Fire Island reality series seeks gays to audition

If you think reality TV has made gay Dallas look a little crazy lately, well, here’s you chance to bring a little Texas-crazy to New York.

You have until Friday to apply to become a cast member of the Fire Island Summer Project (a working title, we’re assuming), a new series from the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And here’s the best part: You don’t need to be from the NYC area — they want folks from all over to apply!  Filming begins this summer, probably in a beach house the Pines (despite a fire recently that scorched parts of the island).

The application has some pretty straightforward questions, plus a few that indicate the casting agents’ interest in seeking diverse and charged action on the show, such as “What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?,” “What role do you play in your social circle?,” “Do you have any quirks or strange habits? and “What is your craziest Spring Break story?” And you never have to have vacationed on Fire Island before to be eligible.

If you think you might be interested, click here. And if you end up getting cast and turn out to be the asshole villain on the series, do us all a favor — say you’re from San Antonio!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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

CBN helps Peter ‘Teflon’ Sprigg apply another coat

The Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg pretty much single-handedly crippled his host organization’s reputation when he made comments calling for gays to be “exported” or criminalized:



*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]



*SOURCE: MSNBC

That’s just a fact. Because one really can’t go back form something like this. Suggesting gays be deported or arrested? Those aren’t in the realm of Freudian Slippage. By choosing to air these comments openly, Peter Sprigg revealed an ugly truth about the Family Research Council’s guiding mindset — one that, quite frankly, shocked even those of us who already knew how much FRC stood against us.

But of course Sprigg will never actually acknowledge these, the plainspoken comments that made a persecuted community’s jaws go from dropped to floor-scaping. Instead, he’ll continue to dance around it all, so that he can make himself and FRC look like the victimized voices of mere conservatism. And he’ll do so with the careless cooperation of the Christian Bible Network:

It’s simply maddening. If someone like Sprigg made these very same comments about any other population, this would be an international story. Especially when said person is regularly used by outlets like CNN as a counterpoint voice. The above two clips would not be bullet points in a story — they would be *THE* story. “Christian media pundit calls for criminalization of minority group,” scene at 11. We’ve seen that story play out with pundits who’ve dished out comparably minor infractions.

But for Peter “Teflon” Sprigg? Not only does he keep his job with the organization that many mainstream conservatives consider a top dog (all of the major GOP presidential candidates appear at FRC’s Values Voters Summit), but he even seems to have received a PROMOTION. We suddenly see Sprigg everywhere, discussing everything except his own brute comments. What the hell?!

Look, nobody is saying that conservatives of 2011 should be banned from debating policy. As long as LGBT rights are still a debate, it’s fine (even if annoying) to have a factual media discussion on the various topics at hand. Procedure, politics, partisan outlooks — these are acceptable topics. But there is a MAJOR difference between taking on the minutiae of a bill and casting out a whole group of rich, vibrant American citizens! We are more than confident in our side’s ability to win on the merits of any given LGBT debate, ultimately leading us to the day when any such debate will be seen as a non-starter. But until we get to that day, the media does not have to book supposed “experts” who’ve more than laid bear their true, frightening desires for millions of the world’s people.

Sorry, but our placement inside a remote island’s prison is not a point to which we can, will, or should “Agree to disagree”!




Good As You

—  admin

Antonin Scalia: The 14th Amendment Should Not Apply To Homosexuals

Speaking on Friday at the University of Richmond, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia denounced the concept of a “living Constitution” and said the 14th Amendment was not written with the intent of granting equal protection to ALL Americans. Just the heterosexual ones.

“The due process clause has been distorted so it’s no longer a guarantee of process but a guarantee of liberty,” Scalia expounded. “But some of the liberties the Supreme Court has found to be protected by that word – liberty – nobody thought constituted a liberty when the 14th Amendment was adopted. Homosexual sodomy? It was criminal in all the states. Abortion? It was criminal in all the states.” “The way to change the Constitution is through amendments approved by the people, not by judges altering the meaning of its words,” he added.

Scalia made similar comments in September when he told a San Francisco law school that the Constitution offers no protection whatsoever to homosexuals or females. Gay people and women, he said, should go to their state legislatures and see if “current society wants to outlaw discrimination” based on gender or sexual orientation. In the landmark 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning laws against sodomy, Lawrence vs. Texas, Scalia was the most vehement dissenting vote.

The famous “Equal Protection Clause” of the 14th Amendment, upon which entirely hangs the hopes of the federal marriage equality movement, reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

RELATED: At 74 years old, Scalia is the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice, having been appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986. He is thought to be in relatively good health and most court watchers expect him to remain on the bench for as long another decade.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin