The 5-4 ruling was almost immediately decried by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, but others in the county have enthusiastically endorsed the landmark decision.
Board member Jay Fisette, who in 1997 became the first openly gay elected official in Virginia, said he was overjoyed by today’s ruling.
“I had absolutely no idea that this day would come in my lifetime — let alone while I was still in office,” said Fisette. “The Court’s action validates the lives of millions of Americans, reinforces the value of equality to our nation, and puts us in step with the civilized free nations on the planet.”
Board member Libby Garvey echoed Fisette’s excitement about the Supreme Court decision, telling ARLnow that she was delighted by the news and had “been exchanging happy texts this morning with my sister and her wife and other family.”
In a statement today, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring called the vote “an extraordinary moment in our nation’s recognition that Americans cannot and will not be denied dignity, rights, and responsibilities, including those of marriage, simply because of who they love.”
“I am proud we put Virginia on the right side of history on this issue,” Herring said, referencing the fact that gay marriage has been legal in Virginia since 2014. Herring held a press conference about marriage equality outside the Arlington County courthouse this afternoon.
Don Beyer, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Virginia’s 8th district, also issued a statement this morning in which he applauded the Supreme Court and called the nationwide guarantee of marriage equality a “watershed moment in American history.”
“Gay rights are human rights and today we have ensured that all Americans, regardless of their sexuality, have the right to share the rest of their lives with the person they love,” said Beyer. “I could not be prouder to stand with my LGBTQ constituents and celebrate this incredible moment.”
Several of the area’s gay pride groups have upcoming events where residents can celebrate. The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance is hosting a Pride Month Social this Sunday evening from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant (555 23rd St S.), and NOVA Pride has a SCOTUS Ruling Happy Hour scheduled for Monday night at A-Town Bar & Grill (4100 Fairfax Drive) from 5-10 p.m.
Arlington officials cautioned that this ruling only deals with one aspect of discrimination against the LGBTQ community, however. According to Fisette, the next big LGBTQ issue facing the nation is employment discrimination, and though some local governments — like Arlington’s — prohibit hiring discrimination on the basis of sexual identity, many still don’t.
“In most states, including Virginia, it is legal to fire someone simply because they are gay,” said Fisette.
Delegate Patrick A. Hope of the Virginia General Assembly agreed with Fisette, saying “Tomorrow, we must continue our efforts to end LGBT discrimination in other areas, such as in workplace, with the goal to treat every American fairly and equally.”
Rosslyn Startup to Be Featured on ‘Shark Tank’ — Rosslyn-based startup Zoobean will be featured tonight on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Zoobean, which describes itself as “a web service that recommends apps and books for children,” will pitch itself to a panel of wealthy investors, including billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The show airs at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. The company will also be profiled as part of ARLnow.com’s “Startup Monday” feature next week. [PR Newswire, Des Moines Register]
Pentagon City Mall Expansion Imminent — Work is expected to “begin soon” on a planned 50,000 square foot expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The expansion will add two new levels of retail, restaurants with outdoor seating, new elevators and escalators, and an expanded food court. Mall owner Simon is also expected to announce some of the new restaurants and retailers coming to the mall “shortly.” [Washington Business Journal]
We, The Pizza Eyes ‘Late Spring’ Opening — We, The Pizza, the pizza restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, will be opening soon in Crystal City. No specific date has been set, but a spokeswoman said the restaurant is expected to open in “late spring.” Mendelsohn also operates burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City.
‘Miss Gay Arlington’ Pageant Tonight — The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance and Freddy’s Beach Bar in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.) will host the annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant tonight. Four contestants will compete in four categories: presentation, talent, evening gown, and on-stage question. The event starts at 8:00 p.m. and admission is $10. [AGLA]
Enterprise CarShare Launches in Rosslyn — A car sharing service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car has launched in the D.C. area. Two of its car share parking stations are located in the Rosslyn area. [Enterprise CarShare]
Photo courtesy Rick Shewell
Politico May Leave Rosslyn — The offices of the Capitol Hill publication Politico will likely move from Rosslyn to some place closer to the Hill. The expected move was announced at a staff meeting, which also discussed the pending sale of TV station ABC 7, also located in Rosslyn. [DCRTV]
Crime Solvers Awards — A Sheriff’s Office narcotics K-9 officer and a second-generation Arlington Police detective were the winners of the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards. The awards were presented yesterday at a luncheon sponsored by Arlington County Crime Solvers. [Sun Gazette]
Police 50/50 Raffle — Arlington police officers are holding a 50/50 raffle to benefit and police sergeant and an officer’s wife who were recently diagnosed with cancer. The raffle drawing will be held on May 14. Tickets are available for $20 at Hard Times Cafe (3028 Wilson Blvd) and Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.) [PDF]
Miss Gay Arlington Pageant — The annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant will be held tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.). The pageant, which is sponsored by the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Aliance, will judge drag performers in four categories: self-expression, talent, evening gown and on-stage question. [Facebook]
Lyon Park Home & Garden Tour — The Lyon Park neighborhood will hold its annual home and garden tour on Sunday. The self-guided tour runs from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. [PDF]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance will be holding its annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant later this month in Crystal City.
From a press release:
The Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance (AGLA) will once again be presenting the Miss Gay Arlington pageant. The pageant is open to all individuals, over the age of 21 who portray the female persona, regardless of where they reside. At this Mardi Gras themed event to be held on Saturday, April 28th, the current reigning Miss Gay Arlington, Diamond D. Bottoms, will make her final performances as the reigning titleholder and crown the new Miss Gay Arlington. Contestants will compete in four categories: 1) Presentation (Mardi Gras); 2) Talent; 3) Evening Gown; and 4) On-stage Question. The winner of the pageant will receive a prize package valued at $850, including a cash prize of $300.
If you are interested in competing to be the next Miss Gay Arlington or assisting in some other way with the pageant please contact pageant promoter, Daniel L. Hays at email@example.com. The contestant packet is available online at: http://www.agla.org/live/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/miss-gay-arlington-packet.pdf.
The contest is being held at Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.) at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28. There’s a $10 cover for anyone interested in attending.