How will texting-while-driving ban affect Grindr? Johnson says it could lead to racial profiling

Eric Johnson

In case you missed it, the Texas House on Thursday passed a bill that would ban texting while driving and make it punishable by a fine of up to $200. The bill was amended so that it would not prohibit reading text messages, just typing them. And motorists would even be allowed to type messages so long as they’re at stop signs or red lights.

Naturally our first question was — how will this affect Grindr? — because we all know it’s during those long road trips when the gay mobile app is at its most useful. But seriously, this proposal, which now goes to the Senate, does sound a little difficult to enforce. For example, how does the officer know whether you’re typing a message or just reading one?

State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, apparently shares these concerns (but not the one about Grindr). Johnson sent out a press release today announcing that he voted against the proposed ban:

“HB 243 is crafted in a way that will be very difficult for police to fairly enforce.  It is almost impossible to distinguish between a driver writing or sending a text message, which is prohibited in the bill, and a driver reading a text message, dialing a phone number, or reading a Google map, all of which remain permissible under HB 243,” said Rep. Johnson. “HB 243 essentially gives police the ability to pull over any driver they see with a cell phone in his or her hand.  This legislation in its current form is not fair to Texas drivers, especially in a state with a well-documented history of racial profiling.”

—  John Wright

Candidate forums set for Saturday, Monday

Damien Duckett

As we noted in today’s cover story, candidates for Dallas mayor and City Council will attend a forum Saturday hosted by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s Political Action Committee. The forum begins at 2 p.m. at Kiest Park Recreation Center, 3080 S. Hampton Road, and it will follow an open question-and-answer format.

The three major mayoral candidates — David Kunkle, Mike Rawlings and Ron Natinsky — all plan to attend the DGLA forum. Damien Duckett, chairman of the DGLA PAC, said other City Council candidates who are scheduled to attend include Casie Pierce, Pauline Medrano, Billy MacLeod, Luis Sepulveda, James Nowlin, Cynthia Durbin, Scott Griggs, Dave Neumann, Angela Hunt, Jerry Allen and Sheffie Kadane.

• The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League will host a political forum Monday evening, and District 3 City Council candidates Scott Griggs and Dave Neumann both reportedly plan to attend. OOCCL President Michael Amonett said each will have 40 minutes for questions and answers with the voters and the League.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Avalon at Kessler Park, 2522 Fort Worth Ave. (Avalon is next to the Fort Worth Avenue Home Depot.)

—  David Taffet

Satan is on our side

I am on an email list for LGBT journalists/bloggers/PR people, and today someone on that list pointed out a recent conducted by the “Christian” news service OneNewsNow.com.

The poll question was: “What’s the major factor that allows homosexuals – a tiny fraction of the whole population – to dictate major changes in cultural morality?”

About 7,000 people responded. Of that number, 15 percent said it’s money that lets us homos control things and warp the morals of the culture. Another 7 percent said we do it through half-truths, and 33 percent said we intimidate our way to power.

But most of them had a much simpler explanation: 45 percent of the people who responded say LGBTs are able to change the cultural morality because — ready for this? — Satan is on our side. That’s right folks, the devil helps us do it.

I went to the OneNewsNow website to check it out for myself. But I couldn’t find that particular poll. It has apparently been replaced by a new poll question, asking for people’s reactions to a decision by the Arkansas State Supreme Court, released this week, striking down a constitutional amendment, approved by voters, to prohibit lesbians and gays from becoming foster or adoptive parents in that state. I found the choice of answers to be rather enlightening: “• Voters lose … courts win; • Children lose … gay activists win; • Morality loses … political correctness wins.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that they don’t give you the choice of saying “Doing the right thing wins … Right-wingnut homophobes lose.”

Anyway, I chose “Voters lose … courts win” because it wouldn’t let me see poll results until I chose one, and that was the least offensive choice to me. With 130 responses so far, “Voters lose … courts win” trails with 20 percent; followed by “Children lose … gay activists win” with 29.23 percent and, the winner, “Morality loses … political correctness wins” with 50.77 percent.

Makes sense, of course. We all know that “Political Correctness” is Satan’s mantra, and Satan is on our side.

—  admin

‘Desperate’ food: Longoria gets cookin’ in Dallas

When you think of the domesticity of the various Desperate Housewives, Gaby is hardly the first one that comes to mind. But the actress who plays her, Eva Longoria, has  come out with a cookbook called Eva’s Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family & Friends. The Texas native will actually be back in her home state on Sunday, signing copies of the book at the NorthPark Center location of Williams-Sonoma. The event begins at 11 a.m. — just in time to get it, meet Longoria and get back home to make dinner.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

ilume for sale — presumably to raise equity for second phase of Cedar Springs development

An artist’s rendering of ilume when it was in the planning stages

The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the ilume building on Cedar Springs Road is for sale. A brief story in the newspaper mentioned this fact without much supporting information, merely that another company had it listed for sale.

This would be surprising, though there may be an explanation. On Wednesday night, I spoke with Luke Crosland, owner of the property. Crosland has long promised Phase II of the ilume development, slotted to go up on the lot catty corner from the current building (across Wycliff from the Kroger).

Crosland told me that they would be breaking ground “soon” on the new development. I had previously heard as early as May. Crosland said he was in the process of arranging the equity financing — in the more than $100 million range — for a series of ilume developments across the country. Perhaps sale of the building is part of the package raising that equity?

We have left messages with Crosland seeking more info and will update this post as soon as we have more information.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

EXCLUSIVE: Do you recognize this man? (Hint: You usually see him wearing LESS clothing)

The head has been shaved and the body is leaner, but the man is still hot. North Texas native Jeremy Sons, who does gay porn under the name Mark Dalton, placed second in the open heavyweight division of the Ronnie Coleman Classic bodybuilding competition last weekend. The first and second place winners automatically qualify to compete in the USA Championships in Las Vegas on July 28. He can also participate in the National Championships in Florida on Nov. 18.

This is the second time Dalton has competed in the Ronnie Coleman; last year, he also did well, placing first in the novice division.

Dalton was also recently nominated for a “Grabby Award” for gay adult films for his solo performance in Getting Levi’s Johnson. Dalton has appeared extensively in gay porn, always in solo work.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

More entries for your Foote fetish

We review two of the entries in the Foote Festival in the Voice this week — Uptown Players’ The Young Man from Atlanta and WaterTower Theatre’s The Traveling Lady, as well as a review several weeks back of Dallas Theater Center’s Dividing the Estate — but the fest continues with a number of productions coming soon. Some today!

WingSpan Theatre Co. and One Thirty Productions are doing four performances of their staged reading of The Carpetbagger’s Children today and Saturday, with two shows each: 1:30 p.m. matinees and 8 p.m. evening perfofoamnces. Performances take place at the Bath House Cultural Center.

Contemporary Theatre of Dallas opens The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Rene Moreno, tonight at the Greenville Center for the Arts off Lower Greenville Avenue.

Theatre 3 is in previews of its production of The Roads Home, a collection of one-acts. Official opening night is Monday.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Gay travel writers descend on Dallas for GLBT International Press Tour 2011

Former City Councilman Ed Oakley, from right, Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Councilwomen Linda Koop and Delia Jasso all attended the kickoff party.


CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE GLBT PRESS TOUR KICKOFF AT ILUME

San Juan Capistrano has its swallows, Copper River has its salmon, Mexico has its monarch butterflies. But Dallas has its own annual migration: Every spring, gay travel writers from around the world come to town give precious ink (or for the bloggers, electrons) to what makes gay Dallas a worthwhile travel destination. The process seems to have worked: Over the six years the Tavern Guild has been sponsoring this influx of journos — the group that arrived Thursday marks the seventh time — Dallas has popped up on the radar of many “best of” polls for gay cities. And all without a beach or clothing-optional guesthouses.

I’ve taken these tours myself as a writer (surprisingly, the Tavern Guild has never invited me to take the tour), and Dallas usually puts on a pretty good show. First, it’s a lengthy tour (running for most reporters until Monday). Second, it is organized with Teutonic efficiency, including a great variety of dining options (from high-end to down-home) and traversing the Trinity to include our Cowtown brethren. From the responses I heard, the show is a good one.

And another selling point is, our local celebrities turn out. At Wednesday night’s kick-off event at the ilume pool bar, the five journalists in attendance — from  Barcelona, London, Madrid, Los Angeles and Chicago — were welcomed by a slate of local dignitaries including Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Chief of Police David Brown, and three current members of the city council, as well as former councilman and mayoral candidate Ed Oakley and current mayor attache Chris Heinbaugh. After the meet-and-greet, the writers headed off for Nana for dinner, followed Thursday with a trip to Fort Worth.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

2011 International GLBT Press Tour kickoff

Photos by John Wright/Dallas Voice

—  John Wright

‘Bent’ at El Centro this weekend

A break from the Foote

Is the Horton Foote Festival getting a little much but you still want to head out to the theater? The El Centro College Actor’s Workshop presents Martin Sherman’s Bent about gay men in the Holocaust. Yes, some pretty heavy stuff, but the story is both tough and tender.

Bent follows the life of Max, a promiscuous gay man in 1930′s Berlin. When a one night stand goes terribly wrong, Max finds himself running from the S.S. and eventually imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp.”

The production is directed by Daniel Scott Cates.

DEETS: El Centro College Arena Theatre,801 Main St. Through Sunday. Free.

—  Rich Lopez