AT&T celebrates Decision Day

Just catching up and getting more pictures online from all the celebration in Dallas surrounding the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling on June 26. AT&T employees celebrated Decision Day outside their world headquarters in downtown Dallas.

—  David Taffet

Decision Day: The Press Conference

After the announcement that marriage equality would extend to 50 states, religious leaders and community leaders held a press conference at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Dallas County Records Building. Inside, couples began lining up for marriage licenses by 9:30 a.m.

—  David Taffet

Decision Day rally and march in Dallas

Dallas Voice Publisher Leo Cusimano and Associate Advertising Director Chad Mantooth took these photos tonight at the rally and march in Dallas celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality nationwide.

—  Tammye Nash

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

Dallas LGBT Task Force celebrates Pride

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 5.14.22 PMThe city of Dallas’ LGBT Task Force celebrates national Gay Pride Month beginning at noon Wednesday, June 10, when the Task Force chairman, Councilman Adam Medrano of District 2, presents a proclamation signed by Mayor Mike Rawlings in Room 6EN — the Flag Room — at City Hall.

Here’s a schedule of other Pride events taking place this month:

• June 10, 6 p.m.: LGBT Rainbow Book Club and discussion at the North Oak Cliff Branch Library, 302 W. 10th St. Refreshments will be served. Bring your favorite LGBT book. June is also LGBT Book Month, and the Dallas Library will be Tweeting a new book recommendation each day this month.

• June 13: Bahama Beach LGBT Day, 1895 Campfire Circle. Guests should indicate that they are attending for LGBT Day to receive reduced admission ($9, down from $15).

• June 20-21: Juneteenth Pool Party and Juneteenth Unity Barbecue, sponsored by United Black Ellument in collaboration with Dallas Southern Pride. Pool party, 5-10 p.m. June 20 at 3121 Ross Ave. Unity Barbecue, 2-7 p.m. June 21 at Stone Tables Pavilion, 650 E. Lawther Drive. For information visit UBEDallas.org/Juneteenth. The Unity picnic is also sponsored by Cosmopolitan Congregation of Dallas.

• June 26, 1-5 p.m.: Children’s Rainbow Crafts and Movie, at the Children’s Center at the J Erik Jonsson Central Library, with children and families invited to make fun rainbow crafts and relax with a family-friendly movie. Drop-in crafts start at 1 p.m., and the movie starts at 2 p.m.

• June 27, 4-7 p.m.: Rainbow Family Day at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 500 Marilla St., with activities for the whole family.

—  Tammye Nash

Start building the toll road now

We think building the toll road is a great idea and construction should begin now — as in today, before the flooding in the floodway where the road will go gets any worse.

Here are some pictures taken over the weekend along the proposed toll road route. We agree with Councilman Adam Medrano that the trees that are slowing down the flow of river should be kept in place to slow down the water as it cascades down the toll road.

—  David Taffet

BUSINESS NEWS: GLBT Chamber celebrates 10th anniversary

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Tony Vedda

The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 10th anniversary on Friday night, April 24, with its Celebration of Excellence Dinner, held at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel.

Chamber officials presented a number of awards during the dinner, including presenting Mark Arthur Shekter with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Shekter owns Surrealty Corporation, a real estate agency, and Graphic+Design+Group+International. He is known for his work as an architectural and interior designer, but he is also known for his years of volunteer work in Dallas’ LGBT community. Shekter founded Meals on the Move, or MOM, which for several years delivered meals to people with HIV.

Other individuals recognized for their contributions to the community were Capt. Kathi Durst, chief pilot for American Airlines; Andy Smith, executive director of the Texas Instruments Foundation; Roger Thomson, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Brinker International; and Zack Hicks, chief information officer for Toyota Motors North America.

The 2014 Business Excellence Awards were also presented at the event. Business of the Year honors went to Liberty Burger, founded by Mariel Street and sponsored by Prudential Financial. The Extra Mile Award went to Pride Pharmacy, led by President John Shero and sponsored by American Airlines. The Community Impact Award went to ilume Management Services, led by President Luke Crosland and sponsored by Raytheon.

The Corporate Ally Award went to Haynes & Boonem LLC, with Theo Foster as LGBT diversity chair. Det. Christopher Gorrie of the Fort Worth Police Department, sponsored by Allied Stone, won the Emerging Leader Award. Robin Pulford with American Airlines accepted the Supplier Diversity Award, sponsored by Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. And the Member Service Award with TravelOUT owner Michael Henshaw, sponsored by Pride Pharmacy.

In the final award presentation of the evening, chamber Chairman Larry Paschall named the chamber’s president and CEO, Tony Vedda, as winner of the Chairman’s Award.

—  Tammye Nash

Continental Gin Building’s open house and Deep Ellum Art Walk this weekend

4ae15f67cd55b8003238daa7aea9a22bI know where I’ll be tomorrow: The Continental Gin Building, 3309 Elm St. in Deep Ellum, which hosts its spring open house from 6–10 p.m. today and 2–8 p.m. tomorrow.

Coming off the dizzying Dallas Art Fair last week, the CGB’s open house and Deep Ellum Art Walk will, hopefully, provide a rich contrast to the claustrophobic Art Fair.

But about the 125 year old CGB. It was originally built in 1888 by Robert S. Munger as a cotton processing factory. It closed in 1962, but somehow survived Dallas’ demolition derby spree through the 1970s and 80s. It was purchased and renovated by John Tatum in 1982. Even through the the highs and lows of Deep Ellum, it has continuously been a popular spot for artists, designers and all sorts of creatives to hone their practice.

The 30 participating artists will join special guest Stuart Burne, a Welsh landscape artist in town just for the event. Local folk–jazz music hybrid Felix Flores will play tonight on CGB’s second floor.

From noon–8 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, April 18) stroll from the CGB to other galleries across Deep Ellum at the semiannual Deep Ellum Art Walk. Sponsored by the Deep Ellum Community Association and Kettle Art, is free and open to the public. A full list of hours and participating galleries is available on Facebook. Gallery hours vary.

For more information on the Gallery Walk, stop by 2650-B Main St., or e-mail art@deepellumtexas.com.

Oh, I forgot: bring your wallets. All the work is for sale.

—  James Russell

Meet the candidates for city, school board in Dallas

vote-buttonDallas city and school board joint elections are fast approaching — set for May 9 — and many candidates are taking every opportunity to get out and meet their potential constituents and win some votes. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library will be holding receptions for candidates in different districts over the next week (beginning tonight), and the Preston Hollow Democrats have invited candidates to their meeting on Thursday.

Friends of the Dallas Public Library candidate receptions

Tonight (Tuesday, April 7), Friends of the Dallas Public Library are holding a “Meet The Candidates” reception, for District 6 candidates, from 7-9 p.m. at the Bachman Lake Branch Library, 9480 Webb Chapel Road.

On Thursday (April 9), the Friends hold a reception for the District 9 and 10 candidates, from 7-9 p.m., at the Audelia Road Branch Library, 10045 Audelia Road. And next Tuesday (April 14), they host a reception for the Districts 4 and 8 candidates, from 7-9 p.m., at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library, 2008 E. Kiest Road.

All of the receptions will include a moderated discussion, including questions from the audience. It is free and open to the public.

For information on the Friends of the Dallas Public Library go here.

Preston Hollow Democrats

Preston Hollow Democrats have invited candidates for mayor and city council  districts 2, 6, 10, 11 and 13, and candidates for the Dallas ISD place trustee race to speak at their meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the auditorium of the Preston Royal Library, 5626 Royal Lane.

Each candidate will be given the Preston Hollow Dems members why he or she is running for office and why they deserve their constituents’ votes. Although city and school elections are non-partisan races, “the Preston Hollow Democrats believe that it is important to hear and consider each candidates and to encourage its members, guests and all voters to vote in these elections.

Candidates who have accepted the invitation to speak to PHD, as of this morning, are: Mayor Mike Rawlings, Marco Ronquillo, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Councilman Adam Medrano, Paul Reyes (may send a representative to speak), James White (may send a representative to speak), Councilman Lee Kleinman, Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, Dr. Edwin Flores and Dr. Kyle Renard.

For information on Preston Hollow Democrats, go here.

Candidates

Dallas City Council candidates are:

Place 1 — Scott Griggs; Place 2 — Adam Medrano; Place 3 — Casey Thomas II; Gerald Britt; Joe Tave; Wini Cannon; and B.D. Howard; Place 4 — Stephen King, Linda M. Wilkerson-Wynn, Sandra Crenshaw, Keyaira D. Saunders, James Ross, D. Marcus Ranger, Carl Hays and Carolyn King Arnold; Place 5 — Jesse Diaz, Rick Callahan, Sherry Cordova; Place 6 — Ozumba Lnuk-X, Daniel “DC” Caldwell, Lakolya London and Monica R. Alonzo; Place 7 — Tiffinni A. Young, Hasani Burton, John Lawson, Kevin Felder, James “J.T” Turknett, Randall Parker, Baranda J. Fermin and Juanita Wallace; Place 8 — Dianne Gibson, Clara McDade, Subrina Lynn Brenham, Eric Lemonte Williams, Gail Terrell and Erik Wilson; Place 9 —Christopher Jackson, Darren Boruff, Mark Clayton, Sam Merten and Will Logg; Place 10 —James N. White, Paul Reyes and Adam McGough; Place 11 — Lee M. Kleinman; Place 12 — Sandy Greyson; Place 13 — Jennifer Staubach Gates; Place 14 — Phillip T. Kingston; Place 15 (Mayor) — Mike Rawlings, Marcos Ronquillo and write-in Richard P. Sheridan.

For information on Dallas City Council elections go here.

Dallas ISD Board of Trustee candidates are:

District 1 — Edwin Flores and Kyle Renard; District 3 — Dan Micciche and David Lewis; and District 9 — Bernadette Nutall and Damarcus Offord.

For information on Dallas ISD elections go here.

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas City Council votes for equal pension benefits for its employees

ERF vote

ERF board members are, from left, Chair Carla Brewer, former City Councilman Chris Luna, retiree Francis Pieters, Councilman Adam Medrano, retiree John Rogers, Omar Narvaez, Councilwoman Carolyn Davis and Councilman Lee Kleinman.

Married gay and lesbian Dallas city employees now receive the same pension benefits as employees in opposite-sex marriages. The Dallas City Council voted this morning, Feb. 18, after a short discussion by a margin of 11-3. Dwaine Caraway was absent because of the death of his father.

Three council members voted against the proposal — Sheffie Kadane, Vonciel Jones Hill and Rick Callahan.

The Dallas City Council voted to amend the definition of the term “spouse.” The IRS ruling that went into effect on Jan. 1 requiring all pension funds to treat same-sex married couples equally required benefits be offered to anyone who retired, as of the United States v Windsor decision in June 2013. The Dallas rule change allows anyone who was married at retirement to apply for those equal benefits.

Retiree Frances Pieters left Dallas City Hall and headed directly to the the Employee Retirement Fund office at Plaza of the Americas to submit her request for funds. Pieters retired before Windsor but was married before her retirement date.

The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire and Rescue have a separate pension fund. That board last week refused to come into compliance with IRS regulations, which puts the fund in jeopardy of losing its tax-exempt status. In addition, it means a surviving spouse of a fallen police officer or firefighter would not receive benefits.

—  David Taffet