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Gray, Evans receive top scores from GLAA

Group hails former mayor’s record



GLAA ratings, gay news, Washington Blade
GLAA rating, gay news, Washington Blade

Ward 7 City Council candidate Vincent Gray received the highest possible rating on LGBT issues from GLAA. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Ward 7 City Council candidate and former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and longtime Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) received ratings of +10 from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the highest possible rating given by the non-partisan group.

GLAA released its ratings on Wednesday for all candidates running for seats on the City Council in the June 14 Democratic, Republican and Statehood Green Party primaries. It rates candidates on a scale of -10, the lowest possible score, to +10, the highest rating based on candidates’ responses to a detailed questionnaire and on their records, if known, on LGBT-related issues.

In the Ward 7 Council race, incumbent Council member Yvette Alexander received a +5.5 rating. Two other Democrats challenging Alexander, Delmar Chesley and Grant Thompson, received an automatic rating of “0,” according to GLAA, because they failed to return the questionnaire and have no known record on LGBT issues.

In a statement accompanying the ratings, GLAA said Gray’s +10 rating was due to his extensive record of support on LGBT issues during his tenure as a past Ward 7 Council member, Council Chair and mayor. Among other things, the group said Gray’s record includes groundbreaking initiatives in support of the transgender community and his leadership helping to pass the city’s marriage equality law in 2009.

In the Ward 2 race, Evans, a longtime LGBT rights supporter, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In the hotly contested race for the at-large Council seat, incumbent Vincent Orange (D) received a +4 rating compared to Democratic challenger Robert White, who received a +8.5 rating, the highest score among the at-large candidates.

GLAA assigned a 7.5 rating to Statehood-Green Party candidate G. Lee Aikin, who’s running for the at-large seat in the Statehood-Green Party’s separate primary on June 14

Gay former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner David Garber, who’s running in the Democratic primary for the at-large seat, received a +6.5 rating.

In its statement, GLAA said Garber “agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in his questionnaire, but has a limited record on LGBT issues.”

GLAA said White, who received an 8.5 rating, also agreed with GLAA on all issues, offered “impressive substance in his questionnaire” and has a supportive record as an LGBT community ally in his role as a former staffer for Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine.

Republican at-large candidate Carolina Celnik received a “0” rating also for not returning the questionnaire and not having a known record on LGBT issues, GLAA said.

In the Ward 4 Council race, GLAA gave Democratic challenger Leon T. Andrews Jr. a +6 rating, one point higher than incumbent Democrat Brandon Todd, who received a +5. Democratic challengers Calvin Gurley and Ron Austin received ratings of +3.5 and “0” respectively. Austin did not return the questionnaire.

In the Ward 8 Council race, Democratic incumbent LaRuby May received a 7.5 rating. Democratic challenger Trayon White, who finished less than two points behind May in a special election for the seat last year, received a +4 rating. Democratic challenger Aaron Homes received a +2 rating and Democrats Maurice Dickens and Bonita Goode received “0” ratings for not submitting the questionnaire and not having known records on LGBT issues.

May “agreed with GLAA on all issues, showed significant substance in her questionnaire, and has been a reliable ally on the Council,” GLAA said in its statement. According to the statement, White also agreed with GLAA on issues outlined in the questionnaire “but offered little substance and has a limited record on LGBT issues.”

A detailed ratings breakdown for each of the candidates along with copies of their questionnaire responses can be obtained here.

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Comings & Goings

Cummings joins White House Office of National Cyber Director



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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Abortion rights in post-Roe Maryland, Delaware

Practice generally legal, with some restrictions



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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Youngkin backs abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy

Republican governor supports exceptions for incest, rape and protecting mother’s life



Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade said he will seek to ban abortions in his state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“Virginians do want fewer abortions as opposed to more abortions,” Youngkin told the Washington Post. “I am not someone who is going to jump in and try to push us apart … There is a place we can come together.”

Youngkin, a Republican, took office in January.

His party controls the Virginia House of Delegates, but Democrats maintain a 21-19 majority in the state Senate.

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dobbs, giving power back to the states to make decisions on abortion,” said Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears in a statement. “The court has recognized that the 1973 decision was an example of judicial and federal overreach. The important question of abortion has now been returned to statehouses across the country, in order for them to make their own policy decisions, which is exactly what the founding fathers envision when they wrote the 10th amendment to the Constitution.” 

“I applaud the court for recognizing this wrong and having the courage to correct it. I look forward to working with the governor and the General Assembly in the next legislative session on legislation that respects life,” she added.

Abortion is currently legal in Virginia during the first and second trimesters.

Youngkin on Friday said he supports abortion exemptions in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk.

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