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Pink Pistols besieged with new members

Gay group says it promotes gun training, ‘shattering’ of stereotypes



Gwendolyn Patton, Pink Pistols, gay news, Washington Blade
Gwendolyn Patton, Pink Pistols, gay news, Washington Blade

Gwendolyn Patton is national leader of the LGBT gun advocacy group Pink Pistols.

Lesbian activist Gwendolyn Patton, national leader of the LGBT gun advocacy group Pink Pistols, says she was heartbroken when she learned that 49 mostly LGBT people were shot to death on June 12 at an Orlando gay nightclub by Omar Mateen.

Patton, 54, said the horrific incident at the Pulse nightclub conjured up memories of gay-bashing incidents the LGBT community has grappled with for years and reminded her that the mission of Pink Pistols goes beyond just training LGBT people to use guns for self-defense.

“We have an even more poetic vision,” she told the Washington Blade in an interview this week. “We teach queers to shoot and we teach the world we did it,” she said with an emphasis.

“The idea is that if the general public becomes aware that there is a portion of the GLBT community that may be armed with a lawfully owned firearm and have the training and the skills necessary to use it effectively, this is a deterrent to make those that would attack us think twice,” she said.

“They’re choosing the gay community because they think that we’re a safe target to attack, that we’re not going to fight back. The whole stereotype about the GLBT community is that we’re weaker, we’re passive, we’re pacifists, we’re unwilling to fight,” she said. “It’s the whole stereotype of gay men as being weak and effeminate.”

Patton is a former computer programmer and systems analyst who lives in a Philadelphia suburb. She has been mostly wheelchair bound and legally disabled since 2006 when in a freak accident the hood of her car slammed down on the top of her head by a forceful gust of wind.

“Essentially, it broke my neck,” she said, noting that she suffered shattered neck and upper back vertebrae causing severe pain and immobility.

Despite this hardship, she has continued to serve as spokesperson and later chief coordinator or “First Speaker” of the national Pink Pistols group since 2001. Her dedication and outspokenness, according to those who know her, has in itself shattered stereotypes of gun advocates.

Patton and Dexter Guptill, coordinator of the Pink Pistols chapter in Northern Virginia, point out that the national organization got its start in 2000 in response to an article written by gay journalist and commentator Jonathan Rauch, which was published in Salon.

With the 1998 gay bashing murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard still fresh in the minds of the LGBT community, Rauch startled activists by proposing that gays should create “Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry” guns.

“Pink pistols would do far more for the self-esteem of the next generation of gay men and women than any number of hate-crime laws or anti-discrimination statutes,” Rauch said in his article.

Guptill, who like Patten, first become involved with Pink Pistols in 2001, reports that gay activists in Boston were the first to take up Rauch’s proposals by forming what is believed to be the Pink Pistols’ first chapter in that city in 2000.

“They asked Rauch if they could use the name and he said go for it,” Guptill said. “And a number of chapters sort of sprang up like mushrooms.”

According to Patton and Guptill, the chapters along with the national group established a precedent of helping LGBT people learn the basics of using firearms from more experienced members and through certified trainers. The chapters also coach members on whether guns could be legally purchased in their states and how to go about applying for a permit or license.

The Northern Virginia chapter, the only known chapter in the D.C. metropolitan area, meets informally at an indoor shooting range in Lorton, Va., called Sharp Shooters, Guptill said. The next chapter gathering at the range is scheduled for July 10.

He said beginners are always welcome and experienced gun owners, like him, are pleased to serve as mentors for newcomers, teaching them the ropes of shooting and, if suitable for them, how to legally purchase a firearm.

Patten and Guptill noted that they, like many Pink Pistols members across the country, often hear of situations like the one reported by Rauch in his Salon article where an LGBT person is confronted by one or more attackers. Upon pulling out their gun, the attackers almost always withdraw without a shot being fired, Patten and Guptill said.

“In other words, a gun is often the most efficient way to deescalate a situation,” Guptill said. “The odds are with you. But if you pull that gun out you have to be ready to pull the trigger as well.”

He and Patton said that’s where the prior training advocated by Pink Pistols comes into play. Both said gun use training by experts fosters an ethical “mindset” that promotes responsibility and caution as well as an ability to assess when to use and not to use a gun when confronted with danger.

Gay gun rights advocate Tom Palmer, senior fellow with the libertarian think tank Cato Institute, said most of the nation’s attention has focused on legislation stalled in Congress to prohibit gun ownership for people on federal terrorist watch and airline “no-fly” lists.

He said far less media attention has been given to local and state anti-gun laws that in Florida would have prevented any of the victims in the Pulse nightclub attack from carrying a legally owned gun due to a state ban on guns inside establishments that serve alcoholic beverages.

He said such laws should be repealed, noting that people trained to use firearms tend to be responsible and must undergo a background check to carry a concealed weapon.

Patton said gun owners she knows in the LGBT community would do what drivers do when going with friends to bars and nightclubs – have a designated non-drinker with the group who has the gun just as a designated driver doesn’t drink alcohol when joining friends at bars.

“Yes, we’ve had some really incredible response after the Orlando incident,” Patten said. “That was a horrific tragedy. It has torn the hearts out of us all. And a lot of people determined after that, that they didn’t want to be vulnerable anymore,” she said. “They wanted to take on the responsibility for their own safety.”

Patton said that within two weeks after the Orlando incident Pink Pistols’ Facebook membership jumped from 1,500 to over 7,500.

“We’ve also had a greater number of people asking for information on how to start a chapter in the past two weeks than we’ve had in the previous two years,” she said.

Even more astonishing, Patton said, has been an enormous outpouring of support from mainline gun advocacy groups and businesses.

“We had so many people from gun shops and gun ranges and from companies that make guns and that make accessories offering support, offering training, offering resources that we couldn’t keep track of them all with the [software] tools we had,” she said. “We had to create a new tool for doing that.”

What has emerged, she said, is a new page on the group’s website,, consisting of an interactive map created by volunteers that shows active chapters and the services they provide in the U.S. and Canada.

“I wish that we could have such a phenomenal response and it not be due to such a terrible ordeal,” Patton said. “But if anything, I hope that we’re doing something to help keep some of these people safer in the future — even if it’s only increasing their situational awareness and learning how to cope with an active shooter situation, even if they don’t ever buy a firearm of their own.”

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  1. lnm3921

    June 30, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Why the pink pistols? Sounds silly not intimidating. Just like that group the Pink Panthers. Do you want people to take you seriously or ridicule you with laughter?

    • Kathy11

      June 30, 2016 at 11:54 am

      I like it. And it’s an obvious reference to the pink triangle.

      I will say that it’s really not a good idea to carry a gun into a club. Drinking and firearms are pretty much universally thought not to be two great tastes that taste great together.

      Even the NRA says not to bring them to a bar.

      • BruceMajors4DC

        July 4, 2016 at 6:24 am

        Some people in a bar are not drinking.

        • Kathy11

          July 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm

          some people win the lottery

        • lnm3921

          July 6, 2016 at 12:13 am

          Meaning you go to Ho.

    • johnmcv

      June 30, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Isn’t time for nap,old timer?

      • lnm3921

        June 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm

        Isn’t time to get your diaper changed?

    • BruceMajors4DC

      July 4, 2016 at 6:23 am

      Why do you continue to embarrass youself by speaking?

      • lnm3921

        July 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

        I’m writing not speaking. Yet you can’t even manage to understand that simple distinction.

        How do you manage to continue breathing?

  2. johnmcv

    June 30, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    I’m happy to see people acknowledging the fact that there are people among us who really want to murder us/our families. But, remember, the antiguns want to disarm all of us and make us defenseless targets and that is what will hppen if the democrats get control. Gun up ammo up/

    • lnm3921

      June 30, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Old timer eh? I’d rather b-slap you instead snotty!

      Somehow I doubt you’ll live long enough to be old and if you do then you’ll be an old fool!

      • BruceMajors4DC

        July 4, 2016 at 6:22 am

        Your violent inclinations are showing themselves. You would probably be wise not to own a gun as you might misuse it. But that’s your personal problem.

        • lnm3921

          July 4, 2016 at 7:50 am

          Mess with a hornets nest and you’ll get multiple stings!! So
          Don’t get smug with me.

          Anyone who owns a gun has violent tendencies and only a fool believes otherwise!!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            July 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

            Clearly you are a fool. And a grandiose one.

          • lnm3921

            July 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

            Clearly You’re arrogant, an ugly mess and pretentious!

      • George Mason

        December 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        B-slapping a man with a gun…special kinda smart aren’t you? Well, looks like Americans rejected gun control at the polls….all but one of the NRA backed candidates won including Trump.

        • lnm3921

          December 23, 2016 at 10:54 pm

          If he’s going to shoot you what do you have to lose? I got a place to put your gun!
          The thread is six-months old and now you’re posting something? Did you just wake up from a coma or crawl out of a crevice? Not much of a life, huh?

    • lnm3921

      June 30, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      What a load of BS to promote the GOP! Name one instance when anyone whose been a victim of gun violence anywhere has actually pulled out a gun and defended themselves against the assailant and defeated him?

      • LWWZ

        July 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

        • lnm3921

          July 1, 2016 at 2:39 pm

          Your example reads to me like the man with the concealed weapon may have gotten this robber by surprise after he announced he was robbing the store.

          He had time to react and many details of the specific circumstances are not provided. Most terrorist attacks or violent encounters don’t play out so neatly!

          How exactly does private ownership of an AK 47 save lives?? How exactly is opposing background checks and denying weapons sales to people that may be dangerous to the general public not sane public policy?

          • BruceMajors4DC

            July 4, 2016 at 6:21 am

            Straw men. The places where your gun Prohibitionism has led to the deaths and hospitalization of so many people including gays are the many gun free zones and completely disarmed civilian populations like DC or Baltimore, where only criminals or government employees have guns. This has nothing to do with background checks to see if someone has been convicted or has a restraining order. You have completely violated the rights of people to defend themselves in the most violent cities with total gun Prohibitionism far beyond that.

          • lnm3921

            July 4, 2016 at 8:03 am

            Then stay out of violent cities. I’m sure that anyone that concerned manages to smuggle a gun in with them and wouldn’t care about legalities.

            The world is violent. Mankind is violent. You can get shot anywhere. At school, at work, at home, on a subway, a mall and on the street. Even in suburbia. Designating anyone place as violent cities is fooling yourself.

            If you have a gun when others don’t then that makes you as much a threat as anyone else! It gives you powe over others and makes the thin skinned a danger to others.

            Where do you strap your gun when you shower? Someone could break in and catch you off guard?or do you avoid them altogether?

          • BruceMajors4DC

            July 6, 2016 at 11:51 am

            You are simply a fool. Women should stay in at night and gay people should only live in suburbs, according to you, less they be raped or bashed.

          • lnm3921

            July 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm

            You are simply full of fecal matter! Spare us the false bravado!! You do not impress!

      • BruceMajors4DC

        July 4, 2016 at 6:17 am

        The issue is more abstract than your masters’ talking points. Violent aggressors target people who are known to be disarmed as easy prey, like gay people in DC and transgenders in Baltimore, who are legally disarmed, and wind up beaten and hospitalized as the Blade reports regularly. You are also wrong. Many attempted mass shootings never become counted in mass shooting statistics because an armed person stops the shooter forehead shoots more than 4 people. But the real effect is just knowing that someone may be armed. So the perp moves on to a gun free zone to find sitting ducks like you.

        • lnm3921

          July 4, 2016 at 8:16 am

          let’s be the Wild West and all carry guns in a holster then to scare off your perps. Or we can hire pink pistols like you to defend us. I’m sure that will put thegenetal population at ease.

          We don’t have to worry about people with guns and road rage after all. Or disgruntled workers with guns at work. Or bullies at school with guns or prople with short tempers owning them. We can all be at ease thinking about our day to day shoot outs since we have our own guns.

          • BruceMajors4DC

            July 6, 2016 at 11:49 am

            You are illiterate. The so called Wild WWest was more peaceful than is DC now

          • lnm3921

            July 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm

            and you know because you were there.

            What bathroom do you use? The one reserved for female dogs at a kennel? You personality, what little there is, shows as much.

  3. ramrodd

    June 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The TRUTH about the “supremacy clause” – our Constitution does not delegate to the national government authority to restrict our arms, ammunition, regulate firearms dealers, do background checks, etc. The national government may not lawfully circumvent this restriction by means of a treaty wherein the signatory governments agree to disarm their Citizens or Subjects.

  4. Jeremiah R.

    June 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    You go, lady. We love ya. Arm the People!

  5. Naters

    June 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    the pink pistols have a facebook group right here in case you want to join:

  6. fsilber

    June 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    When a gay basher tries to murder a supporter of Pink Pistols, I root for the defender. However, if the gay basher tries to murder a person who wants to steal my Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, I’ll stay out of it.

  7. Ken Nyhus

    July 1, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I am a heterosexual, Christian, GOP and 2nd Ammendment supporter in my 50s and I stand united with the Pink Pistols organization. We all have a right to the pursuit of happiness and the right to bear arms to protect our freedoms. All of you haters out there take a good look at yourselves…if you can’t support other Americans who want the same rights and freedoms you want and have, shame on you!

  8. BDUB

    July 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Outstanding article! Bloomberg, pay attention – the Pink Pistols IS what grass-roots looks like.

  9. BruceMajors4DC

    July 4, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Pink Pistols is having a meetup at a shooting range in Virginia July 10

  10. BruceMajors4DC

    July 4, 2016 at 6:24 am

    This doesn’t sound any wiser when you post it a second time.

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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



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



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



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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