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Rainbow flag burned outside Adams Morgan restaurant

Incident comes same day as Orlando massacre

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Terry Stone, gay news, Washington Blade, rainbow flag 'I will replace it and hang it again,' says a restaurant owner whose rainbow flag was burned.

Rainbow flag that was burned at D.C. Bourbon. (Photo by James Patrick Woods)

The owner of the Adams Morgan restaurant D.C. Bourbon said a large rainbow flag he hung from a pole attached to his restaurant’s outside wall was set on fire and destroyed sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.

James Patrick Woods said he displayed the flag in support of D.C.’s LGBT Pride weekend and he’s troubled that someone would go so far as to set it on fire.

“It is appalling to us,” he told the Washington Blade. “I don’t think it was targeting my restaurant. But to me it is a hate crime.”

Woods said the D.C. hate crimes hotline didn’t immediately respond to his call for an investigation into the incident. He said he planned to call the police LGBT Liaison Unit to report the incident.

“I will replace it and hang it again,” he said.

The flag burning incident at D.C. Bourbon at 2321 18th St., N.W. took place the same day an unknown suspect spray painted the words “Down with the gay agenda” on the sidewalk outside the Thaiphoon restaurant at 2011 S St., N.W., near Dupont Circle.

It couldn’t immediately be determined whether the suspects responsible for the rainbow flag burning and the graffiti outside Thaiphoon restaurant were prompted to take their action by the news of the shooting deaths of 49 patrons of the Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub Pulse.

Sometime after the anti-gay message appeared on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant in black spray paint someone else used red paint to change the phrase “gay” agenda to “gun” agenda.

anti-gay, gay news, Washington Blade

An unknown person changed the message ‘Down with the gay agenda’ on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant to “Down with gun agenda.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Brian's Ions

    June 16, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Both incidents are hate crimes under DC law. Injury to property is specifically listed as a “designated act” in DC’s hate rimes law (Bias-Related Crimes Act). The perpetrators are targeting the LGBT-supportive restaurant –AND– its LGBT customers. Burning the flag may be an implied threat of arson — or worse.

    So yes, indeed, take this incident VERY SERIOUSLY,

    It is shameful that MPD and Assistant Chief Diane Groomes and MPD’s LGBTLU unit, for which she is responsible, has not given these two anti-LGBTQ hate crimes proper attention.

    Mayor Bowser should be publicly denouncing these anti-LGBT hate crimes as well.

    Report the hate crime to MPD and demand a LGBTLU officer make the 251 report, with its suspected hate crime checkoff. Make sure the officer gives you a CCN number —and– after 24 hours, get a copy (free to injured parties) of the 251 Report from any MPD district office. Then review the 251 incident report, including its narrative section closely for accuracy.
    http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/police-districts-and-police-service-areas

    Also, a copy helps the restaurant owner(s) (and patrons or others, if necessary) can followup and make sure MPD doesn’t try to bury the case.

    BTW, the restaurant and its patrons may have CIVIL remedies available to them against the perpetrators under that same law…
    http://dccode.org/simple/Title-22/Chapter-37/

    I commented on the first incident in WaPo– with a few additional relevant links…

    WASHINGTON POST
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/dc-police-investigate-anti-gay-graffiti-painted-on-dupont-circle-sidewalk/2016/06/13/d925993a-3196-11e6-95c0-2a6873031302_story.html
    .

    • Cpt_Justice

      June 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you for this comprehensive post.

  2. Simon

    June 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    “Down with the gay agenda”!

    Didn’t anyone tell them we had a meeting a decided its now called the Homo-schedule.

    • chinangel .

      June 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      really? i forgot to attend. Homo-schedule. I’ll remember that.

    • Kayla Greene

      June 16, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      I missed the last one too, can you tell me how we are spelling “work” these days? Last I heard it was “wherque”

    • Nursemommy

      June 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Lol!

  3. Tazzari1

    June 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    What cowards – strike by night and bravely burn a flag and spray graffiti on a sidewalk. It’s the knuckle-dragging crowd who feel threatened because WE’RE WINNING!

    • Ryan taylor

      June 16, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Winning? Talk like this is what incites hate. Relax and do you. All this “Hey look at me, I’m gay” talk creates more separation. Can’t you see that?

      • Shaddus

        June 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm

        So what you’re saying is that we should all be secretive and not let anyone know anything about us, or they may want to kill us?

        • Ryan taylor

          June 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

          Dude what are you reading? Secretive? Why would you deserve that? I clearly wrote relax and do you. You are a human being just like me. Everyone knows gay people exist. I have lots of tolerance, but I’ve seen with my own eyes instances when gay couples go out of their way to make people uncomfortable with unnecessary PDA. Straight or gay it’s wrong to do that around young children. I don’t think you or anyone should be killed. Just know that there are people out there that aren’t of sane mind, like that idiot in Orlando or that psycho white guy in Cali that showed up to the Pride festival for target practice.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm

            Tazzari mentioned gays are “winning”. Ok what exactly are you “winning”? I’m asking so I have a better understanding of what you’re trying to say.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

            To play jesuit – I think the ‘winning’ is referring to ‘the right to exist as they are, free from discrimination and molestation’ You know, what straight people get by virtue of being straight.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 10:09 am

            I appreciate your comment, but when I see the term “winning”, I think of competition. That leads to the discussion of people that support gay rights and those that don’t.

            The last couple of years there has been more homosexuality injected in mainstream movies and music. Gay activists have stressed that the culture needs to be represented in a positive manner so it becomes more of a natural sight. I get it. With America being a county that was built on Christianity there was bound to be some backlash, which we have seen. The Muslim religion is just like many others. You have those that preach love and understanding and those that become radicalized. Some people will never be able to accept the gay culture.

            I look at the gay flag as a symbol of separation. If you’re gay that’s your right, but why is there a need to rub your sexuality in people’s faces? It’s your personal business. Woman or male, if I see you share a kiss or holding hands guess what I’m going to assume you are gay. I respect that. It’s the people that go overboard with trying to make people uncomfortable by announcing their arrival then saying “oh I’m just proud” that are getting innocent people hurt.

          • Laura Bartlett

            June 17, 2016 at 10:38 am

            As a person with a disability, I like being assertive and stand up for myself in all things. If you think for one second that I’ll ever apologize for making some poor snowflake normal uncomfortable….think again. Since my sexuality runs pretty much in the range of middle of the road straight, you’d think my being affectionate with the spousal unit would slip under the average conservative’s radar. I’ve been told we’re sinning cos I’m unable to have kids and my husband should marry a normal female instead a tool of the devil…etc etc But whatever.

            I would never say I understand what hurtful vicious crap an LGBT person has to put up with from their point of view, but I understand the feeling of being the “other”.

            People who are middle of the road normal in most things never seem to realize how off putting they can be to anyone different from themselves.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

            I understand what you are saying and I apologize on behalf of those that would say such evil things to you. Myself being a straight male, I’ve had these conversations with my gay friends. Some are open and flamboyant, others are open but laid back. I had a gay friend look at another gay guy and say “he’s doing too much” lol its really awesome to talk to people in a public forum and try to see where their head is at. Everyone is so different, but everyone deserves respect.

          • Laura Bartlett

            June 17, 2016 at 11:18 pm

            Definitely.

          • Alex Klebenow

            June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

            Ryan, by YOUR OWN EXAMPLE (PDA) Heteros do it EVERY MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES in public: on the street, the subway, sucking face in restaurants, holding hands and other portions of the anatomy in public, wearing wedding rings CONSTANTLY shoving THEIR personal lives in our faces. WHY is it “wrong to do that around young children” to show show true LOVE?
            Do you ALSO condemn the heteros who engage in PDAs and “hey I’m Hetero” talk??
            WE have EVERY RIGHT to love the person whom we choose, AND to show that love as well as every hetero couple out there.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

            Thank you for responding, and yes I did state that excessive PDA by any gender is not for the public. You do have every right you stated and I have no objection to you nor will I judge you.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 18, 2016 at 6:40 pm

            You sound sort of bitter.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 18, 2016 at 6:45 pm

            And when you’re that socially Darwinist as the view you espouse, ‘surviving’ is winning.

          • North Of Kwameville 48

            June 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

            Straight sloppy PDA occurs round the clock. Your critique of gay behavior is hypocritical. Double standards undermine your position. You should start warning straight PDA people that they may become targets of the Pink Panthers who are a bit testy right now.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm

            Sir you can be cynical all you want. 49 people just got killed. If you’re not gay, I really don’t care for your opinion. I clearly just wrote straight or gay PDA is wrong in certain situations. How about reading before you write.

          • North Of Kwameville 48

            June 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

            Why should gay PDA be treated
            differently? You are justifying hypocritical behavior and the murder of 49 people. Your snide and rude reply is not warranted or wanted. I really don’t care for your opinion either regardless of
            your orientation. We should not be subjected to different standards of behavior just because “they” are enraged.

        • Hideous Harbinger

          June 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

          Yes, we best not make da massuh mad…..da closet is the safest place.

  4. Morgan Tepper

    June 17, 2016 at 10:03 am

    In response to the desecration of the rainbow flag outside of Bourbon Adams Morgan, we are doing a “gay-in” at the establishment starting at 8pm. Please join us in solidarity as we present them a new rainbow flag and express our uninhibited love for each other and the community.

    MORE INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/200009093729734/

    Email [email protected] with any questions

    • Alex Klebenow

      June 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

      If I still lived in DC I would be there!
      I WILL be there in spirit though!

  5. Mark Cichewicz

    June 20, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Last year some ass took my marriage equality sign. Lot of good that did It’s ok we got it anyway.

  6. FedupbeyondbeliefwObummer

    June 28, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    The American flag is as precious to me as the Rainbow flag is to you….your supporters burned my flag…..am I supposed to care that yours was torched? Really?

  7. Patrick

    June 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    LGBT in SF Just burned an American flag. No big deal. It does not mean they hate America. So someone burnt theirs. What’s the big deal it’s just a flag.

    Ignore what some idiot wrote on the sidewalk and keep your life going.

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D.C. rejects request by gyms to lift mask mandate

LGBTQ-owned venues sign letter calling requirement ‘devastating’ for business

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Owners of two LGBTQ-owned D.C. fitness studios and one gym signed on to a joint letter with the owners of six other similar businesses urging D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. Laquandra Nesbitt to lift a city mandate requiring patrons of gyms and fitness studios to wear masks. 

The Oct. 4 letter, written by gay businessman Bryan Myers, the CEO and president of a chain of local fitness studios using the trademark name of [solidcore], states that the mask mandate, which applies to people who are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, is based largely on outdated data pertaining to gyms and fitness studios collected prior to the widespread availability of the COVID vaccine.

“More relevant data to inform decision-making would be to study the data from two, large Northeastern cities that have opted to allow fitness classes to continue with the requirement of vaccination in lieu of a mask requirement,” the letter states. “In both New York City and Philadelphia, which have opted for this approach, we have not seen an increase in the trajectory of the Delta variant,” Myers says in the letter.

In the last week of July, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that cities and local jurisdictions with 50 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents per week, which at that time included D.C., should ask residents to voluntarily resume wearing masks indoors. That same week, Bowser announced she would go one step further by mandating the indoor use of masks in most public places, including gyms and fitness spas or studios. 

Bowser and Nesbitt said their intention was to take immediate steps to curtail the spread of the coronavirus so that the city would not be forced to return to the full shutdown mode, including the closing of businesses, that the mayor lifted earlier this year.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced they would ask residents of their states to consider using masks in crowded indoor spaces as recommended by the CDC, but said they would not require mask use. 

In their letter to Bowser and Nesbitt, the gym and fitness studio owners called on the mayor to provide the same exemption to their businesses as the city has provided for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, which requires masks except when patrons are eating and drinking. 

“While it is true that bars, restaurants, and clubs technically have to follow the same guidelines, we know that in practice, these venues have been granted exceptions by D.C. Health,” the letter says. “On any given night, you can find hundreds of individuals crowded into a U Street bar, at a Capitol Hill restaurant, or thousands at a performance or party at The Anthem enjoying themselves – singing, dancing and physically exerting themselves, shouting – maskless – so long as they have a drink somewhere nearby,” says the letter.

“And to be unequivocally clear, we are not advocating that there is anything wrong with what is happening in other industries or that there be a change to the management of those industries/venues,” the letter continues. “We are simply advocating that we be treated the same as they are.”

The letter adds, “Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the mask mandate for fitness studios and gyms has resulted in devastating financial impact to these businesses – many of which are small locally owned.”

It says patronage has dropped 50 percent for some of the fitness centers and gyms since the mayor’s mask mandate took effect July 29. It points out that the drop in customers comes at a time when many of these businesses have spent thousands of dollars and in some cases hundreds of thousands to upgrade their ventilation and filtration systems and other structural steps to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Myers told the Washington Blade in a statement that neither the Department of Health nor the mayor’s office replied directly to the gym and fitness studios’ letter.

Channel 7 News reported that in response to its request for the city’s reaction to the gym and fitness studios’ concerns, the Department of Health released a statement saying, “D.C. Health’s stance is that persons should wear masks in gyms and during this time [we] do not have plans to change our stance on this guidance.”

In his statement to the Blade, Myers said the D.C. gym and fitness studios were frustrated and disappointed that the city at this time is not open to reconsidering the mask mandate for gyms and fitness studios, many of which he said are barely surviving.

“This mandate is directly affecting the livelihoods of residents of the District, many of whom are women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ in a policy that is simply not equitable, and is steering residents away from services that can help improve the overall health of our community,” Myers said.

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Heather Mizeur congressional campaign raises more than $1M

Former Md. delegate challenging Andy Harris

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Heather Mizeur, Delman Coates, Montgomery County, Silver Spring, Maryland, Maryland House of Delegates, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade, momentum
Former Maryland state Del. Heather Mizeur is running for Congress (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Heather Mizeur has raised more than $1 million in her campaign against anti-LGBTQ Republican Congressman Andy Harris in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.

“No candidate in #MD01 of either party, incumbent or challenger, has ever hit the $1M milestone this early in the election cycle,” Mizeur tweeted on Oct. 6.

The Victory Fund in an Oct. 8 press release said 80 percent of this $1 million came from Maryland-based donors, “a sign the district is ready for new representation.” And Mizeur continues to outpace Harris, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that say she raised $717,445 for the cycle ending June 30, while Harris raised $425,288.

“Andy Harris has taken every opportunity to attack and vilify trans individuals, trying to score political points with his base at the expense of the safety of some of his constituents,” Mizeur told the Washington Blade.

In 2014 Harris made the Human Rights Campaign’s “Hall of Shame” for proactively working “to undermine existing legal protections and promote anti-LGBT discrimination.”

“In contrast, the LGBTQ community knows me for my record,” Mizeur said. “And knows I’ll always lead with compassion and stand up for civil and human rights. I think the 1st District will respond to my message of respect and understanding.”

Mizeur, who now lives on the Eastern Shore with her wife, served on the Takoma Park City Council. Mizeur was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for eight years.

In 2014, she launched a long-shot, grassroots campaign for governor where she finished a strong third in the Democratic primary, despite being outraised by better-known opponents.

But Mizeur also said she is aware of the challenges her team faces in taking on a well-entrenched Republican in a solidly conservative district.

The Cook Partisan Voter Index in 2017 rated the district as R +14, meaning the previous two presidential election results in the district skewed 14 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

“We have over $760,000 in the bank, and we’ve outraised him during our time in the race,” Mizeur said. “We’re raising the money we need to go toe-to-toe with Andy Harris next year.”

The Baltimore Sun in February reported Harris was “flush with campaign cash” mostly due to a 2010 redistricting that “packed” the area with Republican voters to increase Democrats’ chances in other district races.

“Yes, Andy Harris has over $1 million in the bank, stockpiled over a decade in office,” Mizeur said. “But in the short time I’ve been in the race, we’ve cut significantly into his cash on hand advantage.”

Harris has represented the 1st Congressional District—which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties—since 2011 and easily fended off most challenges with at least 60 percent of the vote. These challengers include Mia Mason, a transgender military veteran, who ran against him in 2020.

The 2010 redistricting made Harris’ seat safe enough not only to donate nearly a third of his war chest to conservative groups and candidates, such as U.S. Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), but to openly court controversy himself.

Harris last year openly defended then-President Trump’s discredited efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And in December he signed onto an amicus brief supporting a failed lawsuit contesting the presidential election results.

This year he downplayed the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection in which numerous police officers were attacked, members of Congress were threatened, and the U.S. Capitol was vandalized.

Mizeur told the Blade that while Harris’ actions regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection were the catalyst for her challenging his seat, she feels the district is changing and he no longer represents their interests.

“Our supporters know he’s been embarrassing Maryland in Congress for far too long, and that some of his actions have shown he’s completely unfit to serve in public office, regardless of ideological views,” Mizeur said. “They want someone who will bring compassionate leadership and innovative thinking back to the first district. And that’s appealing to people across party lines.”

Maryland’s primary election is June 28, 2022, and its general election follows on Nov. 8.

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AU student expelled over arrest in attack on gay Asian man, parents

Patrick Trebat no longer affiliated with university

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(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

An American University graduate student who was arrested by D.C. police on Aug. 7 on charges that he assaulted a gay Asian man and the man’s parents while shouting homophobic and anti-Asian slurs “is no longer affiliated with the university and will not be allowed on campus,” according to a report by WTOP News.

In an Oct. 9 broadcast that it updated this week, WTOP said Patrick Trebat, 38, who had been taking a night class at the university’s Kogod School of Business, was banned from returning to the campus.

Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court show that Trebat was charged by D.C. police with one count of felony assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of destruction of property for allegedly assaulting and injuring Sean Lai, 30, an out gay man of Chinese ancestry, and his parents on the 3700 block of Fulton Street, N.W., on Aug. 7.

The charging documents say Trebat allegedly began to follow Lai and his parents as they were walking along the street in the city’s Observatory Circle neighborhood near the National Cathedral. According to a statement by a police official from the police district whose officers made the arrest, Trebat punched and kicked the three victims as he stated, “Get out of my country.” The police statement says the family was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

A separate police report says Trebat shouted the word “faggots” at the family and shouted, “You are not Americans!”

Based on these allegations, prosecutors classified the assault charges as an anti-Asian bias related crime, but they did not add an anti-gay classification to the charges.

Court records show that Trebat was released two days after his arrest while awaiting trial under the court’s High Intensity Supervision Program, which, among other things, imposed a curfew requiring him to return home by 10 p.m.

An Oct. 8 story in The Eagle, the American University student newspaper, says it learned that Trebat’s attorney filed a motion in court, which the Washington Blade also discovered from court records, asking a judge to extend the curfew deadline from 10 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. so that Trebat could attend at night class at American University.

The motion, which prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not oppose and the judge approved, identified Trebat in the public court records as an AU graduate student.

According to the Eagle, representatives of the university’s Asian American and LGBTQ student groups criticized university officials for not alerting students that an AU student charged with an anti-Asian hate crime while hurling homophobic slurs had access to the campus and could pose a danger to students.

“Patrick Trebant is not affiliated with American University and is not allowed on campus,” AU told the Blade on Wednesday in a statement. “While we cannot discuss details of an individual matter, when a student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime, the university’s student conduct code provides for an administrative adjudication process. The safety of our students and our community is our priority.”

The Eagle reports that the code of conduct states that the dean of students or their designee can administratively adjudicate a case when a student has been accused of a non-academic offense “where the student has been arrested, charged, convicted of, or sentenced for a felony crime” for certain misconduct. The code of conduct applies in a situation in which a student is arrested for an off-campus allegation.

Court records show Trebat is scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 for a felony status hearing before Superior Court Judge Judith Pipe.

Neither Trebat nor his attorney, Brandi Harden, could immediately be reached for comment.

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