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‘Kameny Way’ ceremony highlights Capital Pride events

200,000 expected for Sunday festival

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A two-block section of 17th Street, N.W., in the heart of one of the city’s most visible gay neighborhoods was to be renamed this week as “Frank Kameny Way” in honor of the veteran gay activist credited with founding the city’s LGBT civil rights movement.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was scheduled to preside over a ceremony and the installation of a new street sign Thursday to officially put in place the Frank Kameny Way street designation.

The ceremony was to be part of a long list of events associated with Capital Pride, the city’s annual LGBT community celebration.

The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which has jurisdiction over the 17th Street strip near Dupont Circle, initiated the Kameny street designation earlier this year.

According to ANC Commissioner Mike Silverstein, the commission voted unanimously to ask the city to designate as Frank Kameny Way a section of 17th Street between P and R streets, N.W.

“We — and everybody else we talked to — thought this was long overdue,” Silverstein said.

Kameny began organizing efforts to secure gay civil rights in the late 1950s after he lost his job as a civilian astronomer with the U.S. Army Map Service when authorities discovered he was gay. He founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in the early 1960s, the city’s first LGBT group. He is credited with playing a leading role in shaping the local and national LGBT rights movement for the next 40 years.

In other Capital Pride-related news, lead organizer Dyana Mason said plans were proceeding smoothly for the annual parade’s kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at 23rd and P streets, N.W.

Gay activist and former Lambda Rising bookstore owner Deacon Maccubbin is the parade’s grand marshal. Maccubbin is credited with starting the city’s first annual LGBT pride event in 1975 as a block party near Dupont Circle.

The parade will travel east on P Street past Dupont Circle and continue along New Hampshire Avenue, R Street, and 17th Street, where participants will walk along the newly designated Frank Kameny Way.

From there, it will travel east on P Street, turn south on 14th Street, and end at 14th and N streets, N.W., near Thomas Circle.

Mason said a crowd of about 200,000 people is expected for Sunday’s annual Capital Pride Festival, set to take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., between Third and Seventh streets.

Similar to past years, close to 250 booths and vendors’ stands are expected to be at the festival, with dozens of LGBT and LGBT-supportive groups and businesses displaying their products or advancing their causes.

Steven Taubenkibel, a spokesperson for the Metro subway and bus system, said Metro is aware of the crowds expected for Capital Pride events over the weekend. He noted that officials were prepared to add more train cars beyond the normal weekend schedules if larger crowds and a higher ridership warrant the additions.

He said long-scheduled track repair projects would cause delays at the East and West Falls Church and the New York Avenue stations.

Mason said that in addition to entertainers scheduled to perform on the festival’s main stage at Third Street, near the U.S. Capitol, several speakers, including elected officials, were expected to address the crowd from the stage.

Among those confirmed earlier this week to speak were D.C. City Council Chair and mayoral candidate Vincent Gray and the director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs Christopher Dyer.

Mason said the mayor’s office had yet to confirm whether Fenty would speak at the festival. The mayor was scheduled to march in the parade.

Others expected to speak were D.C. Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; representatives of American Veterans for Equal Rights, who were to be accompanied by the playing of taps in honor of fallen service members; and Miss D.C. Jen Corey.

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Comings & Goings

Lane named senior counsel at Brady United

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Thomas Patrick Lane

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

Congratulations to Thomas Patrick Lane the new Senior Litigation Counsel and Director of Affirmative Litigation with Brady United. According to its website, Brady’s mission is, “To unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.”

Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel and vice president of legal at Brady said, “The whole Brady team is thrilled to welcome Tom’s skills as a trial lawyer and his leadership as a champion for justice and a voice for inclusivity and equal rights. Tom is one of the top litigators in the country, and has been a fighter his whole life who has proven himself undaunted by any challenge, including taking on the gun industry for its role in causing gun violence in America. Tom’s expertise and insights into complex litigation involving emerging technologies, such as 3-D printed guns, “smart” technology, and online commerce, will bolster our fight for industry-wide change by holding companies accountable and forcing reforms that will make all Americans safer.”

Upon accepting the position Lane said, “From my time as a prosecutor to private practice, I have seen the effects of gun violence and the importance of defending victims and survivors and upholding common-sense laws that keep our families and communities safe. I am excited to bring that background to Brady and to continue this important work nationwide.”

Prior to joining Brady, Lane was a partner in the New York office of Winston & Strawn, LLP. Before that he was a partner in Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP. He is recognized as one of the country’s top intellectual property and new media lawyers. He tried the first Internet music case and the first Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor case before juries. He has also served as a senior trial attorney in the office of the New York Kings County District Attorney.

Lane represented the City of New York in litigation against major gun manufacturers in the early 2000s. LawDragon named him as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Lane earned his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.; and his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans. He has created an endowed scholarship there for LGBTQ students to help law firms realize the importance of hiring diverse rosters of attorneys, and to honor the courage of his uncles Bernard Lane (an Army Ranger decorated with two Bronze Stars) and Richard Morrison (a recovered alcoholic who devoted his life to counseling others).

Both men were known for their toughness tendered by humor and both lived openly in loving relationships with same-sex partners in the 1970s. Lane is a former board member of the National LGBT Bar Association. He directs all external legal matters for the Tyler Clementi Foundation, whose mission is to end bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.

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100th anniversary celebration of Dupont Circle fountain set for May 17

GWU student creates tribute video

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Dupont Circle Fountain, Russian news agency, gay news, Washington Blade
The iconic Dupont Circle fountain turns 100 this month. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

LGBTQ residents and longtime visitors to D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood are expected to be among the participants in the 100th anniversary celebration of the installation of the Dupont Circle fountain scheduled to be held at the circle on Monday, May 17.

Aaron DeNu, president of Dupont Festival, a nonprofit arts and cultural programming group that’s organizing the celebration, says it will take place from noon to at least sunset inside Dupont Circle.

The celebration will take place one week after the May 10 release of a YouTube video, “How Dupont Circle Evolved as a Hub for LGBTQ+ Life in the District,” produced by George Washington University student Dante Schulz. Schulz is the video editor for the G.W. student newspaper The Hatchet.

Among those appearing in the documentary video are veteran LGBTQ rights activists Deacon Maccubbin and his husband Jim Bennett, who owned and operated the Dupont Circle LGBTQ bookstore Lambda Rising beginning in the 1970s, which is credited with contributing to Dupont Circle’s reputation as the epicenter of D.C.’s LGBTQ community for many years.

Also appearing in the video is longtime D.C. gay activist and Dupont Circle area resident Craig Howell, a former president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“At this point in time due to COVID restrictions we’re not going to be doing any particular formal gathering of folks,” DeNu told the Washington Blade in describing the May 17 celebration. “But we’ll have a soundtrack that’s playing throughout the day from that original ceremony – the same songs they used in the original dedication a hundred years ago,” he said.

DeNu said the event will also feature “historic imagery” related to Dupont Circle and the people who have gathered there over the years.

“So, we’re really just inviting people to come and have lunch, stop by the park after work, and just stop and reflect on 100 years of Dupont Circle fountain, take a look at the imagery and see some old friends and hopefully stop by and see the Dupont businesses that are around the area,” DeNu said.

The LGBTQ video produced by Dante Schultz can be accessed here.

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Va. GOP governor nominee opposes transgender-inclusive youth sports

Glenn Youngkin made comment to Arlington voters in March

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Glenn Youngkin (Photo via Twitter)

 

The Republican gubernatorial candidate to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has said he does not support allowing transgender children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

“Biological males should not be allowed to play sports in girls sports,” Glenn Youngkin said during a meeting with a group of voters in Arlington on March 25, according to the Washington Examiner. “It’s just not fair.”

The Washington Blade has reached out to Youngkin’s campaign for comment.

Youngkin, the former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, on Saturday defeated Pete Snyder, former House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield County), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña and Octavia Johnson in the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominating convention. Virginia Republicans nominated Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares as their candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general respectively.

The Democratic Party of Virginia will hold its primary on June 8. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is widely expected to win the vote, and run against Youngkin in the general election.

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