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EXCLUSIVE: Pataki makes pitch to LGBT voters

2016 hopeful opposes gay nuptials, but accepts Supreme Court ruling

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George Pataki, gay news, Washington Blade
George Pataki, gay news, Washington Blade

Former Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.) (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican presidential candidate George Pataki may be trailing in the polls, but that isn’t stopping him from insisting he’s the best candidate for the job — including for LGBT voters.

The former New York governor and 2016 presidential hopeful made his pitch for LGBT support Thursday afternoon during a sit-down interview with the Washington Blade at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Pataki, 70, issued a call for unity when asked why LGBT people should support him when they have allies in Democratic presidential candidates like front-runner Hillary Clinton, saying, “with any constituency you look at a broad range of issues.”

“I think when you look at the challenges facing our country, I’m the right person to bring us together, to convince Americans that we are one America, that we have a common future, and that we have enormous challenges facing us as a country, but that when we stand together we can overcome those challenges,” Pataki said. “Whether they’re protecting our national security, growing our economy, getting Washington out of our lives, creating public confidence in the future of America and the American Dream again — I think these are things that I know I can do.”

The self-described libertarian made note of his bipartisan record as a thrice-elected New York governor and said he could work across party lines to bring the country together.

“I was able to govern, change the state as a Republican in a very Democratic state, so the challenges in Washington don’t faze me, the challenges facing our country don’t faze me,” Pataki said. “When we stand together we can accomplish anything.”

On LGBT issues, Pataki wouldn’t take any policy position that would advance LGBT rights, but he said the Republican Party should avoid attacks on LGBT people.

For example, Pataki stopped short of saying he supports the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage. At the same time, he declined to support, unlike other Republican presidential candidates, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to undermine the decision.

“I accept the ruling,” Pataki said. “I don’t think we should — Republicans or others — shouldn’t seek a constitutional amendment to overturn it. I happen to think that change is best made by the states through the legislative process, but the court has ruled, the decision is done and that is the law of the land.”

Despite media speculation that Pataki may come out in support of same-sex marriage, he denied that was the case.

“Personally, I think marriage is between a man and a woman, but I accept the fact that the court has ruled and that is the law of the land,” Pataki said.

Pataki’s interview with the Blade took place less than an hour after Democrats on Capitol Hill announced the introduction of the Equality Act, which would enact sweeping non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in all areas of civil rights law.

Asked whether he would support the legislation, Pataki demurred, but pointed to his signature in 2002 on the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in New York, which prohibits bias on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit and the exercise of civil rights.

“First of all, for 20 years, Democrats tried to get that legislation in New York,” Pataki said. “I got that legislation through, the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, and signed it into law in New York. I haven’t seen the federal legislation. I guess it’s brand new. My general philosophy is that I’d like to see things done at the state level as opposed to federal mandate, but I will take a look at that.”

Reflecting on passage of the legislation at the state level in New York, Pataki said opposition to passing the bill faded away under his leadership as governor.

“For the longest time, there was opposition, but I provided the leadership and explained quite simply it was about having equal protection under the law for everyone in New York State,” Pataki said. “It was amazing how quickly that legislation and that opposition largely fell into place and accepted the fact that we’re going to add gays and lesbians to the existing civil rights law protections.”

It should be noted the sexual orientation non-discrimination law in New York lacks protections on the basis of gender identity, making New York one of three states with sexual orientation protections, but nothing for transgender people. In 2009, then-New York Gov. David Paterson signed an executive order expanding New York’s law to cover transgender people, but LGBT advocates have thus far been unsuccessful in adding gender identity to the statute itself.

Other LGBT advances that Pataki championed include signing a hate crimes protection measure into law in 2000 and an executive order after the terrorist attack on 9/11 authorizing crime victim awards to anyone who could show a sufficient relationship to a victim in the attacks, including same-sex relationships. In 2002, the Empire State Pride Agenda, a New York-based advocacy group, endorsed Pataki over Democratic challenger Carl McCall based on the Republican’s record.

From the beginning of his campaign, Pataki has said attacks on gay people are unproductive for the Republican Party. In his campaign video in March, the candidate said discussion of abortion and gay rights are a “distraction” for the GOP that will only help Clinton win in 2016.

Pataki made the case that the federal government should stay out of those issues when asked by the Blade to elaborate on his “distraction” remarks.

“Too often, Republican candidates focus on trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, trying to have Washington rule for — this is pre-Supreme Court decision — tell every state what its laws on marriage have to be,” Pataki said. “In New York State, through the political process, New York legalized gay marriage. I don’t think it was the federal government’s right or the correct thing to tell New York what it had to do. So that was the point was that our candidates should be focused on challenges facing our country as opposed to dealing with issues that I believe are appropriately left to the people and the states.”

Despite his more moderate tone on gay issues, Pataki has also tried to appeal to social conservatives. Last month, Pataki was a last-minute addition to the list of speakers at the Faith & Freedom Coalition “Road to Majority” conference in D.C., where he talked about efforts to uphold religious freedom as governor.

Although the event was organized by groups that seek to curtail LGBT rights, Pataki said he sees no conflict between speaking at the event and seeking support from LGBT people.

“I think one of the things I want to see stopped in this country is demeaning people because they have a different viewpoint,” Pataki said. “A viewpoint that is dominant today might not be dominant tomorrow. I think we have to respect all opinions and tolerance is not just something that we should express when we agree with someone expressing a particular viewpoint. Tolerance is most important when you’re expressing it with people whom you don’t agree with. On strengthening the family, on the need to protect people’s ability to practice their faith, I think those are important rights.”

In the aftermath of transgender athlete and TV personality Caitlyn Jenner’s public transition, Pataki in June took Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to task for his criticism, saying on CNN if people choose a different path in life “we should respect that as opposed to mocking it.”

Asked if he would give voice to transgender visibility as president, Pataki said he’d show respect for everyone, but cautioned against “beginning to identify as a narrow subgroup.”

“I’m not referring to transgender; I’m referring to whether you’re a conservative Republican or any other different groups,” Pataki added. “And we have to stop thinking of ourselves as part of a sub-group and thinking of ourselves as Americans who have a common future and so much more in common. And that requires that we show respect for everyone and allow Americans to make their choices and to live in dignity, and that’s certainly the approach that I would provide to the transgender community and certainly to Caitlyn Jenner.”

In the wake of what may be the 11th murder of a transgender person this year based on gender identity and the violent killing of India Clarke in Florida, who was beaten to death, Pataki said the best way to address pervasive anti-trans violence is the “respect and enforcement of criminal laws.”

“It is a crime. Period,” Pataki said. “It is a act of violence and a felony, I’m sure, in every state to assault someone regardless of motivation. And that person should be prosecuted and put in jail. But ultimately what it comes down to is tolerance and respect.”

Pataki said he would defer to military leaders on whether open transgender service is a good idea following the announcement from the Pentagon that it would the start of process on lifting its ban through a six-month working group study.

“I would defer to the decisions of the military,” Pataki said. “If in fact, they believe that it’s something that can be accomplished without negatively impacting our military, then I’d defer to their judgment.”

The candidate has been a strong critic of the proposed Iran deal endorsed by President Obama, which seeks to to ensure the country doesn’t obtain nuclear weapons through additional oversight in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions.

Pataki said continued human rights abuses in Iran, including the execution of gays and persecution of religious minorities and women, is “absolutely” a reason to reject the agreement.

“Billions of dollars of economic relief will be used to continue their terrorist activities,” Pataki said. “That was acknowledged by Susan Rice and one of those activities is footing [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own civilian population, which is a crime against humanity. So whether it’s denial of basic rights to the people of Iran, or engaging in other terrorist activities in countries around the world, this is a terrible deal not just for the United States, but for the civilized world.”

Making the case that Washington “has too great an impact on the day-to-day lives of ordinary Americans,” Pataki said LGBT people fit into his worldview the same as other individuals.

“They fit the same way everybody else does,” Pataki said. “I’m a great believer in treating people as individuals and treating people and allowing people the freedom to choose their own course and their own path.”

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brooks Austin

    July 25, 2015 at 1:13 am

    Sorry Mr. Pataki. I appreciate you don’t completely hate our guts but you’re going to have to do better than just not hating us to win the support from me at least if not also the rest of the wider LGBT community. I’m not sure how he thinks he has a chance of scoring points with us when he doesn’t support any actual LGBT policies expect being nice to us. We don’t want you to just be nice to us. We want you to actually do something to support our human rights. Saying you think Republicans should be nice to us while still supporting the same homophobic agendas they endorse makes you a hypocrite and it’s just patronizing.

  2. chillinout.

    July 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    My circle regularly makes fun of the entire Republican field. I would always add that “at least George Pataki is on our side”. Now, I can’t really say that

  3. gary47290

    July 26, 2015 at 4:39 am

    The GOP bibble babbles about ‘values’ and forgets that Glbt Ameticans are still part of families, even as they reject our rights / rites to equal marriage. So Mr Pataki: even if you won the White House, your whole party seeks to harm me in your platform and most of your legislators. why should I trust you with Boehner and mcConnell racing to the bottom of mean.

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots

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New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

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shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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