Liquid Zoo set for soft opening Friday in former Drama Room space

Posted on 20 Nov 2014 at 8:00am

ZooWe’ve had enough of your Drama! Yep, the Drama Room closed nearly two years ago, and the space has remained vacant … until now. New owner Nell Scarborough has taken over and rebranded the space as Liquid Zoo.

The new club will feature pool, darts, shuffleboard and karaoke every night, with Wayne Smith performing host duties on Wednesdays and Saturdays, plus Bingo Thursdays, Trivia Wednesdays, Open Mike Tuesdays and poker three nights a week. There will be a full kitchen in time for the official grand opening in January, but until then, enjoy a limited menu.

And enjoy it sooner than you might expect: Liquid Zoo goes live tomorrow evening (Friday, Nov. 21)  at 6 p.m. Head on by for free food, drink specials and giveaways.

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Montana becomes No. 35

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 at 4:25pm
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By the end of November, the orange and purple should be blue on this map.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and respect for same-sex couples’ marriages in Montana.

Today’s (Wednesday, Nov. 19) ruling follows a favorable marriage ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in cases out of Idaho and Nevada. The circuit court holds jurisdiction over Montana, as well as Alaska and Arizona, which also have the freedom to marry.

Although Montana can appeal to the 9th Circuit, that court has refused to stay marriage rulings for other states. The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t stayed rulings in circuits where it rejected appeals. So marriage in Montana is likely to begin over the next few days.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement:

“Montana’s same-sex couples and their loved ones want what all families want: joy, protections, security, and respect — and that’s what the freedom to marry is all about. This ruling, in keeping with nearly every other court that has ruled in more than a year, brings us to 35 states with the freedom to marry — but we are not done until we end marriage discrimination in all 50 states. It’s time for the Supreme Court to affirm the freedom to marry nationwide and bring our country to national resolution for all loving and committed couples in every state.”

More than 50 federal and state courts in the past year have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

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Ex-gay leader marries his husband in Oklahoma

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 at 2:25pm
Smid

The happy ex-ex-gay newlywed couple

John Smid, a leader of the ex-gay group Love in Action, married his partner Larry McQueen on Nov. 16 in a ceremony held in Oklahoma.

Several years ago, we ran a story about a Dallas couple tortured with so-called “reparative therapy” by Love in Action. After the story ran, the ex-gays involved in their ordeal who had all become ex-ex-gays by then, contacted the couple to apologize for their involvement.

The couple live in Paris, Texas, where marriage — thanks to the hard work of people like Smid — is still not legal. Nice that he lives close enough to marriage equality state Oklahoma that he can take advantage of their liberal marriage laws.

We wish Smid — who has done so much harm to so many gay people — and his husband happiness.

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South Carolina marriage appeal turned down

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 at 11:22am

Marriage_Equality_Map11-17The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down a request to stay marriage equality in South Carolina.

Although the 4th Circuit has not issued any rulings directly regarding South Carolina’s marriage equality ban, the court has ruled that Virginia’s marriage equality ban is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review that ruling means that the 4th Circuit’s decision in the Virginia case extends to all the other others under the 4th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

North Carolina and West Virginia had already complied. South Carolina balked and has been using a variety of delaying tactics.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts steps in, South Carolina will become marriage equality state No. 34 on Thursday, Nov. 20.

 

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Gay entrepreneur pitches product on ‘Shark Tank,’ but we wrote about it first

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 at 11:21am

Nick-TsengNick Tseng is justifiably excited about his upcoming appearance on ABC’s reality series Shark Tank: The Dallas-based engineer co-created the consumer product called the Kitchen Safe, and hopes to woo one of the millionaire investors to fund the product further. (Nick can’t say what happened on the already-recorded show, but you’ve gotta figure he wouldn’t be hosting a viewing party if it was a total disaster. But ya never know.)

But if while you’re watching the show (it airs Friday on WFAA at 8 p.m.) the Kitchen Safe seems familiar, well, that’s because you read about it here first. It was more than a year ago we profiled Nick in Dallas Voice, and so we’re very excited to see how far the product has come. (We tried it out; it was pretty cool.)

Will fellow Dallas Mark Cuban get behind the craving-crushing Kitchen Safe? Tune in the find out!

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Oklahoma grants first same-sex divorce

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 at 4:09pm

oklahoma-marriageAs marriage equality spreads across the country, there’s a major lesson the gay and lesbian community needs to learn: Just because you CAN get married, doesn’t mean you SHOULD get married.

Although Oklahoma has had marriage equality for almost two months, it’s already had its first same-sex divorce. It’s not as bad as it sound, however.

Deanne and Julie Baker of Oklahoma City married in Iowa in 2012. They tried to divorce over the summer, but the Oklahoma court rejected their petition, because it didn’t recognize the marriage. Once marriage equality hit the state, the petition was accepted on Oct. 15 and the couple is divorced.

So remember, if you visit a marriage equality state to marry and you then consider divorce, Texas is neither a marriage equality state nor a divorce equality state. And a couple can only divorce in their home state, unless at least one of them establishes residency elsewhere.

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Pack your bags and head for Ole Miss to git hitched later this week. Maybe.

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 at 3:08pm

mississippi-flag-e1387132309472“Gay couples could start obtaining marriage licenses in Mississippi as early as this week if the predictions of at least six top legal scholars nationwide hold true,” according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

That’s Jackson, MISSISSIPPI.

Mississippi with the Confederate flag in its state flag. Yes, the state that beats Texas with worse healthcare and a worse education system. Looking at a map, it’s the one two states to the right. Mississippi might beat Texas to marriage equality by 15 states.

And Mississippi was our only real competition in the race to be last in equality. A Mississippi victory positions Texas nicely to be last.

However, the 5th Circuit, one of the most conservative courts in the country, would almost certainly stay a decision to allow marriage equality. Wouldn’t they?

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard the case on Monday, Nov. 17. He was appointed by President Barack Obama. No Obama or Clinton appointee has ruled against marriage equality since the Windsor decision in June 2013. A quick decision is expected. Like this week. And they just might sneak in a few marriages before the 5th Circuit stays any ruling.

The 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear appeals of Texas and Louisiana cases on Jan 5. If this ruling is issued quickly, it could be heard then as well.

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Medical education group issues new guidelines for LGBT health care

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 at 1:11pm

diagnostics-161140_1280The Association of American Medical Colleges released today, Nov. 18, the first guidelines for training physicians to care for LGBT or gender nonconforming patients.

Until now, according to a press release, there have been no formal comprehensive standards to help medical schools and health care organizations train providers in the needs of LGBT patients.

“This groundbreaking publication represents a major step forward in giving medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health systems a roadmap for improving the care of LGBT and other individuals with differences in gender identity, gender expression, and sex development,” said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., AAMC president and CEO, which represents all 141 accredited US and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools.

As we’ve reported, the LGBT community often experiences challenges when seeking care in doctors’ offices, community clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms. Challenges range from lack of protocol to knowledge of LGBT issues. The executive summary describes a sample of barriers many LGBT people face, including “significant structural, interpersonal, and individual stigma concerning homosexuality persists; efforts to ‘treat’ homosexuality through so-called ‘reparative therapies’ continue in some areas, even though most professional organizations recognize them as harmful to patients.”

“Physicians and medical school faculty members are committed to treating all patients equally, yet research shows that everyone has unconscious biases that can affect how we interact with people from different experiences and backgrounds,” said Kirch. “This new resource will help train physicians to overcome these blind spots and deliver high-quality care to all patients.”

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Gay basher sentenced to 15-plus years

Posted on 17 Nov 2014 at 5:09pm
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Brice Johnson

A 20-year-old Springtown man was sentenced today (Monday, Nov. 17) to more than 15 years in prison in connection with an assault on a gay man he met on an online dating network in 2013. The victim, identified in court papers as A.K., is also from Springtown, a small town straddling the line between Wise and Parker counties, just northwest of Fort Worth.

According to an article by Domingo Ramirez Jr. for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Brice Johnson told family members in recorded phone calls from jail that he had invited the victim over as a joke after connecting with him on MeetMe.com, according to the federal criminal complaint filed in the case. The two chatted in a MeetMe chat room on the morning of Sept. 2, 2013, about having sex, and later exchanged a series of explicit text messages about what sexual activities they intended to engage in. Johnson then invited A.K. to his home.

Johnson said that after A.K. arrived at his home, they stayed outside talking for awhile before A.K. grabbed Johnson’s penis. Johnson then said he wasn’t gay and hit the victim several times. A.K. later told police he did not grab Johnson’s penis.

Johnson then beat the victim severely, tied him up with an electrical cord and threw him in the trunk of his own car before driving the car to a friend’s home. At the friend’s house, A.K. began yelling for help, and the friend told Johnson to take the injured man to the hospital. Johnson then drove the injured man to an emergency medical center in Springtown.

Johnson initially told authorities he found A.K. beaten up and in the trunk of the car after seeing a black truck drive away, but later admitted having had the sexually-explicit conversation online. Police also found that Johnson had saved the victim’s cell phone number on his own cell phone, using an anti-gay slur rather than the man’s actual name.

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Congratulations Krystal Summers

Posted on 17 Nov 2014 at 4:04pm

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Krystal Summers came out of pageant retirement to compete in the newest pageant in the USofA Pageants system, and on Sunday night, Nov. 16, at The Round-Up Saloon, she won the title of Miss Gay Fire and Ice USofA.

Miss Gay USofA 2014 Jenna Skyy was on hand to crown Krystal.

Miss Gay Fire and Ice USofA is co-owned by Vanity Storm and Bruce Ragsdale Horton, who also owns Dragon Lady Earring Company in Dallas. Thanks to Vanity and Bruce for providing us with the photo, by Reginald Sanders, of Jenna crowning Krystal.

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