pacquin comes out as bi
Image courtesy of

Demonstrators must Anna Paquin, the 27-year-old star of ‘True Blood,’ came out last week as bisex-
ual in a video published on, a site designed for straight peo-
stay away from ple interested in LGBT issues.

Pelosi’s office
Army secretary retracts
Charges against Capitol Hill
demonstrators who last month tar-
comments on ‘Don’t Ask’
WASHINGTON — Army Secretary John McHugh has retracted comments
geted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he made that the new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regulations constitute a moratori-
accusing her of failing to advance the um on discharges and that he wouldn’t pursue soldiers who came out to him.
Employment Non-Discrimination Act, “I was incorrect when I stated that [Defense] Secretary [Robert] Gates
will be dropped provided they abide had placed a moratorium on discharges of homosexual service mem-
by certain conditions. bers,” he said in a statement. “There is no moratorium of the law and nei-
Jay Carmona, Samantha Ames, ther Secretary Gates nor I would support one.”
DC Agenda photo by Chris Johnson
Chas Kirven and Michelle Wright plead- The changes to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” unveiled last month by Gates,
ed not guilty in D.C. Superior Court Charges filed against (from left) Jay Carmona, Samantha Ames, Chas Kirven limit third-party outings by requiring such information to be given under
Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of and Michelle Wright following a sit-in protest last month in House Speaker Nancy oath, and raise the rank of the officers handling inquiries and discharges.
unlawful entry. They were arrested Pelosi’s office will be dropped if they abide by certain conditions. But until Congress repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” McHugh said the
March 18 following a sit-in protest in statute “remains the law of the land” and that he and the Army “will fulfill our
Pelosi’s office in the Cannon House fill her time with Transgender Health House to pass ENDA. obligation to uphold it.”
Office Building. The group refused to Empowerment in D.C. “So the fact that that was starting the According to the New York Times, McHugh told reporters last week it
leave despite police orders to do so. Noting that the ENDA protesters next day — I don’t want to make this would be “counterproductive” to “take disciplinary action against some-
The group demanded that Pelosi who were arrested weren’t transgen- about egos, I want to make this about one who spoke with me openly and honestly.” He was quoted as saying
move a transgender-inclusive ver- der, Ames said being arrested as a ENDA — but it would seem that it got he had no intention of pursuing the discharges of active duty service
sion of ENDA to the House floor by transgender person is “so much something accomplished,” she said. members who recently told him that they are gay.
the end of March. The demonstrators more dangerous.” Present in the courtroom Tuesday McHugh clarified the comments in his later statement, saying it would
said they wanted a vote on the bill — “Working for an organization that to show support for the ENDA pro- have been better for him to have counseled three soldiers who came out
even if it lacked the necessary votes does community service that is work- testers was Lt. Dan Choi, who was to him that “statements about their sexual orientation could not be treat-
for passage — to best determine ing making that right and working arrested the same day after chaining ed as confidential and could result in their separation under the law.”
where lawmakers stand. toward making the prisons safer for himself to the White House fence in McHugh said he couldn’t identify the soldiers who disclosed their sex-
Representing the protesters in court transgender folks in the area is, I think, opposition to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ual orientation because of “the informal and random manner in which
was Claire Morris Clark, an attorney for something that I should feel fortunate and Robin McGehee, co-chair of these engagements occurred.” He noted that he would not formally pur-
D.C. law firm Schertler & Onorato. to have the opportunity to do,” she said., which helped coordi- sue the matter. — CHRIS JOHNSON
Clark said the U.S. attorney gen- Carmona, a lesbian D.C. resident, nate the protests.
eral’s office would drop the charges if called the court agreement “just Choi said he wanted to show his sup-
demonstrators met the terms of the
agreement by their next scheduled
another step” toward “getting ENDA
passed for equality.”
port for the ENDA protesters because
the shared experience of being arrested
General apologizes for remarks
court appearance, Oct. 6.
If the protesters meet the terms of
“So, I think I don’t really feel a sense
of joy or accomplishment so much as I
following their respective protests is “in a
lot of ways, like being in combat.” on gays in Dutch military
the agreement, Clark said, they feel like we just took another step,” she “We have waged war against WASHINGTON — A retired general who supports “Don’t Ask, Don’t
wouldn’t have to appear in court. Any said. “It’s definitely not party time.” inequality,” he said. “Sometimes, as sol- Tell” has apologized for remarks blaming gays in the Dutch military for a
violators would be required to make Noting that an early version of diers, you don’t have a lot of money, you Bosnian massacre.
an appearance and potentially face ENDA was first introduced in the U.S. don’t have a lot of trappings of what we In a March 29 letter obtained by DC Agenda and other media outlets,
additional penalties. House in 1974, Carmona said that have in terms of political power — but retired Marine Corps Gen. John Sheehan says he’s sorry for testify-
One term of the agreement is that LGBT people have been waiting we have each other, and until we have ing before the Senate that open service in the Dutch military contributed
demonstrators arrested March 18 must “close to 40 years for basic employ- full equality, this is a battle that none of to the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.
stay away from Pelosi’s office in the ment protections, and we’re not us are going to step away from.” During testimony last month before Congress, Sheehan said he heard
Cannon House Office Building unless going to wait another 40.” Asked whether further acts of civil from Dutch chief-of-staff General Henk van den Breemen of the Royal
invited in writing. Another term is that the Clark said after the protesters’ disobedience could occur to further Dutch Marine Corps that allowing gays to serve openly in the Dutch mili-
protestors must not be arrested under court appearance that the agree- LGBT civil rights, Choi replied, “Of tary — which Sheehan called part of the liberalization of the country’s
probable cause before Oct. 6. ment was a “very good outcome.” course,” and said that he personally armed forces — contributed to the inability of the Netherlands to prevent the
Additionally, she said the two protest- “The U.S. attorney’s office has a plans to take part in such protests. execution of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys during the massacre.
ers who are D.C. residents, Carmona couple different mediums where they’ll “Until we have that American But in the letter to van den Breeman, Sheehan acknowledges he mis-
and Ames, must complete 60 hours of try and work things out, and this is the promise of equality and access to stated before the congressional committee the Dutch official’s under-
community service. Clark noted that best one,” she said. “It doesn’t require a truth and truthful living manifest to standing of the situation and apologizes.
because Kirven and Wright aren’t D.C. guilty plea. It’s a very good deal.” everyone, it has to continue,” he said. “I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions of
residents, the D.C. government doesn’t The protesters also expressed McGehee said is 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social
have jurisdiction to require them to meet satisfaction with the result of their planning further acts of civil disobedi- issues in the military,” Sheehan says. “It is also regrettable that I allowed
this term of the agreement. protest. Ames said she thought the ence to push for LGBT civil rights. you to be pulled into a public debate.”
Clark said another term of the agree- protest led to showing sufficient “We will be back and we will con- Sheehan also writes he doesn’t believe Srebrenica was “the fault of
ment is that protesters cannot engage in votes exist to pass ENDA, despite tinue to organize non-violent civil dis- the individual soldiers” serving in the Dutch military at the time.
activity in the U.S. Capitol that the U.S. claims to the contrary. obedience throughout D.C. and other “Unfortunately, the rules of engagement were developed by a political
attorney’s office deems disruptive. As she was being handcuffed at areas across the United States until system with conflicting priorities and an ambivalent understanding of how
But she noted that Judge Harold the end of her protest March 18, we’re equal,” she said. to use the military,” he said. “As we know, the consequences of those
Cushenberry said in court he would- Ames said a member of Pelosi’s staff McGehee declined to offer any compromises were devastating.” — CHRIS JOHNSON
n’t enforce this part of the agreement asked her if she thought there were details, but said she expects the next
because he didn’t think the agree-
ment clearly defined what the U.S.
enough votes to pass ENDA.
“And I said, ‘Yes,” Ames said. “And
such event will occur in D.C. before
the end of April. Gay former pro wrestler found dead
attorney’s office might find disruptive. she said, ‘We don’t.’ And I said I really “Our goal with GetEqual is to cre- NEW YORK — A man recognized as among the first openly gay pro-
The protesters who consented to wish we could have had this conversa- ate the lunch-counter moments that fessional wrestlers was found dead April 2 in his New York City apartment.
the agreement said they were happy tion earlier because I would have liked so clearly defined the civil rights The Associated Press reported that 40-year-old Chris Klucsaritis, who wrestled
with the outcome of the proceedings. to have this conservation with her.” movement around racial justice,” she under the name Chris Kanyon, apparently committed suicide. A note was recovered.
Ames, a queer D.C. resident, said Following her arrest, Ames said said. “In an equality movement, we Klucsaritis began his career in the late 1990s and was part of the
she’s “actually quite excited” to do the media reports emerged quoting Rep. believe that we need to create those championship tag team “Men at Work” before joining World Wrestling
community service assigned to her as Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) as saying images that highlight the injustices Entertainment. He retired in 2004.
part of the agreement. She planned to that enough support existed in the that are clearly out there.”
april 9, 2010 • 7

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8 • april 9, 2010



DC Agenda photo by Michael Key

  !'$##]T¿QS Gary Gates of the Williams Institute said data from the U.S. Census Bureau helps quantitatively demonstrate
  !'$!! TOf the benefits associated with repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ or passing the Uniting American Families Act.

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2010 marks first time married get out some very basic messages,” he said.
Ruddell-Tabisola also said the 2010
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gay couples will be counted Census is the first to have LGBT public service
announcements. He noted that 19 such
By CHRIS JOHNSON announcements were to be unveiled this week. While stressing the importance of the
Census as a means to collect data about
Looking to advertise in LGBT rights advocates are pushing the LGBT people, panelists expressed concerns
importance of participation in the U.S. Census as about the count not gathering sufficient infor-

they call for greater outreach and the opportunity mation and employing inadequate outreach.
for more informed responses from gay people. Glenn Magpantay, staff attorney for Asian
During a congressional briefing April 1 for American Legal Defense and Education Fund,
the LGBT Equality Caucus, panelists empha- said there might not be enough diversity
Contact Lynne Brown sized that getting LGBT people counted in the among Census takers so that minorities —
2010 Census will reveal useful information. including LGBT people — would be comfort-
Gary Gates, a research fellow at the able answering questions truthfully.
at Williams Institute, a think tank at the University “So when the door-knockers come, and if I
of California, Los Angeles, noted that 2010 come from a two female household, and the
marks the first time that married same-sex Census taker doesn’t look really receptive to
couples will be counted as such in the Census. my family household and structure, basically
Still, Gates said the count wouldn’t neces- will I be harassed by the Census taker?” he
sarily reveal the number of legally married said. “Will they have the diversity and the abili-
same-sex couples in the United States. ty to enumerate a diverse America?”
“Same-sex couples, have, as we all know, Panelists also discussed the possibility of ask-
many, many legal ways in which they can be rec- ing responders to identify their sexual orientation
ognized, and it’s not clear that in options that and gender identity in subsequent censuses.
include either husband and wife or unmarried Mara Keisling, executive director of the
partner capture all those different ways,” he said. National Center for Transgender Equality, said
“We certainly know that there are many more transgender people have discussed the feasi-
couples who see their relationships as one where bility of a question asking to list gender identi-
the person is spouse and legally married.” ty on the survey because of the general lack of
Gates said earlier data — particularly from the information about the transgender community.
larger American Community Survey issued by “We know very little about transgender peo-
the U.S. Census Bureau — provided the basis for ple,” she said. “There are almost no studies about
finding important information about LGBT peo- transgender people. We really know almost noth-
ple, including that an estimated 565,000 same- ing. We don’t know how many of us there are. We
sex couples live in United States and 150,000 don’t know what our economic situation is.”
same-sex couples identify as married. Keisling said many transgender people are urg-
This data, Gates said, also led to findings ing others to mark their gender as “transgender” on
that around 66,000 gay service members the Census form, although she said many are
serve in the military under “Don’t Ask, Don’t resisting that idea because the majority of trans-
Tell” and 36,000 bi-national couples would gender people identify as either male or female.
benefit from the Uniting American Families Act. Following the briefing, Ruddell-Tabisola told
Brian Moulton, chief legislative counsel for
the Human Rights Campaign, said having this
data is helpful in convincing members of
DC Agenda that the Census Bureau is consider-
ing a number of ways to update forms in the
future, but is cautious about making any changes.
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april 9, 2010 • 9


‘Don’t Ask’ experts assail Obama’s Justice Department

Claim administration
misrepresented views
in new legal brief

Experts on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

are lambasting the Justice Department,
claiming the administration misrepre-
sented their views in a legal brief aimed
at thwarting a court challenge to the
ban on open service.
Nathaniel Frank, a senior fellow at
the Palm Center, a think tank at the
University of California, Santa Barbara,
said the Obama administration mis-
characterized his views on the
impact that open service would have
on privacy issues.
“The way they portrayed me is
preposterous and I’m not sure that
any person in good faith hearing
what I had to say could conclude
what the [Department of Justice]
concluded in their [request for] sum-
mary judgment,” he said. “I specifical-
ly said having a concern about priva-
cy is not irrational, but using that pri-
vacy concern as an argument for the
Photo by Joe Tresh
need to ban gays is irrational.”
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm President Barack Obama’s Justice Department is drawing fire for allegedly misrepresenting the views of certain ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ experts.
Center, similarly claimed the Justice
Department misrepresented what he matter based on professional judg- But Belkin said the Justice The Justice Department didn’t Aubrey Sarvis, executive director
said in depositions about privacy ment, but said Powell’s statement Department’s account of his deposition respond to a request for comment on of the Servicemembers Legal
arguments, and even went so far as doesn’t “constitute an argument for and his alleged acknowledgement of a Frank and Belkin’s assertions that they Defense Network, expressed simi-
to say the Obama administration keeping out open homosexuals.” rational basis for privacy concerns was were mischaracterized in the brief. lar disappointment in a statement
lawyers weren’t being truthful. “Because what he says here is that completely off the mark. Frank also took issue with the responding to the brief.
“They completely misrepresented service members are required to serve “People who defend ‘Don’t Ask, Justice Department’s repeated refer- “SLDN understands the Justice
my statement in the deposition,” with very little privacy, so it doesn’t Don’t Tell’ for almost 20 years have ences to experts on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Department’s role in defending the
Belkin said. “They were not being make any sense to me to conclude been confusing up with down and left Tell” with the use of quotation marks. constitutionality of federal laws, even
truthful about my statement because from that that there is a justification to with right,” he said. “If the Obama For example, the brief says in a ones with which its leaders do not
they said that I claimed that there is exclude open homosexuals since he’s administration lawyers think that my footnote that “LCR’s ‘experts’ ultimate- agree,” Sarvis said. “However, there
a rational basis for the privacy argu- just acknowledged that part of being in remarks in any way constitute an ly seek to challenge the wisdom of the continues to be a big and unnecessary
ments, and I claimed no such thing.” the military means sacrificing privacy,” acknowledgement of the rational DADT policy, a challenge that is irrele- disconnect between what DOJ files in
In a request for summary judg- Frank said in his deposition. basis for the privacy rationale, then vant under rational basis review.” court and what the president says on
ment released last week, the Justice It’s for this reason that Frank is they need a new legal team.” Frank said the repeated reference Capitol Hill and to his top [Department
Department names Frank and Belkin now saying the Justice Department Belkin said the Justice Department to experts in quotation marks is “high- of Defense] leadership team.”
as among the experts on “Don’t Ask, misrepresented his views in the brief neglected to mention major points ly unusual” for the Justice Department Sarvis said he wants the White
Don’t Tell” who gave depositions in against the lawsuit. about his deposition. He said he and “may have gone too far.” House to make clear to Congress that
the case of Log Cabin v. United “So I really said the opposite of brought up men having sex with other “That’s a favorite tactic of the reli- “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a priority this
States. The lawsuit seeks to overturn what the DOJ motion claims,” he said. men because he believes straight men gious right to polish their anti-intel- year for President Obama and for the
the ban on the basis that it infringes “I made very clear that I would not call would be having sex with men in the lectual credentials, and make it seem president to include repeal language
upon the First Amendment rights of those feelings [about privacy] irra- military regardless of the ban. like there’s no such things as a in budget language headed to Capitol
LGBT service members. tional, but nor would I call it rational to “Think for a minute about prisons,” homosexual, so they’ll put homosex- Hill in the coming weeks.
Both Frank and Belkin were ques- use that feeling as a legitimate basis he said. “It’s not exactly the same, but ual in quotes,” he said. “The president’s defense budget
tioned during deposition about whether for excluding a whole group of people. the point is not that gays are responsi- The Obama administration defense repeal language should mirror the
privacy concerns for service members And that’s all there in the record.” ble for gay sex, but a lot of people have of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” statute words in his State of the Union
constituted a rational basis for the enact- Belkin similarly cried foul, claim- same-sex sex in the military and the against the challenge from Log Cabin speech to Congress and the
ment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993. ing the Justice Department mischar- privacy rationale does not take that is causing consternation among advo- American people,” Sarvis said.
The brief says Frank “acknowl- acterized his deposition in the brief. into account. The privacy rationale is cacy groups seeking to repeal the law. In a statement, Tracy Schmaler,
edged” during his deposition that The administration says that Belkin premised on the assumption that it’s Joe Solmonese, president of the spokesperson for the Justice
“privacy concerns such as those on testified that “the privacy basis is only gays who having sex, so you Human Rights Campaign, said “we Department, said the administration
which Congress relied were not irra- rational in circumstances such as have to get rid of the gays if you want took a step backward” with the is defending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as
tional.” But Frank disputed this char- combat where private accommoda- to get rid of that kind of thing.” Justice Department brief in the move “it traditionally does when acts of
acterization, pointing to his remarks tions are not possible.” Belkin also said the Justice to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Congress are challenged.”
during deposition. “Dr. Belkin studied the experience Department misconstrued his take on that the brief “relies on arguments “The department does not pick
According to an excerpt of the dep- of the Israeli military and found that there being a rational basis for “Don’t that were debunked and discredited and choose which federal laws it will
osition obtained by DC Agenda, Frank heterosexual concern about privacy Ask, Don’t Tell” because some straight in 1993, and even more so now.” defend based on any one administra-
was asked about privacy issues in the necessitated, in certain instances, service members are uncomfortable Solmonese also called on the tion’s policy preferences,” she said.
context of whether former Chairman of separate accommodations or work around gay service members. administration to “show leadership, Schmaler said Obama disagrees
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin arrangements for heterosexual serv- “It’s absolutely true that some het- move the debate forward, and work with with the underlying judgments Congress
Powell’s statement in 1993 that service ice members,” says the brief. “Dr. erosexual service members are Congress to get repeal done” this year. used to pass “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”
members “are required to live in com- Belkin also acknowledged similar uncomfortable in front of gay service “While the Pentagon undertakes its and noted that the president “believes
munal settings that force intimacy and findings with respect to Congress’ members, but that in no way consti- review of how to implement repeal, and has repeatedly affirmed that
provide little privacy” was based on concern regarding sexual tension tutes a rational basis for the privacy Congress can and must move forward [‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’] is a bad policy
professional military judgment. within the military.” rationale because gays and lesbians in repealing DADT in the same bill that that harms our national security and
Frank replied that Powell — According to the brief, Belkin also are already serving with straight put it into law more than 17 years ago undermines our military effectiveness.”
whose position has since evolved to “pointedly admitted” people in the mil- service members — and the condi- — the defense authorization act,” he “The president and his adminis-
endorse the Pentagon’s process for itary have sex with each other, and tions in the barracks and the showers said. “And the president can and must tration are working with the military
repealing the law — may have had some service members have “sex are not going to change after the provide the leadership necessary to leadership and Congress to repeal
concerns with privacy as a general with other members of the same sex.” repeal of the ban,” he said. get the law passed this year.” this discriminatory [law],” she said.
10 • april 9, 2010


HRC staff shakeup leads to 2 key departures

New communications from disagreements over HRC poli-
cy or strategy.
VP to start next month On March 18, two days after it
announced the appointment of Sainz
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. and the restructuring of its communi- cations department, HRC came
under fire from some activists for
The director and deputy director of teaming up with comedienne Kathy
the Human Rights Campaign’s com- Griffin in a Washington rally support-
munications department have left their ing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t
jobs following a staff restructuring. Tell.” The rally, which drew about
Both departures come after HRC 1,000 people, took place in Freedom
announced March 15 that it had creat- Plaza in downtown Washington.
ed the new position of vice president Sentiment by some activists that
of communications and marketing, Griffin’s off-color humor was not
naming the communications head of appropriate for a serious issue like
the gay-oriented Gill Foundation, Fred “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was under-
Sainz, to fill the post. scored by gay Army Lt. Dan Choi,
In creating the position, HRC who expressed such a view in
eliminated its position of director of unscheduled remarks at the rally.
communications, resulting in the lay- On stage, Choi asked the crowd
off of Brad Luna, who held that post to march with him to the White
for the past four years, according to House, about four blocks away.
David Smith, HRC’s vice president Several hundred people followed
DC Agenda file photo by Michael Key
for programs. Choi to the White House, where
Luna’s departure from HRC on ‘A key component in changing hearts and minds or moving recalcitrant elected officials is an aggressive and creative commu- he and former Army Capt. Jim
March 26 was followed one week nications strategy,’ Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a statement. Brad Luna, HRC’s director of com- Pietrangelo handcuffed them-
later by the resignation of HRC’s munications, was laid off last month after four years on the job. selves to the White House fence in
deputy communications director, an action the two did not announce
Trevor Thomas, who’s now consult- said in a March 15 statement announc- Jerry Sanders before joining the Gill Smith told DC Agenda on Friday in advance.
ing for the Servicemembers Legal ing Sainz’s appointment. Foundation, “brings deep political that the restructuring of the HRC com- Police arrested Choi and
Defense Network. “And often a key component in instincts and a commitment to LGBT munications department was prompt- Pietrangelo, along with activist Robin
“In this rapidly changing and often changing hearts and minds or mov- equality that will enhance our work. ed by political and societal changes in McGehee, who assisted the men,
volatile political environment, HRC ing recalcitrant elected officials is an We’re thrilled to have him join our sen- recent years. He said Sainz is sched- creating a civil disobedience event
must continue to both prod and per- aggressive and creative communica- ior team.” Sanders is a Republican uled to begin at HRC on May 10. that overshadowed the HRC rally
suade in our mission to improve the tions strategy,” Solmonese said. who made headlines in 2007 after a Smith did not respond to a ques- and triggered a national debate
lives of LGBT people across the coun- He said Sainz, who served as tearful news conference in which he tion asking whether Luna’s layoff among LGBT activists over the
try,” HRC President Joe Solmonese press secretary for San Diego Mayor endorsed same-sex marriage rights. and Thomas’s resignation stemmed movement’s strategy and tactics.

LGBT groups take stance on priest sex abuse edge their responsibility, the cycle of contexts to basically blame the problem mate that gay people continue to
Catholic League criticized abuse will continue.” on, quote unquote, homosexual face in this country,” said Rashad
for linking scandal to For more than a decade, LGBT
media advocacy group Gay &
priests,” Voelkel said. “This goes against
everything we know about sexual
Robinson, GLAAD’s senior director
of media programs.
homosexuality Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation abuse being perpetrated 95, 99 percent Voelkel said the Task Force is
has lobbied the news media for fair of the time by heterosexual men.” most concerned about the lack of
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. coverage of the priest sex abuse Voelkel and GLAAD spokesper- action against Murphy by church scandal. Literature on the group’s son Richard Ferraro said their authorities in Wisconsin and possibly
web site points to scientific studies respective groups were concerned the Vatican, which reportedly had
The National Gay & Lesbian Task showing that abuse of children simi- about media coverage of a renewed learned of specific abuse allegations
Force has joined LGBT religious groups lar to the reported action by priests is campaign begun last week by Bill against him while he still headed the
in criticizing Pope Benedict XVI and the related to pedophilia, which is not Donohue, president of the Catholic Wisconsin school.
Catholic Church hierarchy for not taking linked to homosexuality. League, claiming that the priest Marianne Duddy-Burke, president
sufficient action to stop alleged sexual But the March 30 statement from the abuse case in Wisconsin was rooted of the national LGBT Catholic group
abuse by priests against children and Task Force and leaders of its National in homosexuality. Dignity USA, said Donohue’s claims
teenagers in the U.S. and Europe. Religious Leadership Roundtable repre- In interviews on CNN and in a full- linking priest sex abuse to homosex-
In a joint statement, leaders of five sents one of the first instances of a page ad in the New York Times, uality go against comments made by
groups that are part of the Task national, secular LGBT political group Donohue pointed to findings that Pope Benedict himself during his
Photo courtesy of Voelkel
Force’s National Religious Leadership taking a visible stand on the widening most of the male youths in a visit to the U.S. in 2008.
Roundtable cited recent allegations that priest abuse scandal. Wisconsin school for the deaf were When asked at that time about Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, director of the
a priest who headed a school for deaf Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, director of above the age of puberty. Victims of homosexuality, Benedict said he pre- National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s
children in Wisconsin sexually abused the Task Force’s Faith Work project, the abuse, who are now adults, ferred not to talk about that subject Faith Work project, said rather than
more than 200 youths at the school said the group’s decision to speak reported they were targeted by on his U.S. visit, but added that take responsibility for the priest sex
over a period of more than 20 years. out on the issue was in keeping with Father Lawrence Murphy between pedophilia and sexual abuse of abuse scandal, the church continues
“The appalling story from Wisconsin its mission to advance the cause of 1950 and 1974. Murphy died in 1998. minors was not related to homosexu- to ‘blame the problem on, quote
of the priest who abused over 200 stu- social justice for all people, not just Donohue said that because the ality and instead was “another thing.” unquote, homosexual priests.’
dents, and whose sins and crimes were the LGBT community. youths were post-pubescent, the Rev. Debra Haffner, executive
covered up by the Catholic hierarchy, Among the people the group abuse was a “homosexual issue,” not a director of the Religious Institute, an ence to urge all religious institutions
wrenches the heart and tests a per- stands in solidarity with, she said, are matter of pedophilia, which he said is LGBT supportive organization and a to address sexuality in healthier,
son’s faith,” said Francis DeBernardo, the victims of priest sexual abuse. linked to pre-pubescent sexual abuse. member of the Task Force’s National more open and responsible ways.
executive director of the gay Catholic She said the Task Force and its reli- GLAAD and other groups monitor- Religious Leadership Roundtable, “Pope Benedict, the world is
group New Ways Ministry. gious roundtable leaders also wanted ing the case in Wisconsin and other called on Benedict to take immediate watching and waiting.”
“It gets to the heart of what has to clarify and debunk claims by some alleged priest abuse cases have said steps to moderate the church’s posi- Others who contributed to the
too often been the case in stories like church officials that the priest abuse sexual abuse is no more linked to tion on human sexuality. joint statement on the priest abuse
this — the clerical system of secrecy, cases are rooted in homosexuality and homosexuality than it is to heterosex- “The pope now has an urgent scandal were Rev. Darlene Nipper,
silence and unaccountability is the perpetuated by gay priests. uality, noting that abusers should be responsibility — and an extraordi- the Task Force’s deputy director,
main culprit,” he said. “Sadly, until the “Rather than taking responsibility for criminally prosecuted and prevented nary opportunity,” she said. “He must and Mary Hunt, co-director of the
bishops responsible for moving and creating an atmosphere of justice, from harming other children or youth. not only move beyond apologies to Women’s Alliance for Theology,
abusers to other locales acknowl- the church has chosen in many, many “Donohue is feeding a hostile cli- action, but could also use his influ- Ethics & Ritual.
april 9, 2010 • 11

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12 • april 9, 2010

directoryservices U.S. senators seek review

Becky Carroll, Ph.D.
of FDA’s gay blood ban
WASHINGTON — A group of 18 U.S.
Licensed Psychologist senators, led by John Kerry (D-Mass.),
Interactive Counseling, wrote last month to the Food & Drug
Psychotherapy and Administration, the agency that regulates
Somatic Experiencing the nation’s blood supply, to review what
they called “outdated, medically and sci-
202.332.8477 entifically unsound deferral criteria” that exclude gay donors, according to a
report in the Kansas City Star.
3000 Connecticut Ave., NW The FDA said it is “actively engaged in
re-examining the issue of blood donor
deferral” among gay men.
Cognitive-Behavioral “Taking into account the current body

Therapy of scientific information … we are consid-

ering the possibility of pursuing alterna-
Results-Oriented ▼ Affordable tive strategies that maintain blood safety,”
a recent FDA statement said.
Larry Cohen, LICSW A Health & Human Services advisory
22 years serving the glbt community committee on blood safety plans to
202-244-0903 review the issue in June. The federal government mandated a life-
See website for NPR story on my work time ban on blood donations from men who
have had sex with men in the 1980s. The
rationale was that HIV can be spread
Individuals u Couples u Sex
through blood transfusions, and gay men
Helping People are more likely to carry HIV than the gener-
al population. But increasingly sophisticated
Grow Stronger tests are making it easier to detect HIV and
in Rough Times a movement has begun seeking an end to
the lifetime ban and bring the rules for gay
Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. blood donors more in line with restrictions
Licensed Psychologist u 15 years experience
placed on other potentially risky donors,
Near Woodley & Cleveland Park metro according to the Kansas City Star report.
( 202) 234-3278 The FDA’s ban began in 1983, when
blood collection facilities began telling
donors to refrain from donating blood if Photo courtesy of Kerry’s office
Sidney W. Binks III, Ph.D. they were in any of the groups at high risk
Joel C. Ang, M.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist of AIDS infection. But the rule for gay Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is among 18 senators who
Family Medicine, HIV Diagnosis & Treatment men excludes blood donations by all men wrote to the FDA asking for a review of the agency’s ban
202-667-5041 Individual & Couples Therapy who have had sex with another man, on blood donations from men who have sex with men.
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Obscure California law seeks cure for homosexuality
free Wi-Fi • Limited Parking 3000 Connecticut Avenue LOS ANGELES — A quirky California law requires health experts to find a cure for homosex- uality and one lawmaker is working to overturn it. Bonnie Lowenthal, author of Assembly Bill 2199, represents Long Beach in the California Assembly,
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and wrote a piece this week for the Los Angeles Times about the origins of the obscure 60-year-old law.
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The law came in response to public outcry over sex crimes in California, specifically the
molestation-murder of a 6-year-old girl, Lowenthal wrote, but the murderer was not a gay man and
Instant HIV/Syphilis/Herpes Testing there was no connection between the crime and homosexuality.
CLIA Certified Laboratory
“Well-meaning California legislators passed a law that not only required health officials to seek
‘the causes and cures of homosexuality,’” she wrote, “but likened people who are gay to child
Sylvia R. Medley, M.D., M.P.H. molesters. Amazingly, it’s still on the books. You might call it ‘Linda’s Law.’”
Internal Medicine, HIV, Women’s Health Linda Joyce Glucoft went out to play after dinner on Nov. 14, 1949, and never came home. She
Weight Management was raped and murdered by the grandfather of one of her playmates, a repeat sex offender,
202-667-5041 according to Lowenthal, and even before the killer had been sentenced to death, Gov. Earl
Warren called a special session of the Legislature to deal with the issue of sexual predators.
Lawmakers ordered the state’s mental hospitals and universities to find a solution.
“It was at this step, as the Legislature defined the role of science in solving the ‘sexual psy-
Michael Deninger PhD chopath’ problem, that gay people — simply because they vexed the psychiatric profession —
Licensed Professional Counselor were swept up in the net,” Lowenthal wrote. “In 1950, homosexuality remained, officially, a men-
Certifed in Hypnotherapy and NLP tal disorder. So when the Legislature promised funding for a study into the causes and cures of
sexual deviance, it was, tragically, natural to add homosexuality to the list.”
One of the bills Warren signed included a command that the “Department of Mental Hygiene
• Relationships • Habits
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• Coming Out • Depression plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexu-
• Phobias • Spirituality al deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and
• Traumas • Family Issues cures of homosexuality, and methods of identifying potential sex offenders.”
• Anxiety • Intimacy Assembly Bill 2199, authored by Lowenthal, seeks to overturn the law. It was set for its first
hearing this week after DC Agenda deadline.
(703)212-8406 •
San Francisco backs early antiretroviral drugs for HIV
Want a subscription to SAN FRANCISCO — The city’s Department of Public Health is expected to release new
guidelines that call for HIV-positive patients to begin taking antiretroviral drugs as soon as they
dcagenda? are diagnosed, the New York Times reported.
Previous guidelines directed physicians to delay antiretroviral treatment, due to potential side effects.
The new policy follows research that early HIV treatment can help patients live longer and
Contact decrease their likelihood of experiencing health complications such as cancer, heart disease or
kidney failure, the Times reported.
Robbie Barnett at Under the new guidelines, people who test positive for HIV will be offered combination anti-
retroviral therapy. Antiretroviral drugs currently cost about $12,000 per year and account for about $350 million of the California AIDS Drug Assistance Plan’s budget, according to the Times story.
april 9, 2010 • 13

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14 • april 9, 2010


Gay Georgia teens prepare for controversial prom date

Derrick Martin lost brought Martin to the stage at
Virginia Highland Baptist Church,
was in the yard. His parents are not
very nice.”
his home, but won praised his bravery, and named him Martin said he came out a year-
an honorary member. and-a-half ago. He told his best
supporters nationwide Martin sings baritone in his friend first. Then his parents found
school’s show choir and said he was text messages he’d exchanged with
By DYANA BAGBY thrilled by the unexpected honor. a boy he was dating at the time.
Special from Georgia Voice “It’s been surprising how many “They knew something was up. I
people care,” he said. “If I move to told them. Then they took my car, my
ATLANTA — Richard Goodman Atlanta I would definitely want to be iPod, my phone, my laptop — every
hopes to spend some quality time part of the AGMC.” way they could think of to try to keep
with his boyfriend this weekend, While Goodman, who is also in me from communicating with him,” he
maybe catching a movie and looking his school’s show choir and plays the said. “It was really hard back then …
for a tuxedo to wear to the prom. trumpet, is worried about his but everything I’ve gone though has
“He’s thinking black and white but boyfriend’s safety, he is comforted by made me stronger.”
I told him we should go and look to the number of Facebook fans on the Martin said he knew he was gay
see what they have,” Goodman said page “We support Derrick Martin from a young age.
in a phone interview. going to his prom.” To date, there are “Realizing it for myself was not
Goodman, 18, is dating Derrick more than 6,000 members. hard,” he said. “I knew that I was
Martin, also 18. Martin made inter- “Cochran only has about 5,000 peo- more attracted to boys than girls — I
national headlines after receiving Photo by Shannon Jenkins Photo courtesy of Goodman ple. They could take over Cochran if they knew that since the ninth grade. If
approval from school officials to bring Derrick Martin made headlines after Richard Goodman’s parents are wanted,” Goodman said with a laugh. “It you’re not attracted to girls, you’re
Goodman to his senior prom, set for winning approval from school officials accepting of his sexual orientation helps to know we are not alone.” not attracted to girls.”
April 17 at Bleckley County High to bring his boyfriend to his senior and his relationship with Derrick Goodman also came to grips with
School in Cochran, Ga. prom, set for April 17, in rural Georgia. Martin. The two met on Facebook. Problems at home being gay and came out when he
Cochran is a small middle- Martin’s parents kicked him out of was 17. Interestingly, his mother also
Georgia town with a population of she could not turn down the request. Martin’s choice to fight for his right his home after news broke in the found text messages on his cell
approximately 5,000. Goodman is a “You don’t have the right to say to take his boyfriend to the prom has Macon Telegraph and local TV news of phone that made her suspicious he
senior at Tift County High School in no,” Masters said. “As a principal, I inspired numerous activists and sup- him bringing Goodman to the prom. was dating a boy.
Tift, Ga., about two hours south of don’t judge him. I’m taught not to porters from across the country to His father is a math teacher at “I had an idea when I was little,
Cochran. He and Martin talk regular- judge. I have to push my own beliefs donate money to help him cover Bleckley County High School and but I ignored it,” Goodman said.
ly on the phone, but it’s been awhile to the background.” costs for his prom. Supporters have Martin says he still talks to him. His “Finally, I was like, OK, I think I’m gay.
since they’ve spent time together. also launched two Facebook pages mother has pancreatitis and has been I did have a girlfriend for three years.”
“If I’m lucky I see him once a to back him and PFLAG Macon in and out of the hospital since he was Goodman’s parents are very
month,” Goodman said. “I kind of feel
‘Bringing Bleckley helped him set up a PayPal account. a small boy, Martin said, which adds to accepting of him being gay and his
like they’re pulling him away.” into the gay era’ “The only reason I set up a PayPal the difficulty of their relationship. relationship with Martin.
They? The media? Martin is working with local gay account is because the school was “I had moved out one time before “At first momma wasn’t happy but
“Yeah,” Goodman answers. “He’s activists to find security for his prom. being inundated and my old house was so I was a little prepared for it,” he said. she’s come around and now she’s
gotten a lot of attention. I usually fly Bleckley students held a rally at being inundated. I’m not doing this for Martin said he was emancipated, great. She loves Derrick. My dad was
below the radar.” Cochran City Hall March 25 to the money. The only thing I want is for but not through the court system, always, ‘You are my son and I love
Neither Martin nor Goodman pre- protest the school’s decision to let people like me to know you can go to when he was 17. His parents agreed you,’” Goodman said.
dicted the attention their story would him attend prom with his boyfriend, prom,” Martin said. “I didn’t go to the to allow him to move back in and while How the two young men met can
receive. Martin has given numerous and now some of those students plan media first. This is not about money.” he has personal feelings about what be credited to Facebook.
newspaper, radio and television inter- to hold an alternate prom. Martin said he’s received several his parents have done, he is also a bit “He randomly added me on
views, and is a major topic in the gay Martin decided to go to the March donations already. defensive when others criticize them. Facebook. He said he was watching
blogosphere. Martin said he even got 25 rally to see what was happening. “It’s more than I ever thought. It’s “They’re still your parents, your a movie with a character named Dick
a call from Ellen DeGeneres asking “I just wanted to show my face and not a substantial amount, but defi- family,” he said. and he wanted a friend named
him to come on her show. show them I wasn’t afraid. They were nitely enough to make my prom Martin said being kicked out of his Richard so he could call him that,”
And while Martin has been getting saying I was bringing a bad name to amazing,” he said. “I’ve never been home by his parents because of the Goodman said. “We had a mutual
all the press, Goodman acknowl- Cochran,” he said. “They said I was bring- one to ask for help, I’ve always done media attention this story has gar- friend — that’s how he came up with
edged he felt a little left out. After all, ing Bleckley County into the gay era.” things on my own, and now I’m rely- nered hasn’t dissuaded him from an excuse of why he added me.”
he is Martin’s boyfriend. One reason the students gave for ing on others — it’s all so new to me.” being who he is. The two began corresponding reg-
“It bothers me just slightly,” he protesting was the claim that if Martin Martin has promised 25 percent “I know they had the right ularly and dated a little while before
said with a shy laugh. brought the county into the “gay era,” of the money he receives will go to because it’s their house. Now I just breaking up for about a week because
Martin said he has been privately more gay people would move there. Constance McMillen. Learning about want to get an apartment and then of the distance between their homes.
working on getting approval to bring “There were a lot of ignorant com- McMillen, the Mississippi lesbian go to college,” he said. “We worked through it,” Goodman said.
Goodman to the prom since ments to be honest,” he said. whose prom was canceled by school Martin has a scholarship to What does Goodman like about
December. Bleckley Principal Michelle Bleckley senior Amber Duskin, administrators after she asked to Georgia Southern University where he Martin?
Masters at first told him it was not who organized the rally and is lead- bring her girlfriend as her date, made will major in pre-law. Goodman hopes “There’s so much, I don’t know
going to happen because it had never ing a charge to have an alternate him continue to fight to bring his to go to Georgia Southern University how to narrow it down,” he said. “He’s
been done before and because the prom, told the Macon Telegraph she boyfriend to his prom. as well to study veterinary medicine. smart, he’s funny and he knows how
school “was not ready for it.” would not attend her senior prom “She was an inspiration for me,” Martin said the day he was told to to take care of me when I need it.”
“She gave several reasons but I because of Martin. he said. “And now my goal is to leave his home was an average day. He Martin plans on taking Goodman to a
wasn’t going to back down. I wasn’t “I don’t believe in going up there and inspire others. I know what it’s like to went to school and then to his job with nice dinner the night of the prom, either
confrontational, I was just telling the dancing with gay guys like that,” she be inspired.” a state tutoring program for at-risk third, in his 2007 Monte Carlo or a rented lim-
truth,” he said. said. “It’s also not just him bringing a boy. Locally, the Atlanta chapter of fourth, fifth grade students and middle ousine. And while he admits he’s not a
So Masters said she would take It was bringing all this attention to it.” Sisters, which aspires to be a full schools students to help them pass the great dancer, he looks forward to sharing
his request to the school board. The Martin said he confronted Duskin house of the San Francisco-based state assessment exams. When he got a special night with his boyfriend.
board met twice before following an recently in the school cafeteria after Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is home that evening his mother told him “There was a time when I wasn’t
attorney’s advice that there was no she shouted at him and told other stu- also looking for ways to raise money to pack his bags and leave. sure I could go to the prom. But you can
policy prohibiting Martin from bringing dents to “come protest these queers.” for Martin and hopes to plan “So I packed my stuff and left,” he take your boyfriend or your girlfriend to
a same-sex date to his senior prom. “She was talking bad stuff, saying fundraisers in the near future. said. “She said it was disrespectful of prom even if you are gay,” he said.
“It took them until the second she wishes we wouldn’t show up. You “As soon as I read his story, it me” to interview with a local TV sta- “It’s prom. In the big picture, it’s a
Tuesday in March to approve but have to ignore people like that. She said struck a chord with me,” said Rick tion. He is now staying with a female good first step,” Martin added. “Then
they said they were afraid for my I should just go with a girl. I was trying to Westbrook, aka Rapture Divine Cox. friend in Cochran. someone else starts with marriage or
safety,” Martin said. figure out the mindset of these people,” “I’m from Cumming, Ga. I’m old His parents vehemently disapprove any rights or anything that’s hard for
And he does fear for his safety. he said. “She said I wasn’t a Christian. school and never could have done of Martin’s relationship with Goodman us as a community to achieve.”
He’s gotten one threat from someone I went off, but you have to try to be nice.” what Derrick is doing. It does my heart as well. The two have been dating for For Goodman, who has no desire
saying he better “watch his back.” Martin has also endured name- good to see young people stand up.” nine months and when Goodman would to go to his high school prom, the
“What can you do? I don’t give calling — “queer” and “faggot” — by On March 26 and March 27, drive to Cochran to visit he was never night is important, but he also plans
them the satisfaction,” Martin said. “I members of the baseball team. Martin was a guest of honor at the allowed to come to Martin’s house. to have a good time.
do walk with a friend always and “Sometimes you have to laugh Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus for the “I wasn’t allowed in his house,” “I think it could be fun. And I just
even put keys between my knuckles.” and say, well, that’s true, what’s your conclusion of its “Georgia on My Goodman said. “One day his mother want to go to the prom with Derrick,”
Masters told the Macon Telegraph point,” he said. Mind” tour. The renowned group threatened to call the cops because I he said.
april 9, 2010 • 15
16 • april 9, 2010


Hopes remain high for three key LGBT bills this year
Continued from page 1 Key pieces of pro-LGBT legisla- Months have passed since House recess and then do more work in authorization bill when the Senate
tion in Congress have encountered and Senate committees marked up the September and October before leav- Armed Services Committee takes up
the Senate their support and their roadblocks. bills late last year and sent them to the ing to focus on re-election. the legislation in May.
desire to move on ENDA, ‘Don’t Ask, Advocates are urging for the inclu- floors of their respective chambers, but Herwitt said she’s heard talk about a “Either it’s in the chairman’s mark
Don’t Tell’ and DPBO,” she said. sion of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal as OPM hasn’t yet made the offset infor- lame duck session following the or we do it as an amendment, and
Michael Mitchell, executive direc- part of the upcoming defense authori- mation public. The agency didn’t imme- November election, but said she does- that’s why we’re focusing very strate-
tor of the National Stonewall zation bill, but whether the votes exist diately respond to DC Agenda’s n’t “know if that will play itself out or not.” gically in some of our key states that
Democrats, voiced similar views. in the Senate Armed Services request for an update on the situation. While concerned about the pas- coincide with many of the members
“I think that we’re seeing some — Committee to attach the provision to During a panel discussion last sage of these bills before the end of the that sit on the Armed Services
donors are starting to put their the legislation remains to be seen. week on the U.S. Census, Mara year, advocates are anticipating some Committee,” she said.
money elsewhere or holding off,” he President Obama hasn’t spoken Keisling, executive director of the activity in the coming weeks when law- In the House, Herwitt said gay
said. “I think that there are rank-and- publicly in favor of repealing the ban National Center for Transgender makers return from spring break. rights supporters are pushing for an
file folks who are getting frustrated.” since his mention of the issue in his Equality, took time from her remarks Herwitt said she’s expecting the amendment on the floor to include
Mitchell said he thinks “we need to State of the Union address, and to urge advocates on Capitol Hill to House Education & Labor Committee “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal as part
remember” that Obama has been in the Defense Secretary Robert Gates told redouble their efforts. to take up ENDA and send it to the of the defense authorization bill after
White House for fewer than 18 months. reporters in response to a DC Agenda “The LGBT community is very, floor sometime in April or May. the Senate committee takes it up.
“On the other hand, a lot of people question last month that he doesn’t very serious about getting all these That timetable would square with Herwitt said advocates are looking
have been working on these issues for recommend legislative action this year three things done and it does not yet remarks Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) made at a floor vote in the House as opposed
decades, and people don’t want to before the Pentagon working group appear that Congress is serious to Karen Ocamb, a lesbian Los Angeles- to a committee vote because they “are
wait any longer, and we’ve been laying completes it study of the issue. about it,” she said. based journalist, that ENDA would pass challenged” with the number of conser-
a lot of groundwork for a very long time For ENDA, a House committee Keisling later clarified for DC committee by the end of April and reach vative Democrats on the panel and the
and we see this as our window to get markup of the legislation has been Agenda that her comments were the floor a week or two later. virtually non-existent support from
this stuff through,” he said. pushed back since late last year and “just me saying, ‘Hey pass these Herwitt said Rep. Barney Frank Republicans.
The November elections are weigh- still has yet to be scheduled, although things.’ It wasn’t me saying, ‘You guys (D-Mass), the House sponsor of Supporters of repeal, Herwitt said,
ing heavily on the minds of LGBT rights advocates are saying activity could aren’t passing them.’” ENDA, has said he’s ready to move are “in a very good place to move for-
advocates. Mitchell said the passage of happen in April or May. Multiple sources “The clock is running down, but forward with the legislation and to ward with a vote” in the House. Rep.
LGBT bills this Congress is important have told DC Agenda that the Senate there is still time to do it and we have to have a floor vote. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), the sponsor of
because of the strong possibility of lacks the 60 votes needed to overcome demand they do it,” she said. “It gets “This is not new — you even the House bill, has said he has the
reduced Democratic majorities. any attempted filibuster of ENDA. harder and harder for them the longer wrote a story about it — the Senate votes to pass repeal on the House floor.
“The landscape could certainly be Problems also plague legislation they put it off. Health care is out of the is much more of a challenge for us on “We are always, I think, in a bet-
more difficult for us, especially if it that would provide benefits to the way — start getting stuff done.” ENDA, but I think, at least from ter, or I should say, a stronger posi-
gets closer in the House,” he said. “I same-sex partners of federal employ- The window of opportunity for HRC’s perspective, getting a strong tion, when both bodies act on what-
said recently somewhere that [you] ees. Supporters of the bill in the Congress to act on these bills before vote in the House will help us push ever provision it is that we’re trying to
only need to look back about 18 Senate have said they won’t move lawmakers break to run their re-election the Senate forward,” Herwitt said. move forward,” she said. “So I think
months or two years to see how hard the bill to a floor vote until the U.S. campaigns is steadily becoming smaller. Regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t that we’re in a stronger place if we
it was to pass our agenda when we Office of Personnel Management pro- After lawmakers return this month, Tell” repeal, advocates are working to have the language repealing ‘Don’t
didn’t have control, and I think it will, vides information on how it will offset Herwitt said they’ll work through July include the language as part of the Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the Senate bill and
again, be like that.” the bill’s costs. before they break again for August Senate version of the defense we have a House floor vote.”

Races for mayor, Council chair feature pro-gay candidates

Continued from page 1 Under the city’s unusual election rule jurisdiction over the bill. man and one woman only.” In a posi- Catania, by comparison, raised slight-
governing the Council’s at-large seats, Urban’s candidacy, while consid- tion paper on the city’s public schools ly more than $134,000 as of the same
ment meeting June 14 for Democratic Urban would be competing for the seat ered a long shot, could potentially curriculum, he calls for eliminating all reporting period, according to records.
mayoral candidates, who will be invit- held by Catania, the author and lead galvanize voters who oppose gay references to sexual orientation and Each of the remaining Council
ed to speak and answer questions advocate for the gay marriage law. marriage, possibly turning Catania’s gender identity from school sex edu- members up for re-election this year
from club members. The club is sched- The city’s election law, which re-election bid into a surrogate refer- cation courses — components of the have strong records of support for
uled to vote on an endorsement after Congress wrote at the time it endum on marriage. Catania, howev- curriculum that LGBT activists lob- LGBT rights and each voted for the
the candidates speak. approved the city’s home rule charter er, could benefit from yet another bied to put in place. same-sex marriage bill. They include
Stein Club officials scheduled a sim- in the early 1970s, requires at least independent candidate who also Urban, who is white, is expected to Graham (D-Ward 1), Mary Cheh (D-
ilar endorsement meeting July 12 for one of the two at-large seats up for opposes same-sex marriage, Rev. reach out to socially conservative black Ward 3), Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5)
Democratic candidates running for the election this year to go to a non- Anthony Motley, who has been cam- voters in wards 7 and 8, as well as in other and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6).
Council chairman seat as well as one of majority party candidate. Since paigning for the so-called non- parts of the city, who have expressed So far, each of the four is consid-
two at-large Council seats up for grabs, Democrats make up the majority Democratic at-large seat since June. strong opposition to gay marriage. ered favorites to win re-election,
in which gay Democratic activist Clark party, only one of the two seats can Unlike Urban, Motley has expressed Under the city’s election law, the although Graham and Thomas face
Ray is challenging pro-gay Democratic go to a Democrat and both, theoreti- support for LGBT rights in all areas two at-large seats are awarded to the candidates who could wage a compet-
incumbent Phil Mendelson. cally, can go to a non-Democrat. other than marriage, saying he sup- two candidates — regardless of their itive race. Gay marriage opponents in
City Council insiders have said So far, Mendelson and Ray are the ports civil unions instead of same-sex party affiliation — who receive the Ward 5 vowed to target Thomas for
Mendelson is considering running for only Democrats competing for the marriage. Urban’s candidacy could highest vote counts in the general defeat. The views on same-sex mar-
the Council chairman seat now that Democratic nomination for the majori- potentially split the anti-same-sex mar- election in November. riage among three of the four candi-
Gray is giving it up to run for mayor. But ty party seat. The Washington City riage vote, strengthening Catania’s Catania enjoys widespread sup- dates running against Thomas could
unlike Evans and Brown, Mendelson Paper reported this week that Kelvin chances of winning the second, non- port among voters across the city on not be immediately determined.
remained silent this week on his inten- Robinson, who served as chief of staff Democratic at-large seat. a wide range of issues, and he’s con- One of Thomas’s challengers, gay
tions, leading some City Hall observers to former Mayor Anthony Williams, is In addition to opposing same-sex sidered the strong favorite to retain Republican Timothy Day, said he sup-
to speculate that he has decided to run strongly considering entering the marriage and calling for a voter initiative the non-Democratic seat. But ports same-sex marriage and would
once again for his at-large post. Democratic primary contest against to overturn the same-sex marriage law, Urban’s status as the first full-fledged run against Thomas on non-gay issues.
A decision by Mendelson to give up Mendelson and Ray. Robinson is Urban has campaigned against includ- anti-gay candidate to run for a City Among the few gay Democratic
his at-large seat to run for Council chair- believed to share Williams’ strong ing gay-related content in the D.C. pub- Council seat in many years is expect- activists who have taken sides in the
man was expected to greatly boost views in support of LGBT rights, lic school system’s sex education cur- ed to put to the test the strength of a mayor’s race, most emerged as sup-
Ray’s chance of becoming the Council’s including same-sex marriage. riculum. He has also emerged as one vocal group of socially conservative porters of Gray, including two of the
third openly gay member. Gay Council Most political observers consider of the city’s strongest advocates of ministers who have vowed to push 12 openly gay members of the D.C.
incumbents David Catania (I-At Large) Mendelson the strong favorite to win abstinence until marriage as the main for the defeat of Council members Democratic State Committee, the
and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) are also up the nomination and the general elec- method of preventing the spread of who voted for the gay marriage bill. governing body of the city’s
for re-election this year. tion should he decide to stay in the HIV/AIDS. He’s expressed strong oppo- Numbers filed with the city’s Democratic Party. Five of the gays on
Meanwhile, in a little noticed devel- race, with the gay vote expected to sition to the city’s current policy of dis- Office of Campaign Finance, howev- the committee said they would
opment, gay rights opponent Richard split between Ray and Mendelson. tributing free condoms to all groups er, show Urban had raised just $570 remain neutral in the race for the time
Urban, who has testified repeatedly in Mendelson, a longtime supporter of considered at high risk for HIV, includ- for his campaign as of the reporting being. Among the gay State
favor of a ballot measure to kill the LGBT rights, is credited with shep- ing high school students. period ending March 10, an amount Committee members remaining neu-
city’s same-sex marriage law, filed herding Catania’s same-sex mar- On his campaign web site, Urban that would lead most political tral is Stein Club Vice President
papers to run as an independent can- riage bill through the Council in his lists at the top of his platform a call for observers to conclude he has yet to Sheila Alexander-Reid, a prominent
didate for an at-large Council seat. role as chair of the committee with “marriage defined as the union of one become a serious candidate. Fenty backer in 2006.
april 9, 2010 • 17
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18 • april 9, 2010


‘ ’
Vol. 2, Issue 15

Reconvene the D.C. summit on HIV/AIDS Address: 1810 14th St., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20009
Phone: 202-747-2077
City must respond Publisher: Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc.

to this alarming We need our community leaders and PUBLISHER

health emergency politicians to speak out on this epidemic
ext. 8075

By PETER ROSENSTEIN every day, at every community meeting, KEVIN NAFF ext. 8088
News & Multimedia Editor
A recent report that shows 14 per-
cent of gay men in D.C. are HIV pos-
and in every faith-based institution. JOSHUA LYNSEN ext. 8086
itive must be a wake-up call to the JOEY DiGUGLIELMO
entire community. I agree with City and cried at countless funerals of men people are discovering their HIV sta- ext. 8081
Council member David Catania that who died much too early. tus earlier and with medication pre- Sr. News Reporter
these numbers are totally unaccept- I am thankful that the younger gen- venting cases of full blown AIDS. ext. 8079
able. The release of the study clearly eration doesn’t have to see that today. That is a good thing. But if people are News Reporter
indicates that we need to upgrade But because they don’t, as a commu- still becoming HIV positive, it means CHRIS JOHNSON ext. 8083
the District’s education and testing nity we need to recognize that those that they will be spending their lives Staff Photographer
programs. Because this study may men between the ages of 30 and 40 on medication at an extremely high MICHAEL KEY
have been skewed to wealthier men who were studied in the report and cost to the community, to themselves
and gay men who go to bars, we also didn’t even know their partner’s HIV and their families, which is some- PRODUCTION
Creative Director
need to do what Ron Simmons of “Us status and don’t use condoms never thing that should be unacceptable to ROB BOEGER
Helping Us” suggested and conduct learned the same fear of AIDS. Many all of us. The impact on the District’s ext. 8074
“an accurate study that reflects the of them went to school before educa- healthcare budget is huge and it will WEB
entire community.” tion on HIV/AIDS was a part of the cur- be cheaper in the long run to pro- Project Manager
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key CHEVROCK
I call on the D.C. HIV/AIDS riculum. They grew up to think that vide the education needed to pre-
Administration to immediately recon- The summit on HIV/AIDS held in April AIDS is a chronic disease that you vent this disease than to pay for it
vene the summit of HIV/AIDS organi- 2007 was part of a promise by keep under control with a pill. later to keep people alive. Our SALES & ADMINISTRATION
Sr. Acct. Executive
zations and health care providers from Mayor Adrian Fenty during his cam- I recently had a conversation with young people need to know that liv- BRIAN PITTS
across the District that was held in paign to fight the epidemic. There two young men in their 30s and one of ing with HIV or AIDS is not easy and ext. 8089
April 2007. The summit was part of a was never a follow up to that meeting. them said it wasn’t the responsibility we need to educate them on what Acct. Executive
promise by Mayor Adrian Fenty during of an HIV-positive person to inform his the impact on their lives will be. ext. 8072
his campaign to fight the HIV/AIDS across the District on the impact of potential sex partner of his status. I We are facing a community-wide Marketing Sales Executive
epidemic. I participated in that first HIV/AIDS on their lives. The numbers of find that scary. You should inform your health emergency and must treat it DION JORDAN ext. 8084
summit but there was never a follow up gay men who have HIV/AIDS in the partner of any sexually transmitted as such. We need our community Classified Advertising
to that meeting. It is time to bring that District and their lack of understanding disease you may have whether it is leaders and politicians to speak out PHILLIP G. ROCKSTROH
group back together to review where of how serious this is, along with the HIV, herpes or any other. on this epidemic every day, at every ext. 8092
Distribution Coordinator
we have come from, where we numbers released earlier in the year for I have marched in 20 AIDS Walks, community meeting, and in every ROBBIE BARNETT
are and to share new ideas and have the entire community, scream “more served on the Whitman-Walker faith-based institution. Only through ext. 8080
input into where we go from here. work is needed and it is needed now!” Development Committee for 10 years education will we finally get a handle Accounting services provided
It is crucial that we discuss and for- I am from a generation that read and now sit on its community adviso- on this epidemic and it must start by Martin & Wall, P.C. C.P.A.
Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC
mulate new plans to fight this epidemic, the obituary columns each day to see ry committee. I find it frightening that now and we must come together to
which impacts not only the gay com- who we knew that had died of AIDS. I today, when we know how to prevent determine how people will learn. All material in the DC Agenda is protected by
federal copyright law and may not be repro-
munity but all communities across the had to rewrite my address book on a HIV/AIDS, people are still becoming duced without the written consent of the
city. It is clear that we are still not doing weekly basis. I sat by the bedside of infected at alarming rates. Peter Rosenstein is a D.C.- DC Agenda. The sexual orientation of advertis-
enough to fight the epidemic. We need friends who became emaciated and The studies show that we are based LGBT rights and Democratic ers, photographers, writers and cartoonists
published herein is neither inferred nor implied.
to find new ways to educate people went blind before they died. I attended doing more testing and that more Party activist. The appearance of names or pictorial repre-
sentation does not necessarily indicate the

sexual orientation of that person or persons.
Although the DC Agenda is supported by many

Do your homework before saying ‘I do’ fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility
for claims made by advertisers.
Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the
DC Agenda, but the paper cannot take respon-
sibility for its return. The editors reserve the right
The problems we encounter are who come to me for advice that we
Follow your heart but both D.C.- and IRS-related. Once you need to arm ourselves with the best to accept, reject or edit any submission.

listen to reason and The IRS doesn’t are either registered as domestic information. At the end of the day it
Guidelines for freelance contributors are
available upon request.
partners or legally married you must may be a while before we can be
rational thought recognize your start preparing your D.C. taxes
together with your partner or spouse.
globally married and have the IRS be
as nice to us as they are to hetero-
A single copy of the DC Agenda is available
from authorized distribution points, to any
individual within a 50-mile radius of Washington,
By MICHAEL L. FINE relationship in Your options no longer include filing
as “single” for two very good reasons;
sexual couples, financially speaking.
But until that day comes there is no
D.C. Multiple copies are available from the DC
Agenda office only. Call for rates. If you are
unable to get to a convenient free distribution
A man about to have a heart
transplant was offered the choice of the same way Your spouse will be upset that you are
telling people you are “single” and the
reason to get into trouble.
Am I discouraging anyone from
point, you may receive a 52-week mailed
subscription for $175.00 per year. Checks or
credit card orders can be sent to Robbie
either a heart from a 26-year-old D.C. government is going to be equal- getting married because the tax impli-
marathon runner or the heart of a 62- that D.C. does ly upset because you will be in viola- cations are tough to navigate? No, I
Barnett at
Postmaster: Send address changes to the DC
year-old IRS agent. He picked the tion of the District tax laws. am not. Follow your heart but also lis-
Agenda, PO BOX 73647 Washington, DC 20056
IRS agent’s heart because he was fear this problem will just get worse. Also, even though D.C. says “I do,” ten to reason and rational thought. The DC Agenda is published weekly, on Friday,
certain it had never been used You see, as a D.C. tax accountant, the IRS does not. Before you run Let’s make sure we are all prepared by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual
before. Are you done rolling on the I have spent the better part of the down to the bank, title company or for everything marriage means. The Subscriptions are $175 per year for 52 issues
(only $3.37 per issue mailed to you USPS).
floor laughing? Good, now it’s time to past year and a half fixing some pret- real property office and begin tossing emotional part of marriage is not new Rates for businesses/institutions are $350 per
pay attention. The IRS doesn’t care if ty big errors that have come across your names onto each other’s prop- to us, but the financial and legal impli- year. Periodical postage paid at Washington,
you are married in Washington, D.C. my desk with respect to domestic erty titles, deeds, mortgages, bank cations are, and they should be D.C., and additional mailing offices.
We all know this, right? partnerships. Many of these errors accounts and investments, you need something we all consider. Editorial positions of the DC Agenda are
In early March, the first gay cou- come from accountants, outside the to consult a professional. This isn’t You would never buy a car or a expressed in editorials and in editors’
ple was married here in the District. D.C. Metro area, who don’t under- like a heterosexual marriage and you house without doing a little research. notes as determined by the paper’s editors.
Other opinions are those of the writers and
It was a very moving moment for me stand the nuances of D.C. tax code, may be creating irreversible federal Why would you get married without do not necessarily represent the opinion of
and my partner to watch, but that or they come from people who have gift tax situations. Remember, the putting in the same effort? the DC Agenda or its staff.
moment was short lived as a small “self prepared” their taxes in prior IRS doesn’t recognize your relation- To submit a letter or commentary: Letters
wave of fear crept over me. So many years with no institutional knowledge ship in the same way that D.C. does, Michael L. Fine, CSA is the should be fewer than 400 words; commen-
in our community have been register- of tax preparation. Some of these and therefore your marriage rights, owner and president of Finesse Tax taries should be fewer than 750 words.
ing as domestic partners, eager to errors have cost gay couples thou- from a tax perspective, do not extend Accounting, LLC. He was voted Submissions may be edited for content and
length, and must include a name, address and
get the benefits of marriage, without sands of dollars in taxes, penalties beyond our city limits. Business Person of the Year by the phone number for verification. Send submis-
fully understanding the massive tax and interest and all of them could Does all of this infuriate me? Of readers of the Washington Blade for sions by e-mail to
implications that will now befall them. have been avoided with some simple course it does. But rather than stay- 2006, 2007 and 2008. Reach him at ©
2010 Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc.
And now that we can legally marry, I planning or research. ing angry I have been telling those
april 9, 2010 • 19


2011 may be a taxing year for same-sex couples

Onerous federal estate spouse. Straight married couples get
a free pass. In 2010 only, there is an
dies, the IRS includes the entire amount
of the life insurance proceeds in the total
tions, the IRS adds the home to his
estate, even though it is titled jointly. DC Agenda, Equality Maryland
tax set to return unlimited exemption. As a result, a amount of the estate tax calculation. As a Mark could not show that he contributed and the DC Center will sponsor a
person can leave an unlimited size result, if you own a $500,000 life insur- to the mortgage payments. He was pay- series of free estate and financial
By JOSEPH KAPP estate to anyone, regardless of mar- ance policy in your name and have your ing for the utilities, car payments, etc. planning workshops to help local
riage status. partner as the beneficiary, your estate In 2011, Mark has to pay couples navigate new laws related
Congratulations, you assembled In 2011, however, unless Congress increases by $500,000. $275,000 in federal estate taxes. to same-sex marriage. RSVP to
your friends and family and got mar- acts, federal estate tax rules change. As The IRS also includes the gross Again, straight married couples pay Kevin Walling at Kevin@equality-
ried in Washington, D.C. Now it is rec- a result, same-sex couples could wit- value, less any mortgages on property zilch. Mark still walks away with a or 410-685-6567.
ognized in both D.C. and Maryland. ness a significant tax bite if a partner titled as Joint Tenants with Rights of cool $1,225,000, right? Join us in Baltimore, Silver Spring
Well, guess what? The IRS does- dies next year. Next year, at the death of Survivorship in the estate of the first Well, not exactly. Because Mark will or Washington to learn more:
n’t care. That’s right, to the IRS, you a partner, the value of any estate above person to die unless payments or con- continue to live in the home that part of April 13, 7 p.m., 190 W. Ostend
are still strangers. If your estate and $1 million will be taxed at 55 percent. tributions can be proven. the estate is not liquid or immediately St., Suite 201, Baltimore, MD.
retirement plans include leaving your To determine whether an estate is hit Let’s take a look at a hypothetical accessible. And Mark, like any hetero- April 14, 7 p.m., 8720 Georgia
partner your estate, next year may by the federal estate tax, it is important example: Mark, age 55, and Max, age sexual married beneficiary, is going to Ave., Suite 303, Silver Spring, MD.
well prove to be an expensive year to to understand how the IRS calculates 60, are looking to retire in five years. have to pay legal/probate fees. April 15, 7 p.m., 1330
die regardless of marital status! the tax. For the purposes of the estate They own a $550,000 home with a By re-structuring some of their Massachusetts Ave., NW,
Thanks to the Defense of Marriage tax calculation, the IRS includes almost $50,000 mortgage titled as joint tenants assets today, Max and Mark could Washington, D.C.
Act, even though same-sex couples everything. The biggest ticket items usu- with rights of survivorship. Max has reduce their estate size to potentially pay
can now get married in D.C. and have it ally include savings and checking been paying the mortgage, while Mark zero federal estate taxes. How? Review how your home is titled and
recognized in the state of Maryland, the accounts; investment accounts; retire- has been paying all the living expenses. Calculate the gross estate includ- who is making payments on the mort-
IRS still does not recognize the validity ment accounts; personal property and Max also owns two life insurance poli- ing all your assets. Be sure to calculate gage. Re-titling your home incorrectly
of that marriage. As a result, unlike het- real estate titled in the decedent’s own cies: one from work worth $250,000 and it the way the IRS does. Review your could trigger a costly current gift tax of
erosexual married couples who can name or the percentage portion that is a personal policy worth also $250,000. estate planning documents and bene- 55 percent if not done correctly. In some
pass an unlimited amount of assets titled as tenants in common; the gross His 401(k) has taken a hit with the mar- ficiary designations. Review the titling jurisdictions, even if it is done correctly,
between spouses at death, same-sex value of life insurance proceeds in the ket but is still valued at $425,000 and he of all your assets to determine in it may trigger a local transfer tax.
couples can be hit with the federal decedent’s own name; property that is has a rollover IRA with $25,000. He also whose estate the asset falls. Review Consult a professional to determine
estate tax, regardless of marriage sta- titled as joint tenants with rights of sur- has a brokerage account worth $25,000 the ownership of your life insurance what is the best way to structure your
tus. Understanding how the federal vivorship (which allows the property to and a $25,000 CD. including both your personal and work. estate and minimize your estate taxes.
estate tax rules work and following a pass automatically to a partner at death, While drinking a martini in By re-titling the ownership of the life
couple of action items could significant- the way many gay and lesbian couples Rehoboth, Max chokes on an olive insurance to either a trust or putting it *This information is not legal or
ly reduce or entirely eliminate this tax. have their homes titled). and dies. Unless Congress acts, the in your partner’s name you may be tax advice.
The federal estate tax is due The last two items are important and IRS will be owed $275,000 in 2011 able to remove it from your estate. Use
when a person leaves assets above frequently overlooked. Most people know (55 percent of the taxable estate) caution, however, because re-titling Joseph Kapp is a financial planner
a certain dollar amount to someone that life insurance passes income tax compared to zero in 2010. assets incorrectly could trigger a cost- with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.
other than a heterosexual married free, but if it is owned by the person who Because Max made all the contribu- ly current gift tax if not done correctly. Reach him at
20 • april 9, 2010

friday, april 9
7-9 p.m. at Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900
U St., N.W.
Lounge, 1318 9th St., N.W., from 6:30-
9:30 p.m. Complimentary Admission,
must be 21+ to enter
Volunteers are needed for the
the Mandarin Oriental. If you would
like to volunteer, please e-mail Photo courtesy of Cox
CAGLCC will honor local leaders in R&B and dance music star DEBORAH COX headlines the annual Cherry
the business community, including Weekend with a performance at Town on Saturday night. See last week’s
PR guru Cathy Renna, at the dinner. Agenda or visit to read our interview with Cox.
Tickets start at $180 for members.
Silent auction begins at 6:30 p.m.;
dinner and program start at 8 p.m.
Visit for information.
Photo courtesy of MTV
MIKE MANNING of the recently wrapped MTV series ‘Real World D.C.’ will
cherry weekend events
THE JULLIARD STRING QUARTET appear at Metro DC PFLAG’s 13th annual gala dinner on Saturday. The Cherry Fund Presents: “Cherry Weekend: A Return to Tradition.”
plays at the Library of Congress at Some of the hottest DJs are in town this weekend for a series of parties
8 p.m. in the Jefferson Building, er how to develop harmony, confidence basic Buddhist view, meditation, and for the annual Cherry Weekend. The Cherry Fund was incorporated in
ground floor, Coolidge Auditorium. and methods to calm minds. Kids are practice. Each class is self-contained. 1999 and has made more than $900,000 in grants to various community
Admission is free. Call 202- 7 0 7 - $4, parents $6 and suitable for ages 4- You can drop in at any point. Visit organizations, of which 95 percent comes from individual ticket sales.
5502 for further information. 12. Visit for more for more infor-
information or contact the center at 202- mation or contact the center at 202- This year’s VIP Event Pass is $125 and grants entry into all Cherry Weekend
saturday, april 10 986-2257 or 986-2257 or events, including the Deborah Cox show at Town. Tickets can also be pur-
NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM The second FINANCIAL SEMINAR chased for individual events. Visit for more information.
FESTIVAL PARADE 10 a.m. – noon, monday, april 12 sponsored by DC Agenda, the DC
rain or shine. The parade runs along BEARS DO YOGA. Classes begin Center and Equality Maryland is held Passes will be available to purchase online. Visit
Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th at 6:15 p.m. in the DC Center at 7 p.m. at the Maryland Association ry and click “Contributions” and make a $125 contribution. Print out your
Streets, N.W. Activity Room, 1810 14th St. N.W., of Nonprofit Organizations, 8720 confirmation and bring it to the Welcome Center located at the DC Center,
THE SAKURA MATSURI JAPANESE and last for one hour. There is a sug- Georgia Ave., Ste. 303 (at Cameron 1810 14th St., N.W., on Friday, April 9 from noon-9 p.m. Tickets for individ-
STREET FESTIVAL is held 11 a.m.- gested $5 donation. To RSVP, e-mail St.), in Silver Spring, Md. ual events will be sold at the door at the appropriate venue.
6 p.m., 12th Street and Pennsylvania
Ave., N.W. Volunteers are needed for FOOD AND thursday, april 15 This weekend’s schedule of events for “Cherry Weekend: A Return to
DAVID SEDARIS brings his comedy FRIENDS. VOLUNTEERS will help GALACTICA AND THE CHOCOLATE Tradition” is as follows:
show to Baltimore’s Meyerhoff with food preparation (chopping veg- FACTORY. Ganymede Arts’ Special
Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., gies) and packing groceries. If you are Agent Galactica will perform a two-set
at 8 p.m. Tickets range $30-40; call interested in volunteering, please e- act at ACKC Cocoa Bar Café, 1529 friday, april 9
410-783-8000 for box office. mail 14th St., N.W., from 7:30-9:30 p.m. • BACHELOR AUCTION AT EFN LOUNGE, 1318 9th St., N.W., 6:30-
METRO DC PFLAG holds its 13th Free admission. 9:30 p.m. Complimentary Admission, must be 21+ to enter
annual gala dinner at 6 p.m. at the tuesday, april 13 The third FINANCIAL SEMINAR spon- • NIGHT PARTY with DJ Alyson Calagna and opening/backroom DJ Jason
Grand Hyatt, 1000 H St., N.W. DC Agenda is co-sponsoring a sored by DC Agenda, the DC Center Horswill at Apex, 1415 22nd St., N.W. from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Individual event
Tickets are $175; visit series of three FINANCIAL SEMI- and Equality Maryland is held at 7 p.m. ticket price is $12, 18+ to enter
for information. The evening will be NARS along with the DC Center at 1330 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
emceed by Ann Gillespie and will and Equality Maryland. The free Team DC and Jacob Pring Events saturday, april 10
feature an appearance by Mike seminars are conducted by financial present: JOCK-A-THON AT TOWN • MOODY MIA (Moody’s birthday party) with DJ Joe Gauthreaux at
Manning of MTV’s “Real World D.C.” planner Joseph Kapp and will help DANCEBOUTIQUE, 2009 8th St., Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 2-7 p.m. Tickets can be
answer financial questions related N.W., from 8-11 p.m. (Gaming night purchased separately through appropriate organization. 21+ to enter.
sunday, april 11 to same-sex marriage laws in D.C. will go until close.) Players represent- • Town presents DEBORAH COX w/ DJ Ed Bailey (sanctioned event) at
TRANS TOWN HALL DINNER from and Maryland. The first is April 13 at ing several LGBT area recreational Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Individual
2-5 p.m. at HIPS, 1309 Rhode Island 7 p.m., Maryland Association of sports teams will be present to event ticket price is $25; 21+ to enter.
Ave., N.E., 2B. For more information, Nonprofit Organizations, 190 W. recruit, gain new supporters and net-
visit or call Ostend St., Suite 201, Baltimore. work with the other sports teams. sunday, april 11
202.557.1951. This event will also kick off the Team • MORNING PARTY w/ DJ Susan Morabito at Cobalt, 1639 R St., N.W.,
The Vajrayogini Buddhist Center, wednesday, april 14 DC monthly Gaming Night at Town from 4:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Individual event ticket price is $15; 21+ to enter.
1803 Connecticut Ave., N.W., 2nd floor, THE VAJRAYOGINI BUDDHIST that will be held on every third • CLOSING PARTY w/ DJ Abel, opening dj tim e at Town
conducts its DHARMA FOR KIDS AND CENTER 1803 Conn. Ave. NW 2nd Thursday each month. Entry is free Danceboutique, 2009 8th St., N.W. from 8:30 p.m.- 2 a.m. Individual
FAMILIES from 10-11 a.m. This class is FL. conducts it’s General Program from 8-9 p.m.; $5 after 9 p.m. with event ticket price is $20; 21+ to enter.
a place families can go to learn togeth- which provides an introduction to unlimited game play. 21+ to enter

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22 • april 9, 2010


celebrating the best of local theater

high-energy take on Angel, a feisty to the theater as a kid and her long- brother (the late Gregory Hines),
McNally pays tribute drag queen percussionist battling time partner (now fiancée) for her and then plugged his next project-
to Albee, his ex, gentrification and HIV/AIDS.
Each year the Helen Hayes
unflagging support.
Cate Blanchett won outstanding
Arena Stage’s soon-to-open pro-
duction of “Sophisticated Ladies” at
at Helen Hayes Awards Awards are doled out to reward actress in a non-resident production the Lincoln Theater.
standouts in Washington-area pro- for her luminous portrayal of Blanche The D.C. love-in continued:
By PATRICK FOLLIARD fessional theater. The nominees and Dubois in the Kennedy Center’s “A Broadway’s Christiane Noll couldn’t
recipients are painstakingly selected Streetcar Named Desire.” Karl Miller, say enough about the local theater
It’s not every day that two ex- by 63 judges. who played Prior Walter, a gay man scene as she picked up her best
boyfriends take center stage to sing Rather than rely on a single with AIDS, in Forum Theatre’s actress prize for her role in the
one another’s praises before a rapt emcee, Monday’s show was hosted “Angels in America: Millennium Kennedy Center’s “Ragtime” (book by
audience. But that’s exactly what hap- by an ever-changing pair of presen- Approaches,” shared outstanding Terrence McNally) And presenter John
pened at the 26th annual Helen Hayes ters comprised of local talent. actor in a resident play honors with Glover (who is wowing audiences as
Awards at the Warner Theatre on Livening up the proceedings was a Stacy Keach who played the title role Mendy the opera queen in Terrence
Monday night. group of talented singers and in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s McNally’s “The Lisbon Traviata” at the
In what was arguably the high dancers including John Lescault, “King Lear.” Kennedy Center through April 11)
Photo courtesy of Albee
point of an exceedingly lively evening, Amy McWilliams, Aaron Reeder, Jim Brochu was named outstand- stressed that D.C. is “Fab-u-lous!”
famed gay playwright Terrence Gay playwright EDWARD ALBEE Lauren Williams, and Bobby Smith ing lead actor in a non-resident pro- The John Aniello Award for out-
McNally, 70, warmly presented the who graced the “In Memoriam” por- duction for his work in “Zero Hour” at standing emerging company was
Helen Hayes Tribute to his “friend, Christi,” a passion play with gay male tion of the show with a poignant ren- Theatre J. The affable gay actor presented to 1st Stage of Tysons
colleague, and ex,” the even more characters, as an example. Impishly, dition of “Any Time (I Am There)” charmingly thanked everyone con- Corner. A well-loved patron of the
famous gay playwright Edward Albee Albee slipped in an account of when from “Elegies”). nected with the show (currently play- D.C. arts scene, the late Aniello was
(the pair were lovers in the 1960s). he first met McNally at a Manhattan Holly Twyford was named out- ing off-Broadway at the DR2 the longtime partner of Helen Hayes
McNally lauded Albee’s genius as cocktail party — “A knockout blonde standing actress in a resident play Theater), and gave a special shout Chairman Victor Shargai.
evidenced by a long list of extraordi- — he had hair then.” Clearly these for her performance as Diane, the out to his partner of 25 years: “He’s Prior to naming Shakespeare
nary works, including “Who’s Afraid of great writers share a history, a sense Hollywood super agent in Signature the wind beneath my wings, and it Theatre Company’s “King Lear”
Virginia Woolf?,” “The Zoo Story,” and of humor and a mutual respect. Theatre’s production of gay play- takes a lot of wind to lift me.” outstanding resident play, Shargai
“A Delicate Balance;” as well as the While the theater elders were wright Douglas Carter Beane’s The always-entertaining Maurice expressed a heartfelt thanks to the
82-year-old playwright’s serious dedi- indeed honored, so too were the up- comedy “The Little Dog Laughed.” Hines took choreography honors for members of the Washington the-
cation to bolstering the careers of and-comers. Particularly the wildly Impressively, Twyford was also a resident musical for MetroStage’s ater community for the joy they
younger artists. enthusiastic young cast of The nominated in the same category for “Cool Papa’s Party,” an original bring to his life. By measure of the
In return, Albee, whose career will Keegan Theatre’s hot production of work in Folger Theatre’s “Arcadia,” piece based on the life of Sammy explosive applause, those in atten-
be celebrated in a festival next season the musical “Rent” who were named and Theatre J’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Davis Jr. When the trophy fell apart dance on Monday night couldn’t
at Arena Stage’s revamped Southwest outstanding ensemble for a resident Looking chic in a simple black dress in the gay dancer’s hands, Hines let have agreed more.
complex, spoke eloquently of musical. Cast member Parker Drown and deep red heels, Twyford, who loose a quick expletive and moved For a complete list of Helen
McNally’s courage to tackle the difficult was singled out as outstanding lead has been out her entire career, on like the professional he is, thank- Hayes Awards winners and nomi-
issues, citing his controversial “Corpus actor in a resident musical for his thanked her parents for taking her ing colleagues, past teachers, his nees visit
april 9, 2010 • 23

Visit us at

Garth Fagan Dance African Children’s Choir

Saturday, April 10 at 8 p.m. Journey of Hope
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,
Sunday, April 11 at 4 p.m.
unmannered approach, and athleticism, Fagan’s accessible and entertaining blend of ballet, Born in war-torn Uganda, the African Children’s Choir was founded in 1984 by human rights
modern, and Afro-Caribbean movements dazzles. Join us for an evening of classic pieces and activist Ray Barnett, who wished to show the world that the choir’s members, like the millions
contemporary favorites. “A prime example of the versatility and sophistication of concert dance of orphaned children in Africa, have beauty, dignity, and unlimited potential. Their engaging
in this new century.” (Los Angeles Times) 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
$44, $36, $22
having more fun—the choir or the audience.” (The Scotsman)
$42, $34, $21 ff

ff = FAMILY FRIENDLY: Youth through grade 12 half price!

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24 • april 9, 2010

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26 • april 9, 2010

HOME&GARDEN decorating
contemporary creations
Gay Georgetown designer Even with piles of work paraphernalia ting a minority business leader award
around — backdrops he’s planning for from Washington Business Journal this
says homes should be the gay chamber of commerce dinner, month — is a local entrepreneurial suc-
mammoth enlargements of his photos cess. He and a former boyfriend moved
efficient and calming  propped against a desk — the office here immediately after finishing college
doesn’t look like a mess, though he at Cornell University in 1984. He worked
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO apologizes for the slight disarray. for a local architectural firm for 10 years, Santalla, whose work is contempo- then started Forma Design Company
rary, uses the office to illustrate one of with his former colleague Andreas
Walking into the upstairs offices of his design principles: Welcoming Charalambous in 1994. In 2001 he
Studio Santalla in Georgetown on a rooms should create a sense of calm. started Studio Santalla and has stayed
warm, sunny spring day this week, it’s He points to blinds on the windows busy with it ever since. He usually has
clear that different people designed the that form large white rectangles. between eight and 10 projects on the
exterior and interior. You climb an almost They’re echoed on the floor in swatch- table at once. Spring and fall are his
fire escape-like set of outside steps to es of white carpet that divide the room. busiest seasons. He’s rebounded
get to the nondescript door but upon They appear again as doors on the nicely from the recession, though
entering the spacious office a different ends of the bookshelves. there was a rough period.
vibe emerges. There’s one mammoth “It doesn’t hit you over the head, “One fine day the phone just
room with a day bed and coffee table in but your mind reads it and it’s uncon- stopped ringing,” he says. “The sum-
the entry way, a conference table nearby scious and you say, ‘Oh, this is a well- mer had been slow, but it’s always
and a fleet of desks on one side of the organized space,’” Santalla, 49, says. slow. Or slower. But then people start
room while large protruding bookcases “And so that’s part of how we use col- calling in September. Well in 2008,
built into the walls on the other side jut ors and materials to create a sense of they didn’t. And of course it kept going
outwards in perfect synchronization. calm. You’ve come in from the outside down, down, down, down, down until
Owner Ernesto Santalla emerges where you’re on information overload. April of last year because the luxury
from a rear corner with a soft-spoken In here is more of an oasis.” business was affected immediately. It’s
greeting. Over the course of a nearly One imagines — though it isn’t the first thing people give up. But we
two-hour conversation, the unflappably discussed — Santalla has been just started to rebound last year.”
calm gay architect and interior designer as careful planning and arranging the Santalla was born in Cuba but
explains his philosophies, peppering intersections of lines and planes on immigrated with his family to the U.S.
his postulates with biographical rabbit his face. Impeccably manicured eye- 11 days before the missile crisis in
trails and side projects that reveal a brows peer above tiny but severe 1962. He was 2. They lived in St.
modern-day renaissance man. rectangular silver glasses. He’s a Louis where they remained until DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
Without a trace of ego, it emerges striking presence and much more Santalla was 10 when they moved to
from the natural flow of conversation soft-spoken than one might guess. San Juan, Puerto Rico where he ERNESTO SANTALLA is being honored with a minority business leader award
that he’s also a writer and photogra- Santalla — who was profiled in the from Washington Business Journal this month.
pher who speaks four languages. Washington Post in February and is get- Continues on page 28

G a r d e n Wi s e
DC 202/543-3422
VA 703/243-5982



HOME & GARDEN • april 9, 2010 • 27
28 • april 9, 2010

HOME&GARDEN decorating
gay georgetown designer creates calming spaces
Continued from page 26 minute they walk in the door, they say, him do this so many times. He pans
‘Oh, I love the way your house is.’” the room and he starts seeing things
stayed until college. It was a tough She describes his work as “simple and starts verbalizing and then Jan
move, he says. He and his sister had yet elegant, straightforward and con- and I see it also once he describes it.
been completely assimilated into temporary.” And really, like 99 times out of 100,
U.S. culture and then had to radically He elicits similar raves from another we agree with him.”
switch gears. He found it a blessing former client who became a friend. Santalla’s motto is “sustainable
in retrospect, though. Nancy Penczner was getting her nails space for life.” He’s committed to
He knew he had an artistic drive done shortly after moving to Potomac, moving toward sustainable living and
early on but found few outlets for it in Md., from Nashville where she and her work spaces and believes houses
school. He was discouraged from husband, Marius, directed country and offices should be designed so all
taking an art elective course in junior music videos. She knew she wanted their space is used. He loathes big
high and opted for French instead. some radical work done on her new McMansions in which certain rooms
“There was a stigma with it,” he says. house but didn’t know where to begin. or spaces sit empty. He says his
“You either took one or the other, French She and Santalla clicked immediately. architectural training gives him an
or art, so it was kind of like, ‘Oh, well you “He said, ‘You know, Nancy, the edge other designers don’t have.
can’t do French, then you do art.” most important thing in the room “They’re one in the same in a way,”
It came in handy years later though. should be you,’” Penczner remembers he says. “Architecture doesn’t end at
Six years of French study proved with a laugh. “I said, ‘You’re hired.’” one certain place where design picks
advantageous for the biggest project of She says the renovations, com- up. It’s our unique selling point, this
his career — renovating a 700-year- pleted five years ago, haven’t aged at whole integrated approach.”
old, five-story second home of his all and she still loves her home. So how true is the stereotype that
DC Agenda photo by Michael Key
clients Holly and Jan Grent in the south “I just admired his style and I all interior designers are gay?
of France. He’d already done two hous- wanted a clutter-free home,” she “The word on the street is yes,” ERNESTO SANTALLA, who loathes McMansions in which certain spaces sit
es for them in Gainesville, Va., where says. “I think you have to find some- Santalla says with a chuckle. But he empty, says his architectural training gives him an edge.
they live about half the year. He imag- body whose style you admire but he quickly points to several famous
ined a radical redesign that incorporat- was also good at collaborating with architects who were straight. He says up becoming his partner — local attor- we’re part of society in general. … I
ed nearly all facets of his architectural me. My furniture was in a jumble. I it’s not a big deal and most of his ney Glen Ackerman, whose condo don’t segregate myself. I’ve been
and design skill, knocking down walls, had inherited a lot of stuff. He did a clients have been straight. Santalla renovated when Ackerman invited to join people of color groups
taking out staircases, building new great job of understanding where I “I know a lot of artists, they might relocated here from Florida in 2006. and that’s fine, it’s my heritage. But it
rooms, installing a swimming pool and came from. It’s modern and sleek, be straight or gay. I don’t really care They’d both been in long-term previous should really come down to am I
a patio and terrace. but it also has charm.” one way or the other. It’s like there’s relationships but were single and good or not. Hire me because I’m
“He did a complete redesign and Grent says it’s amazing to watch this big thing now, ‘Oh, Ricky Martin’s bonded during the project, which was good, not because you think it’s
an architectural miracle on this place,” Santalla at work. gay.’ So? It’s not like I stand a chance featured in the Post in February. They going to be cheap, because it’s not,
Holly Grent says. “Everyone who “I’m not exaggerating — he can anyway or any of my female friends live together now with their two dogs. or because you want to work with a
comes to the house in France, even walk onto a room. He puts his hand did, so what does it matter to me?” “We’re just a same-sex couple,” Hispanic or a gay. Work with me
just people selling magazines, the on his chin. I know because I’ve seen One of Santalla’s gay clients ended Santalla says. “We live together and because I’m good and you like me.”

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HOME & GARDEN • april 9, 2010 • 29
30 • april 9, 2010

HOME&GARDEN real estate

d.c. real estate market steady and stable
City outpaces Northwest D.C.,” Johnson says. “We when the stock market crashed. Delta’s
haven’t seen things fall as they have in latest data shows there are 6,071
national economy some of the suburbs. It shows how unsold new condos in the D.C. metro
stable our immediate market is.” area, a decline of about 40 percent
with healthy sales  Valerie Blake, who’s straight but from the year before. That’s enough, it
works with mostly gay and lesbian reports, to keep inventory steady for
By JOEY DiGUGLIELMO clients through Prudential Carruthers about two-and-a-half years. Realtors, says she, too, is seeing Gay Realtor Kevin McDuffy, also with
signs of stabilization but that small Coldwell Banker, says his business has
Washington is an anomaly in condos — a staple of D.C. city life — doubled from what it was a year ago.
many ways among other U.S. cities took the hardest hit in the recession. “This last quarter proved to be fair-
of similar size. That’s resulted in a “We had so many of them built, ly strong,” he says. “It wasn’t strong
real estate market that, while not several developers had to turn them enough to move prices tremendously,
wholly impervious to dips and spikes into apartments and people were tak- but we were moving a lot more units
happening in the rest of the country, ing these monstrous hundred-thou- than we were last year. My office alone
operates largely at its own pace. sand dollar hits in places like Penn sold almost double the units we did in
Local gay and gay-friendly Realtors Quarter, Columbia Heights, Logan the first quarter last year. To double our
say the District is in the midst of a Circle a little bit but it’s still growing. tending inventory, that’s a real good Photo courtesy of Evan Johnson
robust housing market that’s found an Dupont always holds its own.” sign that the engine is moving.”
equilibrium that was wildly out of whack Johnson predicts the glut of too But is some of that just an artificial This five-bedroom house at 1019 Otis Place, N.W., in Columbia Heights, is for sale
in the mid ’00s and is showing steady many condos won’t last long. Because prop from the government that will start for $799,900.
growth such that it’s neither a “buyer’s” new condo construction has com- going south again once the tax credit
or “seller’s” market at the moment. pletely stopped, what has been built ends? McDuffy says probably not steady increase in the confidence level Northwest, where the Realtors inter-
Evan Johnson, a gay Realtor with will be in demand again more and because not only is the economy slowly of the buyers,” McDuffy says. “Good viewed for this piece specialize.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage more in the next year or two. rebounding, but D.C. residents who are location, well-staged, nice-looking prop- “People are still amazed to find that
who runs the web site “We’re already starting to see it a first-time home buyers still have a feder- erties that are priced right, you get nice things are going close to list,” Blake
with his partner, Tom Bauer, says that little bit,” he says. “We don’t have the al $5,000 tax credit to fall back on, which offers. I’m feeling really confident. We’ve says. “It’s difficult to explain to people
while unemployment is high and eco- inventory coming in like we’ve expect- isn’t available to those who take advan- had a good three to four months of coming from other parts of the country.”
nomic recovery remains sluggish in ed for the last 10 years so there will be tage of the $8,000 credit. The lesser one increases in sales. Prices are going up Johnson says for those thinking of
general, the D.C. real estate market has a much higher demand very soon.” has been in place for several years. slowly, which is healthier than having buying, now is a good time. He does-
been simmering nicely as buyers hurry Delta Associates, a real estate None of the Realtors interviewed them jackknife all at once.” n’t predict any major savings likely to
to take advantage of the $8,000 tax analysis and research firm, corrobo- for this story predicted any substan- The Realtors also say it takes time come in holding out.
credit that was extended but runs out at rates Johnson’s report. It says fourth tial left hook in the coming months, for new Washingtonians to under- “There’s not going to be a chance to
month’s end. quarter 2009 condo sales were higher but they predict steadily increasing stand how the market here is differ- get something significantly cheaper in
“We’ve been extremely busy with than in the third quarter though sale stabilization of the market. ent. Some moving to the city don’t Northwest in the next six months or so
people taking advantage of the low prices are slightly down about 5.8 per- “I think for the past couple of months realize there aren’t nearly the number mostly because there’s no large produc-
interest rates and reasonable prices in cent from what they were in fall 2008 and maybe even longer, we’ve seen a of foreclosures here, especially in tion of Northwest properties,” he says.

Peddlers Cottage The Plains

Charming home boasts three bedrooms and two
baths in the picturesque village of The Plains.
Delightful den with brick fireplace. Wood floors in
spacious living room with fireplace and lovely man-
tel. Virtually entire dwelling remodeled since 2006.
Exceptionally well-maintained property with exten-
sive plantings. Convenient to shops, restaurants,
services, I-66 and other major routes. $379,000
Walter Woodson703-499-4961
Conde Road Marshall, Virginia
Stunning villa perched high on 8.4+ acres in heart
of Fauquier. First floor master with luxurious bath
and walk-in closet. Home flows from open living
room to elegant dining room, gourmet kitchen and
family room to club-like library. Downstairs offers
two bedroom suites with private baths, rec room,
sitting room, wet bar. 4 fireplaces. Stately pool and
entertaining area. Three car garage. $895,000
Walter Woodson 703-499-4961
Saint Louis Road Purcellville, Virginia
Solid brick colonial located between Middleburg
and Purcellville. 4 bedroom home with hardwood
floors throughout, 3 1/2 baths, open kitchen and
family room with wood burning fireplace, bright
sunroom, large unfinished basement. Mature
plantings surround the pool and gazebo. Gorgeous
bank barn with space for an apartment above.
$850,000 Margaret Carroll 540-454-0650
The Corner House Rectortown, Virginia
Lovely 3 Bedroom, 2.5 bath well maintained, easy
weekend retreat with open, newly remodeled coun-
try kitchen complete with soapstone countertops,
Viking Stove and wine cooler. $549.000
Alix Coolidge 703-625-1724

P.O. Box 1380

Middleburg, Va 20118
(540) 687-5588 •
Metro (703) 478-1806
HOME & GARDEN • april 9, 2010 • 31

Prime Country Club Hills.

4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths.
Rare brick, stone and stucco Tudor
in one of the nicest neighborhoods
in Arlington. Steps to Washington
Golf & Country Club. Jamestown,
Williamsburg, Yorktown schools. Walnut coffered
dining room ceiling. Ceramic tile granite kitchen
with cherry cabinets, Dacor gas range, second wall oven, double
sinks, wine cooler, breakfast bar and butlers pantry. Master suite with
vaulted ceiling, balcony, walk-in closet and super bath. 2-car garage.
3-zone gas hot water heat. Renovated and expanded in 2000.


Excellent party place for large groups, friends and family to enjoy comfort and
total privacy. Remodeled Rancher on 3/4+ acre lot. Home has been tastefully redone inside and out.
New modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, new bathrooms, windows, flooring, lighting, land-
scaping, new HVAC, pool liner and equipment for 20x42 in-ground pool. Home offers 3 bedrooms and
2 full baths, huge living and family rooms, both with fireplaces, full lower level
that could be finished for an additional 2000 sq.ft., w/plumbing for an addi-
tional full bath, 26x50 garage, paved drive/parking for 10+cars and so much
more. Very private. To see this home call AMALIA at 717.891.4730 Direct
Refreshments provided.
717.338.3406 OFFICE
32 • april 9, 2010
HOME&GARDEN directory
DC Agenda would like to thank the following
local advertisers for supporting this week’s
Home & Garden issue. Be sure to patronize
these businesses for your home decorating,
gardening and real estate needs.

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(202) 332-3370
Photo by stock.xchng/Leonardi
1526 14th Street, NW REAL ESTATE
Gale Storm Team, Weichert, Realtors
MORE SPACE PLACE (703) 304-1258
1301 S. Joyce St, Suite D12B
Arlington (703) 415-2500 VALERIE BLAKE
Prudential Carruthers Realtors
WINDOW WEARS (202) 246-8602
(202) 265-6650
A & S SALES JAY FELDMAN Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
458 South Pickett St
Alexandria (703) 461-8200 (202) 241-5293

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(703) 330-8382 (202) 536-3092


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a cleaning service, inc.

a clean house
5534 Wilkins Court, Rockville
(301) 704-6222 BRIAN KLOTZ
Re/Max Allegiance

a clean mind

15740 Crabbs Branch Way
Rockville, MD
(703) 980-8218

Weichert, Realtors
(730) 593-3204
(202) 543-0425


(703) 406-0802 (202) 408-0007
(301) 924-5400
(410) 442-2310 KEVIN McDUFFIE, REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
DRAGONFLY FARMS (202) 387-6180
satisfaction guaranteed (240) 353-8408
GARDENWISE DAVID BEDIZ Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
services provided in DC, VA and MD (703) 243-5982
(202) 361-4400
commercial and residential GINKGO GARDENS (202) 352-8456
licensed, bonded, insured
911 11th St, SE • (202) 543-5172 SHERIDAN MacMAHON, LTD. REALTORS
free estimates
8132 Lee Highway, Falls Church
703.892.8648 703-560-6222
12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax
PARK PLACE 703-968-9600
6895 Wellington Rd, Gainesville
850 Quincy Street NW
703-368-1919 1-877-614-4210
HOME & GARDEN • april 9, 2010 • 33


20% off any order of $1000 or more. $100 off any order of $700 ore more. Not valid with any other offer.
Free installation with any complete unit order of $500 or more. With incomeing order at



This stately 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath Colonial is nestled on a gorgeous 19,878
square foot garden lot in McLean’s premier close-in Dolley Madison
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freshly refinished hardwood flooring, fresh paint throughout, elegant for-
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703-593-3204 • WWW.DAVELLOYD.NET
34 • april 9, 2010

Whitman-Walker Clinic’s 17th Annual Spring Gala

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium Washington, DC
6:30 pm – 11:00 pm | Black Tie

April 23, 2010

Honoring Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron

& POZ Magazine.

Hosted by Jack Mackenroth from “Project Runway”

Please join us for an intriguing evening of dinner, dancing and
a special live auction of one of Herb Ritts’s finest portraits.
Dress to impress and don’t forget your mask!

To purchase tickets or for more information, please call 202.797.3543 or visit
april 9, 2010 • 35

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36 • april 9, 2010

LEGAL NOTICES further that pursuant to SCR 205(b) notice be COUNSELING BEACH RENTAL/DE
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA sent to applicants creditors by registered or certi- LGBTQ AFFIRMING THERAPY at Dupont Metro. REHOBOTH BEACH: Contemporary 2br/2ba
CIVIL DIVISION C.A. NO. 0001815-10 fied mail and that proof of service mailing be Individuals, couples, families, adolescents. Over 15 condo w/ balcony overlkng pond in pool/tennis
IN RE: HOWARD LEE SMITH, Applicant made in the manner provided in SCR Probate years serving the community. Mike Giordano, LICSW. court complex nr Arena's Cafe (Rte 1), about 7
ORDER OF PUBLICATION - CHANGE OF NAME Rule 19(b). A True Copy Test: Clerk Superior 202/460-6384,, mins to beach/town. Sleeps up to 6, min. $600 to
Howard Lee Smith, III having filed a complaint Court of the District of Columbia. max. $850/week. Inquiries:
for judgement changing Howard Lee Smith, III
name to Cookie Lee Smith and having applied to COUNSELING FOR GAY MEN. Individual/cou-
the court for an Order of Publication of the notice MASSAGE ple counseling with volunteer peer counselor. HOME
required by law in such cases; it is by the Court SPRING INTO WELLNESS with body work to heal Gay Men's Counseling Community. 202-265-
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mail and that proof of service mailing be made in Sigman & Tilev, P.A. & Kirstin Gulling, Of Counsel. Terrific Brick/Stone House! Fireplace!
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Jeremy Lewis Moon, having filed a complaint for ITALIAN JOCK Give full body massage. EMPLOYMENT FURNISHED APT, 1 BR, 1 BA, $995/ month,
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March, 2010 ORDERED that all persons concerned Located downtown, parking available. Brian OPEN/VA
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