August 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Colleagues urge gay ANC commissioner to resign
Robert Leo Dwyer, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay ANC commissioner Robert Leo Dwyer was arrested after allegedly assaulting a homeless man while shouting a racial slur. (Photo courtesy Dupont Circle ANC 2B)

Eighteen Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners representing districts in each of the city’s eight wards issued a joint statement on Tuesday calling on Dupont Circle ANC member Robert Leo Dwyer to resign from his seat.

The commissioners’ statement cites Dwyer’s alleged “intolerant behavior,” which they called a possible hate crime, in connection with his arrest on July 28 for allegedly assaulting a homeless man while shouting a racial slur.

Dwyer, who’s gay, has not responded to numerous news media requests for comment on his arrest in which police charged him with simple assault. Last week, Dwyer withdrew as a candidate for re-election by not submitting to the Board of Elections the petition signatures required for being placed on the ballot in the November election.

The joint statement by the commissioners refers to a police report saying the victim told police he saw Dwyer tossing the belongings of a homeless man into the street in front of the McDonald’s restaurant at 17th and Corcoran Streets, N.W. The report says the victim alleges that Dwyer sprayed him with a chemical cleaning fluid in a squirt bottle causing him to suffer skin irritation on his arms.

The report says the victim told police Dwyer allegedly shouted a racial slur at him during the incident. According to the report, Dwyer, when asked by police detectives if he made a racial slur, replied by saying, “I don’t think so.”

“Anyone who feels the need to attack a person who is homeless, then allegedly use a racial slur that he’s not even sure that he used, is not fit to hold public office in my hometown,” said Ward 8 Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green in the joint statement.

Green, who’s gay, added in the joint statement, “Commissioner Dwyer needs to do what’s right for the greater good of the residents he represents and resign.”

Among those who added their name to the statement was Dwyer’s fellow Dupont Circle ANC member Kishan Putta, who is running for an at-large seat on the D.C. City Council.

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

  • Adam 12

    I have been saying for a long time, gay white males can be racist too. Gay white males aren’t a minority in the United States. They belong to the 220 million privilege white majority in this country. Many black gay males don’t feel inclusive or welcome by the mostly white gay community and this is why black gays and lesbians in D.C. started Gay Black Pride 20 years ago. Robert Leo Dwyer should resign from elected office as a ANC Commissioner.

  • Washington Wiliona

    Oh don’t worry Adam they do like Catania as a At Large councilman. But I think they’re Leary of him as a Mayor. For many feel he will really reveal who he is and let his conservative views show.

  • Rick Mangus

    I don’t condone Dwyer’s actions but the homeless and panhandling here on 17th Street is getting out of control. I have lived in 2B2 for over 18 years and it has never been this bad. Part of the problem is that all the homeless, many of whom are substance abusers consider 17th Street as ground zero for suckers and bleeding heart stupidity. The city needs to pass anti loitering laws and stop being beholding to the phonies at the ACLU, who’s employees don’t even live in the District of Columbia.

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