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LGBT Alabamians ‘praying’ for Roy Moore’s defeat

Sexual assault allegations throw race into turmoil

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Democratic victories, gay news, Washington Blade

Roy Moore could lose his race in Alabama over sexual misconduct allegations. (Image courtesy YouTube)

The special election on Tuesday for a seat to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate has risen to national attention amid allegations of sexual misconduct by Roy Moore — and many in the LGBT community see an opportunity to defeat him after enduring his anti-LGBT hostility over the years.

Moore, who has a long career as an attorney and judge in Alabama, has faced accusations of sexual misconduct from nine women since he secured the Republican nomination to run for Senate.

The most prominent is Leigh Corfman, who said Moore sexually assaulted her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32. Another, Beverly Young Nelson, said when she was 15 in 1977 she received unwelcome attention from Moore. Nelson said one year later Nelson, sexually assaulted her.

Moore has denied engaging in sexual misconduct, but offered contradictory responses on whether he knows the accusers and didn’t dispute dating teenagers who were above the age of consent.

The allegations of sexual misconduct have made a seat in deep red Alabama competitive. Although polls have produced different results, Democratic nominee Doug Jones has a shot at winning the election. A former U.S. prosecutor, Jones gained notoriety by leading the government’s case against two perpetrators of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

These accusations have propelled Moore to the national spotlight and shaken up the special election, but Moore is already well known in the LGBT community for his hostility toward LGBT rights, even at the expense of abandoning the rule of law.

Upon the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality in 2015, Moore called the decision “an immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical opinion” and instructed Alabama state judges to ignore federal rulings in favor of marriage equality.

Last year, Moore issued a directive saying despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision for same-sex marriage, probate judges should still deny marriage licenses to gay couples because the Alabama Supreme Court never withheld its 2015 ruling upholding the state law against gay nuptials.

For encouraging state officials to defy federal courts, the Alabama judicial court suspended Moore for the remainder of his term from the Alabama Supreme Court, determining Moore “failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” (It wasn’t the first time Moore was suspended from the bench. It happened in 2003 when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandants from the Alabama Judicial Building.)

After he started his run for U.S. Senate, a tape emerged from 2005 in which Moore said same-sex relationships, which were illegal in many states just two years earlier before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, should be criminalized.

“What I think is that it was illegal under the law, that the Supreme Court usurped the role of the legislature and ruled something about our moral law that is improper, and that’s what we’re finding the Supreme Court and the federal district courts are doing today,” Moore said at the time.

As such the Democratic Party — along with LGBT advocates — see the competitive race as an opportunity to pick up a seat and to take a stand for LGBT rights.

Lane Galbraith, a transgender activist in Mobile, Ala., said he sees the connection between those who continue to support Roy Moore amid the allegations and opponents of LGBT rights.

“The people who are supporting Moore are the very same people who were attacking transgender men and women on the bathroom issue,” Galbraith said. “This is the sad, brainwashed thinking of many Alabamians. And even more sad that the backwards justification of supporting Moore comes from religious false teachings of God’s word. It is a very sad and disgusting state of affairs that Alabama has a pedophile running for a Senate seat in 2017.”

But Galbraith demurred when asked if he thinks Moore will lose the race as a result of the sexual allegations against him.

“If Roy Moore wins it will be damaging to Alabama,” Galbraith said. “Let’s just say we’re praying for a miracle.”

Many LGBT observers predict that a win for Moore in the U.S. Senate will be tantamount to a revival of late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, who endorsed homophobic policies during his tenure in Congress.

Amid sexual assault allegations, Moore has sought to rehabilitate his image by bolstering his anti-LGBT bonafides in a state that remains in many places hostile to LGBT rights amid growing acceptance nationwide.

Late last month, Moore spoke at the Magnolia Springs Baptist Church and blamed the sexual assault allegations against him on LGBT people, according to a Buzzfeed report.

“They’re liberals. They don’t hold conservative values. They are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture,” Moore is quoted saying. “They are socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God and the government is our God. They’re the Washington establishment…who don’t want to lose their power.”

When a federal judge ruled against President Trump’s transgender military ban, Moore called for impeachment on the grounds she exceeded her authority.

“To say that President Trump cannot prohibit transgenderism in the military is a clear example of judicial activism,” Moore was quoted as saying in the Washington Post. “Even the United States Supreme Court has never declared transgenderism to be a right under the Constitution.”

At a rally in Birmingham last month, Moore stood nearby supporters who hailed him for seeking to undermine LGBT rights, according to the Associated Press.

One supporter reportedly decried the “LGBT mafia” and “homosexualist gay terrorism.” Another admonished “homosexual sodomy” as destructive and another called same-sex marriage “a mirage” because “it’s phony and fake,” according to the report.

Fearing the loss of a Republican seat would undermine his legislative agenda, Trump endorsed Moore this week in a series of tweets on Monday after initially only hinting at support for the candidate by denigrating his opponent Jones. (Although White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was all over the place on Trump’s position on Monday, saying Trump endorsed because Jones “opposes his agenda every step of the way” and the race will “come down to the people of Alabama.”)

Among those who’ve endorsed Jones is the Human Rights Campaign, which has organized in Alabama on behalf of Jones. HRC President Chad Griffin took part in mobilization efforts in Alabama last month, estimating 60,000 LGBT people are in the state and could influence the election.

Nick Morrow, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, said his organization “was proud” to endorse Jones in this race and “to campaign and canvass for his pro-equality agenda and against Roy Moore’s dangerous, hateful policies and rhetoric.”

“Throughout this campaign, HRC organized phone banks, canvasses and community events to encourage Alabamians to make their voices heard and defeat Roy Moore, arguably the most anti-LGBTQ Senate candidate in modern history,” Morrow said. “HRC also ramped up a public education campaign that included yard signs, online ads, direct mail to educate voters about their choices in this year’s election.”

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. lnm3921

    December 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    You can expect if Moore were to get into the Senate and not expelled by it that he will introduce a religious freedom bill to attempt to codify religious discrimination against GLBT Americans! You know the Fake POTUS would support it! He said so during his campaign!

  2. Tj Donnelly

    December 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

    when is this election to be held?

    • PESEL

      December 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      -Dec. 12th.

  3. Jim Maloney

    December 7, 2017 at 11:51 am

    The tactics used by the Democrat/Doug Jones side in the waning days of this election should be put on steroids.

    Assuming there is enough corroborating evidence (possibly even a polygraph test) to put great faith in the claims of at least one or two of Roy Moore’s victims, imagine this:

    One or two of these women agree to a polygraph test to be televised live on TV. Non-partisan technicians above suspicion would administer the test(s). Aside from some initial control questions, the subsequent questions would only be permitted to involve the alleged actions by Moore with these specific women when they were teens. The tests would be interpreted by an expert panel of three non-partisans shortly thereafter, still on live TV.

    If, as we suspect and Team Jones would need to vet, these women are shown to have told the truth during these tests, it could be a game changer. Many of those who said they didn’t believe the women could have second thoughts and either vote for Jones or stay home.

    An offer to include Moore in the polygraph testing could be made publicly, in advance. Predictably, he would refuse, and his absence in view of the womens’ test results would be a further game changer. It could even be used in last minute advertising for Jones.

    Yes, polygraph tests can be less than perfect, and for this reason they are not typically introduced as evidence in a trial. They are, however, used extensively by law enforcement at the investigative phase to determine the truthfulness of witnesses–and many other scenarios. This would be a good scenario.

    Yes, this is the equivalent of a football “Hail Mary” pass. But Jones is likely to lose anyway since Moore has apparently improved in most polls, convincing enough of his rabid Alabamian supporters that he is incapable of all he is accused of OR that it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s time to throw the pass even if it results in an incompletion or interception.

    • PESEL

      December 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      His constituents are afraid of him—-Having amassed the kind of abusive power during his years in the state’s political system—they fear for their homes, their children and their own livelihoods—–Moore is not just a man who preys on vulnerable young girls, if that wasn’t enough, he is a manical tyrannt.

      There is a movie on Netflix called “Believe”. It happens to be a Christmas movie and it shows exactly the kind of manipulations that Moore does to his community—-Let’s hope this Moore political scenario has a happy ending, too.

      • JMS

        December 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        an entire population with stockholm syndrome to a political party…

        • PESEL

          December 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm

          —wow! Yes. Exactly……

  4. Gina Marie Conners

    December 7, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I’m sorry, but when you are willing to support pedophiles and sexual predators (Trump), simply because they agree with your politically, you have lost your moral compass. Alabamians resent that the nearly all of the rest of the country thinks of them as incestuous, backwards, mentally impaired hayseeds? Then stop living up to the stereotype. If Roy Moore wins next week, you might as well replace the Alabama state flag with a tattered pair of, “Hello Kitty,” panties.

    • Ruth

      December 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

      After leaving my previous job 12 months ago, i’ve had some good luck to learn about this website which was a life-saver for me… They offer jobs for which people can work online from their house. My latest paycheck after working for them for 4 months was for $4500… Amazing thing about is that the only thing required is simple typing skills and access to internet…Read all about it here
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    • LesbianTippingHabits

      December 10, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Re sexual predators (Trump), are you also referring to Bill Clinton?

      I believe Juanita.

      • Gina Marie Conners

        December 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        I’m all for including Clinton in my condemnation of sexual predation. The only issue I with with that is that Trump and his Trumptards think that because Bill Clinton did something disgusting, it excuses Trump. They also advance the argument that Mueller and other law enforcement agencies should go after Clinton instead of Trump, as if only one sexual predator can be pursued at a time, so excuse Trump and go after Clinton.

        Personally, I’m for throwing them all in jail.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          December 12, 2017 at 7:23 pm

          I think the Trumptards see Bill Clinton avoiding impeachment as somehow getting away with it, thus, in their view, there is no basis to criticize Trump.

          Rather than throwing anyone in jail, I think many such situations can easily be addressed by appointing Lorena Bobbitt to a senior position in the federal government.

          We know that Hillary Clinton’s political operation had Lorena Bobbitt’s contact information – an easily verifiable fact.

          Thank you.

  5. Mark Anthony Jones

    December 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    THIS LGBT person, (ME) is praying that Roy Moore WILL be elected and get to the US Senate to work with Trump on defeating MUCH MORE of the swamp! As the Chairman of the Jackson County (Missouri) Republican Committee, a member of the Missouri State Republican Committee I believe we will win the Senate seat in Alabama. I am not worried that Moore will be successful in putting up anything detrimental to the liberty of LGBT folks. I am about creating coalitions and in fact came to be Chairman because of a coalition of social conservatives, that got to know me, and libertarians that knew me well. Until we get people in the legislature that understand states rights and value the rights of individuals above the government we will NEVER have LIBERTY! I could sit with Roy Moore for 20 minutes and have him understanding that his religious liberty INCLUDES the rights of LGBT to love whomever they wish. We have globally tried the Marxist social collectivism route for over 100 years and it doesn’t work. It’s time to work on LIBERTY for ALL! And that won’t happen under a party filled with ANTIFA! #MAGA #Leadersnotladders #DraintheSwamp

    • ludwig123

      December 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      OH are you proposing immoral behavior –to win at all costs. Are you really an American who subscribes to the Constitutional values of all True Americans or you one of those people like that Somali terrorist who we gave refuge to and then thanks us by turning around by kicking us in the you know where as an ungrate like the person who bites the hand who feeds it., You apparently subscribe to the values an Anarchist would value . I would presume that you are suppose to be a very intelligent person but your thinking is off base and does not consider the results of such actions if put in place. You are the person who in 1930 would have put Hitler in power. Shame on you.,

      The Republican Party, today, is a corrupt and dying party and as long as you subscribe to values that turn against the Constitution of the United States and deprive others of their freedoms with such things as anti-lgbt laws, deprive aboriginee peoples of their rights like Andrew Jackson did , it is not long after that the Republican party will be no more. ITs leader is a prime example of how incompetent the Republican party is—he never has even read the Constitution and thinks that he is above the law. Those are absolute monarchists and dictatorship values. NOt American values.

      The Republican Party, today, is no longer the party that Lincoln founded which subscribed to many of today’s democratic party values. ., IT has become more a a fascist group that tries to enact laws that deprive people of their Constitutional Rights. AS an LGBT person you are stupidly shooting yourself in your own foot;. STOP IT or you will find yourself in prison just as people like you were in the 1940s facing capital execution.. You stupidly do not know the history of where we have been as an LGBTQ community and how far we have come. Perhaps you need to live in an Islamic country to learn these values–which you will greatly appreciate if you survive having yourself beheaded for being a gay person.
      Impulsive behavior is no way to govern any country etc and by the way –I am your equivalent as Precinct President in South Carolina.,

      • PESEL

        December 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        Thank you!

    • PESEL

      December 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      —Trump needs Moore for his vote on the new GOP tax plans—-which, btw, every middle-class person will be screwed and the poor. They have already fleeced the seniors by enacting IRMMA gouging their monthly Social Security checks by 15-20% in order to pay for the Dreamers citizenship—-All non-profit social services who depend on taxpayer donations, including all LGBT Centers run on donations will be struggling due to their plan to double the standard deduction and eliminate personal exemptions. The average taxpayer who itemizes deductions will forego the charitable contribution deduction and be less likely to donate due to no tax write-off. This is supposed to start in 2018. #LGBTBigotsUnite, huh?

    • JMS

      December 8, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      Reminds me of Gays for Hitler…. You’re just hoping because you put an “R” in front of your name the GOP will kill you last. Understandable, I guess. Deluded, idiotic, but understandable.

    • Gina Marie Conners

      December 22, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Wow! You’re gay and for Roy Moore? The man who wants to make being gay illegal? One of two things might explain that. A) you ingested a near-toxic amount of lead paint chips as a child or, B) your parents are siblings who came from an obviously long line of sibling parents, as well.

      Thankfully, the majority of voters in Alabama recognized evil and hatefulness when they saw it. Even when it came dressed up in a preschooler’s cowboy suit. Hopefully, you will get help and one day be mentally healthy enough to run and jump and play with people, again.

  6. LesbianTippingHabits

    December 8, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Don’t just pray – and vote.

    Take next Tuesday off and volunteer to get out the vote!

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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

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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

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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

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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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