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Delaware marriage law goes into effect July 1

State Sen. Karen Peterson and partner will be first to take advantage of new statute

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Dover, Delaware, Legislative House, Gay News, Washington Blade

Dover, Delaware, Legislative House, Gay News, Washington Blade

The Delaware Capitol Building in Dover, Del. (Washington Blade photo by Damien Salas)

A Delaware lawmaker who came out during a debate over her state’s same-sex marriage bill earlier this year and her partner will be the first couple to take advantage of the gay nuptials law that takes effect on Monday.

State Sen. Karen Peterson (D-Stanton) and her partner, Vikki Bandy, will convert their civil union into a marriage at the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace’s office in Wilmington on Monday morning.

“Vikki and I are excited and honored to be the first couple to convert our civil union to a marriage in Delaware,” Peterson told the Washington Blade. “We have been together for almost 25 years, and I never thought we would live to see the day when we could be married in our home state.”

Chris Beagle, a realtor who co-owns an event planning company with his partner of more than 23 years, Eric Engelhart, will be the first same-sex couple in Sussex County to convert their civil union into a marriage.

Beagle told the Blade last week that he and Engelhart will have a “very simple, very brief ceremony” at CAMP Rehoboth in Rehoboth Beach at 10 a.m. on Monday.

“I never expected to be afforded this type of honor or distinction,” Beagle said. “We are incredibly humbled, honored and grateful.”

The Sussex County Clerk of the Peace in Georgetown will also begin to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 8 a.m. on July 1, with doors opening at 7 a.m. The Kent County Clerk of the Peace in Dover will open at 8 a.m.

Delaware on Monday will join nine other states and D.C. that allow same-sex marriage.

Gays and lesbians in Minnesota and Rhode Island will be able to tie the knot on August 1.

Joseph Daigle, II, and Daniel Coke on Monday will become the first same-sex couple who had not previously entered into a civil union to tie the knot in Delaware. A reception and what Goodman described as a “community celebration” will take place at the Columbus Inn in Wilmington after the men exchange vows at the Gibraltar Mansion.

No other same-sex weddings will take place in Delaware on July 1 because the state did not waive the 24-hour waiting period for any other gay or lesbian couples.

Any Delaware civil union that has not been converted into a marriage as of July 1, 2014, will automatically become a marriage.

“July 1 will be a joyous day for committed same-sex couples in Delaware,” Equality Delaware President Lisa Goodman said.

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Maryland

As Md. advances bill to fund gender-affirming care, LGBTQ advocates stress it will save lives

Trans Health Equity Act would impact state Medicaid

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Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

By John-John Williams IV | Shaylie Elliette wishes the Trans Health Equity Act that appears headed for final passage in the Maryland General Assembly would have been around seven years ago, when she turned 18. She believes that transitioning earlier in life would have eliminated years of torment, abuse and discrimination all linked to transphobia.

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

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District of Columbia

Whitman-Walker announces leadership change

CEO Ryan Moran to become Deputy Secretary of Health in Maryland

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Dr. Ryan Moran is leaving his role as CEO of the Whitman-Walker Health System. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Dr. Ryan Moran, who has served since 2021 as CEO of the Whitman-Walker Health System, an arm of D.C.’s longtime LGBTQ and HIV health services provider Whitman-Walker Health, will be leaving his position next month after being named as Deputy Secretary of Health and Healthcare Finance and Medicaid Director for the State of Maryland.

According to a March 21 statement released by Whitman-Walker, Moran will begin his new job as a member of the Maryland Department of Health’s senior leadership team effective April 12.

The statement says Cindy Lewin, an official with nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years and who previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at the AARP, will serve as interim CEO at Whitman-Walker Health System beginning April 10.

Around that time, the statement says, Whitman-Walker will begin a nationwide executive search “to secure a permanent CEO” for the top position at Whitman-Walker Health System.

The statement points out that Naseema Shafi will continue in her role as CEO of Whitman-Walker Health, the other component of Whitman-Walker that directly provides and oversees medical and health care services to patients and clients, including those from the LGBTQ community.

Whitman-Walker Health System, among other things, advances the mission of Whitman-Walker through expanding its financial and fundraising capacity through the Whitman-Walker Foundation, the Whitman-Walker Institute, and the Whitman-Walker Health System Real Property Holdings, the statement says.

“Whitman-Walker Health System is grateful for Ryan’s visionary leadership, which has advantageously positioned us for our once in a generation expansion of research and health services with our move to the Saint Elizabeth campus this year,” said Dr. Ann Bonham, the Whitman-Walker Health System Board Chair.

“While the organization will miss Ryan, his enthusiasm and passion for the work and his commitment to the mission of Whitman-Walker, I am sure he will be a transformative leader in his new role,” Bonham said.

“I am deeply grateful to Whitman-Walker for the opportunity to steward our mission-driven organization as a regional and national leader in LGBTQ+ care, advocacy, research, and education,” Moran said in the statement.

“I am honored to have contributed to this organization’s rich history, and I am proud of the work Naseema Shafi and I have accomplished together and of the exceptional board senior leadership team, and staff for their collaboration in building a strong foundation for Whitman-Walker’s future success,” he said.

The statement announcing the Whitman-Walker leadership change notes that Moran played an important role in continuing the organization’s previously started plans for opening its new Max Robinson Center at the city’s St. Elizabeth’s campus in Southeast D.C. According to the statement, the new center will provide services and programs to more than 15,000 people each year, a 300 percent increase from the existing Max Robinson Center located in Anacostia.

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Local

Comings & Goings

Inouye named Deputy Assistant Secretary in communications at Dept. of Education

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Shin Inouye (Photo public domain)

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 Shin Inouye on his appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Communications and Outreach, U.S. Department of Education. He said, “I’m honored to join the Biden-Harris administration and the amazing team under Secretary Cardona.  Working with my outstanding colleagues, I am confident we will meet our goal to raise the bar and promote academic excellence in America.” 

Previously, Inouye served as Executive Vice President of Communications, The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund. He also held a number of high-level positions in the Obama administration, including Press Secretary and Acting Senior Adviser for Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Adviser for Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Executive Office of the President; White House Office of Communications: Director of Specialty Media; and as an authorized spokesperson for the Obama Inaugural Committee, with a focus on specialty media outlets.

Inouye has received many honors, including being named one of 25 “LGBTI next generation leaders to watch” by Out in National Security and the Atlantic Council; and one of “40 Asian American Pacific Islander National Security & Foreign Policy Next Generation Leaders” by New America and the Diversity in National Security Network.

Congratulations also to Tristan Fitzpatrick, on his promotion to Senior Communications Consultant at APCO Worldwide. Fitzpatrick said, “I am thrilled to start this new position and look forward to the start of a new chapter advising clients on how to best achieve their communications and public affairs goals.” Tristan has worked with APCO for the past year and a half. They are the fifth largest independently owned PR firm in the United States. Prior to that, Fitzpatrick was a Digital Media Specialist with the National Public Pension Coalition in D.C. He worked as a Communications and Digital Adviser, to the Biden for President campaign. He advised the campaign’s Out for Biden Coalition on communications and digital best practices for turning out 11 million LGBTQ and 57 million pro-equality voters. Tristan has also been a Communications Manager and Digital Outreach Coordinator, Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC.   

Tristan Fitzpatrick
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