Summersgill to Blade: Local gays instrumental in passing smoking ban
Related Links

D.C.’s Last Drag:
City business owners prepare for implementation of Jan. 1 smoking ban
(The Washington Blade) 12/01/06

U.S. Details Dangers of Secondhand Smoking (The Washington Post) 06/28/06

Williams Lets City Smoking Ban Move On to Congress for Review (TWP) 01/31/06

D.C. Smoking Ban Approved (TWP) 01/05/06

Bashing the Ban:
Nightlife and restaurant supporters rally against legislation to prevent smoking in DC workplaces
(Metro Weekly) 01/05/06

GLAA testifies in favor of anti-smoking legislation 09/22/05

Bill 16-0293

GLAA testifies in favor of smokefree workplace legislation 06/14/05

Philip Morris on secondhand smoke

Whitman-Walker Joins Efforts to Prohibit Smoking (MW) 03/31/05

GLAA on Public Health


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Summersgill to Blade: Local gays instrumental in passing smoking ban


The Washington Blade
Letters to the Editor

Friday, December 15, 2006

To the Editors:

The article, “D.C.’s last drag” in the December 1, 2006 issue of the Blade, failed to note the strong support in the gay community for the smokefree workplace law and the strong push from our community to pass it.

Half of the advocacy group Smokefree DC’s steering committee is gay. The only smokefree bar in D.C. prior to the law passing was a gay bar, a new gay club Be Bar has opened smokefree, and the gay-oriented Duplex Diner went smokefree in April. The major local gay political groups, especially GLAA and Stein, endorsed and testified in favor of the legislation. Health groups serving the gay community including Whitman Walker and Mautner also supported the bill, and the National Coalition for LGBT Health set up a local office to add their support.

The higher rates of smoking in the gay community means that we have the dirtiest bars now, and therefore gay people will be the leading beneficiaries of clean air. However, people may be less likely to go out of their way to visit the few clubs that opposed clean air for their customers and staff.  

While different cities and states have seen different communities taking on the fight for smokefree laws, D.C. is notable for the strong advocacy from the gay community.

Bob Summersgill
Washington, DC


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