LOCAL BRIEFS: HRC and LULAC hold Cinco de Mayo

The Human Rights Campaign will partner with the local LGBT chapter of LULAC — The Dallas Rainbow Council to celebrate Cinco De Mayo.

The annual Salsa Cocktails event —featuring dancers, food and high-energy music — takes place at Havana, 4006 Cedar Springs Road, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5.

“We have already confirmed Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez as one of our speakers,” said Kimberly Williams, HRC event coordinator. “Our dance group will also offer free salsa dance lessons for our guests.”

HRC and LULAC will talk about recent national and local successes. The public is invited to attend. The event is free, although a $20 donation to HRC at the door will get two free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

“Both HRC and LULAC will have information about membership and ways to get active,” said Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC 4871. “We have great projects coming up this summer. We invite community members ready to get involved to come learn about opportunities to further equality.”

—  John Wright

WATCH: New DPD Chief David Brown talks about the recent hate crime in Oak Lawn

Dallas’ new police chief, David Brown, spoke last Tuesday night during the regular monthly meeting of LULAC Council 4871—The Dallas Rainbow Council. As far as I know, this marked Brown’s first appearance before an LGBT group since he became chief. As you can see from the video, it was pretty dark inside Havana, where the meeting was held. But Brown’s comments concerning the recent hate crime near Cedar Springs are at least worth a listen.

—  John Wright

Thanks to the gays in Dallas, LULAC National sends out an e-mail urging a repeal of DADT

Pepe Johnson
Pepe Johnson

Jesse Garcia, president of Dallas’ gay chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC 4871), sends along word that LULAC National distributed an e-mail to all members on Friday urging them to support a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” Garcia said he believes this marks the the first time LULAC National has sent out a pro-LGBT message to its membership, which consists of 700 chapters and 115,000 members across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The e-mail sent Friday by LULAC National consisted of a letter from Pepe Johnson, a LULAC 4871 member and a former Army sergeant who was discharged under DADT. Johnson’s letter encourages people to participate in tomorrow’s Veteran’s Lobby Day on DADT:

LULAC is joining with other national organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United as a partner in Veterans Lobby Day. Veterans from all across the country will gather in Washington on 11 May to voice their support for ending DADT. LULAC National President Rosa Rosales states that “this spirit of cooperation continues in the example of our great civil rights leader César Chávez who not only fought for justice for Latino farm workers, but also built coalitions with his Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters. Just as LULAC stands against the discrimination taking place in Arizona, we stand with our Latino and LGBT sisters and brothers in the armed forces to say no to discrimination against our dedicated servicemembers.”

In 2008, Garcia, Johnson and Felix Arrieta attended the National LULAC Convention in Washington, D.C., and got a resolution passed overwhelmingly that calls for the repeal of DADT. Johnson is now in the D.C. area volunteering with HRC, Garcia said, and Friday’s e-mail was his idea:

“It just goes to show you that our battle for equality is not always centered in New York or Los Angeles. Great ideas are coming out of Dallas. We should be very proud of Pepe Johnson and Dallas!” Garcia said.

After the jump, the full text of Friday’s e-mail.

—  John Wright

The gays go to the Mega March

Staff writer David Taffet shot these photos Saturday featuring some of the LGBT folks who participated in the Mega March for Immigration Reform in downtown Dallas. He’ll have a full story on gays and immigration in Friday’s Voice.

The LGBT groups that participated in the Mega March that are in the video include Rainbow LULAC, Equality March Texas and Queer Liberaction Denton.

The video begins at the Meyerson Symphony Center where the LGBT marchers gathered. They joined the main march from Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue to Dallas City Hall.The march ended with speakers and the playing of “America the Beautiful” by lesbian writer Katharine Lee Bates.

Si se puede!

—  John Wright