Update on the legal proceedings against the DC ENDA4

I wrote a post on Tuesday about the arraignment of the four activists arrested in Speaker Pelosi’s office on March 18, 2010. Last night, Robin McGehee, co-founder of Get EQUAL, sent us an email with the details of what happened to the activists in court:

Tuesday April 6th was not an ordinary day for the LGBT movement, but a day I hope starts happening on a more frequent basis. On March 18th, 2010, Samantha Ames, Janine Carmona, Chastity Kirven and Michelle Wright were arrested outside, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s Washington, DC office. The four urged Speaker Pelosi to introduce a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for mark-up by the end of the month. When Speaker Pelosi failed to publicly release a statement and the day drew to an end, the women werearrested and charged.

On Tuesday, these four young women walked into The Superior Court of the District of Columbia, facing Federal misdemeanor charges for Unlawful Entry-Remaining, (a crime punishable by up to 6 months injail). Under the esteemed counsel of LGBT community member and former DC Attorney General Bob Spagnoletti and his Associate Claire Morris Clark, the Court reached a favorable agreement for the ENDA 4.

The women received what is known as a “Stet” agreement. Under this judgment they are required to stay away from Speaker Pelosi’s office, unless invited through written invitation, and face a 6-month probationary period where they are to avoid disruptive behavior. In addition, local DC activists Janine Carmona and Samantha Ames were given 60 hours of community service with a local non-profit to be determined.

Although all of us took the arrest and court proceedings seriously, we are determined to do all possible to bring much needed attention that we, as a community, are a free, yet unequal people.

I think the determination of the GetEQUAL activists is very clear. And, Robin wants us to know that GetEQUAL is gearing up for more actions:

We hope others will join this call to action – if you’d like more information or would be willing to participate in future non-violent civil disobedience, within and outside of the DC area, please join our online community at GetEQUAL.org. If we want true CHANGE, we all must be willing to get out and get active, if we truly want to get equal.

I don’t think many of the DC professional Democrats (the “insiders”) understand the growing anger in the LGBT community. The White House has been tone deaf to it. Promises were made. Promises haven’t been kept.

GetEQUAL is changing the game. They mean it when they say they want to get equal.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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