October 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Catania earns top GLAA rating

D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At-Large) received a +10 rating from the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance on LGBT issues, placing him alongside fellow Council members Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who also received a +10, the group’s highest possible rating.

GLAA released its ratings Wednesday for candidates running in the city’s Nov. 2 election.

Catania, who is gay, and Mendelson are competing in a four-person race for two at-large seats where the highest two vote getters win under the city’s election rules. The other two candidates competing for the seats are David Schwartzman, the Statehood-Green Party nominee, who received a GLAA rating of +6, and same-sex marriage opponent and religious right figure Richard Urban, who received a GLAA rating of -3.5. Schwartzman, a strong supporter of LGBT equality, said he is challenging Catania on economic issues.

The group gave City Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray (D-At-Large) a +8.5 rating, the same rating the group gave Gray for the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, in which he defeated Mayor Adrian Fenty.

GLAA gave a “0” rating to each of the three candidates running against Gray in the general election — independent Carlos Allen, Statehood-Green Party Candidate Faith, and Socialist Worker Party candidate Omari Musa. GLAA said the three failed to return a candidates questionnaire and their records on LGBT issues were unknown to the group, a development that automatically results in a “0” rating under the group’s rules.

In the race for City Council Chairman, Democratic nominee Kwame Brown received a +5.5. His sole opponent, Statehood-Green Party candidate Ann Wilcox, received a “0” for not returning the questionnaire.

Graham, who’s also gay, maintained the +10 rating he received during his campaign for the Sept. 14 primary. Marc Morgan, a gay Republican running against Graham for the Ward 1 Council seat, received a +6.5 rating on Wednesday, an increase from the +3 rating Morgan received for the primary campaign. GLAA said the increase was due to a revised questionnaire that Morgan submitted that provided far more details on his LGBT rights record, which GLAA said was significant.

The third out gay candidate running in the election, Ward 5 Republican Tim Day, received the same +1.5 rating he received in the primary. He’s running against Council member Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5), who received a GLAA rating of +6. Thomas voted for the same-sex marriage bill last year and is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. GLAA said he lost points by opposing a bill that allowed gay and non-gay adult clubs displaced by the new baseball stadium to relocate in other non-residential areas.

Ward 5 independent candidate Kathy Henderson, who is also running for Thomas’s seat, received a +2 rating.

In other races, GLAA gave a +8.5 score to Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and a “0” Republican challenger Dave Hedgepeth, who failed to turn in a questionnaire. In the Ward 6 Council race, GLAA gave incumbent Council member Tommy Wells (D) a +8.5 rating. His GOP opponent, Jim DeMartino, received a -0.5 rating.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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