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Beloved D.C. bartender Howard Bivins dies at 77

‘He knew everyone’s name’



C. Howard Bivins Jr., gay news, Washington Blade

C. Howard Bivins Jr., a bartender who worked for six D.C. gay bars over a period of 35 years and became known as a congenial conversationist with many of his customers, died on April 12 at his home in Burke, Va., from complications associated with the lung illness known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his partner of 39 years Perry Morehouse. He was 77.

Morehouse and others who knew Bivins said his regular customers at some of D.C.’s most popular gay bars often sought his advice and viewed him as an avid listener to whatever was on their minds.

“He loved to talk over the bar,” said Morehouse. “And he knew everyone’s name. He knew where everybody came from. He was very congenial,” Morehouse said. “He was always leaning over the bar talking to people. He was not the type of bartender that would make a drink and walk away.”

Morehouse said Bivins was born and raised in Richmond, Va., and was a 1963 graduate of Richmond’s Manchester High School, where he became known as a good dancer at the school’s student dances.

He worked in various positions in Richmond, including at Reynolds Metals, according to Morehouse, before moving to D.C. in the early 1980s. Morehouse noted that a number of the bars where Bivins started out as a bartender are no longer in business.

Among them were the Dupont Circle gay bar Fraternity House, where Bivins worked from 1982 to 1986. From 1986 to 2000, Bivins tended bar at the Capital Hill gay country western bar called Remington’s. And from 2000 to 2002 Bevins moved to another gay country western bar a few blocks away near the U.S. Marine barracks called Sheridan’s.

During part of the time he worked at Sheridan’s, Bivins also worked on different nights at the gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s-Secrets at its original location on the unit bock of O Street, S.E. up until 2006, when the club was displaced by construction of the Washington Nationals stadium.

Morehouse said Bivins then began bartending at the nearby gay nightclub Wet before that club was also displaced a year or two later by development related to the new baseball stadium. From there, according to Morehouse, Bivins returned to the former Fraternity House which had been renamed Omega. He tended bar there until Omega closed its doors in 2012.

“When Omega closed in 2012, he retired at the age of 68,” said Morehouse.

“Howard was always a spitfire and kept things lively and real,” said gay activist Robert York in a posting on Morehouse’s Facebook page. “Treasure the memories and know he will be missed by our community,” York wrote. “No doubt he’s keeping heaven on their toes and pouring shots for break times. Rest in power Howard.”

Morehouse said Bivins had a special place in his heart for Morehouse’s grandson Henning. “Trying to figure out how he was to be referred, he came up with the name 3-Pa, the third grandpa,” Morehouse recalls.

“He loved eating out and traveling, always surrounded by his close friends Craig, Mike, Ed, Carl, Greg, Chas, and Harry,” said Morehouse.

Bivins was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by Morehouse, his partner of 39 years, and his siblings Dorothy, David, and Beverly, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Contributions may be made in Bivins’ name to the D.C.-area hospice service Capital Caring Health at

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Comings & Goings

Cummings joins White House Office of National Cyber Director



John Cummings

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected]

Congratulations to John Cummings on joining the Office of the National Cyber Director at the White House as Director of Supply Chain and Technology Security. Upon getting the position, he said, “I am beyond thrilled to join the growing team at the National Cyber Director’s Office and bring my experience to our mission of mitigating the cyber threats facing our nation and ensuring every American can enjoy the full benefits of the digital ecosystem. It is truly a privilege to work with this incredibly brilliant and collegial group of cyber experts.” 

Prior to joining the White House, Cummings served as Associate General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Before that role, he served as interim Chief Counsel for ODNI’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center and as Associate General Counsel for the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.

He has provided legal advice and counsel on matters of government-wide and interagency policy and national security in the areas of executive authority, cyber, constitutional law, civil rights and civil liberties, legislative affairs, and international cooperation. He has worked on recruiting LGBTQ, women, and minority applicants for government roles in national security and is experienced in public relations, stakeholder relationships, and international partnerships. 

Cummings began his career clerking for the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and also clerked for the House Committee on Homeland Security and the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

He attended Villanova University where he received a bachelor’s degree in English. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law, New Orleans, and his LL.M. in National Security Law from Georgetown Law.

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Abortion rights in post-Roe Maryland, Delaware

Practice generally legal, with some restrictions



Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Public domain photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 found that the decision to receive an abortion was generally protected by the Constitution of the United States. With the broadest federal protection of abortion access now rescinded, the legality of abortion will by and large be determined on the state level.

In Delaware, abortion is legal through the Medical Practice Act — but with some restrictions.

After fetal viability, or the point where a fetus can survive outside the uterus, abortion in the First State becomes illegal unless necessary for the patient’s “life or health,” or if the fetus has a condition “for which there is not a reasonable likelihood” that it will survive outside the uterus, according to Subchapter IX of the act

Additionally, under the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act, physicians cannot perform a surgical abortion on minors under the age of 16 unless the patient’s parent or guardian has received at least 24 hours notice from a medical professional. Notice is not required for nonsurgical abortions.

On the federal level, the funding of abortion is illegal through the 1977 Hyde Amendement “except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest,” according to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights advocacy organization. States are only federally required to fund abortions that meet these conditions through federal-state Medicaid programs. 

While some states also fund abortions deemed medically necessary regardless of whether they endanger a patient’s life, Delaware state law does not extend beyond federal guidelines: The state only funds abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

Abortion legislation in Delaware mirrors neighboring Maryland, whose laws include similar restrictions on abortion after fetal viability and abortion for minors under the age of 16. But abortion laws in these states are generally more restrictive than other mid-Atlantic counterparts, such as New Jersey and New York.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) weighed in on the state’s abortion law on Friday.

“In 1992, Maryland voters approved a constitutional referendum legalizing and protecting access to abortion as a matter of state law – that measure remains in effect today following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of Maryland, and that is what I have always done and will continue to do as governor.”

The impact of Roe v. Wade’s fall in Delaware remains uncertain. While the abortion rate in Delaware steadily declined between 2014 and 2017, recent findings show that instances of abortion are increasing once again in the state, reflecting a rise on the national level.

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Youngkin backs abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy

Republican governor supports exceptions for incest, rape and protecting mother’s life



Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade said he will seek to ban abortions in his state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

“Virginians do want fewer abortions as opposed to more abortions,” Youngkin told the Washington Post. “I am not someone who is going to jump in and try to push us apart … There is a place we can come together.”

Youngkin, a Republican, took office in January.

His party controls the Virginia House of Delegates, but Democrats maintain a 21-19 majority in the state Senate.

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dobbs, giving power back to the states to make decisions on abortion,” said Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears in a statement. “The court has recognized that the 1973 decision was an example of judicial and federal overreach. The important question of abortion has now been returned to statehouses across the country, in order for them to make their own policy decisions, which is exactly what the founding fathers envision when they wrote the 10th amendment to the Constitution.” 

“I applaud the court for recognizing this wrong and having the courage to correct it. I look forward to working with the governor and the General Assembly in the next legislative session on legislation that respects life,” she added.

Abortion is currently legal in Virginia during the first and second trimesters.

Youngkin on Friday said he supports abortion exemptions in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk.

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