Street’s Fine Chicken, one of the newer eateries in the gayborhood, launches new service hours, beginning this weekend. Starting tonight, it introduces a late-night, walk-up window, available each Saturday night (the seated area will continue to close at 10 p.m.). Then on Monday, and each Monday after, it will be open for lunch and dinner.
2 oz. Bacardi rum
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. simply syrup
1/2 oz. creme de mure
Making it: Shake the first three ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice in a Boston shaker. Strain into a glass with plenty of ice. Drizzle creme de mure on top. Garnish with basil sprig and a skewered blackberry.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not particularly religious. I’m more philosophical when it comes to higher powers. I’ll not bore you with the details of my beliefs, because this isn’t the venue and because my beliefs are mine and don’t — and shouldn’t — affect you.
But lately, it seems that some people are trying to use their religion to screw with the constitutionally guaranteed rights of others, like me. And yes, I have a problem with that.
Where this gets dicey is that the right to practice the religion of your choice is also constitutionally protected. And people are surprisingly touchy if you point out the inconsistencies in the book on which their beliefs are based.
The latest assault on common sense comes from our very own Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, who campaigned for office partly on a platform of cleaning up corruption. This is the same Ken Paxton who now is facing felony charges of — wait for it — corruption filed by the Securities Exchange Commission.
But Paxton isn’t letting his own legal woes get in the way of protecting his fellow Texans from the dangers of legal protections for transgender people.
On Aug. 23, Paxton filed a 79-page complaint in U.S. District Court — after shopping around for a judge likely to be amenable to his claims — that contends that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that healthcare providers offer trans-inclusive services violates the religious freedom of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
How? Really, how?
Tell me, in what possible way could providing me with healthcare of any kind conceivably violate anyone’s religious freedom?
Simple answer: It doesn’t.
No unless “religious freedom” is really secret code for “I don’t feel like it,” “I don’t want to,” or “I disagree with who you are.”
But that would never happen with a highly educated healthcare worker … would it?
That’s sixth-grade playground bullshit, right. I mean, in the real world, if someone needs healthcare and you are a healthcare provider, you provide them with the care they need. Period.
Here’s a little secret: Paxton and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are reading almost word-for-word out of the “5-Point Plan to Legislate Trans People Out of Existence.”
This plan was designed by the hate group called the “Family Research Council.” FRC and the Alliance Defending Freedom are two of the most evil and hateful organizations you will find — at least if you are a trans person.
Just so you’ll be able to recognize it in the future, here are the points of the 5-Point Plan, in no particular order:
1. Deny trans people the ability to change their name and gender on legal documents. (Ken and Dan are working on this one.)
2. Deny trans people adequate and appropriate healthcare. (Working on this one, too.)
3. Keep trans people from serving in the military. (Our boys from Texas lost that one!)
4. Prohibit any legal protections against discrimination for trans people and make sure no one is required to respect their identity. (A work in progress.)
And last but not least, 5. Make sure trans people are not legally permitted to use restroom facilities aligning with their gender identity (Apparently, Dan Patrick desperately wants me to pee next to him.)
So, is that what “religion” is all about? Where in the Bible does it say transgender people shouldn’t exist and shouldn’t have rights equal to everyone else?
I mean, I don’t look to that book for my laws anyway, but if you do, nowhere in it will you find any reason whatsoever you should discriminate against or hate me based on its teachings.
So if you are making laws to try and eliminate a class of people, then shame on you.
When I discuss an issue, I like to try and understand the other side. So imagine this, good Christian person: What if my religion denied you or your child healthcare? Would those be “fightin’ words?” They better be, because that would be pretty fucked up:
“Sorry; you and your about-to-burst appendix can take a hike. The God I believe in says you have to play the organs you were dealt. I talked to my God this morning; He wouldn’t want me to take it out. Yeah, you might die because of my beliefs, but hey, I also believe there is this really nice country club in the sky you get to go to, so enjoy your tee time at 9 a.m. tomorrow!”
This bullshit really came to a head in 2014 when the Supreme Court handed down the Hobby Lobby decision.
Hobby Lobby didn’t want to have to provide birth control as part of its health plan because of company owners’ “deeply-held religious beliefs.”
(That very phrase is beginning to make me want to throw up.)
As far as I am concerned, you can believe whatever you want. There is a crap-ton of religions out there. Many of them are corrupt, no two agree, most worship the dollar more than “God” and some even have covered up the fact that kids were (are?) being molested by church leaders, So yeah, pick one and have a good time.
If it gives you comfort, fantastic! Life is tough and the world is a dangerous and confusing place, and we all need all the comfort we can find.
But if your religion seeks to deny my or anyone else’s pursuit of happiness, that is where your “freedom of religion” needs to stop. I mean, I have the freedom to swing my arms, but when I swing them into your face, that freedom ends.
Simple, right? Now, if we could just explain this to Paxton and Patrick.
By the way, did I mention that having religious bullies and bigots in positions of leadership violates my deeply-held religious beliefs?
Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2016.
Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown announced his retirement today (Thursday, Sept. 1), less than two months after an assassin killed five police officers and wounded five other officers and two civilians.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Brown spoke about each police officer being asked to do more things than any person is capable of doing. He will be remembered by his officers for serenading them with Stevie Wonder lyrics at a memorial service. President Barack Obama, who attended the service with the first lady and the Bidens and the Bushes, told Brown he was glad he met Michelle first because she loves Stevie Wonder.
Brown gave no reason for his retirement from DPD, but talked about the fallen officers in his letter announcing that he is stepping down. A month earlier, Brown attended a rally at Resource Center and spoke to 1,000 people mourning the victims of the Pulse massacre in Orlando.
Brown has served in the Dallas Police Department for 33 years; his retirement is effective Oct. 22.
Chief Brown’s statement on the Dallas Police blog:
After much prayer, I am announcing my retirement from the Dallas Police Department after 33 years as a Dallas police officer. My retirement will be effective October 22, 2016.
Serving the citizens of Dallas in this noble profession has been both a true honor and a humbling experience.
Thank you to Mayors, City Managers and Dallas City Council members past and present for allowing me to serve. Thank you for the service you have provided for this great city.
I became a Dallas cop in 1983 because of the crack cocaine epidemic’s impact on my neighborhood in Oak Cliff. I wanted to be part of the solution. Since that time I have taken great pride in knowing that we have always been part of the solution and helped to make Dallas the world class city it is today.
Let’s always remember the fallen officers including the five officers on July 7, 2016, and the brave men and women of the Dallas Police Department for their sacrifices to keep Dallas safe. Their memory will remain with all of us forever. I know the people of Dallas will never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made on the streets of our city that awful night.
Officers, your extraordinary service will forever be etched in my heart and will serve as a guidepost for me in the next phase of my life. You will always be in my prayers.
I want to thank my family for their love and support.
This is a difficult decision. I pray for your understanding and well wishes.
Finally, I want to acknowledge my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for my life, health, and strength. I pray for His continued blessings over my life.
Thank you Dallas and God bless!!
~Chief David O. Brown
Last month, we ran a story about Don Jones, who for decades has been the American Sign Language interpreter for the Turtle Creek Chorale. We also mentioned how Theatre 3 was leading a push to sponsor real-time deaf interpretation during certain performances.
Now the AT&T Performing Arts Center and Dallas Theater Center are getting into the act as well. In conjunction with the Theatre Development Fund, ATTPAC and DTC will provide open captioning — similar to the supertitles at an opera, with all the dialogue, lyrics and sound effects projected on the side of the stage — at select performances of shows. The first was last Sunday at A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, but the DTC will do it four more times this season: At the new musical Bella: An American Tall Tale (Oct. 6), at A Christmas Carol (Dec. 11), at The Christians (Feb. 12, 2017) and at the world premiere Hood (July 16). ATTPAC is expected to add more dates as shows come available.
The Donald Trump campaign filed paperwork today disavowing any connection with Ian Hawes or the American Horizons PAC. The address listed for the PAC is 3824 Cedar Springs Road, which is the UPS Store. The box # is 801-4905.
Hawes is promising that people who contribute will be entered into a drawing to have dinner with Trump.
The Trump committee filed a report “to disavow the below mentioned committee which appears to be using Donald J. Trump’s name, image, likeness, or slogans in connection with soliciting contributions and conducting other activities.”
The Trump filing claims Hawes’ activities are not authorized by Trump or his committee and that contributions made through the PAC are not being made to the Trump campaign.
According to The Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., American Horizons reported taking in $349,958 and had spent $261,760 in its latest report dated June 30. Donors who gave more than $200 are listed. Few are from Texas.
In 2010, when Hawes was 19, he was arrested in Maryland for theft of between $1,000 and $10,000 for which he was given probation.
The UPS Store has no information about anyone associated with the listed box number.
Imran Yousuf will be honored with the 2016 AMPA Community Hero Award at the inaugural American Military Partner Association West Coast Gala on Saturday, Sept. 17 in San Diego.
Yousuf, a recent Marine Corps veteran, is widely credited with having saved more than 70 lives during the June 12 Pulse massacre in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in modern United States history. Yousef worked as a bouncer at the club.
“Imran represents the best of America and the best of America’s military community, as evidenced by his quick and heroic actions amid the chaos and carnage of the tragedy in Orlando,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “While he humbly may not consider himself a hero, his courageous actions in the face of mortal danger that saved the lives of more than 70 of our LGBT brothers and sisters say otherwise. He is certainly a hero to our community and to all of America, and we are proud to honor Imran with our 2016 Community Hero Award at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala in San Diego.”
Since the shooting, Yousuf has only made one other public appearance — when he served as honorary grand marshal of the Houston Pride Parade in June.
Yousef served as an engineer equipment electrical systems technician in the Marine Corps from 2010-2016, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.
South Florida’s LGBT community — and law enforcement — are on high alert this week after a local man posted numerous threats against LGBT people on Instagram, claiming that what he is “planning for Labor Day” will be worse than the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The shooting at Pulse left 49 victims and the shooter dead, and another 53 people wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Impulse South Florida, the local chapter of the national volunteer HIV/AIDS education and advocacy organization, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, posted screen captures of Craig Jungwirth’s posts on Instagram from that same day, along with a photo of Jungwirth himself (see above) and a warning to be on the look out for him.
In the posts, which appear to be part of a conversation with a man named David Herbert, Jungwirth says, “My events are selling out cause you faggots are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”
When Herbert replies that Jungwirth is “fucking crazy” and that he is calling police, Jungwirth continues, “You can never catch a genius from MIT and since you faggots are dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers. …
“I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”
In posting the screen caps to the Impulse South Florida Facebook page, representatives of the organization said Jungwirth has made other “extreme posts” on Instagram, and that he “has been known to be in Wilton Manors and Orlando.” Wilton Manors is located just north of Fort Lauderdale.
In a statement to Dallas Voice on Wednesday, Aug. 31, via Impulse Dallas representative Erik Vasquez, Impulse United Vice President and Impulse South Florida representative A.J. Alegria said, “All local law enforcement has been notified and are working on [Jungwirth]. Our close friend is the captain of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He has been communicating with use. We have been directing everyone to law enforcement. The FBI has also been notified.”
LGBT media in the South Florida area earlier this year — including Peacock Panache and South Florida Gay News — outed Jungwirth as a scam artist, noting that he had taken over the Beach Bear Weekend event in Florida and used it to scam money from the LGBT community. As Tim Peacock with Peacock Panache reported, “What began as a story of his harassment of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence exploded after information surfaced that not only were the events listed for his Beach Bear Weekend event fake but also all hotel bookings through the event website didn’t actually reserve local hotels.”
Peacock said that after he published stories about that situation, Jungwirth “embarked on a harassment campaign” against Peacock Panache and its writers, sent harassing text messages, left “vaguely threatening voice mails,” left spam and threats on the Peacock Panache’s social media pages and comments sections and “even attempted to hack our server several times to access the articles written about him.”
NBC 6 News out of Miami reports that Jungwirth “has a lengthy criminal history which includes stalking charges,” and “a handful of restraining orders” against him. The TV station also said Facebook has deleted Jungwirth’s profile.
Dallas Voice has contacted police departments in both Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale for information and we are awaiting their responses. But NBC 6 says police departments in the area — and the LGBT community — are taking the threats seriously. You can watch NBC 6’s report below.
Ilume Gallery is now staging its 100th show, a retrospective of the art work and mementos of Jack Evans.
Evans, who died in June, and his partner George Harris are known, among other reasons, as LGBT community organizers who made the front page of the New York Times and appeared in People magazine after the Obergefell marriage equality decision in 2015. At the time of Evans’ death this summer, the couple had been together for 55 years.
Evans’ photography and art has previously been displayed at Northaven United Methodist Church, where the couple attended.
The Ilume exhibit opens with receptions from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 10. The exhibit continues through Sept. 17.
Ilume Gallery is located in the original ilume, 4123 Cedar Springs Road.