Callahan wins Stonewall award

Posted on 10 Dec 2009 at 6:37pm
By Staff Reports

Group also honors members for outstanding work in past year


OUTSTANDING DEMOCRAT | Judge Tena Callahan accepts the Democrat of the Year Award during Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Annual Holiday Party at the Round-Up Saloon on Monday, Dec. 7. Callahan, a state district judge, was honored for her October ruling in a gay divorce case that said Texas’ prohibitions on same-sex marriage violate the equal protection clause of the U.S Constitution. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

About 250 people, including more than 60 Democratic candidates in 2010 elections, attended Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Annual Holiday Party on Monday, Dec. 7 at the Round-Up Saloon, according to Mike Lo Vuolo, director of communications for the group.

In a press release, Lo Vuolo called it the largest turnout in the history of the event.

Phyllis Guest was named board member of the year during the celebration. Guest, who’s over voter registration for the group, was at the Stonewall Inn in New York City before the riots broke out in June 1969, and she spoke of her experiences during this year’s 40th anniversary.

Travis Gasper, president of the newly relaunched Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats, was named member of the year. Gasper has recruited many new Stonewall-ers and was instrumental in fighting funding cuts for HIV/AIDS services by the city of Dallas this year.

The award for Allied Group of the Year went to Rockwall Young Democrats, and the highly coveted Pink Pump Award went to Judge Lynn Cherry for her support of Stonewall Democrats. Cherry participates with the group annually as a Democratic cheerleader in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

The Democrat of the Year Award was given to Judge Tena Callahan. In October, Callahan ruled that two gay men legally married in Massachusetts in 2006 have the right to seek a divorce in a Texas court. She also ruled that Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The crowd erupted when the award was presented to Callahan, but she told them she was just doing her job.

The Annual Holiday Party was catered by Buli Cafe and included a live auction, conducted by Stonewall board member Charles Griffith. In addition to the live auction, more than 20 baskets and items donated by members were on silent auction.

Money raised at the Holiday Party will be used to get out the vote and register new voters in Dallas County for the March primary elections.

Lo Vuolo said more Democrats than ever before are running in Dallas County and statewide races, and candidates in up to 118 races could be seeking the group’s support.

Anyone wanting to take part in the Stonewall endorsement process must be a member in good standing by Dec. 14.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 11, 2009.

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