Connect with us

homepage news

Capital Pride volunteer ousted over trans remark

Group calls for banning corporate sponsors, police from Pride events

Published

on

Bryan Pruitt, gay news, Washington Blade

Bryan Pruitt (Photo courtesy Twitter)

Organizers of D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival on Wednesday asked for and received the resignation of a volunteer event producer because of comments he made about transgender people in a May 2016 article in the conservative blog RedState that Pride officials consider offensive.

“As soon as the Capital Pride board was made aware of the May 2016 RedState article by Bryan Pruitt, a Capital Pride volunteer, we immediately asked for and received his resignation,” a Capital Pride statement posted on its Facebook page says.

“The Capital Pride Alliance board, staff, and volunteers have zero tolerance for transphobia in any form and remain deeply committed to supporting the trans community through our work and programs,” the statement says.

Capital Pride’s action seeking Pruitt’s resignation came after a local coalition called No Justice No Pride posted an excerpt of Pruitt’s RedState article on Facebook and other social media outlets and demanded that Capital Pride disassociate itself from him.

Bernie Delia, Capital Pride’s president, said that although Capital Pride’s board agreed it was necessary to seek Pruitt’s resignation it would “absolutely not” agree to additional demands by the No Justice No Pride coalition that it ban D.C. police from participating in this year’s Pride parade and festival and that it ban corporate sponsors, including Wells Fargo Bank, from participating in all Pride events.

“It has been with the support and resources of our diverse sponsors and corporate partners that Capital Pride has been able to grow and thrive,” said Delia, who added that corporate supporters have strong records of support for the LGBT community and LGBT rights.

No Justice No Pride issued a press release on Wednesday stating what it says has been the longtime concern of its supporters and members that Capital Pride, like LGBT Pride groups in other cities, has become beholden to corporate sponsors and too supportive of D.C. police, which No Justice No Pride says have directly and indirectly oppressed “predominantly queer and trans people of color.”

Drew Ambrogi, a spokesperson for No Justice No Pride, told the Washington Blade that the coalition believes its positions enjoy support from a growing segment of the LGBT community during the current political climate in Washington, where the Trump administration is seeking to roll back government support for LGBT people.

Angela Peoples, executive director of the national LGBT direct action organization Get Equal, told the Blade in a phone interview on Thursday that her group fully supports the efforts and positions taken by No Justice No Pride.

“I have been working with Drew and other folks that are organizing this effort,” Peoples said. “So the effort and the demands of the No Justice No Pride effort is very much aligned with the work Get Equal has been doing and is continuing to do,” she said.

Ambrogi said the coalition, among other things, is calling on Capital Pride to disinvite D.C. police, including the police LGBT Liaison Unit, from participating in the D.C. Pride parade and festival.

He said the coalition also wants Capital Pride to no longer allow corporate sponsors or corporations in general to participate in the festival and parade and wants Capital Pride to remove its funds from a Wells Fargo Bank and remove from the Capital Pride board one of its members who is a Wells Fargo employee.

The press release says Wells Fargo has given financial support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been opposed by environmentalists; and is a major investor in private prisons and immigrant detention centers. Ambrogi said LGBT people, including trans people, have been disproportionately impacted in a negative way by private prisons.

“The community is paying attention and recognizing that for too long, Capital Pride has colluded with the very forces that oppress queer and trans individuals,” No Justice No Pride says in its press release.

“Their willingness to turn a blind eye to transphobia, accept money from corporations that profit off of the incarceration of queer and trans people — predominantly queer and trans people of color — and celebrate the Metropolitan Police Department, indicate a fundamental disregard for large swaths of our community,” the press release says.

It says D.C. police have carried out “Prostitution free zones, allowing officers to harass and arrest women guilty of walking while trans.”

“We must reject the appeasing and centrist politics of the LGBT establishment,” the press release concludes. “Now more than ever, we must not allow Pride to be a de-politicized, corporatized, white-washed celebration.”

Delia said Capital Pride takes strong exception to many of No Justice No Pride’s assertions.

“The press release includes many inaccuracies and they are engaging in oppressive tactics that do not align with the very essence of what they claim to seek,” Delia told the Blade in a statement.

“Capital Pride is extremely mindful and thoughtful of our role in serving the entire community and growing our events in a way that fosters pride and community,” he said. “Pride is an inclusive event and the Capital Pride Alliance supports all members of the LGBTQA community to participate in Capital Pride.”

His statement added, “We strive to bring people together, foster dialogue, and create an environment of understanding from all perspectives.”

 Delia noted that Capital Pride’s activities include Capital Trans Pride, an event scheduled for May 20 that celebrates the transgender community.

 Some of the city’s most prominent transgender advocates, including Earline Budd and Ruby Corado, have said that although police abuse of trans people has been a serious problem, the instances of abuse have declined and police officials, including the previous and current police chiefs, have been supportive of the trans community.

The excerpt from Pruitt’s article that the No Justice No Pride coalition singled out states: “There is not an epidemic of trans people being denied access to public facilities. Trans people safely use bathrooms every day, mostly because if they are truly trans, other folks don’t even notice.”

Pruitt, a gay Republican activist and former president of D.C.’s Log Cabin Republicans, told the Blade on Thursday that the excerpt takes out of context the premise of his article, which is entitled “Grabbing Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory.”

He noted that the article pointed out, in the midst of the 2016 presidential election, that far-left leaning Democrats and the “gay left” were unwittingly playing into the hands of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and hurting Democratic contender Hillary Clinton by making an issue of the controversial transgender bathroom controversy.

“I’m a hundred percent supportive of the trans community,” Pruitt told the Blade. “I have always been and always will be supportive of the trans community,” he said. “I have friends that are trans. I believe in full rights for the trans community.”

In his article Pruitt called the LGBT rights ordinance passed by the Charlotte, N.C., City Council, “a solution in search of a problem,” calling it an “unnecessary law” that prompted the North Carolina Legislature to make “an equally overreaching response” by passing its controversial “bathroom” law banning trans people from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Pruitt’s views on the issue were out of step with the position of most of the nation’s LGBT rights organizations that expressed the view that the Charlotte LGBT rights law was needed to protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
167 Comments

167 Comments

  1. LesbianTippingHabits

    April 28, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Well, it appears that the article was quite prescient, right?

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

    And only the wait staff knows for sure.

    Just ask – and thank – Hillary. Well done!

  2. YouAintLivnInDaRealWorld

    April 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

    This is just another attack on free speech and gay men by the trans mafia, illegals and BLM terrorists that are taking over all things gay. Just like the corporations most of us will not support this corruption of gay rights to benefit these outside agendas. When you lose enough support you’ll either come to your senses or have to fund these former gay prides and gay organizations out of your pockets and we all know that isn’t going to happen.

    • lnm3921

      April 29, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Agree that bringing too many non-community issues into our goal for full equality and rights under the law only dilutes the mission
      .
      We’re also better off having police included than labeling them as enemy and not inviting them. What if other violence or opposition shows up to our marches or events especially in the form of a terror attack! Who will be there to intervene? It’s really short-sighted. Everyone needs security at their events now!

      In the fight for equality we don’t want to refuse the support of corporations that are willing to support us and include us in their non-discrimination policies! No one is going to want to pay a hefty fee to attend these events to cover the costs and without money we have no presence or visibility! People are free to not attend but don’t ruin it for everyone else!

    • climate3

      May 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      BLM terrorists? Seriously! Your mindset stems from an unfortunate side issue of our community, i.e. that the only voices which people will listen to or that matters stems from white gay men. Granted, I’m not one for disinviting the police but all of this backlash comes from not recognizing the true diversity of our community and not helping the visibility of segments of our community whose stories are just as vital and important. Not all of us fit the stereotype of skinny young twinks who grow up to be hot gay men in big cities.

      • Kemwit Tall Tree

        May 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        I really don’t want hate groups like BLM and BDS steering the agenda for things like Pride. Keep the agenda about gay rights and stop this dilution of our events and focus.

        It’s ridiculous to demand that the Metro Police be disinvited because they arrest prostitutes. Really? Do you think that is a position with much traction?

        At what point do all those gay men that you just smeared decide to pull their support and $$$ from these events and organizations since they have been hijacked by extremists?

        • climate3

          May 1, 2017 at 4:11 pm

          Check your history. No movement for human rights was successful without intersction. And if we focused solely on what you wanted, we would still be in the same state. For gay black men, things like police brutality is still an issue. Knowing this comes from recognizing that our movement naturally intersects with other movements. Also, the gay men u talk about aren’t the only people with money. I smeared no one. Just relaying a common fact that there is a refusal by SOME to recognize others in our community who don’t fit a stereotype. One last thing. I said I do not approve of disinviting the police or not letting them attend.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            May 1, 2017 at 4:24 pm

            You callously smeared white gay men and now you backtrack? All one has to do is read your post, it is pretty transparent.

            Newsflash – if you want to have a productive dialogue with other groups of people, you may want to abstain from insulting them because they have different perspectives.

          • climate3

            May 1, 2017 at 5:18 pm

            Actually I dont backtrack from anything. What I said about not disinviting the police is in my original comment. And I stand by what i said regarding IMAGES used to describe the lgbt community in general. Lastly, the paternalistic patronizing statement you threw at me in your last train of thought proves the point I have been making. You made your statement and i made a statement disagreeing with you. That’s a healthy dialogue. If you feel insulted, that’s your problem. Talking down to me doesn’t help your argument.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            May 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

            Keep all of your PC hogwash to yourself …”patriachy”, “intersectionality”….it’s a load of BS and this isn’t a college campus gender studies class!!!

            Newsflash – the gay community is politically diverse and not all of us buy into your BS marxist ideology!

            Keep your violence promoting and hateful BLM, BDS and Antifa types out of Pride, they don’t reflect the positive message we should be sending the world!

  3. Kemwit Tall Tree

    April 29, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Shocking. This is an attack on the free speech rights of this man who is entitled to his opinion.

    Many in the DC gay community support the police dept. and the difficult job they do protecting citizens. Corporations employ us and help pay the costs of events Nothing wrong with that, it should be welcomed!

    Finally, concentration camps for gay men are set up in Chechnya and so-called gay leaders are worried about the Keystone pipeline?

    I think I’ll go to the beach this coming pride weekend. No thanks. Obviously, our organizations have succumbed to extremist orthodoxy and no longer represent all of us.

    • Katrina Rose

      May 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      “This is an attack on the free speech rights”

      Capital Pride isn’t a governmental entity, is it?

      Something tells me you’d be singing a different tune if the person in question was Maggie Gallagher and the ‘speech’ was anti-gay rather than anti-trans.

      • Kemwit Tall Tree

        May 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

        Shove it sweety!

        I support Maggie Gallagher’s right to say whatever she pleases. It’s America ya know and her free speech is protected under the law. Good ideas rise to the top and bad ones go down!

        It’s only some the Trans community which seems intent on smearing decent members of our community because they have different opinions on things. Doesn’t work that way in the real world snowflake!

        • Katrina Rose

          May 2, 2017 at 10:45 am

          Have a nice day in Maryland!

    • BigGaySteve

      May 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      I am surprised the organization sided with the cops, maybe some will even be smart enough to oppose importing moslem beheaders with taxpayer money.

      • Kemwit Tall Tree

        May 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

        Yeah exactly. I think the Pride management is coming across as a bunch of spineless cucks in this matter. I feel sorry for the guy they smeared for no good reason at all. He was nice enough to VOLUNTEER his time and effort to this event and they treated him shabbily.

  4. BruceMajors4DC

    April 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Didn’t the gay community, or its organized professional class, demonstrate their irrelevance and impotence last November?

    • lnm3921

      April 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      You back again!? Didn’t you demonstrate your irrelevance and impotence with your defeat after running for DC mayor? Go back to writing for your right-wing rags Pillsbury dough boy! Fake news!

      • BruceMajors4DC

        April 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        Another tragic victim of government schools. So sad. Illiterate and hiding behind a sock puppet name. You really should be braver President Obama. Now that you are out. And you’ve completely destroyed your party and made it a minority party that only survives in a handful of dysfunctional cities that are dependent on federal subsidies.

        • lnm3921

          April 29, 2017 at 7:29 pm

          At least I got a higher education and didn’t have to rely on a GED from a paper mill!

          Why are you a freelance writer? Can’t get hired by a legitimate news service full-time?

          Maybe Trump will hire you as he loves spin doctors!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            ?????????????Legitimate News Service = Fake News! Even Bernie says so! LOL

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            Trump’s tweeter account is fake news! Still waiting on proof of voter fraud and wire tapping!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm

            Evidently, so is CNN and the Washington Post according to progressives like Jimmy Dore and Bernie Sanders!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:37 pm

            I’ll believe them before I believe anything from Trump and his administration. Where’s the proof of their spin?

            Trump’s outrageous allegation are alone enough to show he’s clueless and a manipulative liar!

            Independent voter? One that bashes progressives endlessly sounds like a conservative!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm

            Well, Wikileaks for one! CNN leaks to the Clinton Campaign by Donna Brazile? How about Deborah Wasserman Schultz helping to shut out the Bernie Sanders campaign in favor of Hillary Clinton?

            I didn’t realize people still consider the Democratic Party progressive! I think you are a tad out of touch!!!!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:48 pm

            WikiLeaks obviously favored a Donald Trump Presidency! They are in collusion with Russia!

            If the Dems are not Progressive then why does Trump always refer to them as “liberal” Democrats?!

            Obviously there is a lot you DON’T know!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:55 pm

            LOL..no one forced the dems to badmouth Catholics, to leak CNN debate questions and to uncover how the Dems rigged the primaries against Bernie….

            I don’t use Trump as a gauge on anything….LOL He would call John Birch a liberal if he got traction from it.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

            Really? The Buck is supposed to stop with the POTUS! Sad!

            We need similar leaks to expose the GOP and Trump Administration equally. Kelly Anne Should be in Jail for breaking the law in promoting Ivanka’s products!

            As for Flynn, Lock him up!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:01 pm

            Like I said, I could care less if the Trumpsters go down in flames! Maybe we could get Bernie Sanders to run again!!! This time as an indepedent!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:02 pm

            Why don’t you? Will he be able to walk by then?!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm

            It would be nice to have a party that fights for the average american instead of the Republicans and the Republicans Lite (Dems). Screw the Clintons, Pelosis and Schumers who are big money millionaires who cater to the same Wall streeters as do the Trumps. Who are you kidding?

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

            Obviously with your fake POTUS in office and Republicans in control of Congress, looking out for big money billionaires and corporations is all you can expect!

            I can already see that the Trump tax plan will pull more people into poverty not raise them out of it! It’s like a pay cut for the Middle Class! Welfare for the rich!

            Trump is only looking out for his own welfare and sadly his non wealthy supporters are too clueless to realize it!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm

            So the alternative is any better? Who pays for Schumer’s campaign but his buddies in Wall St Banks! The Dems are just less obvious about sticking it to us!!!!!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:14 pm

            Yes, I’m sure it would be! Schumer is already on record supporting tax reform that benefits the Middle Class NOT rich millionaires!

            No Republicans in Congress have been funded by special interests?! It’s all the bad Dems for you and thus acceptable for the Republicans!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:15 pm

            Its easy to support something you know has no traction and will never see the light of day, isn’t it.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:16 pm

            So you admit that the poor and Middle Class getting tax cuts won’t happen under the Trump plan, right? It’s all about the rich!!!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:18 pm

            Like I said…screw Trump and the Dems too! They all work in Unison for big $$$$$.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm

            So who are you for? Wikileaks?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm

            I’m an Independent Progressive…outside of the two party bubble! We are the new wave of politics so get used to it captain out of touch!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

            You’re a soggy wave of politics? If you’re so in touch and powerful why aren’t the people you want in control of the POTUS and Congress?! Talk about being out of touch!

            The Empress has no clothes!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:03 am

            Rofl. And your masters were elected? You are too stupid to live. Your owners should put you down, as the Clintons seem to have one with so many of their associates.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

            We don’t have masters, slavery was abolished but you’re hoping to bring it back!

            You’re too stupid PERIOD!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:55 pm

            The fact that someone defends Schumer or any of the other geriatric kleptocrats of the Democratic Party disqualifies them from consideration as an intelligent adult.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:21 pm

            Says the failed wannabe politician! Get a real job!

            Maybe Trump can get you a job at a coal mine!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:05 am

            Are your actually so ignorant that you don’t realize third party candidates run to acquire ballot status for their parties when your masters try to make it illegal for voters to register for other parties?

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

            It’s the Republican party that creates obstacles for people to vote in elections Dopey!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm

            Being President does nothing for Trump’s “welfare.”

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:20 pm

            Working it so he doesn’t pay any taxes in tax reform would! Who are you kidding?!
            He needs to release his tax returns so we can see his conflicts of interest!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:07 am

            Don’t you even get info from your own masters’ propaganda mills? Rachel Madcow published one of Trump’s recent returns and it showed he paid over 100 million in taxes that year. Are you a complete airhead?

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm

            Goofy, only a portion of Trump’s tax returns were released. We need to see the whole picture in particular his overseas investments!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:01 am

            In other words, you, an illiterate, knows better how these unwashed voters should have voted, and democracy should be suppressed. Typical DC ‘crat.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:06 pm

            They are unwashed as they work in coal mines. Many people didn’t vote so stop whining about having a mandate! Once people realize how Trump’s plan makes them pay more they’ll have a wake up call!

            But you conservatives don’t care if the country burns to ashes as long as you are in power! You’re as useless as the tea party!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

            BTW – Barack Obama just collected a $400K fee from a Wall Street Bank this week!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm

            So what? All past POTUS collect speaking fees. He’s not in office anymore! Our problems are with Trump, his administration and the GOP agenda in Congress!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

            Oh yeah …and the Russians are coming!!!!! LOL

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:15 pm

            They don’t have to come. They can hack for Trump from Russia!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:17 pm

            Wikileaks just released how the Clinton Campaign created the messaging about Russian hackers to explain why she lost……Good grief…to you think many people are buying this “Red Scare” nonsense?

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm

            So the major intelligence agencies including the FBI Director’s own claims are a red scare now are they?

            Good grief Charlie Brown, Lucy was right about you!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm

            They came up with pretty much nothing of substance….only the Democratic shills are pushing this Red Scare nonsense thinking people can’t see it for what it is – Smokescreen. New McCarthyism….

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm

            So what is Trump peddling with his voter fraud and wire tapping claims? A smoke-screen to move the focus from him!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:26 pm

            Trump is transparent about what he wants…Unlike the Dems who are just shilling away telling people they fight for the workers or disenfranchised. What a colossal joke!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:28 pm

            Really? You mean his wall, Muslim Travel bans, no Obamacare AND a tax cut for himself and his rich friends?
            The real joke is Trump claiming he’s fighting for the workers or disenfranchised! That you ignore!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:32 pm

            No one believed him in the first place, they were just voting against Hillary cause she was awful! If you want a clue, check out Jimmy Dore on You tube to get an update on the state of affairs outside the Beltway!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

            No one believed him? Really? I’ve seen enough clips on the news of his gullible supporters saying they expect him to do a lot for them! And the don’t live within the beltway!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm

            There has never been a Muslim travel ban.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:17 pm

            Trump signed an executive order to implement one!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:13 am

            Trump signed a moratorium on travel from 7 countries identified by the Obama administration as having no records systems to vet identities. You are an uninformed parrot.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm

            If I was a parrot, I’d organize my avian allies to dive bomb your car and head with mass droppings!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

            Those claims have been proven true. Only a liar or idiot would deny it.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:15 pm

            Show your proof! The liar is Trump and the idiot is you!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:14 am

            Squawk! Waiting for your cracker?

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            Offer me one. I’d love to bite your finger off then claw you!!! Squawk, squawk!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

            I think yo are talking to a wannabe but unemployed Democrat shill.

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:52 pm

            The intelligence agencies run by Obama appointees who never offered any proof or documents about that? The same ones run by people like Clapper who lied to Congress and said American citizens weren’t spied on by the NSA?

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:13 pm

            They’d have to compromise national security to do so clueless! Where’s the voter fraud proof?!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:10 am

            I thought you said there was no wire tapping of the Trump campaign. Now you say intelligence agencies were spying on him. Poor twit.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

            I said there was no wiretapping by Obama personally. Try and keep up!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 3:08 am

            This cluelessness is why your party is dead. Like your brain.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm

            Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel secure. Otherwise just keep your thumb in your mouth and security blanket close!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:57 am

            Didn’t Hillary have trouble walking, and even standing up, throughout her campaign?

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:03 pm

            Did you glaze over the fact that she caught something and had to recover? Well, you pretty much glazer over reality anyway, so no surprise!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm

            The GOP was hacked as well. There just wasn’t’ the same level of dirt to publicize as their was with the rigged Democrats and the kleptocratic Clintons.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:11 pm

            GOP hack. Yup, that’s you! Which one are you Curly, Larry or Moe?!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:57 am

            Flynn is one of the Democrats among Trump’s appointees.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:58 pm

            Must be a DINO given his call to lock Hillary up and support for the Trump campaign not hers!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:56 am

            Wikileaks simply published documents the American pro-Hillary corporate media kept hidden. The documents revealed that Hillary and the DNC were crap.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:56 pm

            They evidently have ties to Putin like your fake POTUS! Evidently Breitbart does, too! Are you on Putin’s payroll, too?!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm

            No one cares what you believe. You are a cretin worshipping a dead party. You are a waste of space and a defender of worldwide misogyny and homophobia.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            Is that the trash you submit to Breitbart? Well, you are “no one” that’s for sure! Stuff your mouth with some cake again!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:50 am

            Such sad attempts at wit. I can lose 20 lbs anytime. But you can never acquire the 20 IQ points you need to add to come up to an average intelligence.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:52 pm

            You don’t walk you waddle. I hear you get more bounce to the ounce! You evidently can’t lose weight above the neck!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:48 am

            You people aren’t progressives you are regressives. You kidnap black kids and sell them to the NEA in exchange for donations to your candidates. You are among the most vicious racists on the planet.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm

            Right, that’s why Trump and his supporters bash immigrants in particular those south of the border!

            Build a wall at the Mexican border but not the Canadian one? Criminals and terrorists can’t cross over from the North just the South.

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm

            You’d have to be able to read tard boy. Obama spied on everyone from James Rosen to Angela Merkel to Sheryl Attkisson. Only illiterates like you haven’t read about it. And many groups are producing evidence of voter fraud every day. Learn to work a search engine. No one has time for a mental toddler with a filthy diaper like you. You are boring and dumb. Get lost.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:06 pm

            When you can prove that Obama wiretapped Trump then you can talk. Stick to what you know to do which is eat NOT think!

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:22 pm

            Washington Times is another right-wing rag!

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:47 pm

            Daily Caller? What is that? Another right-wing rag you write for? We want legitimate news not fake news!

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:49 pm

            The POTUS doesn’t actually directly spy on anyone. The CIA does! I’m sure we can trace that going on before the Obama administration!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:33 am

            I have a real job in addition to writing for a variety of publications. As with everything else about you, your information about me seems to be inadequate.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

            You write yellow journalism and the only job your fit for is one asking if someone wants fries with that!!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 1, 2017 at 2:54 am

            I rather suspect my education, even just the formal part of it, outclasses yours. If it doesn’t you really should join some class action lawsuit against your community college.

          • lnm3921

            May 1, 2017 at 6:53 pm

            If you’re a product of the American education system, it’s a disgrace!

  5. BruceMajors4DC

    April 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Self-described “queer people of color” look hypocritical and like their goal is simply to silence political opinions.

    For years – I’ve videotaped it in the past – the D.C. Pride march has the same pattern: first are local political incumbents from Evans to Norton to whomever is Mayor; second are corporate sponsors and bar floats with semi-naked boys; bringing up the rear are Asian transvestites and transsexuals and black gay church groups.

    In the past I’ve asked about this and I was told by Pride organizers and volunteers that it had to be that way. If Eleanor Holmes Norton etc. are not allowed to be first, they won’t show up.

    Why have these “queer people of color” never spoken up before and advocated that the politically connected and powerful and those not so connected and empowered be randomly distributed in the Pride march?

    • lnm3921

      April 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Mike Pence attended the March for Life. Trump spoke before the NRA giving them support.

      Can we expect your Fake POTUS to attend the Pride March or someone high level and high profile from his administration showing unequivocal support?

  6. Steve Wiles

    April 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    This idiot states that, “Trump administration is seeking to roll back government support for LGBT people.” That is a BOLD FACED LIE.

    • lnm3921

      April 29, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      What has Trump said or done about gay men in Chechnya exactly? He’s been silent on the entire issue despite saying he would protect GLBT!

      Then Trump pulled support for challenging the trans policy before the SCOTUS. He’s been on record supporting the appointment of judges that will revoke marriage equality while supporting religious freedom laws! Sounds like you’re living a BOLD FACED DENIAL!

      • Kemwit Tall Tree

        April 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm

        Wasn’t it Bill Clinton who signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA back in the day? I don’t remember Hillary Clinton supporting marriage for us until there was total political cover.
        I think you may be in denial too.

        • lnm3921

          April 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm

          Who cares what Bill Clinton did 20 years ago? Hillary evolved like everyone else did on these issues and was clear about supporting our rights as does the Democratic Party Platform! Your old man Trump NEVER has and your GOP party platform still clearly opposes GLBT rights!

          Your lord king flip flopper keeps swaying in the wind with incompetence! Your right-wing politics blind you to reality!

          Your tall tree is tumbling, leaves rotting and its branches are wilting! You must have termites!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 7:16 pm

            Yes as soon as the SCOTUS legalized gay marriage Democrat incumbents embraced it. Yawn.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

            Actually, Democrats were embracing it before the SCOTUS ruled on the issue. Obama put his re-election campaign on the line supporting it. For a writer, you’re really bad at time lines. Stop giving us your alternative “facts”! We want reality!

            When is the GOP going to embrace it?! SAD!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:43 pm

            Obama spoke out against gay marriage in 2008 and Hillary in 2012. It’s on youtube. The only memory hole is the one in your empty little head pookie.

            And if I were you I wouldn’t worry about my writing. You’d need to learn to read first. Your NEA schools failed you there. Too busy kidnapping black kids and selling them for donations to Democrats.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm

            Look Porky, Everyone was against Marriage “Equality” at one point. The difference is Obama and Hillary no longer oppose it. Trump and the GOP still do!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:28 pm

            You are making a lot of assumptions. I’m an independent voter and don’t support Trump either.

            You grovel for political scraps from Democrats, but in the end get precious little other than lip service from those who claim to be your allies at the national level.

            Really, at least the Republicans tell us to our face that we will get nothing from them. The Democrats are quickly becoming irrelevant to the political landscape in many places so they can’t deliver anything.

            It would be nice to have a new, viable political party that is effective!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:33 pm

            I’d rather have Dems in Office doing nothing for me than Conservative Republicans in office doing everything against me!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:35 pm

            Dems can’t win anything anymore, so the point is moot. They are just corporatist shills pretending to care about anything but Walll Street $$$$

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm

            Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel safe! The dysfunctional GOP Congress is divided. The Tea Party Caucus is the swamp that needs to be drained!
            After boasting that they would repeal Obamacare they failed when voters told them they wanted to keep it. The GOP has no alternative plan and scrambling to pull one together! Taxes will be even more complicated! They are failures!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:42 pm

            Really? Then why did the Democratic party lose so many races at the local and state levels in recent elections? What planet are you living on? I’ll tell you why they lost ….because Wall Street can’t buy everyones votes!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

            Local and State Levels are not the same as Federal Government! This is nothing new. Keep being smug and watch the Dems eventually take control. It’s a sooner or later situation.

            As voters realize the harm that Trump poses to them with his agenda, they will put Dems in the Senate at the very least to put him in check! It’s a matter of when not if!
            You lean Republican so don’t tell us you’re an independent!

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm

            Really – last time I looked the republican party had both houses, the presidency and will soon get the supreme court stacked with right wingers.

            I voted for Jill Stein, so I guess that makes me “leaning republican”? Maybe you just don’t realize that identity politics don’t misdirect many as they are intended to do.
            It’s a smokescreen to divert away from the main issues about economics.

            I would suggest you watch a youtube clip by Jimmy Dore to get the pulse on progressive Americans….cause you are out of touch!

            We aren’t buying the BS by corporatist democratic shills anymore….if that means republicans get in then so be it!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:34 am

            I didn’t vote for Trump either, though I VASTLY prefer him to Hillary. It’s amazing how Democrats always think there are only two parties – because like the GOP they spend so much time trying to strangle any new party or movement, whether it’s Bernie or Gary Johnson.

          • climate3

            May 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm

            Proves my point in a discussion you and I had earlier on this thread. You probably wouldn’t be harmed if the GOP gets power. But lgbts of color, lower economic stauses and those who can’t “pass” will suffer. But who cares cause you got yours. Sad. And blocked.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            May 1, 2017 at 8:51 pm

            You’re such a snowflake! You sound soooo concerned about others when in reality you are no different than anyone else…looking out for #1.

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm

            Your masters say this every two years. Beat that little empty head into the wall. Maybe Maxine will loan your her James Brown wig for some cushioning.

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:57 pm

            Yours isn’t empty just full of fat…like the rest of you!!

            Eventually Dems will control Congress when Voters realize Trump’s agenda works against them and they want to put a break on it!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:32 am

            So Hillary – speaking of fat – spent $2 billion dollars to tell voters this and failed at it? What did she spend it on? Pork chops?

          • lnm3921

            April 30, 2017 at 12:17 pm

            When you do drag, your name is Bertha Minors and you buy at the plus size shops for your dresses!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm

            The Democrats lost because their organizers and candidates are half wits like Imm3921. He’s probably (sorry, “sherm’s” probably) some minor campaign minion, Robbie Mook’s shoe polisher, who can’t get a job now that the Democrat Party doesn’t exist anymore outside of a few dysfunctional cities.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            April 29, 2017 at 8:43 pm

            I agree. They are so self-absorbed, self-interested and out of touch it’s even obvious to the town drunk in Bug Tussle USA! I wouldn’t vote for anyone from that crowd…not even for dog catcher!

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:55 pm

            They lost because many voters didn’t bother to vote assuming a blowhard like Trump couldn’t win. They’ll know better next time!

            Dysfunctional is the Tea Party and they are the Swamp that needs to be drained!

            I have a real job. When will you get one?!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:31 am

            Wow. So the Democrats lose another branch of government every 2 years and their voters just think it was a fluke each time? Maybe you should teach more Democrats how to read and write English so they are not so ignorant?

          • lnm3921

            April 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm

            The Democrats had the POTUS for 8 years. Trump just got in a few months ago and you think you have it all wrapped up!

            It’s not like this is the first time when the GOP had the POTUS and Congressional majority. But they’ve lost it and they will lose it again! It’s a matter of when NOT if and history shows that opposing party typically always takes over Congress eventually!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

            Do you think when he gets through with playing on Richard Branson’s island Obama will give you some of his $400,000 Wall Street speaking fee?

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

            Will Trump give you as much when he gets back from his endless golfing trips in Florida?

          • climate3

            May 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm

            Dude. That’s ridiculous. You work with the party you can work with. How many out lgbt GOP Congressional leaders as opposed to those in the DEM party? That’s saying something.

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:29 am

            Because we are still living with Bill Clinton’s disasters just as we are still living with Obama’s.

          • lnm3921

            April 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

            We are living with the disaster of Trump and the Tea Party in office! I doubt you have any life from the neck up!

      • BruceMajors4DC

        April 29, 2017 at 7:15 pm

        Nicki Haley condemned the abuse of gays in Russia/Chechneya. What did Obama or Hillary ever say about the genocide of gays by jihadists?

        • lnm3921

          April 29, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          Nikki Haley is not the POTUS! Obama put our rights on the forefront and advocated for us in countries like Uganda and Russia! Kerry has, too.

          Obviously Trump and Tillerson don’t care! Why would Trump want to attack a Russia ally like Chechnya after all! He needs their help!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm

            Uh huh. We all remember how Obama rescued all those gays being thrown off buildings and how he denied funds to the gay murderers in Tehran.

            Is your middle name Kapo by any chance?

          • lnm3921

            April 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm

            Alzheimer’s is setting in for you like Trump so don’t bank on your selective memory!

            Why does Trump’s travel ban exclude Saudi Arabia and other countries that murder GLBT?

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:28 am

            You’d like him to ban people from more terrorist supporting states than just the 7 with no records system to vet people? I can agree with that.

          • lnm3921

            April 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm

            I’d like to see a policy that isn’t full of holes and dupes people like you into thinking we are safe! Why can’t they fly to Europe or Canada then come in here? Banning specific Muslim countries does nothing! You’re as dumb as they come!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            May 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            Squawk!

          • lnm3921

            May 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

            Sounds like your IBS with constipation is flaring up again!!!! That’s what happens when you’re so full of it!

            You had better get it checked before Trump and the GOP has your insurance exclude pre-existing conditions!

        • climate3

          May 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

          And Hillary told the UN that gay rights are human rights. Trump has appointed anti-gay C-Fam folks to UN committees.

    • climate3

      May 1, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      That’s not a lie.

  7. Harshan

    April 29, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I do not like the idea of zero tolerance applied to anything. It means you can’t take circumstances into account, you can’t discover and clear up misunderstandings, the offender can’t apologize, and the parties can’t reconcile. And you can’t investigate root causes to find ways to prevent people from becoming offenders in the future.

    Even if the offenders deeply regret what they did and even if they want to reconcile, there is no path to redemption.

    But there is a big advantage to zero tolerance rules. Enforcing them requires no thought.

  8. BruceMajors4DC

    April 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Didn’t the gay political class, from Robbie Mook and closet case Donna Brazille on down, demonstrate their irrelevance and impotence last November?

    • lnm3921

      April 29, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Regurgitate the same stale lines over and over again much?!

      • BruceMajors4DC

        April 29, 2017 at 8:33 pm

        I’m sure you do. After all, you seem to be alone Saturday nights.

        • lnm3921

          April 29, 2017 at 8:46 pm

          Kettle black!

          • BruceMajors4DC

            April 30, 2017 at 8:27 am

            Tsk tsk. Racist.

          • lnm3921

            April 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

            You’re the pot!

  9. Will Kohler

    April 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    More troubling is the demand about Police exclusion. Especially LGBT police. People who don;t want to be excluded and scream that they are want to exclude others so they feel more included. As many SJW activist like to say “The first Pride was a riot.”

    Yes it was. But it was against our true enemies not our own people.

    • BruceMajors4DC

      April 30, 2017 at 8:26 am

      I don’t know …a few LGBT police in DC have been rather scandal ridden this year.

      • Will Kohler

        April 30, 2017 at 10:48 am

        thats the problem. Its “a few’ not all.

  10. BruceMajors4DC

    April 29, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Didn’t the gay political class, from Robbie Mook and closet case Donna Brazille on down, demonstrate their irrelevance and impotence last November?

    • BigGaySteve

      May 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Rob Mook should have changed his name from being an Ayn Rand villain.

  11. Lovingdc

    April 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    This is absurd. The Red State article was about a political strategy that went wrong, and it was rightfully predicted. There was nothing Transphobic about the article. Timing is everything … get your candidate and advocate into office before defining and demanding controversial social issues. It is simple political strategy. Mr. Pruitt’s predictions were correct – the article was written before the Presidential Election. It sounds like Mr. Pruitt is for the Trans Community in the article, and how the LGBT Community would have pursued Trans Advocacy in a better fashion. There was a poor political play.

    Capital Pride leadership should take a look at themselves. Why would you put a volunteer under the bus and in the media, before vetting a non-organization of radical rabble rousers? This group should not have been given the time of day. They are a distraction from the celebration of Pride. By asking for Mr. Pruitt’s resignation, Capital Pride gave this group a voice of which is against Pride.

    My guess is that Mr. Pruitt volunteered for the Capital Pride organization out of passion, and not hate.

    Also, Capital Pride should announce the head-line entertainment before asking for hundreds of dollars for specialty package tickets.

    Very poorly done in my eyes. There should be more resignations at the leadership level at Capital Pride. Poor management.

    • BruceMajors4DC

      April 30, 2017 at 8:26 am

      If they had that much intelligence, Hillary would have won…or they would have picked a competent candidate.

  12. Will Kohler

    April 30, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    According to the No Pride, No Justice Facebook page they are going to descend on the DC Pride Alliance Board Meeting en masse on May 5th and make demands,

  13. climate3

    May 1, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Yes you are sad. Slurring someone was not necessary.

  14. CircusCircus

    May 7, 2017 at 8:58 am

    As a District resident, I applaud Capital Pride for including the police. I do not believe that generalizations about an entire group of people can be applied to any member of the group. Capital Pride, please remain an inclusive organization by not banning those you have disagreements with. In your search to be inclusive, do not become exclusionary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

homepage news

Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

homepage news

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

homepage news

D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular