RIP Angela Aaron-Winchester; services set

Posted on 06 Jan 2017 at 1:24pm

Charles Aaron Grimes-Winchester, right, and his alter ego Angela Aaron-Grimes

Dallas Voice extends our condolences to the family and friends of Charles Aaron Grimes-Winchester, aka Angela Aaron-Winchester, former monarch of the Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington, who passed away Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The Rev. Carol West will officiate at a memorial service and celebration of life set for 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. in Fort Worth. The celebration will then continue at The Queen Mothers Review Show, starting at 7 p.m. at Urban Cowboy Saloon, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave., also in Fort Worth.

Court members attending the memorial service are asked to wear their state attire if possible.

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Shots fired at Ft. Lauderdale airport; Chorale officials OK

Posted on 06 Jan 2017 at 1:15pm
5-Sean-Baugh-TCC-by-HHenley-copy

Sean Baugh

A shooter at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida has hit at least nine people. The shots were fired at baggage claim at Terminal 2. The shooter is in custody. Several people may be dead, according to early reports.

Sean Baugh, artistic director of the Turtle Creek Chorale, and Tri Truong, the chorale’s director of marketing, were at the airport today, but report they had left before the shooting began.

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Why don’t we just respect Christianity’s right to condemn us?

Posted on 06 Jan 2017 at 10:47am

This week, I spoke to several people at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. about the increase in hate incidents during the month following the November election in preparing this week’s cover story, See You in Church.

Ryan Lenz, spokesperson for the SPLC, said, “Advances in LGBT rights is a trope used for a long time” by the Christian right.

He said those advances by the LGBT community are seen as a direct affront to Christian values. He explained the “War on Christianity” that Gateway Church will be discussing this weekend this way:

Advances in equality “doesn’t respect Christianity’s condemnation of LGBT people,” he said. Although what he said wasn’t anything new, I thought the way he put it was the clearest and most concise explanation of it I had ever heard.

SPLC reports a sharp increase in hate incidents (not necessarily hate crimes) in the month following the election. Of the 1,094 reports they received, 109 were LGBT-related. Of those, 4 occurred in Texas. Add to that the Gateway Church incident. (Preaching a hateful sermon in church isn’t necessarily an incident. Sending a postcard to the entire town announcing the War on Christianity is).

Then, as I was talking back and forth with the SPLC, Cathedral of Hope was hit with graffiti. Anti-LGBT incident No. 2 in North Texas this week. We reported on the incident yesterday morning. Here’s some additional information:

What upset CoH’s Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas more than anything is that a wedding is planned in the chapel this weekend and he hopes to have it removed before the ceremony. As usual, his concern was more for others.

Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Although the attack might have been random, it was obviously an attack on a church, so it can be classified as anti-Christian. What’s not as apparent is whether the attack is anti-LGBT. There’s a reference to “kitty porn.” Did the tagger mean “kiddie porn” and was he referring to a discussion Cazares-Thomas had on a KHVN talk show the day before explaining the difference between a healthy relationship between two adult men or women and pedophilia?

Or was the church’s attacker referring to a Jonathan Kimbrough? The rest of the graffiti includes Kimbrough’s phone number and, presumably, a description of his car.

The phone number is a northern Louisiana number that belongs to a Charles J. (Jonathan?) Kimbrough who is has been an Acadia Parish Jail inmate since last April. The car is referred to as a “Chivy Suburbin,” presumably as Chevy Suburban. Even the name was written as “Johntion Kimbrou” or “Kimbrow” and he wrote “Louisia” for Louisiana.

Was this simply someone who has something out for Kimbrough or was it an attack on a church or specifically a predominantly LGBT church? Police are still investigating. And thank you Cliff Pearson for some crack investigative research.

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Take Back Oak Lawn makes statement regarding bond election

Posted on 05 Jan 2017 at 4:50pm

This week, the Dallas City council voted 5-9 against holding a bond election in May. The money would have been used mostly for streets, sidewalks and lighting and improved safety. Councilmembers Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston, who each represent parts of Oak Lawn, and Scott Griggs who represents North Oak Cliff, voted in favor of the bond election.

Take Back Oak Lawn issued the following statement:

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Major and Beau finally get married

Posted on 05 Jan 2017 at 1:34pm

Mark Jiminez, better known as Major, and Beau Chandler were married by Judge Tonya Parker in her courtroom at noon today (Thursday, Jan. 5) exactly four-and-a-half years after they were first arrested for trying to get married in Texas.

On July 5, 2012, Jimenez and Chandler got in line at the Dallas County Clerk’s on the second floor of the Dallas County Records Building to request a marriage license. The clerk brought them into an adjoining room and, through tears, explained she was unable to issue that license under Texas law.

Chandler and Jiminez handcuffed themselves to the stanchion at the front of the line and sat in protest for the rest of the day.

Dallas LGBT police liaison Laura Martin, who had no jurisdiction because it was a county office building, and Shelley Knight, LGBT sheriff’s liaison, sat with the couple along with TV and Dallas Voice reporters.

When the building closed at 4:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies told the couple to leave or face arrest for criminal trespass. Jiminez unlocked the handcuffs, but the couple refused to leave. Deputies escorted them downstairs and privately offered to let the couple go, if they would leave. They refused and were escorted to jail.

“They’re the nicest couple,” Martin said of Chandler and Jiminez at the time. “They’re the first guys after any protest to come up and thank the officers.”

Overnight they made bail, and during their time in Lew Sterrett, Jiminez said Sheriff Lupe Valdez looked in on them.

The couple made several court appearances. Each time, a group of supporters protested outside the Crowley Courts building.

In a plea deal, they agreed to serve 40 hours of community service, Chandler raised money for Youth First and Jiminez for the North Texas Food Bank.

Jiminez was arrested a second time on Aug. 2, 2012 when he and Chandler again tried to get a marriage license. They repeated their protest throughout the day and at 4:30 p.m., they uncuffed themselves. Jiminez was arrested. Chandler agreed to leave the building and he left to get bail money. A group of protesters stood vigil outside Lew Sterrett until Jiminez was released.

After the marriage equality ruling on June 26, 2015, Jiminez and Chandler planned to get married and even got a marriage license, but illness intervened.

On Marriage Equality Day, they drove to Arkansas to share the news with Chandler’s mother, who was in the hospital. She asked them to wait until she could be there with them for their big day. Their attention shifted focus to caring for her. His mom passed away in October. Then Jiminez’s mother became ill and passed away in May 2016.

As they worked their way through the grieving process, they decided to set a new date and picked April 20, 2017, their five-year anniversary. Then the November election happened and they decided to push the date up. They said they fear court appointments and legislation that could reverse much of the progress the LGBT community has made over the last few years.

“We hope to see gay and lesbian couples resisting the backlash we feel we are about to see and one of the ways we can do this is by continuing to get married,” Jiminez said.

Before the marriage equality ruling, Parker was not performing weddings, something a judge in Texas may do but is not required to do. Parker said she would marry couples when all couples could get married.

On Marriage Equality Day, other judges allowed Parker to symbolically perform the “first” same-sex wedding in Dallas County. (Judge Dennise Garcia performed the actual first same-sex marriage in Dallas County, between George Harris and Jack Evans). Today, Parker happily married the couple that went to jail fighting for their right to marry.

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Interfaith Peace Chapel defaced with graffiti

Posted on 05 Jan 2017 at 10:56am

Dallas police were at Cathedral of Hope this morning (Thursday, Jan. 5) investigating graffiti painted onto the church’s Interfaith Peace Chapel. The building was vandalized at about 11 p.m. on Wednesday night, according to the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas, CoH’s lead pastor.

Thomas said that he appeared on a talk show on KHVN, a gospel station, yesterday, but he doesn’t think the graffiti was done by any of the callers, in particular. But it may have been someone who listened to the show that vandalized the chapel.

The spray-painted message included a Louisiana phone number and referred to a car as a “Brown Chivy Suburbin.” The name “Johntion Kimbrou” — possibly “Kimbrow” — was also painted on the church, along with a reference to “kitty porn.”

Cazares-Thomas said he is concerned about removing the paint from the porous surface and hopes to have the building clean by this weekend when a wedding is scheduled to be performed in the building.

Channel 33 interview with Neil Cazares-Thomas:

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Ellen and Pharrell discuss Kim Burrell’s bigotry

Posted on 05 Jan 2017 at 10:02am

Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell Williams discussed gospel singer Kim Burrell’s bigoted statements about gays and lesbians. Burrell was scheduled to sing on the Ellen show with Williams to publicize the new film, Hidden Figures, for which Williams wrote the soundtrack.

“I don’t want anyone to feel hurt because they’re different,” DeGeneres said.

“Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you don’t think it has anything to do with you, all you have to do is put the word black in that sentence,” Williams said, “Or put gay in that sentence … and all of a sudden it begins to make sense to you.”

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Patrick holding press conference to announce filing of bathroom bill

Posted on 05 Jan 2017 at 9:32am

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaking at a press conference in Fort Worth last spring against Fort Worth ISD guidelines on protecting transgender students. (Tammye Nash/Dallas Voice)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is so proud that he is going to put Texas’ economic health at risk that he’s holding a press conference this afternoon to announce it.

Patrick and state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, sent out a “media advisory” yesterday (Wednesday, Jan. 4) to say they will be holding a press conference today (Thursday, Jan. 5), at 1 p.m. in the Senate Press Conference Room at the Texas Capitol, to announce the filing of Senate Bill 6,”The Privacy Protection Act.”

For those who might not know, “Privacy Protection Act” is the alias Patrick has given to his version of HB 2, the anti-transgender bathroom bill that has cost the state of North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars. Patrick thinks that by pretending he is trying to protect women and children from predatory men instead of just plain ol’ hating on transgender people, he can fool people into thinking SB6 is a good thing. Of course, if he really wanted to protect women and children from predatory men, he would be working to stop the men in the Texas Legislature from passing laws that interfere with women’s control over their own bodies and health decisions.

Hopefully there are enough people in the Legislature who have more sense than prejudice that they will be able to stop this bill before it gets anywhere. But we suggest that everyone who does oppose it put as much effort as possible into letting your representatives and senators know that this is a really really bad idea.

 

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Roy Moore receives ‘Bill of Rights Award’

Posted on 04 Jan 2017 at 4:10pm
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, 2016 Bill of Rights Award winner

Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was suspended from that position last May after ordering the state’s probate judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling and instead continue to enforce Alabama’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, last month was named the recipient of the 2016 Bill of Rights Award.

Carris Kocher, chair of the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee of Concordville, Penn., the organization that sponsors the annual Bill of Rights Award, made the announcement last month at the 25th annual Bill of Rights Commemorative Banquet in New Holland, Penn.

Kocher said that Moore won the award for his “courageous standing on the 10th Amendment,” and the press release announcing the award points out that — to no one’s surprise — “Like Judge Roy Moore, Mrs. Kocher believes criminal law and marriage law fall entirely under the jurisdiction of state law.”

(The 10th Amendment, for those who may not remember, is the one that says any powers not expressly given to the federal government or expressly prohibited to the states by the U.S. Constitution is “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Kocher added, “This is the constitutional ground on which Judge Roy Moore has standing in his actions as the chief justice of Alabama. It would be well for all of us to have a look at what rights ‘of the states’ and what other rights ‘of the people’ this amendment has reference to.”

Mat Staver, the “founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel” — that is the right-wing organization that provides pro bono legal representation to haters who don’t want to have to treat LGBT people as equal citizens — said that he “cannot think of anyone who deserves the 2016 Bill of Rights Award more than Chief Justice Roy Moore. This award is an honorable recognition of his courage to faithfully defend the Constitution. The Liberty Counsel stands proudly with Chief Justice Moore on the front lines of battle to uphold justice in the courts and to preserve the America our founders gave us.”

(What he really means is: “We agree with FORMER Chief Justice Roy Moore that since we don’t like gay people or anybody else that disagrees with us, we should be able to discriminate against them however we want, and we should be able to act like it is 1776 instead of 2017.”)

According to the press release, The Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee was founded in 1990 to “promote observance of the Bill of Rights Bicentennial,” which was on Dec. 15, 1991. The first “commemorative banquet” was in 1992, and is now held each year on Dec. 15. “It includes musical entertainment and special speakers along with the announcement of the award recipients.” (Photos from this year’s event show about 40-50 people sitting at two long tables.)

And just in case you have some ideas on who deserves the 2017 Bill of Rights Award, nominations will be accepted through Dec. 1. Mail your nominations to P.O. Box 912, Concordville, Penn. 19331.

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Charges dropped against man who threatened to exterminate gays

Posted on 04 Jan 2017 at 3:14pm

Craig Jungwirth

Charges against a Florida man arrested in September after posting threats against the LGBT community were dropped, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Craig Yungwirth threatened to exterminate gay people and said, “If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

He was referring to the Pulse nightclub massacre in June that left 49 people dead and 68 injured.

Prosecutors dropped the case because the evidence against Jungwirth was weak.

Jungwirth remains in a Broward County jail on two unrelated misdemeanor charges and a judge said he will remain in jail until those charges are settled.

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