With early voting in full swing, Stonewall Dems and Log Cabin go head to head in Dallas tonight

Expect bigger-than-usual turnouts at monthly meetings of the Dallas chapters of Stonewall Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans — now both held on the third Tuesday of the month. With early voting in full swing, candidates should be making last-ditch appeals to win over LGBT voters.

DV contributor Phyllis Guest, who serves as secretary for Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, reports that the group will also be celebrating an award prior to Tuesday’s meeting. The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, the statewide organization, has announced that the Dallas chapter will receive the Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award. From a press release:

Created to recognize Stonewall Democrats clubs for growth in membership and political activism, the award recalls Flores, first Chair of the Club Development Committee of the TSDC.

SDD is the largest of the state’s Stonewall Democrats clubs with more than 400 members and has served as a model for other clubs across Texas. Its outreach and energy have spurred the development of Stonewall clubs throughout Texas and have enabled the TSDC to gain recognition as the official LGBT Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party.

Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, will present the award to Dallas President Omar Narvaez at a reception prior to the state party convention in Houston in June.

Stonewall meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave.

Meanwhile, Log Cabin’s monthly meeting will consist of a meet and greet for Dallas County Republican candidates, according to an email from the group.

“It’s a great, last minute opportunity to decide who it is you want to vote for — not by reading a pamphlet, but by reading a person. Already voted? Great! Join us for a drink anyway!” the group writes in an email.

The Log Cabin meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Texas Land & Cattle, 3130 Lemmon Ave.

UPDATE: Speakers at the Stonewall meeting will include openly gay former State Rep. Glen Maxey, who’s running for Democratic National Committee, and Taylor Holden from the Obama campaign.

—  John Wright

Gay Dems fear Perry would be ‘major step back’

ENTERING THE FRAY | Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Red State Gathering, where he announced his run for president, on Saturday, Aug. 13 in Charleston, S.C. (Associated Press)

But Dallas Log Cabin president says group would back governor

JAMES BRIGHT | Contributing Writer
editor@dallasvoice.com

Gay Democratic leaders in Texas fear that if Rick Perry becomes president, it would be a “major step back” for LGBT equality.

But the president of the Dallas chapter of Log Cabin Republicans indicated that the gay GOP group would support Perry if he wins the party’s nomination.

Perry, who hasn’t been supportive of the LGBT community during his time as governor, ended weeks of speculation when he formally announced that he’s running for president on Aug. 13.

And for the most part, LGBT leaders in Perry’s home state weren’t receptive to the news.

“He will regress everything we have accomplished and take us many steps backwards instead of the many steps forward we’ve taken under [President Barack] Obama,” said Omar Narvaez, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

“He is a top-tier candidate in that party with its radical right evangelical emphasis,” said Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus. “He loves little government and low taxes, so he plays right into their hands. God forbid if he were ever elected president. We would take a major step back for equal rights.”

Rob Schlein, president of Log Cabin Republicans Dallas, said the group likely will back the GOP nominee whoever it is.

“Rick Perry has been less of a friend to the LGBT community than we’d like, but on the issues that affect us all I think he is better than what we have in the White House,” he said. “We are all looking for a robust economy and he is going to make our national economic policies a lot more conducive to hiring, and that’s where I am concerned.”

Dennis Coleman, executive director of the nonpartisan Equality Texas, said the group will look at all candidates from both parties, but is unlikely to back Perry.

“As an organization we would to be more supportive of the governor putting a bid in for president, but we know where he stands on marriage for same-sex couples,” Coleman said.

“I’m a little concerned that based on his record he may follow the same rhetoric as [candidate Michele] Bachmann that may lead him to want to repeal the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’

“People get frustrated because things don’t happen as quickly as they’d like, but more mature members of the community remember a time when they could be arrested for going to a club,” Coleman said. “The White House has to continue a dialogue with LGBT leaders and people like myself in the movement and publications like the Dallas Voice to hammer down what he has done, and what needs to be done for the LGBT movement.”

—  John Wright

Erin Moore re-elected vice president of Texas Stonewall Democrats at state convention in Corpus Christi

Erin MooreAt the Texas Democratic convention is in Corpus Christi, which continues through this weekend, Erin Moore has been re-elected vice president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus.

Dan Graney was re-elected president of TSDC. He is the past co-chair of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio.

Carol Grappa of Fort Worth will be secretary, and Shaun Nelson of Houston will be treasurer. Nelson is also vice president of Houston Stonewall Young Democrats.

Moore, who serves as president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, was recently named a grand marshal for this year’s Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. As president and vice president of TSDC, Graney and Moore sit on the State Democratic Executive Committee.

“I’m glad I’ll get two more years to serve,” Moore said. “The statewide elections are so important this year, and I look forward to working with this great team.”

—  David Taffet

Longtime San Antonio activist couple weds; Flores named chair of county Democratic Party

Roberto Flores, left, and Dan Graney were married in Vermont in October.
Longtime San Antonio activists Roberto Flores, left, and Dan Graney were married in Vermont in October. They’ve been together 35 years. (QSanAntonio.com)

It’s a crying shame that major Texas cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio don’t have LGBT newspapers. But at least San Antonio is lucky enough to have a quality Web site, QSanAntonio, that’s dedicated to community news. The Web site, a largely volunteer project by activist Sam Sanchez, is definitely worth bookmarking on your browser. For example, today I noticed that the co-chair of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, longtime activist Roberto Flores, has been named interim chair of the Bexar County Democratic Party. Flores is the first openly gay person elected chairman of the party. Also, it appears as though Flores and his partner of 35 years, fellow activist Dan Graney, recently were married in Vermont. Graney currently serves as president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus. The wedding was part of a trip to the Northeast that included a visit to New York City and participation in the National Equality March in Washington. Congratulations, Roberto and Dan!

—  John Wright