GW Pride gets `out and about’

Representatives from a national gay and lesbian organization spoke to GW students about their group’s efforts to pass more legislation of interest to the gay community as well as current legal injustices toward homosexuals Monday night.

GW Pride sponsored the Stop the Hate event in the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre with members of the Human Rights Campaign to kick off Out and About Week, which began Monday and runs through Friday night.

Christopher Labonte and Mike Mings of the HRC discussed health care, family issues, the military and hate crimes in the gay community.

It is a discussion with students to gain better awareness, said GW Pride Executive Co-Chair Mark Santanello.

The HRC is lobbying Congress to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act that would give state and federal lawyers more ability to prosecute such crimes, Labonte said.

We want to create better awareness throughout the University about (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) issues, Santanello said.

Out and About Week replaced previous years’ Gay Awareness Week on campus.

The group is hosting an information booth in the Marvin Center Thursday where students can learn more about GW Pride as well as other gay political groups in D.C.

Thursday the Newman Center is having a discussion, Catholicism and Sexuality, at 6:30 p.m.

A highlight of the week is a drag show Friday night in the Marvin Center Ballroom. It is a citywide event with GW students and professionals and includes a service fair. Proceeds from the $2 student admission fee go to Food and Friends, an organization that delivers food to people living with HIV or AIDS. Doors open at 7p.m.

Other events this week included Wednesday’s Honoring Our Allies, a dinner and awards ceremony for the straight friends of the gay community.

Also on Wednesday, the Program Board and GW Pride co-sponsored a viewing of the movie The Birdcage.

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