Dallas Voice sports authority David Taffet talks football on L.A.’s KPFK

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 4:19pm
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David Taffet reporting from the Texas high school playoffs at the Cotton Bowl where the East Dillon Lions took the state championship.

If you had a radio talk show in L.A. and you wanted to talk football with someone in Dallas, who would you call? That’s right. Obvious call. You call Dallas Voice sports expert David Taffet.

OK, so maybe 5 million people in the Dallas area know more about football than I do, but few people who know less about football are as comfortable on a football field as I am.

That’s because I spent several season playing a sports reporter on NBC’s show Friday Night Lights. In just about every episode with a football game, I’m standing on the sidelines or in the end zone and am the only person on the field in a jacket and tie.

Sideline. End zone. See? I know the lingo. I spent one episode filming in the field house and in the locker room.

That gig really stretched my acting ability and built on roles I’ve played in the past. In the film JFK, I played a reporter and carried Gary Oldman, who was actually in the coffin, to Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave. (Director Oliver Stone was going for realism. Oldman was freaking out). My best acting in that film came in the scene where reporters are interviewing Marina Oswald. You can see my thumb holding a mike. You can tell it’s me, because I’m the only one in the scene who’s left-handed.

But I digress.

The show is IMRU, the gay show that’s L.A.’s counterpart to Lambda Weekly. Chrisanne Eastwood is the host who contacted me. She and I co-hosted a cable TV show with the always-beautiful Jack Jett for about six months. The topic is Michael Sam.

So to prepare for tonight’s appearance, I just looked up that the Cowboys lost yesterday. I’m very sad about that. Tony Romo turned in his worst performance ever. I’m apparently surprised about that, because he went into yesterday’s game as the best ranking, or best prepared or best looking quarterback in the NFL. And they played at AT&T Stadium. I have no idea where that is. I’ll just call it Cowboys Stadium.

I’ll be on Monday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. Central Time (7 p.m. Pacific Time). Click here to listen live.

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UMC Bishop Martin McLee, former St. Luke’s minister, dies

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 11:11am

6a00e550255d3c88330191027bf5d2970c-320wiBishop Martin D. McLee, who presided over the United Methodist Church’s New York region and once lived in Dallas, died Saturday, Sept. 6. The LGBT ally was 58 years old.

According to the UMC News Service, the Brooklyn native was called to ministry while attending Dallas’ St. Luke “Community” Church. There, under the leadership of Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. he

 immediately immersed himself in the life of the church, including its many social justice ministries, Holmes recalled. Among other activities, McLee sang in the choir, volunteered with the church’s prison ministry, served in its AIDS ministry and registered voters.

Trained as a lawyer, he enrolled in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology where he received his Master’s of Divinity. He didn’t give up on social justice causes, including his outspoken stances on LGBT equality once he joined the church.

The UMC’s official policy believes being LGBT is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” forbidding clergy from performing LGBT weddings. Pastors violating the policy often go to trial.

McLee advocated against such trials. After a complaint was filed against the Rev. Thomas Ogletree, who is retired, for officiating at his gay son’s wedding, McLee called for “the cessation of church trials” related to same-sex marriage. “Church trials produce no winners … trials are not the way forward,” McLee said at the time.

The full story is here.

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Crosland Group make huge donation of gay-themed books to Oak Lawn Library

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 10:12am

booksDallas developer Luke Crosland, whose company The Crosland Group is responsible for ilume and ilume Park, has marked a gift of more than 6,000 volumes of LGBT books to the Dallas Public Library. The collection will be stored at the Oak Lawn branch in the heart of the gayborhood.

The donation was originally housed at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Florida.

There will be a presentation of the books during Pride Weekend. Due to space limitations, not all volumes will be on display, but will be available to be checked out.

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Davis addresses Cathedral of Hope

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 10:06am

Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Wendy Davis addressed Cathedral of Hope at its 9 a.m. service on Sept. 7 and received an award from the congregation.

Cathedral and Hope for Peace and Justice presented Davis an Advocacy Award “for speaking truth to power on behalf of women.”

In her address to the congregation, Davis said as governor she would always embrace the LGBT community.

“I will remember you, because I am one of you,” she said.

Republican candidate Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott has also been invited to address the church, but has not responded to the invitation.

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Anti-Sam protest fizzles at Cowboys Stadium

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 9:29am

Pro-EqualityOf the more than 3.62 million members of the American Decency Association claimed by organizer Jack Burkman that planned to protest the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday, exactly none showed up.

Supporters, however, did show up with signs that read, “Thank you Cowboys” and “Love beats hate.”

Even the American Decency Association disavowed Burkman. On its website, they wrote, “We are not the group in Texas using the name ‘American Decency’ headed by Jack Burkman that is being targeted as planning a protest against football player Michael Sam in Dallas this Sunday.”

American Decency doesn’t claim to like Sam. After disavowing Burkman, the man who proposed a bill to Congress to ban gay players in the NFL, American Decency claims to support “Biblical, traditional marriage.” You know, where marriage is between a man and as many women and concubines as he can afford, but very often has one special wife.

They complain about the kiss between Sam and his boyfriend — which they put in quotes — and then summarize, “In saying all of this, I make this point: We are not the ones behind the protest, but we also do not condone the lifestyle of Michael Sam.”

So since American Decency is against everything that Michael Sam stands for, but they weren’t behind the threatened protest, they ask that people stop emailing them hate mail.

But let’s end on a better note. Here’s a message from a church that doesn’t preach hate and vitriole:

Pro-Sam

 

 

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Theater critics bestow awards

Posted on 08 Sep 2014 at 8:01am

Liz Mikel, left, and Tiffany Hobbs, right, were singled out for their performances in ‘Raisin in the Sun,’ directed by Tre Garrett. (Photo courtesy Karen Almond)

The Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum met as usual the first Saturday after Labor Day to hash out our awards for the best of North Texas theater over the preceding 12 months, and the Dallas Theater Center ended up the big winner, with five of its shows receiving citations. Les Miserables, Fortress of Solitude, Oedipus el Rey and its in-repertory pair of Raisin in the Sun and Clybourne Park (Raisin‘s quasi-sequel) all took home major awards, including direction for the first four. Cast members from many were also recognized, including Liz Mikel and Tiffany Hobbs from Raisin, Allison Pistorious from Clybourne and Steven Walters from Les Miz. Uptown Players, coming off one of its best seasons, also won accolades for two of its shows: The gay comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (for direction and its ensemble) and for The Boy from Oz for its three stars and for its wig and makeup by Coy Covington. My own Actor of the Year winner for 2013, Tina Parker, won note for her performance in Detroit — one of nods to Kitchen Dog Theater, which also produced best new play winner Barbecue Apocalypse by Matt Lyle. WaterTower also fared well, especially for its recent musical Dogfight. The winners — which are voted on by a panel of 12 local theater critics, including me — are hashed out over a luncheon. There are between four and nine winners in each category this year.

The complete list is below.

Direction: Daniel Aukin, Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theater Center); B.J. Cleveland, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players); David Denson, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions); Tre Garrett, A Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre); Tim Johnson, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Terry Martin, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre); Kevin Moriarty, Oedipus el Rey (Dallas Theater Center); Susan Sargeant, The Diaries of Adam and Eve and Happy Days (WingSpan Theatre Co.); Liesl Tommy, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center).

Vanya-Show

The cast of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ was recognized as best ensemble, as was its director, B.J. Cleveland.

Actor: Adam A. Anderson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Jubilee Theatre); Jaxon Beeson, Stiff (Fun House Theatre and Film); Joey Folsom, Year of the Rooster (Upstart Productions) and Hank Williams: Lost Highway (WaterTower Theatre); Alex Ross, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Garret Storms, for his season of performances; Drew Wall, Nocturne (Second Thought Theatre); Steven Walters, Les Miserables (Dallas Theater Center).

Actress: Tiffany Hobbs, Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center) and Spunk (WaterTower Theatre); Janelle Lutz, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Liz Mikel, Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center); Tina Parker, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Allison Pistorius, Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre) and Clybourne Park (Dallas Theater Center); Sarah Elizabeth Smith, The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players); Juliette Talley, Dogfight (WaterTower Theatre); Ashley Wilkerson, The Mountaintop (Jubilee Theatre).

Ensemble: Barbecue Apocalypse (Kitchen Dog Theater); Heroes (Stage West); The Echo Room Presents: Her Song (Echo Theatre); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Uptown Players).

Creative Contribution: Coy Covington for his wig and makeup design for The Boy from Oz (Uptown Players) and wig designs for Pageant (Uptown Players); Clare Floyd DeVries for her set design, Detroit (Kitchen Dog Theater); Jay Dias for his music direction, Nine and Titanic (Lyric Stage); Jeffrey Colangelo and Katy Tye for their movement design, Galatea (Prism Co.); the design team with Trinity Shakespeare Festival, for their season.

New Play or Musical: Barbecue Apocalypse by Matt Lyle (Kitchen Dog Theater); Booth by Steven Walters (Second Thought Theatre); Fortress of Solitude by Itamar Moses and Michael Friedman (Dallas Theater Center); mania/gift by Shelby-Allison Hibbs (Echo Theatre); Stiff by Jeff Swearingen (Fun House Theatre and Film).

Touring Production: Evita (Dallas Summer Musicals); The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess (ATTPAC); Peter and the Starcatcher (ATTPAC); Trick Boxing (Sossy Mechanics).

Special Citations: To Matt Tomlanovich, for reviving the Margo Jones as a busy performance space, opening it to fledgling companies at a reasonable price, and making it available to small festivals, poetry slams, readings and dance groups; and to Lawson Taitte, for his distinguished career in arts criticism.

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Gay DISD police officer fired after filing complaint

Posted on 06 Sep 2014 at 9:38am

Jeremy+LiebbeDISD police investigator Jeremy Liebbe was fired by Mike Miles after Liebbe filed a complaint over improperly performed background checks, according to WFAA.

Liebbe was put on paid leave in July after opening an investigation into his supervisor. He was looking into claims she didn’t report having been on probation on her employment application.

Liebbe’s attorney, Peter Schulte, called DISD’s announcement “defamatory fiction.”

The termination letter said Liebbe ”acted outside the scope” of his role as manager of the Professional Standards Office.

We’ll be looking into this story and reporting more on it this week. We have open records requests in on this story.

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First Mississippi city to offer partner benefits

Posted on 06 Sep 2014 at 8:30am
Wiseman

Mayor Parker Wiseman

Coming out matters. Knowing someone gay makes a difference.

Starkville, Miss. Mayor Parker Wiseman announced his city will offer partner benefits to its LGBT employees. This is the first city in Mississippi to do so, according to the Jackson Clarion Ledger. Starkville, south of Tupelo and northeast of Jackson, has a population of about 24,000.

Wiseman is Paul Scott’s cousin. Scott is executive director of AIDS Services of Austin and former director of Equality Texas and Resource Center.

In May, Bay St. Louis, Miss. passed a nondiscrimination ordinance, the sixth one passed in the state. Starkville was one of the first make nondiscrimination its law.

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National news notes

Posted on 05 Sep 2014 at 5:09pm

Here are just a few items from around the U.S.:

Sinema

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema

Organization calls for release of trans woman raped in ICE custody

PHOENIX, Az. — Trans and queer undocumented immigrants from the Arcoiris Liberation Team and the Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project are demanding that Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and the LGBT Equality Caucus to join in calls for the release of a trans woman who was raped more than a month ago while in the custody of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency.

Marichuy Leal Gamino, whose legal name is Jesus Leal Gamino, 23, has been housed with male inmates for more than a year in the Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Az. She was allegedly raped by her cellmate in late July. According to the Transgender Law Center, she experienced weeks of “bullying, lewd comments, and threats of rape” from her cellmate, all of which she reported to detention officers, who told her to “deal with it.” After she was raped, she was not only pressured to admit that she consented to it, but she “has still been offered no real recourse or assurance that her safety will be protected,” TLC reports.

Activists with the Arcoiris Liberation Team, AZQUIP, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement say that after being raped, Leal Gamino was put in solitary confinement and denied basic hygiene, and that she has gotten death threats from the man accused of raping her.

Although born a Mexican citizen, Leal Gamino grew up in Arizona and has spent most of her life there.

 

Lambda Legal HIV Project director appointed to Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Scott Schoettes, director of Lambda Legal’s HIV Project, has been appointed to serve on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. The 25-member council provides advice, information and recommendations to the secretary of Health and Human Services regarding programs and policies to promote effective prevention of HIV disease and to advance research on HIV disease and AIDS.

Schoettes was sworn in for a three-year term on Thursday, Sept. 4.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve in this capacity, and I look forward to working with other members of the council to promote sound federal policies with respect to HIV,” Schoettes said.

 

Lambda Legal files emergency papers seeking accurate death certificate for gay man’s husband

Attorneys with Lambda Legal on Wednesday, Sept. 3, filed emergency papers asking a U.S. District Court in Arizona to order the state to provide an accurate death certificate to Fred McQuire for his husband, George Martinez, who died Aug. 28.

Without an accurate death certificate naming McQuire as Martinez’s surviving husband, McQuire could face difficulties in handling his late husband’s affairs and in filing for the benefits generally available to a surviving spouse, Lambda Legal attorneys said.

McQuire, 69, and Martinez, 62, lived in Green Valley, and both were U.S. military veterans. Martinez served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, and McQuire served in both the Air Force and the Army, and was stationed in Guam. After leaving the military, Martinez joined the staff of Arizona’s Court of Appeals in Tucson, becoming the court’s first deputy clerk, holding that office for 30 years.

The two men first met in 1969 and were a couple for 45 years. In recent years, both men battled life-threatening illnesses. McQuire has pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s. Martinez was diagnosed three years ago with prostate cancer, a result of having been exposed to Agent Orange while he was in Vietnam. Although the prostate cancer was in remission, in June he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

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CVS Health — not selling cigarettes since earlier this week

Posted on 05 Sep 2014 at 2:01pm

cvs-pharmacyLast week, CVS was selling cigarettes.

This week, not only have they stopped selling cigarettes, but they want you to think of them as a health care provider and go to one of their 900 new in-store clinics for all your primary care medical needs.

Really?

“We’ve stopped selling cigarettes,” isn’t the best reason to replace your doctor with your corner pharmacy.

How aggressive will these stores become in pushing their medical services? When I go to CVS or Walgreens, I often ask someone in the store a question if I’m looking for an over-the-counter medication. Will “Try this one” be replaced with “Maybe you should see our doctor first”?

Of course, CVS isn’t looking to replace your doctor. They’re looking to pick up business from the doc-in-the-box quick care medical clinics and from the millions of newly insured. They also looking to pick up some cash business from those who still don’t have insurance.

But “We stopped selling cigarettes last week” just shouldn’t instill confidence in their long-term medical experience. In fact, it says, “Practicing medicine since right after Labor Day.” Perfect — if you’re looking for someone who has days of medical experience.

So far, the new “CVS Health” (as the company has renamed itself) ad campaign reminds me that there are two Walgreens in the neighborhood. At least all their cashiers are trained to ask is, “Can I get you a flu shot with that?”

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