DoJ sues North Carolina

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 3:50pm
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U.S. AG Loretta Lynch

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced this afternoon (Monday, May 9), that the U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state of North Carolina, asking that the courts declare the state’s controversial House Bill 2 to illegally discriminatory.

Lynch’s announcement came just hours after McCrory announced that he had filed suit against the DoJ, asking the courts to keep HB2 in place as they determine the legality of the legislation. DoJ officials had given McCrory and other state officials until close of business today to announce a process for repealing the law, saying that it violates the federal Civil Rights Act by discriminating against LGBT — especial transgender — people.

HB2 rescinded a Charlotte, N.C., city ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination, pre-empts any such other local non-discrimination ordinances and prohibits transgender people from using the appropriate multi-stall public bathrooms.

While McCrory talks about HB2 being necessary to protect women and children from predatory men dressing in women’s clothing to gain access to public restrooms and locker rooms, opponents say such occurrences are so rare as to be imaginary and that McCrory’ justifications are  just a bunch of bullshit used to try and disguise what is, in actuality, just plain old homophobia/transphobia.

The Department of Justice has threatened to pull billions of dollars in federal funds from North Carolina unless legislators there rescind or repeal HB2. If the state were to come out the winner in the dueling lawsuits face-off, they might get their federal dollars. But HB2 has already cost billions in lost revenue from events scheduled there being canceled and businesses choosing to move out of the state, canceling expansion plans or choosing not to move there in the first place.

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Paxton offers his 2 cents on N.C. bathroom bill

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 2:18pm
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — that shining beacon of integrity and knowledge of the law who last year told Texas county clerks they did not have to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality and who last month was sued for securities fraud in civil court by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (he is already facing state criminal fraud charges — today issued a statement in support of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

Paxton released his statement after McCrory announced he is suing the U.S. Department of Justice so he can keep his discriminatory bathroom bill. The DoJ had given McCrory until the close of business today to explain his plan for flushing the bathroom bill or risk losing billions in federal funding for his state.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expected to hold a press conference any minute now to announce what enforcement action the federal government will take against North Carolina.

Here’s what AG Paxton had to say:

“The people of the United States, through their representatives in Congress, enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure, in part, that men and women are treated equally. Congress has not changed this law to mean that individuals may choose whether they want to be male or female for the purpose of public accommodations. One’s sex is a biological fact, not a state of mind, and this threat to North Carolina is the latest in a long series of efforts by an unaccountable federal executive branch. My office stands with Governor McCrory and the people of North Carolina regarding this unconstitutional form of federal overreach.”

May we suggest that AG Paxton crawl into the 21st century and come to terms with the fact that GENDER is not binary and neither is it necessarily defined by biological genitalia.

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McCrory sues DoJ to keep N.C.’s bathroom bill

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 12:48pm
McCrory

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory

As the deadline approaches for North Carolina to disclose its plan for coming into compliance with the Civil Rights Act — in other words, how the state plans to get rid of its odious bathroom bill — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has doubled down on discrimination by filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice.

McCrory wants the courts to clarify the federal law in regards to the Civil Rights Act, claiming that “The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level.”

Continuing to show either his ignorance of transgender issues or his utter disdain and contempt for transgender people, McCrory added, “They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women’s locker room, restroom or shower facility.”

The U.S. Justice Department sent McCrory’s office a letter Wednesday, May 4, explaining that the state’s bathroom law — which not prohibits transgender people from using the appropriate public restroom facility but also rescinded a nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the Charlotte city government and prohibits any other local governmental entity from passing such ordinances — violates the Civil rights Act. DoJ also warned that unless the state remedies the problem, North Carolina will lose millions — billions, even — in federal funding for things like education.

In his lawsuit, McCrory pointed out that he directed state agencies to provide single-occupancy restrooms. In announcing the lawsuit, the governor, a Republican, said he filed the action “to ensure that North Carolina continues to receive federal funding until the courts resolve this issue.”

Chris Sgro, a Democrat from Greensboro, told Fox8 news that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals “has already said federally that this case is not going to hold up in court,” which means that McCrory’s lawsuit will accomplish nothing other than “costing us $4½ billion in federal education money.”

“He’s already cost us $500 million in economic loss in the month alone,” Sgro added. “So the only answer here is repeal and that needs to happen sooner rather than later.”

Angela Mazaris, Wake Forest University’s LGBTQ Center director, accused McCrory of “playing political games” that will cost the state’s residents in the private sector and federal funds.

“If Gov. McCrory is concerned with public safety, he ought to educate himself about the needs and experiences of transgender North Carolinians, whose health and safety is threatened” by the state’s discriminatory bathroom law, Mazaris said. “The Department of Justice has clearly stated that transgender people have the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, and our governor needs to do his job and protect the rights of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

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Update on UPS Store on Cedar Springs damage

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 11:44am

UPS storeThe UPS Store on Cedar Springs Road remains closed for repairs after a water main break on April 29.

Anyone who receives mail at the UPS Store on Cedar Springs Road may continue to do so, but access to mail boxes will only be available during regular business hours. While the store is being repaired and rebuilt, no shipments can be made from this location.

On April 29, a water main broke overnight under the UPS Store, also flooding Community Pharmacy next door. Police noticed the flooding, but by the time the water could be shut off, two-and-a-half feet of water and mud filled the store.

Everything from carpeting to counters, boxes and other shipping supplies, doors, walls and floor needs to be replaced.

For outgoing shipments, Tom Dance, who owns the UPS Store on Cedar Springs has three other locations. The closest to the Cedar Springs store is at 2633 McKinney Ave. at Boll Street in the Uptown area of Oak Lawn. The other locations are 6199 Greenville Ave. near Caruth Haven and 10455 N. Central Expressway on the southbound side north of Meadow Road.

 

 

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Looking for Mr. Right? Company casting for gay dating show

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 11:43am

Screen shot 2016-05-09 at 11.38.28 AMThe Casting Firm is looking for gay men who are “charismatic, handsome and genuinely looking for love” for a new gay dating show to be produced by Brian Graden Media and “set to air on a major cable network.” The show will feature a “modern dating format” and “fabulous single gay men.”

All applicants must be at least 21 years old and a legal resident of the U.S.

To suggest an eligible gay man or to nominate yourself for the show, visit theCastingFirm.com/GayDatingShow. For information email CastMe@theCastingFirm.com.

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Take the 10th annual LGBT Community Survey

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 11:12am

CMICommunity Marketing & Insights is a gay-owned company that has surveyed the LGBT community for 10 years. CMI works with other companies on how to market to the LGBT community successfully. Dallas Voice is one of the CMI survey sponsors.

The current survey is a broad study of the community and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Other surveys have focused on areas like same-sex weddings and the industry that has arisen producing those events, the hospitality industry and opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses in a business-to-business survey.

Participate in the survey here.

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CD reviews: Cyndi, Rihanna

Posted on 09 May 2016 at 8:27am

HMO050916CYNDICyndi Lauper, Detour. Girls just want to have… a country album? If you’re Cyndi Lauper and your repertoire is as delightfully ADHD as hers — the American Songbook, pop ear-candy, the blues, a damn musical (she won a Tony for Kinky Boots) — the next “logical step” is, well, inevitably illogical. But hearing the “Time After Time” singer channel good ol’ honky-tonk alongside a mélange of veterans isn’t so unusual after all; in fact, Lauper sings this collection of country classics as if she never even turned the pop world upside down three decades ago with a string of bubbly hits and timeless power ballads.

She did, of course, but on Detour, she sinks her cowboy boots so far into Nashville soil it’s hard to believe this is the same Cyndi whose polished pop songs continue to abide under the disco glow of the gay clubs. Even so, Cyndi’s personality and charisma is intact, from the yelpy runs on Guy Mitchell’s 1959 No. 1 single “Heartaches by the Numbers” to the husband-and-wife razzing she and Vince Gill partake in on “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.” Lauper’s version of Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” is a staggering achievement. Just listen to the way Lauper enters the track, her voice low and husky and, through and through, divine; yes, hand over the Best Female Country Vocal Grammy right now. Skeeter Davis’ 1963 hit “End of the World” also gets a lovely Lauper reading as well. That quiver near the end? Ah, nice touch. Though the singer recently confirmed that she’s working on another Broadway musical, let’s hope she laces up her cowgirl boots and takes another detour as radical and rich as this. Four stars.

HMO050916RIHANNARihanna, ANTI. Rihanna can sing. Soar and dip and drop — she’s no Adele (because who is?) but when the unassuming Barbadian pop princess commits herself, it’s a magical awakening. So if creative differences are the reason behind RiRi’s decision to split with longtime label Def Jam (she’s now with Jay Z’s Roc Nation), going in for the vocal kill, as she does on “Love on the Brain,” is the best kind of record-label retribution. The swaying slowie is refreshingly not-Rihanna, unless you’ve envisioned that Ri’s time offstage is spent belting Etta James’ classics.

That’s what this soul throwback resembles, after all. Her fluttery voice is dramatic and full, and she slays every syllable, channeling her inner vocal goddess. ANTI, the “Umbrella” singer’s surprise drop, then, resists the Rihanna we knew, the one who wasn’t known for the kind of avant-garde, Beyoncé-like wildcard that ANTI is. Let her pointedly remind you that she, too, can dig deep and pour her innermost feelings all over a solo piano, which she does on “Close to You.” Listen as she lashes out at an ex-beau, which she does atop the slinky grind of “Needed Me.” Yes, like 2009’s head-turner Rated R, Rihanna excels when she challenges not just herself but those who expect the superficiality of her baity-and-sometimes-bland singles, from “S&M” (bland) to “We Found Love” (not bland). That’s not to say that now, eight albums in, Rihanna is getting everything right (that grating Drake collaboration, “Work,” is a bust), but her persona-altering diversions are less eager to please and more eager to be everything you thought she couldn’t be. Three stars.

— Chris Azzopardi

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FWISD Trans Guidelines under attack; FFW calls on supporters to attend board meeting

Posted on 08 May 2016 at 12:42pm
Dmack

FFW President David Mack Henderson

Fairness Fort Worth is asking for as many people as possible to turn out for the Tuesday night, May 10 meeting for the Fort Worth Independent School District board meeting to show support for new guidelines on transgender issues recently signed by Superintendent Kent Scribner.

Those attending in support of the guidelines are asked to wear red shirts.

FFW President David Mack Henderson, who praised the guidelines as “excellent template for other schools seeking a reasonable solution to this issue,” warned that Scribner and the new guidelines are “under attack by the most virulent of conservatives.” He said it is rumored that right-wing commentator and radio host Glenn Beck will be attending the meeting, bringing with him a host of Tea Party activists to speak against the guidelines.

From the FFW Facebook page:

Beck

Right-wing jerk Glenn Beck

“Some trustees and citizens said they’d like to hear open discussion. We’ve planned a response that does just that — by educating. This is not a protest, but a “Thank You” that we’re eager to deliver.

“We understand there will be speakers from various stakeholder perspectives, but we MUST FILL THE ROOM with as many of our supporters as possible. Those out to harm us plan to be there and we need to show our community’s strength and not take their bait.

There are indicators this will be a significant press event. (Glenn Beck is coming?)

“Our show of support is vital to keep and implement the guidelines and, by extension, move the needle in other school districts. Part of the backlash plan after our Marriage Equality decision last summer is to target our most vulnerable people, trans children. They want to turn back our clock. NOT IN MY CITY! We must respond as a solid LGBTQA community block.

“These are our children too. Please invite your ally friends especially! SEE YOU TUESDAY! (Parking will be tight; get there early.)”

 

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Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended

Posted on 08 May 2016 at 11:41am
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore

Alabama’s Homophobe and Asshole in Chief, state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, has been suspended for refusing to acknowledge the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last summer recognizing marriage equality nationwide.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, in a filing released Friday, May 6, wrote, “Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority as the chief administrative officer of Alabama’s judicial branch.

As reported by The Washington Post, Moore faces six charges of violating judicial ethics, all stemming for his Jan. 6 order telling state probate judges — the ones who issue marriage licenses in Alabama — that they have a “ministerial duty” to abide by state law (even though a federal Supreme Court ruling overrides state law) limiting marriage to opposite-sex cases.

The commission ruled that Moore’s order violated not only the June 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, but two other court decisions as well.

As a result of the ruling, Moore is automatically suspended from the bench. The state Court of the Judiciary will ultimately decide whether Moore is guilty of violating judicial ethics.

Moore was removed from his seat as state Supreme Court chief justice in 2003 after refusing a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had erected in the state judicial building in Montgomery. But the people of Alabama re-elected him 2012.

Last week’s ruling is a result of complaints filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a statement following the ruling, SPLC President Richard Cohen said, “Moore has disgraced his office for far too long. He’s such a religious zealot, such an egomaniac that he thinks he doesn’t have to follow federal court rulings he disagrees with. For the good of the state, he should be kicked out of office. … We look forward to his trial in the Court of the Judiciary and his eventual removal from office once again.”

Moore, for his part, accused the Judicial Inquiry Commission of being influenced by LGBT rights advocates, saying “The JIC has chosen to listen to people like Ambrosia Starling, a professed transvestite, and other gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, as well as organizations which support their agenda. We intend to fight this agenda vigorously and expect to prevail.”

Starling, the Post explained, is a self-described drag queen who Moore has singled out before, suggesting that she suffers from mental illness and alleging that she performed an “illegal” wedding ceremony. A local Unitarian Universalist minister, the Rev. Fred Hammond, disputed that latter claim in a blog post late last month, saying that it was he who performed the cerem

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Press Club of Dallas honors David Webb

Posted on 06 May 2016 at 4:01pm
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North Texas Legends award winner and Dallas Voice contributor David Webb

The Press Club of Dallas has announced that longtime Dallas Voice staff writer and contributor David Webb, The Rare Reporter, has been selected to receive the organization’s Excellence in Journalism: North Texas Legends Award and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The award celebration will be held June 9 at the Sixth Floor Museum.

Webb, notified of the award on Thursday, May 5, said he was shocked and honored at the recognition. He is among about a dozen honorees this year.

Now mostly retired and living on Cedar Creek Lake — with his four dogs and the guard donkey Zorro — Webb has had a long career in journalism. He has worked for the Belo Corporation, for a chain of suburban DFW newspapers known as News Texan, the Valley Morning Star in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and for the Dallas Times Herald.

After a stint with the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., he returned to Texas and began working for Dallas Voice in 2001. He worked full time for Dallas Voice until 2008 when he retired and moved to Cedar Creek Lake. He has continued to be a contributing writer for the Voice since his retirement, and also freelances for various publications nationwide. He is a correspondent for the Cedar Creek Lake newspaper The Monitor, editor of CedarCreekLake.com and author of TheRareReporter.blogspot.com.

Webb said this week that when you combine his years as a staff member and his years a contributing writer, he has worked for Dallas Voice longer than any other publication.

Press Club President Frank Librio said this is the club’s sixth annual Excellence in Journalism: North Texas Legends Award. Winners are chosen by a panel of their peers, comprising past Legend Award winners and longstanding Press Club members. winners must have worked in the Dallas/Fort Worth area news media market for at least 10 years and currently reside in Texas. Nominees can be retired or still working in the field of journalism.

Librio said Webb was chosen to receive the award because his “body of work is respected, makes a difference in our diverse community and roses to the level of excellence.”

On a personal note, let me say that I am thrilled to see my friend and colleague David Webb receive this honor. He is a dedicated writer who is committed to excellence in journalism and to his community.

This marks the second year in a row that someone from the Dallas Voice family has won the Legends Award; founder and former owner/publisher Robert Moore was honored last year.

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