This is the sixth of a series of topic specific newsletters that I have shared over Council recess. You can read all of my newsletters here. I know that together we will continue to work to address the challenges in our communities and make Ward 2 and DC the best place to learn, live, work, play, and do business.
Increasing Supports for our LGBTQQIA+ Community
Our LGBTQQIA+ friends, family, coworkers and neighbors are an integral part of our city. DC has a rich LGBTQQIA+ history and I’m committed to continuing my work to provide support, protections, and funding in the budget to ensure DC remains a welcoming home for our LGBTQQIA+ neighbors.
One year ago, I wrote an op-ed in the Washington Blade about the need to urgently ban the use of the gay and trans panic defense that had been used to uphold violent, homophobic and transphobic actions in the court of law. For years, many District residents had advocated for the Council to pass legislation to strengthen the legal code that should protect our nation’s highest population of LGBTQQIA+ community members per capita.
Last year, the Council accomplished that with the passage of the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020. I am pleased to share that this legislation received full funding in this year’s budget, so that the DC Office of Human Rights has the staff needed to oversee the implementation of the law.
Additional highlights from this year’s budget to support the LGBTQQIA+ community include:
This coming year, I’m committed to increasing support in a number of ways including:
As we continue to secure additional, much-needed supports for our LGBTQQIA+ community, I also look forward to joining many of the events that enliven DC. Later in October, I look forward to the Capital Pride Alliance Colorful Fest & Parade and Whitman Walker’s virtual Walk to End HIV, as well as celebrating the 40th anniversary of the DC Gay Men’s Chorus during their holiday performance in December! I invite the community to join in these and other events to celebrate and stand with our LGBTQQIA+ neighbors.
Yours in Service,