Legacy begins 25th anniversary celebration with Mad Men and PositiviTea

Mad-MenLegacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage kicks off its 25th anniversary celebration in March with Mad Men, Cocktails and Canapes, a 1960s-inspired cocktail party.

This exclusive event features live ’60s-era entertainment provided by Vince Martinez. Bartenders will be shaking and stirring Martinis, Manhattans, Old Fashions, and Pink Ladies. Savory hors d’oeuvres and traditional canapés will also be served to top off the 60s atmosphere.

So, dress in your best 1960s attire to mingle among the Grace Kellys, Marilyn Monroes, Jackie Kennedys and Rock Hudsons.

positivitea“This weekend of celebratory events kicks off our 25 year anniversary. We start with an elegant evening of Mad Men, then have a late tea the next day at Positivitea,” Legacy Executive Director Melissa Grove said.

Mad Men takes place at Sky Club Roof Top Lounge at the Mayfair on Turtle Creek, 3401 Lee Parkway on March 1 from 7–10 p.m. Tickets are available online.

PositiviTea is a celebration of the special talents and gifts of the Grace Project women living with HIV. The event features a showcase of Dallas fashion and art and takes place at Royal Sixty, 150 Turtle Creek Blvd., #202 on March 2 from 3–5 p.m.

“We are asking the community to consider becoming an elite Silver Season Pass Holder, which entitles you to all of our events and special treatment, along with things like naming rights to the counseling and Cottage rooms,” Grove said. “We hope that people will acknowledge our anniversary by showing their support for us.”

—  David Taffet

Overturning Texas marriage amendment

About 50 people gathered at the Legacy of Love monument in Oak Lawn after the anti-gay marriage amendment was declared unconstitutional on Feb. 26.

—  David Taffet

Dallas Pop & Comic Expo comes to Richardson this weekend

DallasCPE Banner 8The Dallas Comic and Pop Expo comes to the Richardson Civic Center this weekend and has plenty of LGBT content, according to organizer Zach McGinnis.

Among the celebrities attending is David Yost, the Blue Power Ranger.

Yost came out publicly in 2010 and said he left the original series after its third season because he was called “faggot” on the set and endured harassment from writers, directors, producers and crew. At the time he said he was still struggling with his sexual orientation.

After leaving the show, Yost went through two years of conversion therapy, but in 2012, he began appearing again at fan conventions.

Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard) and Mari Deese Hampton (Harold & Kumar) and Black Power Ranger Walter Jones also be on hand.

Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, leads karaoke 8 p.m.–midnight on Friday.

LGBT SciFi Speed Dating takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Creator Ryan Glitch said this is the perfect way for people to meet who aren’t necessarily good at starting a conversation with strangers.

“What’s your favorite movie,” he suggested as a great opening line.

He said each speed date lasts three minutes and at the end of the hour, everyone is matched with a phone number of someone they showed interest in.

Glitch said his straight speed dating has resulted in 10 marriages and 19 engagements. He’s hoping LGBT speed dating will be equally successful.

McGinnis said he’s excited about an art auction Sautrday night that benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. Artists inlcude Phil Hester, Jamal Igle, Ande Parks, Shane Davis and local artist Robert Luedke. Several attending artists will be doing live work that will be auctioned at the end of the evening.

Feb. 28: Doubletree Hilton Dallas/Richardson, 1981 North Central Expwy. Registration at 5 p.m. Karaoke 8 p.m.–midnight.
March 1: Richardson Civic Center, 411 West Arapaho Road, Richardson. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Doubletree Hilton Dallas/Richardson art auction 7 p.m.–midnight.
March 2: Richardson Civic Center, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
DallasComicAndPopExpo.com

—  David Taffet

LGBT advocates plan to red out Dallas City Council meeting tomorrow

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Wednesday’s Dallas City Council may be déjà vu for some LGBT advocates and allies when the gallery is full of red like it was in June for an LGBT equality resolution.

But this time LGBT advocates hope to encourage councilmembers to support a resolution and pass it, instead of express anger for the resolution that failed to go before the council last year.

The “Comprehensive Statement of Support” resolution passed committee last week and was slated to go before the full council for a vote Wednesday, but Mayor Mike Rawlings delayed the council vote  because he wants to discuss legal implications in executive session before the full council votes on it.

The new measure directs the city manager and city staff to resolve the inequities in city employment for its LGBT employees, as well as help the city be an advocate for state and federal LGBT equality.

In response to the delay by Rawlings, advocates plan to show up in mass at City Hall Wednesday wearing red to address the council and show support in the audience for the resolution.

Advocates have launched a Facebook page called “Dallas LGBT Equality Resolution” to gain support for the measure. It has received 626 likes so far.

LGBT people and allies planning on attending the meeting are encouraged to show up to meet with Councilmen Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston at 8 a.m. on the fifth floor before the 9 a.m. council meeting on the sixth floor. If people cannot attend the meeting, advocates urge supports to contact their councilmember.

Meanwhile, GetEQUAL TX issued travel advisory Tuesday for LGBT people coming to Dallas. The statewide activist organization issued a similar warning in San Antonio during the summer when the discussion around a nondiscrimination ordinance divided the city.

“This alert has been issued based on the fact that Dallas — the 9th largest city in the country — has refused multiple efforts by the community to pass resolutions backing marriage equality, employment nondiscrimination, and most recently a comprehensive statement of support for the LGBT community,” GetEQUAL TX says in a press release.

Read the full travel advisory below.

—  Anna Waugh

Kilgore ISD settles outing case

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Skye Wyatt

Five years after two coaches outed a Kilgore ISD student to her mother, the school district decided to settle the case.

In 2009, Skye Wyatt’s softball coaches outed her to her mother. She was 16 at the time. The coaches locked her in a locker room where they threatened and interrogated her.

Wyatt claimed outing her violated her right to privacy under the U.S. and Texas constitutions.

The trial court found in her favor, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision. That gave Texas schools the right to out students to their parents and reveal any information they might have about sexual activity, even if it would endanger the life or well-being of the student.

In addition to paying Wyatt $77,500 to settle the suit, the school district added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy and will have all staff attend a 30-minute in-service training on the subject that will be repeated annually.

—  David Taffet

TCU GSA raising money for LGBT prom

gaypromFor some LGBT people, the memory of their high school prom wasn’t everything they dreamed it’d be, or in some cases, not even close.

But the Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas Christian University is partnering with the university’s social work class of 2015 to ensure that LGBT students and its allies have a second chance at a memorable prom.

“This event will allow college students and above to participate in the high school tradition of going to prom that they may have missed out on due to discrimination,” TCU GSA President Shelbie Rosenblum wrote on the GoFundMe website. “Both organizations feel that the LGBTQ community and their allies should be able to experience this special moment with the person of their choice. … We support the LGBTQ community of DFW and believe that this will be a treasured moment for those who attend.”

The fund aims to raise $4,000 for an enchanting evening with food, a photo both, DJ and elegant decorations, all without charging admission for the event. So far, $440 has been donated.

The prom, while hosted at TCU, will be open to other universities and students in the DFW area on Saturday, April 12.

—  Anna Waugh

Anti-gay legislation supporters squirm while allies speak out in Arizona

Brewer,Jan

Gov. Jan Brewer

Last week, I said to homophobes passing anti-gay legislation, “Bring it on.”

In the long run, the decision that will find these laws unconstitutional will also ensure rights beyond any these narrow-minded legislators ever thought to take away.

But in the short run, the Arizona law is bringing out our friends and making a number of others squirm.

The law, passed by the Arizona Legislature last week, would allow businesses and individuals to deny services to LGBT customers on the grounds of deeply held religious beliefs.

First and foremost on the squirm list are Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.

“I hope Governor Brewer will veto #SB1062,” McCain tweeted.

Flake tweeted something similar over the weekend.

Three Arizona Republican lawmakers who voted for the bill now are urging Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the bill.

Two of them wrote in a letter the bill is being “mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance.”

The legislation is also bringing out allies. Fort Worth-based American Airlines, which recently merged with Phoenix-based USAirways, wrote to Brewer asking her to veto the law. CEO Douglas Parker said the law would jeopardize the state’s economic recovery and reduce the likelihood of companies  locating in Arizona.

Marriott’s CEO, as did Apple’s, wrote the law would have a negative impact on the hospitality business.

American Airlines and Apple scored a 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Marriott rated 90 percent.

Barry Broome, the president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, announced that the CEO of one company told him it was no longer considering relocating 1,000 jobs to the city because of the bill.

Brewer must decide whether or not to sign the bill by Friday.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center and Fairness Fort Worth ask reps to protect LGBT elderly

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Cece Cox

Resource Center and Fairness Fort Worth reached out to Rep. Marc Veasey and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to add LGBT-specific protections to Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services programs for seniors. Veasey represents U.S. District House 33, and Johnson represents U.S. District House 30.

The National Senior Citizens Law Center issued a report in 2011 that found LGBT seniors often went back into the closet to protect themselves in healthcare facilities. Many endured verbal and phyical abuse by other residents and staff.

RC’s CEO Cece Cox and FFW’s President David Mack Henderson asked Veasey and Johnson to encourage HHS to amend its rules to protect LGBT seniors.

Their letter is below:

RC FFW

 

—  David Taffet

Teen charged in brutal Springtown beating to be tried under federal hate crime law

Hate-Crime

Arron Keahey

Federal prosecutors plan to try the teen who nearly killed a gay Dallas man last year under the federal hate crime law, according to The Associated Press.

Brice Johnson, 19, allegedly attacked and beat Arron Keahey after meeting him on the mobile app MeetMe over Labor Day weekend in Springtown, a small town about 70 miles west of Dallas in Parker County.

Keahey, who lived in Dallas at the time, suffered severe injuries, including nerve damage and a shattered eye socket.

Johnson was later arrested for aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony, which police investigated as a hate crime. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted under the federal hate crime law.

Johnson’s trial is slated to begin in late March.

—  Anna Waugh

Illinois couples can marry now in Chicago

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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