Bipartisanship at BTD a noble goal
I am writing regarding a recent article on Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas becoming ruby sponsors of the Black Tie Dinner (“Log Cabin leader wants to soften tone at Black Tie,” Dallas Voice, June 22).
In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that Rob Schlein, LCR-Dallas president, and I are friends of long standing.
Rob and his partner, David Keeton, are faithful attendees at the Black Tie Dinner, joining me at the table now captained by Dr. Tim Kessler. During these occasions, Rob and David endured the acrimonious attacks our guest speakers often delivered against Republicans and the current administration. For just as long, we have encouraged Rob and the Log Cabin Republicans whose concerns he voiced to step up and become Black Tie Sponsors.
We argued that doing so would give them the standing necessary to address the self-evident bias in speakers at the event.
I was disappointed to read that the Black Tie Committee dodged the complaint. No one asked the committee to censure its speakers. The event calls together people with a common desire to advance the civil rights of GLBT people, not to advance the Democratic Party.
As I understand it, Rob asked that the speakers be informed the audience was not uniformly Democratic and to be respectfully tolerant of the differing opinions. To my ear, his request resonates with the larger goal of promoting the human rights of all GLBT folks, not merely those who hold a certain political point of view.
In a strategic decision it has come to regret, the leadership of the Republican Party chose to identify with the Religious Right to the exclusion of other, more moderate voices. This association has damaged the credibility of the Republican Party and called into question the moral integrity of the Christian movement.
No one should rejoice over this development. The country needs a robust two-party system as much as it needs compassionate, caring people involved in civic affairs. Instead we should learn from this woeful mistake.
It would not be healthy for the Democratic Party nor would it benefit the Human Rights Campaign to become permanently identified as a unit locked in an immutable embrace. I ask that the Black Tie Committee reflect on this concern and act now to establish a more balanced relationship with both parties. Working with the Log Cabin Republicans is a step in the right direction.
As a lifelong, South Texas Yellow Dog Democrat, I believe this is the perfect opportunity to remind my brothers and sisters that the first political human right is the right to voice an opinion different from ours and to respect the individual who disagrees with us. In that vein, I ask you to join me in applauding loudly when the power point screen welcomes the Log Cabin Republicans as proud sponsors of the Black Tie Dinner.
Lesbian moms do slight fathers
I read the “Opus” cartoon Chris Crain mentioned in his column (“Lesbian moms no slight to fatherhood,” Dallas Voice, June 29) and saw the humor in it.
Ironically, women raised plenty of rancor over their personification in the popular media and received the standard, “‘Oh, it’s just a TV show; you’re so sensitive,’ reply. The “misguided notion” is held by the female couples who patronize sperm banks, often bearing a vitriolic and disrespectful attitude towards anyone male. They scoff at the mere notion of fatherhood, while howling about the handful of men who abandon their children.
They all question the role of adult males in the lives of children and declare, “We don’t need men; we have sperm banks,” which is akin to saying, “We don’t need farms; we have grocery stores.”
Never mind that men were raising children long before some jerk invented sperm banks or queer chicks decided to reinvent the concept of family to satiate their misandric sentiments.
The “Opus” cartoon is even less funny when you consider the child custody battles men face in divorce court where accusations of child abuse and rape have become standard weapons against fathers. No, Chris, outwardly lesbian moms may be no “slight” to fatherhood. But, many of them slight fathers altogether. I think that’s called bigotry.
Alejandro De La Garza
Wrapping up on Oakley, Dupree
In re: “This kind of stuff only happens in soap operas . . .” The Rare Reporter, Dallas Voice, July 6.
I’m a regular reader of the Voice, and have followed the sordid details of now-deposed Constable Mike Dupree through the weekly Rare Reporter column. Having said that, I cannot let an opportunity to pass without speaking up about this and the recent mayoral runoff.
First to Ed Oakley’s loss in the mayoral race: I must say that, having voted for him twice, he lost the race fair and square. To imply that he somehow lost because he is gay is just sour grapes and doesn’t square with reality.
He may have lost some votes because of his sexual orientation. However, Ed Oakley lost the race by first going negative against Tom Leppert, never ever saying what he was for, never appearing in any commercials (that I’m aware of), and race-baiting.
I’m a single, white male living in a heavily African-American neighborhood in East Dallas, an area known as Buckner Terrace. I was mortified when Oakley’s campaign sent out a high gloss mailer (which was pretty much their modus operandi from Day One) attacking Leppert because he had shown nominal support for Laura Miller as mayor.
Now, help me here. The black community in general abhors Laura Miller, a Democrat (in a non-partisan position) like Oakley. It was painfully clear to me that he race-baited in that brochure by playing on the African-American community’s dislike of Miller again without ever saying what he was for, or what he would do for the city of Dallas. What a pathetic way to run a campaign!
When I saw WFAA’s one-on-one question-and-answer session with the two candidates, I was appalled that Oakley missed five of six questions. He didn’t even hazard a guess at the size of the Dallas Police Department. A two-term city councilman could not say even in the vaguest of terms how big the police force is!
The only answer he got right was the city’s tax rate.
Leppert, on the other hand, missed only that question out of six.
Ed Oakley has no one to blame for his loss except himself. He was either stupid or ignorant of what people were looking for, or he had painfully bad campaign advice. I just hope he learned from this “soap opera,” and I hope he remembers all too well that it doesn’t show him at his best when he race-baits and goes negative before the other candidate does.
Frankly, I hope he just fades away until he grows up and maybe then he can come back and run in another race.
As for Mike Dupree, I have to ask the obvious question: Why in the name of all that’s good would you accept a plea bargain so you “didn’t have to go to jail for something you didn’t do”? That’s just stupid logic and just a little self-serving.
And per the Dallas Voice article (“Dupree weighs future outside law enforcement,” July 6), now he wants to just rest up awhile and sort out his options.
From the moment the charges came up he has been on vacation. And, bless him, he didn’t want the taxpayers to bear the burden of trial expenses? Puhleeze! How much does he think the taxpayers of Dallas County had to spend while he was “on vacation” all those weeks and months?
A manager is gone from his post indefinitely; his responsibilities have to be performed by someone else, and he’s paid vacation pay all at taxpayer expense.
Mike Dupree shamed his office and shamed himself in his actions. Just like Ed Oakley, Dupree has only himself to blame for a situation that he alone created.
It’s time for gay people anyone for that matter to take full responsibility for their actions, whether it be in their personal or professional lives. And to stop using their sexual orientation as an excuse for their own personal failures.
Larry L. Glazener
Gay leaders must take responsibility
One would be hard pressed not to notice the multiple “black eyes” that the Dallas GLBT community has experienced over recent weeks. Each situation is different and all have different individual circumstances and I am not passing any sort of judgment on any individual because, frankly, I don’t have all of the facts, and secondly, it’s not my place to do so.
The GLBT community however, like any other “minority” group, must hold itself to a higher standard in order to prove our worth to the community at-large.
How can we expect to obtain the respect and support of the outside community at-large when we are unwilling to take individual and personal responsibility first?
This is especially true for those who hold elected office as a GLBT individual or other high profile positions of leadership in GLBT organizations. Even the mere “appearance” of impropriety or irresponsible personal behavior discredits any office we hold and any organizations we might belong to, and makes the GLBT community as a whole look irresponsible.
We must not let ourselves fall into the “stereotype” that the outside world holds of GLBT people. Of course that’s pretty difficult when we live up to that stereotype.
Any elected GLBT official or community leader must be cognizant of the fact that they will indeed be held to a higher degree of scrutiny simply because of who they (we) are. It’s time to recognize and accept that. Being GLBT does not give any of us a “free pass” when it comes to either irresponsible professional or personal behavior. If anything, it’s just the opposite.
Fortunately, Dallas has a large, vibrant and well-organized GLBT community and I have no doubts that we will readily bounce-back from these recent “black eyes” and move onto better and brighter days in the future. Let’s do so realizing that our actions, both personal and professional, reflect on the entire GLBT community.
Finding middle ground
In re: “Dupree fell victim to a malicious attack” and “Constable was guilty as charged” (Letters to the Editor, Dallas Voice, July 6). Hopefully I can land in between these two letters.
One letter writer incorrectly wrote that he has “received hearsay testimony” about Mr. Dupree’s situation. Only judges sitting on the bench in a court of law hear testimony given under oath; hearsay is never allowed in courts of law.
(Definition of “testimony:” a solemn statement made under oath, an assertion offering firsthand authentication of a fact; “according to his own testimony he can’t do it;” something that serves as evidence; “his effort was testimony to his devotion.” wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn.)
The other letter writer apparently would simply like to crucify Mr. Dupree on the spot.
In between those opinions, I would like to say this: Whatever and whomever Mr. Dupree likes was not our business until he chose to run for public office and was elected. Everything about Mr. Dupree then became our business. And he made bad choices. Period.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 13, 2007.