- Welcome to amateur hour. (Photo: Associated Press)
MARA DRUMMOND on the importance of passing trans protections in Maryland: "I write software that helps keep over 700 million air travelers safe each year. I designed and wrote the software the NASA mainframe computers use to communicate with the space shuttle. Yet, the Maryland legislature for the last 4 years has essentially said that I do not deserve a basic human right, the right to hold employment, because I'm transgender."
AND PARENTS AND FRIENDS OF EX-GAYS on the importance of rejecting them: "It's been a rough two months for families in Maryland," the organization writes. Families who don't like gay families, that is: "First, the Democrats introduced a same-sex 'marriage,' bill . . . Now, the leadership is piling on with a 'Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination' bill (HB 235), which tries to blur the lines between males and females by creating special rights for cross-dressers." Didn't you know? "Special rights" are only for people who want to blur the line between gays and anti-gays.
AFTER THE JUMP: GW responds to alleged hate crime on campus; Washington Blade reacts to "amateurs" in Maryland legislature;
THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY has released a statement on the possibly anti-gay assault on a straight student that occurred on campus last meeting. Senior Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Darrell Darnell called it "an altercation between two students that has been reported as a possible hate crime" which is "upsetting and unacceptable to our community." He added: "We want to assure you that this incident does not pose an ongoing threat to the GW community, nor is it a reflection of our values. . . . We urge all students and every member of our community to act in the spirit of our community by treating each other with respect and dignity."
IT'S "AMATEUR HOUR" in the Maryland house on marriage equality, says Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff: "the process has been an embarrassing, amateurish mess," Naff writes, calling out the "Delegates who raked in gay money during their campaigns" but "suddenly got cold feet and had to pray over the issue," along with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who first voiced his support of a same-sex marriage bill in 2007 but is now calling for a state-wide referendum on the matter.
A NEW YORK BREASTFEEDING RESOURCE CENTER faces opposition from a city condo board that's deemed the outlet too commercial for its historic building. The breastfeeding spot has positioned itself as a "community center" for helping mothers navigate the practice (and purchase rhinestone-studded nursing bras, naturally). Explains the shop owner: "Nursing is normal. And normal means that you can be really gorgeous.”
POLICE ALLEGE they've identified another serial rapist who they say is linked to a half-dozen or more attacks from Virginia to California. "The Richland County Sheriff's Department began investigating [the suspect] in January after a Columbia woman reported that he had broken into her home and sexually assaulted her twice after they met through an online dating site. . . . During the investigation, sheriff's deputies began calling women whose numbers they retrieved from Howard's cell phone, [Richland County Sheriff Leon] Lott said. They also got in touch with women who were friends with Howard on Facebook. The department has spoken to more than 100 women and even has received one international call about Howard . . . The five women said Howard had attacked them, police said. But the women have not pressed charges."