DC holds hearing on local hate crimes prosecution, panic defense bills

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: The D.C. Council on Oct. 23 held a hearing on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s failure to prosecute hate crimes in D.C. and banning so-called LGBT panic defense in the city. (Washington Blade photo by Philip Van Slooten)

Lambda Legal and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers were among the groups Oct. 23 that weighed in at a hearing on hate crimes prosecution and two related panic defense bills currently before the D.C. Council.

Though their representatives sat at the same witness table, each expert differed sharply on the issues of an LGBT victim’s right to respect and the defendant’s right to due process.

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No vote planned for DC sex work decriminalization bill

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) this week did not provide a potential timeline for a vote on a bill that would decriminalize sex work in D.C. (Photo by Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons)

Less than one week after about 160 witnesses testified for and against a controversial bill to decriminalize sex work between consenting adults in the D.C., the chair of a D.C. Council Committee in charge of the bill said the committee has no immediate plans to take further action on the bill.

Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who chairs the Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee that presided over a contentious 14-hour hearing on the bill on Oct. 17, told the Washington Blade this week he could not say when or if the committee will schedule a vote on whether to bring the bill before the full Council for final approval.

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‘Larger than ever’ crowds turn out for Capital Pride

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ABOVE: Organizers said last weekend’s Pride celebration brought out record crowds. (Washington Blade photo by Adam Hall)

Organizers and participants in D.C.’s Capital Pride parade and festival last weekend said the two annual events appear to have drawn more than the expected 400,000 people despite rainy weather during the festival on Sunday.

Observers who have participated in the Capital Pride parade and festival in past years said they have never seen crowds as large as those that lined the 1.5-mile Capital Pride Parade route on Saturday, June 8.

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