LOCAL BRIEFS: AIN poker tourney at the Brick; Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

AIN poker tourney set at the Brick

A charity poker tournament is set for Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Brick, 2525 Wycliff, to benefit AIDS Interfaith Network.

The Dallas Bears and the LGBT poker league Pocket Rockets will co-host the event with the Brick. Miller Lite is the sponsor and play begins at 3 p.m.

It’s free to play but AIN will benefit in a number of ways. The agency will receive a portion of the drink specials sold. Players may buy additional chips, and the Bears will hold a 50/50 raffle.

A cash prize pool of $500 will be awarded and all levels of players are welcome.

Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

Christopher H. Bates will speak at the Dallas Black LGBT Community Summit on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Dallas Marriott City Center Hotel. He is the director of Health and Human Service’s Office of HIV/AIDS Policy.

Bates will discuss the federal government’s response to the high infection rate among young gay African-American men. He has 20 years experience in public health policy and has been with OHAP for more than a decade.

Bates administers funds for the Minority AIDS Initiative and advises the Undersecretary of Health on education, prevention, testing, research, care and treatment strategies. Information is available at DFWPrideMovement.org.

Martin offers program for couples

Randy Martin, LPC, will facilitate an eight-session program for couples, Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout September and October.

The program is based on the theory and practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). The first session focuses on the new science of love and what it teaches us. The next seven sessions focus on helping couples shape and use the seven conversations laid out in the book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, the developer of EFT.

Couples interested in participating should contact Martin at 214-520-7575. The cost of the program is $500 per couple and includes a copy of the book Hold Me Tight and other necessary materials.

NGPA seeks donations

The National Gay Pilots Association recently awarded $22,000 in scholarships and is seeking donations for future awards to aspiring LGBT aviators.

Since its founding in 1998, the NGPA Education Fund has given 46 awards totaling $139,000. Donations can be made on the group’s website, NGPA.org.

—  John Wright

British Military Advises U.S. on DADT Repeal

The British military removed the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual service members serving openly a decade ago. The ban was lifted quickly, and forces continued their missions with “no notable change at all.” The United Kingdom is among 24 nations that allow open service in their Armed Forces – including Israel, Canada and Australia – the majority of which have troops that have fought along side ours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now British military officials have confirmed that they have advised U.S. officials of how they implemented the policy along with discussing its success, according to a UK-based magazine. As we continue to push our lawmakers to end this policy, these militaries may be the best example for a seamless transition.

Colonel Mark Abraham of the British military told the magazine that the repeal was a non-event and reaffirmed what HRC and our allies have repeatedly told lawmakers here in the U.S.; when service members can be honest about whom they are, they can spend more time focused on their mission.

I sincerely believe that in the coming months, our nation can and will move past this outdated law. Through pressure from the American people and guidance from our allies around the world, we can let our lawmakers know that they must do everything they can to strengthen our military by ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” once and for all.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright