DGLA responds to Kenney sentence after meeting with DA’s office

Posted on 24 Sep 2015 at 2:08pm

After meeting with representatives of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, DA Susan Hawk decided to add a transgender person to her office’s LGBT task force.

The meeting took place after Jonathan Kenney was sentenced to 10 years probation in the death of Janette Tovar, a trans woman.

The statement of both DGLA and Hawk are below:

DA’s Final Tovar Statement

DGLA-EF Tovar Press Release


KNON is broadcasting from its new studio

Posted on 24 Sep 2015 at 9:11am

Dave Chaos broadcasting the first show in the new KNON studio

After a frantic search for new studio space when its lease in Oak Lawn was not renewed, KNON began broadcasting from its new studio along Central Expressway this morning.

Phone lines aren’t installed yet, but station manager Dave Chaos broadcast his morning show from the new North Dallas studio beginning at 7 a.m. The station began a frantic search for a new location in August when negotiations fell through on several properties and the current landlord refused to extend the lease beyond September.

The old studio is being dismantled and everything not needed will be sold on Saturday at a garage sale at the 5353 Maple Ave. studio.

The property is being turned into storage units so people moving into the tiny new apartments being thrown up all around the area will have some place to store their things.

The building has a history in the LGBT community. After Cathedral of Hope sold its church on Reagan Street to Resource Center, the church rented the building while the current cathedral was under construction. Lambda AA met in another space on the property and Youth First Texas rented space in the complex before moving to its current Harry Hines facility.

KNON has been at its Maple Avenue studio for 10 years. With the move to North Dallas, the station is upgrading its technology by more than 10 years. Chaos said listeners should hear a difference in the sound quality for the music shows. The studio will be equipped with additional mics and plenty of room for guests, which will benefit LGBT talk show Lambda Weekly.

The new studio is located at 11311 Central Expressway at Northaven.


Not quite everything’s in place in KNON’s new studio.



BREAKING: New Fort Worth police chief named

Posted on 23 Sep 2015 at 4:10pm

Joel Fitzgerald has been selected as Fort Worth’s next police chief.

Joel Fitzgerald, head of the third-largest municipal police department in Pennsylvania since 2013, has been selected as the new Fort Worth police chief, succeeding Jeff Halstead, who announced his resignation last November.

Fitzgerald currently serves as chief of the Allentown, Pa., police department. He was appointed to that role in December 2013.

He previously served as chief in Missouri City, Texas from 2009-2013 and in the Philadelphia Police Department between 1992 and 2009.

“Chief Fitzgerald’s more than 20 years of experience, combined with his strong leadership skills and his personal commitment to community engagement and involvement, make him the best choice to lead the Fort Worth Police Department in this new era of community policing,” City Manager David Cooke said in a statement.

“In every position he has served, Chief Fitzgerald has been instrumental in those agencies becoming standard-bearers among jurisdictions seeking to promote community problem-solving and abate violent crime,” he added.

Fitzgerald has earned numerous awards over his career, including the 2010 NAACP President’s Award for Community Policing, a Police Officer of the Year Award and honors from Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, and the Texas State House of Representatives.

He is slated to receive the 2015 Champion of Equality Award from the Bradbury-Sullivan Center, a LGBT community center in Allentown, on Oct. 11 for requiring a LGBT cultural competency training for all police officers and “an impressive policy” regarding police interaction with transgender individuals.

He holds a doctorate in business administration and serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Forensics Committee and the Northcentral University School of Business and Technology Program Advisory Committee.

He is expected to begin work in Fort Worth on Oct. 19.

“Chief Fitzgerald will be a dynamic asset to Fort Worth,” Cooke said. “He brings to our city a vast amount of experience, knowledge and service in the field, along with his passion for serving and protecting our communities.”

The City Council will consider a resolution appointing Fitzgerald as police chief at their regularly scheduled council meeting next Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St.


It’s Bisexuality Awareness Week. And if you didn’t know that, that’s why we need it

Posted on 23 Sep 2015 at 2:23pm

Screen shot 2015-09-23 at 2.11.10 PM

This week is almost halfway over, and I just realized that it is Bisexual Awareness Week. I guess that just underscores the need for a week stressing the need for greater awareness of bisexual issues.

Stacey Long Simmons, the director of public policy and government affairs for the National LGBTQ Task Force and herself a bisexual, said: “Much more public education is still needed as misconceptions and stereotypes about bisexual people have serious consequences. For instance, research shows that compared to heterosexual women and gay men, bisexual women experience higher rates of sexual assault, smoking, and suicide.”

She added: “Bisexual people are some of the most maligned and misunderstood members of our LGBTQ community. From assuming that we ‘don’t exist’ — even though statistically we comprise the largest group in our community — to the hyper-sexualizing of bisexual people; from saying we are ‘confused’ to suggesting that we can be ‘turned’ gay or lesbian or straight.

“This week we urge everyone in the LGBTQ community and the general public to educate themselves more about the issues affecting bisexual people. We exist in abundance and we deserve more attention to the reality of our lives.”

Here are a few other quick facts I didn’t know, all found online at BisexualWeek.com.

• Sept. 23 every year is Celebrate Bisexuality Day. That’s the official name. It’s also called Bisexual Pride Day and Bi Visibility Day, and it is observed by the bisexual, pansexual, fluid community and their families, friends, allies and supporters.

• Bisexual advocates Wendy Curry, Michael Page and Gigi Raven Wilbur came up with the idea for Celebrate Bisexuality Day as a way to combat bi invisibility. It began in 1999 and is celebrated with events around the world honoring bisexual culture, community and history. In 2013, the White House held its first bisexual community issues roundtable on Celebrate Bisexuality day.

• There is a bisexual Pride flag. It was designed by Michael Page and has one pink stripe on top (40 percent of the top-to-bottom length), one purple stripe in the middle (20 percent) and one blue stripe on the bottom (40 percent). The bi Pride flag is neither patented, trademarked nor service marked.

• There are a specific set of public policy priorities for Bisexual Awareness Week, including collecting data on bisexuals and more. Read about them all at the website.

Screen shot 2015-09-23 at 2.01.19 PM• The hashtag for Bisexuality Awareness Week this year is #biweek. There is also a Twitter icon and an official logo. Look for them on the website.

• If you want to know why they use the word bisexual and if you want to see a list of the Bisexuality Awareness Week partners, go to the website. There’s all that and more.

So. I am sorry I waited til the week was almost over. I promise to educate myself and do better next time.


TFN: Travis County GOP ‘dives into the deep end of the crazy pool’

Posted on 23 Sep 2015 at 11:35am

Screen shot 2015-09-23 at 11.16.42 AMThe Travis County Republication “dived into the deep end of the crazy pool” this week, according to the Texas Freedom Network, which called out the Austin-based GOP group for a Monday night tweet promoting a right-wing blog that labeled Islam as a “satanic cult of murder.”

The Tweet — removed from the group’s Twitter feed late Tuesday morning, but not before TFN got a screen capture — linked to the blog that starts with the slam on Islam and goes on to call former President George W. Bush a traitor and a coward.

While the Travis County Republicans are wrong for tweeting such crap out to a larger audience, at least that group had the good sense to remove the tweet. ConservativeDailyNews.com has left the post written by Bob Russell up on its page.

Russell’s post starts out, “Christianity is a religion but Islam is merely a satanic cult of rape, torture, murder, bestiality, and satan worship!!!!!” That’s the part Travis County GOP tweeted out on Monday night, Sept. 21. And it’s “all downhill from there, with the writer demonstrating … an almost unhinged hatred for Muslim,” TFN notes.

Russell George W. Bush and goes after other Christians, notably the Roman Catholic Church.

Here’s one section on “moslems” and Bush: “I remember an instance in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein where a group of ‘jihadists’ fired on American soldiers then hid in a mosque. The Americans returned fire, causing minor damage. The ‘outrage’ of the worldwide islamic cult and the Bush hating ‘American’ media was vociferous. The American government led by the coward and traitor George Bush immediately dispatched millions of dollars to the islamist terrorists to pay homage to allah/satan but before any repairs were made the other sect of the satanic cult blew it up with a truck bomb. The total destruction of the house of satan was met with silence from moslems and the ‘American’ media.”

Then there’s this declaration: “The catholic church is very prominent in the importation of members of the satanic cult of islam while ignoring middle east Christians who are being slaughtered by islamic satanists.”

Liberals, who “stand with the Godless islamic cult against Christianity,” also came in for their fair share of abuse: “Those who constantly scream ‘separation of church and state’ in regards to the legitimate religion of Christianity ( the religion this nation is based on) have no issue with the satanic cult of islam being taught to their children in the public schools.”

Then Russell falls back on the usual “God’s gonna get you” warnings: “I wonder how long it will be until God destroys this nation (as He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) for the cruelty to the innocent, and its promotion of immorality and satan worship.”

Lump this in with the fact that crazy-ass Donald Trump — whose idea of foreign policy and immigration reform is to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it —  is the frontrunner in the GOP presidential primary race (closely followed by the possibly-even-crazier Ben Carson) and the idea of the GOP winning in 2016 gets even scarier than before.


Grand jury declines to indict Griggs over April incident

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 at 4:44pm

Dallas Councilman Scott Griggs

A Dallas County grand jury today, Tuesday, Sept. 22, declined to indict Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs following allegations he threatened a city employee.

Griggs was accused of threatening Assistant City Secretary Bilierae Johnson in April over a dispute over the council agenda yelling, “You better not push those briefing materials out or I will break your fucking fingers!”

An indictment and possible felony charge could have landed cost Griggs his law license and up to 10 years in prison.

Griggs denied the charges from the beginning, even submitting to and passing a lie detector test. Supporters, including fellow councilmen Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston, said the charges were trumped up and retaliation by the mayor for his outspoken opposition to the Trinity toll road, fracking and other issues.

He ran for re-election in May unopposed – along with Kingston and Medrano.


Scenes from Dallas Pride 2

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 at 3:00pm

Scenes from Dallas Pride 1

Scenes from Dallas Pride 3

Scenes from Dallas Pride 4


This year’s Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade winners announced

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 at 11:46am

_MG_9271Winners of this year’s pride parade were announced today, Tuesday, Sept. 22, in categories ranging from best performance to best interpretation of a parade theme.

Kaliente won for best overall entry.

The full list of winners is below:

Best Overall Entry: Kaliente

Best Performance: Oak Lawn Band

Best Walking Group: Dallas Victims of Crime Flaggots

Best Costume: United Court of the Lone Star Empire

Best Social Commentary: UCC Cathedral of Hope

Best For-Profit Entry: Club Los Rieles

Best Non-Profit Entry: St. Stephen United Methodist Church

Judges’ Choice: JJ’s Out and About

Best Interpretation of Parade Theme: Caven Enterprises

Congratulations to all the winners!


Scenes from Dallas Pride 1

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 at 10:46am

Scenes from Dallas Pride 2

Scenes from Dallas Pride 3

Scenes from Dallas Pride 4


Dallas could jeopardize perfect MEI score by announcing it early

Posted on 22 Sep 2015 at 9:56am

Dallas city employees formed CAPE and Dallas got 2 points for that

Dallas received a preliminary perfect score of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index, but could jeopardize that score by announcing it early. The MEI is not released until November.

City Council received a briefing on Monday and the new scores, sent out to cities across the country so that employees and LGBT groups could review and comment ahead of publication, were explained.

Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News ran with the news. But Dallas could be penalized by Human Rights Campaign, which compiles the MEI, because the score is not final and is not for publication.

That having been said, here’s how Dallas got to 100.

Last year, the city received 91. Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, so scores were adjusted to account for that. In addition, Dallas equalized pension benefits and family medical leave to apply to all employees. Without Texas blocking Dallas from being the city it wanted to be, the MEI score became 96.

Then Cheryl Orr, the city diversity officer, found several things she thought deserved consideration by HRC. The city partnered with Coalition for Aging LGBT to host a conference and Councilman Adam Medrano was involved in its implementation. Cannon Flowers, who chairs the new organization, was made a member of the mayor’s LGBT Task Force. Dallas got 2 points.

Over the past year, city employees formed an employee resource group called CAPE — City Association for Promoting Equality — and Dallas had never gotten credit for its mayor’s task force. Two points.

The only other city with a score of 100 is Austin. Of course, publishing this information could give Dallas a penalty. Any penalty, even one point, puts Dallas behind Austin, but still ranks us as one of the most inclusive cities in the country.

Fort Worth added points this year as well. That city is over 90 in this year’s MEI.

Grand Prairie added some points as well. It has a good anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories and has an inclusive nondiscrimination policy for city employees. How did that happen without an outcry? It’s been in place for a number of years and was added administratively. No one has filed a complaint under the policy. It’s cost the city exactly nothing. And its employees work in a safe environment and just do their jobs. Funny how that works.

Other cities in the area didn’t do so well. Plano actually lost points for its nondiscrimination policy that was poorly written and then protested so obnoxiously by Prestonwood Baptist Church and its organizers from Houston.

Maybe one day, some of Dallas’ suburban cities, like Irving, will wake up. Oh wait, Irving banned the possession of clocks, didn’t they?

Irving, home of the Boy Scouts of America and ExxonMobil, gets the big fat zero it deserves. And it deserves a zero, because unlike the Corporate Equality Index, HRC doesn’t have negative scores on the MEI. ExxonMobil receives a special score of minus-25 each year because of the special effort it makes each year to deny its employees equality.

But if the Boy Scouts can vote to allow gay troop leaders and employees, a policy agreed to earlier this year, Irving can move beyond its mayor, who was elected because of her ordinance banning Sharia Law in her city. And its police department can move beyond handcuffing a genius kid because he’s Muslim.

Elsewhere in the state, Houston lost points for its recall of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

But here in Dallas, we get 100 — unless we lose points for opening our big, fat, proud mouths too soon.

Really HRC, we only mentioned it because the score makes us proud.