I. Public Safety
II. AIDS and Public Health
III. Human Rights
IV. Marriage and Family
V. Public Education and Youth
VI. Consumers and Businesses
PART I. PUBLIC SAFETY
A. MPD Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit
Relations between the GLBT community and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) improved markedly after former Chief Charles Ramsey authorized establishment in 2000 of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU), the first such unit in the country to combine community relations with full policing powers. GLLU, now led by Sergeant Tania Bell, has brought improved sensitivity to the force in situations ranging from drug busts in gay bars to consultations with members of the transgender community.
In June 2007, Chief Cathy Lanier inadvertently set off a community outcry with a plan to decentralize GLLU and reassign its officers to patrol districts around the city. After GLAA and our allies began organizing a community response, Chief Lanier quickly met with community representatives, listened to our concerns, and convinced us of her sincere commitment to changing the homophobic and transphobic culture in MPD. MPD obtained further input through a series of community meetings, and from ongoing communications between community leaders and MPD officials. The main concern expressed was that the cohesion and “safe space” provided by the centralized GLLU should be preserved, even as we agreed that the Unit’s expertise was needed throughout the Department and the city.
GLAA stated that the GLLU should remain under a central command; it should have officers available 24 hours a day to ensure sensitive and respectful service whenever needed; its core staffing should not fall below its June 2007 level of a sergeant and five officers, with one officer per police district being preferable; training should be conducted throughout MPD to provide culturally competent officers in every district; and GLLU should continue its presence at GLBT events and community meetings and its outreach to the GLBT business community.
With GLAA’s support, Chief Lanier ultimately created the Special Liaison Unit (SLU), which provides a central command for the Department’s four liaison units, including GLLU. The placement of the SLU directly under the Chief, and the fact that our highly regarded friend, Sergeant Brett Parson, was put in charge of it, give us confidence.
As we pointed out to Chief Lanier, the outpouring of support by the GLBT community for a police unit showed how far we have come since the police entrapment of gay men and the raids of gay bars in the 1950s and 60s—and even since the Halloween riot against gays by police in 1991. This strong community investment in a police unit is something to build on.
B. MPD Diversity Training and Discipline
To sustain and capitalize on the gains achieved, MPD must continue its community diversity and sensitivity training for new recruits and lateral transfers, and expand it to veteran officers who set the everyday departmental climate for new officers. The presence of qualified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) trainers, and their support by the leaders of the Police Academy, brings a dose of reality to the training and sends a message to all officers that homophobia will not be tolerated on the force. This must be matched by consequences for misbehavior. The need for serious attention to disciplinary matters by the MPD brass was underscored by the recent spectacle of dismissed officers having to be rehired due to managers’ failure to meet certain deadlines.1
C. MPD Transgender Policy
Even with MPD’s award-winning GLLU improving relations between D.C. police and the GLBT community, transgender residents have continued to be mistreated by many officers. It was thus a breakthrough in October 2007 when Chief Lanier issued a General Order, “Handling Interactions with Transgender Individuals,”2 to insure professional, respectful and courteous interaction between MPD personnel and transgender people. We commend Chief Lanier for working with transgender leaders in developing the policy, and look forward to further cooperation.
D. Police Infringement of Civil Liberties
After MPD launched its Neighborhood Safety Zone (NSZ) initiative on June 7 in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast Washington, a resident of Montello Avenue quipped about the police barriers, “I’m a member of DC’s newest gated community!” GLAA joined our allies from the NAACP, the National Black Police Association, the ACLU, and others on the morning of June 7 to protest this curtailment of civil liberties in response to crime. As members of Chief Lanier’s Fair and Inclusive Policing Task Force, we had only been informed of the initiative late on June 4 in an email from Assistant Chief Josh Ederheimer.
This comes on the heels of MPD’s troubling Safe Homes initiative to knock on doors in certain neighborhoods and ask to do warrantless searches for guns.3 Police may be able to get residents to go along with such measures, especially when they are put on the spot and have not been adequately advised (independently of MPD) of their rights and of the possible consequences of compliance; but this does not allay our concerns any more than the blithe attitude of Acting Attorney General Peter Nickles concerning possible lawsuits as reported June 5 in The Washington Post.4
The GLBT community lives in all parts of our city, including Trinidad. GLAA works in coalition with other groups because we know that the freedoms of all are threatened when those of a few are infringed. We are as concerned about crime as anyone, but we reject the notion that fighting crime requires turning the police into an occupation force. What we need is what longtime Trinidad resident Wilhelmina Lawson suggested is lacking: better basic policing, starting with officers getting out of their cars and getting to know the people in the troubled neighborhoods.
The Washington Examiner reported on June 10, “Police officers were dispatched to D.C.’s controversial neighborhood checkpoints ... despite not having undergone constitutional training,” contradicting a promise of officer training in an FAQ sent to us by Ederheimer.5 Kris Baumann, head of the Fraternal Order of Police, told The Washington Post on June 10 that the program was of dubious effectiveness, noting that it had “changed in the extent and scope constantly over the past four days,” and adding, “I’m still getting a lot of calls from officers who are concerned that this is not constitutional. That’s destroying the relations with citizens.”
It is especially disturbing that police are empowered with determining what constitutes “a legitimate purpose” for entering a given area. As our colleague Frank Kameny likes to say, this is not some Balkan principality where one has to show one’s papers in order to be able to move about freely.
Members of the Fair and Inclusive Policing Task Force were not included in deliberations and planning on the initiative. The Chief’s presentation of a fait accompli gives the unfortunate impression that she does not want collaborators in the community, only cheerleaders. But shutting out dissenting voices will not make ill-advised initiatives any more successful.
“We did not hear any gunfire,” said Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes to The Washington Post after the checkpoint was set up, as if a major pre-announced police presence in a particular spot for 5 or 10 days does anything more than change the criminals’ schedule and locus of activity. This is no more sustainable than the Chief’s periodic All Hands on Deck exercises.
Rather than resorting to grandstanding, quick fixes, and constitutionally questionable methods, the city should recommit itself to improving basic policing. It is not good enough just to do something. The police need to do the right thing. In this regard, we appreciate the officers who raised their voices in protest against the NSZ initiative.
E. Office of Police Complaints
The Metropolitan Police Department is more accountable to the community because of the opening in 2001 of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC), which, with its governing body, the Police Complaints Board (PCB), was created after extensive advocacy by the NAACP DC Police Task Force, a coalition of which GLAA is a founding member. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phil Eure, OPC seeks to employ the best practices of citizen oversight of law enforcement, with the goal of improving public confidence in the police.
In 2007, OPC completed the most investigations, and adjudicated and mediated the most complaints of any year since it opened. OPC has issued detailed policy recommendations, including a report on its monitoring of MPD’s handling of several protests in Washington last spring, and conducted a variety of community outreach activities.6 Independent oversight is a key to holding our public servants accountable. Eure and his staff have shown patience, persistence, thoroughness and scrupulousness in pursuing their mission. To its difficult work OPC has brought expertise, integrity, and a commitment to fairness for all—not just those who file complaints, but those against whom they are filed, and the wider community from which both are drawn.
F. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department
Since he was hired last year following candidate interviews in which GLAA participated, Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Chief Dennis L. Rubin has begun long-awaited reforms. FEMS has finally implemented a diversity training program to teach staffers how to deal with GLBT people in the District. Rubin also appointed an impressive LGBT Liaison, Sergeant J.B. Wallace.
GLAA was pleased when the District earlier this year finally settled a discrimination case brought by former FEMS EEO Expert/Training Specialist Kenda Kirby. In April 2007, D.C. Superior Court Judge Geoffrey M. Alprin found probable cause against FEMS. The evidence showed that FEMS personnel, including top management, had created a hostile work environment and engaged in gender-based discrimination against Ms. Kirby. She had been hired to implement the Tyra Hunter Human Diversity Training Series created as part of the 2000 settlement over the wrongful death in 1995 of Tyra Hunter, a transgender woman who died following an auto-pedestrian accident.
Another concern is the Department’s illegal grooming policy, by which it continues to flout the First Amendment and the D.C. Human Rights Act and to demonstrate contempt for the District’s diverse workforce. ACLU of the National Capital Area recently won a court challenge to that policy, which requires Muslim and Rastafarian firefighters to violate their religious beliefs by shaving and cutting their hair. The Department has refused even to allow bearded firefighters to take fit tests to prove that their beards do not prevent a good facemask fit. On March 16, 2006, the Department appealed the court ruling against the grooming policy. FEMS should stop defending the indefensible and revise its policy to reflect proven safety standards rather than using safety concerns as a cover for discrimination based on personal appearance.
Chief Rubin has made a good beginning at reforms to end bias at FEMS and ensure that the force serves all Washingtonians. Supervisory follow-through and consequences for violation of the FEMS diversity policy will be essential to ensure that the training is more than window dressing.
G. Department of Corrections Discrimination Against Transgender Detainees
We were pleased last year when the D.C. Department of Corrections (DOC) finally stopped prohibiting transgender persons from visiting inmates, but DOC continues to discriminate against transgender detainees. In a Management Alert Report issued on April 4, 2008, D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby wrote that DOC’s policy regarding inmate gender identification “seems to be in conflict with and may violate District human rights regulations, may increase the risk of harassment and assault against certain inmates, and may put the District government at risk for legal liability.”7
As D.C. Trans Coalition member Jeri Hughes told Metro Weekly on April 3, DOC is in violation of Chapter 8 Title 4 of D.C. Municipal Regulations, entitled “Compliance Rules and Regulations Regarding Gender Identity or Expression.” Under “Gender-Specific Facilities Where Nudity in the Presence of Others is Customary,” the regulation proclaims, “entities covered by the Act shall make reasonable accommodations to allow an individual access to and the use of the facility that is consistent with that individual’s gender identity or expression, regardless of whether the individual has provided identification or other documentation of their gender identity or expression.”8
DOC has modified its policy slightly, but continues to use genitalia as a basis for gender identification rather than an individual’s gender identity or expression. The DC Government website states, “The Department of Corrections is a major component of the District’s public safety cluster. The Mayor of the District of Columbia appoints the Director to oversee the agency’s responsibility in administering institutional and community-based services to misdemeanant and pretrial detainees.” It also states, “The DOC is guided by the principles of responsiveness and compassion for inmates and their families and promotes community involvement.” Despite these fine words, recent behind-the-scenes efforts have only shown the degree of DOC’s recalcitrance. The Fenty administration must decide whether it prefers to spend its resources defending the indefensible or complying with the law. Experience shows that left to their own devices, the District’s lawyers opt for the former. But we as citizens do not work for the lawyers. The lawyers, like DOC, work for us.
GLAA appreciates the efforts of Ruby Corado, Jeri Hughes, and the DC Trans Coalition to press our city to live up to its own legal standards. In the words of Fritz Mulhauser of ACLU of the National Capital Area, “The law in D.C. prohibits discrimination against transgender persons, so that’s a very good starting point, unlike in many other parts of the country.” It is not good enough for city officials to cite the failure of other jurisdictions to deal with the issue of transgender detainees as an excuse for their own foot-dragging. Unlike most other jurisdictions, D.C. has adopted a model policy of full equality for transgender citizens. The D.C. Human Rights Act is not a ceremonial resolution. The D.C. Human Rights Act is not a ceremonial resolution. The D.C. Council should step in and directly adopt a rulemaking to make it unmistakably clear that DOC must stop discriminating against transgender inmates and detainees. w
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PART II. AIDS AND PUBLIC HEALTH
A. HIV and AIDS
D.C. has the highest AIDS rate in the United States. It is comparable to the rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2002 the rate of reported AIDS cases in the District was 162.4 per 100,000 compared to 14.8 per 100,000 for the United States. In a local study of AIDS cases reported in year 2001, comparing the District of Columbia to cities with populations larger than 500,000, it was found that the District of Columbia had the highest rate, 119 cases per 100,000, of all cities included. This was the highest rate for AIDS in the nation for 2001.9
According to the “District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report” released in November 2007, almost 70 percent of all AIDS cases between 1997 and 2006 progressed from HIV to AIDS in less than 12 months after the initial HIV diagnosis, primarily due to late testing, compared to 39 percent nationally. While African-Americans are 57 percent of the District’s population, they account for 81 percent of new reports of HIV cases. While African-American women are 58 percent of the District’s female population, they account for 90 percent of new female HIV cases. Heterosexual contact is the leading mode of HIV transmission at 37 percent of newly reported infections, while nationally men who have sex with men lead new transmissions.10
Nationally, the HIV rate among non-Hispanic blacks between 19 and 24 is 20 times higher than among other young U.S. adults, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.11 AIDS continues to be the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 24 and 34; Black youth represent over 56% of the new HIV/AIDS cases among youth in America; and nearly 50% of Black gay men in the U.S. may already be infected. Despite all of these alarming statistics, HIV/AIDS has only recently been treated as a serious problem in D.C. It was long ignored by D.C.’s politicians, government agencies, press and community.
Since treatments have improved significantly in the past decade, people with HIV are often finding that the disease is manageable. Consequently, many people are not open about their HIV infection and do not agitate to save their lives or the lives of their loved ones. However, the number of people with HIV/AIDS continues to grow. The demands on our public and private healthcare systems will only increase, and the government must get more serious in order to meet them.
Community participation is key to improving the District’s response to AIDS. The various planning bodies—including the Prevention Planning Group, HIV Health Services Planning Council, and the Mayor’s AIDS Task Force—should publish their meeting and minutes on the HAA website. Also, stronger efforts should be made to appoint community members to these bodies who are not board members, employees, or consultants of groups receiving funds, while existing conflict-of-interest provisions (such as in the Ryan White CARE Act) should be enforced.
2. Reforms at HIV/AIDS Administration
We were pleased when the criminal cabal that ran HAA for many years was purged. There had been rampant fraud in contracting and retaliations against honest service providers and staff. The DC Appleseed Center issued a comprehensive report in 2005 that exposed many of the problems that GLAA fought to bring to light.12 The Appleseed report became a blueprint for reform, and report cards have been issued on the city’s progress. Financial and service audits need to continue.
The Council has resumed HAA oversight that was badly neglected under the former Health and Human Services Chair. GLAA had sought the breakup of that committee into two, and since it was done, oversight has greatly improved under Health Committee Chair David Catania, who held 8 hearings on HAA in the Committee’s first year, as opposed to 1 in 6 years previously. We hope that the reforms at HAA will continue and will be closely monitored by the Council and watchdog organizations such as Appleseed and DCPCA.
3. Continued Challenges at HAA
a. HIV surveillance has been changed to a names reporting system, but better privacy protections are needed. D.C. gave up on the Unique Identifiers that we used to protect people’s privacy after our hand was forced by the federal government. The Ryan White Reauthorization Act now bases allocation of funds on both HIV and AIDS cases. However, they will not accept unique identifier systems in counting HIV cases. Nonetheless, states, including the District, must report both HIV and AIDS cases to the CDC with a unique identifier.
The names-reporting system for HIV creates a de facto lifetime registry, which demands stronger privacy protections than we currently have. Our medical privacy laws do not allow for a private right of action, and no individual penalties for a government employee who violates the law. Any penalty would be paid by the D.C. government, and only if the D.C. government chooses to sue itself. Stronger laws are clearly needed.
b. Sero-positive surveys can improve the reliability of epidemiological data. GLAA supports the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, which recommends “that the CDC create a national system to identify new HIV infections, enabling public health officials to track recent changes in the epidemic. Rather than trying to count every newly infected person, the surveillance system would provide data that would allow the CDC to estimate the number of HIV infected persons by testing a statistically valid sample of those at the highest risk.”13 The District of Columbia should adopt a sero-positive survey as recommended by the IOM, and should encourage the CDC to adopt the IOM recommendations to promote HIV prevention and surveillance.
c. Better program evaluation. HIV prevention programs receive tens of millions of dollars a year in D.C. but have failed to reduce the rate of new HIV infections. Significant studies need to be conducted on the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs. Every prevention program needs to be evaluated for effectiveness and new studies conducted to find programs and messages that work.
d. Housing. The District needs to make the most of funds from the federal Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. An oversight hearing of the Committee on Health last December revealed that nearly 300 people are on the waiting list for housing. We can maximize our HOPWA dollars by prioritizing actual housing for PWAs when there are other funding sources for the support services that eat up a third of the District’s HOPWA funds.
4. Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The fact that HIV has been treated so differently from other infectious diseases has helped to perpetuate the stigma and contributed to its spread. HIV testing should become part of routine physical exams for adults and teens. 25% of people with HIV don’t inform their partners because they don’t know. This lack of knowledge is a leading reason for the spread of HIV.
Under proposed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients would be tested for HIV as part of a standard battery of tests when they go for urgent or emergency care, or even during a routine physical. HAA is leading an effort to make HIV testing standard in all D.C. run health facilities, and encouraged in private facilities. Eliminating a special consent form would help normalize HIV testing and care. The test should be covered in a clinic or hospital’s standard care consent form. However, patients should be allowed to decline the testing, and should never be required to be tested except in D.C. jails, as noted below.
HAA should maintain anonymous testing sites and educate residents about the difference between confidential and anonymous testing. This is particularly important for non-citizens who are subject to deportation under the federal HIV immigration ban signed into law in 1993.
In June 2006, the D.C. Department of Health launched a campaign “to encourage all DC residents to demonstrate their shared commitment to stop the spread of HIV in our city by getting screened for the virus.” Unfortunately it was poorly executed and relatively few people were tested. The program should include funding for counseling and appropriate referrals for treatment.
HIV testing in D.C. prisons
People held in custody at the D.C. Jail should be protected from HIV transmission by means of automatic testing at intake and segregation of HIV positive inmates into a separate ward. To evaluate the practice, inmates need to be tested when they leave. Reducing or eliminating HIV transmission in the D.C. Jail will also reduce transmission to the partners of released inmates. Segregated HIV positive inmates must be provided all of the medical care and medication required, and not subjected to discrimination or stigmatizing treatment.
5. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV should be provided at all D.C. emergency rooms, urgent care centers and health clinics. The availability of PEP should be publicized and included in student health classes. PEP needs to be started within 72 hours after exposure to HIV to be effective, so people must not be forced to wait for a doctor’s office appointment.
Studies in animals have shown PEP to be up to 100% effective if given within 24 hours and a course of medications is taken for four weeks. It failed half the time if taken three days after exposure or where the course was only for 10 days. HIV is found in the lymph nodes 2-3 days after transmission and after five days in the blood, which is generally seen as evidence of established infection.
6. HIV Prevention
a. Clean needle exchange. Given the clear evidence that syringe exchange programs (SEPs) help prevent blood-borne disease without promoting increased drug use,14 we celebrated when Congress finally lifted its ban on D.C. funding of SEPs in the Fiscal Year 2008 D.C. appropriations bill.
The District estimates that 9,856 residents inject drugs.15 From 1996 to 2000, 31.3% of AIDS cases were diagnosed in heterosexuals with a history of injecting drug use (IDU). An additional 6.5% were diagnosed as related to IDU through sex or childbirth.16
As we look forward to a District-funded SEP, we applaud PreventionWorks! (a 2008 winner of GLAA’s Distinguished Service Award) for operating a life-saving program for more than nine years solely on private donations. Kudos go to D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans for his longstanding leadership on this issue, to D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her stalwart efforts in Congress, and to Congressman José Serrano (D-NY) for the key role he played in the appropriations victory. The continued ban on the use of federal funds for SEPs, which has been in place since 1988, remains a blot on the nation’s health care policy.
b. Condom distribution. The use of condoms is the safest and most effective prevention method for reducing HIV transmission. Condoms and water-based lubricant need to be widely and consistently available throughout the District. DC Appleseed reported that HAA missed its goal of distributing 600,000 condoms in 2004; only 290,000 were distributed. In 2005, the number fell to 125,000. An HAA initiative launched in February 2007 to distribute one million condoms also fell short. In September 2007, the District claimed to have distributed 650,000 condoms, but activist David Mariner wrote that “HAA is counting all the condoms they have given to local agencies, without regard to whether or not they have been handed out to actual people. Boxes and boxes of these ‘distributed’ condoms are actually in storage at local organizations.” HAA should change from its current haphazard approach and begin specifying distribution points at public health centers, hospitals, bars, nightclubs, and social service agencies, to permit better tracking. Lack of access to a condom should never be the reason for not using one.
c. Oppose criminal penalties for HIV transmission. Criminal penalties should not be used to address healthcare issues, as some have proposed. Imposing criminal penalties for knowingly transmitting HIV would have the unintended effect of harming HIV testing and prevention efforts by driving activity underground and encouraging more anonymous sex. It would also increase the stigma of HIV. HIV transmission is a public health issue and needs to be addressed as such.
B. Legalizing Medical Marijuana
GLAA supports legalizing the medical use of marijuana when a patient’s doctor recommends it to combat some of the effects of AIDS, cancer, or other diseases. Initiative 59 passed by 69% and won in every precinct. The Council should oppose penalties against people who use medical marijuana or acquire it for their loved ones. The 1999 report Marijuana and Medicine by the IOM found clear benefits of marijuana for the relief of pain and nausea and an increase in appetite. There is no reason to believe that legalizing medical marijuana in controlled situations encourages drug abuse. Alleviating pain and suffering must not be sacrificed to political posturing and demagoguery.
C. Women’s Health Needs
There are many other medical issues of concern to our community. Lesbians are at particular risk of not receiving early diagnoses of breast and cervical cancers, based on lack of access to and sensitivity of medical providers to lesbian sexuality issues. The city must ensure that its health centers are staffed with people who are aware of and sensitive to such issues. The needs of women with HIV/AIDS must similarly be provided for.
D. Transgender Health Needs
Transgender people in D.C. are disproportionately poor and unreached by our health care system. Incidence of HIV infection is greater than 25%. Prostitution is often a means of survival as discrimination and sex-transitioning keeps many out of stable employment. This is a serious HIV transmission vector that has been neglected by HAA because of the relatively small number of transgender people. HAA must make medical care for this at-risk population a priority.
Transgender people also face discrimination at shelters, in housing and in employment. Police routinely treat transgender people as prostitutes. The spate of murders of transgender people—9 in 2003—has created fear that has not been much eased by the official response. All of these problems have contributed to the further marginalization of transgender people, and limited their access and willingness to seek medical care. A comprehensive approach by the city is needed.
E. Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and Substance Abuse
Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and Hepatitis B and C need to be aggressively stamped out before they become more entrenched among people with HIV/AIDS and their medical care providers.
People with HIV are 40 times more likely to develop active, infectious tuberculosis if exposed to the contagion than are people with healthy immune systems. In 1994 the federal government began offering matching funds to states and territories to help them develop a limited Medicaid benefit for people who are infected with TB. The District should use these funds because current treatment is now funded by limited Ryan White or Alliance dollars. Also, these funds would be beneficial for keeping open the city’s cash strapped TB/STD clinic, which serves as a major point of entry for people newly diagnosed with HIV into the city’s health care system.
Substance abuse ranging from alcohol to crystal meth remains a serious problem in the District and contributes to the spread of HIV and other diseases. GLAA supports continued funding of targeted substance abuse treatment programs.
F. Domestic Partnership Insurance Availability for Small Businesses
Many small businesses in the District have been unable to offer health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees because of the lack of insurance companies offering coverage to employers with fewer than 50 employees. In addition to putting small businesses at a disadvantage in attracting and retaining employees, the lack of access means that people who could have private insurance go uninsured. While D.C. has a low rate of uninsured, anyone without insurance eventually becomes a burden for the District.
On May 12, 2003, District Insurance Commissioner Lawrence Mirel secured an agreement from CareFirst Blue Cross to offer insurance coverage of domestic partners to employers who request it. Unfortunately, other insurers have not kept pace, limiting options for small employers. If other insurers do not extend domestic partner health insurance coverage to small businesses on their own, the District, at a minimum, should use its clout as a major customer to demand this coverage from insurers wishing to do business with the city. Additionally, the Council should pass legislation requiring insurance companies to extend domestic partner health insurance to all size businesses that request it for their employees.
G. Universal Health Insurance Coverage
GLAA supports universal access to health insurance. We commend David Catania for introducing the “Healthy DC Act of 2008,” and we commend his colleagues for incorporating it into the budget. The bill’s requirement of health insurance coverage for all District residents will improve overall health, reduce the cost of medical care, reduce HIV transmission, and improve the health of people with HIV. w
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PART III. HUMAN RIGHTS
The District government has made great strides in the last few years both in passing new legislation to strengthen the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977 (DCHRA) and in enforcing DCHRA more effectively through the Office of Human Rights (OHR).
Among the notable recent enhancements to DCHRA are the following:
- Legislation outlawing the use of genetic information as a basis for discriminatory treatment
- Legislation expanding the definition of “marital status” within DCHRA to prohibit discrimination against registered domestic partners
- Clarifying legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity or expression.” GLAA and ACLU/NCA assisted in developing effective regulations implementing this law that that are legally sustainable.
At the administrative level, we are pleased at OHR’s strides in reducing to 70 its case backlog and in cutting to 210 the average number of days it takes after the filing of a discrimination complaint to issue a finding of probable cause. OHR’s budget and staffing should be set at sufficient levels to maintain this pace.
Because we have been involved with OHR more than any other community organization, Mayor Williams invited us in 2003 to participate in interviews that led to the appointment of former OHR Director Kenneth Saunders. We were disappointed last year when Mayor Fenty broke a promise to include us in the selection process for a new director. Even so, we were pleased when the new director, Gustavo Velasquez, quickly contacted us to establish a working relationship. He has been energetic, conscientious, and dedicated to establishing and maintaining good communications with anyone with a stake in the vigorous enforcement of DCHRA. He asked us to review his plans and promptly responded to our comments and suggestions. Judging by those ambitious plans, it appears he will be able to use his extensive administrative experience to good advantage in his new position.
We were nonetheless concerned by Mayor Fenty’s failure to seek someone with a background in civil rights law enforcement. In the 1990s, OHR was submerged in another department that was never headed by anyone with a civil rights law background. The result was a cannibalization of OHR staff and budget and deterioration in OHR’s performance as manifested by an explosion in its case backlog. GLAA lobbied the Mayor and Council to re-establish OHR as an independent agency, led by someone experienced in anti-discrimination law enforcement. OHR’s independence was finally achieved at the end of the 1990s by then Councilmember Kathy Patterson. The success of former OHR Director Saunders vindicated GLAA’s emphasis on the importance of a professional civil rights law enforcement background.
We support a separate line item in the District budget for the Commission on Human Rights, in harmony with its independent status.
Continued vigilance is needed to ensure that all District agencies observe the dictates of DCHRA. w
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PART IV. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
A. Securing Equal Rights to Civil Marriage
The recent ruling by the California Supreme Court, granting same-sex marriage based on equal protection principles, confirmed what U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia: “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”17 GLAA seeks the fundamental right to marry as part of the full integration into American society that is our birthright.
A higher percentage of gay families live in D.C. than in most of the country. The District ranks first among the states in the percentage of coupled households that are gay or lesbian (5.14 percent). According to the Williams Institute’s analysis of data from the 2000 census, there are 3,678 same-sex partner households in the District of Columbia. Almost 33,000 gay, lesbian, and bisexual people lived in the District as of 2005, which is 8.1% of the total population.18 These families pay taxes, are contributing members of their communities, and deserve the same protections as their neighbors. Commitment and stability benefit not only the individuals involved, but society as a whole.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the right to marriage is so fundamental that even condemned prisoners, denied the right to freedom, to vote, to free expression, and even to life itself, cannot be denied the right to marry.19 To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is at best perverse.
GLAA’s strong support for marriage equality does not blind us to strategic considerations. The U.S. Congress retains complete legislative control over the District. The Congress has been bipartisan in its opposition to full marriage rights. We have achieved remarkable success in changing public attitudes on the subject in recent years, but it may take years before we can prevent congressional demagogues from blocking same-sex marriages in the District. As we continue our advocacy and education efforts, we must remain alert for opportunities to press ahead.
Working together, not hastily filing lawsuits, is the best way to build on our victories in California and Massachusetts. As an alliance of leading marriage equality advocates states, “Pushing the federal government before we have a critical mass of states recognizing same-sex relationships or suing in states where the courts aren’t ready is likely to get us bad rulings. Bad rulings will make it much more difficult for us to win marriage, and will certainly make it take much longer.”20 D.C. couples planning to ask the District to recognize their California marriages should keep in mind that D.C. courts have a history of hostility to marriage equality, and our judges are appointed by the White House, not the Mayor. The D.C. government is a far more favorable venue for the fight.
In the meantime, GLAA and our allies have been successful with an incremental strategy to expand D.C.’s domestic partnership law. The District now ranks among the top states in legal protections for same-sex couples, allowing them to protect each other and their children in times of crisis.
We wish to make it clear that, in GLAA’s candidate ratings, we will not regard agreement with our cautious strategy as sufficient without explicit endorsement of marriage equality. Notwithstanding the general consensus that the District should carefully judge the moment to move forward on a same-sex marriage bill, when we ask, “Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?” we expect an answer of “Yes.” There are two crucial parts of the fight for equality: the goal itself and the strategy for reaching it. We need our elected officials to support us on both. Candidates unwilling to stand with us on this fundamental issue have no grounds to complain when we penalize them accordingly.
B. Domestic Partnership
For the sake of equity, D.C. needs to provide all of the applicable rights and responsibilities of marriage to domestic partners. However, domestic partnerships are not equivalent to marriage and should not be considered an acceptable substitute. Separate is inherently unequal.
GLAA was instrumental in codifying D.C.’s domestic partners law, the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992, which Congress finally allowed us to implement in 2002. GLAA’s incremental approach to the issue, crafted by former GLAA President Bob Summersgill, has been a complete success. With the unanimous passage of additional enhancing laws in the intervening years,21 registered domestic partners are now granted nearly all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.22 Only California and Massachusetts have more expansive laws than D.C.
We are encouraged by the widespread adoption of domestic partner benefits in private industry, including here in the Washington area. More than half of Fortune 500 companies have implemented such programs, including most of those headquartered in the District of Columbia. However, some businesses do not recognize domestic partnerships. The District government should refuse special privileges to companies that deny domestic partners the same benefits they offer to married couples. In addition, we believe that the Council should explore methods by which contractors seeking to do business with the District would be required to provide domestic partner benefits. This would help D.C. reach the goal of universal health coverage.
C. Recognition of Same-Sex Married Couples from Other Jurisdictions
D.C. is an international city and a tourist destination. People from all over the world live, work, and visit the District everyday. Opposite-sex married couples never need to worry if their marriages will be recognized in D.C. Same-sex couples from Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, and numerous countries can register their domestic partnership or civil union and be similarly recognized as domestic partners in the District. Same-sex married couples from Massachusetts, California, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and South Africa do not know if their marriages will be recognized when they travel to D.C. It is unclear if they can make medical decisions for each other or even visit each other in hospitals should one fall ill or be in an accident. D.C. should recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions and end this inequality.
D. Anti-Marriage Efforts in D.C.
A bill in Congress was reintroduced by the late Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) last year to prohibit the District of Columbia from legalizing same-sex marriage. H.R. 107 states, “In the District of Columbia, for all legal purposes, ‘marriage’ means the union of one man and one woman.” GLAA opposes this and any other attempt by Congress to impose a ban on same-sex marriage. This is an attack not only on gay people but on home rule and democracy in the District.
A ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage was twice proposed by Lisa L. Greene of northeast Washington. The initiative was withdrawn when the Board of Elections notified Ms. Greene that it was not in proper legislative format. The initiative is likely to be brought back, and we must be prepared for it. GLAA supported the establishment of the non-profit Foundation for All D.C. Families to conduct voter education and research on this issue. We expect all elected officials in D.C. to oppose such an initiative, whether or not they support same-sex civil marriage.
E. Right to Name Children
Parents should be free to choose any name for their child. Current law—D.C. Official Code § 7-205(e)(5)—only allows the mother’s name, the father’s name, some combination of both, or a family name to be chosen when it is accompanied by an affidavit. Unfortunately, this creates a discriminatory situation for same-sex couples that don’t share the same name.
Only D.C. and seven other states have this restriction. Former D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson introduced legislation in November 2002 to grant parents complete freedom in choosing names, but it was defeated in a close vote. Parents must be provided wide latitude in the naming of their children, one of the most intimate decisions parents can make. w
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PART V. PUBLIC EDUCATION AND YOUTH
A. Transitional Housing for Homeless GLBT Youth
The opening this summer of the Wanda Alston House for homeless GLBT youth marks a milestone in the growth of Transgender Health Empowerment (THE), and is a welcome advance in serving a population at heightened risk for substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, and survival sex. We commend the D.C. Department of Human Services and the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness for making this possible, along with the groups partnering with THE to identify prospective residents—Covenant House Washington, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, and the Latin American Youth Center. The Wanda Alston House’s first eight transitional residents will receive not only housing but crucial wraparound services like job training, substance abuse treatment, and counseling. The Fenty Administration and the D.C. Council should treat this program as the first salvo in a long-term campaign to expand services to meet the needs of all at-risk GLBT youth in our city.
B. Youth Risk Behavior Survey
According to the Sexual Minority Baseline Fact Sheet released by D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) in March, self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in D.C public high schools were four times likelier to attempt suicide in 2007. This and other disturbing data were extracted from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by DCPS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.23 The survey also found that 23.3 percent of gay high school students reported using crystal meth, compared to 2.5 percent of straight students. 24.8 percent of gay high school students reported using ecstasy, compared to 3.9 percent of straight students. Twice as many gay students as straight students reported being bullied on school grounds. Thanks to D.C. Center President Michael Sessa and to Councilmembers David Catania and Jim Graham for pressing DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee to release the findings. As Sessa noted, Rhee needs to develop a plan of action to address these serious problems, and the survey needs to be expanded to include transgender students.
C. Anti-Harassment Policy
Responding to efforts spearheaded by GLAA, the D.C. Council made harassment an explicit form of illegal discrimination in employment and educational institutions. In a complementary fashion, the D.C. School Board amended school policies to prohibit harassment and sexual harassment. The school policy is now being implemented. Administrators, teachers and students should be reacquainted with the policy several times annually. The anti-harassment policy should be conveyed by a variety of means including assemblies, skits, and role-playing. The support and promotion of training programs is vital to the well-being of all students and staff in our public schools.
D. Health Education
Because of our strong support for comprehensive sex education for all District youth, GLAA enthusiastically endorses the Health Standards drafted by DCPS last year. We especially commend the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as part of what the introduction calls “the knowledge and skills that students need to maintain and improve their health and wellness, prevent disease, and reduce health-jeopardizing behaviors.” We agree with Advocates for Youth that “the proposed standards include complete, unbiased, comprehensive information regarding nutrition, sexual health and HIV prevention.”
In particular, we agree that the curriculum for Grade 6 should “explain the benefits of abstinence, postponing sexual behavior, and setting limits on sexual behavior.” Abstinence education is part of a comprehensive approach to teaching sexual health. This is different from the federal “abstinence-only until marriage” policy, which studies have shown does not deter teen sex. Furthermore, in the absence of marriage equality, “abstinence-only” excludes gay and lesbian teens. Care should be taken not to allow the appropriate teaching of responsibility and postponement of gratification to morph into a message that lifelong celibacy is the only option for sexual minority youth.
We agree with the inclusion of this for Grade 8: “Compare and contrast the theories about what determines sexual orientation, including genetics; prenatal, social, and cultural influences; psychological factors; and a combination of all of these.” Where there is an established scientific consensus, that is what should be taught. Homosexuality is recognized as a normal variant of human sexuality by such leading professional organizations as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, and that normality should not be treated as seriously in dispute based upon the pseudoscience of socially intolerant right-wing groups.
Experience teaches us that some teachers and principals impose their own whims and prejudices and disregard DCPS policy. For this health education program to be successful, it is essential to monitor and enforce compliance.
Information on the intersexed, a little-known and much-misunderstood minority, should be included in Human Growth and Development.
E. Gay-Straight Alliances
Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) are student-initiated organizations in schools. GSAs enrich a school’s learning environment, help provide a safe and supportive climate for students, and foster tolerance among students. Teachers, administrators and public officials should encourage students to form GSAs and take action against officials who illegally interfere with GSAs in the public schools.
F. Presentations by Outside Organizations
Outside organizations, such as the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), conduct training for students, teachers and administrators designed to reduce harassment in the schools. These groups should be welcomed by the schools and encouraged to make presentations.
G. School Libraries
School libraries should carry a wide range of books, including those that deal with homosexuality in a positive manner. Donated books by groups such as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) should be welcomed as they have been and encouraged as a low-cost means of expanding the library holdings.
H. Condom Availability
The District established a program in 1992 to make condoms available to public school students. This was widely hailed as a sound public health measure to reduce the spread of HIV, other STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Condoms should be available from the Department of Health through school nurses. Unfortunately, this program has fallen by the wayside. Condoms are available sporadically and without uniform guidelines. Many public high schools don’t provide condoms at all, and others impose restrictions that deter students from seeking or using condoms. This program needs to be revitalized.
The congressional imposition of a voucher system several years ago to subsidize parochial and other private schools in the District of Columbia at taxpayers’ expense was an assault upon home rule and the constitutional separation of church and state. We were offended when former Mayor Williams, former Education Committee Chair Chavous, and former School Board President Cafritz broke pledges to oppose vouchers. Voucher apologists cited these officials as proof of the program’s popular support. Since Chavous was soundly defeated in 2004 and the other two have retired, that excuse can no longer be seriously maintained.
District voters overwhelmingly rejected vouchers (89% to 11%) in a public referendum in 1981. Most of the federal funds that are being used under the voucher system have wound up in the hands of Roman Catholic and other religiously-affiliated schools. Gay and lesbian students, teachers and employees of religious schools enjoy none of the anti-discrimination protections of the D.C. Human Rights Act. Such schools are free to subject students to homophobic teachings and practices while being subsidized from the public till. Congress should abolish the voucher program. Meanwhile, D.C. voters should hold our own elected officials responsible for improving our public schools. w
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Part VI. CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES
A. Fighting Regulatory Abuse
Fights in 2005 and 2006 against the gay-welcoming Washington businesses Fab Lounge,24 Hank’s Oyster Bar,25 Cada Vez,26 and Be Bar27 illustrated a problem in need of reform: the abuse of the regulatory process by “gangs of five” and other unreasonable and unrepresentative groups. It is of little comfort that this regulatory abuse is often instigated by people who are gay themselves. The problem is not anti-gay bigots but people, both gay and straight, who are unreasonably hostile to urban nightlife and who seek to turn vital city neighborhoods into quiet suburbs.
We call for regulatory reforms to prevent the gaming of the system by small numbers of people to prevent legitimate businesses from operating, or to gain concessions that they could not obtain on the merits. It should be plain to all by now that so-called “voluntary agreements” are usually nothing of the sort, but amount to a holdup of businesses by small numbers of cranks and NIMBYs.
Not only should the provision for “gangs of five” be re-examined, steps should be taken to prevent the abuse of anonymous complaints against licensed establishments. For example, confidentiality can be preserved while recording the names of complainants to help identify persons who repeatedly file complaints in a bad-faith effort to harass a particular business. Persons with a record of frequent complaints not sustained by the evidence should have their subsequent complaints flagged as suspicious, should receive a warning, and should be fined if their abuse of the system continues. If multiple investigations show a particular complaint against a business to be without merit, a moratorium of 90 to 120 days should be imposed on repeat investigations of substantially the same complaint. There is no reason why law-abiding business owners, who bear all of the financial risk while serving customers and generating tax revenue, should have to endure such harassment, nor why taxpayers should have to subsidize it.
B. Defending Adult Entertainment
As a city whose hospitality industry generates a sizable portion of its revenue, the District should defend and preserve the place of adult entertainment as part of the mix. Those who disapprove of nude dancing establishments are free to avoid patronizing them, but have no right to deny those choices to other adults. Busybodies should not be permitted to misuse the power of government to boss their neighbors on matters that are none of their business. We call on our leaders to defend the District’s diverse nightlife against those who would impose their moral views on the rest of the residents and visitors to this international and cosmopolitan city.
In response to the destruction of the longstanding gay club zone by construction of the new baseball stadium Councilmember Jim Graham in 2007 introduced legislation to allow the displaced businesses to relocate elsewhere in the city. As we said during our lobbying for that bill, we are talking about legitimate, tax-generating businesses that served District residents and visitors for decades in some cases. The city, having caused their dislocation (and, indeed, pushed them into the area off South Capitol Street in the early 1970s), was honor bound to allow their relocation.
The demagoguery against the Graham bill by Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. (who opposed relocation of the clubs to the New York Avenue corridor, echoing his predecessor Vincent Orange) was irresponsible and unfair. We appreciated the successful efforts by Council Chair Vincent Gray to work out a compromise, though the bill as adopted was so heavily watered down that we were doubtful that any of our clubs would find a new home during the one-year window provided. We were therefore gratified when Ziegfield’s/Secrets found a new location on Half Street, SW. Nonetheless, we remain troubled that Thomas and three of his colleagues—Kwame Brown, Muriel Bowser, and Yvette Alexander—voted against the Graham bill in June 2007 even after Chairman Gray’s compromise addressed every legitimate concern (and, in our view, some dubious ones).
We are unimpressed by Ms. Alexander’s claim that she felt obliged to defer to Thomas due to the bill’s alleged impact on Ward 5, since by her logic any ward councilmember can kill a bill merely by claiming turf and objecting to it, regardless of the merits. In fact, the bill as amended specifically prohibited more than two clubs from relocating to any single ward. And we object to Ms. Bowser’s false claim that residents had no voice in club relocations under the bill; in fact, the bill as passed left in place existing opportunities for residents to raise objections. Mr. Brown, while not misrepresenting the bill, has talked about residents’ opposition to clubs in general; but unlike the straight-oriented clubs, which are scattered all over town, the gay nude dancing clubs were clustered in one neighborhood and were thus erased at a single stroke by the city’s use of eminent domain to seize the land for the building of the new ballpark.
C. Prostitution: Legalize It, Regulate It, Zone It, Tax It
The suicide on May 1 of D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who faced a prison sentence for doing something that harmed no one, raised a question unrelated to those that swirled among conspiracy theorists. It is simply this: who benefits from the criminalization of prostitution?
A quarter-millennium ago, Samuel Johnson described the ills associated with prostitution—crowding, intemperance, famine, filth, and disease—and assured his friend John Boswell that “severe laws, steadily enforced, would be sufficient against those evils, and would promote marriage.” We think Jesse Ventura came closer to the truth in his rough-hewn way when he told Playboy in 1999, “Prostitution is criminal, and bad things happen because it’s run illegally by dirt-bags who are criminals. If it’s legal, then the girls could have health checks, unions, benefits, anything any other worker gets, and it would be far better.” Not just girls, Jesse.
As advocates of the legalization of prostitution, we think it needs neither sanitizing nor glorifying. It is not a profession filled exclusively with people who freely chose it from a host of other options. No doubt there are some in that category, like the college student turning tricks for extra cash. But too many turn to it by necessity. These include gay teenagers who have been thrown out of the house by their parents, and transgender people whom discrimination has left with few options.
People in these situations are not practicing an alternate lifestyle (not that there is anything wrong with that); they are practicing survival sex. They face greater risk of substance abuse, mental and physical abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases. The District has seen numerous murders of sex workers in recent years--murders that were made harder to prevent and harder to solve by the fact that the victims worked the streets and were without legal sanction or protection.
Harassing, arresting and prosecuting people for survival sex solves none of their problems. It only piles more on.28 Whose idea of responsible public policy is this? To be justified, any public law ought to serve some identifiable common good. Saying to people as Sister Mary Ignatius did, “You do the thing that makes Jesus puke,” is no basis for criminalizing whatever it is. Having been the targets of moralistic lawmaking, we as gay people are especially on guard against it.
No matter how bad you may think something is, if your proposed response is likely only to make it worse, then you should pull back. Policymakers are often too enamored of their own initiatives to pay attention to the consequences. If you want to provide safer, healthier, and more sustainable alternatives to survival sex, you can support the creation of drop-in centers, transitional housing, job training, counseling, addiction recovery programs and other services for at-risk populations. Key is creating safe spaces where help can be expected, not exploitation.
Speaking of addiction, our society’s addiction to legislating morality is the chief obstacle to eliminating the harm caused by anti-prostitution and anti-solicitation laws. Otherwise liberal, compassionate and practical people often lose their bearings when the subject turns to the “naughty bits.” Overcoming this will take time, especially here in D.C. with its constitutional vulnerability to congressional grandstanding; but we will never get there if we give up before we start. We can begin with a humble recognition of the normal variation in sexual expression, the proper limits of government coercion, and the fact that other people’s personal choices are none of our business unless they harm us. In the case of sex behind closed doors, whether in homes or hotel rooms, the fact that someone is paying for it is no more a legitimate basis for police involvement than if the transaction is a more informal one involving dinner and a show.
There is too much observable misery associated with prostitution for us to say it carries no problems; but they derive substantially, albeit not exclusively, from prostitution’s forced existence underground. Mitigating them requires leaving the moral implications to the participants and doing the few things that government can usefully do regarding prostitution: legalize it, regulate it, zone it, and tax it. In pursuing this course, the District can benefit from the experience of other jurisdictions, both domestic and foreign, that treat the sex trade in a more realistic manner.
We know that we are breaking a taboo by discussing this; but avoiding the issue will not make it go away. We ask those who disagree with our position to address our arguments seriously. Failed policies do not deserve to be defended with reflexive dismissals. [Adapted from a commentary published May 8, 2008 in Metro Weekly and Bay Windows; copyright © 2008 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved. Used by permission.] w
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1 “17 Officers Fired for Misconduct Reinstated,” The Washington Post, May 20, 2008
2 MPD General Order 501.02, “Handling Interactions with Transgender Individuals,” October 15, 2007
3 “D.C. Seeks Consent To Search for Guns,” The Washington Post, March 13, 2008
4 “D.C. Police to Check Drivers In Violence-Plagued Trinidad,” The Washington Post, June 5, 2008
5 Metropolitan Police Department, “Neighborhood Safety Zones: Frequently Asked Questions,” June 4, 2008
6 2007 Annual Report, Police Complaints Board and Office of Police Complaints, January 24, 2008
7 D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby, “DOC Policy on Inmate Gender Identification May Violate District Regulations,” April 4, 2008
8 "Uncommon decency: Transgender women prepare to file lawsuit in response to treatment in D.C. jails," Metro Weekly, April 3, 2008
9 “The HIV/AIDS Epidemiologic Profile for the District of Columbia 2004,” D.C. Department of Health, 2004
10 “District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report,” D.C. Department of Health, November 2007
11 “Prevalence of HIV Infection Among Young Adults in the United States: Results From the Add Health Study,” American Journal of Public Health, June 2006
12 “HIV/AIDS in the Nation’s Capital,” DC Appleseed Center, August 2005
13 Monica S. Ruiz, et. al., editors, “No Time to Lose: Getting More from HIV Prevention,” National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001
14 “Evidence-Based Findings on the Efficacy of Syringe Exchange Programs: An Analysis from the Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General of the Scientific Research Completed Since April 1998,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 17, 2000
15 “District of Columbia HIV Prevention Two Year Plan 2003 – 2004,” HIV/AIDS Administration, D.C. Department of Health, and The HIV Prevention Community Planning Group, updated September 2003, p. 2.8
16 Ibid. p. 9.9
17 Loving v. Virginia, 388 US 1 (1967)
18 Census Snapshot: Washington, DC, The Williams Institute, December, 2007
19 Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987)
20 “Make Marriage, Not Lawsuits,” June 9, 2008
21 Rights and responsibilities of domestic partners have been expanded in the following bills:
- Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Support Act of 2001
- Health-Care Decisions Act of 2003
- Deed Recordation Tax and Related Amendments Amendment Act of 2004
- Human Rights Marital Status Clarification Amendment Act of 2004
- Domestic Partner Health Care Benefits Tax Exemption Act of 2005
- Health Care Benefits Expansion Amendment Act of 2006
- Domestic Partnership Equality Act of 2006
- Property Interest Amendment Act of 2006
- Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Act of 2006
- Domestic Partnerships Joint Filing Act of 2006
- Omnibus Public Safety Amendment Act of 2006
- Omnibus Domestic Partnership Equality Amendment Act of 2008
22 Rights and Responsibilities of Domestic Partners in the District of Columbia
23 “Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” District of Columbia Public Schools
24 “New gay bar set to open in Dupont,” The Washington Blade, February 3, 2006
25 “Lesbian faces opposition to new restaurant,” The Washington Blade, April 15, 2005
26 “Off-duty officials take photos of gay Latino club,” The Washington Blade, July 29, 2005
27 “Catania, Graham troubled over Be Bar opposition,” The Washington Blade, April 26, 2006
28 “Move Along: Policing Sex Work in Washington D.C.,” Alliance for a Safe and Diverse DC, May 1, 2008, http://www.differentavenues.org/MoveAlongReport.pdf