By Courtland Milloy,
Philip Pannell was weighing the pros and cons of another bruising run for a seat on the D.C. State Board of Education.
On one hand, a victory in November would make him the only openly gay black man on the board, if not the first. And his years as a grass-roots activist in the fight against AIDS would almost certainly come in handy. Health experts are predicting that nearly 60 percent of black gay men in the United States will be infected with HIV/AIDS by the time they turn 40.
If ever the city could use a preventive health education policy rooted in nitty-gritty reality, it’s now.
On the other hand, Pannell would be running against an incumbent who beat him in 2010 with backing from D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). And when it comes to fighting with gays and lesbians these days, Barry doesn’t hesitate to take off the gloves. He has described his opposition to same-sex marriage as a matter of “morality versus immorality.”
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