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Melissa Etheridge raising money for Md. lawmaker

To host Aug. 9 benefit for lesbian delegate Mizeur



Heather Mizeur

Maryland Del. Heather Mizeur and singer Melissa Etheridge struck up a friendship during the 2008 presidential election. (Washington Blade photo Michael Key)

Lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge is scheduled to host a fundraising reception for Maryland Del. Heather Mizeur (D) on Aug. 9 in Baltimore.

Mizeur is a lesbian running for re-election to the House of Delegates, where she has represented Takoma Park and Silver Spring since 2007.

Etheridge, who will be in Baltimore for a concert at Pier Six Pavilion on Aug. 9, will host a pre-concert meet-and-greet at 7 p.m. for Mizeur supporters. Tickets are $1,000 and mostly sold out, according to Mizeur, who added that donors interested in attending should contact her campaign directly. Attendance is being capped at “no more than 20,” she said.

For those who can’t afford the $1,000 price tag, the campaign is offering a chance to win a ticket in an online raffle. To enter, visit and make a $5 donation. One winner will be chosen to attend the reception and concert.

Mizeur met Etheridge during the 2008 presidential campaign, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were wooing the votes of Democratic superdelegates during the primary, including Mizeur. Etheridge called Mizeur on behalf of Obama’s campaign.

“We hit it off on the phone, because of our shared love of politics,” Mizeur said. “She’s a mid-Westerner and we have the same values and got on really well.” The two met that June at a concert and have become friends. Etheridge stayed with Mizeur and her partner during Obama’s inauguration.

Mizeur, reacting to last month’s news that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to introduce a marriage equality bill during the 2012 legislative session, said the announcement provides a “significant boost for our efforts.”

“We really do believe his sponsorship of the bill is the shot of momentum we need to win support for the bill this session,” she said. “There’s no bigger megaphone in the capital than the governor’s office.”




Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work



The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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Baltimore Pride event disrupted by possible chemical agent, causing panic and injuries

Incident caused a stampede



This year’s Pride Parade and Festival was expected to attract 100,000 people. (Photo by Kaitlin Newman/the Baltimore Banner)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV and BRENNA SMITH | A possible chemical agent was released in front of the main stage at the Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party on Saturday night, causing a stampede.

The incident occurred around 7 p.m. and police did not release the chemical agent, according to a spokesperson. The main stage for the event was located near North Avenue and Charles Street.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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