Meeting to build what Oak Cliff wants, not what City Hall wants

Posted on 20 Sep 2016 at 10:04am

Rendering of the proposed deck park across from the entrance to the Dallas Zoo

A meeting on the proposed deck park over I-35E across from the Dallas Zoo will be held tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 20) at Hitt Auditorium inside Methodist Hospital, 1441 N. Beckley Ave. Parking is free and the free trolley that stops outside the hospital will be running.

According to the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, “Dallas Park and Recreation invites the public to attend the second programming and visioning workshop on the proposed Southern Gateway Deck Park. Conceptual design alternatives will be presented for community input.”

Rather than giving an out-of-town developer all sorts of incentives to build a monstrosity of an apartment complex that will destroy Bishop Arts that some city leaders want to build, the deck park will enhance the neighborhood, link the zoo with Oak Cliff (it’s across the highway from Oak Cliff) and give the area a park that will enhance the quality of life.

If you’ve been to Bishop Arts lately and spoken to any of the store or restaurant owners, you’ll get an earful about how tearing down old buildings to make way for a six-story Oak Lawn-style apartment complex will destroy the neighborhood — just as those developments are destroying Oak Lawn. And wonder why the new trolley doesn’t actually go to Bishop Arts? It was a concession to the developer to stop at his (proposed) front door. If you take the trolley to Bishop Arts, it stops on Beckley Avenue, two blocks down a steep hill from the actual Bishop Arts District.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in building what people in Oak Cliff want rather than what a few people at City Hall want.


Brite displays new logo for Pride

Posted on 19 Sep 2016 at 3:07pm

Just in time for Tarrant County Pride (Oct. 1-2), Brite Divinity School has released a new logo:


Now for the new slogan: “Not your father’s divinity school”? Or how about, “Take that Rev. Jeffress.” Or maybe: “Brite Divinity School — it’s not just for LGBT people, but anyone who’s open minded.”


And the winner is: Who won what in the Dallas Pride Parade

Posted on 19 Sep 2016 at 1:40pm

Kaliente won the trophy for Best Overall Entry (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)

The biggest Pride parade in Dallas history took to the streets of Oak Lawn on Sunday afternoon, with more than 120 total entries making their way down Cedar Springs to Reverchon Park. Today (Monday, Sept. 19), organizers announced the winners in the nine different categories. They are

  • Best Performance: Oak Lawn Band
  • Best Walking Group: Turtle Creek Chorale
  • Best Costume: LULAC
  • Best Social Commentary: Dallas Victims of Crime
  • Best Overall Entry: Kaliente
  • Best For Profit: Bank of America
  • Best Non Profit: United Court of the Lone Star Empire
  • Judge’s Choice: Veteran’s for Diversity
  • Best Interpretation of the Theme (“Solidarity Through Pride”): Abounding Prosperity

(Watch for more of Chuck’s photos of the parade here on Instant Tea throughout the week.)


The United Court of the Lone Star Empire won the trophy for Best Nonprofit Entry (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)


McCrory tries to sidestep HB 2 fallout

Posted on 19 Sep 2016 at 12:19pm



North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says the state legislature may consider repealing H.B. 2, but only if the city of Charlotte repeals its LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance first.

Charlotte mayor warns McCrory not to blame her city for his mistake

Lisa Keen |   Keen News Service

North Carolina is a battleground on two fronts these days: Over the state’s recently enacted anti-LGBT law and over the political race for the White House.


Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said her city is “a welcoming community that honors and respects all people.”

And at least one of those battles could come to a major turning point this week.

In a strange twist, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday, Sept. 16, said he’d call a special session of the state legislature this week to consider repealing HB2 — but only if the city of Charlotte first repealed its non-discrimination law. That law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as race, sex, and other categories.

According to local news reports, McCrory’s communication office issued this statement Friday:

“For the last nine months, the governor has consistently said state legislation is only needed if the Charlotte ordinance remains in place. If the Charlotte City Council totally repeals the ordinance and then we can confirm there is support to repeal among the majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate, the governor will call a special session. It is the governor’s understanding that legislative leaders and the lieutenant governor agree with that assessment.”

Charlotte City Council rejected a proposal in May where the legislature said it would “amend” HB2 in return for Charlotte’s repeal of its non-discrimination law. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts issued a statement today (Monday morning, Sept. 19, that left no impression the Council would consider repealing its ordinance.

“The city of Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects all people,” read the statement from Roberts. “We appreciate the state wanting to find a solution to the challenges we are facing and applaud the governor for recognizing the state should overturn HB2, which the state can do at any time without any action from the city of Charlotte.

“We are not prepared to add this item to our agenda this evening, however, we urge the state to take action as soon as possible and encourage continued dialogue with the broader community,” Roberts’ statement continued.

The statewide LGBT group Equality North Carolina and the national Human Rights Campaign issued both statements Friday urging Charlotte to reject the proposal.

“It would require Charlotte to drop the very protections for the LGBTQ community that businesses, the NCAA and other organizations have now made clear are needed and are a priority,” said JoDee Winterhof, an HRC senior vice president.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal also issued statements opposing the idea.

“The reason the NBA, NCAA and countless other groups and companies have refused to do business in North Carolina is because H.B. 2 is an unprecedented and targeted attack on the LGBT community that is inconsistent with American values — not because Charlotte commendably decided to protect LGBT people from discrimination,” said Simone Bell, the southern regional director for Lambda Legal.

Meanwhile, the state is still wincing as major corporations and events continue to pull out of the state, citing their opposition to HB2. Just this month, both the NCAA and the ACC college athletic organizations announced they would not hold championship tournaments in North Carolina.

Those announcements set off a political earthquake in the state, which was already reeling from a wave of cancellations — from classic concerts to pop concerts, to travel by employees from New York and other states, to more than 60 major corporations filing statements in opposition to HB2 and, in many cases, putting a halt on their plans for conferences or to build in the state.

Wired magazine estimates the state has already lost almost $400 million because of the law. The NCAA and ACC decisions alone cost North Carolina more than $90 million, says Wired.

Not surprisingly, then, Gov. McCrory — who, according to most recent polls, is trailing Democrat Roy Cooper in that state’s gubernatorial contest — is racing to find a way to stop further damage.

Earlier in the month, he asked a federal district court judge to delay the trial challenging HB2 from November until May, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court might take up a similar case from Virginia. Lambda Legal’s national legal director, Jon Davidson, said his group agreed to the delay after the federal court granted a stay of the law as it applies to transgender people at the University of North Carolina.

On Friday, McCrory dropped one of his two counter lawsuits and issued the statement, hoping to persuade Charlotte to repeal its law so the state could declare HB2 no longer necessary.

The law, enacted last March, bars any local jurisdiction (not just Charlotte) from passing non-discrimination laws that exceed state law — and state law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. More notoriously, HB2 also bans transgender people from using any public restroom other than one assigned to a gender that matches their birth certificate.

Add to the economic and legal turmoil the fact that North Carolina is one of 12 states that pollsters say is uncertain in terms of the 2016 presidential election, and the implications of HB2 become even more dramatic.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has spoken out clearly against the law. Republican Donald Trump has sent mixed signals.

Speaking to a campaign audience in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 16, Clinton said, “I’m running for the LGBT teenager here in North Carolina who sees your governor sign a bill legalizing discrimination and suddenly feels like a second-class citizen.”

In her remarks, at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, she said she wanted to “make sure every person and, particularly, every child, no matter who they are, what they look like, or who they love, are part of the American dream now and way into the future. Let that be our message. Let that be our mission.” (

Trump initially said North Carolina would have “a lot of problems” for passing HB2 and suggested it was unnecessary.

“There has been so little trouble” regarding the use of bathrooms, he told the Today Show on April 21. But over time, he’s said the issue should be left to the individual states.

Asked about it in July, Trump told the News & Observer, “Well, I’m going with the state. The state knows what’s going on. They see what’s happening and, generally speaking, I’m with the state on things like this.

As of last Thursday, openly gay electoral data guru Nate Silver was predicting North Carolina to be leaning slightly toward Trump, 53 percent to 47 percent. Silver also dramatically downgraded Clinton’s chances of winning the White House — from 70 percent to 60 percent — following her previous weekend’s woes. On Sep. 9, Clinton described some of Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables,” a phrase that the Trump campaign meant Clinton thinks all Americans are deplorable. Two days later, Clinton collapsed outside a 9/11 memorial services and then took three days off to recover from pneumonia.

Analyzing many polls, Silver sees the state has being the fourth most likely to provide the “tipping” point in the Nov. 8 election (behind Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

© 2016 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.





Emmys queer it up

Posted on 19 Sep 2016 at 11:40am

louie-andersonIt was a gay ol’ time at the Emmy Awards last night, especially in the comedy and limited series categories. Indeed, the show got off to a very gay bang. Among the first winners were best supporting actor in a comedy series for Louie Anderson, pictured, playing Zach Galifiankis’ mama in Baskets; that was quickly followed by best supporting actress in a comedy for lesbian Kate McKinnon, mostly for her take on Hillary Clinton as part of the Saturday Night Live cast. Although the variety series has fared well at the Emmys with its guest hosts, McKinnon becomes the first regular cast member since Gilda Radner in 1978 to win an Emmy for the show. And Jeffrey Tambor repeated as best actor in a comedy playing a trans woman in the Amazon series Transparent. He made a plaintive call for producers and casting agents to give trans talent a chance. Also honored were recently out Transparent creator Jill Soloway for repeating as best director of a comedy. Best actress went, for the fifth consecutive time, to Julia Louie-Dreyfuss for Veep, which also won best comedy series.

Under limited series or movie, the big winner was the Ryan Murphy produced The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which took home trophies for outstanding limited series, writing, directing, supporting actor (Sterling K. Brown), leading actor (Courtney B. Vance) and leading actress Sarah Paulson, who thanked her girlfriend, Holland Taylor. Supporting actress went to Regina King for American Crime, which this season dealt with a gay teens.

Best actress in a drama went to Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black, in which she plays clones, including a queer one. Otherwise, the drama category was dominated by Game of Thrones, which won best drama series, directing and writing. Best actor was Rami Malek for Mr. Robot and supporting actress went to Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey. The biggest surprise of the evening was Ben Mendelsohn winning best supporting actor for the Netflix series Bloodline.


PHOTOS: Festival in the Park

Posted on 18 Sep 2016 at 8:41pm

The festival in Reverchon Park ran from noon-7 p.m. The Family Pride Zone was inside the festival. And the two protesters that were left were kept a block away.



PHOTOS: Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade 3

Posted on 18 Sep 2016 at 8:29pm

Many entries commemorated the Pulse victims in Orlando. Look for Marriott’s Love Travels organization that held signs with the names of the victims.


PHOTOS: Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade 2

Posted on 18 Sep 2016 at 8:18pm

PHOTOS: Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade 1



PHOTOS: Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade 1

Posted on 18 Sep 2016 at 7:46pm

Some observations about the parade:

More floats than ever. Best looking Dallas parade ever.

Faux pas: Southwest Airlines was immediately followed by American Airlines.

Interesting: Walmart Pride participated but Chik-fil-A Pride didn’t. That’s a thing, right?

Dallas Police: Friendly. Enthusiastic. Had fun while keeping a careful eye on everything going on from rooftops to street. I spoke to a number of them and they’re the best. Parade participants made sure any officer who needed water got it. I saw lots of hugs for officers while they remained vigilant making sure we were safe. I’ve never seen a community and police force love and respect each other during a large event as much as I saw today.

And I can compare. Last year I was at Houston Pride. Not a single smile. They weren’t there to answer a question and not one that I encountered on the entire parade route wanted to be there. Believe me. There weren’t hugs with Houston police.




PHOTOS: Teen Pride

Posted on 18 Sep 2016 at 7:14pm

Teen Pride took place at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church on Saturday, Sept. 17. Four protesters stood outside the fence. The woman in the red long sleeve shirt was ticketed the night before for spraying pepper spray in the face of a man leaving BJ’s.

During Teen Pride, after hours of screaming obscenities at the youth attending the event, one of the protesters was arrested after disobeying orders from a Dallas Police officer. That left only two protesters to show up at the Pride festival on Sunday — and police kept them a block away from the park.