Here’s a look back at the top 10 Baltimore news stories of 2016 as ranked by the Blade’s editorial staff.
Quinton Decarlo Bass, who was convicted in the 2012 killings of two Mount Vernon gay men, Alex Ulrich and Larry Peterson, was sentenced to two life terms plus 45 years. Police determined the murders to be the result of a botched robbery and not a hate crime.
The decision was reached following a petition by students and faculty criticizing the institution for not disavowing a controversial anti-LGBT report by two faculty members.
With thousands attending the parade and block party in Mount Vernon as well as the festival in Druid Hill Park the next day, Baltimore Pride was deemed a success as it netted over $80,000 for the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore.
A petition drive to close the 44-year-old gay bar in Mount Vernon because of alleged rowdiness was thwarted by a technicality as the liquor board reversed its initial decision. Many community members were angered by the efforts by the petitioners to close the bar.
Several vigils from Baltimore to Frederick —some drawing more than 1,000 participants—took place to grieve the loss of life from the massacre at the Pulse nightclub.
The GLCCB announced a shift to larger, more functional quarters on the third floor of 2530 North Charles St. following two and a half years at the Waxter Center.
In an effort “to form a comprehensive, statewide direct legal services and policy advocacy organization” for LGBTQ individuals, the two organizations merged into one entity and was renamed FreeState Justice.
Four years after the bar was closed, a new Baltimore Eagle is about ready to fly. Construction delays and an initial liquor board decision slowed the re-emergence of the iconic leather bar.
The still unsolved murder of transgender woman Crystal Edmonds, 32, in Northwest Baltimore prompted a community vigil and outcry against violence targeting transgender women of color.
The firing of five professionals for alleged efforts in support of employees who desired to unionize triggered community backlash and a rally as well as the announced departure of the health provider’s CEO in 2017.