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Local news in brief: March 18

Ethics complaint dismissed against Beyer and more

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Dana Beyer, center. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Ethics complaint dismissed against Beyer

The Montgomery County Ethics Commission on March 8 dismissed a complaint against retired eye surgeon and transgender activist Dana Beyer that alleged Beyer violated county ethics rules in 2008 by improperly campaigning against a proposed referendum to overturn a transgender non-discrimination law.

The complaint was filed by Ruth Jacobs, president of the Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government, an anti-LGBT group. The group filed petitions calling for a voter referendum to overturn a transgender non-discrimination law passed by the Montgomery County Council in November 2007.

The referendum never made it to the ballot because supporters failed to gather the required number of petition signatures.

Beyer had been working at the time on the staff of County Council member Duchy Trachtenberg, an at-large Democrat, who authored the law. The law bans discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and other areas based on a person’s gender identity.

Jacobs alleged in her complaint that Beyer and others opposed to the referendum improperly interfered with efforts by her group to gather signatures outside various Giant Food stores by, among other things, “yelling and screaming” at petition circulators and potential signers of the petitions. Jacobs also charged that Beyer abused her role as an employee of the County Council by allegedly telling the manager of one of the Giant stores that he would have “problems” with the county if he allowed the petitions to be circulated on store property.

Beyer denied the allegations, saying they were fabricated by Jacobs and others as a means of retaliating against legitimate efforts by supporters of the non-discrimination law to campaign against the referendum.

“In order for [the ethics code] to be violated, the employee’s conduct must be on the job, include self-identification as a public employee, or otherwise entail the prestige of office,” the Ethics Commission said in its ruling. “Assuming that Dr. Beyer did confront MCRG volunteers, Giant Food managers, and patrons, there is no credible evidence that she invoked her county position while doing so.”

In a statement Beyer hailed the decision to dismiss the case but expressed concern that the commission’s earlier decision to find probable cause that she may have violated ethics rules indicates the county’s ethics process is flawed.

“After having failed to defeat anti-discrimination protections for transgender citizens in the County Council, and then failing to get their referendum on the ballot, a small group of narrow-minded, political motivated individuals tried to obstruct justice a third time by going after me personally,” she said.

Jacobs could not be immediately reached for comment.

Murder trial opens in anti-gay ‘hate’ case

A trial began this week for a 26-year-old D.C. man charged with first-degree murder while armed in connection with the November 2009 stabbing death of a man that prosecutors have classified as an anti-gay hate crime.

In charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, police and prosecutors said Justin L. Navarro, 26, stabbed D.C. resident Kevin Massey at least 18 times inside Massey’s apartment in the 4200 block of 2nd St., N.W., on Nov. 6, 2009.

The court documents say an eyewitness told police the witness saw Navarro enter Massey’s bedroom after asking the witness, “Where is the faggy ass nigger?”

“Witness 1 observed the defendant armed with a large kitchen knife which the defendant used to thrust into the decedent’s body,” a police arrest affidavit says. “Witness 1 stated that it observed the defendant thrust the knife into the decedent’s body twice before Witness 1 fled the apartment for its safety,” the affidavit says.

An eight-count grand jury indictment of Navarro charges that, “the murder demonstrated the prejudice of Justin L. Navarro…based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of Kevin Massey.”

A law enforcement source said Navarro allegedly stabbed Massey because he incorrectly believed that Massey had made a pass at him weeks before the murder and that “rumors were spreading about the two men.”

Prosecutors filed a motion last September objecting to plans by the defense to argue that Navarro committed the stabbing in self-defense. An attorney representing Navarro could not be immediately reached for comment.

The trial before Judge Lynn Leibovitz was expected to last through this week.

San Fran mayoral candidate seeks support in D.C.

A gay candidate running for mayor in San Francisco, who served for eight years on that city’s Board of Supervisors, is scheduled to hold a fundraiser in D.C. on March 21.

D.C. area supporters of Bevan Dufty say Dufty has the “drive, energy, responsiveness and effectiveness” to be an excellent mayor and are calling on local activists to contribute to his campaign. Dufty is a former D.C. resident who started his career as a staff member to former U.S. Reps. Shirley Chisholm and Julian Dixon, both Democrats.

He is the only gay candidate in a field of eight competing for the mayoral post in the Nov. 8 election.

Dufty’s campaign announced earlier this year that he reversed an earlier decision to limit the amount of campaign contributions he would accept to $200 rather than the legal limit of $500. He also initially vowed not to accept contributions from donors outside San Francisco. Those restrictions hurt his campaign, according to political pundits, who noted he had fallen behind most of his competitors in funds raised.

In addition to seeking support from individual donors in D.C., Dufty is applying for the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports openly LGBT candidates for public office.

Information about the D.C. event, set to take place at a private residence near Dupont Circle, can be obtained by contacting Jill McCarthy at 202-316-8006 or [email protected].

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Pride flags vandalized, stolen in Loudoun County town

‘Bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand’

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Vandals destroyed or stole several Pride flags that had been displayed at homes in Lovettsville, Va. (Screen capture via WUSA9))

Vandals this week destroyed or stole Pride flags that Lovettsville residents had displayed on their homes.

Calvin Woehrie told WUSA the vandals used a blade to slash the Pride flag that was hanging from his house. The D.C. television station reported the vandals also targeted Woehrie’s neighbors who are a lesbian couple with four children.

The Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office said the vandals damaged five Pride flags from three homes and they stole two more. A spokesperson for the Loudoun County’s Sheriff’s Office told WUSA the vandalism is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I wanted to address events that happened over the weekend, that are deplorable and devastating to the entire community,” said Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine in a letter he sent to town residents on June 16. “Over the weekend, there was destruction of property that specifically targeted our LGBTQ community. To make this even more heinous is that the destruction of property was done during Pride Month. To have property destroyed targeting members of our community is horrible and can be frightening for those targeted.” 

“For the individuals who committed these crimes, know that your bigoted efforts to terrorize members of our community will not stand,” added Fontaine. “We are working closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and this has also been added as an agenda item for our June 24th Council meeting.”

Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, on Saturday described the vandalism as “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Whether someone is voicing an opinion or flying a flag, as Virginians — and as human beings — we must be respectful of one another,” wrote Youngkin in a Facebook post.

“Politicians always seem to be pitting neighbor against neighbor, but I am committed to bringing people together around our shared values, like treating others the same way you want to be treated,” he added. “We must all do better by respecting others’ right to live their lives freely, without being targeted because of who they are.”

WUSA reported Lovettsville residents bought Pride flags to replace the ones that had been vandalized and stolen.

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14

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EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth trans man reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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Comings & Goings

Jarvis lands lead consultant role at Meridian

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Ted Jarvis

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].

The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success.

Congratulations to Ted Jarvis on his new position as Lead Consultant with Meridian Compensation Partners, in D.C. He will work on executive compensation, governance research and development. When asked for a response to news of his new role, Jarvis told this story: “I was on the prowl for a new job, I contacted the CEO of Meridian, who worked closely with me during our years at Towers Perrin. After half an hour on the phone, he asked: ‘Send me a list of things you really like to do.’ I followed up with a list of activities that continually engage my interest. Within a few days he mailed me a job description that reiterated my list almost word-for-word. I feel truly blessed to have a job so aligned with what I enjoy doing. This is going to be great.”

Prior to working for Meridian, Jarvis worked as Managing Director with Main Data Group in D.C. and Wilton Manors, Fla. He has also worked as Global Director of Executive Compensation Data, Research & Publications, Mercer, in D.C.; principal with Willis Towers Watson; and as a research consultant with McKinsey & Company. Jarvis is a member of the Lotos Club (New York); a benefactor at Drew University (Morristown, N.J.). He funded two undergraduate prizes (Wettstein Drama Prize; Norton Wettstein and Jane Brown Memorial Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement); a benefactor, Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia): funded William Joseph Coverley-Smith Prize, awarded annually at the Juried Art Competition; and a benefactor, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (Rochester, N.Y.).

Jarvis earned his MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; his bachelor’s (cum laude); his Ph.D. (ABD) major in music history, literature and theory from NYU. He earned a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Vienna.

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