After 15 Years, a D.C. Power Couple Decides to Go Their Separate Ways

Elizabeth Birch and Hilary Rosen at the fifth annual Human Rights Campaign dinner, in October 2001.
Elizabeth Birch and Hilary Rosen at the fifth annual Human Rights Campaign dinner, in October 2001. (Rebecca D'Angelo For The Washington Post)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, March 8, 2007

Elizabeth Birch and Hilary Rosen, Washington's first same-sex power couple, have called it quits after a 15-year relationship, according to people close to them.

Birch, a savvy lawyer, and Rosen, a high-profile lobbyist, glamorized the image of gay couples in the nation's capital. For almost a decade, Birch was director of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's most influential gay and lesbian political lobby. Rosen, as head of the Recording Industry Association of America, was one of the most effective corporate voices on Capitol Hill. As a couple, they were plugged into top social and political circles, which made them two of the most prominent activists for gay family rights.

Last year, Birch, 50, began commuting to New York City where she heads Rosie O'Donnell's production company, KidRo Productions, and O'Donnell's charitable arm, the For All Kids Foundation. Rosen, 48, is now a consultant to the entertainment industry and regular political commentator on MSNBC; in January, she launched, an online social site for lesbians.

Birch will continue to split her time between NYC and Washington. The two women, who declined to comment, will both raise their 8-year-old twins, Anna and Jacob.

A Heartfelt Nod to One Who Paved the Way

With a record number of women now in Congress, Tuesday's dinner for Women's Policy Inc. and the Women's Caucus was the kind of basking-in-the-glow-of-history event where Nancy Pelosi gave props to everyone from Susan B. Anthony to Pat Schroeder. But who got the big applause? Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket back in '84.

Geraldine Ferraro speaking Tuesday, March 6 at the Women's Policy  Inc. Dinner at Union Station.
Geraldine Ferraro, who ran for veep in 1984, was a crowd favorite at Tuesday evening's event.(Doug Demark Photography)
The former N.Y. congresswoman -- who just reestablished herself in D.C. as a principal with the Blank Rome lobbying shop -- was all silver-fox glamour in a slim-cut black pantsuit, daringly underbuttoned white blouse, Hermes-looking scarf (and, yes, since you ask, we'd have described Walter Mondale's wardrobe too if he had ever dressed that sharp).

If she had it all to do over . . . would she want her political moment to be coming now? No-o-o-o way, she said. "For one, I'm 71 years old" -- a full 12 months older than John McCain, mind you -- "and my health is not the best. Any one of those jobs is seven days a week, 24 hours a day, dealing with constituents and legislators. My life has moved in a different direction. I want to experience my grandchildren." How many? "Seven now," she said, "but we're not done counting yet."

Is she ready to endorse? "Whenever Hillary is ready, I'm ready."


Expanding: Angelina Jolie has chosen a boy, said to be 3 or 4, to adopt from a Vietnamese orphanage and will likely bring him home to the States within three months, the country's top adoption official told reporters yesterday. For those keeping score, that brings the actress's growing brood with Brad Pitt to four: the others are Maddox, 5, adopted in Cambodia; Zahara, 2, adopted in Ethiopia; and their 9-month-old biological daughter Shiloh. Now is she done? Probably not: In December, she told "Good Morning America" she'd like to "balance the races so there's another African person in the house for Z [and] another Asian person in the house for Mad."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ? ยท

Very Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald enjoying his first post-Libby-verdict beers Tuesday at Old Ebbitt Grill. He convened a late lunch with legal team pals immediately after his news conference on the courthouse steps. Asked how they planned to celebrate, he laughed and said, "We're going back to the office!" Sorry, ladies: He flew home to Chicago yesterday a.m.; don't expect him back anytime soon.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company