GLAA to Blade: Dispute with Office of the Corporation Counsel was resolved[Note: an edited version of this letter appeared in
the June 20, 2003 issue of The Washington Blade.]
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
PO Box 75265
Washington, DC 20013
Sunday, June 08, 2003
The Washington Blade
1408 U Street, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20009-3916
Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Editor:
In the Washington Blade article, “D.C. mayor nominates gay prosecutor to cabinet” [June 6, 2003], the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) is portrayed as having continuing disagreements with the Office of the Corporation Counsel (OCC). GLAA has resolved all of our outstanding issues with that office. At no time did GLAA object to the OCC defending the city. We have only objected to the manner in which they have done so.
In the Dean and Gill marriage case in the early 1990s, GLAA primarily objected to the use of non-legal, Biblical arguments, which transformed the City’s defense of the discriminatory application of the marriage law from a legal to a theological argument. Various city officials including the Mayor, many members of the DC Council, Eleanor Homes Norton and the OCC agreed that this was inappropriate in a legal brief.
The 1995 Tyra Hunter case, which mostly revolved around medical malpractice, was settled several years ago. The DC Government withdrew or lost in court every argument that we objected to, and with the passage of the Human Rights Amendment Act of 2002 last October, the loopholes in the Human Rights Act that the OCC attempted to use have been eliminated.
Any future attempt by the Corporation Counsel to undermine the DC Human Rights Act, as was done in these cases, will once again result in GLAA’s vigorous defense of the law.