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D.C. 2024 Olympics bid lacks LGBT board member

Local gay sports activists back bid despite omission

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2024 Olympics, gay news, Washington Blade

2012 Summer Olympics Parade of Nations. (Photo by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

A campaign launched by a newly formed organization of prominent business and civic leaders to advocate for holding the 2024 Olympics in the Washington, D.C. metro area enjoys the support of the local LGBT sports community, according to longtime LGBT sports activists Brent Minor and Vince Micone.

“We are all for the Olympics in D.C.,” said Minor, executive director of Team D.C., an umbrella coalition of LGBT sports groups and teams in the D.C. area.

But gay activist and blogger Michael Rogers has expressed concern that no out LGBT person was selected to serve on the 19-member board of Washington2024, the group that’s preparing an Olympic bid for the D.C. area before the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Rogers said he opposes having the Olympics here on grounds that it would be a “financial disaster.” However, he said having an LGBT member on the Washington2024 board would better showcase the group’s claim on its newly launched website that it represents the full diversity of the people of the D.C. area.

Penny Lee, Washington2024’s communications director, told the Washington Blade on Tuesday that the composition of the group’s board is still evolving and more people would be named to the board in the coming weeks and months.

“We’re continuing to find ways in which to engage all communities and be as diverse as absolutely possible,” she said.

Minor and Micone, who played a lead role in D.C.’s unsuccessful bid for the 2014 Gay Games, said they know some of the Washington2024 board members and supporters and believe the organization will be fully supportive of the LGBT community.

Among the board members are former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a longtime LGBT rights supporter; and Paul Tagliabue, former commissioner of the National Football League and chair of the Georgetown University board. Tagliabue contributed $1 million in 2011 for an LGBT student life program at Georgetown and contributed $100,000 for the referendum campaign supporting Maryland’s same-sex marriage law in 2012.

Minor noted that Bob Sweeny, the former director of the Greater Washington Sports Authority and a lead adviser for Washington2024, was a strong supporter of the effort to bring the Gay Games to D.C. Minor and Micone called Sweeny a strong LGBT community ally who would push for LGBT inclusion in an Olympics bid.

“I don’t interpret the board’s makeup as a slight,” Minor said. “I’m certain that if the time comes that D.C. wins the Olympic bid they will be fully inclusive of the LGBT community.”

Micone echoed Minor’s sentiment, saying he too is certain that the Washington2024 organization will work closely with LGBT sports activists in its effort to secure D.C.’s selection by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Under longstanding procedures for selecting an Olympic Games host in the U.S., the U.S. Olympic Committee solicits bids from interested U.S. cities. In the current process, the committee has narrowed its selection to four cities or regions – the D.C. metro region, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A selection of one of those cities is expected to be made sometime next year.

Whichever city is selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee would then compete with cities in other countries, with the International Olympic Committee making a final selection at a later date.

Jay Fissette, chair of the Arlington County Board who’s gay, has also spoken out in favor of bringing the 2024 Olympics to the D.C. metro area.

“We agree with Washington2024 that this is an historic opportunity for our region to be part of the Olympic movement,” Fissette told Channel 4 News.

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Comings & Goings

Lane named senior counsel at Brady United

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Thomas Patrick Lane

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 Thomas Patrick Lane the new Senior Litigation Counsel and Director of Affirmative Litigation with Brady United. According to its website, Brady’s mission is, “To unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.”

Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel and vice president of legal at Brady said, “The whole Brady team is thrilled to welcome Tom’s skills as a trial lawyer and his leadership as a champion for justice and a voice for inclusivity and equal rights. Tom is one of the top litigators in the country, and has been a fighter his whole life who has proven himself undaunted by any challenge, including taking on the gun industry for its role in causing gun violence in America. Tom’s expertise and insights into complex litigation involving emerging technologies, such as 3-D printed guns, “smart” technology, and online commerce, will bolster our fight for industry-wide change by holding companies accountable and forcing reforms that will make all Americans safer.”

Upon accepting the position Lane said, “From my time as a prosecutor to private practice, I have seen the effects of gun violence and the importance of defending victims and survivors and upholding common-sense laws that keep our families and communities safe. I am excited to bring that background to Brady and to continue this important work nationwide.”

Prior to joining Brady, Lane was a partner in the New York office of Winston & Strawn, LLP. Before that he was a partner in Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP. He is recognized as one of the country’s top intellectual property and new media lawyers. He tried the first Internet music case and the first Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor case before juries. He has also served as a senior trial attorney in the office of the New York Kings County District Attorney.

Lane represented the City of New York in litigation against major gun manufacturers in the early 2000s. LawDragon named him as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Lane earned his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.; and his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans. He has created an endowed scholarship there for LGBTQ students to help law firms realize the importance of hiring diverse rosters of attorneys, and to honor the courage of his uncles Bernard Lane (an Army Ranger decorated with two Bronze Stars) and Richard Morrison (a recovered alcoholic who devoted his life to counseling others).

Both men were known for their toughness tendered by humor and both lived openly in loving relationships with same-sex partners in the 1970s. Lane is a former board member of the National LGBT Bar Association. He directs all external legal matters for the Tyler Clementi Foundation, whose mission is to end bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.

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100th anniversary celebration of Dupont Circle fountain set for May 17

GWU student creates tribute video

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Dupont Circle Fountain, Russian news agency, gay news, Washington Blade
The iconic Dupont Circle fountain turns 100 this month. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

LGBTQ residents and longtime visitors to D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood are expected to be among the participants in the 100th anniversary celebration of the installation of the Dupont Circle fountain scheduled to be held at the circle on Monday, May 17.

Aaron DeNu, president of Dupont Festival, a nonprofit arts and cultural programming group that’s organizing the celebration, says it will take place from noon to at least sunset inside Dupont Circle.

The celebration will take place one week after the May 10 release of a YouTube video, “How Dupont Circle Evolved as a Hub for LGBTQ+ Life in the District,” produced by George Washington University student Dante Schulz. Schulz is the video editor for the G.W. student newspaper The Hatchet.

Among those appearing in the documentary video are veteran LGBTQ rights activists Deacon Maccubbin and his husband Jim Bennett, who owned and operated the Dupont Circle LGBTQ bookstore Lambda Rising beginning in the 1970s, which is credited with contributing to Dupont Circle’s reputation as the epicenter of D.C.’s LGBTQ community for many years.

Also appearing in the video is longtime D.C. gay activist and Dupont Circle area resident Craig Howell, a former president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

“At this point in time due to COVID restrictions we’re not going to be doing any particular formal gathering of folks,” DeNu told the Washington Blade in describing the May 17 celebration. “But we’ll have a soundtrack that’s playing throughout the day from that original ceremony – the same songs they used in the original dedication a hundred years ago,” he said.

DeNu said the event will also feature “historic imagery” related to Dupont Circle and the people who have gathered there over the years.

“So, we’re really just inviting people to come and have lunch, stop by the park after work, and just stop and reflect on 100 years of Dupont Circle fountain, take a look at the imagery and see some old friends and hopefully stop by and see the Dupont businesses that are around the area,” DeNu said.

The LGBTQ video produced by Dante Schultz can be accessed here.

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Va. GOP governor nominee opposes transgender-inclusive youth sports

Glenn Youngkin made comment to Arlington voters in March

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Glenn Youngkin (Photo via Twitter)

 

The Republican gubernatorial candidate to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has said he does not support allowing transgender children to play on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

“Biological males should not be allowed to play sports in girls sports,” Glenn Youngkin said during a meeting with a group of voters in Arlington on March 25, according to the Washington Examiner. “It’s just not fair.”

The Washington Blade has reached out to Youngkin’s campaign for comment.

Youngkin, the former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, on Saturday defeated Pete Snyder, former House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield County), Peter Doran, Sergio de la Peña and Octavia Johnson in the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominating convention. Virginia Republicans nominated Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares as their candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general respectively.

The Democratic Party of Virginia will hold its primary on June 8. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is widely expected to win the vote, and run against Youngkin in the general election.

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