Fort Worth mayoral candidates Betsy Price and Jim Lane
I posted this notice yesterday about the Fort Worth mayoral runoff forum being sponsored by Fairness Fort Worth and the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. Today I got an email from FFW President Tom Anable with a little more information on the event.
Both runoff candidates — Betsy Price and Jim Lane — have reconfirmed their participation in the forum, set for June 1 at the Four-Day Weekend theater, 312 Houston St., in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square. It begins with a meet-and-greet session from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by the forum from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The forum begins with three-minute introductory speeches by each candidate, followed by questions from the moderators (me and Bud Kennedy with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Only Kennedy and I will be able to ask questions during the forum, but suggested questions can be submitted in advance via email to FairnessFtWorth@aol.com.
You’ve gotta hand it to the Alamo City. First they brought us Dan Ramos, and now this.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that a group of so-called religious leaders has banded together to denounce a scheduled production of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi at the San Pedro Playhouse, which happens to receive a small amount of funding from the city.
As you’re undoubtedly aware, McNally’s “gay Jesus” play has sparked controversy in various places across the country, including in 2010 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, when a scheduled production prompted Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to intervene.
But to their credit, these San Antonio homophobes aren’t just repeating tired old criticisms of the play about blasphemy, etc. That’s right, even though it’s total bullshit, at least they’ve come up with a new reason for opposing Corpus Christi: The group, which plans a news conference at City Hall this afternoon, claims that in addition to portraying “such a profane and disrespectful depiction of Jesus Christ,” the play is “insensitive” to the gay community because it contains a “crude portrayal of homosexual men.” Here’s an excerpt from the group’s letter:
“It would be easy, but inaccurate, to dispose of our concerns as a homophobic response to the depiction of Jesus as a homosexual leading a band of homosexual apostles. While many may find this characterization troubling, we feel that the crude portrayal of homosexual men in this play is, at best, an exaggerated caricature that is insensitive also to our gay and lesbian community.”
Dallas County Republican precinct chairs will meet tonight to choose a successor to Jonathan Neerman, who’s arguably been the most LGBT-inclusive leader in the local GOP’s history. The two candidates to replace Neerman are civil attorney and former county judge candidate Wade Emmert, and the tea party-affiliated former president of the Park Cities Republican Women, Debbie Georgatos.
As chair, Neerman publicly advocated for including groups like Log Cabin Republicans in the local party, in an effort to grow the base and try to stem the Democratic tide of the last five years. Naturally, this led to criticism of Neerman by social conservatives, and now the race to replace him has become the subject of some major gay Facebook drama. LCR President Rob Schlein is accusing Georgatos’ supporters gay-baiting in the campaign against Emmert, whom Schlein is now publicly endorsing.
It all started when Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey canceled her scheduled appearance at next week’s monthly meeting of the gay GOP group. To replace Dickey, Schlein invited both Emmert and Georgatos to speak at the meeting — win or lose tonight’s election. “Both spoke about broadening the party so another ‘test’ was to see which candidate would have the courage to commit to openly speak to Log Cabin before a vote. I wanted to see whose actions would meet their words,” Schlein writes.
Schlein said he was impressed that Emmert immediately accepted the invitation. As for Georgatos, she replied to Schlein as follows: “I am sorry–that date is not possible on my caliber [sic]–and my life is crazy–let’s talk after the 17th (after i get a good night’s sleep). I am telling all the different clubs asking that i need to sort out my calendar after the 17th.”
To mark the International Day Against Homophobia & Biphobia, also known as IDAHO, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement of support for the LGBT community.
Joe Bedos, international coordinator for IDAHO, said in a written statement, “An impressive global program for the 7th edition of the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia is taking place this week with hundreds of events planned in over 70 countries, reports the IDAHO Committee, the organisation which launched the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2004.”
The day has been more widely observed in Canada and Europe but this year has come to the U.S., with events going on in Texas. In Dallas, a candlelight vigil will be at 8 p.m. tonight at the JFK Memorial on Main Street across from Old Red. After a short sidewalk march, speakers will talk about homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
In Houston, the GLBT Community Center will host a round-table discussion at 7 p.m. The center is located at 1900 Kane St.
Below is Secretary Clinton’s statement:
Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. Today is the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, also known as IDAHO, which commemorates the World Health Organization’s removal of homosexuality from its list of mental disorders on May 17, 1990. Activists in Dallas will mark the event for the first time this year, with a march and candlelight vigil beginning at the JFK Memorial downtown. For more info, go here.
2. As a House-Senate conference committee works to finalize the state budget, funding for the Texas HIV Medication Program hangs in the balance. The program, which provides life-sustaining drugs to low-income people with HIV/AIDS, needs an additional $19.2 million over the next two years to serve 3,000 anticipated new clients. The House version of the budget leaves out the needed funds, while the Senate version includes them. Now it’s up to the conference committee to resolve the discrepancy. If the committee doesn’t include the $19.2 million in the final budget, the program likely will be forced to turn away clients or otherwise limit access. Contact members of the House-Senate conference committee and urge them to fully fund the Texas HIV Medication Program by going here.
3. Now that David Kunkle and Mike Rawlings have advanced to a runoff for Dallas mayor, we’re hosting an LGBT forum for the two candidates next week at the Cathedral of Hope. A large turnout for the forum will serve as a reminder to Kunkle and Rawlings that the LGBT community in Dallas is a force to be reckoned with. For details or to RSVP, go here.
This morning NBC announced its new fall line-up, which includes The Celebrity Apprentice. The show’s host, Donald Trump, announced he’s not running for president during NBC’s “upfronts,” the announcement of the new season.
Trump said the decision wasn’t easily made, “especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country.” However, Trump never seemed serious. In earlier statements, he made his priorities clear when he said he would make no announcement before the end of the Celebrity Apprentice season because of his contract with NBC.
Since the White House Correspondents Dinner where President Barack Obama and Seth Meyers made Trump the butt of many of the evening’s jokes, Trump has lost 10 points in most polls. Ratings on his show plummeted. Before Trump’s announcement, NBC said (threatened?) that his show could continue with a different host.
Fort Worth mayoral candidates Betsy Price and Jim Lane
Former Tax Assessor-Collector Betsy Price and former City Councilman Jim Lane are headed to a runoff to determine who will be the next mayor of Fort Worth, and Cowtown’s LGBT community will have the chance to see where the candidates stand on the issues when the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and Fairness Fort Worth host an candidate forum Wednesday, June 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Four-Day Weekend theater, 312 Houston St., in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square.
Questions for the candidates must be submitted in advance, and those asking the questions can remain anonymous. Submit questions via email to FairnessFtWorth@aol.com. The forum will be moderated by Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy and by me, Dallas Voice Senior Editor Tammye Nash.
Price ended Election Day with a significant lead at the ballot box, bringing in 44 percent of the 33,581 votes cast in the mayoral race. Lane trailed by nearly 20 percentage points, with 26 percent.
Another former council member, Cathy Hirt, was third in the five-way race with 21 percent, and former State Rep. Dan Barrett was fourth with 8 percent. Independent filmmaker Nicholas Zebrun, the youngest of the five candidates, received 1 percent of the vote.
Of the 327,307 registered voters eligible to cast a ballot in the Fort Worth mayoral election, only 10 percent did so.
Angela Hunt, left, and James Nowlin
Late Saturday we put in calls to both Angela Hunt and James Nowlin, after it was clear Hunt had easily defeated Nowlin on her way to a fourth and final term representing District 14 on the Dallas City Council.
In a race that sharply divided the LGBT community over the last few months, Hunt captured 67 percent of the vote to Nowlin’s 28 percent. Hunt is a staunch LGBT ally who was endorsed by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Nowlin is openly gay and was endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.
Neither Hunt nor Nowlin called us back right away — or if they did we were already gone and they didn’t leave messages. However, we noticed that both have now posted thank-you notes to supporters on their websites.
Interestingly, Hunt indicates in her note that she didn’t receive a phone call from Nowlin congratulating her. In fact, she doesn’t even mention Nowlin.
“Lastly, I received messages of congratulations from two of my opponents — Brian Oley and Vernon Franko — and I thank you for your gracious words,” Hunt writes. “You both ran positive, issue-driven campaigns, and it was a pleasure getting to know you.”
Nowlin doesn’t congratulate Hunt in his thank-you to supporters, either.
“Although we did not achieve a victory on Election Night, we put the 14th District on notice that one in three voters expects more,” Nowlin writes. “We have made a difference. This is just the beginning.”
It’s a shame the bad blood apparently continues between these two. Let’s hope the LGBT community can bury the hatchet, even if certain candidates can’t.
David Kunkle finished second overall to Mike Rawlings, but data shows Kunkle won the gay vote.
Former Police Chief David Kunkle won the gay vote for Dallas mayor on Saturday, according to an analysis of election results by Dallas Voice.
Kunkle captured 44 percent of the vote in what are considered Dallas’ 10 most heavily LGBT precincts. Former Pizza Hut CEO Mike Rawlings finished second in the LGBT precincts with 37 percent, followed by City Councilman Ron Natinsky with 17 percent.
Kunkle, endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, finished second overall in the four-way mayor’s race, with 32 percent of the vote. He advances to a June 18 runoff against Rawlings, who captured 42 percent of the overall vote. Natinsky, who was endorsed by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, received 25 percent overall.
The city’s 10 most heavily LGBT precincts have been identified by Stonewall Democrats based on the highest concentration of same-sex couples according to the 2009 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Turnout in the 10 LGBT precincts was about 18 percent, compared to about 14 percent citywide, according to the Voice’s analysis.
Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:
1. An anti-transgender marriage bill is back on the Texas Senate’s Intent Calendar for today. That means if you haven’t already contacted your senator and urged them to vote against SB 723, by Sen. Tommy Williams, you should do so now by going here. If the bill doesn’t clear the Senate and a House committee by midnight Saturday, it will die.
2. The FBI has expanded its probe into a brutal beating outside a gay nightclub in downtown El Paso to include other recent possible hate crimes in the area, the El Paso Times reports. The victim, 22-year-old Lionel Martinez, remains in a coma more than a week after the attack, and LGBT advocates say El Paso police haven’t been taking anti-gay incidents near the Old Plantation nightclub seriously.
3. The weekend was marked by two pretty big coming-out stories: Rick Welts, president and chief executive officer of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns; and CNN anchor Don Lemon.