Abbott to announce decision on special session today

Posted on 06 Jun 2017 at 11:02am
Abbott.Greg

Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov Greg Abbott will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday, June 6), and is expected to announce his decision on whether to call a special session of the Texas Legislature, and if he does call a special session, what issues will be addressed.

Thanks to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s hissy fit over the House’s refusal to approve his ridiculous bathroom bill, SB 6, lawmakers failed to pass sunset legislation keeping five state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board, in business, before the session ended on May 29. The Legislature also failed to pass a property tax reform measure:

The House said the Senate’s bill wouldn’t be effective because it did not address school district taxes — which make up a large part of homeowners’ property tax bill — and many local city officials — mayors, police and fire departments — were against the measure, SB 2, because they said it would cause drastic cuts in spending for necessary city services. And the Senate hated the House bill because, senators said, it was too watered down.

In the waning days of the session, when Patrick and his minions began to realize that their bathroom bill — prohibiting transgender people from using the appropriate public restrooms and HB 2899, which would have banned trans people from appropriate restrooms AND rolled back local human rights ordinances — had no chance of passing, he began threatening to kill vital legislation (such as the sunset bills) to force a special session. But Abbott, who had expressed at least some support for the bathroom bills, is the only one who can actually call a special session, and the only one who can set the agenda for a special session.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, during a speech Monday night, June 5, at the Bell County Republican Dinner, Abbott suggested that property tax reform would be the main topic on the agenda for a special session. He did not mention bathroom bills.

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Farmer’s Branch mayoral candidate has a record of DWI arrests, allegedly used anti-gay language

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 5:07pm

Robert Clair Dye III in mug shots from 2013 and 2014

With less than a week to go before the Farmer’s Branch mayoral runoff election, LGBT North Texans and their allies are encouraging residents of Farmer’s Branch not to vote for candidate Robert Clair Dye III, noting that Dye has been arrested three times for DWI, according to public records, and in at least one case berated the arresting officer with anti-LGBT language.

His first arrest was in Lubbock on March 12, 2004, when he was a student. Officer Chad Demaray wrote in his police report that he stopped Dye after having observed Dye swerve and disregard two stop signs. After he stopped Dye, Demaray said, he noticed “a strong odor of alcoholic beverage.”

After Dye failed a field sobriety test, Demaray determined he was intoxicated and arrested him.

Demaray asked Dye if the passenger could park the vehicle, but Dye wanted to pull it into a parking space himself. When the officer refused to let him drive and told Dye his vehicle would be impounded, “he got very upset, calling Officer Osborn a ‘fucking faggot’ over and over,” Demaray wrote.

Dye was handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car, where he began banging his head against the center shield. Dye slipped the cuffs under him so his hands were in front and he unbuckled his seat belt. When Osborn and Demaray tried to remove him from the vehicle, Dye stiffened his body to prevent them from doing so.

After removing Dye from the car and placing him on the ground, the officers recuffed him and transported him to the DWI room at Lubbock police headquarters.

After being advised that he was being taped. Dye refused to give a specimen of his breath and refused to sign a statutory warning form.

Dye’s vehicle was impounded and his driver’s license confiscated. While being booked, officers found someone else’s driver’s license in his shoe and he was charged with this additional offense.

That information comes from the police report given to Dallas Voice, but we have obtained no additional documents yet that indicate disposition of the case.

Dye’s second DUI arrest came on March 28, 2009, when he was arrested in Dallas for driving while intoxicated and assault on a public servant.

Officers John Nash III and Albert Chacon saw Dye’s vehicle driving southbound in the northbound lane of North Henderson Avenue. After stopping him and determining Dye was intoxicated, the officers checked his record and found no prior DWI convictions.

After being told to put his hands behind his back, Dye tried to walk back to his vehicle. Nash grabbed Dye’s left wrist and Dye swung his right fist but missed Nash’s face. He refused to put his hands behind his back “and continued to resist,” the police report says. Dye tripped on the curb and fell.

“A/O (arresting officer) released A/P (arrested person) to put out an assist at which time the A/P rolled and struck A/O Nash in the left jaw with his right fist causing pain and discomfort,” the police report says. “A/O was able to pin the right arm and control A/P and he used a three second burst of pepper spray to get A/P to stop resisting and take the A/P into custody.”

Dye was convicted of DWI on August 18, 2009 in Dallas County.

On July 13, 2013, Dye was arrested in Plano. The police report doesn’t indicate Dye resisted arrest this time, but he did refuse to give a blood sample. A blood draw was taken after he was booked.

“Dye was very confrontational about the blood draw and advised that he was going to resist,” the police report says. “When several other officers entered into the room he decided to cooperate.”

On a background check of Dye, this arrest is listed as his second DWI. The Plano police report indicates it found a record of the Lubbock arrest, “but there was no conviction data available on the return.”

That indicates charges in the 2004 arrest were dropped, however the arrest is still on the record.

On May 15, 2014 and again on Oct. 9, 2014, Dye was taken into custody for violating terms of his bond.

In the May 17 election, four candidates were running for mayor. Dye placed second with 965 votes or 34 percent of the total. Harold Froehlich received 43 percent with 1,208 votes.

They face each other in the runoff on June 10.

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Gordon Young on being an openly gay artist in Dallas through the years

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 3:40pm

Gordon Young

Eric Miller with the Art After X project recently shared this video of openly gay Dallas artist Gordon Young talking about his life and his art with Dallas Voice, and agreed to let us share the video with our readers.

With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, November 1963 was a turning point for Dallas and the country. And while the art scene here in North Texas was shifting to a more national and international perspective, the local art scene remained vibrant and unique. So, “With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s,” according to the Art After X project leaders. The final product will be a book with a video component.

Watch this interview with Young, then visit Art After X’s Vimeo page for more.

Gordon Young Studio Visit from Art After X on Vimeo.

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UPDATE: Rawlings agrees with other mayors to fight climate change

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:50am

Mayor Mike Rawlings

UPDATE:

As of June 6, 246 mayors have signed on to be Climate Mayors including one more Texan — San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides.

ORIGINAL POST:

Mayor Mike Rawlings wasn’t an original signer to an agreement to uphold the Paris climate accord, but his name is there now.

In a tweet, Rawlings wrote, “I stand with my fellow across the country in a shared commitment to the goals of the .”

The number of mayors who agree to do their part to uphold the international agreement now stands at 211. Only three other Texas mayors names are on the list — Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Smithville Mayor Scott A Saunders. Smithville is southeast of Austin.

Notably missing from the list are Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser. Also missing from the list is Plano Mayor Harry LaRosilier who is busy welcoming his new residents moving to his city to staff Toyota’s new headquarters from one of the most liberal counties in California.

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UPDATE: Package at DPHQ was ‘harmless’

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:47am

UPDATE: Dallas police have released a statement saying that hazmat has removed the package and it was determined to be harmless. A press conference is set for 12:30 p.m.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., a suspicious package was found near the north entrance of Jack Evans Police Headquarters located at 1400 S. Lamar Street.

All personnel were asked to move to a safe location in the facility. The appropriate emergency personnel have been notified. Lamar Street and Belleview Street has been closed down. Police are asking that anyone in the vicinity stay clear until this incident is resolved and made safe.

Police have also asked news media to limit helicopter images to the front of the building. And Philip Burton, whose condo overlooks the police station, tells us that they are allowing no traffic — foot or vehicle — near the building. Burton also sent us the photos in this post.

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Drama Desks awarded, Tonys next

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:24am

Last night, New York’s Drama Desk Awards were presented, with North Texas’ Michael Urie serving as host, in a rough preview of what to expect from the Tony Awards this coming Sunday.

Unlike the Tonys, the Drama Desks — which were founded by theater critics and journalists — award both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions, as well as Broadway. Therefore, shows that open in New York Off-Broadway one year and on the next are often recognized by the Drama Desks before the Tonys. For instance, this year’s Drama Desks for outstanding music and  lyrics went to David Yazbek for The Band’s Visit, which won’t open on Broadway until the fall. He defeated Come from Away, one of the frontrunners for this year’s Tonys. (Bandstand, which is produced in part by Dallas’ Terry D. Loftis, won two awards.)

The Drama Desks also present more awards than the Tonys, and in some unique categories, like solo performance and projection design. Oddly, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon won respectively for actress and featured actress in a play for The Little Foxes, in which they alternate performances in the leading and supporting roles, which should make them eligible in the same category. They are submitted similarly for the Tonys.

Here are the winners:

MUSICALS

Outstanding Musical: Come from Away

Outstanding Revival: Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Director (tie): Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812; and David Cromer, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Actor: Andy Karl, Groundhog Day

Outstanding Actress: Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Featured Actor: Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Featured Actress: Jenna Colella, Come from Away

Outstanding Book: Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come from Away

Outstanding Music: David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Lyrics: David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit

Outstanding Orchestrations: Bandstand

Outstanding Choreography: Andy Blankenbeuhler, Bandstand

Outstanding Costume Design: War Paint

Outstanding Set Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Lighting Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Sound Design: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

PLAYS

Outstanding Play: Oslo by J.T. Rogers

Outstanding Revival: Jitney

Outstanding Director: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney

Outstanding Actor: Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

Outstanding Actress: Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Outstanding Featured Actor: Danny DeVito, The Price

Outstanding Featured Actress: Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes

Outstanding Music in a Play: Bill Sims Jr., Jitney

Outstanding Costume Design: The Little Foxes

Outstanding Set Design: The Play That Goes Wrong

Outstanding Lighting Design: Indecent

Outstanding Sound Design: The Encounter

OTHER CATEGORIES

Outstanding Fight Choreography: Sweat

Outstanding Solo Performance: Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose

Outstanding Adaptation: David Ives, The Liar

Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience: The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Outstanding Revue: Life is for Living: Conversations with Coward

Outstanding Projection Design: Anastasia

Outstanding Puppet Design: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Outstanding Wig and Hair: War Paint

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Turtle Creek Chorale stages Dreams

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 10:08am

The Turtle Creek Chorale staged its issue-oriented concert In Your Dreams on June 2-4. They paid tribute to the victims of the Pulse massacre as well as last summer’s fallen Dallas police officers. One chorale member addressed coming out to his family as a drag queen while others talked about tackling their meth addiction. These photos, provided by the chorale, are from the dress rehearsal.

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AIN stages a successful Bloomin Ball

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 at 9:37am

AIDS Interfaith Network’s Bloomin Ball took place at the Renaissance Hotel on Saturday, June 3. According to AIN community liaison Nestor Estrada, the evening was already the agency’s most profitable dinner — and that was before the silent auction had closed.

 

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Wings, WNBA celebrating Pride Month

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 12:52pm

Dallas Wings’ Allisha Gray, No. 15, faces off against Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus as Courtney Paris looks on, during the Wings’ recent win over the Lynx. Gray was named WNBA’s Rookie of the Month for May.

The WNBA — Women’s National Basketball Association, just in case some of you don’t know — is celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in June, for the fourth year in a row. And that includes our very own Dallas Wings (watch for special Wings/Pride Month coverage coming soon to Dallas Voice, online and in print).

WNBA President Lisa Borders said the league is “honored and privileged to celebrate the diversity of our fan base,” and that the WNBA “embraces the principles of equality and mutual respect and is always working to ensure an inclusive environment at our games and events.”

WNBA Pride Month includes four nationally televised games on ESPN2: Washington Mystics at the Dallas Wings on June 6 (7 p.m. CST), and Dallas Wings at the Los Angeles Sparks on June 13 (9 p.m. CST). On June 23 Minnesota Lynx host the Mystics (7 p.m. CST), and on June 29, the Connecticut Sun hosts the Seattle Storm (7 p.m., CST).

WNBA has also announced a collaboration with GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and Fanatics, in which fans can choose from an exclusive line of Fanatics-designed Pride T-shirts featuring WNBA or NBA team logos. A portion of the proceeds will benefit GLSEN, and the league will donate $10,000 to help support GLSEN’s efforts to create safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.

Throughout June, teams will offer special ticket packages and in-arena experiences for Pride-themed games. There will also be community outreach and activation with local Pide groups, festivals and parades, with team activities will be showcased on WNBA and NBA Cares social media channels with the hashtag #wnbapride.

That includes, for the second year in a row, the WNBA, NBA and NBA Development League marching together and having a float in the New York City Pride March on June 25.

(Dallas and Fort Worth both stage their LGBT Pride parades and events in the fall — September in Dallas and October in Fort Worth. Dallas Wings representatives have said the team plans to participate in the local Pride celebrations then.)

Dallas Wings stand at 3-2 going into tonight’s game against The New York Liberty, at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty are 2-3 on the season. Wings play the Indiana Fever (2-4) on Tuesday in Indianapolis, and are back home in College Park Center in Arlington to host the Washington Mystics (4-2). Next Friday, the Los Angeles Sparks (3-2) come to College Park Center.

For a complete Dallas Wings schedule, go here. For tickets, go here.

Additional information on team events and celebrations can be found at WNBA.com/pride. The 2017 WNBA regular season runs through Sept. 3. For more information on the WNBA, game tickets and the full 2017 Twitter live stream schedule, visit wnba.com.

 

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No Pride proclamation from Trump

Posted on 02 Jun 2017 at 12:14pm

Donald Trump

Note to all those gay Republicans and others who claimed that President Donald Trump was going to be a friend to the LGBT community: YOU WERE WRONG.

On Wednesday, May 31, Trump signed a proclamation declaring June to be “National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2017.” Apparently, there is not enough room in June for Caribbean-Americans and the LGBT folk, because Trump has failed — at least so far — to issue a proclamation honoring June as national LGBT Pride Month.

(We were spoiled with eight years of President Obama recognizing Pride month with proclamations and actual celebrations; you know, like bathing the White House in rainbow lights for Marriage Equality Day in 2015.)

Trump is not only NOT a friend, he is, in fact, a huge enemy to our community, despite his daughter’s claims of love and support for all her LGBT friends.

As a statement from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation noted, “Since Day One of his presidency, Donald Trump has approved policy that systematically erases LGBTQ Americans from the fabric of this nation. From removing any mention of ‘LGBTQ’ on government websites to rescinding guidance that protection the rights of transgender students at their schools, the Trump Administration has made a point to halt full acceptance for LGBTQ Americans.”

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that thanks to Trump, Indiana’s former Homophobe in Chief, Mike Pence, is now vice president.

 

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