Martinez gets Victory Fund endorsement

Sara Martinez

Sara Martinez

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund announced its latest round of endorsements in this year’s elections. Sara Martinez, who is running for Justice of the Peace in Dallas County, is on the list. Martinez already has the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats. In the runoff, she faces Melissa Bellan.

Martinez is running for Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Place 1, which covers much of North Oak Cliff and Oak Lawn.

Early voting runs May 19 through May 23 and the runoff is May 27.

Of the 18 new endorsements, Victory Fund announced one other candidate from Texas — Jim Evans, who is running for Harris County family court judge in Houston.

Kay Floyd, running for state Senate in Oklahoma, also received one of the Victory Fund’s endorsements this week. Floyd is currently a state representative from Oklahoma City. She is running for state Senate, hoping to replace gay state Sen. Al McAffrey, who is vying for U.S. Congress.

Another local candidate who already received the Victory Fund endorsement is John Turner-McClelland who is running for Denton County Fresh Water Supply Board.

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund works to elect LGBT leaders to public office.

—  David Taffet

A day after he was featured on the cover of Dallas Voice, gay Okla. lawmaker’s American flag burned

McAffrey looks at the flagpole and scorched grass

Oklahoma state Sen. Al McAffrey and his partner David Stinson woke up Saturday morning — probably after their dogs made a fuss — and found the American flag atop a flagpole in their front yard was on fire.

Other than the burned flag and some scorched grass, no other damage was done. As you can seen in the photo above, smaller flags lining the walk were untouched.

“Early this morning sometime someone came to ou[r] house and set our American Flag on fire on the pole,” Stinson wrote on his Facebook page. “You can see the black in the grass. Set the grass on fire a bit. Could have been a lot wors[e].”

In an email to Instant Tea over the weekend, McAffrey said he didn’t want to turn the incident into “some big hate crime media fiasco.” Instead, he and Stinson were condemning it as sacrilege on Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Daily Oklahoman, McAffrey flies the flag daily and replaced the burned flag on Saturday afternoon. The flag was set on fire while it was on top of the pole.

McAffrey did note that the incident happened a day after he was featured on the cover of Dallas Voice, but he isn’t blaming us for the incident. He’s not even blaming supporters of anti-gay state Rep. Sally Kern, saying it could have simply been a random act of vandalism.

McAffrey’s flag, larger than the one flown at the state House, is illuminated, and he flies it ’round the clock. He called it a point of pride, having served four years in the Navy.

Watch a video report from KWTV in Oklahoma City below:

—  David Taffet

Openly gay candidate Al McAffrey elected to Oklahoma Senate in special election

Sen. Al McAffrey

Oklahoma has its first openly gay state senator after Al McAffrey, 63, was elected Tuesday in a special election.

McAffrey was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006 and easily won reelection in 2008 and 2010. In the Tuesday election, he won with more than 66 percent of the vote, according to the Daily Oklahoman. He will be sworn into office next week.

He was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

During his time in office, McAffrey was a leader on legislation supporting senior citizens, education issues and access to affordable health care. He was also one of the state House’s most vocal critics against Republican Rep. Sally Kern and her anti-gay agenda.

McAffrey’s district includes much of Oklahoma City. With his election, Democrats have 16 seats in the state Senate and Republicans have a 32-seat super-majority.

—  David Taffet

Election 2010 • Novotny loses bid to unseat Kern

Brittney Novotny lost her bid to become a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Out of 8,600 ballots cast, Novotny, who is transgender, received about 35 percent of the vote.

Her opponent, virulently anti-gay Rep. Sally Kern, will return to office for a fourth term.

Kern made national news saying that homosexuality is a worse threat to the country than terrorism.

Oklahoma has term limits, which means Kern can run for the House only two more times.

Novotny would have become the first transgender state legislator in the United States had she been elected.

In addition to running a fairly conservative district, Republicans swept statewide offices. Mary Fallin, the state’s new Republican governor, won her race by 20 points. Four of the state’s five congressmen will also be Republican.

Democratic incumbent Al McAffrey, who is gay and represents part of Oklahoma City in the state House of Representatives, won his race with almost 70 percent of the vote.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Is Oklahoma outshining Texas on gay rights?

Tulsa's new city hall
Tulsa’s new city hall

While DART decides whether to gut LGBT protections, Oklahoma is surging ahead in gay rights.

According to Tulsa World, the Tulsa city council approved an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation for city employees. The new law passed by a vote of 6-3.

One city council member pointed out that the ordinance protects everyone, according to a report by Tulsa’s CBS affiliate.

“The policy does not just apply to homosexuals; everybody has a sexual orientation,” said Councilor GT Bynum, who introduced the measure. “If a straight city employee has a gay supervisor, this would protect him just the same.”

And in the state’s other big city, Brittany Novotny, a transgender candidate for the Legislature, reports a record fundraising week for her campaign. There are also two openly gay candidates for the Oklahoma Legislature, Tom Kovach in Norman and incumbent Al McAffrey in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Texas has no out members of its Legislature and only one openly LGBT candidate, Pete Schulte, running this year.

—  David Taffet