July 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
LGBT groups join effort to protect D.C. home rule
Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act, elections, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade file photo by Aram Vartian)

Six LGBT rights organizations were among 57 national, regional, and local groups that signed on to a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees calling on Congress to respect the local autonomy of D.C. and its citizens.

“Since the beginning of the 115th Congress there have been a record number of attacks on D.C. home rule introduced by several members of Congress,” said a statement released on Monday by D.C. Vote, a local group that advocates for D.C. statehood and that circulated the letter.

“Introduced under the guise of oversight of the District of Columbia, they are, in fact, direct attacks on the right to equal representation that should be afforded to every D.C. resident,” the statement says.

Bo Shuff, executive director of D.C. Vote, pointed out that among the locally passed D.C. laws that members of Congress attempted to overturn last year was the D.C. Human Rights Act Amendment, which protects LGBT students from discrimination in school services and facilities.

The LGBT groups that signed on to the letter are the D.C. Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, One Pulse America and Pride at Work.

The letter signed by the LGBT and other groups expresses concern that members of Congress will once again attempt to use the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill, which is expected to come up this summer, as a vehicle for adding riders seeking to overturn locally passed laws.

“These riders usurp the autonomy granted to the District and our elected mayor and council and overstep the original intent of both the creation of the District and the Home Rule Act,” the letter states.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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