January 8, 2014 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gray names gay activists to MLK Holiday Commission
Martin Luther King, MLK, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay rights advocates Earl Fowlkes and Clarence Fluker were among 15 people sworn in Monday night by Mayor Vincent Gray as members of the D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission.

Gray said the commission was created to help the city plan and organize events to commemorate the life and accomplishments of King on the occasion of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which is celebrated this year on Jan. 20.

Fowlkes is chief executive officer of the Center for Black Equity, a national LGBT organization. Fluker is the communications and special initiatives director for the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism also known as Serve D.C. Gray named him as one of several D.C. government officials who will serve as ex-officio members of the King Holiday Commission.

“I am looking forward to the work ahead in creating and promoting programs designed to celebrate the tremendous life and legacy of Dr. King with the people of the District of Columbia,” Fluker told the Blade.

Fowlkes said he too is looking forward to helping plan and organize King holiday events. But he said that because the commission had been inactive for the past several years, with all of its seats vacant until Gray filled them with new appointees this month, it would likely be too late for the newly constituted commission to prepare events for this year’s King Day holiday on Jan. 20.

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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