Celebrating Marriage Equality: Where to go, when to be there

Judge Parker

Judge Tonya Parker conducts a wedding ceremony for a Dallas couple who were the second same-sex couple legally married in Dallas County. Thirteen other judges sat watching in the jury box, waiting their chance to waive the 72-hour waiting period and perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Dallas/Fort Worth
• Dallas Day of Decision events include a rally at 6 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road followed by a march to Legacy of Love monument at 7:30 p.m. concluding with a rally at 8 p.m. at Legacy of Love. Shuttle service provided. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Denton Day of Decision events include a celebration 6 p.m. at a Denton Courthouse Square, 110 West Hickory Street. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Fort Worth Day of Decision events include a celebration at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave. hosts a rally with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, kissing and photo booths at 6 p.m. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

Texas:
• Amarillo Day of Decision events include a gathering at 6 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4901 Cornell St., Amarillo. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Austin Day of Decision events include a gathering at 6 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 200 East 8th St., Austin. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Harlingen Day of Decision events include a rally at 6 p.m. at Mount Calvary Christian Church, 401 N 21st St., Harlingen. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Houston Day of Decision events include a celebration beginning at 5 p.m. in Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St., Houston. A post rally event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Hughes Hangar, 2811 Washington Ave. Another event will be held at 6 p.m. at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 West 11th St. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• San Antonio Day of Decision events include a celebration 6 p.m. at the Bexar County Courthouse, E. Main Plaza, followed by a gathering at Luther’s, 1422 North Main Ave. For more information visit Sanantonio.hrc.org. Another event takes places 6 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard, 1630 Goliad Road. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.

• Waco Day of Decision events include a celebration 6-9 p.m. in Heritage Square, at the corner of 3rd and Austin Ave. Speakers and entertainment include Susan Duty-Dennard and Heather Grace Ranelle. Another event takes place 6 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, 4209 North 27th Street. For more information visit Action.marriagetx.org/page/s/join-us-for-decision-day.
Marriage-Equality-logo

Elsewhere:
• Tulsa Day of Decision events include a celebration 6:30-8 p.m. at Oklahomans for Equality’s Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, 621 E 4th St, Tulsa.

• Oklahoma City Day of Decision events include a celebration 5:30-7 p.m. at Pedestrian Mall, Jackson Square, New Orleans. After party at Oz New Orleans, 800 Bourbon St., New Orleans. For more information visit Facebook.com/events/886686488059687.

• New Orleans Day of Decision events include a celebration 6 p.m. at Freedom Oklahoma’s Equality Center, 5613 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City.

• Metropolitan Community Churches holds an online event and teleconference with church leaders providing coverage of events in the local areas at 5 p.m. Call in via Adobe Connect link and log in under “Guest” at Mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/communications_bemcc.

—  Tammye Nash

2014 Pride parade grand marshals named

grand marshals

The 2014 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade grand marshals are Rafael McDonnell, left, and the Rev. Carol West

With nearly 1,600 votes cast by the community, the Rev. Carol West and Rafael McDaniel have been chosen as grand marshals of the 2014 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

West is the pastor of Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth. She was called in 1998 by the then 35-member congregation to lead the church which now has grown to more than 500 members. In 2010, West was named winner of the Black Tie Dinner’s Kuchling Humanitarian Award.

McDonnell is communications and advocacy manager for Resource Center. He worked 16 years in broadcast news, including seven years as an assignment editor for Fox 4 News in Dallas. In May 2008, became the first person to hold the job of communications manager for the center.

Watch for more about this year’s grand marshals in the Friday, Aug. 1 issue of Dallas Voice.

—  Tammye Nash

Mardi Gras Oak Cliff parade today

Bead dazzling

Don’t let yesterday’s rain get you down. The sun is out for today’s Mardi Gras Oak Cliff celebration with its fourth annual parade. But it starts off with a crawfish boil and street party in the Bishop Arts District. Live music, food and beer will get you revved up for the parade. From Davis and Montclair to the Bishop Arts District, the parade rolls on through featuring floats, live bands, bicycle rides and more. And kinda makes us jealous of Oak Cliff.

DEETS: N. Bishop Ave at Davis St., 2 p.m., parade at 4 p.m. MardiGrasOakCliff.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Celebration of Love Gala raises funds for Lesbian Health Initiative

The scooter's way cuter in pink, sorry Liz

The Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston is celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with their Celebration of Love Gala Saturday, Feb. 11. at the Double Tree Hotel downtown (400 Dallas Street). The 10th annual gala is the 20-year-old organization’s major fundraiser of the year.

This year the gala features comedienne Susanne Westenhoefer, who claims to be the “first openly-gay comedian to appear on television” (yep, she was out before Ellen).  Dorothy Weston, co-founder and CEO of The Rose (a breast cancer prevention and treatment organization) will be honored  for her years of service. In addition the evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and the raffling of a pink Vitacci 50cc Retro Scooter. LHI executive director Liz James is particularly excited about the raffle even if she didn’t quite get her way on the prize. “I wanted it to be a black scooter, as I’m a bit on the butch side,” said James, adding that more “femme” forces in the organization prevailed and a pink scooter was selected instead.

Regardless of the color of the scooter, the Celebration of Love Gala promises to be a fun filled night, not just for sapphic romantics, but for anyone looking for a valentine’s date night that supports a good cause. Tickets for the black tie affair start at $100 and can be purchased at lhihouston.org. Doors open at 6 pm.

—  admin

Out & Equal to honor Parker, Welts

Mayor Annise Parker

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates will honor Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts at its Leadership Celebration on March 14 in San Francisco.

In October, Out & Equal held its week-long Workplace Summit at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Because of rave reviews, the group plans to return in the next few years. Welts was among the speakers at the Dallas convention.

Now in its fifth year, the Leadership Celebration is a fundraising event that includes a hosted reception and dinner. Parker and Welts will be recognized as role models and inspirations in the movement to achieve equality in the workforce.

To attend the San Francisco event, register online.

The 2012 Workplace Summit will be in Baltimore on from Oct. 29-Nov 1.

—  David Taffet

Twelfth Night celebration is in the pink

In the liturgical calendar of the Christian church twelfth night is the last day of the Christmas season. (Remember the 12 days of Christmas? They start on December 24 and end December 5) Twelfth night also kicks off the carnival season that culminates in the celebration of Mardi Gras. The Krewe of Olympus, Houston’s own predominately gay Mardi Gras Krewe, welcomes the season in style with “Pretty in Pink:” a twelfth night fundraiser benefiting the Montrose Counseling Center. The festivities are Saturday night, January 7 (’cause who wants to party on a Thursday?) starting at 7 pm at the Counseling Center (401 Branard) and include traditional king cake as well as an open bar, hors d’oevres and a Mardi Gras mask auction. In keeping with the theme guests are invited to wear their best outfits in shades of pink (be it blush or bashful).

The Krewe of Olympus started in New Orleans in 1970 before moving to Houston. According to their website:

We are one of the largest predominately gay Krewes in the United States, although our membership is open to all. Our principal aims are to present theatrical and educational events that perpetuate and continue Mardi Gras traditions and to raise money for community charities. Since moving to Texas, we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Houston and Dallas Charitable Organizations. We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

Tickets for the event are $35 and are available at the door.

—  admin

Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at The5Factor.org. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.

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GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.

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VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Southwest issues follow-up statement on Leisha Hailey incident

The Internet is out at the house (screw you, AT&T), so I’m attempting to post this from my phone (wish me luck). Below is a follow-up statement from Southwest Airlines regarding Monday’s incident involving Leisha Hailey. Note that the statement says the incident occurred in El Paso, as opposed to St. Louis, as previously reported. I can’t post the link here, but what is it about El Paso and same-sex kissing? Anyhow below is the statement. I’ll try to get more when I’m back on the grid in the a.m.

Updated Information Regarding Customers Removed from Flight 2274

Additional reports from our Employees and Customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers. At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin. Although we have reports of what Customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft. We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.

Our tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our Customers and Employees—including those in the LGBT communities—anchor our Culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule. The more than 100 million people who fly Southwest each year reflect the great diversity of our country and our Company — and ALL are valued and welcome. In fact, we’ve been recognized as a leader in diversity throughout our 40 years of service.

Our Customer Advocacy Team reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for an experience that fell short of the passengers’ expectation.

—  John Wright

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the Strip

Fiesta on the street

Sure Cindo de Mayo has turned into a drinking-based American celebration, but we’re gonna drop some history here on you.From the completely reliable source of Wikipedia, May 5 is the “date observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.” What’s that? Still wondering where your margarita is? Well, hit up the Strip tonight as it gets a touch of Latin flair for the holiday. From Sue Ellen’s to TMC: The Mining Company, the celebration highlights the block tonight.

DEETS: Blockwide Fiesta at Sue Ellen’s, TMC: The Mining Company, S4 and JR.’s Bar & Grill. Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street. 8 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Exactly what do you SERVE for that celebration?

I got word from Abacus, Kent Rathbun’s Uptown resto, that this morning they have received several calls from diners who want to book “celebratory” dinners tonight. What’s the occasion? Why, the assassination of Osama bin Laden, of course!

I suppose people celebrate lots of odd holidays with a meal out, but I can’t help wonder: What does one serve for such an event? Roast pig? Deviled eggs? Falafal? Some kind of seafood (in honor of his ocean burial)?

Any ideas, guys? What would you serve? Or do you find the idea, ummm, distasteful?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones