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Clergyman Skip Koritzer dies

Longtime advocate also worked as photographer

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Skip Koritzer, gay news, Washington Blade
Skip Koritzer, gay news, Washington Blade

Skip Koritzer at this year’s Baltimore Pride. (Photo by Bob Ford)

Rev. Father Edward “Skip” Koritzer, a well-known figure in Baltimore’s LGBT community for decades, died unexpectedly at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore on Nov. 5. He had been admitted the previous evening for treatment of undisclosed illnesses that he’d been fighting for two years. He was 67.

Koritzer was a chaplain and the president of the Interfaith Fairness Coalition of Maryland where he officiated faith services and offered counseling to many LGBT people. Members of the community were also familiar with his frequent forays into bars and events to take photographs for local LGBT publications.

As a volunteer, Koritzer wore a number of hats. He was a fixture at Baltimore Pride celebrations as well as other Pride events around the state. He was often dressed in a clergy collar plus a security uniform to help with traffic and crowd control, all while toting his walkie-talkie and camera to chronicle the festivities.

“Father Skip had a strong commitment to the most inclusive concept of interfaith work possible,” said Bill Redmond-Palmer, a close friend and associate. “He was always available at Baltimore LGBT Pride and Baltimore Black Pride, to offer communion to anyone who asked for it, despite being criticized by other Catholics in our community for doing so.”

In addition to his volunteer work in the community, Koritzer worked as clergy at two Independent Catholic parishes, conducted services at nursing homes, was active with the VFW, worked with Homeland Security and was active in his radio club.

“Father Skip was one of our irreplaceable community elders, and his loss is one that will be felt by the entire community,” added Redmond-Palmer who along with other community leaders is organizing a tribute to Koritzer in early December. A funeral service was held Monday.

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Maryland

Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

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

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Local

Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work

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The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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Baltimore

Baltimore Pride event disrupted by possible chemical agent, causing panic and injuries

Incident caused a stampede

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This year’s Pride Parade and Festival was expected to attract 100,000 people. (Photo by Kaitlin Newman/the Baltimore Banner)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV and BRENNA SMITH | A possible chemical agent was released in front of the main stage at the Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party on Saturday night, causing a stampede.

The incident occurred around 7 p.m. and police did not release the chemical agent, according to a spokesperson. The main stage for the event was located near North Avenue and Charles Street.

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

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