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Graham undecided over re-election bid

Gay Council member forms exploratory committee

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Jim Graham, Washington, D.C., gay news, Washington Blade
Jim Graham, gay news, gay politics dc

‘I’ve had so many people ask me, are you running, are you running,’ Council member Jim Graham told the Blade this week. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) on Oct. 15 filed papers with the Office of Campaign Finance to form an exploratory committee to help him decide whether to run in the April 1, 2014 Democratic primary for a fifth term in office.

Three other Democrats have already announced they will run in the Ward 1 primary regardless of whether Graham enters the race.

“I’ve had so many people ask me, are you running, are you running?” Graham told the Blade on Tuesday. “I wanted to do something formal to indicate I’m thinking about it and I’m touching bases with a lot of people and thinking about a lot of things,” he said.

“This is a big decision in my little life and I want to make sure that I make it right,” Graham said. “And there is no way to do all of this without an exploratory committee because it’s the only mechanism that we have available to us.”

Graham, one of the Council’s strongest supporters on LGBT rights and AIDS issues, acknowledged that he will have to make a decision on whether to run soon because petitions needed to gain access to the ballot become available to all candidates on Nov. 8. The deadline for filing the petitions with the required number of signatures with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics is Jan. 2.

One of the candidates running in the Ward 1 race, public relations consultant and civic activist Brianne Nadeau, made an appeal for support on Oct. 14 at a meeting of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political organization. The Stein Club has endorsed Graham in each of his four previous races for the Ward 1 seat.

Another candidate running for the seat is Bryan Weaver, a longtime community activist and former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner who ran and lost to Graham in the 2010 Democratic primary. The third candidate to enter the race so far is Beverly Wheeler, an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University and former chief of staff for D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large), prior to Mendelson’s election as Council chair.

Weaver has been the most outspoken among the three candidates in criticizing Graham for breaching city ethics standards following a decision in February by his Council colleagues to formally reprimand Graham over an allegation that he improperly intervened in the negotiating process for a city contract with a developer. The Council acted after the city’s newly created independent ethics board ruled that Graham, while not violating any law, breached a code of ethics as a Council member by intervening in the contract process.

Graham has strongly disputed the claim that he acted improperly, saying he favored one developer over another for a Metro-related project in his ward based on the belief that the company he favored was better qualified to do the work.

In a development likely to surprise some D.C. political observers, another one of Graham’s former election opponents, gay Republican Marc Morgan, who lost to Graham in the November 2010 general election, this week called Graham a champion for the residents of his ward.

“In trying to put political bias aside, I must admit that I’m a fan of Jim Graham’s,” said Morgan, a Ward 1 ANC commissioner. “Over the past four years I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know him,” Morgan told the Blade. “I admire his work … I can tell you that in my area the residents are extremely satisfied with him.”

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Delaware

Delmarva Pride to feature drag, dancing, and more this weekend

Easton and Cambridge to host events

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A scene from Delmarva Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Delmarva Peninsula will hold its annual Pride celebration this weekend, including drag shows, a festival, and much more. 

The Delmarva Pride Center will put on the annual Pride celebration starting on Friday, June 14, and it will go until Sunday to celebrate queer love and acceptance in Delmarva.  

The weekend kicks off on Friday with a free legal clinic in partnership with FreeState Justice at the Academy Art Museum, 106 South St., Easton, Md. Free legal services including name and gender marker changes, criminal record expungements, and peace and protection orders are just some of the services being offered. For more information visit freestate-justice.org.

Then on Friday night, the third annual Pride Drag Show will be at the Avalon Theatre, 40 E Dover St., in Easton. Bring your cash as four drag queens and host Miranda Bryant put on the fundraising show, where 100% of ticket sales go to the Delmarva Pride Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performance begins at 7 p.m. For tickets visit avalonfoundation.org.

On Saturday there will be the Pride festival from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at  S. Harrison and E. Dover Street, in Easton. This free community festival will include vendors, live performances, and more. 

Saturday night the party gets going as Delmarva Pride will host its 2024 Pride Dance. There will be a DJ and drinks available for purchase. This event is for 18 and up and will include a cash bar for anyone 21 and up. No tickets are required. 

To round out your Pride weekend, on Sunday the Delmarva Pride Brunch will be held at ArtBar 2.0, 420b Race St. in Cambridge, Md. Tickets include food, access to the mimosa bar, and a drag performance. Tickets are available here

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Baltimore

People of Pride: Five Marylanders making a difference in the LGBTQ+ community

Baltimore Pride is this weekend

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Jabari Lyles poses for a portrait in East Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore on June 10, 2024. (Photo by Jessica Gallagher/The Baltimore Banner)

By JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | One hosts movie nights, karaoke and other events that provide a safe space for LGBTQ people. Another has become a sounding board for customers at his gay bar dealing with pressures of the outside world. And a third beats the pavement to promote political awareness about LGBTQ issues.

These are just some of the things five Baltimoreans the Baltimore Banner is profiling in honor of Baltimore Pride Month are doing in the fight for visibility, support and acceptance of their peers.

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

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Delaware

Delaware’s Sussex Pride launches free statewide HIV, STI testing

Special program honors National HIV Testing Day on June 27

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Each year on June 27, people across the United States are encouraged to get tested for HIV. This year for Delawareans, it’s easier than ever.

Sussex Pride has partnered with STDCheck to offer free HIV and syphilis testing everywhere in Delaware. There are more than 20 locations across the state, making it simple to find a testing center.  

David Mariner, executive director of Sussex Pride, told the Blade, “We are thrilled with this new partnership with STDcheck. The ultimate goal is to empower individuals with knowledge about their HIV status, provide necessary support, and facilitate early intervention to improve health outcomes in our state.”

Finding a testing center, getting tested, and getting results is simple. Start by finding a lab near you using this link (https://www.stdcheck.com/std-test-center.php). Then call STDcheck at 800-456-2323 and request a free Sussex Pride HIV and/or syphilis test. Make sure to mention Sussex Pride in the call to get the test for free. Then schedule a time and get tested. 

“If you are HIV positive, the sooner you know, the better,” Mariner added. “Early and sustained treatment can help you live a long and healthy life. It can also help protect others.”

This special program is in honor of National HIV Testing Day, created in 1995 to highlight the lifesaving impact of HIV testing. HIV has historically had a disproportionate effect on the LGBTQ community. According to the CDC, 70% of all new cases of HIV in 2021 were among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

The CDC’s theme for this year’s HIV testing day is “Level up your self-love: check your status.” The theme emphasizes, “valuing yourself, showing yourself compassion and respect, and honoring your health needs with self-love,” and the best way to do that is to test.

For more information on Sussex Pride’s testing program visit sussexpride.org/posts/testing/ and for more information on HIV visit CDC.gov/hiv.

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