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Trump draws sharp criticism from Latin America activists

‘The world is not happy’ with U.S.



Donald Trump, gay news, Washington Blade

President Trump has drawn sharp criticism from LGBTI rights advocates across Latin America. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

VALPARAÍSO, Chile — Activists in Latin America with whom the Washington Blade spoke in recent weeks sharply criticized President Trump over his administration’s stance on LGBT and intersex rights and other issues.

Diego Encalada, regional coordinator of Fundación Iguales, a Chilean LGBTI advocacy group, sat down with the Blade on Oct. 3 at a coffee shop in the Chilean port city of Valparaíso.

He described Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military as a “setback.” Encalada, a medical student who visited California and Las Vegas in 2015, also criticized Trump over a host of other issues that include his stance towards North Korea and climate change.

“He makes us laugh,” Encalada told the Blade as he drank a glass fruit juice. “[Trump] would clearly not make me laugh if I were . . . standing in the shoes of a trans person in the U.S.”

Fundación Iguales President Juan Enrique Pi also noted Trump’s decision to ban trans people from the U.S. military when he spoke with the Blade on Oct. 4 at his office in the Bellavista neighborhood of the Chilean capital of Santiago, which is roughly 70 miles southeast of Valparaíso at the base of the Andes mountains.

“What Donald Trump did with trans people in the U.S. Army is a tremendous blow to trans identity, not only in the United States,” said Pi.

“The world that Donald Trump proposes is a world that is different than what any human rights defender wants,” he added. “It is therefore a world with more discrimination, with more exclusion, with more prejudice.”

Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, largely echoed Pi when he spoke with the Blade on Oct. 2 at his organization’s offices that are located near Santiago’s O’Higgins Park.

“Trump’s election is a tragedy,” said Jiménez.

Jiménez spoke with the Blade less than 24 hours after a gunman who was in a 32nd floor suite at the Mandalay Bay casino hotel in Las Vegas killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others during a country music festival.

Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation, a Chilean LGBT advocacy group, in his office in Santiago, Chile, on Oct. 2, 2017. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Argentine President Mauricio Macri are among the Latin American leaders who condemned the massacre. Chileans with whom the Blade spoke in the days after the mass shooting asked about the prevalence of guns in the U.S. and what American politicians have done to reduce it.

Trump immigration policy sparks concern in Central America

Activists with whom the Blade spoke also criticized Trump over his administration’s immigration policy.

Andrea Ayala, executive director of Espacio de Mujeres Lesbianas por la Diversidad, an LGBTI advocacy group in El Salvador that is known by the acronym ESMULES, sat down with the Blade on Sept. 25 at a coffee shop in the upscale San Benito neighborhood of the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador. The interview took place less than a month after the Trump administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has allowed roughly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and obtain work permits.

Ayala pointed out to the Blade that young undocumented immigrants from El Salvador account for the third highest percentage of DACA beneficiaries. She also highlighted the case of a legally married gay Salvadoran couple who were raising a young child in Bedford, Va., before the U.S. deported them, even though they are both DACA recipients.

“They came to a country that is not prepared to handle two dads with kids,” Ayala told the Blade, noting one of the men left El Salvador when he was a baby and neither of them speaks Spanish.

Pedro Santos, the gay nephew of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos who lives part-time in Brooklyn, N.Y., also discussed DACA when he spoke with the Blade on Sept. 28 at a coffee shop in the Chapinero neighborhood of the Colombian capital of Bogotá.

He said he has undocumented friends who have lived in the U.S. “for their whole lives” and some of their relatives have been deported. Pedro Santos also criticized Trump over his response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August that left Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, dead.

“The precedent that he’s setting is I’m white so I have the power to mock you and I have the power, like I own you basically,” said Pedro Santos. “All of this is just letting white people know it’s okay to be racist, which is not and this is setting a horrible precedent for the U.S.”

Karla Avelar, director of Comunicando y Capacitando a Mujeres Trans, a Salvadoran trans advocacy group known by the acronym COMCAVIS, told the Blade on Sept. 22 during an interview at her office in San Salvador’s Flor Blanca neighborhood that her organization does not work with any “known” DACA recipients.

El Salvador and neighboring Honduras are among the countries that are included in the Temporary Protected Status program, which allows people from countries that have suffered war and/or national disaster over the last two decades to receive temporary residency permits in the U.S.

Avelar said COMCAVIS has worked with LGBT Salvadorans who have received TPS. She told the Blade that many of them are concerned the Trump administration will end the program.

“We are aware of people who have expressed concern,” said Avelar.

Karla Avelar, gay news, Washington Blade

Karla Avelar is director of Comunicado y Capacitando a Mujeres Trans (COMCAVIS), a transgender advocacy in El Salvador. (Photo courtesy of Karla Avelar)

El Salvador and Honduras are among the most violent countries in the world. Rampant violence and discrimination from street gangs, the police and even family members based on sexual orientation and gender identity has prompted many LGBTI people from El Salvador, Honduras and neighboring Guatemala to flee their respective countries and migrate to Mexico and the U.S.

An executive order that Trump signed on Jan. 25 spurred construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in order to curtail the number of undocumented immigrants who enter the U.S. sparked widespread outrage among advocates in Central America. The White House’s decision to reinstate trade and travel restrictions with Cuba and the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico have also been sources of criticism throughout the region.

“Since Donald Trump took office he has slowly started to dismantle the system of protections and access to human rights of LGBT people, among other targeted minorities,” Mariano Ruiz, a member of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia board of directors, told the Blade on Tuesday from Buenos Aires.

The U.S. ‘has become irrelevant to people’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in July met with his Salvadoran counterpart, Douglas Menéndez, in San Salvador.

The meeting coincided with the arrest of more than 700 gang members who are affiliated with MS-13 and other gangs. The Justice Department announced while Sessions was in El Salvador that a member of MS-13’s Peajes Locos Salvatruchas Clique who allegedly killed three LGBT people in the country earlier this year was in U.S. custody.

Andrea and Isabel, two transgender women who are from San Luis Talpa, El Salvador, eat lunch at a restaurant in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Sept. 23, 2017. They asked the Washington Blade not to use their real names and hide their identity because of anti-trans violence in their hometown. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Vice President Pence in August traveled to Panama, Colombia, Argentina and Chile.

Luis Larraín, a gay candidate for the Chilean Congress who is the former executive director of Fundación Iguales, is among those who protested Pence outside his Santiago hotel. Larraín, who traveled to the U.S. earlier this year as a participant in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, told the Blade on Oct. 1 during an interview at his apartment that it was “important” to do so.

“It is important that the U.S. government takes note that the rest of the world — the majority of countries — are not happy with its impact,” he said.

Luis Larraín, a gay Chilean congressional candidate, protests Vice President Pence during his visit to Santiago, Chile, in August. (Photo courtesy of Luis Larraín)

An Uber driver in Panama City with whom the Blade spoke on Sept. 26 said thinking about Trump “gives me a headache.” Iván Chanis Barahona, a gay Panamanian lawyer who is part of the campaign to advance marriage rights for same-sex couples, said during an interview at a Panama City coffee shop a few hours later that Panamanians are “so disenchanted by what’s happening in the United States that they have stopped paying attention.”

“The U.S. has become irrelevant to people,” he told the Blade.

A mural outside a subway station in Panama City criticizes the U.S. over its ouster of Gen. Manuel Noriega in 1989. Panamanians with whom the Washington Blade spoke last month were either critical of President Trump or ambivalent towards his administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Ruiz said Trump is “doing what he promised, although up to now it didn’t have a direct impact on U.S. foreign policy” in Latin America or the Caribbean.

“We cannot assure this will not happen sooner or later,” added Ruiz. “This is a time in the world when all civil society needs to be together to repel, fight back and stand strong together towards fascists and right-wing governments that are taking power in many countries in the world.”

Rosalba Karina Crisóstomo, a lesbian activist in the Dominican Republic who is executive director of Comunidad de Lesbianas Inclusivas Dominicanas, a local advocacy group, sought to make a broader point.

“A state that guarantees the respect of human rights for all people is worthy of a noble ruler and loved by the majority,” she told the Blade on Tuesday.

U.S. embassies maintain relationships with activists

Activists in Honduras and Chile with whom the Blade spoke said they continue to receive support from U.S. embassies in their respective countries in spite of the Trump administration’s positions on LGBT-specific issues.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Randy Berry remains in place as the special U.S. envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons. Embassies and consulates in June received guidance from the State Department that allowed them to recognize Pride month.

Hundreds of LGBTI advocates and elected officials from around Latin America earlier this year attended a conference in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute co-organized with Diversidad Dominicana, a Dominican advocacy group, and Caribe Afirmativo, an LGBT organization that works throughout northern Colombia. Fundación Iguales and the Human Rights Campaign in August announced they plan to launch a Chilean version of the HRC Corporate Equality Index.

“The American government is one thing,” Jiménez told the Blade. “The American people is another thing.”

Herman Duarte, a lawyer who founded Fundación Igualitos, a group that advocates for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Latin America, echoed Jiménez and others who remain highly critical of Trump. Duarte told the Blade he nevertheless remains optimistic about the future of the U.S.

“I have faith that things will get better,” he said.

Ernesto Valle in San Salvador, El Salvador, and Nicolás Levy in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this article.

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  1. Mark Hatchett

    October 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Central and South America are at the bottom of the list of concerns for the citizens of the USA. Maybe they should be asking Spain and Portugal which screwed them up in the first place! After all they speak the same languages.

    • lnm3921

      October 16, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      Naturally you’d come up with a racist attitude toward Latin American GLBT! It’s you, miss Milo and NAMBLA that are at the bottom of our list of concerns! Milo needs to have her Visa revoked so she can be deported back to the UK!

      • Count Dracula

        October 17, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        We all know nambla is your wet dream come true

        • lnm3921

          October 17, 2017 at 6:56 pm

          We all know you’re Bruce Major’s wet dream you couter creep!!

  2. Kemwit Tall Tree

    October 21, 2017 at 5:19 am

    I’m sure I could care less what a group of loud mouths from South America have to think or say. Really, not high on the list of concerns.

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

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise



Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots



New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011



shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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