Let the bigots show themselves: the case of a Michigan mechanic

Posted on 20 Apr 2015 at 2:24pm

KlawiterPersonally, if you don’t want to do business with me, I’d rather you let me know than let me inadvertently buy a product or service from you.

Now most business owners aren’t going to say anything, because they understand that bigotry isn’t good for business. But the ones that will go on Facebook or directly to the media to air their prejudices and stupidity, like the pizza place in Walkerton, Ind., are just so special.

Take Brian Klawiter. He’s a mechanic in Grandville, Mich., and owner of Dieseltec, who said he’d refuse service to gay people and if anyone argued gay rights with him, he’d fix the car with nuts and not bolts.

First, this guy is delusional. When was the last time you went to your mechanic and argued gay rights with them?

Oh, did I say mechanic. Unlicensed mechanic. It seems like getting that license goes against Klawiter’s civil rights and his religious beliefs, so Michigan is trying to get him to renew or put him out of business. So he does understand civil rights, just not for other people. And the state wouldn’t have gotten wind of this had he not made a media spectacle.

Several of his suppliers have insisted he remove their logos from his shop. They don’t want to be affiliated with that kind of hate. Seems auto parts suppliers have this funny idea that gays and lesbians and even transgender people use the exact same kinds of carburetors, alternators and other widgets that straight people put in their cars. They also pay the exact same money for them.

Also turns out that repairing a car improperly to cause injury can be considered murder or attempted murder. Michigan’s watching for faulty repairs and may charge him if found to have happened.

Of course if charged, it wouldn’t be Klawiter’s first brush with the law. He was convicted of assault in 1999 and then in 2001 for a parole violation. Serving gay people violates his “Christian” faith. Assault doesn’t.

And what do you do when you’re discriminated against for trying to discriminate against other people? You start a GoFundMe campaign. Seems Go Fund Me didn’t think it was such a hot idea to be associated with this campaign so after he raised $0, they pulled the page.

As a result of Klawiter’s tirade, Grandville is considering enacting a human rights ordinance. And now, not only the LGBT community in that part of Michigan knows where they probably shouldn’t get their cars repaired, but so do all of their friends, relatives and co-workers. Even “Christian” co-workers. What would happen if it came up in a conversation that you work with one of — them, you know, a gay.

See? Sometimes good things happen when we let the bigots show themselves.


As U.S. Supreme Court prepares for marriage hearing, Mexico’s strikes down marriage bans

Posted on 20 Apr 2015 at 11:20am

Mexican Supreme Court chamber

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the case for marriage equality, La Supreme Corte de Justicia de la Nation — the Mexican Supreme Court — struck down laws in that country banning same-sex marriage on April 15.

Here’s a translation of a portion of the decision from the Mexican Supreme Court’s website:

“Thus the reason why same-sex couples have not enjoyed the same protections as heterosexual couples is not careless of the legislature, but by the legacy of severe prejudices that have traditionally existed against him. The absence of the benefits that the law attaches to the institution of marriage is a direct consequence of prolonged discrimination that has existed for homosexual couples because of their sexual preference.”

Meanwhile, final briefs are due at the U.S. Supreme Court for the case that will be heard on April 28. The latest brief filed is by the former U.S. military officials, who wrote discrimination hurts military preparedness and is unfair to same-sex military couples that can’t choose where to live.

“Those willing to risk their lives for the security of their country should never be forced to risk losing the protections of marriage and the attendant rights of parenthood simply because their service obligations require them to move to states that refuse to recognize their marriages,” the brief says.


HERO stands in Houston

Posted on 18 Apr 2015 at 7:17am
Brad Pritchett

Brad Pritchett of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus

A Houston judge sided with the city of Houston and ruled that opponents didn’t collect enough valid signatures to trigger an election to repel the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance — HERO.

The ordinance was passed last May and has been on hold since then because of the attempted recall. More than 17,000 valid signatures were needed. Opponents turned in 31,000 signatures but only 5,000 of them were valid.

“I would hope that the plaintiffs would not appeal, they lost during a jury trial and today they also lost with the judge’s ruling. Now all Houstonians have access to the same protections,” Mayor Annise Parker said, according to KPRC in Houston.

Houston GLBT Political Caucus’ Brad Pritchett showed an example of the lengths opponents went to manipulate the petitions. Rather than collect valid signatures, they insisted someone who votes outside of Houston used a non-existent Houston address and testified in court that person simply moved since signing.

Despite findings by a jury and a final ruling by a judge, opponents may appeal. And the opponents who lied about the petitions during the trial could be charged with perjury.

After Plano passed a nondiscrimination ordinance, the same Houston group was recruited to help collect signatures to repeal that law. In that case, every one of the signatures collected was thrown out as invalid because the petitions were incorrectly written and were not notarized.



Continental Gin Building’s open house and Deep Ellum Art Walk this weekend

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 3:01pm

4ae15f67cd55b8003238daa7aea9a22bI know where I’ll be tomorrow: The Continental Gin Building, 3309 Elm St. in Deep Ellum, which hosts its spring open house from 6–10 p.m. today and 2–8 p.m. tomorrow.

Coming off the dizzying Dallas Art Fair last week, the CGB’s open house and Deep Ellum Art Walk will, hopefully, provide a rich contrast to the claustrophobic Art Fair.

But about the 125 year old CGB. It was originally built in 1888 by Robert S. Munger as a cotton processing factory. It closed in 1962, but somehow survived Dallas’ demolition derby spree through the 1970s and 80s. It was purchased and renovated by John Tatum in 1982. Even through the the highs and lows of Deep Ellum, it has continuously been a popular spot for artists, designers and all sorts of creatives to hone their practice.

The 30 participating artists will join special guest Stuart Burne, a Welsh landscape artist in town just for the event. Local folk–jazz music hybrid Felix Flores will play tonight on CGB’s second floor.

From noon–8 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, April 18) stroll from the CGB to other galleries across Deep Ellum at the semiannual Deep Ellum Art Walk. Sponsored by the Deep Ellum Community Association and Kettle Art, is free and open to the public. A full list of hours and participating galleries is available on Facebook. Gallery hours vary.

For more information on the Gallery Walk, stop by 2650-B Main St., or e-mail art@deepellumtexas.com.

Oh, I forgot: bring your wallets. All the work is for sale.


Rick Perry to New Hampshire audience: Keep on farmin’ in the free world

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 1:44pm
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Freedom fighter and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Do you remember the good old days? When government didn’t get in the way of good ol’ Texas wheat farmers selling their product to Soviet Russia? Before the era of big government was over — unless you were in the banking industry? Before that closeted Communist President Jimmy Carter lead a boycott against the 1980 Moscow Olympics over its invasion of Afghanistan?


The half-dozen young people listening to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry talk yesterday (Thursday, April 16) in rural New Hampshire probably don’t either.

Thankfully for Perry, who is mulling his second presidential bid, most of the attendees at his “youth summit” were geriatric.

At Milford High School, Perry said that former President Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Olympics was devastating for business if you were a wheat farmer, like Perry was – and for the kids.

“Remember 1979?” Mr. Perry asked the audience. “Remember where we were in 1979? No. 1, we were at 20 percent interest rates. Our kids were boycotted from going to the Olympics. President Carter made that decision. He didn’t let our wheat to be sold to Russia. I know. I was a wheat farmer.”

But Carter just didn’t kill business. As an advocate for youth around the world, Perry said he’s mad because the 1980 boycott killed so many young athletes’ dreams.

“These are kids who in some cases had spent their entire lives working to go represent America,” he said. “To use them as a tool, I think was in particular bad judgment, and I don’t think it had a bit of influence.”

After addressing the Most Pressing Issue of the Day, Perry bounced back from his 2012 campaign blunder. This time he remembered all three of the government projects he’d abolish: Common Core, No Child Left Behind and, of course, Obama’s ruthless reign of healthcare terror.

Since Texas can’t secede from America, he told the crowd, let’s make America become Texas. Perry touted his economic record in the state, dubbed the “Texas [$7.25 an hour] Miracle.” Watch me make the Texas Miracle into the American Miracle, he declared. Under President Perry, you too will be able to sell your wheat and take your ice skates to Russia.

Evoking a song by that other famous Canadian (the one not running for president), President Perry basically told the crowd: under me, you’ll be farmin’ in the free world.


Participating in Day of Silence? Send us photos!

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 12:08pm

facebook_shared_DOS15_2Today is the Day of Silence, where thousands of students, faculty and staff at schools around the world take a vow of silence against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s National School Climate Survey, 85 percent of middle and high school students were verbally harassed in school in the past year and nearly two-thirds frequently heard anti-LGBT language among peers.

At the University of Texas at Arlington, members of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance will eat their lunch in silence from noon–2 p.m. in the University Center, according to the Shorthorn, the school’s student newspaper.

If your school or classmates have organized a similar event and you’d like to share any photos, please send them as an attachment to russell(at)dallasvoice(dot)com. We’ll post them on the Instant Tea blog.


Gotcha: Cruz and Santorum asked if they would attend a gay wedding

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 11:02am

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

A radio host caught two Republican 2016 presidential hopefuls off guard yesterday (Thursday, April 17) when he asked if either would attend a same-sex wedding, according to Politico.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a conservative Republican, told host Hugh Hewitt he would not. While Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who announced his presidential campaign this month, dodged the question altogether.

“That would be something that would be a violation of my faith,” Santorum said.

“I haven’t faced that circumstance. I have not had a loved one go to a, have a gay wedding,” Cruz responded.

The question came after Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who announced his presidential campaign on Monday, April 13, told a television host he would attend a same-sex wedding. Rubio opposes same-sex marriage.

“If there’s somebody that I love that’s in my life, I don’t necessarily have to agree with their decisions or the decisions they’ve made to continue to love them and participate in important events,” Rubio told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos on Wednesday, April 15.

Rubio said that as a devout Roman Catholic, said he would also attend a friend’s second wedding after a divorce, even though he said his faith looks down on divorce.


DGLA PAC comments on candidates and who refused to participate

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 10:42am

DGLA PACThis week, DGLA PAC endorsed its slate of candidates. For the first time in its 38-year history, candidates from every district sought the organization’s endorsement and DGLA PAC was able to make an endorsement in each district.
Here are some comments DGLA made about candidates in its endorsements and a list of who else sought and completed the endorsement process:

The DGLA-PAC enthusiastically endorses all six incumbents who sought our endorsement and are running unopposed for re-election.
District 1 — Scott Griggs
District 2 — Adam Medrano
District 11 — Lee M. Kleinman
District 12 — Sandy Greyson
District 13 — Jennifer Staubach Gates
District 14 — Philip T. Kingston

District 3 — Wini Cannon
District 3 is an open seat with five candidates vying for the position. Two of those candidates, Wini Cannon and Joe Tave, sought our endorsement. Both have expressed a willingness to work with the LGBT community. We endorse Wini Cannon in this race because of her responses to our interview questions, specifically her willingness to make transgender issues a priority, if elected.
Completed process: Joe Tave
Began but did not complete: Gerald Britt
Declined to Participate: B.D. Howard
No response: Casey Thomas II

District 4 — Carolyn King Arnold
District 4 is an open seat with eight candidates vying for the position. We endorse Carolyn King Arnold. Ms. Arnold, a veteran educator in D.I.S.D., has a more than two decade history of leadership in the community, including service on the Dallas Public Library Board and as president of the Glen Oaks Neighborhood association. She commits her solid support to equality for the LGBT community.
Candidate completed process: Sandra Crenshaw
NO RESPONSE: Stephen King, Linda M. Wilkerson-Wynn, Keyaira D. Saunders, James Ross, D. Marcus Ranger, Carl Hays

District 5 — Sherry Cordova
In District 5 incumbent Rick Callahan faces two challengers. We endorse challenger Sherry Cordova. A longtime resident of the district and a neighborhood activist, Ms. Cordova is also a solid proponent of LGBT equality. Although incumbent Rick Callahan has moved in our direction on some issues, his stated opposition to marriage equality and lukewarm support for other priorities of the LGBT community compel our endorsement of his viable challenger.
Candidate completed process: Rick Callahan

District 6 — Monica R. Alonzo
We endorse incumbent Monica Alonzo. Ms. Alonzo has been a solid, dependable vote for LGBT equality on the Council and will continue to be so. She has a long history of community involvement and political activism. Additionally, none of Ms. Alonzo’s opponents appear to be council material.
Candidate complete process: Lakolya London, Daniel “DC” Caldwell I
Declined to Participate: Ozumba Lnuk-X

District 7 — Tiffinni A. Young
District 7 is an open seat with eight candidates in the race. With five candidates enthusiastically seeking its endorsement, DGLA-PAC was spoiled for choice, but the endorsement goes to Tiffinni A. Young. Ms. Young’s vibrancy and energy, her commitment to diversity, and her knowledge of the LGBT community, evidence the promise that she will be a strong ally on the council. Of particular note was her expressed commitment to appoint LGBT people to boards and commissions to reflect the diversity of her district. While the PAC Board was impressed with all the candidates who interviewed for District 7, we especially want to note that Hasani Burton exhibits excellent promise as a future Dallas leader with a strong commitment to, and knowledge of, the LGBT community. We hope the next councilperson will find a prominent role for him on a city board or commission.
Completed process: Hasani Burton, Juanita Wallace, Kevin Felder, Randall Parker
NO RESPONSE: John Lawson, James “J.T.” Turknett, Baranda J. Fermin

District 8 — Gail Terrell
District 8 is an open seat with six candidates running. Three candidates actively sought our endorsement. Of those three, Gail Terrell stands out to us as the clear choice. As a former vice chair of the Dallas Park board, Ms. Terrell has an enviable record of service to her community. Ms. Terrell demonstrated a commitment to equality and a willingness to learn more about the issues that face our community. She also expressed a willingness to appoint LGBT individuals to boards and commissions.
Completed process — Eric Lemonte Williams, Erik Wilson
NO RESPONSE: Dianne Gibson, Clara McDade, Subrina Lynn Brenham

District 9 — Mark Clayton
District 9 is an open seat with five candidates in the race. Three of them sought our endorsement. We endorse Mark Clayton. We feel that Mark Clayton will be an outstanding councilmember. Mr. Clayton is a successful small-business owner with a strong record of community activism as member of the Casa Linda Neighborhood Association, as a volunteer with East Dallas Development Center, and as a member of both the East Dallas and LGBT Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Clayton has also demonstrated a clear willingness to be a strong advocate for the LGBT community. In addition, he has shown a depth of knowledge about city issues, a keen intelligence, and an ability to bring new ideas to the table; qualities that will be an asset for all the residents of his district. We appreciate that Darren Boruff and Christopher Jackson expressed their support for the LGBT community by seeking the endorsement of the Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance PAC.
Completed process: Darren Boruff, Christopher Jackson
Declined to Participate: Sam Merten, Will Logg

District 10 — Adam McGough
District 10 is an open seat with three candidates in the race. While all three candidates sought the DGLA-PAC’s endorsement and expressed strong support for LGBT equality, we endorse Adam McGough. As a former head of the Community Prosecutor Section of the Dallas City Attorney’s Office, Mr. McGough has a depth of knowledge of City Hall that will allow him to hit the ground running. Paul Reyes also impressed the PAC Board a strong and knowledgeable candidate with a bright future as a leader in his community, but in a close decision we give Mr. McGough the edge.
Completed process: Paul Reyes, James White

District 15 Mayor — Marcos Ronquillo
Both incumbent Mayor Mike Rawlings and challenger Marcos Ronquillo actively sought the DGLA-PAC’s endorsement. We endorse Marcos Ronquillo. Mr. Ronquillo’s longstanding commitment and track record to civil rights, and his willingness to advocate for the LGBT community make him a superior choice. Although we appreciate Mr. Rawlings’ evolution on some of our issues, we believe in the race between these two candidates Mr. Ronquillo is more supportive of LGBT concerns.
Completed process: Mayor Mike Rawlings


DGLA and Stonewall endorsements differ

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 10:12am

DGLA PACStonewallIn March, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsed a slate of candidates for Dallas City Council. That slate differs, in some cases, from the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance PAC slate endorsed this week.

DGLA endorsements are non-partisan. Stonewall endorsements require the candidate to have a Democratic voting history or to sign a pledge to the Democratic Party. Local elections are nonpartisan.

Here’s a comparison of the endorsements:

District DGLA Stonewall


Scott Griggs Scott Griggs


Adam Medrano Adam Medrano


Wini Cannon Joe Tave


Carolyn King Arnold no endorsement


Sherry Cordova Sherry Cordova


Monica R. Alonzo Monica R. Alonzo


Tiffinni A. Young Hasani Burton


Gail Terrell no endorsement


Mark Clayton Mark Clayton


Adam McGough James White


Lee M. Kleinman no endorsement


Sandy Greyson no endorsement


Jennifer Staubach Gates no endorsement


Philip T. Kingston Philip T. Kingston


Marcos Ronquillo Marcos Ronquillo




DGLA PAC endorses Dallas City Council candidates

Posted on 17 Apr 2015 at 10:04am

DGLA PACFor the first time its 38-year history, Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance PAC endorsed a candidate in every Dallas City Council district. Also for the first time, every incumbent running for re-election sought the DGLA PAC endorsement.

“I’m blown away by the quality and dedication of the DGLA-PAC committee members, and incredibly impressed by the eager participation of so many great candidates in seeking to earn the DGLA-PAC endorsement in this election,” said David Wilkins, DGLA PAC chair.

This is the first time multiple candidates from each of the southern sector seats have sought endorsement by the PAC. All seats in South Dallas and Oak Cliff, with the exception of district 1, have multiple candidates vying for the positions.

“As a community, we’ve gone from candidates sneaking in out of sight to meet with us to … [to] this enormously important milestone when every district in the city recognizes the importance of the LGBT community and our votes,” Wilkins said. “That is an extraordinary measure of progress for our community. It takes my breath away.”

In the early ’80s, Mayor Jack Evans famously came to speak to DGLA. But the next day when the Dallas Morning News got wind of the event, Evans said he had no idea who the group was. In 1995, after Mayor Ron Kirk was elected with lots of help from the LGBT community, he made addressing DGLA one of his first stops. Mocking Evans, he began his speech by thanking the members of the Dallas Gun Lovers Association for inviting him to speak.

These are the DGLA-PAC endorsements:

District 1 – Scott Griggs
District 2 – Adam Medrano
District 3 – Wini Cannon
District 4 – Carolyn King Arnold
District 5 – Sherry Cordova
District 6 – Monica R. Alonzo
District 7 – Tiffinni A. Young
District 8 – Gail Terrell
District 9 – Mark Clayton
District 10 – Adam McGough
District 11 – Lee M. Kleinman
District 12 – Sandy Greyson
District 13 – Jennifer Staubach Gates
District 14 – Philip T. Kingston
District 15 (Mayor) – Marcos Ronquillo