Scenes from Harvey Milk Day 2015 “Let Hope Shine” Rally and March

Posted on 23 May 2015 at 11:14am

Last night (Friday, March 22) local LGBT advocates gathered at the Legacy of Love monument to honor the late LGBT activist Harvey Milk with a rally and march ending in a celebration with a birthday cake. The rally featured readings from Milk’s interviews with the press and correspondence to activists, corporate executives and even President Jimmy Carter. Speakers included local faith leaders, Resource Center representatives and others. Participants marched down Cedar Springs before ending the evening in celebration on TMC’s patio.

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Anti-marriage-equality protesters still ‘on the job’

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 4:11pm

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A friend of mine is in Washington, D.C., today, just on a sightseeing tour. She sent me this photo, taken this afternoon in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, and I decided I would share it here on the blog, just as a warning.

Remember folks, the oral arguments held last month are over, and we aren’t expecting a ruling from the Supreme Court on marriage equality until at least sometime next month. But the opponents of equality remain vigilant. So we must be even more vigilant.

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TLC pulls ’19 Kids and Counting’ … at least for now

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 3:02pm
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Josh Dugger

TMZ is reporting that TLC has yanked the reality series “19 Kids and Counting” from its lineup after the Dugger family — which is busy overpopulating the world with bigots — acknowledged this week that one of the 19 kids, Josh Dugger, really did molest underage girls. But, “Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ, the fate of the show is uncertain, but there’s now so much heat in the wake of Josh Duggar’s molestation confession … the network had to make the decision.”

TLC officials released this statement to The Huffington Post today: “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”

But HuffPo also notes that the TLC website continues to list the show as airing on June 1.

Josh Dugger admitted his guilt after InTouch magazine published a story Thursday, May 21, about police records it obtained from Springdale, Ark., hidden since 2006, that show Josh Duggar confessed to his father, Jim Bob Duggar, who then waited more than a year before telling police what his son did. Reports indicate Josh Dugger molested five girls who lived in the Dugger family home in 2002 and 2003.

Following the InTouch report Thursday, Josh Dugger resigned from his job with the ultra-right-wing Family Research Council. He then apologized in a post to the Dugger family Facebook page, saying, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. … We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

Back when he first got caught, instead of contacting police, Josh’s mommy and daddy made him spend a couple of months in a “Christian rehabilitation program” in Little Rock.

The Dugger family is famous for its anti-gay rhetoric and right-wing political efforts, including mom Michelle’s robo-calls pushing for passage of transphobic legislation in Arkansas last August, the family’s support of right-wing politicians like Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback and referring to abortion as “an American Holocaust.” Josh, whose now-former employer the Family Research Council has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has himself defended Chick-Fil-A for its anti-gay policies, and “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson for his anti-gay statements. He has claimed that LGBT people are dangerous to children, and last November led an anti-gay rally in Little Rock.

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“Mama June” Shannon

While TLC hasn’t said that it is actually cancelling “19 Kids,” a former TLC reality star is threatening the network with a lawsuit if the show isn’t canned, again according to TMZ.

“Mama June” Shannon said her show, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” cancelled last October after TMZ published reports that she was dating a convicted child molester and thus putting her children at risk. Mama June, who denied those reports, said today that she would sue TLC if the network doesn’t cancel “19 Kids” after Josh Dugger’s admission.

Mama June said that the cancellation of “Honey Boo Boo” cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that her show was cancelled even though she never molested anyone and the sex offender she was supposedly dating never appeared on the show. Josh Dugger, on the other hand, is a central character in “19 Kids” and he admitted molesting children.

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Michael Sam signs with Montreal Alouettes, plays first game on June 25

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 1:43pm

michaelsam1Michael Sam has signed a deal to play with the Montreal Alouettes this season, the team announced today (Friday, May 22). His first game with the Canadian Football League team will be on June 25 against the Ottawa Redblacks.

The NFL’s first out gay football player had it rough until now. He was considered a top NFL prospect in his final year at the University of Missouri at Columbia but was only recruited by the St. Louis Rams in the final round. Many commentators and observers, including local sports anchor Dave Hansen, suggested homophobia played a role during the process and when he was later released by Rams.

Sam then briefly had a role on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” said Alouettes’ general manager, Jim Popp. “Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character and heart to our team.”

Sam said in a statement he was excited to join the team:

“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team Owner Robert Wetenhall, General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity. I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.”

Canadian football is just like U.S. football except there are 12 players on a Canadian football team, according to David Taffet, the Voice’s football expert.  But additionally:

1. The 12th player plays a backfield position.
2. And the field is 110 yards long and 10 yards wider than a U.S. field. Each team only gets three downs to gain 10 yards.
3. Then there are rule differences — mostly rules adopted by the NFL during the past 50 or more years and never changed by the CFL.
4. The CFL has nine teams and the regular season begins in June. The playoffs, called the Grey Cup, are in mid-November.
5. The Montreal Alouettes won the Grey Cup in 2009 and 2010. Last year, the Calgary Stampeders took the cup and in 2013 it was the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

His jersey, number 94, is already for sale on the Aoulettes website.

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Channel 11 report on Gates’ urging Scouts to end ban features Voice publisher/owner

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 11:58am

Yesterday (Thursday, May 21), Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates released a statement urging the Scouts to end their ban on gay Scouting leaders. Later in the afternoon, CBS Channel 11′s Steve Pickett came over to talk to Dallas Voice’s publisher and co-owner, Leo Cusimano, about Gates urging BSA to dump the anti-gay policy. Cusimano is himself an Eagle Scout, and his son is in Cub Scouts.

Here’s Pickett’s report, which aired during Channel 11′s 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. broadcasts yesterday.

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Alabama probate judges ordered to issue marriage licenses once the Supreme Court rules

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 11:05am
U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade

U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade

A federal district judge ordered all probate judges to comply with the U.S. Cconstitution and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — but the order doesn’t go into effect until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on marriage equality cases it heard in April.

The judge ruled after four civil rights organizations asked the judge to expand her earlier ruling.

Most Alabama probate judges started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February after U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade declared an Alabama law and an Alabama constitutional provision banning same-sex marriages unconstitutional. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court then declined to stay Granade’s ruling.

On March 3, the Alabama Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages throughout the state by ordering probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Granade’s latest order overrides the Alabama Supreme Court’s order.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center jointly filed the motion March 6 asking Granade to expand her ruling to apply to all same-sex couples and all probate judges throughout the state.
 The original order only applied to Mobile County.

The district court’s order will take effect when the United States Supreme Court issues its decision in several pending cases seeking the freedom to marry in four states.

 

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Outrageous Oral: Four Dallas Icons On Stage Together for the First Time

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 10:45am

Four legendary performers spoke about their careers as “charity drag queens” at the May 21 edition of Outrageous Oral in The Rose Room.

Outrageous Oral is the oral history project of The Dallas Way. Videos of the presentations are available online.

Although the four — Michael Lee, Sister Helen Holy, Edna Jean Robinson and Patti le Plae Safe — had all worked with each other many times, this was the first time the four had all performed together. All are known for what they called “charity drag,” raising money for LGBT and AIDS organizations, rather than pageants and professional drag — although Edna Jean and Patti have both won national pageant titles.

During the ’80s and ’90s, Michael Doughman performed as Michael Lee. He said he hadn’t been in a dress in several years and had to borrow the dress he wore. His performance for The Dallas Way he called his last. Rather than heels, he wore house shoes as he recounted how he became “a man in a dress,” which he called simply “funny.”

Rodd Gray continues to perform as Patti le Plae Safe. He recounted the years when he performed seven nights a week to raise money for every AIDS organization in town. He said it never mattered how much money he raised, as long as he was raising money.

Paul J. Williams told how his Helen Holy character evolved and then circulated through the audience picking out individuals and groups to show how she’s just a liiiiiiiittle bit better.

Edna Jean used video and pictures to tell her story. For more than 20 years, she’s appeared in videos, on TV, in movies and on stage, entertaining and raising money for groups throughout the LGBT community.

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25 Stories of LifeWalk: Raeline Nobles

Posted on 22 May 2015 at 10:19am

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Raeline Nobles

LifeWalk, the  5K held each October to raise money for AIDS Arms and other North Texas AIDS service agencies, marks its 25th year this fall. And to celebrate, each Friday for the 25 weeks leading up to the event, AIDS Arms is posting another Story of LifeWalk.

This week’s story comes from Raeline Nobles, AIDS Arms’ longtime executive director, who retired a few years ago.

Check it out here.

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Narvaez sworn in for 6 year term on Dallas County Schools Board

Posted on 21 May 2015 at 5:17pm
Narvaez sworn in

Dallas School Board Trustee Omar Narvaez, left, was sworn in by Judge Ken Molberg on May 20.

Judge Ken Molberg swore in Omar Narvaez for a six-year term on the Dallas County School Board. Narvaez was appointed to fill a vacancy last year and was elected to his first full term.

Narvaez’s name was to appear on the May municipal ballot, but he and board chair Larry Duncan were unopposed. Rather than expend almost $1 million in county schools funds, Narvaez and Duncan were declared the winners in their races. Both were sworn in at the regular monthly meeting on May 20.

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Oregon governor signs reparative therapy ban into law

Posted on 21 May 2015 at 4:58pm
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Kudos to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for signing House Bill 2307 into law, making Oregon the fourth jurisdiction — behind California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia — to protect LGBT youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.

The ban goes into effect immediately.

The law protects LGBT youth from mental health providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through practices that are linked to substance abuse, extreme depression and suicide.

Brown is the state’s second female governor and the country’s first out bisexual governor.

Banning “gay cures” has been gaining wider acceptance. The practice is condemned by every medical and psychological association.

In Texas, state Rep. Celia Israel introduced a similar measure that did not get out of committee.

Earlier today, we reported the Central Conference of American Rabbis condemned the practice as well.

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