Natural disasters and a disastrous amendment

Posted on 30 Dec 2005 at 1:26pm
By David Webb and Tammye Nash – Staff Writers


Hundreds of GLBT Texans and their allies gathered in Austin in March to rally for gay rights on the steps of the Capitol building.

January
An Arkansas judge struck down a five-year-old state regulation banning gays, lesbians and anyone who lives with them from being foster parents.
The Cathedral of Hope and White Rock Community Church linked with international relief efforts to provide aid to survivors of the tsunami disaster in Southern Asia. They raised more than $20,000.
State Senator Royce West surprised his GLBT supporters by announcing that he opposed same-sex marriage.
President Bush infuriated evangelicals with the announcement that he no longer considered passage of a federal marriage amendment to be a priority.
The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the state�s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
A new GLBT Latino group, the Valiente Latino GLBTQ Alliance, formed.
The North Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Chamber of Commerce opened for business with a ribbon cutting at its headquarters.
Evangelical groups denounced the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, claiming he would lead kids to believe homosexuality is acceptable.
Senator Wayne Allard re-introduced a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
Dallas police announced Edgar Acevedo, 24, a gay man who fled to Mexico, was a suspect in the murder of Dallas restaurant owner Oscar J. Sanchez. The suspect was a waiter at one of the Sanchez family�s restaurants.
World-renowned gay architect Philip Johnson died at the age of 98.

February
A measure legalizing same-sex marriage throughout Canada was introduced in Parliament, over the objections of the Roman Catholic Church and other clergy.
President Bush restated his support of the federal marriage amendment in his first State of the Union speech of his second term.
Gay Dallas publicist John McGill was indicted on a felony theft charge involving more than $100,000 in connection with his $1 million annual Dart contract.
Wal-Mart announced it was updating its employee-ethics policy to account for laws in states that recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions.
A New York City state judge ruled that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry.
AIDS activists condemned President Bush�s 2006 budget for failing to seek an increase in domestic spending while increasing international programs by $300 million.
Donald Sneed, executive director of Renaissance III, announced he would resign as executive director of the African American HIV services facility due to health reasons.
New York City doctors expressed concerns about a patient they feared had a previously unseen strain of HIV that was drug-resistant and capable of progressing to full-blown AIDS within two to three months of initial infection.
The Rev. Jo Hudson was elected senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope by the congregation. Longtime senior pastor the Rev. Michael Piazza announced his retirement to head the church�s new nonprofit group, Hope for Peace and Justice.
Dallas dentist Todd Calvin, 43, was arrested in an FBI sting in San Diego and charged with helping plan a trip to Mexico so several men could engage in sex with boys.
Conservative Web site writer Jeff Gannon, who frequently appeared at White House press briefings, resigned after questions were raised about his alleged participation on sexually suggestive Web sites.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court announced it would hear a challenge to a 1913 law used to prohibit nonresident gay and lesbian couples from marrying there.
The Pentagon announced it had discharged 653 service members under the �don�t ask, don�t tell� policy during the 2004 fiscal year, the lowest recorded since adoption of the policy.
Patti, one of the pair of chain-smoking sisters of family matriarch Marge Simpson, came out of the cartoon closet on an episode of �The Simpsons.�
Chuck MarLett of of Dallas was elected co-chair of the board of directors for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.


SpongeBob SquarePants

March
Democrats introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives seeking a repeal of the military�s ban on openly gay personnel, and more than 50 members of Congress joined as co-sponsors.
Unwired Dallas, a new drug abuse support group, formed in response to the growing crystal methamphetamine addiction problem in the city.
Stonewall Professional and Business Association dissolved after 12 years of existence.
Topeka, Kan., voters upheld a city ordinance banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in municipal hiring.
Romanian authorities fined the country�s state-owned airline for illegally excluding gays and lesbians from a Valentine�s Day sale for couples.
Ray Smith, appointed to replace Donald Sneed as executive director of the African-American HIV services agency Renaissance III, resigned after only one month.
Joe Solmonese, chief executive officer of Emily�s List, was named president of the Human Rights Campaign.
Jennifer Chrisler was appointed executive director of the Family Pride Coalition.
Hundreds of GLBT residents from across the state marched to the state Capitol to rally for equal rights.
A San Francisco judge ruled that the state�s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Five GLBT residents filed to run for the Dallas City Council. They were incumbent Ed Oakley, restaurant owner Monica Barros-Greene, psychotherapist Candy Marcum, department store employee Linus Spiller and community crime activist P.D. Sterling.
Wanda R. Alston, 45, head of Washington Mayor Anthony A. Williams� Office on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, was found murdered. Her male next-door neighbor was charged in connection with her death.
The State Department of Health Services acknowledged it was examining allegations of irregularities in the Dallas Health Information Survey sponsored by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Ray Dyer was appointed executive director of the African-American HIV service agency Renaissance III, marking the third time for the head staff position to change in two months.
Kathy Jack, manager of Sue Ellen�s, was named the Dallas Tavern Guild�s first female president.

April
Simon & Schuster announced it would publish a book by Mary Cheney, lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, under a new subdivision devoted to conservative books.
A California state appeals court ruled that a California law granting domestic partners nearly identical legal rights as married couples did not conflict with a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.
The third National Black Lesbian Conference, which meets every other year, opened in Dallas and attracted 200 participants.
Terry Michael Dalton, 46, a transgender man living in Austin, was charged with the murder of his wife, Laura McIntosh.
Kansas voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage by a wide margin.
The Scottish Episcopal Church announced that being actively gay would not bar someone from being a priest, putting it at odds with the Anglican Communion in other parts of the world.
Irby Foster, a gay Oak Cliff man, announced his candidacy for the Dallas Independent School District�s board of trustees.
Eric Robert Rudolph, a survivalist who evaded arrest in the Appalachian wilderness for more than five years, pleaded guilty to the bombings of an Atlanta lesbian bar, an Olympics concert and two abortion clinics in the late 1990s, receiving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Oregon Supreme court invalidated nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples last year in Multnomah County before the practice was stopped by a lower court order.
Paul Koering, 40, a Minnesota Republican state senator came out after questions were raised about his sexual orientation.
The Texas House of Representatives approved a Child Protective Services reform bill that included an amendment prohibiting gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents. It was scheduled for review by a joint House-Senate conference.
Dallas hosted six journalists representing national GLBT publications that reach an estimated 8 million readers as part of the city�s first familiarization tour for that market.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger succeeded Pope John Paul II to become Pope Benedict XVI. The announcement disappointed many GLBT Catholics.
The three-year-old nonprofit group Dallas Transgender Alliance dissolved, and a new �club-style� group called the Dallas Gender Society formed to carry on the mission.
Connecticut�s Legislature passed a civil union bill giving same-sex couples many rights enjoyed by married couples, and Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell signed it into law.
The Texas House of Representatives approved a resolution to place a constitutional amendment prohibiting legal recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions on the November ballot.
A California Assembly panel approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, despite arguments that it violates a gay marriage ban approved five years ago by voters.


Ray Dyer took over as executive director of the beleaguered Renaissance III AIDS service organization in March. In May the agency lost its federal funding.

May
The Colorado House Judiciary Committee failed to get a constitutional ban on gay marriage on the November ballot after Democrats said it was unconstitutional and would cost taxpayers to defend it in court if it passed.
James Moseley, 55, was charged with murder after telling Dallas County Sheriff�s deputies he killed his longtime roommate, Porter Bledsoe, 80, with an axe.
Dallas voters rejected the strong mayor proposal and re-elected gay City Council member Ed Oakley. Runoffs were forced in the District 2 and District 14 races, which are Oak Lawn districts. Lesbian psychotherapist said her third-place finish in the District 14 City Council race had shocked her and supporters.
The FBI began an inquiry into the conduct of Spokane, Wash., Mayor James E. West, after the city�s newspaper reported he had allegedly offered city jobs in exchange for sex to young men he met in a gay chat room.
Openly gay school board candidate Irby Foster failed in his run for Dallas Independent School District board of trustees.
Committees in the California Assembly and Senate rejected constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and strip away a long list of rights granted domestic partners in recent years.
A federal court struck down the constitutional amendment passed by Nebraska voters in the November 2004 that prohibits any form of recognition of same-sex relationships,
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer told employees the company would back gay rights legislation in the future after the company was criticized for dropping support for a gay rights bill in its home state of Washington earlier.
The Food and Drug Administration announced it would implement new rules recommending that any man who had engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be banned from serving as an anonymous donor.
The Intelligence Report, a national magazine published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, took aim at the archconservative religious groups for the first time in the civil rights group�s 34-year history.
Renaissance III, the African-American HIV services agency, lost its funding from the Centers for Disease Control.
Tom Phipps was named co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner after co-chair Philip Wier resigned the position to become director of events for the Human Rights Campaign.
The Sanctuary of Love bought a lot for construction of a new church building in Oak Lawn after three years of renting in a rented space in a small building on an alley.
The Texas Senate approved a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, sending the measure to voters on the November ballot.
Delegates at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association approved a statement supporting legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
David Wayne Morrison, 40, was stabbed to death in his Denton apartment complex. Joshua Aaron Abbott, 19, was charged with suspicion of murder.
The Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance announced it would remain neutral in the District 14 City Council race pitting Angela Hunt against Kathy Ingle. Concerns were raised about Ingle�s commitment to the GLBT rights movement, but she reaffirmed her support of the movement.
The Rev. Mona West and her partner, real estate agent Deb Elder, announced they would be moving to Florida, where West would become pastor of Church of the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Sarasota.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner coordinators announced they had signed Lily Tomlin for a performance after years of unsuccessfully pursuing her.
National Stonewall Democrats elected Dallas residents Jesse Garcia and Buck Massey to the board of directors.
Gay marriage opponents filed a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage in California and strip domestic partners of most spousal benefits.

June
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress introduced a new version of a federal hate crimes measure that includes transgender people and language to address free speech concerns.
An effort to bar gays and lesbians from being foster parents failed in a Texas House-Senate conference committee.
Colorado Governor Bill Owens vetoed a bill that would have outlawed workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, but he allowed another measure to become law that added gays, lesbians and the disabled to the state�s existing hate crime law.
New Paltz, N.Y. Mayor Jason West was ordered by the Court of Appeals to stand trial for attempting to marry gay couples last year.
Texas Governor Rick Perry angered the state�s GLBT residents when he suggested that gay and lesbian soldiers returning from Iraq should find a more lenient state such as Massachusetts to live in if they want to marry people of the same sex.
Scientists at the Vienna Institute of Molecular Biology announced that research studies involving the common fruit fly had revealed behavior in the insects suggesting a genetic component in sexual orientation.
Pauline Medrano won the District 2 runoff race, and Angela Hunt won in District 14.
Gay publicist John E. McGill, 52, was given 10 years probation after he pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
An effort to legalize gay marriage in California failed when supporters could not find enough votes in the state Assembly to pass it.
An Oregon Senate panel passed a bill to create civil unions and headed to the full Senate.
The Maine House of Representatives voted down a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to ban same-sex marriage.
The Tupelo-based American Family Association temporarily suspended a boycott against Ford Motor Co. because a group of car dealers, including Prestige Ford dealer Jerry Reynolds of Dallas, asked for time to address the group�s complaints about the automobile manufacturer�s support of the GLBT community.
GLBT pride parades and other events were held in 170 cites in 28 countries on every continent. That total included 115 U.S. cities.
U.S. health officials announced that a record 1 million Americans are now living with HIV.
Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, announced his resignation from the post he served two-and-a-half years.
Southern Baptists ended an eight-year boycott of the Walt Disney Co. for violating �moral righteousness and traditional family values.� The boycott appeared to have little effect on the entertainment company.
Canada became the third country to legalize same-sex marriage with a vote by Parliament on June 28. Gay marriage was already recognized in seven provinces, but the bill gave same-sex married couples throughout the country the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples.
The Spanish Parliament defied the powerful Roman Catholic Church to become the fourth nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
The New York Daily News outed Texas native Israel Hernandez, who was appointed by President Bush in June as assistant secretary of commerce.
Ken Upton joined the staff of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund as a senior staff attorney in the organization�s Southwest Regional office in Dallas.


Gays and lesbians in Spain took the streets outside Parliament in June to celebrate lawmakers� vote legalizing same-sex marriage.

July
The United Church of Christ approved a resolution affirming same-sex marriages, making it the first mainstream denomination to offer such support to gay and lesbian couples.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O�Conner, a swing vote on the court in many cases including gay rights cases such as Lawrence v. Texas that nullified the Texas sodomy law, announced her retirement.
Sgt. Lynne Albright, the Dallas Police Department�s first openly gay officer and the department�s longtime liaison to the GLBT community announced her retirement. Albright and her partner, nurse Joanne Raskin, and their two children, moved to Round Rock in central Texas to be closer to family.
The board of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas named former state representative Glen Maxey as director of the lobby�s campaign against the anti-gay-marriage amendment.
Officials with the Dallas/Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner Committee announced that actress Sharon Stone had been chosen as the recipient of the 2005 Elizabeth Birch Humanitarian Award.
Nike Inc. came under fire from conservatives in Oregon when the company urged the state legislature there to vote for a measure that would create civil unions for same-sex couples. Nike was the first major U.S. corporation to endorse gay civil unions.
The quest to legalize same-sex marriage in California was revived when a Senate committee approved the measure when it was slipped into a fisheries research bill.
President Bush nominated Judge John G. Roberts to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court being left vacant by the retirement of Associate Justice Sandra Day O�Conner. Roberts� thin record and apparently anti-abortion views made Democrats and GLBT leaders leery of him.
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas sponsored the formation of Stonewall Young Democrats, the third Stonewall youth chapter in the country.
Cathedral of Hope presented its Hero of Hope Award to the United Church of Christ for its support of the GLBT community and its stance in support of gay marriage.
Delegates to the General Conference of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches elected the Rev. Nancy Wilson, pastor of Church of the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Sarasota, Fla., to succeed church founder the Rev. Troy Perry as moderator of the denomination. Also at the General Conference, the denomination presented its Human Rights Award to Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
Republican leaders in the Oregon House of Representatives gutted a bill passed by the Senate that would have created civil unions for same-sex couples, replacing it with a �reciprocal benefits� alternative widely criticized by GLBT leaders.
Officials in Iran drew international attention and criticism for executing two teenage boys. Officials said the teens had raped a third boy, but GLBT rights advocates said the teens were hung for having consensual same-sex relations.


Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, accepted a $620,000 donation to the organization from the Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner.

August
The Cherokee Nation�s Judicial Appeals Tribunal threw out a lawsuit seeking to keep the tribal government from recognizing the marriage of two lesbians, Dawn McKinley and Kathy Reynolds.
Lori McCracken, a medical administrative assistant, won the 2005 Voice of Pride competition.
The California Supreme Court refused requests for an expedited hearing on cases challenging the state�s ban on gay marriage. A trial court judge had already ruled the ban unconstitutional.
The Triangle of Oak Lawn project hit an unexpected construction obstacle that left coordinators working to raise $35,000 more than they originally thought they would need. Contractors found out that the land in the median at Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue is unstable, meaning concrete reinforcements were necessary to support the planned monument�s foundation.
A national meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America rejected a proposal that would have allowed gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy under certain conditions.
Rocky Anderson, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, announced a plan to allow same-sex couples to register their domestic partnerships with the city.
Texas Governor Rick Perry helped kick off efforts to pass an anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment by sending 10,000 e-mails urging voters to pass the amendment. Perry sent the e-mails shortly after the Texas Secretary of State�s office established ballot positions for that and eight other proposed amendments.
The California Supreme Court ruled that gay and lesbian couples who conceive a child through assisted scientific means or surrogacy are jointly parents of that child and equally responsible for the cost of the child�s upbringing.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation named Neil Giuliano, the gay former mayor of Tempe, Ariz., to replace Joan M. Garry as executive director of the media watchdog organization.
The California Senate approved legislation specifying that the state�s major civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or marital status.
Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and heavy rains accompanying the storm breached the levees protecting New Orleans, flooding almost all of the historic Crescent City. The storm destroyed millions of dollars worth of property, killed hundred and sent hundreds of thousands more fleeing for their lives to Texas and other parts of the U.S. Officials estimated that some 8,000 people with HIV were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Shortly after, Hurricane Rita inflicted serious damage on Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, and prompted thousands to flee north from Houston and other coastal areas. The storm forced organizers of the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS to delay the event and an accompanying display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to early November.


California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a measure passed by the legislature that would have made California the second state to recognize gay marriage.

September
Texas� GLBT community opened its arms and its pocketbooks to help the thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Churches, other agencies, businesses and individuals in the community worked tirelessly to find housing, food and clothing for the refugees, and to collect food, water and other necessities to take to those still trapped in the hurricane�s destruction.
Five national GLBT organizations � the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian rights, Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays and the National Stonewall Democrats � joined forces to announce their opposition to President Bush�s nomination of Judge John Roberts to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O�Conner on the U.S. Supreme Court. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund officials said they wanted to wait and see what happened during the Senate confirmation hearings before taking a stand.
The California Legislature passed a measure legalizing same-sex marriage there, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut short GLBT advocates� victory celebration by quickly announcing that he would veto the measure. Schwarzenegger agreed to delay taking any action, but eventually followed through with the veto.
Dignity/Dallas celebrated its 30th anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving and a banquet.
Chief Justice of the United States, William Rehnquist, died of cancer. President Bush eventually nominated Judge John Roberts, originally nominated to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O�Conner, as Rehnquist�s replacement, and Roberts sailed through the confirmation process with little opposition.
Cathedral of Hope dedicated the site for its planned Interfaith Peace Chapel with a special musical service featuring Lisa Michaels, Bill Shafer and the cathedral�s choir and orchestra. The chapel was designed by architect Philip Johnson who died last January.
The No Nonsense in November campaign unveiled a new online phone bank that would allow volunteers to contact potential voters from their own homes using their personal computers and a telephone. The new technology also allowed campaign staffers to keep more up-to-date records on information gleaned from the phone bank.
Legislators in Massachusetts voted down a measure that would have put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot there.
An estimated 20,000 spectators braved the heat to watch the 2005 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade that included about 120 entries.
The Anglican Church in Nigeria revised its constitution to distance itself from the more liberal stance toward homosexuality being taken by the Church of England and the Episcopalian Church in the U.S., but stopped short of an outright break with the Church of England.
Andy Smith, a Dallas gay man, announced he would be running for the District 107 seat in the Texas Legislature.
Log Cabin Republicans joined the battle against Proposition 2 by hiring Ted Jackson as director of a campaign against the anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment. Gay marriage opponents launched an anonymous campaign flyer warning that gay rights advocates would be busing in gays and lesbians from out of state to vote against the amendment.


The roof blows off the Backyard Barbeque in Kenner, La., on Aug. 29 as Hurricane Katrina makes landfall.

October
About 4,000 people participated in the 15th annual AIDS Arms LifeWalk, raising more than $222,000. The event this year returned to Lee Park, where it originated, after being held in downtown for several years.
President Bush nominated Dallas native Harriet Miers to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O�Conner on the U.S. Supreme Court, a move which gained guarded optimism from Dallas area GLBT leaders after longtime activist Louise Young found a Lesbian Gay Political Caucus questionnaire Miers filled out in 1989 when she was running for Dallas City Council. Miers, a lawyer with no prior experience as a judge, said on the questionnaire she supported equal rights for GLBT people but would oppose overturning the Texas sodomy law. Outrage from conservatives who felt Miers was too soft on gay rights and from others who were upset by her lack of experience as a judge eventually scuttled the nomination.
As the battle against Proposition 2 entered its final month, opponents planned a weekend outreach in GLBT nightclubs around the state, hoping to register as many people as possible and encourage people to get out and vote.
The board of the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas nominated interim pastor the Rev. Colleen Darraugh as permanent pastor of the church. The congregation later followed through with a vote to make Darraugh lead pastor.
Edgar �Richie� Acevedo was arrested in Cabo San Lucas by Mexican authorities in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Dallas restaurant owner Oscar Sanchez.
Stonewall Democrats established a new chapter in Collin County.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner raised a record $1.24 million.
Gay Dallas City Council member Ed Oakley announced he intended to vote against a strong mayor proposal he helped craft. Oakley said he had changed his mind after hearing his constituents� objections to the plan.
Sheryl Swoopes, three-time MVP Award winner for the Women�s National Basketball Association and two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball, came out as a lesbian in an interview with ESPN�s The Magazine.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a law punishing illegal underage sex between two people of the same gender more harshly than illegal underage sex between people of opposite gender was unconstitutional. The ruling freed Matthew R. Limon who, in 2000 at age 17 was sentenced to 17 years, two months in prison for having consensual sex with a 14-year-old boy. Had one of the two been female, the maximum sentence would have been only 15 months.
Lech Kaczynski was elected president of Poland. Kaczynski had made headlines earlier in the year when, as mayor of Warsaw, refused to grant permission for a gay Pride parade.
Samuel Lea, a gay student at the University of Texas at Arlington was found dead in his Arlington apartment. Police said they believe he was killed by someone he met in a bar and took home with him. Lea�s murder prompted Dallas Voice staff writer David Webb to write a series of articles on the unsolved murders of at least six gay men in North Texas, dating back to 2000. Webb�s articles prompted city leaders and police to take a second look at the killings to see if any of them are related.


The murder of gay student Sam Lea reignited interest in the unsolved murders of more than six gay men since 2000.

November
President Bush nominated Samuel Alito, a conservative federal appeals judge, to the U.S. Supreme Court after Dallas native Harriet Miers withdrew her name from consideration. Gay groups� reactions to Alito�s nomination ranged from wariness to outrage.
Dallas businessman Trammel Crow announced his opposition to Proposition 2 at a press conference staged by Log Cabin Republicans in Dallas.
Members of the Cathedral of Hope voted to affiliate with the United Church of Christ. The matter then went to the denomination�s North Texas Association for a final decision.
The United Methodist Church�s highest court defrocked the Rev. Irene �Beth� Stroud, saying that she violated the denomination�s ban on �self-avowed, practicing homosexuals� in the clergy.
The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples who are public employees the same benefits as married couples violates the state Constitution�s equal protection clause.
Texas voters approved Proposition 2, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions by a 3-to-1 margin, despite a four-month campaign against the amendment and rosy predictions by GLBT activists.
Voters in Maine voted to affirm a state-wide anti-discrimination law protecting GLBT people by a 55 percent-to-45 percent margin. The law had been repealed by voters twice before.
Voters in Dallas turned down a proposal to change the city charter to give more power to the mayor.
Board members with the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas announced that the organization was being renamed as Equality Texas.
The Washington Supreme Court ruled that a woman who had raised a child from birth with the girl�s biological mother can seek rights as a �de facto parent,� essentially creating a new class of parent in the state.
PlanetOut became the largest gay media country in the world with the purchase of LPI Media Incorporated, publisher of The Advocate and Out magazines for $24 million in cash and about $7.1 million in self-financed debt.
The International Gay Rodeo Association�s Finals Rodeo came to North Texas for the first time, with events held at the world-famous Resistol Arena in Fort Worth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data that the rate of newly-reported HIV cases among men who have sex with men rose by 8 percent from 2003 to 2004.
The Vatican released its long-awaited new instruction on gays in the priesthood, a document that prohibits those with �deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies� from entering the seminary but made allowances for priesthood candidates wit �transitory� homosexual urges. The document drew strong criticism from gay priests and clergy members for some other religions, but was praised by conservatives within the Roman Catholic Church.

December
U.S. Representative James Thomas �Jim� Kolbe of Arizona, the only out gay Republican in Congress, announced that he would not seek re-election.
Jeremy Hopkins, 22, a student at the University of North Texas in Denton, was arrested and charged with murdering his former lover, Geoffrey Ivory, 33, of Amarillo.
Adult video star Jeramy Sons, known by his screen name Mark Dalton, was released from prison on parole from a five-year sentence for possession of GHB.
A corruption scandal forced a vote of no-confidence in the Canada House of Commons, bringing down liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin�s minority government.
The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled unanimously that same-sex marriages must be recognized in that country, and gave the government one year to implement the necessary legal changes.
Voters in Spokane recalled Mayor James A. West by a 65 percent-to-35 percent margin in a special election.
Douglas S. Smith Jr., 62, a former executive with the Boy Scouts of America, was sentenced to eight years in prison for collecting child pornography. Smith was still an executive with the Scouts when he was arrested and charged in March.
Facing a possible boycott organized by the conservative American Family Association, Ford Motor Company announced it would scale back its advertising in the GLBT media and would no longer sponsor GLBT community events. Ford officials said the decision was based on financial considerations, but Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association, said it was because the automaker made a deal with his organization to avoid the boycott. Less than two weeks later, after a meeting with angry GLBT community leaders, Ford reversed its position, announcing that it would actually increase its advertising in the GLBT media and continue sponsoring community events as finances allowed. Faced with that statement, Wildmon said his group was considering reinstating the boycott.
The DFW Black Tie Dinner Committee distributed a record $1,240,000 representing proceeds from its 2005 event. Half that amount, $620,000, went to the Human Rights Campaign. The other half was divided among 20 local beneficiaries. The largest single local donation � $59,562 � went to the Resource Center of Dallas.
The New York state Supreme Court�s Appellate Division ruled 4-1 that Justice Doris Ling-Cohan erred in February when she ruled that the state�s domestic relations law is unconstitutional since it does not allow same-sex marriage.
Dallas police arrested Robert Ray Martinez, 31, and David Jeremy Valdez, 24, and charged them with murder in the death of Craig Ceson, a 46-year-old gay man found dead in his home near Love Field in October. Lt. Mike Scoggins, commander of the Dallas Homicide Division, said police did not believe the two suspects were connected to the deaths of other gay men, and that in a meeting with other area law enforcement officials, they had found no links between the other six murders.
Congress stripped a provision providing funding to purchase OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2 Antibody Tests from a Health and Human Services funding bill after reports of a large number of false positive results from agencies using the test in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, a Democrat considering a run for president in 2008, changed a state policy to provide protection against discrimination for GLBT state employees.
Two lesbians became the first same-sex couple in the United Kingdom to be married under the a new civil partnership bill providing the same protections for same-sex couples that married heterosexuals have.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion, many of those cuts coming the federal AIDS budget.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of December 30, 2005.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments