CCGLA hosting 3 candidate forums for municipal elections in April

544659_560537957310358_129449817_nCollin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance is hosting candidate forums in April for Plano, McKinney and Frisco municipal elections.

The Plano event is tonight and 14 candidates are expected to attend, including those running for Plano City Council, mayor, and Collin College trustee seats.

Candidates will give short speeches about their platforms before talking questions from the audience.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at 4568 Southgate Dr. in Plano.

Candidate forums have also been scheduled for McKinney races on Wednesday, April 10, and Frisco races on Thursday, April 25.

—  Dallasvoice

Candidate attacks gays at gay political forum

Virginia Senate candidate Tim McGhee

LGBT political groups have, through the years, gotten used to having candidates for public office come a’courtin’ for their votes.

Usually those candidates’ basic message is, “I support you and I will vote with you on your issues, so please vote for me.” Sometimes, though, the candidates’ message is something like, “Well, I won’t vote with you on the gay issues, but I still want you to vote for me.”

But Tim McGhee‘s appearance at Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance‘s candidate forum in Virginia may have been a first.

As GayPolitics.com reports, instead of explaining his stance on the issues and asking for an endorsement or even individual votes, McGhee, a Republican running for the Virginia Senate, on Tuesday, Oct. 18, instead delivered a sermon to his LGBT audience, claiming God made some people gay, even though God hates gays, just so God could prove what a big deal He is:

“For some of you here this evening, your frustrations go way beyond a state senate candidate. Some of you are beyond frustrated with God right now. Some of you refuse to believe in him altogether. You’ve asked the question or perhaps given up asking a long time ago, ‘Why? Why would God make me who I am and then tell me that’s wrong?’ May I put a question before you tonight? What if that’s exactly what God did? What if that’s exactly what God had to do to fully demonstrate who he is?”

Needless to say, the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance folks were somewhat taken aback. In fact, GayPolitics.com notes, if you listen to the audio of McGhee’s speech, you can hear alliance members “gasping in disbelief.” Check it out for yourself by listening to the audio of McGhee’s speech here at NotLarrySabato.com.

Just on a side note, when I went to McGhee’s campaign website, I discovered that the candidate as a counter embedded on the page that not only tells you how old McGhee will be on Election Day 2011 (“12,674 days old, Lord willing”), but also lets you find out how old YOU will be next month on Election Day. I couldn’t resist trying it out, and this is what I discovered:

• On Election Day, Nov. 8, 2011, I will be 18,649 days old.

• Election Day also marks 85,958 days since the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and

• 143,265 days since Virginia’s legislative body — “the oldest in the world” — began meeting on July 30, 1619.

Now, aren’t you glad you know that? And don’t you want to go to McGhee’s website and find out how many days old you are?

Oh, and if his website doesn’t tell you enough about him, check out this story on ARLNow.com to find out more about McGhee.

—  admin

Carrollton Project hosts candidate forum tonight

Bob McCranie

Bob McCranie sends along word that the Carrollton Project, a local LGBT group, will host a candidate forum tonight for Carrollton City Council and the Carrollton/Farmers Branch Independent School District.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas, 1840 Hutton Drive, #100, Carrollton.

McCranie formed the Carrollton Project in 2006 with the help of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

“I’m really proud of the community we’ve built in five years,” McCranie said. “This meeting isn’t about the past or about our previous interactions with any one candidate. Everyone is walking in with a clean slate to learn about our concerns and to earn our votes. Most city elections are won or lost by 400 votes. Using the 10 percent rule, there would be 12,000 LGBT votes available in Carrollton. I’m happy that the MCC of Greater Dallas and The Carrollton Project can provide this opportunity for both groups to learn from each other.”

 

—  John Wright

Louisiana: Top & bottom

Part 2, profiling our gaybor to the East: Shreveport’s homespun gay appeal

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

KING OF CAKES
KING OF CAKES | The king cakes at Julie Anne’s are the best you’ve ever had, but all the baked goods soar. Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

We profiled the bottom of Louisiana as a travel destination earlier this month — now it’s time to hit the top.

With Southern Decadence right around the corner in New Orleans, nearby Shreveport-Bossier City doesn’t get the attention from gay travelers it deserves. But this neighbor to the east is making strides in cultivating its LGBT cred — and not just during Mardi Gras (although we like it for Mardi Gras a lot).

Much of the central business district is fairly compact and surprisingly lively. Less than a week after SoDec ends, Shreveport will gay up the state with the town’s second annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, sponsored by PACE (People Acting for Change and Equality) at the Robinson Film Center. The Robinson, like our own Angelika, is a mecca for artsy films (it was the only place in the region to show Milk a few years ago). It’s a beautiful, modern facility that, along with the ArtSpace across the street, gives Downtown an artistic vibe. That sense is augmented with John Waters in tow, which he will be for the fest.

Credit SBC’s progressives for standing up for gay rights. Last year, a city councilman threatened to yank funding for the Robinson because of the gay film fest. The reaction was large enough that not only did the resolution get nowhere, in December the city adopted a non-discrimination policy that covers sex and gender identity. (PACE is also sponsoring a mayoral candidate forum this Sunday.)

Walk or drive down toward the Red River to check out Sci-Port, an interactive science museum targeting families and especially curious kids, but an addictively entertaining place for nerds of all ages. The Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium inside offers everything from laser shows to calculating your weight on the moon (a boon to pound-conscious gays) and lets you show the stars on the day you were born. It also hosts the state’s only IMAX dome theater.

Just down the street, the Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center has a greenhouse that’s a hoot to wander through.

Farther away, but completely worth the drive, is the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, a huge museum of eclectic and excellent art, including “double elephant” Audubon portfolios and rotating high-end exhibitions. The self-guided cell-phone tour is an ingenious way to enjoy the art at your own pace.

Perhaps the most interesting attraction, though, is the Logan Mansion. Built in 1897, this private home (Vicky and Billy LeBrun live here full-time) is an architectural marvel bursting with history. It’s also full of believable ghost stories, which Vicky is more than willing to share. It’s one the best historic home tours ever.

Although SBC is not as famed as the Crescent City, all Louisianans know how to enjoy their food, and the culinary scene has several highlights.

Don’t miss the Wine Country Bistro, which deftly executes rustic dishes with French and American country influences. Try the perfectly seared scallops (the size of a fish) on a bed of bacon grits, a corn bread soufflé so sweet it’s more like spoon bread and a mixed berry cobbler with buttermilk ice cream that’s slap-yo’-mama good.

Bistro Byronz has branches in Baton Rouge and Mandeville, but the décor and fare cry out New Orleans, with traditional French dishes like cassoulet (a hearty white bean soup) and chicken paillard (a form of scallopini) in a casual setting that invites jazz music and mimosa.

Logan Mansion
GHOST TOUR | Logan Mansion offers one of the best hist- oric home tours anywhere. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

More formal and spacious, but just as delectable, is Giuseppe, an Italian restaurant with tons of private dining rooms for intimate parties. Try the Sunday “champagne symphony” brunch, which serves bottomless bellinis, mimosas or champagne for six bucks and has well-priced entrees. The razor-thin salmon carpaccio is a highlight, but the housemade pastas are unmissable.

OK, some of the food is more kitsch that cuisine — but even that is noteworthy. Julie Anne’s Bakery is home to the king cake, the signature confectionary of the Lenten season. If you’ve only choked down local grocery store versions, be prepared: They do ‘em right here (as many as 600 a day in the week before Fat Tuesday) and aside from being about as healthy a stick of butter, the flavors are heavenly. (There are other delicious baked goods here for the other 10 months of the year.)

On the other hand, it’s not a bad idea to plan a Mardi Gras season visit, where you can enjoy floats, a pet parade and maybe even get access to the pre-parade krewe parties where the massive moving structures are finished out. Some of the krewes are even gay — which goes to show NOLA doesn’t have a lock on queer-friendly Louisiana.

…………………………………..

LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Wine Country Bistro
Wine Country Bistro

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
ArtSpace, 710 Texas St. ArtSpaceShreveport.com.
Barnwell Memorial Garden & Art Center, 601 Clyde Fant Parkway. BarnwellCenter.com.
North Louisiana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Sept. 10–16), NLGFF.org.
Logan Mansion, 725 Austin Place. R.W. Norton Gallery, 4747 Creswell Ave. RWNAF.org.
Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St. RobinsonFilmCenter.org.
Sci-Port Museum, 820 Clyde Fant Parkway. SciPort.org.

DINING
Bistro Byronz
, 6104 Line Ave. BistroByronz.com.
Giuseppe, 4800 Line Ave. RistoranteGiuseppe.com.
Julie Anne’s Bakery, 825 Kings Highway.
Wine Country Bistro, pictured, 4801 Line Ave. Wine Country Net.com.

RESOURCES
PACE,
PaceLouisiana.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Local briefs • 06.25.10

Vedda wins Chamber scholarship

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management has awarded its Regent Scholarship to Tony Vedda. The award is given to chamber professionals across the country.

In his application, Vedda stressed the chamber’s need for diversity in its training programs.

Vedda, executive director of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, will attend a five-day session at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles in July. The course is part of a four-year leadership-training program. This is Vedda’s third year.

“It’s a testatent to our board that they see value in this,” he said. “It’s just a terrific program.”



AA Rainbow Team salutes Cirillo

FORT WORTH — In celebration of National Gay Pride Month, American Airlines’ Rainbow Team is honoring the sales group’s founder, Rick Cirillo.

For Rainbow Team newsletter, they interviewed Cirillo who talked about being the first employee in Harvey Milk’s Castro Street camera shop. Cirillo had just come out and had a chance encounter with Milk, which led to his involvement in work for LGBT rights.

Cirillo later moved to Dallas and went to work for American Airlines in the marketing department. After the 1993 March on Washington and the airline’s decision to work with the gay and lesbian community and stop discriminating against passengers with AIDS, Cirillo formed the Rainbow Team to market to the LGBT community.

His marketing group was a first for a major American company but has since been copied by most other airlines and a number of other corporations such as IBM.



TDWCC to endorse candidates

The next general meeting for Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will be Monday, June 28, at 6:45 p.m. in the Shawnee Room F148 of Founders Hall at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco.

The meeting will include a candidate forum to vet and vote on endorsements for the November election. The following candidates and representatives have confirmed attendance: The daughter of gubernatorial candidate Bill White representing his campaign; Dinah Weems representing the campaign of her husband, railroad commissioner candidate Jeff Weems; 3rd Congressional District candidate John Lingenfelder; Collin County Court at Law Place 3 candidate Sajeel Khaleel; county judge candidate David Smith, Collin County district attorney candidate Rafael de la Garza; county commissioner candidate Rick Koster; justice of the peace candidate Rey Flores; 5th District Court of Appeals Place 4 candidate Bonnie Lee Goldstein; and 5th District Court of Appeals Place 12 candidate Larry Praeger.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 25, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice