The Rev. Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard
When Mark and Beau Jiminez applied for their marriage license in Dallas and were denied, they were arrested and charged with trespassing when they wouldn’t leave the building.
When Dominique James and the Rev. Maurice “Bojangles” Blanchard applied for their marriage license in Louisville, Ky., they were arrested and charged with trespassing when they wouldn’t leave the building.
The Jiminezes each agreed to a plea deal and served 40 hours of community service.
James and Blanchard were offered a plea deal of five hours of community service. They rejected it, and the case went to trial. They were found guilty Wednesday and fined 1 cent. The couple called the jury’s verdict a vindication of their act of civil disobedience.
The Jiminezes spent their community service time working for marriage equality. Mark Jiminez is now a candidate for county clerk.
After a call for turkey donors, Home Sweet Home came to the rescue of Resource Center’s hot meals program by donating turkeys and deserts.
The Lost Souls rugby team served dinner to clients of the hot meals program.
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in ‘Philomena’
The really unmissible film to see over the Thanksgiving weekend is certainly Philomena. It has everything: Old people (especially an enchanting Judi Dench) for mom and dad; a gay subplot for you; humor, tears and the structure of a detective novel. And it’s all thanks to Steve Coogan.
Coogan is a familiar face whose name you probably don’t know, appearing, as he says, “as Part No. 4 in someone else’s movie.” But the British comedian has also written some funny stuff, including The Trip, which you should check out if you haven’t already.
Coogan co-wrote and co-stars in Philomena, and sat down with us when he was in Dallas earlier this month to talk about how he discovered the true story of BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith and his travels in helping an elderly Irish woman (Dench) find the son she gave up for adoption.
Dallas Voice: How did you find this story? Steve Coogan: I was just treading water [in my acting career], so I was looking for a project that was different for me — and outside comedy, because I wanted to do more nuanced stuff. No one was giving me a break, so I decided to create a break for myself. [I happened upon a magazine article about Philomena], and I thought I could turn it into some kind of drama.
You play Martin, a disgraced BBC reporter who’s quite cynical when he agrees to take on this “human interest profile” and gets transformed by Philomena in unexpected ways. Did you understand him? Yes. They say write what you know about, and I felt a connection to Martin — a liberal intellectual – but I also knew who Philomena was: A working class Irish woman. And her story could have happened to anyone. And I liked the idea of showing that older people were once young people. There were lots of reasons I felt connected to it.
Across the pond, Nov. 29 isn’t known as Black Friday — they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, as they were smart enough not to cross the Atlantic four centuries ago and nearly starve to death — so Friday is a different kind of landmark … or at least is trying to be.
LGBTearth is a social media campaign that organizers in Edinburgh are marketing as a kind of “virtual Pride march.” The idea is as simple as a hashtag: Gay folks and their allies are encouraged to take a photo and post it with the hashtag #LGBTearth on Friday some time. That’s it. Think of it as a “gay in the life” project.
You can learn more about it here, but it’s really simple to do: Just be yourself. And help others be themselves, too.
Texas Military Forces announced the Texas National Guard and Department of Defense came to an agreement on the processing of same-sex spouses for federal military benefits.
The DOD has approved a new procedure for enrolling National Guard members and their dependents in benefits programs that recognizes the conflict between the Texas Constitution and DOD policy mandating the enrollment of same-gender dependent spouses in benefits programs.
“Under the new procedure, DOD will provide federal personnel, funding and the use of federal personnel systems to enroll all dependents, including those in same-sex marriages, in benefits programs. This solution ensures that no Texas National Guard personnel in a state status will violate the Texas Constitution,” Texas Military Forces wrote in its press release.
Texas will register personnel at all five National Guard bases, but only federal employees will do the registrations.
“The personnel, funding, and systems being used previously to process these enrollments were already federally funded,” said Stephen Peters, president of American Military Partner Association.
Oklahoma came to a similar agreement last week that equally inconveniences gay and straight couples. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin decided all National Guard personnel must register for benefits at a federal base or at one of the federally operated National Guard bases in the state.
INDIANAPOLIS — A daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney is joining the fight against a proposed constitutional amendment in Indiana to ban same-sex marriage, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Mary Cheney, a lesbian who was legally married in the District of Columbia, will host a reception Dec. 11 for Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan coalition aimed at defeating the proposed amendment.
“Freedom means freedom for everyone,” Cheney wrote in an e-mail sent to Freedom Indiana supporters and posted Tuesday on the group’s website. “For me, that’s not just another saying. It’s who I am — the core of what I believe. No one should be denied the fundamental liberties we all deserve.”
Cheney’s participation in the Indiana campaign comes as she and her sister, GOP Senate candidate Liz Cheney, fight over gay marriage. The Cheney sisters’ feudspilled out in the open on TV and Facebook last week.
Liz Cheney, who is challenging Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in a GOP primary, has said she believes in a “traditional definition of marriage.” Mary Cheney’s wife, Heather Poe, said on Facebook that recent comments by Liz Cheney on Fox News Sunday were “offensive.”
Mary Cheney’s pitch to help Freedom Indiana seems to echo a sentiment expressed by Poe in her Facebook post that gay couples and their families should feel protected regardless of their state of residence.
“Speaking out against HJR-6 isn’t a matter of politics,” Mary Cheney said in her Freedom Indiana e-mail. “It’s about family. It’s about everyone feeling welcome in the state they call home.”
Indiana’s House Joint Resolution 6 first passed the state’s General Assembly in 2011. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, and other lawmakers support legislative action that would put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2014.
Recognize any of the folks in this ad? You should. I spotted at least three: Doug Miller (far left front), Denise Lee (next to Doug) and Bruce DuBose (right rear). Of course, it’s also for one of our favorite retailers, JCPenney, which is not only local but gay-friendly.
Check it out after the jump.
You know how edgy, dangerous comedians like Robin Williams, John Leguizamo and Chris Rock quickly lose their edge as soon as they become parents? All the F-bombs are replaced by cooing stories of potty training. It’s sad.
Well, a kinda similar thing appears to have happened since Kanye West married Kim Kardashian.
Let’s face it: Kanye has never been everyone’s cup of tea. But he has met with a lot of critical acclaim, and folks can legitimately praise his rap skills.
I think that will change with “Bound 2.”
Have you seen this video? It starts with a fairly cool hook and some lovely images of Western landscapes. Then about 45 seconds in, Kanye takes over with a rap that not only fails to maintain any identifiable rhythm, but only rhymes a small percentage of the time. He overlays the landscapes with cheesy green-screen scenes of himself riding a motorcycle, while that empty-faced wife of his squirms around him naked — sometimes in front, sometimes in back, always causing a little vomit to come up into my mouth.
Of course, it’s also a racist, misogynistic rant, making fun of Jamaicans and using the N-word and calling most women bitches. That’s not even edgy anymore. And Kanye’s performance is laughable in other ways — essentially, it’s a parody of itself.
But here’s why you should care about the video: Besties James Franco and Seth Rogen, who play with gay rumors a lot anyway, have made a shot-for-shot remake of the video with Franco as Kanye and Seth and Kim. This is a true parody.
And. It’s. Awesome.
Both videos have the same soundtrack, so we’re happy some enterprising fellow has created a side-by-side play of the two. A friend claims it’s the greatest video of 2013. Decide for yourself — you can watch them after the jump. Oh, and most certainly not safe for work.
Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert
A U.S. district court ordered the Cook County clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to a lesbian couple, one of whom is terminally ill with brain cancer.
Lambda Legal and the ACLU filed a suit on behalf of Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert who want to marry. Gray has terminal brain cancer. The state’s marriage equality law signed last week does not go into effect until June 1. Gray and Ewert will become the first couple to marry in Illinois.
In the ruling, the judge noted that expedited licenses are issued to heterosexual couples in similar circumstances.
For the marriage equality bill to go into effect sooner than June 1 would have taken a larger number of votes in the Legislature.
Illinois already had civil unions. Those will be converted to marriages, but not automatically. On June 1, couples married in Illinois can fill out paperwork that will convert the civil union into a marriage that will be retroactive to the civil union date. That will allow couples to claim any federal benefits retroactively or file amended joint tax returns that could mean refunds in some cases.
The Human Rights Campaign has adjusted two scores in North Texas after errors were discovered in the cities of Irving and Dallas regarding their LGBT-inclusive policies.
Last week, Dallas Voice pointed out that Irving received credit in the nondiscrimination law section for protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the county’s government policy, but Dallas County has that protection of county employees only; it’s not countywide.
Cathryn Oakley, the main author on the MEI, followed up with Dallas Voice on Monday to say the credit for the county policy for employees, which was also awarded to Dallas, was an error, bringing Irving’s score to 10, not 16. Dallas’ score won’t change for that section because the max points for that section was 18, which the city received for its citywide nondiscrimination ordinance.
But Dallas also received points for a contractor equal benefits ordinance. While the city of Dallas has a contractor nondiscrimination ordinance, it doesn’t mention anything about those contractors offering benefits to its employees. Losing those points lowered Dallas’ score to an 81.
Last year, Arlington was awarded points for protecting city employees against discrimination regarding sexual orientation, but those points were removed this year. While Arlington listed sexual orientation on its website under diversity, the protection is not city policy.
The MEI, now in its second year, ranks cities on their policies and practices that are LGBT-inclusive, showing how protected city employees and citizens are and how much their city leadership values equality.
HRC researches cities and then sends that info to officials for input and changes. Oakley said she was in touch with officials from Dallas, but wasn’t sure if contact was made with Irving.