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Sen. Baldwin prepares for re-election fight in 2018

Lesbian lawmaker faces unknown opponent in a Trump state



Tammy Baldwin, Democratic National Convention, gay news, Washington Blade
Tammy Baldwin, Democratic National Convention, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) speaks at the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBT community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.

After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBT community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.

Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said Baldwin’s re-election is “the priority for Victory Fund through 2018 – which is why we made her a spotlight candidate almost two years before her election.”

“Her rise from the Dane County Board of Supervisors to the United States Senate is in many ways emblematic of the progress we’ve made as a movement over the last 30 years – and we need her continued leadership,” Moodie-Mills added.

In D.C. on April 26, gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein is set to host a fundraising event for Baldwin in anticipation of the upcoming battle she’ll face. Expected guests include Baldwin herself as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and high-dollar Democratic donors.

Baldwin hasn’t just aided the LGBT community through her visibility as the only out lesbian in Congress. In the five years she’s been in office, Baldwin has taken leadership roles — sometimes quietly, sometime more prominently — to raise attention to LGBT issues.

An original co-sponsor of the Equality Act, Baldwin has been closely associated with the goal of enshrining into law a comprehensive bill barring discrimination against LGBT people in all areas of federal civil rights law. Baldwin also took a lead role during 2013 in the more modest goal of passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which the U.S. Senate approved on a bipartisan basis.

Baldwin has also urged the Food & Drug Administration to end its policy barring gay men from donating blood, encouraged the Education Department to issue (now rescinded by Trump) guidance assuring transgender kids have access to school bathrooms consistent with the gender identity and objected to the Trump administration’s appointment of anti-trans activist Roger Severino to defend access to transgender health at the Department of Health & Human Services.

The timing of her race next year on one hand is good news for Baldwin. History shows (if you overlook 1998 and 2002) the party opposing the sitting U.S. president gains seats during the mid-term election. If that holds up in 2018 — and many analysts, citing Trump’s ongoing unpopularity, believe it will — Baldwin will have the upper hand in her bid to preserve her seat.

Ironically, the tradition that the president’s party loses seats in the mid-term elections would have spelled trouble for Baldwin if Hillary Clinton had succeeded in 2016, an outcome Baldwin strongly desired as an early Clinton supporter.

JR Ross, editor of the Madison-based WisPolitics, said Trump’s victory bolsters Baldwin’s re-election chances in a state where Republicans tend to do well in off-year elections.

“Her prospects are much better now that we have President Trump rather than President Clinton,” Ross said. “If Clinton had won, she’d have two things going against her. One, Wisconsin tends to be more Republican in terms of turnout in off-year election, and two, the party in the White House ends up having a hard time in mid-term elections. Because it’s President Trump, that alone improves her chances.”

Pointing to a March 22 poll from Marquette Law School that found 41 percent of Wisconsin residents approve of Trump compared to 47 percent who disapprove, Ross said Trump’s low approval rating in the state will also help Baldwin.

“President Trump’s approval rating was upside down in Wisconsin and upside down with independents,” Ross said. “If that continues, and he’s unpopular in Wisconsin a year-and-a-half from now, that probably will help her a great deal.”

Ross said Republicans have had a better ground game in Wisconsin than Democrats in the last couple elections and there’s a question about the impact of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s presence on the ballot.

Baldwin has done well in fundraising. The senator posted $2.2 million for fundraising in the first quarter of 2017 and has $2.4 million in cash on hand, a Democratic activist familiar with those numbers said.

Baldwin will be running for re-election in a state Trump won narrowly by 22,750 votes, which is largely attributed to the state’s support for populism, a political view Republicans have come to dominate. In addition to Trump’s win there, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), whom many observers thought was a dead-man walking against challenger Russ Feingold, won re-election last year by nearly 4 points.

Not helping Baldwin is a poll unveiled last week by Morning Consult, which found she was paired with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) as the least popular Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018. According to the rankings, Baldwin has an approval rating of 44 percent in the state compared to 38 percent of state residents who disapprove of her.

Nathan Gonzales, editor of the D.C.-based Inside Elections, said Baldwin faces both advantages and challenges in her re-election bid, but ultimately concluded the conditions are favorable to her.

“I think 2016 showed Republicans can be successful in Wisconsin in midterm and presidential years, and that’s bad news for the senator,” Gonzales said. “But history tells us the president’s party often struggles in midterm elections, and that could be the saving grace for Baldwin. If Hillary Clinton was sitting in the Oval Office, I think the senator would have a tougher time. I still expect Baldwin to have a competitive race, but the first step is for Republicans to figure out who is running and choosing their nominee.”

The lack of an obvious Republican challenger, as Gonzales noted, is another boon to Baldwin in 2018. The candidate the GOP had hoped to field, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), a four-term member of Congress and former cast member of MTV’s “Real World,” declared in February he won’t challenge Baldwin in 2018.

“Baldwin will be beat because her radically liberal Madison record and ideas are out of sync with Wisconsin,” Duffy said in a statement. “I look forward to helping our Republican nominee defeat her. I’ll continue to work my heart out for the families of the 7th District, and I’m excited about the great things we will accomplish with our united Republican government.”

None of the other possible contenders have the same star power. According to the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, they include Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Madison businessman Eric Hovde, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) and Marine veteran and Milwaukee-area businessman Kevin Nicholson.

Much as was the case in 2012 when Baldwin defeated the favored former Gov. Tommy Thompson to win the U.S. Senate seat, the infighting among Republicans and the cash these candidates will spend to obtain the Republican nomination could make for a battered challenger that Baldwin could more easily topple in the general election.

Aware of the challenges she’ll face in 2018, Baldwin has stated her mantra heading into the race will be economic issues — a message that proved successful for Bernie Sanders during the presidential primary after his win in that state — as well as the importance of building American industry.

The plan to keep economic issues front-and-center is evident in Baldwin’s statement on Tuesday in response to Trump’s visit to Wisconsin to promote his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.

“The promises that have been made to our workers must be kept, and I stand ready to work with President Trump and take action that respects Made in Wisconsin hard work with real reforms and results,” Baldwin said.

Moodie-Mills said although races for U.S. Senate in purple states “are rarely easy,” she’s “confident” Wisconsin will re-elect Baldwin based on the senator’s message and record.

“The messages from candidate Trump that resonated with some Wisconsin voters – the importance of manufacturing jobs, support for the middle class and economic security – are issues Sen. Baldwin holds dear and has fought for throughout her career,” Moodie-Mills said. “She worked across party lines to increase investments in education and workforce readiness, ensure quality health care for all, and build a strong manufacturing economy in Wisconsin and across the country. These accomplishments will play well with Wisconsin voters in November 2018.”

Baldwin’s sexual orientation has already come up during the Senate campaign via right-wing website Breitbart News, which issued an email blast in support of drafting Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke — who’s black, but a critic of Black Lives Matter, and a guns rights supporter — to challenge Baldwin.

“Tammy Baldwin is their Holy Grail: a hard left socialist, in-your-face lesbian, and screaming feminist. SHE MUST GO!” reads the email blast, which is signed by Jack Daly, the former congressional chief of staff and counsel to now U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The email blast, which calls for donations of up to $5,000, says Clarke “deserves a bigger stage, and he wants to run,” but has to get “enough national support to combat the liberal money his opponent gets from Hollywood, the ‘Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund,’ ‘Lesbian PAC,’ and elsewhere.” (The ‘Lesbian PAC’ is apparently a reference to LPAC.)

Fear-mongering about Baldwin’s sexual orientation in a Breitbart email blast could be a sign of things to come if the Senate race is competitive and the Republican side pulls out all the stops.

Ross, who’s covered Wisconsin politics for 17 years, said Baldwin’s sexual orientation wasn’t a major issue during her first Senate run, and doesn’t expect it to be in 2018.

“There hasn’t been anything overt about that in her races that I’ve seen lately,” Ross said. “Now does that mean there won’t be mailers to certain interest groups…I can’t promise you that, but it has not been a major issue in the last few campaigns that I’ve seen.”

Beth Shipp, Executive Director of LPAC, said the political action committee is “fully committed” to ensuring Baldwin is re-elected next year after making her the first candidate it endorsed upon its founding in 2012.

“Given the results of 2016, I think it is safe to say that any incumbent has to run like they are endangered in 2018,” Shipp said. “While we don’t know who will challenge Sen. Baldwin in 2018, we do know that Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016, and Republicans are already targeting her for defeat. Our LPAC community of donors and activists take that threat seriously and will be prepared to fight vigorously for Senator Baldwin’s reelection.”

Baldwin’s office didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment on the extent she’ll rely on the LGBT community’s support for 2018 re-election bid.

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    • Count Dracula

      April 20, 2017 at 5:39 am

      You must be disappointed that all of their clothes are still on. Hopefully you were able to control yourself and keep it in your pants.

      • lnm3921

        April 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        It’s your own fantasy you relate not mine. You’d fit into it nicely since it requires a Dik!

        • Count Dracula

          April 20, 2017 at 9:59 pm

          You don’t have one? I thought you were a fudge packer. Are you a rug muncher?

          • lnm3921

            April 20, 2017 at 10:04 pm

            You are one. A big one! Evidently you’re trying to tell us you do your own munching so you’re no one to cast stones there!

          • Count Dracula

            April 21, 2017 at 5:18 am

            Way to duck the question

          • lnm3921

            April 21, 2017 at 6:50 pm

            I’m not here to satisfy your curiosity you coot!

          • Count Dracula

            April 21, 2017 at 8:39 pm

            I don’t even want to imagine how you get your satisfaction.

  1. LesbianTippingHabits

    April 20, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    A legitimate question for Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): How do you tip?

    Remember, the very best way to immediately help address economic inequality in America is for all people of good will to tip generously for good service.

    Tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

    And we want Wisconsin voters – whom Hillary did not visit during the campaign – to want to return Senator Tammy Baldwin to Washington!

    ‘Not too difficult. Thank you.

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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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