If you like it build a museum to it, Houston may get Beyoncé monument

I'm sure the plans for the failed 555 ft "Spirit of Houston" statue are still in a drawer somewhere. Just make it more bootylicious and put a ring on it.

Hometown heroes have always been honored with monuments; from Hannibal, Missouri’s Mark Twain Museum to Cleveland’s memorial to President Garfield, from Atchison, Kansas’ Amelia Earhart museum, to Concord, Ohio’s John Glenn historic site. Pity Houston! Which scion of our fair burg will rise up from the shackles of obscurity to clasp the liberty of immortality that only a dedicated monument can bring?

Beyoncé Knowles, that’s who, at least according to two men who skyped with Fox 26 and are expecting the Mayor to endorse their plans any day now. Steve White and Marcus Mitchell of Armdeonce Ventures say they want to honor the newly minted musical mother with a “statue or museum.” According to Mitchell,

““Our biggest thing is a lot of people get honored when they die, so our goal is to why not honor people why they’re still here? We felt as though it’s her time to be honored. We wanted to construct, like, a massive hall so as the doors open, if you donated to the monument, you’ll have a separate nameplate.”

Armdeonce Ventures has offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Houston according to it’s website. The Beyoncé Monument is the only project currently listed on the site.

Watch the Fox 26 interview with the visionary twosome after the break.

—  admin

UPDATE: Suspect arrested in D.C. shooting

Police in Washington, D.C., have charged Darryl Willard with “assault with intent to kill while armed,” in connection with the shooting early Monday of a transgender woman in southeast D.C.

Washington, D.C. police are investigating the death of this unidentified person who was found wearing facial make-up and carrying a pair of light-colored heels

According to the Washington Post, after being shot at about 1:50 a.m. in the 2300 block of Savannah Street SE, the victim walked to the Seventh District Police Headquarters to report the crime. The Post reports that the victim knew her attacker and gave his name to police. Willard later turned himself in to authorities.

The victim, who is not named in the newspaper’s article, was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover from her injuries.

In the meantime, police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was found early Saturday, according to reports by the Associated Press. Police said that when the man’s body was found, he had makeup on his face and had with him a pair of light-colored high-heel shoes. The man appears to be Hispanic or Middle Eastern and between the ages of 25 and 30.

Police said they have no information on whether the dead man was gay or transgender, and that his body showed no signs of trauma.

The Monday shooting was the fourth time in less than two months that a transgender woman has been shot or shot at in the D.C. area. On July 20, Lashai Mclean died after being shot by a man who approached her as she walked with a friend in the city’s Northeast section. The man asked Mclean a question and then pulled a gun and shot her before she could answer, according to the friend, who was uninjured.

Eleven days later and just blocks away from the site of Mclean’s murder, a suspect approached another trans woman, asked for change and then pulled a gun and shot at her before she could answer. The shot missed and the woman was uninjured.

And in August, a D.C. police officer on medical leave was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he stood on the hood of a car and fired into the car containing two men and two trans women. One of the men was injured slightly in the attack.

—  admin

Marriage Opponents to Keep Fighting Against Equality in D.C.

Opponents of marriage equality are readying themselves once again for an attempt to strip the right to marry from same-sex couples in the nation’s capital. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, recently told beltway newspaper The Hill that he supports legislation to repeal marriage equality in D.C. Our own Michael Cole-Schwartz sounded off on the issue today in Metro Weekly

Jordan expressed that the he believes that the 175 member committee will push for a vote during the 112th Congress, and that he was “100 percent for it.”

Same-sex couples began seeing marriage equality in the district last year and recently won a struggle against outside groups like Alliance Defense Fund and the National Organization for Marriage trying to put citizens’ right to marry up for a public vote.

Attempts to place marriage equality on the ballot in D.C. have been rejected by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics after having been determined to violate D.C. Human Rights Act. Most recently, the Supreme Court refused to weigh in on the issue, initiating a shift in the tactics of marriage equality opponents in the district from judicial to legislative.

Brian Brown, NOM’s Executive Director, recently commented on congressional action, stating that he will “look at what the best route is” to have Congress intervene.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Ohio Congressman Targets D.C. Marriage Equality

JIM JORDAN X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMSocial conservatives in Congress may push to roll back marriage rights for same-sex couples in Washington, D.C.  
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal by D.C. Marriage Equality Opponents

Today we applauded the Supreme Court’s rejection today of a last-ditch appeal  by marriage equality opponents determined to put the rights of same-sex couples in D.C. up for a public vote. Last March, D.C. became the sixth jurisdiction in the nation to permit same-sex couples to marry.

“Today’s action by the Supreme Court makes abundantly clear that D.C.’s human rights protections are strong enough to withstand the hateful efforts of outside anti-LGBT groups to put people’s basic civil rights on the ballot,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “For almost two years, the National Organization for Marriage and the Alliance Defense Fund, along with Bishop Harry Jackson, have fought a losing battle to shamelessly harm gay and lesbian couples in D.C. who seek nothing more than to share in the rights and responsibilities of marriage.  The D.C. Council and Mayor courageously made marriage equality a reality last year, and the courts have since upheld the rights of D.C. residents to govern ourselves and take the necessary steps to eliminate discrimination in our community.”

The Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari today leaves standing a D.C. Court of Appeals decision issued last July that determined the Council acted within its authority when more than thirty years ago it established a requirement that proposed ballot initiatives may not authorize, or have the effect of authorizing, discrimination prohibited by the D.C. Human Rights Act.  The Court further held that an initiative on same-sex marriage would impermissibly permit discrimination against gays and lesbians in the District.

In December 2009, the D.C. Council overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of 2009.  The bill was signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty, transmitted to Congress for review and became law on March 3, 2010. The first marriages between same-sex couples were performed less than a week later. Since then hundreds of same-sex couples have been married in D.C.

With today’s decision from the Supreme Court, marriage equality opponents have reached the end of their legal wrangling.  The D.C. Board of Elections, Superior Court, Court of Appeals and now the U.S. Supreme Court have rejected their meritless and tired arguments that they should be permitted to impose a discriminatory ballot measure on D.C. voters.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

D.C.: SCOTUS protects marriage (no quotation marks needed)

Good news for D.C.:

Bishop Harry Jackson’s appeal to the Supreme Court to let D.C. residents vote on marriage equality, which was approved there last year, has been rejected by the Supreme Court, the AP reports

SCOTUS REJECTS APPEAL FROM SAME-SEX MARRIAGE OPPONENTS IN D.C. [Towle]

Screen Shot 2011-01-18 At 10.51.58 Am

And with that, the last D.C. ditch is in Jackson/NOM’s rear view mirror. But don’t you dare think they’re planning to drive off into the sunset.




Good As You

—  admin

HRC Volunteers in D.C. Keep Dialing In for Equality Across the Nation

In this last week before the critical Midterm Elections, we’ve been contacting HRC members  all over the country from here in D.C.  It’s exciting because I know just how much of an impact every conversation makes.

On Monday night I headed over to George Washington University and lead a phonebank withthe  student group Allied for Pride and dialed in for marriage equality in New York State.  Across town, Deputy Field Director Jeremy Pittman led another group of D.C. volunteers and HRC supporters as they also dialed to elect pro-equality state Senate candidates in New York.

We continued making calls into New York on Tuesday night with a great new group at George Mason University, StandOUT.

I’m so happy to support these key campaigns which will get us that much closer to passing marriage equality. I’m invested and passionate about all of our campaigns across the nation, but this one is particularly close to my heart. I grew up “upstate”- depending on your definition of upstate- in Hudson, NY.  I also recently got engaged to my partner, Renee. If I ever wanted to return home to New York to get married, I wouldn’t be able to do so legally. Unfortunately, situations like mine are not isolated. This is a sobering fact, and I want to do as much as I can to change the tide and see that all families in New York are recognized.

On Wednesday night I was joined by eight D.C. area volunteers and we continued to mobilize our members, this time in Minnesota, which is poised to be another marriage-equality state. At the same time, former HRC intern Josh Langdon ran a simultaneous phone bank with University of Ohio law students that reached out to hundreds of voters to support pro-equality candidates there.

In the last three days, we’ve held 5 phonebanks in three different locations and dialed over 2,000 numbers. It sounds like a lot, but we still have so much work to do.

Just two and half hours of your time will help us reach out to more than one hundred members and in races this close and this important, that could make all the difference.

Please email me directly at Christine.Sloane@hrc.org to sign up for our last election phonebank, on Monday, November 1. That night, we’ll be making calls into key districts all over the country to mobilize our members and get out the vote for pro-equality candidates.

We will provide pizza, training and a fun atmosphere on the eve before the elections. We’ll also be starting early, at 5:00 p.m., and calling right up until 9:00 p.m.  Stop in after work, on your way to the metro, and give what time you can; just let me know that you’re coming!

It’s simple- we need all hands on deck.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

D.C. Region Volunteers Keep Equality Spreading

The following post comes from HRC Regional Field Organizer Christine Sloane . Christine is working hard here in D.C. to support the 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

Over 6,000 dials and hundreds of conversations later, the D.C. phonebanks are marching on. Volunteers have traveled from as far as Baltimore to give three hours of time to reach out to HRC members in districts that they cannot vote in, that are situated in counties they’ve never heard of.

This is the kind of dedication and activism that inspired me to change careers and become a professional organizer. Our D.C. volunteers have been calling into states like New York, Ohio and Minnesota to protect and elect candidates who value members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as equals. The candidates we are working to elect will support issues like marriage equality, tougher bullying laws and employment non-discrimination.

Here in the District, our volunteers have worked alongside me to make sure that my colleagues, who are scattered far and wide, have the support that they need to mobilize our members to not only get out and vote but to get involved.

It’s an inspiring chain of event that looks like this: we make calls to D.C. area supporters and recruit them to come in and volunteer to Dial for Equality. Those volunteers make calls to even more supporters and recruit them to Dial for Equality with one of my colleagues on the ground in one of 16  states across the country. Then those supporters call even more supporters and the chain goes on and on. Grassroots magic.

It may not seem that making calls is glamorous, but in truth, it is one of the single most important (and easiest) things you can do to make change. There’s no time to lose. With just over a  week until elections, we need your help.

Please Dial for Equality tonight , Monday, October 25 from 6:00-8:30 and/or Wednesday, October 27 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

After a quick, energetic training and few slices of pizza shared among like-minded new friends, you’ll get on the phone and become part of the chain for change. Will you join us?


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

D.C. Volunteers Make a Difference in NY

I love campaign season. The period leading up to elections can be terribly stressful for many of us, but it can also be tremendously rewarding. I am in western New York right now, where we are working hard every day to make marriage equality a reality here in the Empire State. The results of the upcoming elections will play a huge part in making this all possible, and the volunteers that have given their time this fall know how important it is to let everyone know that fact.

One of the most exciting things about our work here in New York is that I have been able to work very closely with my colleague and friend, HRC Regional Field Organizer Christine Sloan – despite the fact that she is over 400 miles away, working in our nation’s capitol. Christine has been working hard in D.C., organizing our D.C. based volunteers there to call our members here in New York to get them fired up about marriage equality in the state. The work that Christine and our outstanding HRC volunteers in D.C. have done has played a big part in mobilizing our membership from the Big Apple to the Great Lakes, from Long Island to the Capital Region and everywhere in between.

Regional Field Organizer Christine Sloan hard at work at our offices in D.C.

If you want to know more about the Campaign for NY Marriage, visit our website, where you can learn about which candidates we have endorse, upcoming events in the state, how you can help and more.

If you’re in the western New York area and interested in meeting other HRC members and volunteering on a strong, pro-equality campaign, please contact Regional Field Organizer David Contreras Turley at 202.330.3790 for more information.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

David Cicilline: Capital D.C. already on his monogram — next his address line?

From the Victory Fund’s Gay Politics:

Cicilline Election NightProvidence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline has won the all-important Democratic primary in the race to represent Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, a key victory in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.



If he wins the general election in November, Cicilline will become just the third openly gay, non-incumbent candidate to win a congressional seat, and only the seventh openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Congress.


BREAKING: Cicilline wins Democratic primary for Congress [Gay Politics]

(Pic., L to R: Eric Hyers, campaign mgr.; DavidCicilline; Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe)

Cicilline will now face Republican state Rep. John Loughlin in the general. A man who recently said this:

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, [Loughlin] said, he sees no reason to repeal the military’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy for gay servicemen because “service in the military is about defending our country … it is not necessarily about open sexuality of any kind.”

GOP Loughlin launches bid to unseat Kennedy [Pro Jo]

So basically, candidate Loughlin will now fight a metaphorical battle with a man who he doesn’t even think deserves the basic right to fight literal battles free from the fear that the merest of identity acknowledgements will derail his life and career. We’ll leave it at that for now.




Good As You

—  John Wright