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Lesbian couple ejected from Ravens game

Told to ‘stop making a scene’ after kissing

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Mary Kate Morris and Nicole Marchetto were removed from a Sept. 26 Ravens game and are considering legal action. (Photo courtesy of the couple)

With the Baltimore Ravens clinging to a 14-10 halftime lead against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 26, Mary Kate Morris and Nicole Marchetto decided to hit the concession stand behind Section 538 of M&T Bank Stadium. Little did they know they would not get to see the second half of the game.

The Baltimore couple saw a long line at the restroom and decided to buy beer and fries until the line diminished. They spotted a plastic cup on the counter and used it to pour ketchup for the fries.

While waiting for their orders, the couple engaged in what Marchetto characterized as “casual kissing.” Almost immediately, she said, a security guard and a supervisor told the women to “stop making a scene.” They were warned three times but continued because, according to Marchetto, “the kissing was heartfelt and decent in the real sense and was not any different from what numerous law-abiding straight couples were doing all around us.”

Soon afterwards, the security guard demanded to see their driver’s licenses, and then the women were told to leave the stadium immediately. When they asked why they had to leave, the guard accused them of first stealing the cup from the concession stand and then accused them of stealing the beer. A Baltimore police officer intervened and told the guards the couple did not steal the beer. The couple has receipts for all the purchases.

Nonetheless, they were forced out of the stadium by three police officers. As they left, Marchetto said she told the officer, “I am a paying customer and a law-abiding citizen.”

Morris and Marchetto contend their ejection resulted from the kissing and nothing else.

“Straight couples were kissing all around us,” said Morris, who added that no one complained about their displays of affection. “As a matter of fact, some fans were not only approving but cheered us,” she said.

After checking with security personnel, Jan Hardesty, a media spokesperson for the Maryland Stadium Authority, said the ejection was a result of  “unauthorized removal of inventory,” referring to the plastic cup. According to Hardesty, an employee of Aramark, the company that operates the concession stands, witnessed the removal of the cup to pour ketchup. Each item must be accounted for, Hardesty said.

Patrick Gleason, public relations manager for the Baltimore Ravens, said he raised the incident with the Ravens’ senior vice president of public and community relations, Kevin Byrne, and vice president of stadium operations Roy Sommerhof.

The official response from Byrne: “We’re aware of the incident, and we’re satisfied with the action taken by the concessionaire, security and police.”

Gleason added, “Many of our game day concession stands are run by volunteer groups to raise money for their charities. Accounting for drinks sold is computed by the number of cups used. If cups are taken or missing once the game ends, then the respective volunteer group is responsible for reimbursement.”

But Morris and Marchetto insist the motive for their eviction was their public display of affection. The couple is considering legal action.

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Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach gets rainbow crosswalks

Pride Month begins on Saturday

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(Photo courtesy of City of Rehoboth Beach's Instagram page)

The city of Rehoboth Beach has begun painting rainbow crosswalks in honor of the LGBTQ community. The crosswalks on the corners of First Street and Baltimore Avenue. and Second Street and Baltimore Avenue will have giant rainbows installed just as Pride Month kicks off. 

Images of city officials painting the crosswalk on Second Street were posted to the city of Rehoboth’s Instagram account on Wednesday and received positive comments. The post also announced next week’s plans to make a second Pride-painted sidewalk a block over on First Street after they are finished. 

The sidewalks, one of which lies on Steve Elkins Way in honor of the Rehoboth LGBTQ trailblazer, require three coats of paint to ensure the colors stay vibrant all summer.

The sidewalk appears to display the Philadelphia Pride Flag, which not only recognizes LGBTQ people but also LGBTQ people of color. The sidewalk has the six traditional Pride flag colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) representing various elements of being a part of the LGBTQ community, and black and brown symbolize the unique struggles of people of color in the LGBTQ community.

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Local

Comings & Goings

Viet Tran appointed as senior advisor to OPM Director

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Viet Tran

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 Viet Tran on his appointment as Deputy Director for the Office of Communications, at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Tran serves as a senior adviser to the OPM Director and senior agency leadership on communications messaging, execution, and strategies. In addition, he oversees the press team and interagency coordination related to the Office of Communications team. He previously served as press secretary for OPM.

Prior to that he was a senior communications consultant to organizations, nonprofits, and state agencies, including the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the California Department of Public Health, and American Civil Liberties Union California Action. Tran served as a press secretary, and on-record spokesperson, for the Human Rights Campaign. 

Congratulations also to Paul Williams elected president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG).

“I am happy to bring my expertise in historic preservation, and non-profit management, to the CAG,” Williams said after his election. “I have enjoyed getting to know its board and the community members as a fairly new superintendent in residence at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown.”  

Williams has an educational background in historic preservation, with degrees from Roger Williams and Cornell. He created the U Street Historic District and the walking trail there. Williams is the author of 24 history books, headed Dupont Main Streets, and Congressional Cemetery for 10 years, before becoming the 14th superintendent at Oak Hill in October 2021. He lives there with his writer and journalist husband Greg Alexander, and two cats.  

Paul Williams

Congratulations also to the newly elected board members of the Rainbow History Project (RHP) who include: Delaney Resweber, Ashley Bamfo as treasurer; Justin Weitz acting board secretary; Glenn C. Reimer starting his third one-year term as board chair. In addition, Frankie Witzenburg was promoted to deputy director of archiving. 

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Delaware

Blade Foundation awards 7th Steve Elkins journalism fellowship

Joe Reberkenny will cover Delaware LGBTQ news all summer

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Joseph Reberkenny

The Blade Foundation this week announced the recipient of its 2024 Steve Elkins Memorial Fellowship in Journalism is Joseph Reberkenny, a recent graduate of American University.

He will cover issues of interest to Delaware’s LGBTQ community for 12 weeks this summer. The fellowship is named in honor of Steve Elkins, a journalist and co-founder of the CAMP Rehoboth LGBT community center. Elkins served as editor of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth for many years as well as executive director of the center before his death in March of 2018.

Kevin Naff, editor of the Blade, welcomed Reberkenny and introduced him to the Rehoboth Beach community at a recent event there. 

“We’re all excited to work with Joseph during this important election year in which Delaware is poised to make history by electing the nation’s first transgender congressperson and only the fourth Black woman U.S. Senator,” Naff said.

Reberkenny is the seventh recipient of the Elkins fellowship, which is funded by community donations at the Blade Foundation’s annual fundraiser in Rehoboth Beach. This year’s event was held May 17 at the Blue Moon and included a generous sponsorship from Realtor Justin Noble and a keynote address by Sarah McBride, a candidate for U.S. House.

“I am honored to work for the Blade and to contribute to its rich history in supporting the LGBTQ community,” Reberkenny said. “I am excited to cover Delaware’s politics, and can’t wait to amplify voices that deserve to be heard.” 

“The CAMP Rehoboth community is thrilled to know that the Washington Blade continues to support a student intern in memory of Steve Elkins,” said Kim Leisey, Ph.D., executive director of CAMP Rehoboth. 

For more information on the fellowship program or to donate, visit bladefoundation.org.

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