This week, gay marriage has come to the forefront of American politics as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In light of the proceedings, Rep. Jim Moran (D) is reiterating his stance as an advocate of LGBT rights, including gay marriage and full marriage benefits.
DOMA overwhelmingly passed in Congress in 1996, but Moran notes he was one of the few who voted against the law. He released the following statement on Wednesday, following oral arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor, which challenges the constitutionality of DOMA:
“DOMA is unjust and un-American, contradicting long-standing legal principles and blatantly discriminating against specific legal marriages just because they involve gay and lesbian couples. DOMA flies in the face of our nation’s commitment to civil rights. I am proud to have been one of the 67 representatives who voted against this law’s passage in 1996.
“It’s also disturbing that House Republicans have wasted over $3 million defending DOMA in court over the past three years. I find it unconscionable that while budgets are being slashed by sequestration and many federal workers face furloughs, Republicans in the House voted to pay private lawyers $525 per hour to defend this discriminatory law.
“I strongly support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry and have full access to the benefits and obligations of marriage. While churches should continue to be able to sanction marriages consistent with their faith, discrimination has no place in the laws that govern our country.
“In addition to being the truly ‘pro-family’ position, marriage equality is an issue that tests our nation’s fidelity to our fundamental values. The Declaration of Independence affirms that ‘all men are created equal’ and that every American has a right to ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ Surely these principles cannot be fulfilled without the ability to marry the person you love.”
Power has been restored to most of the customers affected by a power outage that occurred in the Clarendon, Courthouse and surrounding neighborhoods. However, there are pockets that may be dark for another hour or two.
At the height of the outage, more than 6,600 customers were without power. As of 10:20 a.m., Karl Neddenien with Dominion Power said less than 1,000 are still dark. Those customers are expected to have power restored by noon.
According to Neddenien, the outage occurred due to a problem in an underground equipment vault near Washington Blvd and N. 10th Street. Crews continue to work to figure out exactly what went wrong. There were reports of a flash and a couple of loud bangs just before the outage, but Neddenien isn’t able to confirm yet if that’s related to the outage.
“We need to get in there and determine just what happened,” Neddenien said. “But more importantly, we need to work on getting power back to everyone.”
Police have been assisting with directing traffic at busy intersections where the traffic lights went out, particularly at Lee Hwy and N. Veitch Street. Most of the affected traffic lights have come back on, but there are reports of some still out in Clarendon. Drivers who encounter dark lights without police directing traffic are reminded to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
At about 9:15 a.m., a tree fell on power lines along Lorcom Lane, in the area of N. Jackson Street, causing several transformers to blow. That knocked out power to 3,827 customers, according to Dominion. Power was restored by noon, the company said.
Shortly after that outage was reported, another began.
“Around the same time we had another outage involving a tree on a power line in nearby northern Arlington,” Dominion spokeswoman Daisy Pridgen told ARLnow.com. “It affected 2,455 customers. Power was restored in two hours and 25 minutes.”
Traffic lights were reported dark on busy Lee Highway near I-66 as a result of the outages.
A power outage is affecting the northwestern section of Arlington County this morning.
Dominion is reporting that 1,673 customers in Arlington are currently without power. The company’s power outage map says the outage is a result of a circuit problem, and estimates that power will be restored between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
Impacted neighborhoods reportedly include Dominion Hills, Madison Manor and East Falls Church. Among the intersections where traffic lights are dark are Wilson Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive, and Wilson Boulevard and N. McKinley Road.
The outage has been reported in the Westover and Bluemont neighborhoods, as well as in the area around Virginia Hospital Center. Traffic lights are out along parts of George Mason Drive and Washington Blvd, according to several Twitter users. The outage was first reported just before 12:30 p.m.
Dominion is telling customers the outage is the result of “a circuit breaker issue,” according to a tipster.
According to Dominion’s outage map, 4,070 customers have lost power in Arlington. The power is expected to be restored some time between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) – Power has been restored to nearly all of the 2,200 customers who were without power due to a vehicle accident in Cherrydale. The intersection of N. Quincy Street and Lee Highway, however, remains a mess.
According to an officer on the scene, just before 10:00 a.m., the driver of a large truck was attempting to make a right turn onto Lee Highway from northbound Quincy Street. Somehow he snagged a cable anchored into the sidewalk, which supports a utility pole. The top of the pole snapped and brought down wires, a transformer and part of another pole.
“This is all just because some guy couldn’t make a turn correctly,” the officer said.
The officer declined to comment on whether the driver received a ticket.
Traffic signals were dark in parts of Cherrydale, Ballston and Virginia Square in addition to the residential customers without power. Dominion was able to re-route power and all but 166 customers had electricity restored within an hour, according to Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson. As of 2:40 p.m., there are only 9 remaining customers who don’t have power, and they are in the immediate vicinity of the accident.
Dominion crews are on the scene and have to replace the smashed transformer, one utility pole, the cross beam of another utility pole and will have to reconnect all the power lines. They also have to clean up the fluid that leaked from the smashed transformer, which Anderson said is harmless mineral oil. Crews had first hoped to have all the work finished sometime around 5:00 p.m., but due to the extent of the damage, the new estimate is in the 7:00-9:00 p.m. range.
Quincy Street remains closed between 20th Street and Lee Highway. Police are at the intersection to help with traffic control.
According to Dominion Power spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson, approximately 3,100 customers were affected in the neighborhoods surrounding Lee Highway and Glebe Road. Anderson said a squirrel made its way into the substation equipment on N. Culpeper Street, and caused a transformer to go out.
“Crews are there patrolling and looking for ways to re-route electricity to restore power to customers,” Anderson said.
While some crews worked on re-routing power, others made repairs to the substation.
A number of traffic lights were dark along Lee Highway due to the outage, and police helped with traffic control.
More than 1,500 Dominion customers are reported to be without power this morning in Arlington.
The outage appears to be centered around the northwest corner of Arlington, near the border with the City of Falls Church. A number of readers have been reporting power outages and dark traffic lights along Lee Highway.
Among the traffic signals without power are those at the intersections of Lee Highway and N. Harrison Street and Lee Higway and N. Sycamore Street. The Overlee pool is closed due to the power outage, according to the pool’s Twitter account.
Dominion trucks are reported to be in the area, working to restore power.
(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) At least 150 Dominion customers are reported to be without power in parts of South Arlington this afternoon.
Some traffic signals are dark along the eastern end of Columbia Pike as a result of the outage. Police have set up cones at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Joyce street, preventing traffic on both roads from making left turns.
It’s unclear what caused the outage or when exactly power might be restored.
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Nearly
3,700 1,500 Dominion customers are without power in the northwest corner of Arlington.
The power outage is currently affecting the Yorktown, Williamsburg and East Falls Church neighborhoods. Homes, businesses, traffic lights and even Yorktown High School have lost power.
Dominion spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said a piece of equipment failed, causing about 1,500 customers to lose power. The company hopes to have power restored by 11:45 a.m.
More than 1,700 Dominion customers are without power this evening due to a power outage in the Courthouse area.
The outage hit just before 4:30 p.m., causing traffic lights to go dark and sending office workers home early. One person was reportedly rescued from an elevator that became stuck as a result of the blackout. Firefighters responded to the AMC movie theater in Courthouse Plaza for a report of smoke coming from the roof, but it was quickly discovered that the smoke was coming from a power generator.
Drivers in the area are being reminded to treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop. No word yet on when Dominion expects power to be restored.
(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) More than 2,500 Dominion customers are without power in the Crystal City area this afternoon.
Numerous traffic lights are reported to be dark in the area. Police are beginning to direct traffic at certain intersections.
According to a Dominion map, the power outage appears to be centered in Alexandria, where more than 7,100 Dominion customers are said to be without power.
More than 3,600 Dominion customers in North Arlington are without power this afternoon.
Yorktown High School and Williamsburg Middle School were reported to be among the buildings that lost power. Traffic signals were reported to be dark at the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and 26th Street N.
No word on what caused the power outage or when power might be restored.
Power is out in parts of Ballston this afternoon.
Ballston Common Mall is currently without power and several traffic lights in the area are dark. Police are directing traffic at some of the intersections.
Nearly 1,700 Dominion customers in the area are reported to be without power.
(Updated at 6:00 p.m.) Power is gradually being restored after a widespread outage in parts of North Arlington.
More than 9,800 Dominion customers were without power at the height of the outage this evening. The affected several neighborhoods, including Ballston, Virginia Square, Cherrydale, Donaldson Run and parts of Clarendon and Rosslyn. Arlington’s 911 center received numerous calls of tripped alarms and stuck elevators as a result..
A vehicle accident with injuries was reported on Wilson Boulevard and N. Oakland Street. It’s not clear if the accident was related to the power outage, but numerous non-functioning traffic lights were reported around the area.
Power and traffic lights went out along a long stretch of Lee Highway, from Rosslyn up to Glebe Road. Via Twitter, Arlington Public Library said that power was out at Central Library and at the Cherrydale branch.