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Vote in D.C.’s ‘LGBTQ precincts’ divided between Bowser, White

Bonds loses in 10 of 13 precincts with high concentration of queer voters

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Mayor Bowser won her primary race over Robert White, taking seven of the 13 precincts with high concentrations of LGBTQ voters. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Voters in 13 of the city’s 144 electoral precincts that LGBTQ activists have long said include a high concentration of LGBTQ residents and voters divided their vote between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Councilmember Robert White, her lead rival, in the city’s June 21 Democratic primary.

In the D.C. Board of Elections final but unofficial vote tally for the primary, which it released on July 3, Bowser beat Robert White (D-At-Large) in seven of the 13 so-called LGBTQ precincts. Robert White won in six of the precincts. The two mayoral candidates won or lost in the 13 precincts mostly by a close margin of less than 5 percent.

The other two Democratic mayoral candidates, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White and former attorney and former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner James Butler, received less than 10 percent of the vote in each of the 13 precincts in question.

The precincts include the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Shaw, Capitol Hill, Anacostia, and the Southwest Waterfront. 

In the race for the D.C. Council Chair, incumbent Phil Mendelson and his only Democratic opponent, attorney and community activist Erin Palmer, each won six of the 13 LGBTQ precincts. The two finished in a tie vote in Precinct 90, which is part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with each receiving 294 votes or 49.75 percent of the vote in that precinct, according to the Board of Elections final returns.

In the At-Large Council race, incumbent Councilmember Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), a longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community, did not fare as well as Bowser and Mendelson in the LGBTQ precincts. Bonds won in just three of the 13 precincts – those in Logan Circle, Shaw, and Anacostia.

Among her three opponents in the four-candidate race in the primary, attorney Nate Fleming won six of the precincts and ANC Commissioner Lisa Gore won in four of the LGBTQ precincts.

The fourth candidate running for the at-large seat, former DC Council staffer and former Howard University community relations official Dexter Williams, received less than 10 percent of the vote in each of the 13 precincts and lost in all of them.

The candidates challenging Bonds for the at-large Council seat – as well as all the Democratic candidates running for mayor and the Council Chair seat – expressed strong support for LGBTQ rights. Bonds’s poor showing in the LGBTQ precincts suggests that at least some LGBTQ voters may have voted for Fleming and Gore instead of Bonds based on other issues.

Bonds won the primary with 35.85 percent of the vote, with Gore receiving 28.08 percent of the vote and Fleming receiving 27.73 percent, according to the Board of Elections final vote count.

In the race for mayor, Bowser won the primary with 49.01 percent of the citywide vote. Robert White received 40.5 percent, Trayon White received 8.79 percent, and Butler received 1.38 percent.

 In the Council chair race, Mendelson, a longtime LGBTQ rights supporter, won the citywide vote with 53.16 percent compared to challenger Palmer, who received 46.44 percent.

Four of the 13 precincts considered to have a high concentration of LGBTQ residents and voters are in Ward 1. They include Precincts 24 and 25 in Adams Morgan and Precincts 23 and 36 in Columbia Heights.

The final vote count for those four precincts show that incumbent Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) beat her gay opponent in the Ward 1 race, former D.C. police officer Salah Czapary, in each of the four precincts. Nadeau won in three of the four precincts by a margin greater than 10 percent of the vote.

In a development that surprised some in the LGBTQ community, Capital Stonewall Democrats, the city’s largest local LGBTQ political organization, endorsed Nadeau over Czapary in the Ward 1 Council race. Czapary received the endorsement of the national LGBTQ Victory Fund as well as from the Washington Post and former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

Activists following the race have said LGBTQ voters who backed Nadeau were clearly basing their vote on issues other than LGBTQ rights, for which Nadeau and a third candidate in the race, community activist Sabel Harris, have expressed support.

Nadeau won the Ward 1 primary with 48.46 percent of the vote. Czapary received 30.94 percent, with Harris receiving 20.36 percent.

In the Ward 5 D.C. Council contest, gay D.C. Board of Education member Zachary Parker won the primary in a seven-candidate race, placing him in a strong position to win the November general election and become the first openly gay member of the D.C. Council since 2015. The Blade couldn’t immediately identify precincts in Ward 5 that may have significant numbers of LGBTQ voters.

In the mayor’s race, Bowser and Robert White each won and lost one of the two LGBTQ precincts in Dupont Circle and Logan Circle by close margins. Bowser beat Robert White in Dupont Circle Precinct 14 by a margin of 50.26 percent to 45.42 percent. But Robert White won in the adjacent Dupont Circle Precinct 15 by a margin of 49.0 percent to 48.17 percent over Bowser.

The mayor won the Logan Circle Precinct 16 by a vote of 54.29 percent compared to Robert White, who received 41.12 percent. In the Logan Circle Precinct 17, Robert White beat Bowser by a margin of 48.29 percent to 46.33 percent.

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC MAYOR

James Butler                        1,753            1.38%

Muriel Bowser                   62,391           49.01%

Trayon White                     11,193             8.79%

Robert White                     51,557            40.5%

Write-In                                    406             0.32%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts with High Concentration of LGBTQ voters

Board of Elections

DC MAYOR

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

James Butler              21                2.16%

*Muriel Bowser       488             50.26%

Trayon White             16              1.65%

Robert White           441            45.42%

Write-In                        5               0.51%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

James Butler                16               1.33%

Muriel Bowser           579            48.17%                

Trayon White               17               1.41%

*Robert White           589               49.0%

Write-In                          2               0.17%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

James Butler                 21                1.55%

*Muriel Bowser            734             54.29%

Trayon White               34                2.51%

Robert White               556             41.12%

Write-In                            7               0.23%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

James Butler                 32                 2.24%

Muriel Bowser             663              46.33%

Trayon White                 43                 3.0%

*Robert White             691             48.29%

Write-In                              2               0.14%

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan

James Butler                     14                    1.2%

Muriel Bowser                 541               46.48%

Trayon White                       9                  0.77%

*Robert White                   594                51.03%

Write-In                                6                  0.52%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

James Butler                      20                       1.1%

Muriel Bowser                  883                 48.49%

Trayon White                      19                   1.94%

*Robert White                    895                 49.15%

Write-In                                  4                   0.23%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights          

James Butler                       20                       1.87%

Muriel Bowser                  455                      42.6%

Trayon White                      49                       4.59% 

*Robert White                  541                   50.66% 

Write-In                                 3                        0.58%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

James Butler                     18                         1.32%

Muriel Bowser                 508                     37.27%

Trayon White                   102                       7.48%

*Robert White                 731                     53.63%

Write-In                                5                        0.39%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

James Butler                         43                        1.67%

*Muriel Bowser              1,300                       50.37%                

Trayon White                     148                          5.73%

Robert White                  1,081                       41.88%

Write-In                                   9                          0.35%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

James Butler                       12                              0.98%

*Muriel Bowser               677                            55.22%

Trayon White                      14                             1.14%

Robert White                    521                             42.5%

Write-In                                 2                              0.16%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

James Butler                       7                                  1.14%

*Muriel Bowser               349                               56.75%

Trayon White                     11                                 1.79%

Robert White                   246                                 40.0%

Write-In                                3                                  0.51%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

James Butler                        13                                0.84%

*Muriel Bowser                778                             50.23%

Trayon White                     128                               8.26%

Robert White                     628                             40.54%

Write-In                                  2                                0.13%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

James Butler                      18                                       3.59%

*Muriel Bowser              277                                     45.35%

Trayon White                   107                                    21.36%

Robert White                   148                                    29.54%

Write-In                                 1                                        0.2%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL CHAIR

Erin Palmer                                   56,671                            46.44%

*Phil Mendelson                          64,877                            53.16%

Write-In                                               406                              0.32%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts With High Concentration of LGBTQ Voters

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL CHAIR

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

*Erin Palmer                                 492                             52.34%

Phil Mendelson                            446                             47.45%

Write-In                                             2                                0.21%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

*Erin Palmer                               627                              53.5%

Phil Mendelson                          543                            46.33%

Write-In                                           2                               0.17%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

Erin Palmer                                    580                              44.68%

*Phil Mendelson                           715                              55.08%

Write-In                                              3                                 0.23%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

*Erin Palmer                                  739                               54.02%

Phil Mendelson                             628                               45.91%

Write-In                                               1                                 0.07%

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan        

*Erin Palmer                                 593                                  53.09%

Phil Mendelson                            522                                  46.73%

Write-In                                             2                                     0.18%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

Erin Palmer                                  866                                   48.93%

*Phil Mendelson                        900                                   50.85%

Write-In                                            4                                      0.23%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights

*Erin Palmer                              546                                    53.46%

Phil Mendelson                         474                                      46.2%

Write-In                                          6                                       0.58%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

*Erin Palmer                             746                                        58.37%

Phil Mendelson                        527                                        41.24%

Write-In                                         5                                           0.39%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

Erin Palmer                              1,144                                     46.62%

*Phil Mendelson                    1,299                                     52.93%

Write-In                                          11                                       0.45%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

Erin Palmer                              556                                         46.8%

*Phil Mendelson                    629                                       52.95%

Write-In                                        3                                         0.25%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

Erin Palmer                             294                                        49.75%

Phil Mendelson                      294                                        49.75%

Write-In                                       3                                           0.51%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

Erin Palmer                            674                                         45.66%

*Phil Mendelson                  796                                         53.93%

Write-In                                      6                                            0.41%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

Erin Palmer                            168                                         35.52%

*Phil Mendelson                  303                                         64.06%

Write-In                                      2                                            0.42%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Citywide Vote Count

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL AT-LARGE

Lisa Gore                                      33,225                     28.08%

Nate Fleming                               32,815                     27.73%

*Anita Bonds                               42,421                     35.85%

Dexter Williams                            9,356                        7.91%

Write-In                                             504                        0.43%

DC Democratic Primary

June 21, 2022

Final Pre-Certified Precinct Vote Count

Precincts With High Concentration of LGBTQ Voters

Board of Elections

DC COUNCIL AT-Large

Precinct 14 – Dupont Circle

Lisa Gore                                     309                             34.14%

*Nate Fleming                            311                             34.36%

Anita Bonds                                207                              22.87%

Dexter Williams                           72                                7.96%

Write-In                                          6                                 0.21%

Precinct 15 – Dupont Circle

*Lisa Gore                                  421                               38.34%

Nate Fleming                             355                               32.33%

Anita Bond                                 222                               20.22%

Dexter Williams                          97                                 8.83%

Precinct 16 – Logan Circle

Lisa Gore                                    371                               29.87%

*Nate Fleming                          437                               35.19%

Anita Bonds                               350                                28.18%

Dexter Williams                          82                                   6.6%

Write-In                                         2                                    0.16%

Precinct 17 – Logan Circle

*Lisa Gore                                413                                 30.87%

Nate Fleming                            401                                 29. 97%

Anita Bonds                              420                                 31.39%

Dexter Williams                       101                                    7.55%

Write-In                                         3                                     0.22$

Precinct 24 – Adams Morgan

*Lisa Gore                                384                                     36.4%

Nate Fleming                           330                                     31.28%

Anita Bonds                             261                                     24.74%

Dexter Williams                        80                                        7.58%

Write-In                                       0                                              0%

Precinct 25 – Adams Morgan

Lisa Gore                                 571                                        34.19%

*Nate Fleming                       595                                         35.63%

Anita Bonds                           362                                          21.68%

Dexter Williams                    132                                            7.9%

Write-In                                    10                                            0.6%

Precinct 23 – Columbia Heights

*Lisa Gore                            336                                            34.46%

Nate Fleming                       273                                            28.0%

Anita Bonds                         278                                            28.51%

Dexter Williams                    85                                              8.72%

Write-In                                   3                                               0.31%

Precinct 36 – Columbia Heights

*Lisa Gore                             418                                             33.76%

Nate Fleming                      318                                             25.69%

Anita Bonds                        386                                             31.18%

Dexter Williams                 112                                               9.05%

Write-In                                   4                                               0.32%

Precinct 129 – Shaw

Lisa Gore                            662                                            28.03%

Nate Fleming                     695                                            29.42%

*Anita Bonds                     800                                            33.87%

Dexter Williams                195                                              8.26%

Write-In                               10                                               0.42%

Precinct 89 – Capitol Hill

Lisa Gore                          336                                               29.87%

*Nate Fleming                460                                               40.89%

Anita Bonds                     254                                               22.58%

Dexter Williams                68                                                  6.04%

Write-In                               7                                                   0.62%

Precinct 90 – Capitol Hill

Lisa Gore                        164                                                 29.55%

*Nate Fleming              206                                                 37.12%

Anita Bonds                   153                                                 27.57%

Dexter Williams              30                                                   5.41%

Write-In                             2                                                    0.36%

Precinct 127 – Southwest Waterfront

Lisa Gore                      323                                                  22.62%

Nate Fleming               394                                                  27.59%

*Anita Bonds               594                                                    41.6%

Dexter Williams          115                                                    8.05%

Write-In                            2                                                    0.14%

Precinct 112 – Anacostia

Lisa Gore                      74                                                     15.95%

Nate Fleming              103                                                     22.2%

*Anita Bonds              249                                                    53.66%

Dexter Williams            37                                                     7.97%

Write-In                           1                                                      0.22%

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District of Columbia

Three of five LGBTQ candidates win race for DNC delegate from D.C.

32 candidates competed for 13 elected seats in party caucus

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John Fanning finished in first place in the race for DNC delegate. (Photo courtesy of Fanning)

Three out of five known LGBTQ candidates running for election as delegates from D.C. to the Democratic National Convention won their races at an April 20 Democratic Party caucus election held at D.C.’s Walter Washington Convention Center.

Ward 2 gay Democratic activist John Fanning finished in first place with 140 votes and Ward 8 gay Democratic activist David Meadows finished in second place with 127 votes in a race in which six male candidates committed to supporting President Biden were competing for three male seats in a section of the city designated as Congressional District 1, which included registered Democratic voters in Wards 1, 2, 6, and 8.

Ward 7 gay Democratic activist Jimmie Williams won his race, finishing in third place with 200 votes in a race in which eight male candidates committed to President Biden competed for four male seats in the Congressional District 2 section of the city that included Wards 3, 4, 5, and 7.

Gay Democratic activist Felipe Afanador lost his race, finishing in sixth place with 47 votes in the Congressional District 2 election for male candidates backing Biden. It couldn’t immediately be determined which of the four wards in District 2 he is from.

The Washington Blade didn’t learn about Afanador’s status as an LGBTQ candidate until the Capital Stonewall Democrats announced it one day before the April 20 party election in an email statement.

In the Congressional District 2 race among female candidates, in which eight candidates competed for three female seats, transgender rights advocate and Ward 3 Democratic Party activist Monika Nemeth lost her race, finishing in sixth place with 49 votes.

The five LGBTQ candidates were among 32 candidates competing for just 13 elected delegate positions in D.C. D.C. will have a total of 51 delegates to the Democratic Convention, but the other 38 include elected officials and party leaders who are considered “automatic” or appointed delegates. The Democratic Convention will be held in Chicago Aug. 19-23.

Observers familiar with the April 20 party caucus election said Fanning, Meadows, and Williams had participated in local D.C. Democratic Party events and activities for a longer period than Nemeth and Afanador and appear to have been better known among Democratic voters in their respective wards as well as other wards. Those factors contributed to their receiving significantly more votes than most other candidates, observers have said. 

In his candidacy statement posted on the D.C. Democratic Party website, Afanador said he worked on the 2020 Biden presidential election campaign in Pennsylvania. His LinkedIn page says in 2022 he began work in Washington for the Biden administration as an official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nemeth is a past president of D.C.’s Capital Stonewall Democrats, the city’s largest LGBTQ local political group, and has been an active member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, the local party governing body. She served as a Biden delegate at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

“It is important for our D.C. delegation to have strong LGBTQ representation,” Capital Stonewall Democrats said in its April 19 statement. “There are five LGBQ candidates running to be delegate, and Capital Stonewall Democrats asks that our members support each one,” the statement says.

“Unfortunately, they fell short, but they and all queer Democrats are welcome to attend and participate in convention events and activities sponsored by the national and local party,” Meadows told the Blade in referring to Nemeth and Afanador. “Our shared goal is to unite behind the Biden-Harris ticket to protect our LGBTQ rights from being dismantled by Donald Trump and the GOP,” Meadows said.

“Running for District Delegate is one of the most grassroots efforts,” Fanning told the Blade. “It’s very beneficial to align yourself on a slate with community leaders that have either previously run for District Delegate or have developed a constituency in their community from other civic engagements,” he said, referring to possible reasons for his, Meadows, and Williams’s election victory.

Aside from the D.C. elected LGBTQ delegates, two prominent D.C. LGBTQ Democratic leaders will be appointed as delegates to the 2024 Democratic National Convention in their role as members of the Democratic National Committee from D.C. They are Claire Lucas, a highly acclaimed Democratic Party and LGBTQ rights advocate and party fundraiser; and Earl Fowlkes, one of the lead organizers of D.C.’s annual Black LGBTQ Pride celebration and former president of the Capital Stonewall Democrats. Both are committed to supporting President Biden as the Democratic nominee for re-election.

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District of Columbia

New D.C. LGBTQ+ bar Crush set to open April 19

An ‘all-inclusive entertainment haven,’ with dance floor, roof deck

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Crush (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C.’s newest LGBTQ+ bar called Crush is scheduled to open for business at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 19, in a spacious, two-story building with a dance floor and roof deck at 2007 14th St., N.W. in one of the city’s bustling nightlife areas.

A statement released by co-owners Stephen Rutgers and Mark Rutstein earlier this year says the new bar will provide an atmosphere that blends “nostalgia with contemporary nightlife” in a building that was home to a popular music store and radio supply shop.

Rutgers said the opening comes one day after Crush received final approval of its liquor license that was transferred from the Owl Room, a bar that operated in the same building before closing Dec. 31 of last year. The official opening also comes three days after Crush hosted a pre-opening reception for family, friends, and community members on Tuesday, April 16.

Among those attending, Rutgers said, were officials with several prominent local LGBTQ organizations, including officials with the DC Center for the LGBTQ Community, which is located across the street from Crush in the city’s Reeves Center municipal building. Also attending were Japer Bowles, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, and Salah Czapary, director of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture.  

Rutgers said Crush plans to hold a grand opening event in a few weeks after he, Rutstein and the bar’s employees become settled into their newly opened operations.

“Step into a venue where inclusivity isn’t just a promise but a vibrant reality,” a statement posted on the Crush website says. “Imagine an all-inclusive entertainment haven where diversity isn’t just celebrated, it’s embraced as the very heartbeat of our venue,” the statement says. “Welcome to a place where love knows no bounds, and the only color or preference that matters is the vibrant tapestry of humanity itself. Welcome to Crush.”

The website says Crush will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. It will be closed on Mondays.

Crush is located less than two blocks from the U Street Metro station.

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District of Columbia

Reenactment of first gay rights picket at White House draws interest of tourists

LGBTQ activists carry signs from historic 1965 protest

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About 30 LGBTQ activists formed a picket line in front of the White House April 17. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

About 30 LGBTQ activists formed a circular picket line in front of the White House Wednesday afternoon, April 17, carrying signs calling for an end to discrimination against “homosexuals” in a reenactment of the first gay rights protest at the White House that took place 59 years earlier on April 17, 1965.

Crowds of tourists looked on with interest as the activists walked back and forth in silence in front of the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue. Like the 1965 event, several of the men were dressed in suits and ties and the women in dresses in keeping with a 1960s era dress code policy for protests of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., the city’s first gay rights group that organized the 1965 event.

Wednesday’s reenactment was organized by D.C.’s Rainbow History Project, which made it clear that the event was not intended as a protest against President Joe Biden and his administration, which the group praised as a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights.

“I think this was an amazing event,” said Vincent Slatt, the Rainbow History Project official who led efforts to put on the event. “We had twice as many that we had hoped for that came today,” he said.

“It was so great to see a reenactment and so great to see how far we’ve come,” Slatt said. “And also, the acknowledgement of what else we still need to do.”

Slatt said participants in the event who were not carrying picket signs handed out literature explaining the purpose of the event.

A flier handed out by participants noted that among the demands of the protesters at the 1965 event were to end the ban on homosexuals from working in the federal government, an end to the ban on gays serving in the military, an end to the denial of security clearances for gays, and an end of the government’s refusal to meet with the LGBTQ community. 

“The other thing that I think is really, really moving is some of the gay staff inside the White House found out this was happening and came out to greet us,” Slatt said. He noted that this highlighted how much has changed since 1965, when then President Lyndon Johnson’s White House refused to respond to a letter sent to Johnson from the Mattachine Society explaining its grievances. 

“So now to have gay people in the White House coming out to give us their respects and to say hello was especially meaningful to us,” Slatt said. “That was not expected today.”

Among those walking the picket line was longtime D.C. LGBTQ rights advocate Paul Kuntzler, who is the only known surviving person who was among the White House picketers at the April 1965 event. Kuntzler said he proudly carried a newly printed version of the sign at Wednesday’s reenactment event that he carried during the 1965 protest. It stated, “Fifteen Million Homosexuals Protest Federal Treatment.”  

Also participating in the event was Japer Bowles, director of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. Bowles presented Slatt with a proclamation issued by Bowser declaring April 17, 2024, Mattachine Society Day in Washington, D.C.

“Whereas, on April 17, 1965, the Mattachine Society of Washington courageously held the nation’s inaugural picket for gay rights, a seminal moment in the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ equality in the United States, marking the genesis of public demonstrations advocating for those rights and paving the way for Pride Marches and Pride celebrations worldwide,” the proclamation states.

About 30 minutes after the reenactment event began, uniformed Secret Service agents informed Slatt that due to a security issue the picketers would have to move off the sidewalk in front of the White House and resume the picketing across the street on the sidewalk in front of Lafayette Park. When asked by the Washington Blade what the security issue was about, one of the Secret Service officers said he did not have any further details other than that his superiors informed him that the White House sidewalk would have to be temporarily cleared of all people.

Participants in the event quickly resumed their picket line on the sidewalk in front of Lafayette Park for another 30 minutes or so in keeping with the 1965 picketing event, which lasted for one hour, from 4:20 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., according to Rainbow  History Project’s research into the 1965 event.

Although the LGBTQ picketers continued their procession in silence, a separate protest in Lafayette Park a short distance from the LGBTQ picketers included speakers shouting through amplified speakers. The protest was against the government of Saudi Arabia and organized by a Muslim group called Al Baqee Organization.

A statement released by the Rainbow History Project says the reenactment event, among other things, was a tribute to D.C.-area lesbian rights advocate Lilli Vincenz, who participated in the 1965 White House picketing, and D.C. gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, who founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in the early 1960s and was the lead organizer of the 1965 White House protest. Kameny died in 2011 and Vincenz died in 2023.

The picket signs carried by participants in the reenactment event, which were reproduced from the 1965 event, had these messages:

• “DISCRIMINATION Against Homosexuals is as immoral as Discrimination Against Negroes and Jews;”

• “Government Should Combat Prejudice NOT PROMOTE IT”

• “White House Refuses Replies to Our Letters, AFRAID OF US?

• “HOMOSEXUALS Died for their Country, Too”

• “First Class Citizenship for HOMOSEXUALS”

• “Sexual Preference is Irrelevant to Employment”

• “Fifteen Million U.S. Homosexuals Protest Federal Treatment”

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