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Conservative group blasts gay D.C. mayoral candidate

Majors an ‘avowed homosexual’ left of Pelosi

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Bruce Majors, Libertarian Party, gay news, Washington Blade
Bruce Majors, Libertarian Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Libertarian mayoral candidate Bruce Majors. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Majors)

The Republican Security Council, a conservative group that advocates for U.S. “military strength,” released a statement this week denouncing gay D.C. mayoral candidate Bruce Majors as an “avowed homosexual” whose positions on foreign policy are “well to the left” of President Obama and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Majors is running as a Libertarian Party candidate. The Republican Security Council says in its statement that Majors has embraced the Libertarian Party’s “anti-war” positions that it says would weaken U.S. foreign policy initiatives and hinder the fight against terrorism.

“I actually pledge, if elected mayor of D.C., not to remove any of the D.C. government military bases from Japan or Germany,” Majors quipped in a statement of his own. “So the Republican Security Council has nothing to fear.”

The RSC says on its website that it has no official connection with the Republican Party. In its statement about Majors, the group criticizes him for backing the Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Virginia last year.

The group says the Libertarian candidate took away votes from GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who opposes LGBT rights, resulting in the election of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a strong supporter of LGBT rights.

“He completely supports gay marriage and has worked against candidates who back the Defense of Marriage Act,” the group said of Majors.

Robert Turner, the gay executive director of the D.C. Republican Party, said the D.C. GOP supports marriage equality and its representatives testified in favor of D.C.’s marriage equality law in 2009.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bruce P. Majors

    February 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    You can't please everyone!

  2. Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor

    February 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

    At my age I am more dormant than avowed, but it’s always nice when someone takes the time to be afraid.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    February 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    This "Republican Security Council" sounds a lot more like Roosevelt/Wilson "progressives" than like conservatives.

    They also sound like perhaps they're in the paranoid phase of methamphetamine dependency.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    February 20, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    This "Republican Security Council" sounds a lot more like Roosevelt/Wilson "progressives" than like conservatives.

    They also sound like perhaps they're in the paranoid phase of methamphetamine dependency.

  5. Sam Marsh

    February 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I think this is an unwitting endorsement. Naturally, people are concerned about the DC Mayor's willingness to project military power across the globe… presumably to enforce parking violations internationally. Wait, you mean he's loyal to his own party and not yours? Incredible. But here's the best part: As an "avowed homosexual" (are there vows now?), the bitch will not set him up.

  6. Tom Mahon

    February 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    "The group says the Libertarian candidate took away votes from GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who opposes LGBT rights, resulting in the election of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a strong supporter of LGBT rights."

    Never mind that every sane and rational analysis of the VA Gubernatorial Election Results indicates that "the Libertarian Candidate" (Robert Sarvis—-btw NOT GAY) received more votes from what were Democratic Party voters than GOP voters, the mere notion that the Republican Party "owns" votes is presumptuous, arrogant and unfathomable.

    Please go away GOP.

    We do a much better job at attracting badly needed Dem votes that you can ever dream of doing.

  7. Rick Sincere

    February 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Apparently this group is fearful that Bruce Majors might steal votes from the Republican candidate for DC mayor — if there is one — and guarantee a Democratic victory in November.

  8. Gregory Hilton

    March 21, 2014 at 3:48 am

    This is a completely inaccurate story and it contains no link to the Republican Security Council (RSC) article, with good reason.
    The RSC is a defense and foreign policy group and it does not take positions on social issues such as gay rights and abortion. It never has and they never would criticize someone for being gay.
    They have noted Dick Cheney supported gay marriage years before Obama. RSC obviously does not agree with Majors' libertarian views on national security issues, and the article accurately reflects his positions. Majors responded and did not contest the content.
    What is amazing is that you ignored the entire purpose of the article. Few people care about the low profile and poorly financed Majors campaign. The headline and point of the article was "The Double Standard."
    The RSC was amazed the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA) was opposing Majors. It was necessary to describe Majors as an avowed homosexual to condemn the actions of GLAA. A gay group was rejecting a gay candidate. That is news.
    You make it appear the RSC was criticizing Majors for being gay. That is absolutely not the truth. A link to the original story appears below.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=545783142187528&set=pb.101173139981866.-2207520000.1395371854.&type=3&theater

  9. Gregory Hilton

    March 21, 2014 at 3:48 am

    This is a completely inaccurate story and it contains no link to the Republican Security Council (RSC) article, with good reason.
    The RSC is a defense and foreign policy group and it does not take positions on social issues such as gay rights and abortion. It never has and they never would criticize someone for being gay.
    They have noted Dick Cheney supported gay marriage years before Obama. RSC obviously does not agree with Majors' libertarian views on national security issues, and the article accurately reflects his positions. Majors responded and did not contest the content.
    What is amazing is that you ignored the entire purpose of the article. Few people care about the low profile and poorly financed Majors campaign. The headline and point of the article was "The Double Standard."
    The RSC was amazed the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA) was opposing Majors. It was necessary to describe Majors as an avowed homosexual to condemn the actions of GLAA. A gay group was rejecting a gay candidate. That is news.
    You make it appear the RSC was criticizing Majors for being gay. That is absolutely not the truth. A link to the original story appears below.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=545783142187528&set=pb.101173139981866.-2207520000.1395371854.&type=3&theater

  10. Wayne Zuckerman

    March 21, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Spin works for those too lazy to dig in and educate themselves.

  11. Wayne Zuckerman

    March 21, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Spin works for those too lazy to dig in and educate themselves.

  12. Glenn Hahn

    March 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Really? Radical Gays creating persecution/ bullying/ bullshit to further their agenda? Next will be some charge of murder simply because someone is gay

  13. Glenn Hahn

    March 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Really? Radical Gays creating persecution/ bullying/ bullshit to further their agenda? Next will be some charge of murder simply because someone is gay

  14. Adrian Salsgiver

    April 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Upon being elected Mayor of DC a few years from now, Libertarian Mayor Adrian Salsgiver will remove all of the troops from the DC government military bases in Japan and Germany and close then down. Adrian will bring the troops home, bringing into fruition peace and prosperity worldwide.

  15. Rep Security Council

    February 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    We regret it took us two years to see this article, which is a disgrace to the journalistic standards of the Washington Blade. It is understandable why the author did not link to our article, because it would completely refute his point.
    The Republican Security Council focuses on defense, foreign policy and war on terror issues.
    We support the GOP Platform but we do not take positions on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion.
    The author gives the impression that we opposed Bruce Majors because he is an “avowed homosexual” and an isolationist. We do not agree with his national security views, but the article was supporting Majors. Our entire point is that he was being unfairly attacked.
    We said it was ironic that the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance gave the lowest rankings to the only mayoral candidate who was gay.
    Our article was based on a story that originally appeared in Red State and the link is below. Lou Chibbaro Jr. made no attempt to contact us, provided no link to your readers, and completely distorted our article.
    http://www.redstate.com/erick/2014/02/13/the-wrong-kind-of-gay/

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      May 1, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Not to many people in the gay community read The Washington Blade anymore, so not to worry.

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UDC hit with anti-trans discrimination complaint

University accused of misgendering student

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Emma Alexandra accuses UDC of misgendering her and outing her to fellow students and faculty. (Photo courtesy Alexandra)

A female transgender student at the University of the District of Columbia on Aug. 2 filed a discrimination complaint against the university on grounds that it is violating the city’s Human Rights Act by continuing to use her legal name on school documents and class enrollment lists unless she obtains a legal name change.

Emma R. Alexandra, 28, a part-time student who was admitted to UDC in April, states in her complaint filed with the D.C. Office of Human Rights that she informed UDC officials that she was not ready to immediately undertake a legal name change. She states in her complaint that she has repeatedly asked that her chosen name alone be used on all documents and student lists that can be viewed by fellow students and professors.

She said she understands that her legal name may be needed for legal admissions and academic transcript related documents. But to her dismay, Alexandra told the Washington Blade, UDC officials put in place what they consider a compromise position that identifies her on all public university documents and student class lists by both her legal name and her chosen name.

She said the university began and currently continues to identify her by her male legal name with her preferred name written next to her legal name inside parentheses in this way: Legal First Name (preferred name Emma); Legal last name (preferred name Alexandra).

“This is an egregious solution,” Alexandra told UDC President Ronald Mason Jr. in a July 4 email. “This is the name that appears everywhere now,” she wrote Mason. “Most notable, it’s the name that was displayed to my fellow students and professor during the class I took this summer on Blackboard,” she said, which is an online site like Zoom on which UDC conducts classes.

“This effectively outed me as trans to every other student and my professor,” she told Mason. “I assume the same will continue when I go to campus in the fall and get an ID. My ID will have this name and out me to everyone I show it to,” she wrote. “This is completely unacceptable, disrespectful and dangerous.”

Alexandra said she currently works full time as a Web Application Architect for Bloomberg Industry Group as part of its News Engineering team. She said the company is fully accepting of her using her chosen name without obtaining a legal name change. She said she has enrolled at UDC to take courses she needs to qualify for applying to medical school to fulfill her dream of becoming a psychiatrist.  

Under longstanding procedures, the D.C. Office of Human Rights investigates discrimination complaints and usually calls on both parties to consider reaching a conciliation agreement over the complaint if possible. If conciliation cannot be reached, OHR makes a determination of whether probable cause exists that discrimination occurred in violation of D.C. law.

If such a determination is made, the case is sent to the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, which conducts a trial-like hearing that includes testimony by witnesses before it issues a ruling on the case.

In response to a question from the Blade about whether a refusal by a D.C. university to use a transgender person’s chosen name violates the Human Rights Act, OHR Director Monica Palacio said OHR cannot provide legal advice on such a question. But in a statement to the Blade, Palacio said for educational institutions, the Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on 15 protected characteristics, including gender identity and expression.

OHR’s regulations related to educational institutions “prohibit creating a hostile environment which could include deliberately misgendering a student,” Palacio said. “If anyone believes the statute has been violated, they may file a complaint with OHR,” she said. “OHR investigations are confidential.”

Alexandra said she had yet to receive a direct reply to her email message to Mason as of early this week. But last week she was contacted by phone by an official from the university’s admissions office and from Dr. William Latham, UDC’s Chief Student Development and Success Officer on behalf of Mason.

According to Alexandra, the two explained that her legal name was needed on certain legal documents. She said Latham explained that a software system the university uses to manage student records known as the Banner system, doesn’t support preferred names and currently prevents the school from displaying only her preferred name.

The officials said the university planned to upgrade to a newer version of Banner in October and the new system “may” support using preferred names, Alexandra said.

“Overall, I thought this was a really ridiculous conversation where folks from UDC tried to convince me that they are using my preferred name while also stating that they cannot use my preferred name as it should be used, mostly due to limitations of software,” Alexandra told the Blade. “I don’t think the Human Rights Act has an exception for software systems,” she said.

The Blade contacted UDC President Mason by email on July 20, asking him to comment on Alexandra’s concerns and asking him what, if any, problems would be caused if the university used Alexandra’s chosen name rather than her legal name on the various public, external documents and lists in which her legal name is being used.

“In response to your July 20 email, the Office of the Registrar can enter the student’s preferred name in Banner (via all access screen for faculty and staff awareness), however all official documents, such as the academic transcript, will require the use of the student’s official legal name,” Mason told the Blade in a one-sentence response.

His response didn’t address the issue raised by UDC official Latham in his phone conversation with Alexandra in which Latham said the Banner software system couldn’t currently identify Alexandra only by her chosen name. Mason also didn’t respond to the Blade’s question of why UDC could not adopt a policy like the D.C. Public Schools system, which accepts a request by transgender students to use their chosen name without having to obtain a legal name change.

Alexandra, meanwhile, points out that UDC’s refusal so far to allow her chosen name alone to be used on all public university documents and student lists without her legal name being attached to it appears to be at odds with a May 4 open letter Mason released to the university community expressing strong support for using the appropriate pronouns for transgender and gender non-conforming students.

“The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) strives to be an inclusive campus that supports and values all members of our community, including LGBTQIA+, nonbinary, intersex and gender non-conforming students,” Mason says in his letter.

“Choosing to not use or ignore the pronouns someone has requested you to use implies that person shouldn’t and doesn’t exist and does not deserve respect,” Mason wrote in his letter. “Therefore, we encourage all faculty and staff to use pronouns in their email signatures as an act of solidarity and to foster a culture of respect for every Firebird,” he concludes in referring to the symbolic name used for members of the UDC community.

UDC is governed by a 15-member independent Board of Trustees. Eleven of the members are appointed by the D.C. mayor and confirmed by the D.C. Council. Three are appointed by UDC alumni and one by students, according to information on the UDC website.

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LULAC Lambda announces 2021 scholarship awards

Castro, Javier Rodriguez win $1,000 honors

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Brian Castro and Victor Javier Rodriguez are this year’s LULAC award winners.

The D.C.-based LGBTQ Latinx organization LULAC Lambda has announced it has selected two D.C. residents bound for graduate studies in foreign affairs and higher education to receive its 2021 annual scholarship award.

“For a fourth year in a row, LULAC Lambda will provide scholarships to outstanding scholars who come from our LGBTQ+ Latinx community,” said Erik Rodriquez, the LULAC Lambda president, in a statement released by the group. “Our scholarship program will help these scholars achieve their academic goals and reduce their student debt,” Rodriquez said.

The statement says one of the two scholarship awards, for $1,000, will go to Brian Castro, who will begin studies for a master’s degree in the fall of 2021 at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

“The generous scholarship provided by LULAC Lambda will complement my studies by going directly into my tuition costs,” Castro said in the statement. “Though I have been a resident of Washington, D.C., working full-time at a leading public health consulting firm, I am grateful to have received the support from an organization that is also committed to social justice,” he said.

The other scholarship, for $1,300, will go to Victor Javier Rodriguez for his doctoral work in education at Florida State University. The LULAC Lambda statement says Javier Rodriquez’s academic interest lies in “exploring the relationship between school communities and districts’ implementation of anti-racist practice and student success.”

In his own words, Javier Rodriquez said, “A long-term career goal of mine is to affect change at the federal level through the United States Department of Education, in which I would work to address our nation’s education crisis by advocating for equitable policies and practices that improve the outcome for all our students, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

LULAC Lambda says it was founded in October 2014 “to mobilize and strengthen the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities of Washington, D.C. through community and civic engagement.” It is one of 1,000 chapters across the country affiliated with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latinx volunteer-based civil rights organization, the group’s statement says.

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Missing gay man found ‘alive and well’

Police say Richard ‘Rick’ Woods found in good health

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Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man, was found alive and well.

D.C. police announced on Friday that Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man who police said was reported missing and last seen on July 14, has been located. But the announcement doesn’t provide information on where he was found or why he went missing.

Friends who know Woods say he operated for many years an antique wood furniture restoration business in various locations in D.C. The most recent location of his business, friends said, was in Georgetown a short distance from where police said he was last seen on the 1600 block of Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.

“MPD does not publicly disclose the circumstances surrounding a missing person and how they are found, however we do release their flyer as well as a notification when they are located,” said D.C. police spokesperson Brianna Burch. “Mr. Woods was found in good health,” Burch told the Blade.

Police sought help from the public in their initial announcement that Woods was missing. The announcement said he was reported missing to police on Friday, July 23.

Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and LGBTQ rights advocate John Fanning, who said he has been friends with Woods for many years, said he was delighted to hear Woods was found in good condition.

“Rick is known by many in our community,” Fanning told the Blade at the time Woods was reported missing. Fanning said he and others who know Woods stand ready to provide support for him should he be in need of such support.

The Blade couldn’t immediately reach Woods for comment.

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