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‘Gays for Trump’ denounce ‘radical Islam’

Milo Yiannopoulos speaks after being banned from Twitter

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Milo Yiannopoulos, gay news, Washington Blade
Milo Yiannopoulos, gay news, Washington Blade

Milo Yiannopoulos speaks at the ‘Wake Up!’ party in Cleveland on July 19. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

CLEVELAND — Rallying attendees before posters of scantily clad young men in “Make America Great Again” hats, speakers at a “Gays for Trump” party on Tuesday night urged LGBT people to combat radical Islamic extremism.

The featured speaker at the event, which was called “Wake Up” and took place at Wolstein Center Ballroom at Cleveland State University, was Milo Yiannopoulos, a provocative gay conservative activist and journalist.

Wearing a white tank top with the image of a gun in rainbow colors and the words “We Shoot Back,” Yiannopoulos said the time has come for the LGBT community to separate itself from the progressive movement to take on Islamic extremism.

In the aftermath of a shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub by a follower of Islamic extremism, Yiannopoulos said while the left once supported gay people, that’s “no longer the case.”

“Growing up gay wasn’t that fucking bad, let’s be honest,” Yiannopoulos said. “But I still don’t see the reason why the left-wing press mollycoddles and panders to an ideology that wants me dead.”

Yiannopoulos announced at the event he would travel to Sweden next week to lead a Pride parade in what he called a “Muslim ghetto” in Stockholm. Yiannopoulos said he draws no distinction between Islam as a whole and Islamic extremism, although he acknowledged some in the audience may disagree with him.

Known as a provocateur, Yiannopoulos has made comments on social media saying it should be legal to hunt any man with over 20 percent body fat, compared feminism to cancer and set up a scholarship with funds available only to white males. A Trump supporter, Yiannopoulos said during the event Trump is “the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history.”

Yiannopoulos spoke just minutes before he was reportedly banned permanently from Twitter for a series of tweets against “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones that were deemed abusive. As a result, Yiannopoulos said he intends to make the lives of people working for the media a “hell.”

“You have done nothing for gays,” Yiannopoulos said. “While you were busy hectoring and bullying and nannying us about transgender pronouns, you completely forgot that politicians in this country, Democrat[ic] politicians who are welcoming in a religion that wants us dead. They were welcoming in movements and belief systems that are completely incompatible with the Western way of life, with modern, Western, capitalist, liberal democracies, the only systems under which gay people are happy and successful and have rights.”

The estimated 500 attendees at the event, billed as the “most fab party at the RNC,” were predominately young white men, many of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. A line of attendees seeking to take photos with Yiannopoulos spanned a room adjoining the ballroom where the event took place.

David Griffin, a gay 24-year-old Georgia resident, came to the event wearing a Trump campaign hat and three buttons in support of the presidential candidate.

“I like Trump because he’s going to secure our borders, he’s going to put America first and, more importantly, he’s the most pro-gay candidate in the race,” Griffin said. “Hillary Clinton wants to bring people in from cultures that are very hostile to gays. The countries that she wants to bring people in from are countries that throw gays off buildings, stone them. It is not very good. I want people who believe in our values to come here.”

Some Syrian refugees coming to the United States are fleeing anti-LGBT persecution at the hands of the Islamic State. The White House has said LGBT refugees would be one of the priority groups of refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Devin Conway, a 21-year-old student at Georgia Southern University, said he came because he wanted to surround himself “with like-minded people and to celebrate not only Trump winning the nomination, but hopefully winning the presidency.”

“There are people from all walks of life here, gay, straight, reporters, non-reporters,” Conway said. “I think it’s beautiful that we can all come together for one cause, and think that’s what Trump’s message is really all about, and I really hope that we can spread it to the rest of the country.”

Other speakers at the event warned against the dangers of Islamic extremism and urged LGBT people to pay heed to the threat.

Chris Barron, a gay political consultant and former board chair of the now-defunct gay conservative group GOProud, said Trump is making the Republican Party “more accepting for LGBT people all across this country.”

“The left wants us to believe that this is an election that’s going to be about bathrooms or who’s going to pay for our wedding cakes, but LGBT people and our allies know that this is a question of life or death,” Barron said. “We saw what happened in Orlando. We have a radical Islamic ideology out there that is dedicated to exterminating LGBT people all across this globe.”

Also speaking at the event was Pamela Geller, an anti-Islamic conservative activist who came to the event wearing a rainbow-colored shirt with the message “Love Will Win.”

“The Republican Party is the party of individual rights and equality for all before the law, all,” Geller said. “No special rights or special classes. Democrats exploit the gay cause for their own ends. We’re the real deal. We oppose jihad terror. What greater threat to the gay community is there than Islamic law?”

Geert Wilders, a leader of the conservative Dutch Party for Freedom, warned against allowing Muslim immigration to the United States, saying that the practice has led Europe down a dismal path and violence on the continent.

“There is only one Islam, and that Islam has no place in a free society because it goes against freedom,” Wilders said. “So we should close our borders for immigrants from Islamic countries. We should not let any jihadists returning to our free countries. We should expel criminals with a double-nationality after we have stripped them of the nationality of our country. We should stop the ‘Islamizaton,’ as a matter of fact, we should de-Islamize our societies.”

To a smattering of applause among attendees, Wilders said he doesn’t want any more mosques in the Netherlands or Islamic schools for “young children that we want to integrate into society who learn hate and violence.”

Outside the event, a dozen protesters carried a banner reading, “Queers Against Racism.” Although no individual among the protesters was willing to speak with the Washington Blade, they handed the press a slip of paper explaining their views.

“There’s nothing fabulous about racism,” the paper says. “Our grief is not a catalyst for xenophobia. We will not be opportunistically used to promote Trump’s rhetoric of hate. What happened in Orlando is a result of a homegrown culture of homophobia promoted by Trump, Pence and conservatives for decades.”

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. StevesWeb

    July 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

    So gay folks are just not bigoted enough, is that his message?

    As someone who has suffered discrimination based on ancient superstitions, I see the error in prejudice. This makes it my responsibility to oppose religious bigotry no matter which religion is targeting which other group.

    • cvvhf

      July 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      When islam beheads homosexuals, what is that – Non-prejudice?

      • bayhuntr

        July 21, 2016 at 12:51 am

        It’s murder, just like any religious extremist, murdering anyone.

        • cvvhf

          July 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          In islam, it is mainstream. Homosexuality is punishable by death in muslim countries.

          Have you been living under a rock all this time?

          • lnm3921

            July 22, 2016 at 12:04 am

            Historically it also was the mainstream for Christianity! Brutal savage murder often by the pillory.

            Look at Uganda now. It’s Christian isn’t it yet they want to impose life imprisonment or capital punishment for being gay.

            Eric Rudolph is a Christian conservative American who bombed a gay bar in Atlanta. We are no safe with Christian than Muslims. You fool yourself!

          • cvvhf

            July 24, 2016 at 3:17 pm

            Do we live in the past or in the present? What is wrong with you?

          • lnm3921

            July 24, 2016 at 10:12 pm

            We learn from the past so we aren’t condemned to repeat it. As early as right after Orlando a Christian preacher praised the bombing and said gays should all be put before a firing squad. It’s hardly the past! What is wrong with you!? Glazed over that?

            We don’t live in Saudi Arabia or countries where we are beheaded either. So again what is wrong with you?

          • cvvhf

            July 25, 2016 at 12:17 am

            Why are you supporting that which wants to behead you? Can you possibly be more (censored)?

          • lnm3921

            July 25, 2016 at 1:26 pm

            I’m not. You’re just outrageously pretending I am to try and dupe people into voting for trump and your christian conservative social terrorists!

            Your scare tactics aren’t going to get your agenda pushed!

          • cvvhf

            July 25, 2016 at 3:30 pm

            So you are against islam?

          • lnm3921

            July 25, 2016 at 3:38 pm

            I’m against anti-glbt oppression and not for supporting the ascent into power of those that made it clear that is their agenda out of fear from other oppression or violence. Both are bad. One doesn’t justify the other.

          • cvvhf

            July 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

            Are you against islam or are you not against islam?

          • lnm3921

            July 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm

            I told you what I’m agsinst. Is whining about Islam all you live for?

          • cvvhf

            July 25, 2016 at 11:35 pm

            You are not against islam. Why do you hide it? Are you a muslim? Tell me your opinion of quran.

          • lnm3921

            July 26, 2016 at 12:44 am

            Why are you so obsessed with Islam? I’m not. I admire Islamic art and architecture just not religious fanatiscm.

            Take a religious studies course if you want to know more about the Quran or simply googling it. Perhaps you are the closet Muslim.

          • cvvhf

            July 26, 2016 at 12:58 pm

            You are a muslim aren’t you? Don’t you feel shame when you deceive non-muslims like this? Why are your pretending to be a non-muslim?

          • lnm3921

            July 26, 2016 at 7:08 pm

            No I’m far from Muslim. Anyone familiar with my posts on Israel would no that. Wrong as always you are!!

            Why don’t you admit you’re a GOP troll fishing for votes?

          • cvvhf

            July 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm

            Then why can’t you give us your opinion of quran? What are you trying to hide?

            Give us your opinion of quran. Do not deflect, because if you deflect once again, it will become clear that you are trying to hide your true stance.

            Go ahead. Tell us your opinion of quran.

          • lnm3921

            July 26, 2016 at 8:12 pm

            I never read the Quran and I could care less. It’s irrelevant. You’re obsessed with Muslims.

          • cvvhf

            July 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm

            Guys – It should be clear by now that lnm3921 is hiding something. It is very likely that lnm3921 is a muslim.

            Allah does not exist lnm3921. Islam is not compatible with the western society. Islam and its followers have no place in the west.

            Any homosexual who supports islam, must visit a psychiatrist post haste.

          • lnm3921

            July 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm

            Yeah I’m hiding something. Let’s find a dark corner where I can bend you over and show you physically what it is! That’s assuming you’re not an eyesore with a body like Chris Christie!

          • cvvhf

            July 29, 2016 at 2:49 pm

            Why do you defend islam knowing well that islam mandates its followers to kill you?

            What is wrong with you?

          • lnm3921

            July 29, 2016 at 7:56 pm

            Be sure to enema before you bend over

          • cvvhf

            July 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

            You did not tell me llort – Why do you defend that which wants to behead you? Are you mentally stable?

          • lnm3921

            July 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm

            Voting christian conservatives into power is mentally unstable! Taking arsenic instead of cyanide still will kill you.

            Give it up dummy!! You must live a sad and pathetic existence! If All you do is repeat the same dumb question. Go find someone to bend you over and make your eyes roll back in your head. You need it bad!

          • cvvhf

            July 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm

            But why do you support those who want to murder you?

            Do you suffer from some sort of mental affliction? Might I suggest professional, mental help?

          • bayhuntr

            July 23, 2016 at 3:42 pm

            Under a rock? You make a factually BS (because you’re a liar or your ignorant) comment and ask me if I live under a rock? No stupid, but I could live in Jordan or other Islamic nations that don’t crimninalize homosexaulity.

          • cvvhf

            July 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

            You could also live in saudi and have yourself beheaded for homosexuality.

            Why do you support that ideology that wants to murder you? Are you mental?

          • bayhuntr

            July 25, 2016 at 9:51 am

            Ok, you established you a liar and stupid. I don’t support Saudi Arabia (you are a liar), why would I live there (You are stupid)? Your claim was all Islamic nations out law homosexuality. No they don’t.

          • cvvhf

            July 25, 2016 at 3:31 pm

            Never said all. You just proved that you are a liar.

            Islam mandates death for homosexuals. Why do you support islam? What is wrong with you?

  2. starship_captain

    July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

    This is a pretty long parody piece.

    • Alex Klebenow

      July 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Are you sure it is parody?

      • starship_captain

        July 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        That’s kinda what I’m getting at. ;-)

        • TestSubject51

          July 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

          Only it’s not.

  3. cvvhf

    July 20, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    If I say – Fabulous! to this, would that make me gay?

    But seriously, well done.

    Trump 2016

    • lnm3921

      July 22, 2016 at 12:06 am

      Would it make you gay? Is it something to be ashamed of being?

  4. RoseZetta Cummings

    July 20, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    This guy is an idiot!!! It is not the Muslim religion that kills people…it is religious extremism. The same religious extremism exists in Christianity!! More Gays & Lesbians have been killed in the name of the Christian religion than ANY OTHER RELIGION!!! This guy thinks that Trump and the Christian right will save us??? OMFG…how STUPID!!! He just want is 10 minutes of fame…what a loser!!

  5. DB25

    July 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I would love to see the photos of the 6 people that attended this “rally”. It was probably posted on Grindr as a hookup event.

  6. Don White

    July 20, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Three of the original group of republicans running for the presidency were introduced on stage by a preacher that called for all gays to be killed. And the three republicans went on stage in agreement with him. 23 states are working on passing anti gay laws. The republicans tried to strip federal benefits for gays before their recess. Trump has said he will appoint supreme court justices to overturn gay marriage. Pence tried to let anyone in iIndiana refuse gays service just because they thank you are gay. on and on……They have to be doing this just for the attention no one could be so damn dumb.

  7. bayhuntr

    July 21, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Only if they agree to combat radical Christian extremism.

  8. lnm3921

    July 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Miss Milo is so brave isn’t she leading a parade in Sweden which is more liberal than America and codifies our rights under law while police flank around her to protect her every step? Let’s see her do the same in Russia, Dubai, or Uganda where authorities likely wouldn’t lift a finger to protect her against homophobic thugs and she would end up in jail after being battered by both police and protestors! A gun gives you such false bravado as if no one can outgun you!

    Being gay wasn’t so (I’m sure if I use the cuss word the blade itself printed as a quote, this would be placed on hold). Really? Does she think her sheltered experience reflects every other? How bad was it for her? Slurs at school or being beaten up by other students didn’t phase her assuming she was out? I’ve known many gays that would drop out of school before completing high school because the abuse was more than they could bear. I recall a friend in college getting constant harassment to the point he was going to drop out. All their opportunities for a better live were lost before it even started.

    My experience for being openly gay growing up was one where violence and slurs were very common if you were open about being gay. It was facing losing friends, being ostracized by family and not being able to get a job. Even mentioning gay openly on TV, the movies or radio was taboo so you had no role models. We only had the stereotypes like Liberace or Paul Lynde that everyone laughed at with disgust.

    It was one where you could be thrown out of a restaurant or store for being overt and being able to do nothing about it. I can relate so many stories it would take too long and the Blade likely doesn’t want me to say them with it’s censorship anyway.

    The common reaction for being known to be gay was either hateful scorn or ridicule and laughter like you are a joke. I recall people driving around looking for gays on the street looking to bash you.

  9. lnm3921

    July 21, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Was Eric Rudolph an Islamic Terrorist?

  10. Marla R. Stevens

    July 22, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Ban him and his cronies from enjoying the benefits of being a part of the LGBT community. Demand that hook-up sites pull their ads, refuse them service any and everywhere, boo them on the streets. No justice, no peace.

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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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