Councilmember Adams to challenge Rep. Alma Allen for Texas House

Rep. Dr. Alma Allen

Houston City Councilmember Wanda Adams plans to challenge State Representative Dr. Alma Allen, D-Houston, for the Democratic Party nomination in house district 131, according to a recent post on Adams’ blog. The race will pit two candidates with very different records on LGBT issues.

Rep. Dr. Alma Allen

Allen has served in the House since 2005. She is a former school principle who, during the last legislative session, co-authored HB 224, legislation that would have required public schools to report incidences of bullying to the state using an enumerated list of that included sexual orientation (but not gender identity or expression). HB 224 did not pass. During the special session last summer Allen voted for a budget amendment that included a similar reporting requirement (which also did not pass). She was one of 44 house members who opposed attempts by Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, to ban LGBT resource centers from college campuses. Although Allen is not the most outspoken ally of the LGBT community in the Texas House, she has a strong voting record on LGBT issues.

Councilmember Wanda Adams

Adams was recently sworn in for her third city council term. Until redistricting this year Adams’ District C included much of Montrose. She regularly attends LGBT events (she actually cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for the Transgender Center) and has a reputation for being open-minded and willing to speak to people. However two events in the last year have some in the LGBT community questioning the depth of her commitment to the community.

In June the Houston City Council considered cutting funding for Marjoe House, a residential HIV/AIDS treatment facility. Adams spoke in the council meeting of the importance of continuing funding, which was opposed by Council Member Jarvis Johnson. When the time came for the vote, however, Adams left the council chambers and was recorded as “absent” (the council voted to continue funding, 10 to 2). Community leaders who had lobbied Adams for her support were disappointed that she missed the vote. “We had been given every indication that she would be in support of renewing funding,” says Robert Shipman, president of the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats. “It was extremely disappointing that she left the room when it was time to put that support into effect.”

Councilmember Wanda Adams

Adams support for a Catholic youth homeless services provider has also led to questions about her dedication to her LGBT constituents. The provider, Covenant House (located in the heart of Montrose) had been accused by leaders in the transgender community of denying services to transgender and intersex youth unless they were willing to live in the gender they were assigned at birth. As a private religious organization, argued the agency’s director, Rhonda Robinson, Covenant House was under no obligation to provide services without discrimination. Things changed when Council Member Jolanda Jones threatened to cut the funding Covenant House received through the city unless they enacted a non-discrimination policy that was inclusive of gender identity and expression. While the threat worked and Covenant House is now working with local organizations like the Transgender Foundation of America to change their policies and practices, Adams continued to defend the organization. “Covenant House has long history of doing great work and making sure that our homeless youth are protected without any… type of prejudices,” she told the council, refuting allegations that the agency discriminated in it’s services.

“I was extremely disappointed at Council Member Adams’ defense of Covenant House,” said Cristan Williams, executive director of the Transgender Foundation of America. “TFA and others worked for over a decade to bring them to the table to discuss their very well documented discrimination. For the person who cut the ribbon at the opening of Houston’s Transgender Center to turn around and defend discrimination against trans-identified children made me feel ill. It was like being stabbed in the back.”

—  admin

Lambda Literary nominee Gregory G. Allen book signing at Krimson & Klover

On writing ‘Well’

Author Gregory G. Allen returns to Dallas from New York to sign his new book Well With My Soul about two brothers, one gay, coming to terms with each other. It even garnered a Lambda Literary nomination. Welcome home, sir.

DEETS: Krimson & Klover, 3111 Cole Ave., Ste 101. 5–7 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Judas Priest farewell tour at Allen Event Center

Let your rock ‘n’ roller out

This isn’t the priest you kneel down to and make your confessions. Judas Priest demands that you stand up, raise your arms and rock the hell out. Especially now as they hit the road on their Epitaph Farewell Tour. What will we do without our original leather daddy and out lead singer Rob Halford to scream into our ears?

DEETS: With Thin Lizzy, Black Label Society. Allen Event Center, 200 E. Stacy Road, Ste. 1350, Allen. 7 p.m. $40–$130.

—  Rich Lopez

One Lucky NYC Renter Can Smoke Outside The Window Allen Ginsberg Smoked Out Of

Poet and sometimes naked man Allen Ginsberg's New York apartment, at 437 E. 12th Street, on the fourth floor, where he lived for 21 years beginning in 1975, is available for rent. Or rather, it's being rented; somebody is already lined up to take over the East Village pad. It is a one-bed, one-bath, and costs ,750. Not terribly expensive for the area! "EVERYTHING," notes the listing, "IS BRAND NEW."

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—  John Wright

News: Allen Ginsberg, Tenderloin, Netherlands, Shirley Huntley

Road Defense bill (along with DADT repeal) in danger if GOP takes House this November.

NepalRoad More photos from the first large-scale Gay Pride parade in Nepal.

RoadBrian Williams is hung.

RoadWill the Justice Dept. weigh in on the Prop 8 case? "It is possible that the 9th Circuit panel could request the Justice Department's views on the case, but Carter Phillips, managing partner of Sidley Austin's Washington office, said it would be unusual for a panel to do so."

Road Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton "disappointed" by Target donation to MN Forward.

RoadThe first gay soldier in the Spanish military to get married says he has been subject to harassment by his superiors.

RoadNathaniel Rogers celebrates the 10th anniversary of Bring It On! "The movie was so high spirited and well executed that it was as bracing and life-affirming as jumping back into the ocean again."

RoadCalifornia passes bill protecting clergy opposed to same-sex marriage: "Sen. Mark Leno's bill, approved 22-11 Wednesday, could become necessary if a federal appeals court upholds a judge's ruling this month striking down Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved gay marriage ban. The bill says religious institutions from faiths that object to same-sex unions could not be stripped of their tax-exempt status if their clergy refuse to perform weddings for gay couples."

RoadInside rehearsals for the Angels in America revival.

RoadRobbie Williams Twitterview.

Gay_proveit RoadUK refugee activist group Refugee Action launches campaign in support of LGBT asylum seekers.

Road400 Anglican bishops speak out against gays in Uganda.

RoadFrankenSalmon nearly ready for public consumption.

RoadLongtime SF Tenderloin gay bathhouse to become doggie day care center: "A doggy day care center with space for up to 60 canines is scheduled to open early next year at 130 Turk St., which is on a rundown corridor between Taylor and Jones streets. The facility, which could aid city-led efforts to rejuvenate the rough-and-tumble area, will provide only daytime accommodations for dogs, proprietor David Nale said. Customers could include Tenderloin residents and workers who park in surrounding garages who will pay up to a day for the service, according to Nale. The charming three-story building has been vacant since The City cracked down on gay bathhouses amid the 1980s AIDS epidemic."

RoadAdam Lambert and Katy Perry hit the Scissor Sisters concert in NYC.

Ginsberg RoadAllen Ginsberg's NYC apartment for rent.

RoadPublicly funded gay and lesbian center evicted in Glasgow, Scotland.

RoadMale model fix: It's an underwear fashion show.

RoadMeth use among gay men in Seattle remains a "pervasive problem."

RoadNetherlands to include same-sex couples in school textbooks: "Two fathers go out to buy a guinea pig that costs 17.95 euros in the pet shop. The shop owner gives them a discount of 20 per cent. How much must Jan's fathers pay?"

RoadMarch to be held tomorrow in SF for MUNI hate crime victim.

RoadDetroit gay youth center destroyed by fire.

RoadNew York State Senator Shirley Huntley mailer links death threats to gay marriage supporters: "The threat came in the form of a bouquet with a note attached that said, 'Rest In Peace.' At the time, Huntley said she had no idea who might be making the threats. But some blame seems to be assigned in this latest mailer (which is marked "Shirley Huntley for New York State Senate")."

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright