London deals with Ugandan regime

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 10:19am
Museveni

Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni was in London for an economic summit. While his reservations were not canceled as they were in Dallas, his regime is not receiving a warm welcome in the British capital.

In Dallas, Museveni was turned away from the Four Seasons Hotel in Irving, the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine and the Irving Convention Center and instead had to pay $70,000 to rent a ranch in Collin County for the weekend.

In London, while Museveni’s reservations weren’t canceled because his event included other foreign heads of state, his homophobic Parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga was turned away recently at another investment forum in London.

The level of stupidity and inappropriate garbage coming out of Museveni’s mouth included these latest comments reported by Pink News:

There were “more terrible things” than homosexuality in the West — like oral sex.

He said: “Oral sex! The mouth is for eating, it’s not for that purpose.”

So maybe that’s what Museveni was actually doing in Dallas.

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BREAKING: Judge strikes down Wyoming’s same-sex marriage ban

Posted on 17 Oct 2014 at 4:16pm

safe_imageA federal judge in Wyoming ruled today, Oct. 17, that the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

As we reported yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl heard arguments on Oct. 16 to Wyoming’s ban on same-sex marriages. Judge Skavdahl initially said that he would issue his ruling by 5:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20.

But his ruling came sooner than anticipated.

Skavdahl stayed his ruling until Oct. 23 pending an appeal by state government officials.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who is up for re-election, said in a debate on Thursday, Oct. 16, before Skavdahl released his decision, that the state should not appeal the ruling.

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Arizona is the latest marriage equality state

Posted on 17 Oct 2014 at 10:30am

arizonaArizona became marriage equality state No. 31 this morning when a federal judge struck down the state’s ban calling it unconstitutional.

There’s no word yet on when the state will begin issuing marriage licenses. Arizona is in the Ninth Circuit, which recently struck down marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho. Those states and Alaska became marriage equality states this week.

Suits are pending in Kansas, South Carolina, Montana and Wyoming. Decisions are expected in those states soon. By the end of next week, there may be 35 marriage equality states.

In Texas, we’re working hard to ensure that we go down in history as last in equality as No. 50.

 

 

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Candlelight vigil for Ebola-stricken nurses

Posted on 17 Oct 2014 at 9:15am

Ebola VirusBapnar, a company that does healthcare staffing, is hosting a candlelight prayer vigil for Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, the two Presbyterian Hospital nurses who became infected with the Ebola virus.

The event, called “An Evening for Our Nightingales” takes place at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla St., on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited.

Both nurses have been transferred to other hospitals — Pham to Emory in Atlanta and Vinson to National Institute of Health in Baltimore — that seem better equipped to care for them and are outside the media hysteria going on in Dallas. Both are being treated with experimental drugs.

We wish them both a return to good health soon and a quick return home.

Speaking of media hysteria, Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd is about the only other writer here in Dallas addressing the Ebola cases with facts rather than frenzy. Here’s a link to her wonderful column: Good sense will inoculate you against Ebolaphobia.

And here’s an interesting fact. While the right wing wants to close the southern border so that no one can sneak in from Africa and wants to impeach President Barack Obama for his handling of the Ebola “crisis,” Obama is naming an Ebola czar after three cases in the United States. President Ronald Reagan didn’t mention AIDS until more than 20,000 gay men were dead from the disease.

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Wyoming federal judge to announce marriage equality decision by Monday

Posted on 16 Oct 2014 at 2:44pm

safe_imageMarriage equality may come to Wyoming as soon as Monday.

U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl heard arguments today, Oct. 16, to Wyoming’s ban on same-sex marriages. Judge Skavdahl said that he will issue his ruling by 5:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20.

“We are grateful that the court has moved quickly in handling our case, which affects so many families across Wyoming who are seeking equal dignity and full legal recognition. We are confident that the judge will give this important case the consideration it deserves, and we look forward to the court’s decision,” said Wyoming Equality Executive Director Jeran Artery in a statement.

The case was brought by Wyoming Equality and four same-sex couples who requested an immediate order directing state officials to comply with two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit establishing that a state’s refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry violates the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two appeals from the Tenth Circuit striking down marriage equality bans, meaning all states within the Tenth Circuit, including Wyoming, must comply with those decisions.

“The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws. The State of Wyoming is obligated to follow the law as interpreted by the Tenth Circuit,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights attorney Chris Stoll. NCLR is one of the organizations representing the plaintiffs.

In 30 states, same-sex couples have the freedom to marry: AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV and WI.

In an additional five states, including Wyoming, federal appellate rulings have set a binding precedent in favor of the freedom to marry, meaning the path is cleared for the freedom to marry there: AZ, KS, MT, SC, and WY.

In an additional 8 states, judges have issued rulings in favor of the freedom to marry, with many of these rulings now stayed as they proceed to appellate courts. In Texas and four other states, judges have struck down marriage bans — AR, FL, KY, MI, and TX — judges have struck down marriage bans. In three states — LA, OH and TN — judges have issued more limited pro-marriage rulings.

In Missouri, the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states are respected.

Courts have cases pending, but have yet to rule, in seven states: AL, GA, MO, MS, NB, ND and SD.

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Meeting set for destruction of Oak Lawn property

Posted on 16 Oct 2014 at 11:53am

IMG_6133The Dallas Board of Adjustment meets on Monday, Oct. 20 to hear oral testimony on granting variances to the property on Hall Street at Turtle Creek Boulevard. The owners would like to tear down the last remaining house facing Lee Park along with all of the trees to build a 10-story tower.

Plopping a 10-story building on this single-family lot will make Oak Lawn more oakless and more lawnless and make Lee Park less inviting.

The Oak Lawn Committee is already on record as not supporting the proposed changes.

The applicant proposes changing setbacks so that the tower will cover most of the property. While nothing in the status of the building prevents its demolition, there’s no reason to allow developers to violate new standards that have been put into place for properties around the park.

George Poston, owner of the property, applied for and was denied, setback variances in 1999.

In addition to input at the meeting, comments may be sent to the administrator of the Board of Adjustment, Steve Long. All correspondence sent will be distributed at the meeting to all board members.

The Board of Adjustment meets at Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St. on Monday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. A guard at the desk near the west entrance will direct visitors to the right elevators and meeting room.

094 application materials application to destroy property

Oak Lawn Committee letter opposing variances

1999 minutes refusing changes by board in 1999

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Updated information on handling the Ebola virus

Posted on 16 Oct 2014 at 10:31am

Ebola VirusParkland Hospital and area doctors are trying to deal with the Ebola crisis by getting out the facts and minimizing the hysteria generated by broadcast media.

Parkland released a video about the procedures its staff is taking to minimize contact with the virus and a reference page with links and information about the virus and how it is spread.

Dr. David Lee from Uptown Physicians sent his patients a letter acknowledging the fear, predicting several more cases will appear in Dallas but minimizing alarm by assuring the virus will be contained.

Here’s Dr. Lee’s letter to his patients, reprinted with his permission:

Ebola Virus

David Lee on Oct. 15, 2014 1:37:37 p.m.

We understand the worries being expressed by patients concerning the Ebola virus. It is a scary virus, but one which eventually will be contained in the US. I do suspect we will see more cases in Dallas and the US, but there is no reason to be alarmed at this time. Unlike the flu virus which is easily spread, the Ebola virus is only spread by direct contact with bodily fluids. We are instituting protocols at Uptown Physicians Group to screen for any potential patients with Ebola before they come to our clinic. To be clear, if you think you may have been exposed to someone with Ebola, DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE. Please call our office and/or send a portal message and we can help direct your care. You will need to go directly to an emergency room which is equipped to test for Ebola and institute quarantine if necessary. Labcorp does not offer testing, so we cannot test anyone in our office for Ebola. If you have traveled to Western Africa or potentially have been exposed to someone with Ebola, again, you will need to go directly to the emergency room.

Flu season is on the way, and there is currently a viral syndrome causing upper respiratory symptoms circulating in the community, so differentiating which viral illness you have becomes very important. Thus when you call to make an anointment, you will be asked about any potential travel or Ebola exposure. Again, if there is any chance you could have been exposed to Ebola, DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE. We will direct you to an emergency room where testing, quarantine, and treatment can be initiated.

Below is a CDC statement which was released today:

“On the morning of Oct. 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air Oct. 13, the day before she reported symptoms.

Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth Oct. 13.

CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232 4636).”

If you were on this flight, please call the CDC ASAP for further instructions. As further pertinent information becomes available, we will send updates.

Sincerely,

Uptown Physicians Group

And here’s Parkland’s video. The precautions are the same as those being used at Presbyterian where two nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the “index patient,” were infected with the virus.

This is a training video demonstrating the precautionary methods Parkland would use with a patient presenting symptoms of Ebola. The level of virus when a patient presents with simple fever is much lower than when a hospital is treating the patient with severe symptoms and these precautions should be sufficient. Doctors I’ve spoken to recommend full hazmat suits to treat an Ebola patient in isolation.

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Spirit Day: Go purple to take a stand against bullying

Posted on 16 Oct 2014 at 10:08am

Today is Oct. 16. It’s also Spirit Day, when people everywhere are encouraged to “go purple” to take a stand against bullying. There’s even anspirit day selfie app for that: The Spirit Day App, powered by Toyota Financial Services, which provides anti-bullying resources, calls to action and lets you take a “selfie” then turn it purple and add an anti-bullying slogan. That’s my purple selfie right here in this post. I am also using it today as my profile pic on Facebook. I even remembered to wear my purple shirt today.

But see, here’s the day. It takes more that a purple shirt or a purple “selfie” to stop bullying. It takes more than paying attention just one day out of the year.

According to a study published in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 6 high school students have seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 12 have actually attempted suicide. Overall, the suicide rate among teens climbed from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011, reflecting the trend gaining national attention as more teen suicides are reported as a result of bullying.

I have two sons, both relatively well-adjusted, considering that they are teenage boys. But both of them have had to deal with some sort of bullying during their lives. The older one, — now almost 18 — got bullied in junior high because he was a “smart kid,” a “nerd” who wore glasses. The younger one, now 15, was the target of a whole gang of bullies throughout his fourth-grade school year because we bought a house in a new neighborhood and he had to go to a new elementary school. “New kids” often get bullied.

We were lucky. Our kids made it through and are OK. A lot of kids aren’t so lucky.

And we have to remember that in a time when social media infiltrates so much of our lives, bullying isn’t limited to the classroom or the playground. It can follow our kids home, into our own living rooms, into their own bedrooms. We have to find whole new ways to protect our children. And that takes more than wearing purple one day a year.

Don’t get me wrong: I am all for Spirit Day, for purple selfies and purples clothes. Things like that raise awareness, and change doesn’t happen without awareness. I am just asking that we all remember not to let it stop there.

If you have children, talk to them about bullying. Make sure they know they can come to you for help if someone is bullying them. And make sure they are not bullying anyone else. If you are a young person yourself and you are being bullied, don’t suffer in silence. Find someone who can help. If you can’t find someone, contact us here at Dallas Voice; we can connect you with the help you need.

And remember that bullying isn’t limited to children. Adults are bullied too: by coworkers, spouses, by someone at the gym or on the street.

When you see someone being bullied, step in. Do something to stop the abuse. Don’t turn away. You could be the one who makes the difference, who saves someone’s life.

 

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Idaho becomes marriage equality state number … umm… lost count

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 at 3:00pm

When Idaho’s Atty. Gen. Lawrence Wasden withdrew his request for a stay on Monday, Oct. 13 and Gov. Butch Otter decided on Tuesday to stop challenging the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on marriage equality, that cleared the way for Idaho to become a marriage equality state.

While Texas and Mississippi continue to battle for last place, Idaho became marriage equality state No. 29. Or 32. We lost count.

Marriages started today in Idaho. Facebook friend Cindy Gross from Boise sent these pics and called the day very exciting. Gross works with the Add the Words campaign trying to get sexual orientation and gender identity added to Idaho’s Human Rights Act.

“Couples getting married today didn’t want their pictures taken because they were afraid they’d lose their jobs,” she said.

But Boise was celebrating with city officials performing weddings. She said lots of straight people were out celebrating along with everyone else.

 

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Supreme Court puts part of Texas abortion law on hold

Posted on 15 Oct 2014 at 2:58pm
sneakers davis

The sneakers Wendy Davis wore while filibustering the abortion bill

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked key provisions of a 2013 law to restrict abortions in Texas adding regulations that forced clinics to close.

Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas could immediately force abortion clinics to upgrade to hospital-level facilities. The Supreme Court put that provision on hold.

Another provision requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital was put on hold for clinics in McAllen and El Paso.

The Fifth Circuit is considering the overall constitutionality of the law that propelled Sen. Wendy Davis to national fame because of her filibuster against it.

“The court recognized that these deeply personal decisions should be made by a woman with the guidance of her family and her doctor,” Davis said in an email sent to Dallas Voice. “The actions by Austin politicians like Greg Abbott had closed all but eight Texas reproductive health centers and harmed the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of women throughout the state.

“While politicians like Greg Abbott support making abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest, I’m thankful that women can continue to make their own personal decisions.”

Although the decision was unsigned, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia said they would have ruled against the clinics.

“We’re seeing the terrible impact these restrictions have on thousands of Texas women who effectively no longer have access to safe and legal abortion,” said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, in a statement. “We’re relieved that the court stepped in to stop this, and we hope this dangerous law is ultimately overturned completely.”

Until the Supreme Court weighed in, the only clinics still open were in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Several others are expected to reopen bringing the total up from eight to 13 clinics.

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