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Arrest made in gay man’s murder

Suspect apprehended near Dupont Circle gay bars

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D.C. police have arrested a suspect in the murder of gay federal worker Delando King, who was found stabbed to death Aug. 8 in his apartment at an upscale condo building at 1117 10th St., N.W.

Police charged Marcus McLean with premeditated first-degree murder while armed in connection with the case. He was apprehended at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday on the 2100 block of P Street, N.W., according to a police statement. Two gay bars are located along the block.

The statement says police obtained a warrant for Mclean’s arrest sometime earlier, but it gave no further details on how homicide detectives identified him.

Shortly after King was found dead in his apartment, D.C. police homicide branch Capt. Michael Farish told the media that surveillance cameras at King’s building captured video footage of an unidentified black man entering the building with King early Sunday morning. Farish said the surveillance video also showed the man leaving the building alone while carry a bag with something inside that the man did not have when he entered the building.

The police statement that announced Mclean’s arrest describes him as a black man.

“This case was brought to closure by detectives Brian Wise, Hosam Nasr and the other members of Squad 2, with assistance in the apprehension by members of the Second District, Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit” and other units, said Capt. Edward Delgado, who issued the statement.

King, 34, worked for the U.S. Indian Health Service, an arm of the Department of Health & Human Services. A statement released by the Indian Health Service said King was a member of the Navajo Nation and highly regarded in the local American Indian community.

Police said they don’t believe King’s murder was related to a series of anti-gay attacks targeting gay men that have occurred in the Dupont Circle area in recent months.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Chet

    August 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I’m so happy to see they caught him!
    What a terrible and senseless murder!
    If only he could get the death penalty!
    Great job MPD!

  2. Bill

    August 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I highly doubt that this murder wasn’t connected with the maundering gangs of black thugs victimizing the community. It is great that this murderer was arrested so very quickly. Now, will they also charge this scum with a hate crime?

    • mark holiday

      August 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      there is really no need for racism in this case. black men have been killed as well. also you need to learn to spell before you go spewing hate!

    • alexander

      August 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      what is wrong with you people. i dont care what color an person is ,but an young man is dead and you all are only about the colors of ones skin. check yourself where do it stop. The guy that killed him i hope will spend the rest of his life in jail.

    • Bob Zuley

      August 21, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Oh, please. Why charge with the absurd hate crime charge when he’s already going to be charged with murder?

  3. Sheldon

    August 14, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Hate crime? And if the suspect is gay himself?

  4. someone

    August 15, 2010 at 12:55 am

    yes he is gay, but what he did was wrong. I really wish that Mr. King would have been a little more conscience of who he was bringing home. my heart goes out to his family.

  5. Craig

    August 15, 2010 at 2:10 am

    @Bill – The evidence doesn’t support the suspect being charged with a hate crime, it’s unfortunate that a gay man was killed (whether it was a botched robbery or hook-up gone wrong) but sometimes murder victims just happen to be gay… and what’s with your description of “black thugs?” Wouldn’t “thugs” have been sufficient?

  6. Taylor Siluwé

    August 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Yes, I agree with Craig, the “black” thugs reference seems to segue your point in an uncomfortable direction. Does anyone ever really care what color a band of marauding thugs is?

    • ashley

      February 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      can u really rely on gay pple

      • ashley

        February 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        arrest the guy then try to get some one that lives in the buliding then try to catch the guy hope you get him realy good tie him up in jail make hi stay there till he dies make him sta there forever . ashely .com

  7. Bill

    August 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    @Craig and Taylor: I am connecting this murder to last week’s article where five men where attacked by blacks and the wilding done by “15-20” black youth against gays. (http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/08/06/gay-men-targeted-in-5-d-c-hate-crimes/).

    This article identified the suspect as black. This issue has been discussed in other posts.

    In other articles, there has been discussion that black, straight (thugs) have been accosting gay men seeing them as easy marks.

  8. DC Live

    August 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Sheldon & Craig, please note that Bill has serious racial issues as it concerns the “black thugs” he frequently brings up on this site. In his frail little mind, the horrible murder of Delando King and the recent rash of attacks on gays are directly related. Remember, “black thugs” is a key term for him.

    • AJ

      August 30, 2010 at 7:07 am

      You are so right! He is clearly a racist! Post after post!

  9. Bill

    August 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

    All – Regarding DC Live’s comment that I have a focus on “black thugs,” he said the same thing last week about me, Kraig Rasool, MikeINdc, and whiteboy in the comments regarding “Gay men targeted in 5 D.C. hate crimes” ((http://www.washingtonblade.com/2010/08/06/gay-men-targeted-in-5-d-c-hate-crimes/).

    Judge for yourself.

    • Chris

      August 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

      What’s to judge your Teabagging hating you’re giving on this thread?

  10. r2d2xx

    August 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Let’s be clear about who is committing these crimes. Have you seen any gangs of white thugs roaming the streets near DuPont Circle. Stating an obvious fact does not make one a racist.

    • mark holiday

      August 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      I beg to differ, they are several white thugs IN Dupont Circle on any given evening after midnight. I live two blocks away and walk that route regularly. If you think they won’t take your designer duds, just give it a try sometime.

    • Chris

      August 19, 2010 at 12:24 am

      No it doesn’t but the context from which he speaks does….And by the way who asked any of you to move to DC if you don’t like Blacks???? oh and yeah WHITES COMMITS GAY CRIMES ALSO
      Take a look for yourself!

      http://orvillelloyddouglas.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/black-gay-professor-murdered-by-alleged-white-lover/

      And another one!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Sandy

      So crime has no color especially when it comes to Gay people where ever. And if you don’t care for DC..THEN MOVE! It thrived before you and will thrive without you!

    • AJ

      August 30, 2010 at 7:09 am

      Whenever there is a “gang” or a “white” person committing a crime there is no mention of race.

    • ericb

      July 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      havent seen any back ones either…a gang is a gang regardless of race

  11. Anthony

    August 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    That was very sad, you really should NOT bring anyone home that you dont know even if you have had a few drinks. You are better off coming home alone and jerking off or hooking up with someone that you already know.

  12. Kraig Rasool

    August 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I have to to say r2d2xx’s comment is the best statement thusfar…you dont see whit thugs roaming the dupont cirlce area attacking gay people…Lets just give thanks to the DC Metropolitan Police Dept for handling and closing this senseless crime in the fashion that they did…and hope that streets can become a tad bit safer at least for now.

  13. Bob Zuley

    August 21, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Living in Chicago and aware of similar crimes in other cities, I really have to commend the WDC MPD for successfully investigating yet another gay murder. This is one municipal PD that takes gay homicides seriously unlike many other PD’s.

  14. AJ

    August 30, 2010 at 7:09 am

    RACIST GAYS..YOU HATE BECAUSE YOU’RE HATED.STUPID!

  15. ashley

    February 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    the gay man is so stupid i saw him in wite planies he was with a girl and she said were is the gay man i like him so much they got marrid so he has to get in jail . ashely .com i love sovleing chins

  16. ashley

    February 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    so stupid
    \

  17. ashley

    February 7, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    my famaily says the guy is in new jersey

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Virginia

Va. businessman apologizes for burning of rainbow flag poster

‘Shocked and horrified’: Ashburn incident caught on video

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Organizers of an event where a Pride symbol was burned say the incident was a misunderstanding.

The owner of a Virginia technology company that hosted a private Veterans Day party on the grounds of an Ashburn, Va., brewery in which a company employee used a flame-throwing device to ignite a rainbow flag poster said the selection of the poster was a mistake and he and his company have no ill will toward the LGBTQ community.

The Washington Blade learned about the poster burning from a customer of the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, where the incident took place on its outdoor grounds. The customer made a video of the incident with his cell phone and sent a copy of the video to the Blade.

The video, which includes an audio recording, shows a man using a hand-held flame-throwing device to ignite the rainbow poster, which was hanging from a cable and appeared to be mounted on cardboard or a thin sheet of wood. Bystanders can be heard laughing and cheering as the poster is set on fire.

The poster consisted of a variation of the LGBTQ Pride rainbow flag that included the word “love” configured from an upper white stripe on the rainbow symbol.

The customer who took the video, who has asked not to be identified, thought the decision to set the poster on fire was a sign of disrespect if not hatred toward a longstanding symbol of LGBTQ equality and pride.

Chris Burns, Old Ox Brewery’s president, shared that view, telling the Blade he and his staff were “shocked and horrified” when they learned later that a rainbow flag poster had been burned on the brewery’s grounds. Burns said Old Ox supports the LGBTQ community and participated in LGBTQ Pride month earlier this year.

He said the company that held the private party paid a fee to hold the event on the brewery’s grounds, but the brewery did not know a rainbow poster would be burned.

“I’m mortified that our event was interpreted in this way,” said Nate Reynolds, the founder and partner of Hypershift Technologies LLC, the Falls Church, Va.-based technology company that organized the Nov. 11 party at Old Ox Brewery. “I can assure you that ZERO ill-will or offense was meant,” Reynolds told the Blade in a Nov. 24 email.

“We held a small private party for a few clients, which included a demonstration of Elon Musk’s Boring Company ‘Not a Flamethrower,’” he said in his message. He was referring to one of billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s companies that specializes in boring through the ground to create tunnels for cars, trains, and other purposes. 

“After so many being isolated during COVID, we wanted to have an event that was lighthearted and to some small effect, silly,” Reynolds said in his message to the Blade.

According to Reynolds, in thinking about what should be used for “fodder” for the flame-thrower, he went to a Five Below discount store and purchased items such as stuffed animals and posters, including a “Space Jam” movie poster as well as what he thought was a poster of the British rock group The Beatles.

“When I pulled the Beatles poster out of the tube it was instead the ‘Love’ poster,” he said, referring to the rainbow flag poster the Blade asked him about in an earlier email.

“All I focused on was the ‘Love’ wording and not the rainbow and did not draw the conclusion that the poster was an icon that represents the LGBTQ community,” Reynolds said. “It was my own ignorance of not connecting the symbolism of the poster. If I had realized it was a symbol of the LGBTQ community, I would not have used it,” he said.

“I feel terrible, and I want to emphasize that I am solely responsible for this mistake – not the Old Ox Brewery,” he wrote in his message. “Nobody at Old Ox had anything to do with this activity.”

Reynolds added, “Hate has no place in my heart, and I sincerely apologize for any offense that could have been drawn from what I now realize was poor judgement on my part. I simply didn’t correlate this poster with the LGBTQ pride symbol.”  

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Before Reynolds issued his statement of apology, Burns, the Old Ox Brewery co-owner, told the Blade in an email he was “saddened and upset” over the rainbow poster burning on the grounds of his brewery.

“We do not wish to benefit from this event,” he said in his email message. “Therefore, Old Ox is donating 100% of the revenue generated from the private event to GLSEN.”

GLSEN is a national LGBTQ advocacy group that focuses on education and support for LGBTQ youth. Burns said Old Ox Brewery also donated proceeds from a Pride month event it organized earlier this year to GLSEN.

LGBTQ activists and organizations contacted by the Blade said they were unfamiliar with the variation of the rainbow flag with the word “love” that was the subject of the poster burning incident. The poster is available for sale at Five Below stores in the D.C. metropolitan area for $5.

Small print writings on the poster show it is produced by Trends International LLC, which describes itself on its website as “the leading publisher and manufacturer of licensed posters, calendars, stickers and social stationery products.” The Blade couldn’t immediately determine who designed the poster.

 The video of the poster burning incident can be viewed here:

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Fairfax schools returns LGBTQ-themed books in high school libraries

Review found ‘no pedophilia’ in texts as critics claimed

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(Book cover insert courtesy of Amazon)

The Fairfax County Public Schools announced on Tuesday that following a detailed review by two committees appointed by school officials it has returned two LGBTQ themed books to its high school libraries that had been temporarily withdrawn after being challenged by critics who claimed they included sexually explicit content inappropriate for students.

The two books, “Lawn Boy,” a novel by author Jonathan Evison, and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” which is described as an illustrated autobiography by non-binary author Maia Kobabe, each contain descriptions of sexual acts.

But supporters of the books have argued that they have won praise by literary critics and, while describing intimate relationships, they tell stories that do not fall into the category of pornography.  

Fairfax County Public Schools, the name used for the county’s public school system, on Tuesday said in a statement that a thorough review of the books by two committees consisting of educators, school officials, parents and some students found that neither book contained content that could be considered to depict pedophilia as claimed by some parents and others opposing the two books.

School officials announced they had temporarily withdrawn the two books from school libraries following a Sept. 23 meeting of the Fairfax County School Board where strong objections to the two books were raised by parents.

“Two books that were subject to formal challenge have been deemed appropriate for high school readers following a two-month review process and will be reinstated to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) libraries,” Tuesday’s statement by the school system says.

“The decision reaffirms FCPS’s ongoing commitment to provide diverse reading materials that reflect our student population, allowing every child an opportunity to see themselves reflected in literary characters,” the statement continues. “Both reviews concluded that the books were valuable in their potential to reach marginalized youth who may struggle to find relatable literary characters that reflect their personal journey,” the statement says.

The statement says the final decision to reinstate the books was made by Noel Klimenko, the Fairfax County Public Schools’ assistant superintendent for its Instructional Services Department.

The two books have received favorable reviews in various literary publications. Both have received the American Library Association’s Alex Award, an annual award that recognizes the year’s 10 books written for adults that the association says have a special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18.

“The robust committee process took place over several weeks and considered whether the books flouted regulations by being obscene or harmful to juveniles as defined by the Code of Virginia,” the school system statement says. “The members also considered the work in line with an excerpt from the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook pertaining to possessing obscene visual imagery as defined in the Code of Virginia,” the statement says.

“After careful consideration, neither books were deemed to have fallen foul of these regulations,” it concludes.

The decision by Fairfax school officials to reinstate the two books came about six weeks after more than 425 LGBTQ students and allies from over 30 Fairfax County public high schools sent a letter to the school board and the school system’s superintendent urging them to reinstate the two books.

The Pride Liberation Project, a coalition of LGBTQ and allied students in Fairfax County, organized the joint letter.

“Student representatives from over 30 schools, including nearly every high school in Fairfax County Public Schools, have signed this letter, and many of us are students of color, low-income, gender expansive and not out to our families and communities,” the letter states.

“We are writing to ask you to reject calls to remove Maia Kobabe’s ‘Gender Queer’ and Jonathan Evison’s ‘Lawn Boy’ from Fairfax County Public Schools libraries,” the letter says.

It points out that “hundreds of books in our schools already depict heterosexual relationships and physical intimacy,” and says singling out LGBTQ themed books with similar stories of intimacy for rejection is unfair.

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Transgender Zimbabwean woman in Md. wins asylum case

Mattie Tux Horton lives in Rockville

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Mattie Tux Horton, right, with her lawyer Ankush Dhupar in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of Mattie Tux Horton/Facebook)

A transgender woman from Zimbabwe who lives in Rockville won her asylum case in late October after living in the U.S. for the past five years. 

Mattie Tux Horton was represented by Ankush Dhupar from the Los Angeles law firm Paul Hastings LLP.

“I feel at ease,” said Horton. “Although a lot is going on in the [United States], it’s [significantly] different compared to where I’m coming from.”

Horton said that she now considers the U.S. to be her home. 

Although she has been living in Maryland for a while now, receiving asylum stripped away the anxiety associated with returning to Zimbabwe had the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency denied her request. 

With protection from the U.S. government, Horton gets to live in a safe environment and without the vile treatment she encountered in Zimbabwe because of her transness.

In her hometown of Bulawayo, Horton faced constant public humiliation and was once fired from her job as a graphic artist because of her dress presentation, according to an interview she did with Medium. 

She was attacked by a violent group of men in 2014, and was outed later that year following a holiday trip to South Africa, according to the interview. 

This incident garnered media attention and The Sunday News, a Zimbabwean newspaper, published an article in which it misgendered Horton throughout the entire piece. 

This prompted Horton to apply for a U.S. visa so she could attend an LGBTQ leadership conference in D.C. and remove herself from the cacophony in her town.

The Sunday News later ran a story about Horton’s departure in which they misgendered her again and referred to her as a “transgender man” and “alleged gay.”

Horton arrived in D.C. in December 2016 and began her asylum process there. 

While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she connected with the city’s Human Rights First chapter that referred her to Dhupar, who represented her pro bono. 

Dhupar is a labor and employment law attorney at Paul Hastings LLC and he volunteered to work on Horton’s case as part of his firm’s partnership with Human Rights First to do pro bono LGBTQ advocacy work.

Horton’s asylum was his first ever immigration case.

While the legal underpinnings of immigration were new to him, Dhupar did not struggle to situate his modus operandi because of how compelling Horton’s case was.

“I always referred to the facts of the case because the law is geared towards helping situations like [Horton’s] where someone fears for their life in their home country,” said Dhupar. 

Dhupar also added that Horton’s case was a prime example of why the asylum process exists.

Horton submitted a psychological evaluation in February 2021 that would expedite her asylum case and grant her an interview notice sooner than usual. 

At that point she had lived in the U.S. for more than four years, but she still had to wait a couple more months before she was called for an interview. This caused Horton to feel trepid about whether her case was strong enough. 

“I went through depression and had psychological breakdowns,” said Horton. “I have friends who were called in for an interview months after moving here and didn’t have to wait five years [like I did].”

This hurdle, however, gave Horton and Dhupar adequate time to build an indisputable case. The two built a personal relationship that kept them vigilant despite the abounding uncertainty. 

“She was a perfect advocate for herself and took the initiative to make sure the case did not fall on the backburner,” said Dhupar. 

Now that she has won her case, Horton is taking time to relish on her recent success. 

“I’m going to take a breather,” she said.

She also plans to secure full-time employment in 2022 and build a makeup brand. Horton currently works part time as a steering committee member — a role she says is fulfilling — at the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project- Transgender Law Center.

There, she links Black trans and gender nonconforming individuals to education, employment, legal and healthcare resources.

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