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Don’t miss today’s Blade town hall with the mayor!

Watch today’s LGBT town hall live here at the Blade. We will ask the mayor about the issues you are most interested in.

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Vince Gray

Mayor Gray will address the Washington D.C. LGBT community's questions on June 2 at the Wilson Building. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade and Mayor Vince Gray will  be discussing the issues most pressing for the DC LGBT community today at 5:30 P.M. and you can be part of the discussion!

All week we’ve been taking your questions for the mayor.  Now make sure you log in at 6:30 to watch our LIVE coverage of the conversation at our dedicated page http://washingtonblade.com/beheard.

Get ready to be heard. “A Conversation With The Mayor,” Town Hall Event during DC’s LGBT Pride month with Mayor Vincent Gray, will feature questions submitted through the Blade website, Facebook and Twitter.  If you’re watching with us, use the hashtag #DCLGBT.

The Washington Blade invites you to “A Conversation with the Mayor” today, as part of our Pride month celebrations. At the event, Blade editor Kevin Naff will interview Mayor Vincent Gray on LGBT issues. The mayor will also answer questions submitted by the public.

Join us at 5:30 p.m. for a reception and the opening of SMYAL’s youth advocacy project photography exhibit exploring heterosexism. The exhibit will be on display from June 2, 2011 through June 13, 2011.

“We are honored that Mayor Vincent Gray will join us for a candid discussion about the topics that are of greatest concern to the District’s LGBT community,” said Naff. “This will be a wonderful forum for the mayor to interact with a community that has been incredibly supportive of his efforts to push for autonomy from congressional interference in city affairs, including the marriage equality law.”

The event will include a question and answer session following Naff’s interview with Gray. Members of the public will have the opportunity to submit questions for the mayor through the newly re-launched Blade website, Facebook and Twitter.

“A Conversation with the Mayor” will be held at the John A. Wilson Building. The event will be preceded by a reception. Both events are open to the public and all members of the DC metro area community are invited to attend.

If you can’t be there in person, be there with us for our live coverage at http://washingtonblade.com/beheard!

WHO: Washington Blade

Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray

Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff

WHAT: “A Conversation with the Mayor,” a Capital Pride town hall event

WHEN: June 2nd, 2011

6 to 6:30 p.m. – reception

6:30 to 7 p.m. – interview with the mayor

7 to 7:30 p.m. – question and answer session

WHERE: John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please inform The District of Columbia Office of Disability Rights at 202-724-5055.

Make sure that you “like” our Facebook Page, and “follow” our Twitter Page so that you can see what others in D.C. are asking the mayor. You can also get all of the best local and national news and info on the hottest upcoming events in and around Washington.

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World

Two arrested for lesbian couple’s murder, dismemberment in Mexico border city

Julissa Ramírez and Nohemí Medina Martínez killed earlier this month

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From left: Julissa Ramírez and Nohemí Medina Martínez</strong. (Photo via Facebook)

Two people have been arrested in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a lesbian couple in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez.

The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday announced authorities arrested a 25-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man and charged them with aggravated femicide.

Authorities on Jan. 16 found the dismembered body parts of Julissa Ramírez and Nohemí Medina Martínez in plastic bags that had been placed along the Juárez-El Porvenir Highway. The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office in a press release notes the suspects murdered Ramírez and Medina in a house in Ciudad Juárez’s San Isidro neighborhood on Jan. 15.

Ciudad Juárez, which is located in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, is across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Members of Comité de la Diversidad Sexual de Chihuahua, a local LGBTQ rights group, and Chihuahua Gov. María Eugenia Campos Galván are among those who have expressed outrage over the women’s murders. Activists have also urged local and state authorities to investigate whether the murder was a hate crime based on Ramírez and Medina’s sexual orientation.

Local media reports said nine women — including Ramírez and Medina — were killed in Ciudad Juárez from Jan. 1-15.

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Virginia

Va. Senate subcommittee tables anti-transgender student athlete bill

Virginia Beach Republican introduced SB 766

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transgender, Gender Conference East, trans, transgender flag, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A Virginia Senate subcommittee on Thursday tabled a bill that would have banned transgender students from joining school sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 766, which state Sen. Jennifer Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) introduced on earlier this month, would have required “each elementary or secondary school or a private school that competes in sponsored athletic events against such public schools to designate athletic teams, whether a school athletic team or an intramural team sponsored by such school, based on biological sex as follows: (i) ‘males,’ ‘men,’ or ‘boys’; (ii) ‘females,’ ‘women,’ or ‘girls’; or (iii) ‘coed’ or ‘mixed.’”

“SB 766 (trans sports ban) was passed by indefinitely (it died!) after a long line of speakers testified against it, affirming trans students’ rights to participate in sports just like their cisgender peers,” tweeted the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia after the vote. “Trans students belong in sports. Period.”

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin during his campaign said he does not support allowing trans children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

The General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session began on Jan. 12 with Republicans in control of the House of Delegates. Democrats still control the Senate by a 21-19 margin.

A bill that would have eliminated the requirement that school districts implement the Virginia Department of Education’s trans and non-binary student guidelines died in a Senate subcommittee on Thursday. The Senate General Laws and Technology on Thursday also tabled a religious freedom measure that would have undermined Virginia’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination law.

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Virginia

Two anti-LGBTQ bills die in Va. Senate

Democrats maintain 21-19 majority in chamber

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The Virginia Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two anti-LGBTQ bills died in the Virginia Senate on Thursday.

A Senate Education subcommittee voted against state Sen. Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell County)’s Senate Bill 20, which would have eliminated the requirement that school districts must implement the Virginia Department of Education’s transgender and non-binary student guidelines.

The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee in an 8-7 vote tabled state Sen. Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg)’s Senate Bill 177, a religious freedom measure that critics contend would have allowed anti-LGBTQ discrimination in housing.

Virginia’s statewide nondiscrimination law includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Peake’s bill would have removed “the provision of the exemption for religious organizations under the Virginia Fair Housing Law that denies such exemption where the membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability.”

The General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session began on Jan. 12 with Republicans in control of the House of Delegates. Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin took office three days later.

Democrats, who maintain a 21-19 majority in the state Senate, have vowed to block any anti-LGBTQ bill.

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