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Gay student loses bid for Georgetown class president

Rosenberger finishes last in 5-candidate race

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Tim Rosenberger, gay news, Washington Blade
Tim Rosenberger, gay news, Washington Blade

Tim Rosenberger finished last in a five-candidate race for Georgetown University class president. (Photo courtesy Rosenberger)

Tim Rosenberger, an out gay student who serves as secretary of Georgetown University’s LGBT campus group, GU Pride, lost his race for student president at Georgetown on Feb. 19, finishing last in a five-candidate race.

According to Georgetown’s student newspaper, The Hoya, the winning candidate, Joe Luther, and his vice presidential running mate, Connor Rohan, ran an unprecedented satirical campaign that mocked the Georgetown Student Government Association as being unresponsive to the needs of the students.

Rosenberger told the Blade he saw no signs of anti-gay sentiment in the campaign or in the unorthodox statements and positions taken by Luther, who received 1,080 votes or 30 percent of the first round vote in an instant runoff voting system, according to figures reported by The Hoya.

The Luther-Rohan ticket received a final vote count of 1,693 votes, or 54 percent, after three additional rounds of adjusted counting as part of the runoff.

Rosenberger, a junior majoring in English, and his vice presidential running mate, Reno Verghese, who’s straight, received 154 votes, or 4.3 percent, of the vote in the first round before being eliminated from contention.

“The two guys that won are good guys,” Rosenberger said. “I didn’t see that coming, but I’m not unhappy about it,” he said. “Actually, out of all the tickets they may be the second best qualified to do good things for the gay community at Georgetown.”

The Hoya published a large photo of Luther and Rohan kissing each other on the lips at their election night celebration. Rosenberger said the two, who are straight, apparently did that as part of the satirical gestures they made during their campaign, which appears to have struck a chord of dissatisfaction among the student body over the existing student government.

In addition to his involvement in GU Pride, Rosenberger has been active in the D.C. Federation of College Republicans.

Last month, a conservative online Catholic publication called Pewsitter published an article attacking Rosenberger as a “militant homosexual activist/Catholic/Republican.” The article quoted an anonymous Georgetown student urging fellow students to support candidate Abby McNaughton, whom the student described as a “faithful Catholic” better qualified to carry out Georgetown’s tradition as a Jesuit school.

McNaughton denounced the article, saying she was never contacted by the publication and believed it unfairly criticized Rosenberger. McNaughton finished second in the race for student president.

Asked if he thought he might have lost support among some students because of his sexual orientation, Rosenberger said, “Not particularly.” He added that the votes he did receive came largely from fellow gay students.

“The gay community at Georgetown really rallied around me and helped staff this campaign and we wouldn’t have had a campaign without them,” he said.

Two years ago, out gay student Nate Tisa won election as class president, becoming the first open gay to win the class president post at Georgetown and one of the first out gays to win such an election at a major Catholic college in the U.S.

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Virginia

Equality Loudoun hosts its first Pride celebration

‘Our plans for next year are going to be bigger, bolder’

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A scene from Loudoun Pride on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A year after a controversial brawl between parents and administration officials regarding the implementation of trans-friendly policies in public schools in Loudoun County, Va., a local LGBTQ organization hosted its inaugural Pride festival in solidarity with the area’s LGBTQ community.

“Pride means a chance to show this county that the loud voices who have been standing against LGBTQ equality do not represent the voices of [everyone] in the [county],” said Cris Candiace Tuck, president of Equality Loudoun. “[A lot of us] here believe in equality.”

Equality Loudoun hosted its Pride celebration on June 26 at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Va. 

When planning for Pride month festivities, the organization designed the events to reflect the diverse interests and identities of Loudoun County’s queer population. There was a wide collection of vendors selling Pride merchandise, advocacy non-profit organizations and musical acts featured on the main stage. 

There was also a “Loudoun Pride Drag Stage” event where the “hottest of Loudoun Royalty” showcased their musical talents. 

“We want everyone to … recharge emotional batteries that have been drained,” said Tuck.

Planning Equality Loudoun’s Pride festival did not come without its fair share of surprises. Initially, the organization had planned for a smaller event. However, when more individuals began showing interest, the organization was forced to switch to a bigger venue to allow more vendors to attend.

“We had many vendors call in and we had to turn a [number] away,” said Tuck.

The organization planned its festivities in 90 days, two weeks during which it raised $45,000 — three times as much as it had originally expected.

Equality Loudoun has its sights set on getting LGBTQ community members and allies connected to the resources the organization offers through education and health advocacy.

“Pride [will always be] a celebration of our heritage,” said Tuck. “It’s a moment to recognize what we have gained and lost.”

Tuck said that ideas for next year are already underway.

“Our plans for next year are going to be bigger, bolder and brighter,” he said.

Click HERE to see more photos from the event.

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Comings & Goings

Cummings joins White House Office of National Cyber Director

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John Cummings

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 John Cummings on joining the Office of the National Cyber Director at the White House as Director of Supply Chain and Technology Security. Upon getting the position, he said, “I am beyond thrilled to join the growing team at the National Cyber Director’s Office and bring my experience to our mission of mitigating the cyber threats facing our nation and ensuring every American can enjoy the full benefits of the digital ecosystem. It is truly a privilege to work with this incredibly brilliant and collegial group of cyber experts.” 

Prior to joining the White House, Cummings served as Associate General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Before that role, he served as interim Chief Counsel for ODNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center and as Associate General Counsel for the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

He has provided legal advice and counsel on matters of government-wide and interagency policy and national security in the areas of executive authority, cyber, constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties, legislative affairs, and international cooperation. He has worked on recruiting LGBTQ, women, and minority applicants for government roles in national security and is experienced in public relations, stakeholder relationships, and international partnerships. 

Cummings began his career clerking for the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and also clerked for the House Committee on Homeland Security and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

He attended Villanova University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law, New Orleans, and his LL.M. in National Security Law from Georgetown Law.

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Maryland

Abortion rights in post-Roe Maryland, Delaware

Practice generally legal, with some restrictions

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Public domain photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 found that the decision to receive an abortion was generally protected by the Constitution of the United States. With the broadest federal protection of abortion access now rescinded, the legality of abortion will by and large be determined on the state level.

In Delaware, abortion is legal through the Medical Practice Act — but with some restrictions.

After fetal viability, or the point where a fetus can survive outside the uterus, abortion in the First State becomes illegal unless necessary for the patient’s “life or health,” or if the fetus has a condition “for which there is not a reasonable likelihood” that it will survive outside the uterus, according to Subchapter IX of the act

Additionally, under the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act, physicians cannot perform a surgical abortion on minors under the age of 16 unless the patient’s parent or guardian has received at least 24 hours notice from a medical professional. Notice is not required for nonsurgical abortions.

On the federal level, the funding of abortion is illegal through the 1977 Hyde Amendement “except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest,” according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights advocacy organization. States are only federally required to fund abortions that meet these conditions through federal-state Medicaid programs. 

While some states also fund abortions deemed medically necessary regardless of whether they endanger a patient’s life, Delaware state law does not extend beyond federal guidelines: The state only funds abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

Abortion legislation in Delaware mirrors neighboring Maryland, whose laws include similar restrictions on abortion after fetal viability and abortion for minors under the age of 16. But abortion laws in these states are generally more restrictive than other mid-Atlantic counterparts, such as New Jersey and New York.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) weighed in on the state’s abortion law on Friday.

“In 1992, Maryland voters approved a constitutional referendum legalizing and protecting access to abortion as a matter of state law – that measure remains in effect today following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Maryland, and that is what I have always done and will continue to do as governor.”

The impact of Roe v. Wade’s fall in Delaware remains uncertain. While the abortion rate in Delaware steadily declined between 2014 and 2017, recent findings show that instances of abortion are increasing once again in the state, reflecting a rise on the national level.

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