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Gay parents, kids participate in ‘Adoption Day’



Brook Rose, Gregg Busch, Nolan Reese Rose-Busch, gay families, gay adoption, gay news, Washington Blade
Brook Rose, Gregg Busch, Nolan Reese Rose-Busch, gay families, gay adoption, gay news, Washington Blade

Brook Rose and Gregg Busch with their newly-adopted son, Nolan Reese Rose-Busch, at an adoption day proceeding last weekend in D.C. Superior Court. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Relatives and friends wept in joy and cheered as at least four gay male couples carried or walked with their children to a stage at the D.C. Superior Court on Saturday, Nov. 17, where judges signed papers finalizing the adoption of their kids.

With D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and a contingent of family court judges, social workers, and lawyers looking on, the gay couples joined at least 25 straight couples or single parents who had their children’s adoptions finalized during the city’s 26th Annual Adoption Day ceremony.

“The ceremony is designed to celebrate the joy of adoption and encourage area residents to consider adopting or fostering a child in the District’s public child welfare system,” said a statement released by the Superior Court and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, which facilitates adoptions in the city.

Among the couples participating in the ceremony were Reginald Wilson and his husband Wesley McCammon, who recently moved from Mississippi to the D.C. area, where they adopted Reginald Jr., 9, and his biological sister, Regina, 10.

As the family was introduced by the ceremony’s emcee, NBC News 4 anchor Barbara Harrison, Wilson wept uncontrollably, saying later he was overcome by joy at the columniation of his and his husband’s dream of becoming a family with children.

Gray, who was sitting nearby, walked over to Wilson and hugged him. About a half hour earlier, the mayor delivered remarks praising the city’s adoption program and expressing support for D.C.’s longstanding policy of allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

“We’ve come to an age of enlightenment where, of course, we recognize traditional families and hope that they will adopt,” Gray said. “But also single adults ought to be considered for adoption because they make wonderful adoptive families,” he told the gathering. “And frankly, I’m proud to be in a city where we have approved marriage equality and we have some of the most loving families in the city who are same-sex couples.”

Chad Copeland, gay families, gay adoption, Norman Moore, Kevin Scooter Ward, Noel Johnson, gay news, Washington Blade

Chad Copeland, Scooter Ward and their son, Norman Moore with Judge Noel Johnson at an adoption day proceeding last weekend in D.C. Superior Court. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Also participating in the ceremony were D.C. residents Chad Copeland and Kevin “Scooter” Ward and their adopted son Norman, 5; and Silvio Weisner and his husband Jeffrey Weisner and their 10-month-old adopted daughter Madeleine Susannah Weisner.

“She was born just outside of Houston, Texas, and we were there on the day she was born,” Silvio Weisner told the Blade. “We brought her home to D.C. nine days later.”

Judith Sandalow, executive director of the D.C.-based Children’s Law Center, which provides legal services to people seeking to adopt or become foster parents, said the city’s Child and Family Services Agency routinely approves gay people and same-sex couples as foster or adoptive parents.

She said anyone interested in learning more about how to adopt or become a foster parent should contact the agency at 202-671-LOVE or go its adoption/foster care website,



Virginia Beach high school students stage walkouts to support transgender rights

City’s school board approved policy to out trans students to parents



Transgender flags (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Students at five Virginia Beach high schools on Friday staged walkouts in support of transgender rights.

The walkout is in response to the Virginia Beach School Board approving policy 5-31, which the Pride Liberation Project says will require schools to out trans students to their parents.

Students have been organizing walkouts across the state since Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin earlier this year announced new guidelines for trans and nonbinary students.

“Students like me aren’t going to be able to talk to our teachers if we’re constantly worried about our school officials calling home to forcibly out us,” AJ, a trans Kellam High School Student, told the Pride Liberation Project.

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District of Columbia

Pepco, Exelon announce $2.7 million in funding for four minority-owned businesses

‘It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table’



Pepco and Exelon held a press conference Friday to announce four recipients of $2.7 million in investments. (Photo courtesy Exelon)

Pepco and Exelon announced a $2.7 million investment in four minority-owned businesses on Friday.

“Today’s been a long time coming,” said Pepco Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Valencia McClure.

Pepco’s parent company, Exelon, launched the Racial Equity Capital Fund (RECF) in 2022 to expand capital access to diverse businesses. This latest $2.7 million investment is just a portion of RECF’s $36 million in funding.

At the announcement, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser spoke about the other ways Pepco and Exelon have “put their money where their mouth is” through their partnership with the D.C. Infrastructure Academy. She reported that all 22 of the residents that graduated from the program last week have a job offer from Pepco.

“We know that is not just a job, but a career,” she said to the crowd’s applause. “We know that working together, we can invest in D.C. residents, provide opportunity, and ensure that our D.C. businesses are a part of D.C.’s growing prosperity.”

The four minority businesses that received funding were Gemini Energy Solutions, Public Sector Solutions Group, CJR Development Partners, and Escalate.

“It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table,” said fund recipient Nicole Cober, CJR Development’s Principle Managing Partner.

Gemini Energy Solutions, which is Black owned, received $1 million, the most of the four companies. Its mission is to equitably scale energy efficiency to marginalized communities. For the founder and CEO Anthony Kinslow II, this investment means that he is able to get paid and advance the work of his organization.

“We are now able to accelerate the work in our software and technology development,” he said. “What we were going to do in two years, we are now going to do in six months.”

For Escalate, a workforce development platform focused on frontline worker retention, the funding means that it will be able to double the pay for frontline workers.

Public Sector Solutions Group CEO Darryl Wiggins emphasized that this investment was not just ‘charity’ work, but mission-driven work.

“The principle and the intent is greater than the money we receive,” he said. Public Sector Solutions is Black owned.

Public Sector Solutions Group received a $600,000 debt investment; CJR Development, a minority and woman-owned small business, received a $600,000 debt investment; and Escalate, a majority Black and woman-owned company, received a $500,000 equity investment.

Exelon launched the RECF in partnership with RockCreek, one of the world’s largest diverse-owned global investment firms, in 2022. The RECF expands capital access to diverse businesses so they can create more jobs, grow their companies and reinvest in their neighborhoods and communities, according to a statement from Exelon.

New RECF applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Interested businesses may apply online or contact RockCreek at [email protected] for more information.

(Photo courtesy Exelon)
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Comings & Goings

Armstrong recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award



Lynden C. Armstrong

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 Lynden C. Armstrong on his Lifetime Achievement award from the Congressional Management Foundation in recognition of his exemplary public service in Congress. 

Upon receiving the award Armstrong said, “This recognition is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work of colleagues and mentors who have been with me on this journey. I’ve dedicated my entire career to public service within the Senate, where recognition isn’t the primary motivation for our work, making this recognition even more humbling.” He is currently Deputy Assistant Senate Sergeant at Arms and Chief Information Officer.  

Armstrong started his career with Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), where he rose to Deputy Chief of Staff in his more than 13-year stint. In 2004, during his tenure with Domenici, amid a debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Armstrong became a co-founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus. In 2014, he moved to the Sergeant at Arms CIO organization, where he established a new department within the CIO that was crafted to engage Senate offices in comprehending and harnessing technologies provided by the SAA. 

Lynden has previously served as Chief Clerk on the U.S. Senate, Committee on Rules and Administration, and with the U.S. Senate, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, as Deputy Inaugural Coordinator, 2012–2013.  In that role among other responsibilities, he served as civilian liaison to the National Special Security Event Executive Steering Committee and subcommittees, including the Capitol, USCP, Crowd Management, Public Relations, Transportation, and credentialing, and as liaison to the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region. 

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