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Equality Maryland backs trans candidate, rivals & more

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Equality Maryland backs trans candidate, rivals

Equality Maryland announced this week its endorsement of transgender candidate Dana Beyer — and the three candidates with whom she is competing in her race for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

If successful, Beyer, an eye surgeon turned community activist, would be the nation’s first out transgender person to win election to a state legislature. She is running in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary for one of three seats assigned to House of Delegates District 18, which includes parts of Montgomery County.

“We couldn’t not endorse her,” said Equality Maryland spokesperson Kevin Walling, in discussing Beyer and her role as a board member for the group and an advocate for LGBT issues.

“But we also couldn’t not endorse the other three, who are champions of our bills,” he said.

Under Maryland’s electoral system, candidates and incumbents compete in a combined race for three seats in each of the state’s 47 delegate districts. In Beyer’s race, Democratic incumbents Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeffrey Waldstreicher — all of whom Equality Maryland has endorsed — currently hold the three seats. Beyer and two other challengers, Randy Evan McDonald and Vanessa Atterbeary, are running against the incumbents.

The three candidates receiving the highest vote count are declared the winners in the primary. Although voters have the option of voting for three candidates in delegate races, campaign workers often ask backers of a particular candidate to cast just one vote, known as a “bullet vote,” for the candidate they prefer the most, an action that increases the candidate’s chance of winning.

In the solidly Democratic Montgomery County, the winners of the primary are assumed to be the strong favorites to win the general election in November.

Walling said Car, Sol Gutierrez and Waldstreicher are sponsors of a same-sex marriage equality bill and a transgender non-discrimination bill that are pending before the legislature. He noted that all three have been supportive on virtually all other LGBT-related issues.

“We would be equally satisfied if any of the four would be elected to those positions,” he said.

Beyer said she is happy to receive the endorsement and is working hard to show Montgomery County voters that she will be a champion for them on a wide range of issues, especially economic and social services issues.

She said that because the progressive leaning voters in District 18 are supportive of LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage, she intends to show that she’s better than her rivals on other issues.

LOU CHIBBARO JR.

Va. Partisans endorses Moran for Congress

The statewide LGBT Democratic group in Virginia last week threw its support behind Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) in his bid for re-election.

In a statement dated June 22, Terry Mansberger, president of the Virginia Partisans, formally endorsed Moran and called the lawmaker an “advocate on all the important issues around LGBT concerns for many years, even before it was a politically popular or safe position.”

“As a long-time friend and mentor to our community, Jim deserves our vote and financial support to keep doing the good work that he naturally knows how to do,” Mansberger said.

Since he first began serving in Congress in 1991, Moran has been recognized as a supporter of the LGBT community. He was among 67 U.S. House members to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

Moran has also been vocal in his support for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In December, he sent a letter signed by 96 lawmakers to Defense Secretary Robert Gates requesting monthly reports on service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that detail the expelled troops’ rank and time served.

In a statement to the Blade provided by his campaign, Moran said he is “deeply appreciative” of Virginia Partisans’ support and hopes to “continue working with them to bring about a more open, honest, inclusive and progressive society.”

“For me, these issues are a no-brainer,” Moran said. “Discrimination is wrong. One’s sexual orientation shouldn’t prevent them from being granted the same opportunities as every other American.”

The 10-term lawmaker is fighting to retain his seat to represent Virginia 8th congressional district against Republican Patrick Murray, an Iraq war veteran. The 8th district, which includes Arlington and Alexandria, is heavily Democratic and Moran is favored to win.

CHRIS JOHNSON

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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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