Amnesty International holds candlelight vigil in Arlington for Matthew Shepard

A candlelight vigil will be held outside of Theatre Arlington from 10:20 to 11 p.m. on Friday evening, June 1 after the 8 p.m. performance of the play, The Laramie Project.

The play chronicles the circumstances surrounding the murder of Matthew Shepard, the Wyoming college student who was killed because he was gay. The purpose of the vigil is to remember Shepard and others like him who are bullied or killed because they are different or perceived to be different, and to shed some light on how we can be more pro-active in a way that makes incidents like Matthew’s death much less likely.

The vigil is being spearheaded by the leader of Tarrant County’s Amnesty International group, Ellen Kaner. Other speakers include Rev. David Howard (Minister of the Unity Church of Arlington), Len Ellis (Board Member of the Dallas Peace Center), Mary Jo Kaska (Director of Programming for Hope for Peace and Justice) and Rev. Rachel Ciupek-Reed, Pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Bedford. Anyone is welcome to attend the vigil, whether attending the play that evening or not.

Theatre Arlington is at 305 W. Main St. in Arlington just east of the intersection with West Street.

Tickets for the play are available on Theatre Arlington’s website. There are also performances Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 3 at 2 p.m.

—  David Taffet

ExxonMobil votes down gay protections

Protesters at ExxonMobil shareholders meeting
Protesters at the ExxonMobil shareholders meeting earlier today.

Each year since Exxon and Mobil merged, a proposal has come before the shareholders to add sexual orientation to the company’s nondiscrimination policy. And the percentage of shareholders voting in favor of the proposal has increased each year — until this one.

Only 22 percent of ExxonMobil shareholders voted in favor of adding the protections during today’s annual meeting at the Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas. Last year 40 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the proposal.

About two dozen LGBT protesters gathered outside the meeting with signs and bullhorns.

Richard Miller of the Dallas Peace Center was inside the meeting voting shares for a friend from Berkeley, Calif. He spoke in favor of the proposal and said a number of other shareholders, including a member of the Rockefeller family, spoke on behalf of environmental justice and sustainability issues. ExxonMobil is a direct descendant of the John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co.

For more, stay tuned to Instant Tea. For a full recap, see Friday’s Voice.

—  David Taffet