D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and five members of the City Council, three of whom are running for mayor, turned out for the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club’s annual awards reception and fundraiser on Sept. 28, at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill.
The event marked the 37th anniversary of the founding of the Stein Club, the city’s largest LGBT political organization.
Those named as recipients the club’s recognition for service to the LGBT community were LGBT Youth Pride Alliance Leader Nikisha Carpenter; D.C. Trans Coalition organizer Andy Bowen; and former D.C. Young Democrats President Toby Quaranta. The club also presented an award of recognition to the D.C.-based group TransLAW, which serves as a legal clinic providing assistance to the transgender community.
The Council members attending the event included Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). Evans, Bowser, and Wells have announced they are candidates for mayor in the April 1, 2014 Democratic primary.
The three have a strong record of support on LGBT rights issues as does Gray. Each voted for the city’s same-sex marriage law in 2009. Gray served as Council Chair at the time the marriage equality bill came up for a vote. Gray’s supporters in the LGBT community consider him to be the most LGBT-supportive politician to serve as D.C. mayor.
Gray has yet to say whether he will run for re-election for a second term. Some Stein Club members say they will have a hard time choosing among friends in the mayoral race.
Others have said LGBT voters, like other city residents, will likely choose a mayoral candidate based on non-LGBT issues.