DTC’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tonight at the Wyly

Masterpiece theater

There’s much to like about Dallas Theater Center’s current production of this stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. (It’s a co-production with Casa Manana; its version closed last month, and while this one has almost the same cast and crew, it’s strikingly different.) Act 2 is the money, with an unparalleled courtroom scene and a profound coda about the mysterious Boo Radley.

Several of the performances are indelible as well. Anastasia Munoz, as a clucking society lady but mostly as the white girl who accuses a hapless black man of rape, quakes with such nervous ferocity, you fear she’ll shake loose a light fixture. Akron Watson as the victim of her prejudice and James Dybas as her racist father are equally good, and solid work comes from Bob Hess, Denise Lee and Morgan Richards as the precious tomboy Scout. But the production is all but stolen by Aiden Langford as the moppet Dill, a charming kid who could spread diabetes with his sweetness.

—  Rich Lopez

Teacher accuses TC College of discrimination

Gill says English Department chair at Northeast Campus told her the state and the school ‘do not like homosexuals’

Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill
Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

HURST — Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill filed suit Wednesday, Sept. 7, against a professor and a dean at Northeast Campus of Tarrant County College in Hurst, claiming that she was denied the opportunity to apply for a permanent, full- time teaching position there because of the English Department chair’s bias against what he perceived her sexual orientation to be.

Tarrant County College adopted a nondiscrimination policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation on March 9 of this year.

Frank Griffis, director of public relations and marketing for Tarrant County College, said it “would not be appropriate” for school officials to comment on pending litigation. He also said school officials had not yet been served with papers and therefore had not read the complaint.

Gill said she had worked as a full-time temporary English professor for about a year at the Northeast Campus. But when the position was to be made permanent, English Department Chair Eric Devlin refused to allow her to apply for the permanent position.

Gill said when she complained about Devlin to Northeast Campus Humanities Division Dean Antonio R. Howell, he initially seemed to side with her, but after speaking to Devlin, Howell refused to communicate further with her. Gill said although she is a lesbian and has never tried to hide that fact, she had never talked about her orientation with Devlin or anyone else at the school.

Both Devlin and Howell are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.

Gill is represented in the lawsuit by Lambda Legal South Central Region staff attorney Ken Upton, joined by pro bono counsel Benjamin D. Williams from the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

Gill and Upton held a press conference Wednesday to announce that the lawsuit had been filed earlier that morning in U.S. district court in Fort Worth. The press conference was held at a Hurst hotel located just a few blocks from the Tarrant County College campus where Gill had taught.

According to the complaint filed Wednesday, and statements Gill made during the press conference, Gill was first hired on a full time, temporary basis as an English professor on Aug. 21, 2009. A little more than a month later, at the end of October, a female “dual-enrollment” student — a high school student who was also taking college classes — in Gill’s distance learning class cheated by stealing an exam and skipped some classes.

The student’s high school counselor told Gill that the student has a history of disruptive behavior, and when the student dropped the class, Gill was told the situation was closed.

On Nov. 9, however, Devlin called Gill into his office and told her the student had accused Gill of “flirting” with female students. Gill denied the accusations, noting that there was always another teacher in the class at the same time.

That’s when Devlin responded with “a lengthy diatribe about homosexuals and how the Texas public views them,” according to the complaint. Gill said Devlin went on to say that Texas is a conservative state and TCC is a conservative school, and that “Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals.”

Gill continued to teach at TCC, receiving high praise and compliments from students and staff alike, including from Devlin. Then in May 2010, she and other full-time temporary professors were told by Howell that all seven temporary full- time positions were being made permanent, and that they were being re-designated as adjunct faculty until the permanent positions were filled.

Gill said Howell also encouraged her and the other temporary professors to apply for the permanent jobs. Gill applied for all seven but was the only one of the seven temporary professors not hired for the permanent positions. Gill said that she was, in fact, not even allowed to interview for any of the positions, even though her experience and credentials were as good as or better than those who were hired.

Gill said she met with Howell and told him about Devlin’s anti-gay comments and refusal to allow her to interview for the permanent positions. She said Howell promised her to discuss the situation with Devlin immediately, but that he never got back in touch with her.

She said she also got no response when she tried to discuss the situation with the vice president and president of Tarrant County College.

Gill continued to teach as an adjunct professor at the campus through December 2010, although, she said, Devlin’s attitude toward her became “even more hostile.”

And she said that although she was originally assigned classes for the 2011 spring term, as she was preparing for those classes she discovered she had been removed as the professor. When she inquired about the status of the class, Gill said, she was told that Devlin had specifically instructed that those classes be taken away from her.

Upton said that Devlin and Howell violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to allow Gill to apply for the permanent teaching position. He said Gill’s suit is asking that she be allowed to complete the application process and that she be compensated for the time she has been unemployed.

Gill, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington, said she would love to get a teaching job with TCC, and while she would prefer to work at another campus, she is willing to go back to the Northeast Campus and work again in Devlin’s department.

“I worked hard. I earned it,” Gill said of the permanent position. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. If it [her working in Devlin’s department again] would be awkward for anyone, I think it would be awkward for him [Devlin] because he is the one who was in the wrong.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Complaint: LGBT immigrants abused, neglected at detention centers run by Homeland Security

The National Immigration Justice Center has filed civil rights complaints on behalf of 13 LGBT immigrants who were allegedly abused and neglected at detention centers run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in nine states, including one in Houston. The Heartland Alliance’s NIJC filed the complaints today in a letter addressed to Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, calling on the department to investigate and implement new policies.

The group has also launched a petition calling on the DHS and President Barack Obama to end the abuse of LGBT immigrants in detention.

The 13 complaints include allegations of sexual assault, denial of adequate medical care, long-term solitary confinement, discrimination and abuse, and ineffective complaints and appeals process. Below are a few examples from the letter, which you can download in its entirety here:

• [Juan] was sexually assaulted by two other detainees. Despite repeated requests for a transfer to another facility because he feared for his safety [Juan] was not transferred until three months after the incident, when ICE Headquarters intervened. In the meantime, the only “protection” that the Otero County Detention Center offered was placement in the “hole.” (Otero County Detention Center, New Mexico)

• [Delfino] was held in segregation for four months, justifying their decision on the basis that [Delfino] presented “effeminately.” Facility staff refused to provide [Delfino] a Bible and permitted him only one hour of recreation – in a cold nine- by-thirteen-foot cell – per day. (Houston Processing Center, Texas)

• [Monica] continues to be denied hormone therapy, despite her use of hormones for ten years prior to immigration detention, and her physical and psychological reliance on them. [Monica], now detained for over five months, told NIJC staff, “I can’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore,” due to returning facial and body hair and other distressing changes. [Monica], an asylum seeker who has suffered grave past abuse in Mexico, also received no treatment for her trauma- related depression. She attempted suicide in February 2011 – the facility put her in solitary confinement as punishment. (Santa Ana City Jail, California)

• [Alexis] was repeatedly called a “faggot” by guards, who also made jokes about her dying of AIDS. They singled her out for public searches in which they forced her to remove her outer clothing and mocked her exposed breasts. (Theo Lacy Facility, California)

—  John Wright

Homophobe Matt Barber accuses gays of making him look ‘limp-wristed’

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Since it's the weekend, I am going to take a break from the serious stuff and do something I enjoy immensely – making fun of the homophobic Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber.

On his Americans for Truth webpage, LaBarbera made the following claim regarding an interview between him and Barber:

In the first part of the interview, LaBarbera discusses how homosexual activists manipulated a photo of Matt taken at a pro-family protest to try and make him look “limp-wristed.” (Barber, a former heavyweight boxer, ably describes the “queer” activists’ penchant for putting down their foes by calling them …. homosexuals.) See the hateful Joe Jervis’ embarrassingly sophomoric use of the trick Barber photo HERE.

 LaBarbera is talking about this photo of Barber looking especially like he is “family.”

m barbdr The sad thing about LaBarbera' s statement is that so much of it is false. The photo was not taken at a “pro-family” protest. It was taken at an anti- Proposition 8 protest from two years ago. And we have proof of this because of the link LaBarbera so generously provided. The original photo is below.

Perhaps LaBarbera was claiming that Barber's presence equaled a “pro-family” protest. Well counting Barber and LaBarbera, that was two protesters there. Whoop te do. I wonder what they sang as a protest song.

 

Photobucket

And of course LaBarbera's claim of the photo being a “trick” is highly specious. I did not listen to LaBarbera's explanation of how this was possible (mainly because I prefer my Metamucil taken orally and not audibly) but from what Jervis told me, LaBarbera was claiming that the “trick” had something to do with the shutterspeed of the camera.

Whatever.

The original photo of Barber and other photos were originally posted on Pam's House Blend. So basically this idea that us gay activists manipulated a photo of Barber to make him look limp-wristed is a serious flight of fancy on the part of LaBarbera and Barber, much like the idea that either of them can be taken seriously as anything but two men with too much time on their hands and too much preoccupation with the so-called nocturnal habits of gay men. They both need to get real jobs.

Barber looking extremely limp-wristed in his photo had nothing to do with us. All we did was to take advantage of his faux pas because honestly, poking fun at Barber (and LaBarbera) is so enjoyable that is should be considered fattening.

UPDATE: Porno Pete LaBarbera accuses me of being a hypocrite while ignoring his own activities

 

 

 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Cindy McCain does video opposing DADT, accuses ‘our government’ of sending signal that bullying is okay – her hubbie is the lead defender of DADT

John McCain is leading the filibuster against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” “repeal” legislation in the Senate (it’s not an actual repeal, but we’ll leave that for another time).  Today, Cindy McCain joined a number of celebrities in a video about gay youth suicide and bullying.  Mrs. McCain’s part of the video condemned DADT and then accused our government of sending bullies a message that what they do is okay.

The woman basically accused her husband of sharing the blame for gay kids killing themselves.

I’m astonished.  And impressed as hell.

CINDY MCCAIN:

Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.

They can’t serve our country openly.

VARIETY OF SPEAKERS:

What’s worse, these laws that legislate discrimination teach bullies that what they’re doing is acceptable.

CINDY MCCAIN:

Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens, why shouldn’t they?




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Barney Frank Accuses Limbaugh Of ‘Vicious, Homophobic’ Attack, Helping Republican Opponent

Franklimbaugh

Barney Frank has had enough of Rush Limbaugh. Though Limbaugh frequently takes shots at the openly gay Massachusetts representative, Frank insists Limbaugh's latest antics crossed the proverbial line.

It all began last week, when Limbaugh referred to Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, as the "banking queen" and played the song "My Boy Lollypop," with bonus slurping sounds, while discussing the incumbent Democrat, who's up for reelection.

Frank found the entire thing offensive, and told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell last night that the incident qualifies as a "vicious" and "homophobic" attack, one that's designed to help Frank's opponent:

[Limbaugh] just launched this very, even for him, vicious, homophobic attack.

My opponent, the Republican, Sean Bielat, who‘s running against me, told “The Wall Street Journal,” before they told me today, that he raised a lot of money from out of state.  He was very explicit earlier this year.  He said if I can‘t get help out of state I can‘t win this thing.  He‘s helped by the right wing media, by Hannity and Limbaugh, by FOX News.

Frank's campaign reiterated their collective displeasure today by calling Limbaugh's actions "disgusting" and "revolting."

Watch Frank's remarks, AFTER THE JUMP.



The Limbaugh-related discussion starts at the 4:55 mark.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

GOP filibusters Defense bill, while we’re in 2 wars, then accuses Dems of playing politcs with national defense

They’re good. John McCain has been politicizing the Defense bill for months in an effort to convince Arizona voters that he really is a conservative Republican. And now that we’re a little more than a month away from the election, the entire GOP is trying to bring down the defense bill in order to score political points by hurting Latinos and gays. Incredibly, the Republicans are now claiming, after all that, that it’s Democrats who are politicizing the Defense bill a month before the election.

In fact, the military’s gay ban was included in the defense bill the first time around, back in 1993. That’s where “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” actually resides. Any effort to remove the ban has to be in the defense bill. John McCain knows that. So does Mitch McConnell. But both are willing to lie to the American people in order to score political points on the backs of our soldiers.

The only remaining question is whether Susan Collins and Scott Brown, who both voted for the Defense Bill in committee, will now flip-flop, in the face of pressure from Mitch McConnell, and support this outrageous filibuster.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright