Vikings settle with Kluwe, agree to donate to LGBT charities

Posted on 20 Aug 2014 at 5:49pm

Chris Kluwe

The Minnesota Vikings professional football team have reached an agreement with former punter Chris Kluwe in which the team officials have agreed to donate an undisclosed sum of money to five LGBT rights-related charities over the next five years, according to Associated Press reports, including this one from West Hawaii Today. Two of those charities are The Matthew Shepard Foundation and You Can Play Project.

Kluwe said he gets no money in the settlement agreement.

Kluwe had threatened to sue the team, saying he was unfairly released by the team last year because of his outspoken support for marriage equality. He also claimed that special teams coordinator Michael Priefer made anti-gay comments and tried to agitate him with homophobic language. The Vikings last month issued a 29-page report summarizing their investigation into Kluwe’s claims, saying they found no merit in his claim that he was unfairly released from the team. The report did acknowledge that Priefer did make anti-gay comments. He was suspended for three games and ordered  to undergo sensitivity training.

Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, said that the amount of money the Vikings will be donating won’t be disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement. But, he said, it represents “a substantial commitment to LGBT causes.”

Kluwe said, “This will help a lot of people that really do need that help,” adding that he is convinced the Vikings and owners Zygi and Mark Wilf are committed to the cause, and committed to being leaders on this issue in the NFL.

The Vikings said in a statement that the deal resolves all issues related to Kluwe’s departure from the team and his accusations that a coach made anti-gay comments. Zygi Wilf said he wished Kluwe the best and that the team’s “focus remains on maintaining a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect, and creating the best workplace environment for our players, coaches and staff.”


Fayetteville, Ark. passes LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance

Posted on 20 Aug 2014 at 3:40pm

map_of_fayetteville_arEarly Wednesday morning the Fayetteville, Ark. City Council voted 6-2 to approve a measure protecting LGBT residents and visitors from discrimination in public facilities, housing and employment. It also creates a civil rights administrative position, according to NWO.

The city is the first in Arkansas to add such protections. At the state level, Arkansas does not protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

The ordinance was not without its detractors.

BuzzFeed reports that Michelle Duggar of TV’s Nineteen Kids and Counting, a prominent backer of anti-LGBT Republican presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Penn.), blasted a robocall alleging that the ordinance would “allow men — yes I said men — to use women’s and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only.”

Of the three amendments proposed for the ordinance, two passed. The first amendment extended discrimination on religious grounds to include all tax-exempt organizations. The second clarifies that no one may enter a men’s or women’s restrooms with illegal intentions. The third, which failed on a 6-2 vote, would have called for a referendum vote.

“I see a day when we don’t put tags and labels on people and we’re all citizens under the same umbrella of the Constitution of the United States and we all have the same equal rights,” Mayor Lioneld Jordan said after the vote.

The language also adds protections “from discrimination based on real or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status.”

It goes into effect Sept. 20.


Finding interesting junk as Dallas Voice packs to move

Posted on 20 Aug 2014 at 12:20pm
Village Station 1983

Rear of Village Station in 1980. The building now houses Zini’s and Skivvies

Funny what you find when you’re going through old drawers when you’re packing to move.

Apparently attorney Don Maison is still owed $28.30 for some work he did on a case in 1980-83 in which about a dozen people were arrested at Village Station for public lewdness. Yes, they were — wait for it because it’s pretty graphic — dancing. Ironically, the song playing during the raid was “Enough is Enough.”

A photo of the back of the building shows graffiti that reads, “STOP POLICE HARASSMENT.” Maison said this and other photos were taken as part of the evidence shown at the trials.

According to a Dallas Morning News clipping that we found in the same folder, after a criminal judge found four of the defendants not guilty, District Attorney Henry Wade removed the remaining cases from Judge Chuck Miller and placed them in another court. No, that wasn’t legal, and the paperwork filing the grievance against Wade is also included in the folder.

Maison said as he sat in court that day, he realized the police officer testifying couldn’t have possibly seen what he claimed he saw from where he said he was standing. He called Ernie Smith from Caven Enterprises, owner of Village Station, and had him rush building plans over to the courthouse. On the stand, Smith explained how the cop couldn’t have seen what he said he saw using those plans. The judge acquitted because the officer was obviously lying.

Maison said among the witnesses who came forward to testify that she went to Village Station often just to dance was a very young Pauline Medrano.

According to Maison, who is now CEO of AIDS Services Dallas, only one person was convicted. Another was found guilty at the trial level but that was reversed and rendered on appeal and later expunged from the record.

Also found among the papers are depositions for the case Dallas Gay Alliance, Inc., Ronald Dickson Woodroof vs. Dallas County Hospital District d/b/a Parkland Memorial Hospital. Maison was one of the attorneys on that case too. Woodroof is better known as founder of the Dallas Buyers Club. DGA and Woodroof prevailed, forcing Dallas County to fund medical care and medication for persons with AIDS.

These files are going up to University of North Texas to be added to the LGBT archives.

Village Station 1983 1

Found among the files was this interior shot of Village Station, 1983


Smithsonian to begin LGBT history collection

Posted on 19 Aug 2014 at 4:37pm

willandgrace_1024Several years after the University of North Texas began collecting documents, photographs, periodicals and other memorabilia from the North Texas LGBT community, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. has begun to do the same.

UNT proved that those collections can be valuable. Its archived copies of Dallas Voice have been accessed more than any of its other regional and specialty periodicals. Filmmakers used the archives to gather information about Ron Woodroof, the Oak Lawn man who created the Dallas Buyers Club.

While UNT’s collection is geared toward academic study, the Smithsonian’s is for exhibit.

The National Museum of American History already has Dorothy’s shoes from The Wizard of Oz and Edith and Archie’s chairs from All in the Family. The LGBT collection began with a donation from NBC with pieces from the set of Will & Grace. While All in the Family broke taboos on TV discussing bigotry and intolerance, Will & Grace did the same for LGBT issues.

Other items included in the initial collection are the diplomatic passports of Ambassador David Huebner, the first openly gay U.S. ambassador confirmed by the Senate, and his husband. At the time of his confirmation, Huebner’s dog was transported to his overseas post at government expense, but his husband had to pay for his own ticket because the Defense of Marriage Act prevented recognition of their marriage.

The museum had already collected items from Westboro Baptist Church, which will grace the LGBT exhibits.


Dale Hansen to appear at Black Tie Dinner

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 at 6:13pm

dalehansenHere’s a video Dale Hansen made accepting an invitation to attend Black Tie Dinner. Each time he addresses the subject, he proves himself to be a bigger and bigger ally.


DART begins service to DFW Airport

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 at 2:41pm

DART mapThe final station on DART’s Orange line now links Dallas to DFW Airport — in a way it doesn’t link Dallas to Love Field. The new DART station is actually inside DFW Airport at Terminal A. Walk from the station to the terminal and once inside security, link to any of the airport’s gates.

DART skirts Love Field and does not go to the airport. A bus takes passengers from Inwood Station to Love Field’s terminal.

While the trip to DFW airport might take longer than driving, riding DART can save quite a bit of money. Terminal parking is $20 per day and long-term parking is $9 per day. A DART trip is $2.50 each way, but parking is free at DART stations. Overnight parking is available at Market Center Station and Inwood Station in Oak Lawn and Hampton Station and Westmoreland Station in Oak Cliff.

From any of the downtown or Oak Lawn stations, take the Orange line. From Oak Cliff, transfer to the Orange line at West End Station. On the Red or Blue lines from the north, transfer to the Orange line anywhere between Mockingbird Station and West End Station. From South Dallas, transfer from the Green line anywhere from Arts District Station to Bachman Station.

Travel time to DFW Airport is 50 minutes from West End Station downtown, 43 minutes from Market Center Station, 41 minutes from Parkland Station and 39 minutes from Inwood Station.

Once the Orange line splits from the Green line at Bachman Station, the train makes five stops in Irving before arriving at the airport.

The Orange line originates in Plano during rush hour, LBJ at other times, and is DART’s longest line. From Downtown Plano Station to DFW Airport is a 90 minute train trip.

DART and Fort Worth’s The T continue to operate the TRE, which stops at CentrePoint Station south of DFW Airport with a shuttle bus transferring passengers to each of the terminals at the airport.

From Denton, train travelers can take the A train from downtown Denton to Trinity Mills Station, transfer to the Green line to Bachman Station and transfer to the Orange line to the airport.


Out WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson engaged

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 at 2:37pm
Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 2.25.40 PM

Griner wrote “Last Night was a Night to Remember I became the happiest person on this earth! (almost pass out but when that one word came out I came back to life) Me and my baby @missvol25 are in it for Life!”

Baylor University alumna and Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner proposed to her girlfriend Glory Johnson, of the Tulsa Shock, this weekend.

The couple posted photos of their engagement on their Instagram accounts.

Griner, who is from Houston and played basketball at Baylor, came out in an interview with, Sports Illustrated’s website, in 2013. She published In My Skin: My Life on and off the Basketball Court, a memoir, earlier this year, detailing her struggles growing up and remaining in the closet as a lesbian.

According to the Washington Post, “Griner was not to come out publicly because university officials, including [coach Kim] Mulkey, worried it would hurt recruiting. She lived in what many call a “glass closet;” she would bring her college girlfriend to events, but elsewhere, both online and offline, Griner was expected to live under a cloak of ambiguity.”

The couple have been together since June.


Virginia could become marriage-equality state No. 20 this week

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 at 11:10am
John G. Roberts portrait

Chief Justice John Roberts

Virginia could become marriage-equality state No. 20 on Thursday if U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts doesn’t stay the lower court’s ruling.

Roberts set a deadline of 5 p.m. today for the attorneys representing same-sex couples in Virginia’s Bostic v. Schaefer case to respond to the defendants’ request for a stay of the Fourth Circuit’s ruling overturning the state’s marriage ban. If Roberts rejects the stay request, gay and lesbian couples could begin receiving marriage licenses in Virginia starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning.

The Bostic plaintiffs case are represented by Ted Olson and David Boies on behalf of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, who are joined by the ACLU and Lambda Legal. Olson and Boies were the attorneys on the winning side of California’s Proposition 8 case.

If put on hold, Virginia will have to wait until the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality. That happened in Utah when the Tenth Circuit refused to stay its decision, but the Supreme Court put the ruling on hold. Both Utah and Virginia have been referred to the Supreme Court for review.


Power outages across Oak Lawn follow sudden storm

Posted on 16 Aug 2014 at 5:58pm

A downed tree on Lahoma Street in Oak Lawn buried a car.

A sudden thunder storm hit Oak Lawn about 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon causing power outages and downed trees. Police were diverting traffic on Cedar Springs headed toward the Strip from the direction of Love Field because of trees and debris in the road.

Oncor reported more than 30,000 people without power.

The storm caused temporary flooding on streets and temperatures dropped from 100 into the 70s during the storm.


Idaho has a gay candidate running on an anti-gay party ticket

Posted on 15 Aug 2014 at 1:16pm

Steve Pankey

A gay candidate is running for governor of Idaho. And, no, it’s not the state’s former Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig.

According to the Twins Falls Times-News, Steve Pankey is the candidate for governor on the state’s Constitution Party, which broke away from the Republican Party earlier this year. The party tried to rescind its nomination of Pankey when he mentioned he was gay in a letter of support for same-sex marriage to the attorney general.

Pankey claims he’s celibate.

Unfortunately, an anti-gay plank tops the party’s main platform. “Lost under the assault of homosexual radicals,” is the main headline on the party’s website. The party tried to have Pankey removed from the ballot, but the state’s attorney general told them it was too late.So the gay candidate will represent the anti-gay party on the ballot in November.

At the convention, Pankey told delegates he didn’t remember writing the letter dated May 20, 2014.

The party platform says, “The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family. We affirm therefore that no government may authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted.”

In a message to its supporters, the party wrote: “His [Panky's] actions in support of so-called ‘same sex marriage,’ both directly and indirectly, discretely and indiscreetly, are in outright contravention of the clearly expressed Platform of the Constitution Party of Idaho regarding actual marriage.