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The State Department on Jan. 17, 2019, said it is “deeply disturbed” by reports that two people have died and another 40 have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

The State Department on Thursday said it is “deeply disturbed” by reports that indicate at least two people have been killed and upwards of 40 others have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

“We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community,” said Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement.

The Russian LGBT Network on Monday said a “new wave of illegal detentions in Chechnya based on the alleged sexual orientation of victims, both men and women” began last month with the detention of an administrator of a social networking group. Igor Kochetkov, a prominent Russian LGBTI activist, has suggested more people may have been taken into custody.

“Civil society groups report that at least 40 individuals have been illegally detained since December, including two who reportedly died in custody after being tortured,” noted Palladino in his statement. “We call on Russia to live up to its international obligations and commitments and its own constitution, and launch an immediate investigation into these human rights abuses.”

Chechnya is a semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucasus.

Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper, in 2017 reported Chechen authorities had arrested more than 100 men because of their sexual orientation. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a Vienna-based group of which the U.S. is a member, released a report last month that documents extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against LGBTI people in Chechnya.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin — and the Kremlin have either denied the reports or downplayed them. President Trump — who is under increased scrutiny over his alleged involvement in the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election — has not publicly commented on the crackdown.

“Nearly two years after reports first surfaced of anti-LGBTQ violence and killings in Chechnya, we are once again hearing disturbing accounts of state-sanctioned detentions and abuse,” said Human Rights Campaign Global Director Ty Cobb in a statement he released earlier this week. “We have repeatedly called on the Trump-Pence White House to speak out and help bring an end to this persecution, but instead the White House has largely ignored the actions of the Russian-backed regime in Chechnya. Human rights violators in Chechnya must be held accountable and be brought to justice. Lives are hanging in the balance.”

The post State Department ‘deeply disturbed’ by latest Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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The Green Lantern (Washington Blade photo by Hugh Clarke)

Green Lantern (1335 Green Ct., N.W.) presents its new dance party Ottermatic on Friday, Jan. 25 from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. 

The Barber Streisand and Jesse Jackson will play music for the night. Grant Collins hosts the party and Matt Strother and Scott M. Douglass will serve drinks for the evening. Vibrant and expressive looks are encouraged. Cover is $5. 

For more details, visit greenlanterndc.com.

The post Green Lantern unveils new otter party appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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Brian Bond (photo courtesy of Bond)

A former White House liaison to the LGBT community in the Obama administration has been named the new chief of PFLAG National, the organization announced Thursday.

Brian Bond, who was the first White House LGBT liaison during the Obama administration, is set to become executive director of PFLAG effective Feb. 1.

Kathy Godwin, board president of PFLAG, said she’s “thrilled” to welcome the veteran of the Obama administration, who also grew up in Missouri and was once chief of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

“He has a proven record of success unifying people across communities, building strong alliances and partnerships and working in challenging environments and moments to effect change,” Godwin said. “His personal story — as a young gay man raised in rural America — will resonate with so many people, including our supporters and members. I know Brian is the leader PFLAG needs to continue our work, and greatly expand our reach.”

Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to former President Obama, praised both Bond and PFLAG upon the announcement of his new position.

“During my time at the White House I saw firsthand PFLAG’s legacy of loving, affirming families and actively engaged allies at work,” Jarrett said. “PFLAGers are changing hearts and minds in every corner of our country in support of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. I also witnessed Brian Bond’s commitment to moving equality forward with passion, empathy, and humility. Brian’s skill set, collaborative leadership style, creative thought process, and ability to build bridges across diverse communities and life experiences will serve PFLAG well. I am thrilled that Brian Bond has been selected as PFLAG National’s next Executive Director during this pivotal and critical moment in time.” 

PFLAG names Bond as executive director after its previous head Jaime Grant left the organization in March 2018 only six months into the job in a move that puzzled some LGBT activists. PFLAG has gone nearly a year without an executive director.

Aditi Hardikar, another former White House LGBT liasion, said in a statement upon the announcement of a new leader Bond “embodies leadership.”

“He has earned the trust and respect of diverse communities and coalitions over his lifetime because he has worked tirelessly to uplift people of all ages and backgrounds every step of the way,” Hardikar said. “I count myself in that category, first as his summer intern and later as his successor as the White House LGBT Liaison and a committed partner in the fight for equality and justice. PFLAG, already an effective and important organization, has gained a talented, humble, inclusive, and strategic leader in Brian — and I look forward to the scores more families and young people supported by this work with Brian at the helm.”

The post Former Obama LGBT liaison named PFLAG executive director appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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A federal court has ruled anti-gay discrimination in a housing case isn’t sex discrimination.

A federal court in Missouri has ruled anti-gay discrimination isn’t a sex discrimination in a case where an elderly lesbian couple was denied housing at a religiously affiliated retirement home, bucking a growing trend of courts finding laws against sex discrimination cover sexual orientation.

In a 10-page decision, U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton, a George H.W. Bush appointee, dismissed on Wednesday a case filed on behalf of Mary Walsh, 72, and Beverly Nance, 68, a same-sex couple who married in Massachusetts in 2009 and were denied housing at St. Louis-based Friendship Village retirement home.

Despite claims from the couple, Hamilton determines the couple isn’t eligible for relief under the Fair Housing Act, a federal law barring discrimination in housing on the basis of sex, because “sexual orientation rather than sex lies at the heart of plaintiffs’ claims.”

“Plaintiffs…assert they have presented a straightforward case of sex discrimination under the FHA, as but for their sex, plaintiffs would not have been denied housing at Friendship Village,” Hamilton writes. “Upon consideration the court rejects this analysis, finding instead that sexual orientation rather than sex lies at the heart of plaintiffs’ claims.”

As Hamilton describes in her decision, Walsh and Nance filed their initial complaint in federal court late last year after the couple received notice from Friendship Village rejecting their housing application. As described in a July 29, 2016 letter from Michael Heselbarth, Corporate Operations Director of Friendship Village, the home rejected the couple’s application because they’re lesbians.

“It is the policy of Friendship Village Sunset Hills, consistent with its long-standing practice of operating its facilities in accordance with biblical principles and sincerely-held religious standards, that it will permit the cohabitation of residents within a single unit only if those residents, while residing in said unit, are related as spouses by marriage, as parent and child or as siblings,” the letter said. “The term ‘marriage’ as used in this policy means the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible.”

A growing a number of courts have found sexual-orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and thus is illegal under federal civil rights laws against sex discrimination, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Second Circuit and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals have reached this conclusion, although the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the opposite way. Petitions seeking nationwide clarification on the interpretation of Title VII are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hamilton, however, writes she’s bound by precedent in the Eighth Circuit, a 1989 decision called in Williamson v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., which found Title VII “does not prohibit discrimination against homosexuals.”

“This court is bound by the law of the Eighth Circuit, however,” Hamilton writes. “To date the Eighth Circuit has not changed its position on the issue, and so the court must dismiss this portion of Plaintiffs’ claim pursuant to Williamson.”

Hamilton rejects each arguments asserting Walsh and Nance faced sex discrimination for being a lesbian couple. First, Hamilton denies Walsh and Nance would have admitted to Friendship Village but for their sex.

“At no time do plaintiffs assert that had they been men involved in a same-sex relationship or marriage, they would have been admitted as residents in Friendship Village,” Hamilton writes. “Under these circumstances, the court finds the claims boil down to those of discrimination based on sexual orientation rather than sex alone.”

Hamilton also rejects the claim Walsh and Nance faced sex discrimination because of their association with a person of a particular sex as a result of being in a same-sex relationship.

“While the court agrees that claims of associational discrimination are cognizable at times, plaintiffs present no evidence that such claims are actionable with respect to classes unprotected by the statute at issue,” Hamilton said.

Finally, Hamilton rejects any notion Friendship Village denied the couple housing based on their non-conformity to sex stereotypes “because with their allegations plaintiffs make clear their theory of sex-stereotyping is based solely on their sexual orientation.”

Representing the couple in court is the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the D.C.-based law firm Relman and Dane PLLC.

One option for the legal team would be appealing the decision to the Eighth Circuit, which could then reconsider its precedent on whether anti-gay discrimination is sex discrimination. (The LGBT group Lambda Legal already has a employment discrimination case, Horton v. Midwest Geriatic Management, seeking this ruling from the appeals court.)

Julie Wilensky, senior staff attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the organization disagrees with the court’s conclusion and is reviewing then next steps.

“Planning for senior housing is a big decision, and Mary and Bev chose Friendship Village because it is in their community, they have friends there, and it offers services that would allow them to stay together there for the rest of their lives,” Wilensky said. “The discrimination they experienced was very hurtful. If Mary were a man married to Bev, instead of a woman married to Bev, Friendship Village would not have turned them away. This is a straightforward example of discrimination ‘because of sex.’ We disagree with the court’s decision, and our clients are considering next steps.”

Hamilton writes before the couple filed a federal lawsuit, they submitted a complaint in 2016 during the Obama administration with the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

According to the couple, HUD referred the complaint to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, which in turn “voluntarily waived” the complaint back to the federal department. HUD conducted an investigation from December 2016 until June 2018, when plaintiffs withdrew the complaint in favor of a federal lawsuit.

The complaint was filed before HUD when Julian Castro, now a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was running the department. Although Castro adopted rules against anti-LGBT discrimination in federally funding retirement housing and single-sex homeless shelters, he never adopted rules interpreting the Fair Housing Act, which bars sex-discrimination in housing at large, to apply to cases of anti-LGBT discrimination.

The St. Louis-based law firm Husch and Blackwell LLP, which represents Friendship Village, didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment on the ruling.

h/t Equality Case Files

The post Court rules anti-gay discrimination in housing case not sex discrimination appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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D.C. Different Drummers perform at the Pride Run 5K in June. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

D.C.’s Different Drummers, an LGBT music ensemble, presents its ninth annual Drag Show fundraiser on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. at Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) 

Members of Different Drummers and their friends will perform as drag kings, queens and more. There will be a silent auction with prizes such as musical instruments, concert tickets, bottomless bunch for four and more. Sylvanna Duvél hosts the event. People can also volunteer to help with drag makeup or general volunteering duties. Proceeds from the event will directly support operating costs and financial assistance for members with limited means.

For more information, visit dcdd.org/events.

The post Different Drummers don drag appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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Frederick, Md., native Nyle DiMarco will celebrate the opening of New Spire Arts’ new theater. (Photo by William Callan) Friday, Jan. 18

Reel Affirmations screens “The Heiresses” at Human Rights Campaign (1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.) tonight from 7-9 p.m. The film, set in Asunción, Paraguay, tells the story of Chela and Chiquita who are both descended from wealthy families and have been together for more than 30 years. The couple faces financial crisis and Chiquita is sent to prison for fraud. Chela must start her new life without him when she meets Angy, a much younger woman. Rayceen Pendarvis hosts the screening. General admission tickets are $12. VIP tickets are $25 and include VIP seating, one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine and movie candy or popcorn. For more information, visit thedccenter,org/events/theheiresses.

LezLink Events hosts Vibezan R&B social for LGBT women, at XX+ (1926 9th St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Wristbands will be available for guests to wear that designate “single,” “taken,” “open,” “poly” and “I have no idea.” There will also be games such as Connect Four, pool, Conversation Dice, Cuff Cards, Uno and more. No dress code. Tickets are $10 and available online. A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. For more details, visit facebook.com/lezlinkevents.

Trade (1410 14th St., N.W.) hosts a “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4” viewing party tonight from 8-9:30 p.m. Trade queens and guest hosts will add commentary throughout the episode. There will be games and prizes. WesstheDJ will spin tracks before, during and after the episode. For more information, visit facebook.com/tradebardc.

The Point in Fells (1738 Thames St., Baltimore) presents Friday Night Drag Brunch tonight from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Robyn Ya’Men hosts the brunch. Performing queens will be announced. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include a seat and a brunch buffet. $20 bottomless brunch is also available featuring unlimited mimosas, rum punch, sangria, screwdrivers and Natty Bohs. For more details, visit facebook.com/thepoint1738.

A Knyght Productions hosts Miss Gay Northern Maryland’s “The Feather Ball” at The Lodge (21614 National Pike, Boonsboro, Md.) tonight from 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. The show will honor Miss Gay Maryland 2018 and Miss Gay Northern Maryland 2018, Nicole James, and will crown the 2019 Miss Gay Northern Maryland queen. Performers will include Anastacia Amor, Dezi Minaj, Joanna Blue, Ashley Bannks, Stephanie Michaels, Chi Chi Ray Colby and Rebecca Blaqueout. Pageant starts at 9 p.m. and dance floor opens at midnight. For more information, search “Miss Gay Northern Maryland’s The Feather Ball” on Facebook.

Saturday, Jan. 19

New Spire Arts (115 East Church St., Frederick, Md.) presents the grand opening of its New Spire Stages, its brand new theater, featuring “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Next Top Model” winner Nyle DiMarco. DiMarco, who identifies as sexually fluid, is a Frederick, Md., native and a Maryland School for the Deaf alum. Tango dancer Augusto Balizano will perform and Celeste Miller will premiere a new theater work in collaboration with Frederick-based actors, dancers and musicians. General admission tickets are $55 and student and senior tickets are $41.25. For details, visit newspirearts.org.

Freddie’s Beach Bar (555 23rd St. S Arlington, Va.) hosts its Freddie’s Follies Drag Show tonight from 8-10 p.m. Cover is $5. Drag show starts at 8 p.m. and karaoke begins at 10 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. For more details, visit facebook.com/freddiesbeachbararlington.

LURe D.C. celebrates the 10th anniversary of BARE, a queer women’s dance party, at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.) tonight from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. DJ Rosie will play music on the Cobalt level dance floor and DJ Keenan will spin on the Level One floor. Admission is $7 before midnight and $10 after. For more information, visit facebook.com/lurewdc.

Sunday, Jan. 20

Pretty Boi Drag celebrates its three-year anniversary with #PrettyBoiAnniversay at Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St., N.W.) today from 2-5 p.m. The show will feature ASL interpretation. General admission tickets are $20. Anniversary package tickets include one general admission ticket, one limited edition anniversary T-shirt in gold or silver and one Pretty Boi Drag shot glass. For details, visit facebook.com/prettyboidrag.

Panic! at the Disco, featuring pansexual frontman Brandon Urie, plays at Capitol One Arena (601 F St., N.W.) tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $30-70. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.

Monday, Jan. 21

The D.C. Center and the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce march as part of the LGBT Continent in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. All LGBT individuals and organizations are welcome to join. The parade kicks off at noon from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance along MLK Avenue to the Rise Center on St. Elizabeth’s campus where the MLK Holiday Festival and Health Fair takes place. The group will meet near the Anacostia Park entrance (1900 Anacostia Dr., S.E.) at 10 a.m. For details, visit thedccenter.org.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Republic (6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park, Md.) hosts Alegre Happy Hour, an LGBT happy hour, this evening from 5-7 p.m. For more information, visit republictakoma.com.

Wednesday, Jan. 23

Queer Girl Move Night presents a screening of the 2008 British romantic drama “I Can’t Think Straight” at Denizens Brewing Co. (1115 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, Md.) tonight from 7-10 p.m. The film tells the story of a Palestinian woman living in London who is planning her wedding in the Middle East. She meets a British-Indian woman who is dating her best friend and the women find themselves falling for each other. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m. For more information, visit facebook.com/queergrrlmovienight.

Bier Baron Tavern (1523 22nd St., N.W.) presents Profs and Pints: Hamilton’s History Remix tonight from 6-9 p.m. Richard Bell, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, will examine how accurate the musical is about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution and the birth of the United States. Bell will lead a discussion on how the musical dramatized and simplified some of the events told in the story. Advance tickets are $12. Tickets at the door are $15. Talk begins at 6:30 p.m. For more details, visit facebook.com/profsandpints.

Thursday, Jan. 24

The D.C. Eagle (3701 Benning Rd., N.E.) hosts Blackout Thursdays tonight at 9 p.m. This lights-out party includes happy hour until 9 p.m. featuring $2 off all drinks, $10 bottomless Bud/Bud Lights and $12 bottomless premium drafts. Guys who wear harnesses, jocks or underwear will receive $3 rail and domestic drinks. For more information, visit dceagle.com.

The post Calendar: Jan 18-24 appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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Tyler Posey and Avan Jogia in ‘Now Apocalpyse.’ (Screenshot via YouTube)

“Now Apocalypse,” Starz’s newest comedy series, dropped the first trailer for its debut season which features a steamy moment between Tyler Posey and Avan Jogia.

Deadline reports that the 10-episode season will tell the story of friends Ulysses (Jogia), Carly (Kelli Berglund), Ford (Beau Mirchoff) and Severine (Roxane Mesquida) as they try to figure out life and love in Los Angeles. As Ulysses struggles with his daytime drama he also encounters strange dreams that he can’t shake.

In the trailer, there is a clip of Ulysses having a passionate encounter with Gabriel (Posey), who he meets on a dating app.

“Now Apocalypse” premieres on March 10.

Watch the trailer below.

Now Apocalypse | Official Trailer | STARZ Original Series - YouTube

The post Watch: Tyler Posey and Avan Jogia heat up in ‘Now Apocalypse’ trailer appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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(Logo via Wikimedia Commons)

Google is facing criticism for having an app promoting gay conversion therapy available in its Google Play store.

The Christian group Living Home Ministries, which is based in Texas, produces the app. LGBT rights organization Truth Wins Out started a Change.org petition to have the app removed. The petition says the app “repeatedly belittles transgender people as suffering from ‘gender confusion.’ The group refers to gay men as ‘sexually broken guys’ who can ‘walk out of false identities’ and claims, without evidence, that the ‘gay lifestyle’ is ‘spiritually and physically harmful.'”

Truth Wins Out says that when they petitioned Apple, Microsoft and Amazon to remove the app from their stores,” the companies acted with responsibility and swiftly removed it from their online stores. The surprising silence from Google is in stark contrast with the corporation’s stated policies of inclusion, respect and diversity.”

Newsweek reports that the app asks users to “accept the reality that emotionally healthy life can feel boring in the beginning. After the drama and excitement often associated with gay lifestyle, making responsible, God-honoring choices feels black and white in comparison to a Technicolor life.”

The petition for the app’s removal has received more than 40,000 signatures of its 50,000 goal.

According to Google Play’s policy, the store does not promote apps that “incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

The post Google Play faces backlash for gay conversion therapy app appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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Karen Pence (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

Second Lady Karen Pence has accepted a position as an art teacher at the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Va., which does not allow LGBT students or families to enroll and will not offer employment to LGBT applicants.

The school’s guidelines are listed in its “parent agreement” which states Immanuel Christian School “can refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.”

“This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman,” the agreement continues.

Immanuel Christian School also requires applicants to agree to its guidelines on its employment application. One guideline states that the applicant will not engage in “moral misconduct” which includes “heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law.”

Pence will teach at the school, where she also taught while Vice President Mike Pence was in Congress, two days a week. In a statement, she says she is looking forward to returning to teach.

“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Pence said.

Kara Brooks, Pence’s spokeswoman, defended the decision in another statement saying “Mrs Pence has returned to the school where she previously taught for 12 years.It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack.”

The post Karen Pence accepts teaching job at school that bans LGBT students, families appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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Charlotte Clymer reached a settlement with a D.C. restaurant after a manager forced her to leave after she used the women’s restroom. (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Clymer)

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced on Wednesday that his office reached a settlement with the Cuba Libre Rum Bar and Restaurant that requires the establishment to adopt policies and procedures to prevent it from discriminating against transgender people.

The settlement came just over six months after the D.C. Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into the restaurant following a complaint that one of its managers forced a trans woman to leave after she used the women’s bathroom.

In an incident that drew extensive media coverage, trans activist Charlotte Clymer said the manager ordered a bouncer to eject her from the premises after she entered the women’s bathroom without complying with a restaurant requirement that she show legal identification confirming her gender was female.

Clymer said the manager ignored her attempt to explain such a policy violates the city’s Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination against trans people.

Cuba Libre’s owner issued an apology for the manager’s actions and later agreed to a separate settlement with Clymer brokered by the D.C. Office of Human Rights agreeing to take a series of steps to train employees and adopt policies to prevent such an incident from happening again.

The earlier settlement reached with the help of the Office of Human Rights came after Clymer filed a discrimination complaint against the restaurant with the OHR. It is similar to the one reached with the Office of the Attorney General in terms of the actions the restaurant must take.

However, OAG spokesperson Robert Marus told the Washington Blade on Wednesday that the Attorney General’s settlement includes the force of a court injunction that holds the restaurant legally bound to comply with the terms of the settlement.

“This is a consumer action that we brought under the District’s consumer laws that regulate businesses,” Marus said. “This includes injunctive relief that requires the owners and operators of Cuba Libre to institute programs to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

The agreement with the Attorney General’s Office calls for Cuba Libre to “institute policies on civil rights compliance and training” to ensure the city’s laws pertaining to gender identity and expression are followed and that all employees are trained to fully understand those policies.

It also requires the restaurant to “post clear bathroom signage” that states that under D.C. law “all individuals are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity or expression.”

In addition, it requires Cuba Libre to report any complaints made against it related to D.C. Human Rights Act violations to the Attorney General’s Office for two years following the signing of the settlement. Finally, the settlement calls for the restaurant to pay a $7,000 penalty to the D.C. government for violating the Human Rights Act and for legal costs.

“The District’s laws reflect one of our residents’ most deeply-held values: That all people should be treated equally,” Racine said in a statement. “With this settlement, Cuba Libre is required to maintain policies that will ensure this type of discrimination does not happen again.”

He thanked the restaurant’s management and staff for “cooperating fully in our investigation and seeking to rectify their wrongdoing.”

Clymer told the Blade on Wednesday that Cuba Libre has fully complied with the terms of the separate agreement she reached with the restaurant through the Office on Human Rights on Aug. 31.

“I am quite grateful for the work of Attorney General Racine and his staff to ensure that discrimination has no place in D.C., and I am thankful that Cuba Libre and CEO Barry Gutin have worked in good faith since the fall to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Clymer said.

“All parties worked together to make sure a terrible night was turned into a great teaching moment, which was built on the history of advocacy by trans folks in D.C., particularly trans women of color,” she said.

Racine also announced on Wednesday that he has submitted a proposed bill to the D.C. Council that would clarify the Office of the Attorney General’s authority to bring civil actions under the D.C. Human Rights Act independent of the Office of Human Rights. The proposed legislation is called the Attorney General Civil Rights Enforcement Clarification Amendment Act of 2019.

The post D.C. restaurant agrees to second trans nondiscrimination settlement appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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