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What Has the Recovery Act Done for DC

This report provides a summary of the successes of the Recovery Act in the District. The report is updated regularly as information is made available.

The Recovery Act: Success Stories in the States

Another Big Victory For Marriage Equality in DC

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the largest grassroots LGBT political organization in the District, applauds last week's ruling by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Judge Judith Macaluso upheld the decision of the DC Board of Elections and Ethics and found, for the second time, that the civil right of DC's gay and lesbian citizens to marry was not something properly put to a majority vote.

Last summer, the Alliance Defense Fund ("ADF")--an Arizona legal organization with a budget in the tens of millions funded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family and other anti-gay fundamentalist ministers--filed a referendum challenging the City Council's recognition of marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed out of state. Their front man was Harry Jackson, pastor of a church in Beltsville, Maryland.

Stein reacted quickly. Our counsel appeared before the DC Board of Elections to argue that Jackson's referendum violated DC's 1977 Human Rights Act, and Stein was instrumental in the Board's first favorable ruling, which overturned prior contrary law. A few weeks later, Stein was the only community organization - LGBT or otherwise - to defend the DC Board of Elections in Court. And we prevailed.

A couple of months ago, the ADF tried again and just as before, the DC Board of Elections found in Stein's favor. But this time in court, the ADF had a new tactic. They challenged DC's Human Rights Act itself, arguing that the City Council thirty years ago had no right to bar a popular vote on discrimination in DC.
"Judge Macaluso's well-reasoned opinion demolished this new ADF argument," Stein's counsel Mark Levine said today, "showing conclusively that the District's 1978 City Council knew exactly what it was doing when it barred a public vote on discrimination. The Court's persuasive citation of a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision--and her additional showing that illegal initiatives like this one must be barred--are both likely to be withstand any appeal."
The opponents of marriage equality are not taking this lying down. In addition to a possible appeal, they have filed yet another referendum and yet another initiative, making four separate attempts, thus far. Stein is already preparing for those hearings and stands ready to defend marriage equality in the District of Columbia no matter what our enemies do.
The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club has a long history of serving LGBT interests in the District and takes pride in the fact that our thirty-plus years of activism is finally seeing its fruition. From the passage of the original Human Rights Act of 1977, through long years of improving DC's laws, to the final culminating decision of the City Council and Mayor Fenty last month to allow full marriage equality, Stein has been instrumental in electing progressive leaders and working with them to approve fair legislation such as this. Stein has also been working alongside and in collaboration with other LGBT advocacy organizations such as GLAA and DC for Marriage to ensure that our right to marry becomes a reality.
We anticipate a happy celebration in March, following the Congressional review period, when we hope and expect to witness the first gay and lesbian couples' legal marriages in the District.
To view the Court's ruling, in its entirety, please use the following link:

Please consider making a donation to the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club to help us keep marriage, and allow us to continue to be a strong advocate for all important LGBT political and social issues for our community.


DC BOEE Scheduled Hearing on Proposed Initiative to Define Marriage

The DC Board of Elections has announced it will hold a public hearing on an initiative proposal "Preservation of Traditional Marriage One Man One Woman 2009" on 16 February 10:30am.


BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND ETHICS
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
RECEIPT AND INTENT TO REVIEW INITIATIVE MEASURE

The Board of Elections and Ethics shall consider in a public hearing whether the proposed measure "Preservation of Traditional Marriage One Man One Woman 2009" is a proper subject matter for initiative, at the Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 10:30am., One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 280, Washington DC.

The Board requests that written memoranda be submitted for the record no later than 4:00 p.m., Thursday, February 11, 2010 to the Board of Elections and Ethics, General Counsel's Office, One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 270, Washington, D.C. 20001.

Each individual or representative of an organization who wishes to present testimony at the public hearing is requested to furnish his or her name, address, telephone number and name of the organization represented (if any) by calling the General Counsel's office at 727-2194 no later than February 11, 2010.

The Short Title, Summary Statement and Legislative Text of the proposed initiative read as follows:

SHORT TITLE
PRESERVATION OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE ONE MAN ONE WOMAN 2009

SUMMARY STATEMENT
The purpose of this initiative is to allow the citizens of the District of Columbia to vote to preserve traditional marriage as between one man one woman.
• This initiative would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
• This initiative would amend as follows:
• Section 1283 (DC Official Code section 46-401) is redesignated as section 1283 "Marriage is the legally recognized union between one man and one woman. No person may enter into a marriage in the District of Columbia with another person unless it is a man and a woman.

Assistance Needed in Homicide Case of DC LGBT Resident

The DC Police and Lou Chibbaro, reporter for the DC Agenda, are seeking help from the LGBT community regarding the recent murder of a Gay man. The link to his picture is below. If you have ever seen him at parties, the clubs, etc., please contact Lou at lchibbaro@dcagenda.com. Also, please forward the photo link to your e-mail contacts:

http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/lib/mpdc/serv/solvers/unsolved/pdf/2009/perkins_anthony.pdf.

The murder victim's relatives are being most cooperative about information regarding his sexual orientation. He lived with his mother in the Fairlawn neighborhood.