Connect with us

homepage news

Capital Pride critics dominate tense meeting

Board promises ‘reassessment’ of corporate sponsors in 2018

Published

on

Capital Pride board meeting, gay news, Washington Blade

A Capital Pride board of directors meeting Monday night drew nearly 200 people, many of whom were critical of the organization. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Nearly all of more than 40 audience members who spoke at a Capital Pride Board of Directors meeting Monday night expressed support for a dissident group’s demands that corporations and D.C. police be banned from participating in the Capital Pride parade and festival set for June 10-11.

The meeting, which took place in a basement meeting hall at National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle, drew close to 200 people.

It also took place a little over a week after members of No Justice No Pride, who describe themselves as a coalition of local LGBT activists dissatisfied over the way Capital Pride has been run, called on their supporters to “pack” the May 8 board meeting to push for radical changes in this year’s Pride events.

The audience appeared evenly divided in its support or opposition to Capital Pride’s current plans for Pride in the way it cheered and applauded speakers voicing differing opinions.

But the large majority of those who spoke, other than Capital Pride board members, voiced strong criticism of what they said was Capital Pride’s reluctance to change its events from a celebration to a protest to reflect the political changes brought about by last year’s presidential election.

“Why are you having weapons manufacturers as sponsors?” said one audience member, who was among those demanding that Capital Pride immediately eliminate corporate sponsors, especially those that are part of what he said was the “military-industrial complex.”

The audience member may have been referring to U.S. defense contractors Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin that are among the Capital Pride corporate sponsors this year.

A woman who said she was a Native American said another of Capital Pride’s corporate sponsors, Wells Fargo Bank, was financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which she said threatened to destroy sacred lands where Native Americans were “victims of genocide.”

Capital Pride President Bernie Delia; the group’s executive director, Ryan Bos; and board members Rachel Gleischman and Vernon Wall, who served as moderators for the discussion, each said Capital Pride had yet to develop criteria and a policy for determining who the corporate sponsors should be.

Delia said the board would conduct a reassessment of how corporate sponsors are approved but said there wouldn’t be enough time to do this for the 2017 Pride events.

Bernie Delia (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Capital Pride board member and Treasurer Ashley Smith said he would do more research on Wells Fargo to determine if Capital Pride should continue to retain the bank as a corporate sponsor.

“We will let you know what we decide,” he said. “At this point it is too close to 2017 Pride so the reassessment will have to apply to next year.”

Angela Peoples (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Angela Peoples, executive director of the LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL and a member of the No Justice No Pride coalition, said she and others concerned about the direction of Capital Pride have been raising objections to corporate sponsors and police presence at Pride events for the past several years.

“Who is making these decisions?” she asked. “If Capital Pride is committed to listening to the people, who is making these decisions?”

Peoples was among several speakers at the meeting who called on some of Capital Pride’s board members to step down to allow others who they said reflected the true sentiment of the LGBT community, to take their place immediately.

Organizers of No Justice No Pride have argued that D.C. police have targeted LGBT people of color, especially transgender women forced to engage in sex work, for arrest and harassment. They have called on Capital Pride to ban uniformed police from participating in the Pride parade and festival, including members of the police LGBT Liaison Unit.

Delia and other Capital Pride officials have said they understand the concerns about past police-related problems but they believe D.C. police overall have changed and anti-LGBT harassment is far less common.

“It is unacceptable that trans women or men are treated badly by the police,” said Wall. “But we must work together rather than push the police away.”

Delia said last week that Capital Pride would not change its longstanding policy of allowing police and corporate sponsors to be a part of the Pride events. Although he didn’t repeat those comments at Monday night’s meeting he said nothing to indicate Capital Pride had changed its position on those two issues.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, meanwhile, passed a resolution opposing No Justice No Pride’s call for banning D.C. police and corporations from participating in Capital Pride events.

Acting D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the police liaison units, and Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, supervisor of the LGBT Liaison Unit, attended Monday’s Capital Pride meeting in civilian clothes but wore their badges and police name tags.

“While we weren’t in our formal uniforms we clearly identified as police officers because we wanted to make sure the people didn’t think we were hiding or trying to infiltrate the group but that we were visible as openly gay and openly transgender police officers,” Parson told the Blade.

“But we didn’t say anything because we were here to listen to what this community has to say,” he said. “And the message I hear is they still want to be heard and I stand ready and Jessica stands ready and this police department stands ready to listen and make changes where we can so that people feel safe because that’s what we’re about.”

Parson, who is gay, and Hawkins, a transgender woman, routinely attend LGBT events.

Ruby Corado, founder and executive director of the LGBT community services center Casa Ruby, told the gathering she has good relations with many of the Capital Pride board members and said the board should pay attention to the issues raised by those expressing concern.

“The issues that are on the table are real,” she said. “If you are not a person of color or trans you don’t feel these issues,” she said, adding, “you should acknowledge that you don’t have equality on this board.”

Among other things, Corado proposed that marginalized members of the LGBT community, including trans women of color, be the ones selected to lead the Capital Pride parade on June 10.

Ruby Corado (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Transgender activist Savanna Wanzer, a member of the Capital Pride board and the lead organizer of D.C.’s annual Capital Trans Pride, and Jose Gutierez, founder and organizer of D.C.’s Latino Pride, praised Capital Pride for playing an important role in supporting those two events.

Gutierez said he was asking Capital Pride to provide additional financial support for Latino Pride.

Wanzer said that as a transgender woman of color she was troubled that some of the speakers criticizing Capital Pride were not recognizing that transgender people and people of color were working hard to build a more equitable and inclusive Pride.

Sue Doster, co-president of Inter Pride, a New York-based group that represents LGBT Pride organizations in the U.S. and abroad, appeared to capture the sentiment of Capital Pride officials in her remarks at the meeting.

“There is a realization that not all people feel the Prides are representing all LGBT people,” she said. “I see real, honest self-reflection on the part of Capital Pride, New York Pride and L.A. Pride,” she continued. “We hear you having this debate, and you have started the process of change.”

Members of No Justice No Pride, however, said the change by Capital Pride wasn’t coming soon enough.

“We are planning a series of events as an alternative to Pride for those who are not interested in participating in the official Capital Pride festivities,” No Justice No Pride spokesperson Drew Ambrogi told the Blade after the meeting.

“We appreciated the opportunity to hear about and discuss many issues related to Pride 2017 activities with a large and diverse group of LGBTQ community members,” Delia told the Blade in a statement Tuesday morning. “This is a year when our visibility and actions are more important than ever. With that in mind, we have decided to take several actions:

  • “The first contingent in the Capital Pride Parade will represent a diverse cross section of our community who are most marginalized and under threat, including queer and trans youth, trans people, especially trans women of color and undocumented LGBTQ people.
  • “Capital Pride will assist in hosting two Russian LGBT activists to “spotlight the urgent and deplorable anti-gay actions” by the government of Chechnya.
  • “Increased ‘support and resources’ will be allocated for Latino Pride.
  • “It will explore working with trans youth groups and leaders to help in organizing more youth events with partners.
  • “Working groups will be formed to ‘explore and create policies to increase transparency, access and community involvement in the Board by the broader LGBTQ community, including sponsorship and diverse representation throughout the organization.’
  • “Capital Pride ‘commits to making public a thorough response to the many questions and issues raised at the forum as soon as possible but not before this year’s Pride activities, which begin this weekend and continue through June.’”

Peoples said on Tuesday morning that she is aware of plans for an alternative Pride event during the Pride weekend of June 10-ll but she was not involved with those plans.

“I think the vast majority of the people at the meeting last night were not happy with what they saw,” she said, adding that Capital Pride’s leadership showed no commitment to make structural changes such as replacing current board members with others from the community.

“That’s another indication to me that they’re interested in only tinkering around the edges and not actually responding to the real concerns of the community,” she said.

‘Alternative’ Pride event announced

No Justice No Pride announced on its Facebook page on Tuesday that it plans to hold an alternative “Queer + Trans Festival” on Saturday, June 10, from 1-7 p.m. at McPherson Square in downtown D.C. The event would partially overlap with the Capital Pride Parade, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at 23rd and P Streets, N.W. and usually lasts until 8 p.m.

“This festival will provide food, entertainment, as well as opportunities to connect with local LGBTQ+ groups,” the announcement says. “We’re coming together to celebrate our identities, our communities, and our shared history of resistance – we hope to see you there!”

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Darrell Lewis

    May 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    These various groups who continue and persist on bringing their social agenda’s that are well outside the needs and interests of the LGBT community need to be told to go elsewhere. PRIDE celebrates the LGBT community from where we have come and where we shall go. Dividing the LGBT community is counterproductive. Although their issues may be valid they are NOT specific LGBT issues.

    • uhhuhh

      May 9, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      They don’t care. They’ve decided that LGBT issues are “bourgeois distractions” from their Marxist dystopian fantasy.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        May 9, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        The real issue, of course, is tipping generously for good service.

        Also, in this case, figuring out how to pay for the alt-event.

        • Buzz the Bear

          May 11, 2017 at 12:51 pm

          And not just pay for it, but getting volunteers to help put is together. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to find out the mountains they have to climb. These whiners will find that putting words into action isn’t as easy as they might think. I predict failure.

    • BEARY FLINTSTONE

      May 10, 2017 at 1:53 am

      While I with ‘some’ of your sentiments. Dividing? This community has divided for years and is not coming together no time soon. And the so called interest of the LGBT Community, which one? However agree this can be by this group at another time and place.

  2. uhhuhh

    May 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    So the far-left wackos turned out, while the normal majority stayed home.

  3. tj

    May 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    One obvious omission from this story was mention of the nasty, hateful comments and unfounded accusations made by many of the No Justice attendees towards the Board members. The Pride Board members sat there and patiently listed to these folks and when the No Justice folks did not hear the response they wanted, they blasted the Board with shouts of “white privilege”, “tokens”, and all kinds of profane comments. No Justice is just looking for their next “vicitim” to terrorize rather than engaging in a thoughtful discussion….”my way or the highway” doesn’t cut it in the grown-up world, children.

    • Tensely

      May 11, 2017 at 11:05 am

      CPA and their board, whether you feel they are wrong or right were respectful.
      They let people speak. Hurling untrue accusations at people. Nothing constructive, Mocking activists Ruby Corado and Savanna Wanzer. Total rudeness to Rick Rosendall…one of them decided to sit in front of him to block him form speaking.
      Ryan Bos attempted to answer Ruby. But the crowd only shut him up. Yet they wanted answers…he was trying to give one.
      Angela People’s and the 3 people she was sitting with ( all pictured in article )were opening laughing at speakers. Most notably Jose Guitierzz ( his accent) and SaVanna. How on earth is this constructive?.
      Total ignorance that CPA produces many events beyond the parade and festival. They’ve acknowledged issues. Are they there yet…no? Are they slow? Yes.
      But Ryan has moved this organization further , and listens.
      And the Bryan Pruitt comments…he’s been asked to leave. End of story.

      • tj

        May 11, 2017 at 11:15 am

        snap, snap, snap, snap

  4. Glenn Priceless

    May 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    “Delia said the board would conduct a reassessment of how corporate sponsors are approved but said there wouldn’t be enough time to do this for the 2017 Pride events.”

    A catch-all excuse implying the CPA never meant to be effective. So typical, and out-of-touch. I suppose the CPA enjoys so much privilege that the most recent election didn’t effect them. Where is either progress, or effective leadership? Something tells me the CPA thinks the point of this meeting was simply for them to be seen. I wonder what next year’s excuse will be.

    • Kurt 20008

      May 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      It sounds very sincere to me.

      • bo

        May 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        agreed. just because they can’t push out sponsors now (because who’s paying those bills?) doesn’t mean they won’t reevaluate for upcoming events. get real.

        • Glenn Priceless

          May 11, 2017 at 11:11 pm

          I hope that was for Kurt. Otherwise I think you’re the one who needs to get real pretending that nobody can see through your constant excuses explaining why you can’t make changes, and made bad decisions in the first place. Like I said: And I wonder what next year’s excuse will be.

      • Glenn Priceless

        May 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

        Lol. I didn’t ask. Triggered? Then stop reading comment sections. Otherwise accept that my comment stands.

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      May 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Could you tell me where they’re giving out that privilege? I’d like to get some more of it!

      • Glenn Priceless

        May 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Wait. What a stupid troll. So if they’ve already “given you some” you dumb cuck then explain why you don’t remember where you got some in the first place.

        • Kemwit Tall Tree

          May 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

          You’re such a nasty scold with no sense of humor. No wonder people can’t stand SJW’s and all of your bullshit concepts. Get along to your gender studies class, you loser.

          • Glenn Priceless

            May 17, 2017 at 7:22 am

            Lmfao! SJW? You’re so triggered. You mad bro?

            Look this is a more accurate perspective: I’m the homosexual, and you’re the triggered crumb who trolled a gay newspaper’s comment section to satisfy your fix for spewing hate. And remember that looking back on how you got yourself into this mess in the first place. Lmfao!

            And whatever gender studies even is you triggered neanderthal. Thanks for the nonsense, but even you’re entire premise for a rebuttal is illogical. I bet the truth of the matter is you were just projecting in a blind attempt to make a stab at a comeback. YOU took the “gender studies”, because you’re a straight loser who’s only too desperate to get next to girls. Lmfao! Only it didn’t work so now you’re just lashing out at homosexuals. You’re a laughingstock!

            Lastly as you can see I have a fantastic sense of humor as I just appropriately made a joke out of you! And you are laughing aren’t you? Afterall, you wouldn’t want to make a hypocrite out of yourself now would you? Haha! I win your little flame war! Now eat it loser scum, and don’t forget who your daddy is.

  5. Denny Lyon

    May 11, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Umm…I was associated with Pride back in the late ’70s and early ’80s with my late partner Jim McCollam. It’s always been rather controversial in what and who it did or did not represent. This is always going to be the case. It’s a diverse community and is rightly represented as such. I personally agree that it has become too commercial but I understand the need. As to banning the police, what an ill-founded idea. All we would need some wacko a la Orlando to show up with an AK-47 and they would wonder where the police protection was. Bad idea.

  6. Buzz the Bear

    May 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    As one who was involved in Pride events in Salt Lake City for many years (booths and vendors) I found that you always have people coming out of the woodwork who do nothing but criticize and complain, but do little otherwise to help out the events.

    In SLC, we heard the same griping that it was always the same people running the show, but when we had our annual organizing meetings or a post-mortem of the just-held Pride event these people were never to be seen. And this was a huge Pride Day celebration with close to 75,000+ people, 3 stages of entertainment and hundreds of vendors. We would start attempting to recruit volunteers months before Pride month and had few people really wanting to get involved. No one, not even the organizers, were paid for their efforts.

    I suggest that these “whiners” start giving their “input” at organizational meetings instead of waiting for a month before the event is held. Then their ideas/complaints might hold some water. These are the folks who can always do things better, but won’t work to make it so.

    Pride events don’t just “happen” out out thin air. The organizers start early and work hard to make sure every one has a good time, but you’re never going to please everyone.

    Contracts are signed, money exchanges hands. These events are put together like a business and that is what is involved to make things run smoothly. These are also the things that make Pride successful.

    STOP GRIPING AND START PARTICIPATING if you want to change things. Otherwise, STFU!

    • RidingTheLine

      May 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Being raised Mormon, and having been to the “Daze” of 47 Parade sponsored by the Church before, going to an SLC Pride parade with my gay cousin has always been on my personal bucket list. Planning for that event has to be a huge undertaking, given all the roadblocks that the Mormons must throw up. By all reports Pride SLC is supposed to be a very well-attended, well-supported event, even with Church objections.

    • Steve Kay

      May 15, 2017 at 1:28 am

      FYI WELLLS FAGO HAS TWICE BEEN FINED MANY MILLIONS OF $$$ THEY WOULD OPEN UP EXTRA ACCOUNTS IN PEOPLES NAMES AND CHARGE FEES

      http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/20/attorney-general-leads-criminal-probe-of-wells-fargo-bank.html

      • Buzz the Bear

        May 23, 2017 at 11:52 am

        Yeah…I read the news. I know all about Wells Fargo….so what?
        Pride shouldn’t take $$ from anyone who wants to give it to defray the huge expense of putting on such an event?
        I’m talking about the people who always have a gripe and have NEVER contributed a damn thing..money or time..to make Pride successful. If Wells Fargo, or any other institution wants to support us, I say take their money. If you don’t want to bank at WF, then don’t. It’s a free country. If the Queer community wants to boycott or refuse money from everyone we have a problem with, we’ll put on 3rd rate events no one will want to attend.
        I’m speaking from my many years of involvement in Pride.
        Just what have you done for your LGBTQ community lately? Put up or shut up.

  7. RidingTheLine

    May 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I would think with all the extra planning ahead to deal with the Trump regime, that attacking one another would take a backseat in an important event planning meeting. But life and drama do seem to go together, especially when they really shouldn’t.

    • Culture Club Warrior

      May 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Attacking one another is what LGBT people do best.

      • RidingTheLine

        May 11, 2017 at 5:31 pm

        Perhaps. There are some strong differences in how to press forward for full civil rights, which the LGBTQ community still does not enjoy, and the Trump regime appears to be an ominous threat to the hard-fought gains in rights that they now enjoy. Let’s just hope they save some of their wrath for the people who actually deserve it, and not waste it on one another.

  8. Paladin1953

    May 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    So, NJNP wants to limit the diversity of the Pride event? Because the LGBT community includes LGBT police, military, Republicans, corporate employees and management, landlords, and even – gasp! – NRA members. Here at SF and Oakland Pride, Pink Pistols marches, Log Cabin marches, SFPD and OPD march, LGBT anti-abortion people march. At St Petersburg, FL Pride, the LGBT Pentecostals, LGBT police and LGBT military veterans march. It’s time to acknowledge that we queers are not the exclusive province of the far left. Yes, MOST of us tend to be more liberal than the average American, but we truly are everywhere. In all the major Pride events, I would support limiting the number of marchers in corporate contingents, just because 1200 Google employees marching in company t-shirts makes a long, boring stretch of parade, and the many corporations doing that have made the SF parade last all day, which is too much. But corporate sponsorship not only pays for the Pride events, it shows the rest of America that we have power. There are contingents in the Pride parade that I find personally distasteful. Frankly, regardless of one’s view on circumcision, the signs carried by the intactivists are just as repugnant as the ones carried by rabid anti-abortion protesters. I’m not crazy about exposing kids to the antics of the Society of Janus contingent. But those are my personal preferences and I don’t expect my local Pride organization to accommodate them. Neither should NJNP be allowed to dictate who may participate or who may sponsor Pride. What happened to inclusiveness? Was it only for the chosen victim du jour?

    • Culture Club Warrior

      May 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I’ve never heard the term “intactivists” before. That’s pretty clever.

      • Paladin1953

        May 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

        I’d love to take credit for it, but it’s not original with me. Google “Bay Area Intactivists” for way more than you ever wanted to know about it.

  9. bo

    May 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    They want to have an enemy so that they continue to have a reason to protest. If all white gay men are bad, that gives them a “reason” to fight. No answer given will ever be good enough. Oh, btw, the NJNP group is run by a cis white gay man. Irony, no?

    • tj

      May 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      exactly

  10. Culture Club Warrior

    May 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    “No Justice No Pride announced on its Facebook page on Tuesday that it plans to hold an alternative “Queer + Trans Festival” on Saturday, June 10, from 1-7 p.m. at McPherson Square in downtown D.C.”

    I think that this is a great idea. If people are unhappy with the existing event and don’t feel that their concerns are being heard or acted upon, then they should move forward and create events of their own. Compromise seems unlikely here, so provide an alternative for the people who want one.

    • RidingTheLine

      May 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      More celebration and more diverse celebration cannot hurt.

      • Culture Club Warrior

        May 12, 2017 at 2:48 pm

        Exactly. We’re a very diverse population, so a one-size-fits-all model for celebrating seems destined to disappoint just about everyone.

  11. Kemwit Tall Tree

    May 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I’d like to nominate Martha Stewart to be the Honorary Pride Queen. I just saw her on Youtube rapping (yes rapping) about the uses of baking soda in the kitchen! BTW, FU NJNP!

  12. brianFFF

    May 15, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Seen this before. Young utopians get employed as activists. Further radicalized on the job and become an uncompromising purists. Instead of targeting worst offenders, attack “impure” supporters. After ten years, gets burnt out – hired as social worker job and finally a successful formula that creates real change.

    Meanwhile young utopians get employed as………

  13. Glenn Priceless

    May 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    You’re a Republican who’s triggered by the word homosexual on a website for an LGBT newspaper trolling the comments section using terms like SJW? Lmfao! Thank you for making my point for me you stupid homophobe. I knew that if I let you keep posting on my thread you would only end up hanging yourself with your own words. Plan on using racist or anti-Jewish slurs next too? Lmfao!

    You’re a hatemongering misogynistic homophobe who feels supported by the current CPA. So don’t ask why nobody on this entire website could care less about your concerns, and furthermore why the CPA needs to change in the 2nd place. So on that note I would definitely say that you’re the one who keeps revealing more about themself than they had expected to. Take your hate politics back to whatever conversion therapy ranch sent you, and tell them your daddy sent you. Oh, or was that the “help” you were referring about? Were you just advertising conversion therapy on top of everything else? Lmfao! You’re a laughingstock! No thank you! No I want to be as far from whatever they made you into as possible! Your daddy’s going to stay a proud homosexual you hapless idiot. Lmfao!

    But let’s see the running tally:
    — You’re in favor of anything the CPA does that exacerbates privilege.
    — You trolled The Washington Blade’s website using the term SJW in the comments section.
    — You used the term gender studies disparagingly implying that you’re a heterosexual who has problems with women, and so now hates all women for it instead of just doing the work on yourself you would need to do to be a better person for them in the 1st place.
    — You hypocritically shame persons without a sense of humor while mislabeling those of who actually do have a fabulous sense of humor as being one of you.
    — You encourage conversion therapy.
    — Oh, and you’re triggered by the term homosexual.

    And I bet more than just the word homosexual triggers you too. Lmfao! I bet you hate the homosexual things I do with other men as well. Apparently someone forgot she was trolling the actual website for a homosexual news and information newspaper before she opened her fat mouth for a 3rd attempt at a rebuttal. Lmfao!

    And would you look at that. It seems I’ve won your little flame war for the 3rd time in a row! You mad bro? Lmfao!

    • Kemwit Tall Tree

      May 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Oh sweety, you are just having a hissy fit with all these homophobic gay men who don’t agree with you or your deranged agenda against the Police Dept. and those evil corporate sponsors who oppress us by giving us money to hold the event! Gee, how awful!

      Oh and you use a term like “homosexual”, which hasn’t been in the culture’s vocabulary since the 1970’s and just can’t understand why someone thinks you are rather fishy?

      Oh and how dare I think gender studies is hogwash and pseudoscience considering most of it is just made up and nothing more than rebranded marxism?

      Yes, I see how just everyone in the chat posting is in agreement with you even though they are saying the exact opposite.

      I think it’s time for your psych meds and nap-time honey!

      • Glenn Priceless

        May 18, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        You’re not even gay grandpa. You “forgot to make yourself gay” in your comments when you started being a triggered little Republican. Remember? Lmfao! I’ve never seen anyone so stupid as you. Lost yourself did ya’ there big girl? Go back to your conversion therapy ranch grandpa. Our movement has no place for your hatemongering. Lmfao! You triggered loser.

        And stop contradicting yourself if you’re trying to make a point that’s relevant Mike Pence. Lmfao! You’re not mad at me. You’re just mad at yourself, because you now know perfectly well that you’ve already shot yourself in the foot bigtime getting lost in all of your snootiness. You got lost being a snotnosed homophobic foot soldier for the Republican party you crybaby princess? Lmfao! Don’t get mad at me. I just exposed you is all. You’ve got egg on your own face, lol.

        Your privilege is coming under attack. So it’s time for you to whip out your big guns isn’t it Republican “honey bunch”? Lmfao! Terms like SJW and gender studies. So smart and sensible. No that doesn’t exactly prove my point. Don’t get mad at me “honey lamb”. As if any homosexual talks like you. Lmfao! Deal with it homophobe with your fake imitations of how you think we talk. You shot your own self in the foot arguing one thing and then proving to be exactly what I called you in the first place. Idiot! Lmfao! And I’ve noticed you still don’t have a sense of humor on how stupid you’ve made yourself look. Now do you “sweetie pie”? Lmfao!

        And before your next rebuttal I suggest you take the time to educate your continued dumbness on just what a contradiction is, because it’s you and something tells me you’re going to make the exact same mistake again that keeps you losing this godforsaken argument that’s got you so triggered in the first place. Lmfao!

        Review your running tally:
        — You’re in favor of anything the CPA does that exacerbates privilege.
        — You trolled The Washington Blade’s website using the term SJW in the comments section.
        — You used the term gender studies disparagingly implying that you’re a heterosexual who has problems with women, and so now hates all women for it instead of just doing the work on yourself you would need to do to be a better person for them in the 1st place.
        — You hypocritically shame persons without a sense of humor while mislabeling those of who actually do have a fabulous sense of humor as being one of you.
        — You encourage conversion therapy.
        — Oh, and you’re triggered by the term homosexual.
        — Mocking how you think us real homosexuals talk.
        — Telling lies that reveal your constant contradictions.
        — Trolling the website of The Washington Blade.

        Drink bleach you triggered crumb. I won for my 4th time in a row. You mad bro? Yup. You most definitely are, and triggered is more like it. Lmfao! Eat it!

      • Glenn Priceless

        May 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm

        Lmfao! I win again!

  14. Glenn Priceless

    May 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    If this comments section is proof of anything it’s that only proud white supremacists support the CPA. So far comments have expressed a hate for:

    Women
    Fairness at the expense of privilege
    Diversity (As opposed to blacks. That was very clever.)
    The youth in general

    Good job CPA. I’ve never seen so much hate that plans on being in attendance at a Captal Pride festival.

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