Six stabbed at Jerusalem Pride

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 at 2:42pm
Yishai Schlissel

Yishai Schlissel today, left, and in 2005 from Israeli TV via Twitter

At least six people were stabbed today at Jerusalem’s Pride parade. One woman is in critical condition.

The person accused is a heredi, or Orthodox, man who staged a similar attack at Jerusalem Pride in 2005. He was recently released from prison.

While Pride in secular Tel Aviv in June attracts about 200,000 people annually, Pride in more religious Jerusalem remains controversial. But thousands of people participated in this year’s march that had heavy police protection.

Police quickly wrestled the man down, according to a report in HaAretz.

The attacker was identified as Yishai Schlissel. His original sentence was for 12 years, but was reduced to 10 years on appeal.


Porn expo coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison … and we’re shocked

Posted on 30 Jul 2015 at 1:18pm

ExxxoticaI rarely call it the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. But in this case I will. On Aug. 7-9, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosts eXXXotica.

That’s a porn expo.

Not gay porn. Straight porn actresses, mostly.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is “deeply concerned,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Of course he is. He has to say that.

I’m deeply concerned as well.

Dallas is a wholesome city where same-sex couples come to get married and raise our children. (Dallas Voice is even hosting its own Wedding Party and Expo this Sunday at the Anatole.) It’s not a city where we go with friends to  … gulp! … the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. So consider this a warning. We’re shocked — shocked, we tell you! — that something like this could take place in our fair city. Oh, and you can get tickets here.


Olinka Green, police brutality survivor, to speak at CoH Thursday

Posted on 29 Jul 2015 at 4:27pm

Local activist Olinka Green

Join Hope for Peace and justice for an evening talk with local organizer Olinka Green about police brutality 7-8:30 p.m. July 30 at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope.

The 2013 Peacemaker of the Year, awarded annually by the Dallas Peace Center to a local activist, will share her personal experience at the hands of DART Police at April. According to the invite, she was initially charged with felony assault of an officer, but ultimately saw those charges dropped.

The event is free.


Spike! Dallas will host 2016 national gay volleyball tourney

Posted on 29 Jul 2015 at 3:09pm

VolleyballThe North American Gay Volleyball Association (NAGVA) selected Dallas to host its 2016 championship tournament next spring.

If it seems like Dallas keeps getting picked to host national tourneys, you’re not wrong; since 2004, nine national championship gay sporting events have come to Dallas; NAGVA will make it an even 10 in 12 years.

“NAGVA could not be more excited about coming back to Dallas for the third time,” NAGVA’s president, Jason Fallon, said in a statement. The tourney was last held in Dallas in 2005; it was also here in 1996. DIVA, the Dallas Independent Volleyball Association, is one of the largest LGBT volleyball leagues in the nation. It was formed in 1989.

“We have a great tradition of LGBT [sporting] events here in Dallas an we look forward to welcoming the athletes to our diverse city,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.

The tournament will be held at the at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center May 27–29, 2016.


World-famous Dallas Zoo giraffe Kipenzi dies

Posted on 29 Jul 2015 at 9:14am

IMG_9234Kipenzi, the Dallas Zoo’s 3-month-old giraffe, died on July 28 while playing in the large mammal habitat with Kopano, his half-brother. The April birth was seen live by millions on Animal Planet.

Zoo officials are studying the accident to find out what happened, but Kipenzi died instantly from a broken neck.

Here are some pictures of Kipenzi and Kopano I took in June:





One Indiana city tries to undo the state’s LGBT image problem and fails

Posted on 28 Jul 2015 at 3:13pm

Gov. Mike Pence

Indiana’s having no luck digging itself out of the homophobic hole it dug for itself when the legislature passed the fist so-call Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect poor churches from discrimination by the big, bad gays.

After the law passed, the state lost a ton of business. Companies halted expansions in the state. Others cancelled travel to the state. Conventions were eighty-sixed and moved elsewhere.

Rather than fix the law or provide nondiscrimination protections, Gov. Mike Pence hired a PR firm.

Nothing has worked and the state is still suffering.

The mayor of one Indiana city — Elkhart —decided to do something about it, according to the Elkhart Truth. Mayor Dick Moore proposed a city LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance that would cover employment, housing and public accommodations.

Opponents rallied, using the insidious “men dressed as women will rape your girls in restrooms” argument. Moore and the city council were barraged (well, some council members claimed as many as 10 calls a day), so the proposal was withdrawn.

Pence isn’t backing down from his support of the state law that protects discrimination as long as someone screams religion. So maybe Indiana passed exactly the law it wanted and the state is proud to discriminate — even in a city whose mayor tried to do the right thing.


India Clarke, a black transwoman, found beaten to death in Florida park

Posted on 27 Jul 2015 at 4:46pm

India Clarke

India Clarke, a 25-year-old black transwoman, was found dead July 21 in a Tampa, Fla., park.

She is believed to be the 10th transwoman murdered in 2015, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

She was found with “obvious signs of homicidal violence to the upper body,” according to a Hillsborough County news release. Clarke was also described as a “male dressed in women’s clothing” in the report.

“I’m hurting all over right now. I love my child. This was my baby, my youngest child. I just want to know who did this. I’m praying to God every night they find the person who took part of my life away from me. My daughter did not deserve this,” Clarke’s mother, Thelma Clarke, told ABC News.

“India Clark’s death is a tragedy, which is made worse by egregious misgendering by local police and media,” said Chai Jindasurat, Co-Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at New York City Anti Violence Project. “We must honor India Clarke, and all of the transgender women, especially teams women of color, killed in this epidemic by supporting the leadership of transgender women, public awareness and respect campaigns, speaking out against this violence, and protecting transgender people from harassment and discrimination.”

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) most recent report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2014, documented 20 anti-LGBT homicides in 2014. Of those 20 homicides, 55 percent of victims were transgender women, and half were transgender women of color.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office is investigating it as a homicide.


Boy Scouts voting today on gay scout leader ban

Posted on 27 Jul 2015 at 11:57am

Zach Wahls

The Boy Scouts of America will vote today on a policy to repeal its current ban on having openly gay scout leader. Results will be released tonight.

The new policy was approved unanimously earlier this year by its executive committee, headed by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who implemented the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  The new policy would allow local units to select their own leaders, so church-sponsored groups could continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians in leadership roles. A year ago, a similar policy change allowed gay scouts to remain active until their 18th birthdays.

Zach Wahls, a straight Eagle Scout with two moms who founded Scouts for Equality, said it would be unprecedented for a recommendation by the national executive committee to be turned down.

Still, he called this vote only a partial victory if it passes tonight.

“Any discrimination sends a harmful message to kids,” he said.


BREAKING: Texas Supreme Court halts enforcement of Houston ERO

Posted on 24 Jul 2015 at 11:08am

Houston Mayor Annise Parker

The Texas Supreme Court released an opinion today (Friday, July 24) halting enforcement of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

The court stated the city council overstepped its boundaries when it invalidated a petition to repeal the ordinance via ballot referendum. The city ruled petitioners did not gather enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

“Any enforcement of the ordinance shall be suspended, and the City Council shall reconsider the ordinance. If the City Council does not repeal the ordinance by Aug. 24, 2015, then by that date the City Council must order that the ordinance be put to popular vote during the Nov. 2015 election,” according to the decision.

The opinion additionally faulted city staff for not verifying differing signatories not having an appeal process when a petition is rejected.

The measure bans discrimination based not just on sexual orientation and gender identity but also numerous other classes currently protected at the state and federal levels.

The ordinance applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions would be exempt. Violators could be fined up to $5,000.

The decision is just the latest hurdle facing the embattled ordinance. The Houston ordinance passed in May of last year by an 11-6 vote. After its passage opponents halted the law’s enforcement through lawsuits and appeals. It has been in a legal tug of war ever since.

You can read the full decision here.

Last year, Dallas voters added sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the nondiscrimination clause of the city charter with 77 percent of the vote.


PHOTOS: The Escobar family

Posted on 24 Jul 2015 at 10:51am

Julian Escobar sent us a number of photos to consider for our story “Physician, breed thyself.” We loved the pictures so much that we redid the cover with a picture of Paloma and Valentino. Here are more of the pictures Julian sent.