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Beloved Univ. of Md. student, LGBTQ activist Jude Maloney dies at 19

‘They brought joy and light whenever we saw them’

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Jude Maloney, gay news, Washington Blade

Jude Maloney, a third-year student at the University of Maryland at College Park who identified as a transgender male and who was active with LGBTQ campus organizations, including the Pride Alliance and the group TransU, died on Jan. 25 at Maloney’s off-campus residence at the age of 19.

People who knew Maloney said Maloney preferred the pronouns he/him or they/their.

A statement released by Luke Jensen, director of the university’s LGBT Equity Center, where Maloney worked part-time, did not disclose a cause of death but said there was “no foul play nor was it related to COVID-19.”

During a Feb. 1 virtual service of remembrance for Maloney organized by the College Park campus’s Lutheran Ministry, with which Maloney was involved, people who knew Maloney referred to the death as a suicide.

“Jude was an outstanding student studying Information Science and was a member of the University Honors program in the Honors College,” the statement released by the LGBT Equity Center says. “They were an integral part of various campus communities including Lutheran campus ministries,” says the statement.

“In addition to their responsibilities as student staff in the LGBT Equity Center, they were involved in many of our programs including the Speakers Bureau, the Lavender Leadership Honor Society, and as a student leader for Q Camp,” the statement continues. “Jude was active with several student groups including the Pride Alliance and TransU,’ it says.

“They brought joy and light whenever we saw them,” the statement adds.
Rev. Ray Ranker, pastor and chaplain for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Maryland at College Park, said Maloney grew up in Calvert County, Md.

“I would say that two important parts of who Jude was include that they were a faithful Christian and that they were a transgender person,” Ranker said. “And so, Jude was active with the LGBT Equity Center, was very active in our campus ministry, was a Sunday school teacher for Hope Lutheran Church at the campus.”

He said Maloney also served as a camp counselor at a Lutheran summer camp in Maryland.

“Jude was very good with kids, loved kids,” Ranker said.

“Jude was incredibly smart and intellectually curious, curious about faith questions and God,” Ranker said. “Jude had a really strong sense of justice and, of course, around LGBTQ issues. But it wasn’t just confined to LGBTQ issues,” said Ranker, who noted that Maloney had a strong interest in learning about the Black civil rights movement.

Information released by the Lee Funeral Home in Maryland says Maloney’s family received friends at a visitation held at the funeral home on Feb. 2.

Ranker, who attended the visitation, said family members and friends then attended the internment of Maloney’s ashes at the Chesapeake Highlands Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Port Republic, Md.

“Jude was a loving child, and friend,” a statement released by the funeral homes says. “Any person who knew or worked with Jude knows what a kind, brilliant, quirky, and tenderhearted person Jude was,” the statement says. “Jude touched many lives and will be greatly missed by all.”

Maloney is survived by parents, Leah Woods and Patrick Maloney; sisters Amanda Webber and Anna Louise Webber, and many friends, including fellow students at the University of Maryland.

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District of Columbia

D.C. Council budget bill includes $8.5 million in LGBTQ provisions

Measure also changes Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs

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The D.C. Council approved Mayor Muriel Bowser’s budget proposal calling for $5.25 million in funding for World Pride 2025. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Council on June 12 gave final approval for a $21 billion fiscal year 2025 budget for the District of Columbia that includes more than $8.5 million in funding for LGBTQ-related programs, including $5.25 million in support of the June 2025 World Pride celebration that D.C. will be hosting.

Also included in the budget is $1.7 million in funds for the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, which includes an increase of $132,000 over the office’s funding for the current fiscal year, and a one-time funding of $1 million for the completion of the renovation of the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community’s new building in the city’s Shaw neighborhood.

The D.C. LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition earlier this year asked both the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to approve $1.5 million for the D.C. Center’s building renovation and an additional $300,000 in “recurring” funding for the LGBTQ Center in subsequent years “to support ongoing operational costs and programmatic initiatives.” In its final budget measure, the Council approved $1 million for the renovation work and did not approve the proposed $600,000 in annual operational funding for the center.

The mayor’s budget proposal, which called for the $5.25 million in funding for World Pride 2025, did not include funding for the D.C. LGBTQ Center or for several other funding requests by the LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition.

At the request of D.C. Council member Zachary Parker (D-Ward 5), the Council’s only gay member, the Council approved at least two other funding requests by the LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition in addition to the funding for the LGBTQ Center. One is $595,000 for 20 additional dedicated housing vouchers for LGBTQ residents who face housing insecurity or homelessness. The LGBTQ housing vouchers are administered by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

The other funding allocation pushed by Parker is $250,000 in funds to support a Black LGBTQ+ History Commission and Black LGBTQIA+ history program that Parker proposed that will also be administered by the LGBTQ Affairs office.

Also at Parker’s request, the Council included in its budget bill a proposal by Parker to change the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs to become a “stand-alone entity” outside the Executive Office of the Mayor. Parker told the Washington Blade this change would “allow for greater transparency and accountability that reflects its evolution over the years.”

He said the change would also give the person serving as the office’s director, who is currently LGBTQ rights advocate Japer Bowles, “greater flexibility to advocate for the interest of LGBTQ residents” and give the Council greater oversight of the office. Parker noted that other community constituent offices under the mayor’s office, including the Office of Latino Affairs and the Office of Veterans Affairs, are stand-alone offices.

The budget bill includes another LGBTQ funding provision introduced by D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) that allocates $100,000 in grants to support LGBTQ supportive businesses in Ward 6 that would be awarded and administered by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs. Allen spokesperson Eric Salmi said Allen had in mind two potential businesses on 8th Street, S.E. in the Barracks Row section of Capitol Hill as potential applicants for the grants.

One is the LGBTQ café and bar As You Are, which had to close temporarily earlier this year due to structural problems in the building it rents. The other potential applicant, Salmi said, is Little District Books, D.C.’s only LGBTQ bookstore that’s located on 8th Street across the street from the U.S. Marine Barracks.

“It’s kind of recognizing Barrack’s Row has a long history of creating spaces that are intended for and safe for the LGBTQ community and wanting to continue that history,” Salmi said  “So, that was his kind of intent behind the language in that funding.”

The mayor’s budget proposal also called for continuing an annual funding of $600,000 to provide workforce development services for transgender and gender non-conforming city residents experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

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Virginia

Suhas Subramanyam wins Democratic primary in Va. 10th Congressional District

Former Obama advisor vows to champion LGBTQ rights in Congress

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Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Fairfax County) (Photo courtesy of Subramanyam's campaign)

Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County) on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in Congress.

Subramanyam won the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District with 30.4 percent of the votes. The Loudoun County Democrat who was an advisor to former President Barack Obama will face Republican Mike Clancy in November’s general election.

“I’m thrilled to be the Democratic nominee in Virginia’s 10th, and to have won this election during Pride Month,” Subramanyam told the Washington Blade on Wednesday in an emailed statement. “As I have done in the state legislature and as an Obama White House policy advisor, I will always stand as an ally with the LGBTQ+ community.”

Wexton, who is a vocal LGBTQ rights champion, last September announced she will not seek re-election after doctors diagnosed her with progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurological disorder she has described as “Parkinson’s on steroids.” Wexton is a vice chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus and a previous co-chair of its Transgender Equality Task Force.

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Baltimore

Police say they didn’t spray a chemical agent at Baltimore Pride. Why don’t those who attended believe it?

Attendees allege city failed to adequately respond to emergency

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A parade participant is photographed clutching on to a rainbow flag at Baltimore’s Pride Parade held on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ronica Edwards/Baltimore Banner)

BY BRENNA SMITH and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | A chemical agent that disrupted Pride Parade festivities last weekend continues to cause confusion and raise suspicion among many in the Baltimore LGBTQIA+ community, who question the police account of what happened.

The Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday that they had determined the released substance was Mace, but did not say how they came to that conclusion. A BPD spokesperson said that the chemical was released after two groups of people got into an altercation. Three people were treated and released from a nearby hospital because of injuries from the spray.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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