Former Equality Maryland staffer Kevin Walling has announced his Maryland House of Delegates campaign (Photo courtesy of Kevin Walling)
A former Equality Maryland staffer last week announced his candidacy to represent portions of Montgomery County in the House of Delegates.
Kevin Walling in an e-mail to supporters on July 18 declared his bid to represent House District 16 that includes Bethesda, North Bethesda, Potomac, Cabin John and Glen Echo.
Walling, who was Equality Marylandâs former director of communications and development from 2008-2010, told the Washington Blade in an interview last week that he developed âa real love for Maryland politics and how Annapolis worksâ while working to build support for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state.
He said securing passage of a bill a state Senate committee killed earlier this year that would have banned anti-transgender discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation would be among his top legislative priorities in 2015.
âWe need to right that wrong,â Walling said.
Walling, who currently works with the D.C. Democratic consulting firm Stoneâs Phones, noted passing a gun control measure is another priority. He added protecting the environment and reducing traffic congestion in House District 16 through construction of the Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince Georgeâs County are among his other top campaign issues.
âBuilding more roads and driving more traffic is not the solution,â Walling said.
Walling, 27, is the latest candidate to officially declare their candidacy to represent House District 16 in Annapolis.
Jordan Cooper, Marc Korman and Hrant Jamgochian hope to succeed state Del. Susan Lee (D-Montgomery County) who is expected to run for state Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County)âs seat in 2014 once he formally announces his expected campaign for attorney general. State Del. Bill Frick (D-Montgomery County) in February announced he will seek the post that likely gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler currently occupies.
Orlee Panitch, a Potomac emergency physician, is also expected to enter the House District 16 race.
Korman reported $33,867.20 in his campaign account in a report he filed with state officials in January.
Campaign finance reports for Walling, Cooper, Jamgochian and Panitch were not available.
Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, announced a plan for the next chapter of the organization. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)
The Equality Maryland board of directors and staff recently crafted a three-year strategic plan. The plan is a roadmap for LGBT equality and justice, which focuses on âthe intersections of the lives as LGBT and as military personnel, as people of color, as immigrants, as we age, as we are HIV+, as we attend school, and as we are persons with disabilities,â according to an email message to supporters.
The message goes on to state that âthe next chapter of Equality Marylandâs work is about the âandâ of our lives.â It will be developing educational, advocacy and outreach initiatives that speak to the range of communities LGBT people live within and highlighting the diversity in the community.
Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) will be honored at an event in October. (Washington Blade photo by Jeff Surprenant)
In an email message to supporters, Equality Maryland, the stateâs largest LGBT civil rights organization, announced its plans to hold a brunch celebrating 25 years of advocacy and to honor state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County). The brunch has been scheduled for Oct. 27 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore.
âIt is hard to imagine that 25 years ago we did not have local anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT workers, no policies or laws providing protections to same-sex couples, no hate crimes laws and no policies protecting students in Maryland,â the email reads.Â âOur community has made seismic strides in Maryland and we want you to celebrate this historic progress with us!â
The message praises Madaleno for his work in the Maryland legislature. âSenator Madaleno has been instrumental in all our legislative achievementsâpassing a hate crimes law, medical decision making for domestic partners, and of course, marriage equality. And he is the lead sponsor of the bill that will extend the protections of our anti discrimination laws to transgender Marylanders.â
Adam May, national correspondent for âAmerica Tonightâ and Derek Valcourt, Emmy Award-winning reporter for WJZ-TV will co-emcee the gala. Tickets are $100 each with a 15 percent discount if purchased before Sept. 1.
There will be a gourmet brunch and tickets also include access to the pre-brunch reception and silent auction, which includes opportunities to bid on wedding services, vacation getaways, sports and theater tickets.
âWorking over the past three months with a team of EQMD volunteers and staff, my co-chair, Janee Pelletier, and I have been planning what will surely be an exciting celebration of our successes, and two and a half decades of LGBT advocacy in Maryland,â David A. Vignolo, the eventâs co-chair and member of the Equality Maryland Foundation Board of Directors, told the Blade.
The Political Action Committee for Equality Maryland will be holding a fundraiser on Aug. 24. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)
The political action committee for Equality Maryland will hold a fundraiser to support those legislators who vote for marriage equality. The event will take place on Aug. 24 from 2-4 p.m. at the home of Donna McMillan and Carrie Blazek on the Chesapeake Bay, Shady Side, Anne Arundel County. Hors dâoeuvres will be served and there will be special guests.
RSVP is requested by Aug. 22 to PAC@equalitymaryland.org/Aug24. The address will be provided upon RSVP. Tickets are $50 in advance and $75 on the day of the event.
The cruise starts with two days at sea before making stops in Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida and Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas before returning to Baltimore. (Photo by Bigstock)
A cruise that will include local and national Equality Maryland supporters and staff will take place Jan. 12-19. The organizers are inviting the public to set sail for seven nights while making new friends surrounded by all-you-can-eat buffets and events.
The cruise begins at the Port of Baltimore on the Carnival Pride. The Pride boasts a full casino, Broadway style theater, resort style pools, an adults-only pool, numerous bars and lounges, a 72-foot water slide, a spa and fitness center, youth designated areas and activities and more. The vacation starts with two days at sea before making stops in Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida and Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas before returning to Baltimore.
Prices start at $537 per person (based on double occupancy).
Contact Vanessa Bowling, Equality Marylandâs office manager if you would like information on sailing with children or with more than two people in your room. She can be reached at 410-685-6567 or Vanessa@EqualityMaryland.org. She will provide payment options after completing a paper or electronic registration form.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker is favored to win re-election to a third term. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund on Tuesday named 10 openly LGBT candidates as part of its annual âRaces to Watchâ list after endorsing a total of 85Â LGBT candidatesÂ that it saysÂ represents an all-time high for an off-year election.
Among those on the âRaces to Watchâ list are lesbian Annise Parker, whoâs considered the favorite to win re-election to her third term as mayor of Houston; and gay Washington State Sen. Ed Murray, whoâs ahead in the polls in his race for mayor of Seattle.
â2013 isnât an off year,â said Victory Fund Political Director Lucinda Guinn. âItâs definitely on at the Victory Fund.â
Guinn said the national LGBT advocacy group that raises money and provides campaign support for LGBT candidates for public office was focusing on candidates in places where LGBT rights have not advanced as rapidly as in other parts of the country.
âWeâre working hard this year to help build up heroes in places where equality is late in arriving,â she said in a statement. âPlaces where these candidates can be the spark to help their own communities move toward equality.â
Of the 85 LGBT candidates the Victory Fund endorsed this year, 18 have won primaries and advanced to the general election on Nov. 5; 14 have won in general elections already held; and one emerged as the victor in a run-off election, bringing the total number of winning LGBT candidates so far to 33.
Nine Victory Fund-endorsed candidates lost their 2013 races in primaries and three have lost in a general election, bringing the total number of losses so far to 12, according to data released by the group.
One of the most prominent candidates who didnât make it through their primary race was lesbian Democrat Christine Quinn, speaker of the New York City Council, who lost her race to become New Yorkâs first openly gay mayor to pro-LGBT Democrat Bill de Blasio.
Also losing in a primary contest was gay State Rep. Carl Sciortino of Massachusetts, a Democrat who ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives formerly held by U.S. Sen. Edward Markey.
Fifty-four Victory Fund-endorsed candidates are running in the Nov. 5 general election for local and state offices throughout the country, according to information released this week by the Victory Fund.
Among them are at least three openly gay candidates in the D.C. metropolitan area. Gay Democrat Jay Fisette is running for re-election to a fifth term on the Arlington County Board, the countyâs legislative governing body. Heâs considered a strong favorite to retain his seat.
In nearby Falls Church, Va., Lawrence Webb, who lost his re-election bid for his seat on the Falls Church City Council, is running for a seat on the Falls Church School Board.
In Maryland, gay attorney Patrick Wojahn, a former board member of the state LGBT advocacy group Equality Maryland, is running for re-election to the College Park, Md., City Council. Heâs considered a favorite to retain his seat.
In April, gay Mayor Jim Ireton of Salisbury, Md., won his re-election bid by a comfortable margin.
Although Quinn lost her race for mayor, seven openly gay or lesbian candidates are either seeking re-election or election to the New York City Council on Nov. 5 after winning primary elections in September. The Victory Fund has endorsed each of them.
The remaining candidates the Victory Fund announced on Tuesday as members of its â10 Races to Watchâ list are Celia Israel, candidate for the Texas House of Representatives; Robert Lilligen, candidate for the Minneapolis City Council; Chris Seelbach, candidate for the Cincinnati City Council; Darden Rice, candidate for the St. Petersburg, Fla., City Council; Michael Gongora, candidate for Mayor of Miami Beach, Fla.; Tim Eustace, candidate for the New Jersey State Assembly; LaWana Mayfield, candidate for the Charlotte, N.C., City Council; and Catherine LaFond, candidate for the Charleston, S.C., Water System Commission.
The Victory Fund says it doesnât release the names of openly LGBT candidates who seek the groupâs endorsement but donât receive it.
âWe have a set of criteria for endorsing candidates,â said Victory Fund spokesperson Jeff Spitko. âWe want to confirm that they are qualified, have a campaign plan and a path to victory,â he said. âWe want to make sure they are viable.â
Spitko said the Victory Fund endorsed 180 openly LGBT candidates in 2012 and 124 of them won their races.
A full list of the openly LGBT candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund and appearing on theÂ Nov. 5 election day ballot can be found here.
British FTM transgender performer Lazlo Pearlman is Ravenâs Nightâs Master of Ceremonies at the Birchmere Saturday night. (Photo by Diaz Wichmann; courtesy Ravenâs Night)
Friday, Oct. 25
Women in Their 20s, a social discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and all women interested in women, meets today at the D.C. Center (1318 U St., N.W.) at 8 p.m. Come meet other queer women in a fun and friendly setting. All welcome to join. For details, visit thedccenter.org.
Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts Bear Happy Hour tonight from 6-11 p.m. There is no cover charge and admission is limited to guests 21 and over. For more information, visit towndc.com.
Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) hosts âJOCKâ tonight from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. with DJ Jake Marx. Dress code is sports gear or just a jock. Dress code strictly enforced. There is an open bar from 9-10 p.m. Cover is $10. For details, visit greenlantendc.com.
Nellieâs Sports Bar (900 U St., N.W.) hosts âKickoffâ featuring DJ Matt Bailer tonight from 10 p.m.-closing. For more information, visit nelliessportsbar.com.
Saturday, Oct. 26
The Birchmere (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria Va.) hosts âRavenâs Nightâ tonight from 5:30-10 p.m. Enjoy a three-part event that includes âAll Hallowâs Eve Exposition,â a carnival and sideshow with a mystical theme, âSalon Lunaire Concertâ dinner and drinks accompanied by live music entertainment and âVilliansâ a cabaret belly dance show that pays homage to villains and villainesses. Lazlo Pearlman hosts the evening. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include all three events. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit birchmere.com.
The Arlington Artists Alliance hosts its third annual studio tour today and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The studios are located throughout Arlington County, the Crystal City Studios Underground and in private homes. Meet the artists and tour their studios while learning about their art, materials and process. For more details, visit arlingtonartistsalliance.org.
The Black Cat (1811 14th St., N.W.) hosts âGAY/BASH,â a monthly dance party, tonight featuring rock and pop music. There will be performances by Rumor Millz, Dax Exclamationpont and Heidi GlĂŒm featuring special guest Summer Camp. DJs Joshua and Dean spin tracks. Doors open at 10 p.m. Performances are at midnight and 1:30 a.m. Cover is $5. For details, visit blackcatdc.com.
Metropolitan Community Church of Washington D.C. (474 Ridge St., N.W.) hosts its monthly âSpanish Speaker Outreach Ministryâ at 6:30 p.m. today. The theme is âRemembering Our Heroes and Family Membersâ Contributions to Social Justice.â Come celebrate loved ones who have passed away and remember their struggles. Everyone is welcome to bring a picture or offering to place on the altar in their loved oneâs memory. LGBT Latinos(as) and their friends are welcome. After enjoy an array of Latin-American appetizers and snacks. For more information, visit mccdc.com.
Equality Maryland celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Historic Lord Baltimore Hotel (20 W Baltimore St., Baltimore) today from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. will be honored for his contribution to LGBT equality in Maryland. The VIP cocktail reception and silent auction will be from 11 a.m.-noon. Brunch is from noon- 2 p.m. Entertainment includes Maryland LGBT performers. Tickets are $100. For details, visit equalitymaryland.org.
The OWN network presents âBridegroom,â a documentary about a gay couple torn apart by tragedy, tonight at 10 p.m. It tells the emotional story of Tom Bridegroomâs accidental death and the repercussions having a relationship outside the legal protection of marriage had on his partner Shane Bitney Crone. Check local listings for channel.
The Washington Concert Opera presents an Italian-themed brunch in honor of composer Gisueppe Verdiâs 200thÂ birthday at the Josephine Butler Parks Center (2437 15th St., N.W.) today at 11 a.m. Enjoy Italian food and drink, a silent auction, an exhibition of Italian artwork and a live performance of Verdiâs opera arias directed by Maestro Antony Walker. Tickets range from $60-$200. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit concertopera.org.
Imagination Stage begins six-week fall classes in drama, musical theater and dance for ages 1-18. For details on the variety of classes offered and tuition prices visit imaginationstage.org.
The Foundry Gallery (1314 18th St., N.W.) holds a âDialogue with Artistâ with artist Linda Button today from 4-5 p.m. followed by a reception from 5-7 p.m. The dialogue closes out Buttonâs solo show âBecoming,â that explored the meaning of mannequins in her paintings, at Foundry Gallery. For more information, visit foundrygallery.org.
Monday, Oct. 28
The Bachelorâs Mill (1104 8th St., S.E.) hosts happy hour from 5-7:30 p.m. today. All drinks are half price. Enjoy pool, video games and cards. Admission is free. For more details, visit bachelorsmill.com.
Tuesday, Oct 29
SMYAL (410 7th St., S.E.) provides free and confidential HIV testingdrop-in hours today from 3-5 p.m. For more information, visit smyal.org.
JR.âs Bar and Grill (1519 17th St., N.W.)Â hosts the 27th annual 17th Street High Heel Race, a costumed drag race, from 7-10 p.m. tonight. Parade starts at 7 p.m and race starts at 9 p.m. The race begins at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) and ends at JR.âs. Mayor Vincent Gray is the grand marshal along with Birdie LaCage and BaâNaka. For more details, visit cobaltc.com.
Cobalt hosts a High Heel Race after party tonight (corner of 17thÂ and R streets, N.W.). DJ Keenan Orr will spin throwback R&B and hip-hop on the first floor. DJ Madscience will spin current pop and dance on the second floor with DJ Sean Morris spinning house on the third floor. It begins immediately after the race and runs until 2 a.m. For ages 18 and up. Cover is $5. Visit cobaltdc.com for details.
Wednesday, Oct. 30
The Lambda Bridge Club meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Dignity Center (721 8th St., S.E.) for duplicate bridge. No reservations required and newcomers welcome. If you need a partner, call 703-407-6540.
SMYAL (410 7th St, S.E.) holds âFall Brunch Pizza Party and Info Sessionâ today from 5-6:30 p.m. Come eat pizza and sign up to be a guest at SMYALâs Fall Brunch. Learn what the brunch is all about and what to expect. For more details, visit smyal.org.
The Human Rights Campaign hosts its second annual âChefs for Equalityâ at the Ritz Carlton (1150 22nd St., N.W.) today from 6:30-9:30 p.m. D.C., Maryland and Virginiaâs top chefs and mixologists serve up food and drink for a night dedicated to equality. Tickets are $150. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit action.hrc.org.
Thursday, Oct. 31
British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring (8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight at 8 p.m. Special guest Mikky Ekko also performs. Tickets are $30.50. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more details, visit fillmoresilverspring.com.
Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) hosts âHauntâ tonight from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. There is a Halloween costume contest at midnight. First place winner gets a $750 prize, second place winner gets a $150 prize and third place winner gets a $100 prize. DJs MadScience and Sean Morris spin tunes for the night. Cover is $5 after 10 p.m. Guests must be 18 and over. For more information, visit cobaltdc.com.
Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) hosts its â2nd Annual MIXTAPE Halloween Partyâ tonight from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Come in costume. Cover is $10. Admission is limited to guests 21 and over.
First Baptist Church of Washington (1328 16thÂ Street, N.W.) hosts a special Halloween-themed organ recital tonight from 7-8 p.m. featuring local organists Charles Miller, Sam Carabetta, Kevin Biggins, Paul Dolinsky, Irvin Peterson, Scott Matthias, Ted Gustin and Lon Schreiber, organist and choir master at the church. They will perform works on the churchâs brand new Austin pipe organ. Attendees are asked to dress in costume to attend if possible. They will perform works of an especially gothic or âspookyâ nature. Visit firstbaptistdc.org for details.
Maryland State. Sen. Rich Madaleno was honored last weekend at Equality Marylandâs anniversary event at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. (Washington Blade file photo by Jeff Surprenant)
Looking back on the journey to achieve full equality in Maryland and its aspirations to continue the fight for social justice, Equality Maryland celebrated 25 years with a gala brunch at the venerable Lord Baltimore Hotel on Oct. 27 with nearly 500 in attendance. State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), whoâs gay, was the guest of honor.
The event, which was emceed by television journalists Derek Valcourt and Adam May, received congratulatory proclamations from Gov. Martin OâMalley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. U.S. Senator Ben Cardin made brief remarks on Marylandâs successes in attaining equality. A message from Sen. Barbara Mikulski congratulating Equality Maryland was read to the audience.
To underscore the importance of wooing LGBT voters, gubernatorial candidates Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) and Attorney General Douglas Gansler as well as his running mate Del. Joline Ivey (D- Prince Georgeâs County) were on hand. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, another candidate for governor, appeared later on a video honoring Madaleno.
âWe have seen a sea change in elimination of discrimination over the last 25 years,â Cardin said but noted there is more to accomplish. âWe will not be satisfied until we pass the Employment Non-discrimination Act. We have work to do.â
Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans thanked the many folks who worked and volunteered for Equality Maryland over the years and the elected officials who helped reach its goals.
âThe 25-year journey was climaxed with the achievement of marriage equality,â she said.
Evans made a special point to express gratitude to the Human Rights Campaign for its efforts during the Question 6 battle. She thanked the organization for increasing support during that time.
âWithout HRC, we would not have won,â she said.
She said that Equality Maryland is determined to have a transgender non-discrimination law passed, integrate African-Americans into the movement, seek equality in immigration and help lesbian and bisexual women achieve pay parity with men.
Elected officials including Senate President Thomas V. âMikeâ Miller, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, members of the LGBT caucus as well as current and former Equality Maryland leaders and volunteers all took light-hearted jabs at Madaleno in a video.
âThe work is not done,â Madaleno told the audience. âWe have a lot to achieve.âÂ He cited a gender identity non-discrimination law as the first priority. âPersonally, it is appalling to me that we have to fight about the same ignorant comments about transgender individuals as we had to face as gays.â
His other priorities consist of fighting HIV/AIDS and homelessness of LGBT youth, which he considers intolerable. Echoing a theme that Delegate Maggie McIntosh articulated in the video, Madaleno said, âWe have to stay focused and stick together.â
Equality Maryland announced that the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and Free State Legal Project will sponsor a seminar on June 8, âFrom Stonewall to Securing Marriage Rights: What Does It Mean for Us?â The seminar will cover the legal implications of marriage for same-sex couples whether already married or contemplating marriage. It will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Enoch Pratt Parish Hall, 514 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
Attorneys Susan Francis and Susan Silber, who have written articles on same-sex marriage for the Blade, will cover an array of legal issues to prepare same-sex couples before and after they become married.
The event is free and open to the public. To ensure a seat, please contact email@example.com, or call 410-685-2330. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email.
âWithout HRC, we would not have won,â said Equality Marylandâs Carrie Evans of the stateâs marriage fight. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)
At the conclusion of Equality Marylandâs 25th Anniversary Brunch on Oct. 27, there was a challenge from Marty Rouse, national field director for the Human Rights Campaign that his organization will match up to $25,000 in donations to Equality Maryland to help pass a statewide gender identity non-discrimination law. Following that announcement, thousands of dollars were pledged by supporters in attendance. The last total available indicated Equality Maryland still lacked $8,000 toward the goal.
Earlier in the proceedings Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, praised HRC for its efforts and contributions toward winning the ballot referendum on same-sex marriage.Â âWithout HRC, we would not have won,â she said.