Charges lowered, men sentenced in 2016 Md. trans murder

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVEKeyonna Blakeney, 22, was stabbed to death in 2016. Photo courtesy Facebook.

In a little-noticed development, prosecutors in Montgomery County last year dropped first-degree murder and armed robbery charges against two D.C. men arrested for the April 16, 2016 murder of transgender woman Keyonna Blakeney, 22, in her room at the Red Roof Inn in Rockville, Md.

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Man charged in Md. trans murder sentenced to 30 years

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge on Aug. 18 handed down a sentence of 30 years in prison for one of two D.C. men charged in the April 2016 stabbing death of a transgender woman at the Red Roof Inn motel in Rockville, Md.

The sentence came after Keith Renier, 22, of Southeast D.C. pleaded guilty on June 22 of this year to second-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of Keyonna Blakeney, 22, during what police and prosecutors said was a robbery gone bad inside Blakeney’s room at the motel.

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Arrest made in killing of transgender woman

By : Wire Report
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MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. (AP) — Montgomery County police have arrested a suspect in the killing of a transgender woman near a shopping mall in Montgomery Village.

Police say 20-year-old Rico Leblond was arrested for the fatal shooting of Zella Ziona, a transgender woman whose government name is DeAndre Smith.

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Pennsylvania county appeals same sex marriage license ban

By : Wire Report
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Philadelphia (AP) – Montgomery County is appealing a state court order to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses, the latest volley in Pennsylvania’s fast-paced battle over gay marriage.

Democratic officials in the suburban Philadelphia county had issued 174 same-sex licenses before the Commonwealth Court shut them down last month. The Sept. 12 ruling was a victory for Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who opposes gay marriage.

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Look for a quick ruling in PA marriage equality case

By : Wire Report
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A Pennsylvania judge is promising to rule quickly on whether a county clerk should be ordered to stop handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini did not signal what direction he might rule as lawyers debated the actions of Bruce Hanes, who issues licenses in suburban Philadelphia.

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More and more gay couples want PA marriage licenses

By : Wire Report
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Harrisburg (AP) – Demand among same-sex couples for marriage licenses from an eastern Pennsylvania county official flouting state law shows no sign of slacking.

A Montgomery County spokesman said 16 same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses Aug. 5, making it the highest single-day figure yet in the nearly two weeks since county officials began defying a state ban on such unions.

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Gay couples keep getting married in Pennsylvania (it’s illegal!)

By : Wire Report
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Philadelphia (AP) – A suburban Philadelphia woman who tied the knot with her longtime partner Sunday with a county marriage license despite the commonwealth’s ban on same-sex marriage said it was the day “that every committed couple waits for.”

Dee Spagnuolo, 39, and Sasha Ballen, 38, were married at their Wynnewood home – with their three young children playing roles in the hastily arranged ceremony – after receiving a license from officials in Montgomery County.

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PA women marry in defiance of state ban on marriage equality

By : Wire Report
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Two women have been married in a religious ceremony near Philadelphia after getting a same-sex license from county officials defying a state ban.

Alicia Terrizzi says she and Loreen Bloodgood didn’t set out to be pioneers, but simply want to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Montgomery County officials.

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