LGBT groups join forces for school supplies drive

Posted on 14 Aug 2014 at 11:20am

imageRainbow LULAC has teamed up with Resource Center, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, DIVA, Texas Latino Gay Pride and Congregation Beth El Binah for a school supplies drive for DISD students at 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21 at Havana, 4006 Cedar Springs Road.

Dallas City Councilmen Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston and Dallas County Schools Trustee Omar Narvaez will be on hand to collect the supplies. Crayons, 3-ring binders, back packs, 5-subject notebooks, pens, pencils and writing tablets are among the supplies needed.

Supplies can be dropped off that night at Havana or during the business day at Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis, Third Floor through Aug. 22.


16 LGBT rights organizations express grief over Michael Brown death

Posted on 14 Aug 2014 at 11:18am

An undated photo of Michael Brown, an 18 year old black killed by a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo.

Sixteen LGBT organizations signed onto an open letter decrying the tragic murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18 year old black man killed by a police officer this week in Ferguson, Missouri. The accounts ofd the incident of the events, but it’s a sobering reminder, according to the August 12 letter, of the all too familiar experience of harassment and violence toward marginalized communities.

Among them are the Human Rights Campaign, Soulforce and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The 16 organizations denounced the brutality and called on “the national and local media to be responsible and steadfast in their coverage of this story and others like it — racialized killings that have marred this nation since the beginning of its history.” See a copy of the letter here.

The St. Louis suburb has been in turmoil following his death. Numerous leaders and organizations have called for investigations amidst the ongoing anger and violence sweeping the city. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has opened an investigation.



Log Cabin Texas responds to Republican anti-equality amicus brief

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 at 3:35pm

Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis, chairman of Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, sent us the following piece responding to the the Republican anti-equality amicus brief filed in the Texas marriage case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Monday, Aug. 11, 63 Texas Republican elected officials signed an amicus brief arguing that the recognition of same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of incest, pedophilia and polygamy. The brief, which was filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is in response to U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s decision which deemed the Texas ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment’s clauses regarding due process and equal protection.

The amicus brief states the following:

“The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex. If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”

Log Cabin Republicans of Texas wishes to remind these 63 elected officials that they are meant to represent their constituents, most of whom have evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage. A 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 51 percent of Republicans in Texas support same-sex marriage or civil unions. The same poll found that 63 percent of voters in Texas support same-sex marriage or civil unions, meaning 63 percent of Texas voters do not support the same-sex marriage ban these elected officials are trying to restore.

Sixty-three percent is a powerful number, especially in a gubernatorial election year. A vast majority of Republicans are extremely upset with party leadership over the shift to extreme right-wing politics that are making our state the laughingstock of the country. Texas Republicans are angry that the party chose to endorse reparative therapy in the state party platform, an ill-thought and embarrassing move that has given our party nothing but embarrassing press and has given gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis nothing but ammunition against us. Groups like Republican Liberty Caucus, Young Republicans and Log Cabin Republicans of Texas have publicly spoken out against the current platform and particularly the party’s stance on LGBT issues.

The filing of this brief sends a clear message. Party leadership has lost its connection with Republican voters. While there’s no way to fix what has already been done, Log Cabin Republicans of Texas hopes that these 63 elected officials, and all Republican legislators in Texas, remind themselves as to what the party really stands for. We are the party of limited government, and we are the party of inclusion.  Let’s get back to that, and let’s keep Texas red.


Virginia denied stay; marriage may begin Monday

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 at 3:31pm

VirginiaThe Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to place a stay on its marriage ruling. The appeals court gave the U.S. Supreme Court five days to intervene.

Unless the Supreme Court does intervene, as it did in Utah after the Tenth Circuit decided not to stay its decision, marriage equality will begin in the state on Monday.

In Utah, Justice Sonia Sotomayor intervened after several weeks of marriage equality in the state. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts is the circuit justice for the Fourth Circuit who may decide to overrule the court and stay the ruling until the case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Former Dallas Voice staffer Kelly Murphy dies

Posted on 13 Aug 2014 at 11:00am

Murphy.KellyDallas Voice staff today mourns the passing of our colleague Kelly Murphy.

Kelly worked at the paper in the late 1990s and early 2000s in the Voice’s art department. He was also involved in production for and was a limited partner in QTexas and TXT Newsmagazine.

Publisher Leo Cusimano expressed condolences, both personally and on behalf of the Voice staff, to Kelly’s partner Jim Walker, and to the rest of his family and friends.


Lauren Bacall dead at 89

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 at 7:46pm

Lauren Bacall, who made her film debut at age 19, has died. She was 89.

Actress Lauren Bacall has died of a stroke at her home in Manhattan, according to reports in numerous media outlets, including Variety. She was 89 years old.

Her death was announced in a Tweet by the estate of her late husband, Humphrey Bogart: “With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall.”

Bacall, who started as a model, made her film debut in 1944 at age 19 in To Have or Have Not, starring opposite Bogart. They married soon after, even though he was more than 20 years her senior, and remained devoted to one another until he died of cancer 12 years later in 1957.

Bacall won two Tony Awards, in the musicals Applause and Woman of the Year. She was nominated for an Academy Award in The Mirror Has Two Faces, with Barbra Streisand, in 1997. That same year, at age 72, she was named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful Women.” Also in 1997, she received the Kennedy Center Honors, and in 1999, the American Film Institute voted her one of the 25 most significant female movie stars in history.


Got a new healthcare plan? Learn more about it at this event

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 at 4:45pm

The city of Dallas and Enroll Dallas Coalition will host “Got Healthcare? Get Educated,” an event designed to help those with new healthcare plans understand their benefits, from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 16, at the West Dallas Multipurpose Center, 2828 Fish Trap Road.

Monica R. Alonzo

Monica R. Alonzo

Dallas city officials noted that more than 700,000 Texans signed up for a healthcare plan under the Affordable Care At during the first open enrollment period, But because Dallas County has the most uninsured residents in Texas, the push to get more people to enroll in a healthcare plan will continue this fall.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Monica R. Alonzo and the Enroll Dallas Coalition are hosting Saturday’s event, which is open to the public. The event will be bilingual. Representatives will be onsite to discuss healthcare basics, the upcoming fall enrollment period and children’s Medicaid, CHIP and WIC programs.

This event is the first in a series of educational events presented by the Dallas County Affordable Care Act Coalition., which is led by Alonzo, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Marjorie Petty.


Resources for suicide prevention and depression

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 at 4:05pm

Robin WilliamsIn the aftermath of Robin Williams’ death, we thought this would be a good time to put some resources online:

If you are thinking about suicide, call:

The Trevor Project   866-488-7386

National Suicide Prevention Hotline   1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Deaf hotline   800-799-4889

For people with HIV, Legacy Counseling Center offers private and group sessions that include alcohol and substance abuse programs. 214-520-6308.

Youth, transgender and adult counseling is done at Resource Center in conjunction with SMU’s Master of Science Counseling Education Program. 214-393-3680.

Many local counselors also specialize in the LGBT community. Stonewall Behavioral Health is a mainstay in the area, having formed in 1983 specializing in relationship and romantic issues. Hall Counseling and Associates has offices in both Dallas and Arlington.

Area hospitals also offer depression and grief support groups. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Fort Worth and Tarrant County meets at Baylor All Saints on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Religious and Spiritual Support

Many area religious organizations are open and affirming to the LGBT community. These churches and synagogues not only provide the confidence you will be understood in your struggle, but also provide a spiritual path whether you are coping or healing.

Cathedral of Hope is an affirming congregation affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Other churches in Dallas include Northaven and Oak Lawn United Methodist churches as well as numerous congregations part of the Metropolitan Community Churches in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth. A quick Google search lead me to find an open and affirming church directory. Dallas is also home to the LGBT-friendly synagogue Beth El Binah.

Look for a complete story and additional resources on depression in Friday’s paper.


Davis and rape victims speak at Dallas City Hall Plaza

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 at 12:38pm
Davis City Hall

Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to rape victims at Dallas City Hall Plaza (Dallas Voice/David Taffet)

Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and three rape victims spoke at Dallas City Hall Plaza today (Tuesday, Aug. 12). Among those speaking was Courtney Underwood, who co-founded Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center and who helped establish the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE, program at Presbyterian Hospital.

In the Texas Senate, Davis sponsored legislation that became law requiring all hospitals with emergency rooms to provide rape kits. In Dallas, only two of 46 hospitals provided treatment for rape victims before the law.

Additional legislation required those rape kits to be tested and victims are notified the testing procedure is ongoing. Before the law went into effect, more than 18,000 rape kits remained untested in Texas — 4,000 of those in Dallas County.

Underwood said the percentage of people raped in the LGBT community is even higher than in the general population. One in four women and one in 10 men are victims of sexual assault, she said. Those numbers are two to three times higher among the LGBT community and three to four times higher among homeless LGBT youth.

Davis recently began airing her first TV ads in the governor’s race. Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott is Davis’ Republican opponent, and her ad spotlights his record when he served as a Texas Supreme Court justice. In a case involving a door-to-door salesman who raped a woman in her home, Abbott found the company was not at fault for not doing a background check on the employee. What isn’t mentioned in the ad is that Abbott was in the minority and the court found in favor of the victim’s right to sue the company.

Rape is the most under-reported crime and only about 3 percent of rapists spend a day in jail.


Navy names new ship after Sally Ride

Posted on 12 Aug 2014 at 11:22am

(Courtesy U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, widow of U.S. astronaut Sally Ride, broke a bottle across the bow of the Navy’s new auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) vessel, christening it R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28).

During her life, Ride, the first female astronaut, never spoke publicly about being a lesbian. That information came out after her death in 2012. She and O’Shaughnessy had been together 27 years and were married for five years.

Lynn Sherr recently spoke to Dallas Voice about her new book about Ride.