Illinois couples can marry now in Chicago

pat-quinn

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn

A judge ruled Friday that same-sex couples can begin marrying now in Cook County that includes Chicago.

“There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court, and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said.

Same-sex marriage was scheduled to begin in the state on June 1 as a result of legislation passed last fall. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law in November.

Cook County Clerk David Orr, who filed a brief in favor of the lawsuit to push up the date, said he would begin issuing licenses immediately.

 

—  David Taffet

Chick-fil-A to end donations to anti-gay groups, draft memo about policies

Couple Tyler Savage, left, and Larry Farris kiss at a Dallas Chick-fil-A Friday, Aug. 3, for National Same-sex Kiss-in Day. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Chick-fil-A is reportedly ending its contributions to anti-gay groups, including Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.

The decision came after discussions this month with Chicago’s Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Moreno made headlines this summer for opposing a new Chick-fil-A in a Westside ward after company President Dan Cathy’s stated opposition to marriage equality. Cathy’s comments sparked debate about civil rights and freedom of speech, along with protests and petitions to kick the restaurant of college campuses, leading to Cathy meeting with LGBT college leaders last month.

Moreno told the Times that the company would not add LGBT protections to its nondiscrimination policy but would send a memo to its restaurants called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.” The memo will state Chick-fil-A’s promise to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender” and to not “engage in political or social debates.”

Moreno told Chicago’s LGBT newspaper, the Windy City Times, that it’s “a win for the LGBT community” and “for everyone who works for the cause of equal rights, and a win for Chick- fil-A. This is a win for all.”

Chick-fil-A has not released an official announcement stating that the company would cease donations to anti-gay organization, but a letter sent to Moreno signed by the company’s senior director states that it is “now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

Donations will now go to foster-care agencies and community service organizations.

—  Anna Waugh

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

After a slightly slow patch for both theater and concerts, this week things are heating up — especially for those looking for something with gay appeal.

Gay crooner Jay Brannan returns to Dallas on Monday for an appearance at Sons of Hermann Hall, and The Voice‘s Nakia is generating buzz in the bear community — he’ll be at All Good Cafe Friday night. And the local singers are nothing to sneeze at, either, as the Voice of Pride contest has its final round in the Rose Room on Sunday night.

Over at Level Ground Arts, John de los Santos directs Andi Allen and Shane Strawbridge in Sondheim’s masterpiece, Sweeney Todd. Meanwhile, the very gay-friendly shows Present Laughter, The Importance of Being Lovely, Avenue Q and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continue their runs (Joseph closes on Sunday). Then on Tuesday, Chicago opens at the Winspear for a two-week run.

The Bourne Legacy — the espionage series reboot with Jeremy Renner as the new superspy — opens Friday alongside Zach Galifianakis as a superfey congressional candidate in The Campaign.

On the more interactive side, both AWOL — The Leather Knights’ A Weekend of Leather event — and Fruit Bowl get underway this weekend. Whichever you go to, expect to see a lot of balls.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TCU LGBT alumni group forms

Organizer says school has been helpful, supportive in forming group for gay graduates

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

There are some schools that are — or have been — affiliated with religious institutions that  not only wouldn’t welcome an LGBT alumni group, they would block such a group outright.

But when Doug Thompson, a graduate of Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University, associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), approached his alma mater’s alumni association about forming an LGBT affiliate, he said, the response was, “Absolutely. No problem.”

TCU’s new LGBT alumni group will hold its first large meeting on Saturday, Oct. 22, after the TCU homecoming game. Thompson acknowledged that sports isn’t the main concern of many LGBT alumni, but homecoming is still a time when many alumni return to visit the campus.

Thompson said when he asked the alumni association whether the LGBT group would need approval by the school’s administration, he was told the administration would back it. The group was approved in April.

Unlike Baylor University, which sued to keep its LGBT alumni from using the school name to organize a group, Thompson said there has been no objection from the TCU campus.

“We just want to get people involved however they want to be involved,” Kristi Hoban, associate vice chancellor alumni of relations, said. “We just reach out, whether it’s a class or the business school or a special interest group.”

She said that black alumni were not participating until the Black Alumni Alliance formed about 11 years ago. Now, she said, they’re active leaders in class reunions, homecoming and department alumni events, adding that she hopes to see the same thing happen with the LGBT network.

Finding LGBT alumni hasn’t been easy, Thompson said, as students aren’t asked about their sexual orientation before they graduate.

But Thompson said about 120 alumni have already responded, mostly to calls on social media sites. And now that the school has a Gay Straight Alliance, he said, finding future alumni will be easier.

“Our goal will be to support gay and lesbian students and start a scholarship,” Thompson said. “And we’ll form activities around things gay alumni have an interest in.”

He mentioned support for the Trinity Shakespeare Festival on campus as a direction for the group.

Thompson said that having an LGBT alumni group will help the school provide a better environment for its LGBT students.

Two years ago, TCU proposed setting aside dorm space for LGBT students. A week after the announcement, when only eight students had signed up for the housing, the school scrapped those plans.

“That got totally blown out of proportion,” Hoban said.

She said the intention was never segregated housing but really just an LGBT campus group.
Thompson said the school would have avoided the bad publicity if it had the alumni group to guide them.

The LGBT alumni group will get together after the homecoming game against New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 22. They will meet at Tommy’s Hamburgers’ Camp Bowie Boulevard location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

…………………

OUT, PROUD ATHLETE

Pryor.Victor

Victor Pryor

Perhaps one of the best known Texas Christian University grads that will be attending the new LGBT alumni group’s meeting this weekend is Vincent Pryor, a TCU Horned Frogs football star from 1994.

That year, before the final game of the season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Pryor came out to his teammates. Rather than shunning him, Pryor’s coach told him he was proud of his honesty

“My teammates and my coaches overwhelmingly supported and accepted me,” Pryor writes on his website, VincentPryor.com. “All of the fears and concerns I had about being kicked off the team, or losing my scholarship, or embarrassing my school — none of that happened.  And the best part of it was that I became a better athlete after I came out.”

That day, Pryor had the biggest game of his college career, tallying a record 4.5 sacks — a record that still stands today. His performance helped TCU win the conference title and a berth in a post-season bowl game.

Today, Pryor works in sales and lives in Chicago with his partner of 12 years, who was a classmate at TCU. To watch his just-
released an “It Gets Better” video, below.

—  Kevin Thomas

Double-elimination tournament play begins today at gay softball World Series

Dallas Voice Drillers

As we mentioned last week, seven teams from Dallas are in Chicago competing this week in the 35th annual Gay Softball World Series. This is the largest annual gay sports event in the world with more than 3,000 people participating this year.

Rugby star Ben Cohen was on hand for the opening ceremonies. Cohen will be at Dallas Pride on Sept. 18. The opening ceremony took place at the Navy Pier on Monday night.

More than 150 teams from 41 North American cities are participating. In addition to the competition, there will be a street fair in Boystown over the weekend. Tournament winners will be recognized on Sunday on the field during Pride Day at Wrigley Field for the Cubs game.

The first two days of play are called pool play. Keith Dossiere of the Dallas Voice Drillers said pool play is a warm up and determines rankings for the double-elimination tournaments that begin today. In each division, the team with the best record in pool play plays the lowest-ranked team, the second-place team plays the team ranked next to last, and so on.

Results can be found on the World Series website. You can also follow the World Series on Facebook and Twitter. And stay tuned to Instant Tea for updates on the Dallas teams.

—  David Taffet

What’s Brewing: Jack’s Backyard closes abruptly

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Some unfortunate gay Pride news: Someone slashed tires on dozens of floats headed for Chicago’s parade in a possible hate crime;  organizers cancelled the Pride parade in Anchorage after a vehicle carrying the grand marshal struck and killed a marcher; and police arrested 14 activists during an unauthorized Pride demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia. On the bright side, an estimated 2 million celebrated Friday’s same-sex marriage vote at Pride in New York City on Sunday, and the star of the show was Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Watch video below.

2. Jack’s Backyard, the predominantly lesbian Oak Cliff bar owned by Kathy Jack, closed abruptly on Sunday, according to multiple reports. Word is the landlord wanted the property back and Jack is searching for a new location. From the bar’s employees on Facebook: “Heartbreaking as it is I am confirming the rumors that Sunday is the last day Jacks will be open. But we will be back and for you loyal friends and customers thank you for your support. The odds have always been stacked against Kathy Jack ever making this place last. On behalf of the loyal employees of Jacks, rest assured that we will be there when Kathy Jack finds a new location.”

3. Don’t miss our photos and video from Saturday’s Stonewall march in Dallas. And stay tuned for reports from this weekend’s Pride celebrations in Houston and Mexico City.

—  John Wright

Chicago TV’s In-Depth Interview With Dan Savage On Religion, Sex, & Bullying

It’s a long interview, but worth your time.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

News: Kamala Harris, Serbia, Jason Mraz, Prancer, Chicago

Road WaPo: Activists press Obama to push for marriage equality.

Harris RoadKamala Harris: The Democrats' anti-Palin.

RoadWatch: Holiday, erm, greetings from Ke$ha.

RoadSerbian far right leader charged in attacks on gays: "Prosecutors are charging a far right Serbian leader with orchestrating violence during a gay pride march in Belgrade in October at which more than 150 people were hurt. The Higher Court in Belgrade says Milan Obradovic, leader of extremist group Obraz, or Honor, is charged with 'committing violent acts at a public gathering.'"

RoadPrancer, the sassiest reindeer?

RoadChristmas miracle? Chicago gay health center gets cash to remain open.

RoadJason Mraz is engaged to a Prettyman.

RoadWaPo: Smithsonian chief should step down over censorship over gay exhibit. "Three weeks after the Smithsonian Institution ignited fury in the museum world by censoring one of its own exhibitions – removing a video that appeared in the National Portrait Gallery's groundbreaking exhibition of gay portraiture, 'Hide/Seek' – the best option for undoing the damage remains the resignation of the man who made the decision."

RoadRyan Reynolds makes it official.

RoadBBC recommissions lesbian drama Lip Service.

RoadGayle King says she was touched by Oprah's tears, says the lesbian rumors no longer bother her: "It used to bother me, and now I say, 'OK, if people believe it, there's nothing we can do to change their minds. Oprah has been so outspoken and I have about my dating life, my desire to have a significant other, that it's just silly that we would deny or hide that because it implies something is wrong. That's what bothers me more than anything. There's nothing wrong."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Good FOX5 Chicago piece on one of our newest hate groups

I’ve met the guy running the group. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if he were missing a few fries in his Happy Meal.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Daley, not weakly: Chicago mayor excited for Christmas, New Years, equality’s inevitability

Mayordaley

Good on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley:

After a historic vote legalizing civil unions this week, Mayor Daley on Thursday welcomed the Illinois General Assembly into “this new century” and urged lawmakers to “move faster” — and legalize gay marriage.

“Finally, they realized they should have the same rights under state law. But eventually, [gay] marriage will take place. It has to. . . . We have to move faster,” the mayor said.

Daley wants state to ‘move faster’ on gay marriage [Chicago Sun-Times]

(H/t: Towle)

Hmm. If only we could think of another prominent Chicagoan who could help facilitate America’s marriage progress. Hmm. We’re simply stumped. Can anyone think of one?




Good As You

—  admin