The gays are gonna help Occupy Dallas

From the “Occupy Dallas LGBT Caucus” page on Facebook, co-created by Daniel Cates of GetEQUAL:

LGBT people know all too well the sting of injustice in the United States. Our families pay higher tax rates due to inequality in relationship recognition, we live in fear of being fired from our jobs simply because of who we are or who we love. Our children are not safe in public schools and are often subjected to ridicule and physical violence without a place to turn within their school. We are workers. We are the jobless. We are the families with loved ones fighting un-winable wars. We are the oppressed. We are the 99 percent.

It is time for us to stand with all of the other oppressed people in this country! We stand against ALL forms of inequality; economic inequality, racial inequality, gender inequality, inequality based on one’s sexual orientation! Together we must stand to demand:

“EQUALITY IN ALL MATTERS GOVERNED BY CIVIL LAW IN ALL 50 STATES FOR ALL PEOPLE”

Occupy Dallas begins on October 6th at 9am at Pike Park (2851 Harry Hines Blvd) with a march to the Federal Reserve Bank (2200 North Pearl Street). Many protesters plan on staying indefinitely, however any time you can dedicate to the movement is welcome- even if it is only a few hours a week.

Let’s just hope there isn’t a repeat of this incident.

—  John Wright

WATCH: GetEQUAL stages funeral procession outside Reliant Stadium during ‘The Response’

A block from the merry-go-round of the American Atheists, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Lyndon LaRouche supporters and Westboro Baptist Church, a more somber, if no less energetic, response to “The Response” was taking place. Organized by GetEQUAL, the event sought to give voice to people killed by the violent rhetoric of transphobia and homophobia.

The training camp for the Houston Texans sits opposite Kirby Drive from Reliant Arena, its driveway intersecting with Kirby directly in front of the main entrance. Saturdays during the summer the camp plays host to a children’s football camp.  At 8 a.m. Saturday, when parents dropped their kids off at camp, a small group of a few dozen GetEQUAL activists graced the main entrance. By the time parents returned to pick their kids up in the early afternoon there were hundreds of protestors.

GetEQUAL staged several mock funerals throughout the day to represent the more than 13,000 people killed in America because of anti-LGBT bias since 1980. The funerals were complete with coffins and a New Orleans-style street band. Daniel Cates, North Texas regional coordinator for GetEQUAL, says that the band was not originally planned to be part of the protest. “They were a local group who had come to Reliant to protest ‘The Response,’” said Cates. “When they saw what we were doing, they wanted to help.”

Between funerals the GetEQUAL protestors chanted and sang. Their rousing rendition of the civil rights era classic “We Shall Overcome” drew attendees of “The Response” out of the stadium to look down from the third floor mezzanine. Chants of “This is what democracy looks like” and “Pray away the hate” rang out all day, crescendo-ing as more and more protestors arrived.  At one point the chant spontaneously morphed into “Show me what hypocrisy looks like” and the assembled protestors turned to point at Reliant Stadium and chant, “This is what hypocrisy looks like.”

Protesters braved temperatures that approached but never quite breached the triple-digit mark.  GetEQUAL’s prime spot at the Reliant Stadium entrance also placed them in the shadow of the leviathan structure. As the afternoon wore on, many protestors who had stationed themselves at the stadium’s parking lot entrances relocated to the relative cool provided by Reliant’s shade, swelling the crowd at the entrance to what Cates called “comfortably thousands of protesters.”

Photos and video from the protest are below.

—  admin

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Hundreds celebrate NY marriage win at 3rd annual Stonewall march in Dallas

 

VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE NORTH TEXAS MARCH FOR EQUALITY

About 150 people marched through Downtown Dallas on Saturday evening in the third annual North Texas March for Equality. Some local media outlets reported the event as a last-minute celebration of the New York marriage equality vote, which happened late Friday. But in fact it had been planned for months.

The march left from the JFK Memorial. Marchers walked seven blocks down Commerce Street to Neiman Marcus and returned on Main Street for a rally in front of Old Red. Police kept one lane of traffic open while marchers passed. Motorists waved and gave thumbs-up signs to the marchers. No counterprotesters appeared along the route or at the rally.

Daniel Cates, the local GetEQUAL organizer, put together the event. Cd Kirven was the emcee and introduced about a dozen speakers at the rally. Many of the speakers celebrated the marriage equality vote in New York, and all demanded equal rights.

The march began in 2009 as a way for Dallas, which celebrates Pride in September, to commemorate the June anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

—  David Taffet

Equality March returns to downtown

ON THE MOVE | The 2010 Equality March LGBT rights on display in downtown Dallas. Saturday’s march returns to downtown. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Governor’s new alliance with a hate group is expected to draw attention to 3rd annual Dallas rally

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Gov. Rick Perry’s planned event in Houston with the hate group American Family Association in August has gotten many LGBT allies energized, according to Daniel Cates. And he and other organizers for the third annual Equality March said they hope that new energy helps turn out more participants for the march happening Saturday, June 25, in downtown Dallas.

Cates, who recently became North Texas regional director of GetEQUAL, said that the march is a demand for full legal equality for LGBT people and an end to religious-based persecution.

But he made it clear that organizers are not bashing religion.

“We’re calling on lawmakers to make good on the promises in the Constitution,” he said. “And we’ve had an amazing response from our allies — especially in the Christian community.”

He said many people see the discrimination against the LGBT community as a violation of the separation of church and state.

“I’ve heard from the Unitarians and from other liberal churches and even from some Methodist churches,” he said.

AFA has confirmed that anti-gay themes will be part of the event with Perry.

March co-organizer Nonnie Ouch said the Perry event is partially state-funded.

“Fellow activists from around the state are very angry about what Perry’s doing right now,” she said. “Using state funds to produce such an exclusive event is wrong.”

Ouch will also be one of the speakers at the rally following the march.

“I’ll be doing spoken-word poetry about my experiences through public school and bullying,” she said.

Ouch is a senior at Texas Tech in Lubbock and is spending her summer as an intern at Resource Center Dallas.

March for Equality begins at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza at 6 p.m. Cates urged those attending to “bring signs, flags, banners, bull horns, drums or any means of expression.”

C.D. Kirven will emcee the rally. Among other speakers and march sponsors are Jesse Garcia with LULAC Rainbow Chapter and Brittany Rayson-Stubblefeild, a member of Students for a Democratic Society.

Resource Center Dallas, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and International Socialist Organization Denton and Dallas Branches are also endorsing the march.

The Rev. Stephen Sprinkle with TCU’s Brite Divinity School, student and recent Mount Pleasant mayoral candidate  Kooper Caraway and  I Am Equal Project founder Jason Beckett are also among the speakers.

Beckett will be at the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Dallas throughout the day with fashion photographer Matt Spencer to collect pictures for his I Am Equal project.

“We’re expecting more people to participate in this year,” Cates said. “We’ve had more promotional opportunities including Razzle Dazzle Dallas. Our Facebook response has been stronger this year as well.”

The first Equality March in Dallas happened on Sunday afternoon, June 29, 2009, just hours after Fort Worth police and agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage commission raided the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar in Fort Worth, setting off a controversy that generated headlines around the country.

Many of those participating in the Dallas march heard about the raid during the march and afterwards headed to Fort Worth to take part in a protest rally on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse.

The Equality March moved to downtown Dallas last year in response to criticisms by some that holding the event in the Oak Lawn gayborhood was like preaching to the choir. By holding the march downtown, organizers hoped to reach a broader audience with their message of equality.

North Texas March for Equality, 646 Main St., June 25 at 6 p.m.

—  John Wright

March against LGBT-phobia set in Dallas

Daniel Cates

Event is part of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and will include candlelight vigil and speakers

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Activists will gather at the JFK Memorial in downtown Dallas as part of the worldwide recognition of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, known as IDAHO, on May 17.

The event began in 2004 but this is the first time Dallas will participate.

“It’s celebrated around the world and we’ve never had one here in Dallas,” said organizer Daniel Cates.

The May 17 date was chosen by the Paris-based IDAHO committee: Although U.S. groups like the American Psychological Association had already removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, the World Health Organization did so on May 17, 1990.

That was a major step for the LGBT community in many countries in gaining equality based on sexual orientation.

Cates said that the day is celebrated differently in different parts of the world.

“Some places it’s as simple as showing a film or having an art exhibit,” he said.

In countries where a Pride Day celebration is banned, a demonstration against homophobia might be permitted.

In Dallas, Cates said, “We’re doing a candlelight vigil, not a loud, screaming march. Chicago is doing a boisterous protest.”

Cates said the march through downtown would be on sidewalks with police escorts but would not close streets. The route is be short, about a half mile, Cates estimated.

He said the second Stonewall March set for June 25 will also be held downtown and will again close streets, as it did last year.

“The two events seem to be attracting two different groups,” Cates said.

He called the IDAHO event a more mature crowd.

“The march appeals to a younger crowd who wants to know, ‘Why the hell don’t I have my rights?’” he said.

Cates said the Dallas IDAHO vigil will concentrate on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Other cities have expanded their focus to include other groups also experiencing discrimination.

He cited Islamophobia as an issue that will be addressed in some places.

The march returns to the JFK Memoril where speakers will address the crowd, including Maeve O’Connor, a transgender member of the Resource Center Dallas board of directors. Her three-minute speech at Dallas County Commissioners Court is reportedly the story that convinced John Wiley Price to vote for the county nondiscrimination policy to gender identity and expression.

Elizabeth Jayne Webb, who is an event organizer as well as speaker, is an organizer of Walk for Choice.

She recently planned the Slut Walk to call for an end to blaming the victims in cases of in rape and violence.

Rainbow LULAC President Jesse Garcia will speak about building bridges between the Hispanic and LGBT communities. He hosts a morning talk show on KNON.

Other speakers will include Davlin Kerekes, an activist with the International Socialist Organization Dallas Branch, and Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, associate professor of religion at Brite Divinity School and theologian-in-residence at Cathedral of Hope. Sprinkle is also the author of Unfinished Lives, a book about LGBT hate crime victims.

Cates said the evening will also include songs and speakers will be followed by an open mic.

—  John Wright

'Take back Pride' arrives in Dallas

Well it was just a matter of time, really. I mean, you had to know it was coming. Local gay activist Daniel Cates has launched a Facebook page called “Take Back Dallas Pride,” which is the latest example of  a national movement whose effects were recently witnessed in Austin. Here’s the description of Cates’ group:

“Reclaiming Dallas LGBT Pride, as a vehicle for political and social change, queer expression and community building-free from beer advertisements, racial and social segregation/alienation and conservative integration into mainstream society!”

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. I don’t think anyone associated with Dallas Pride, including Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman, would deny that it’s become a celebration that’s paid for by corporate sponsors, who in turn receive the benefit of product promotion. But some of Cates’ allegations seem a  little over the top. For example, I don’t think anyone who’s been to Dallas Pride in recent years could argue that it’s racist — I would say it’s roughly half Latino. Likewise, one would have a difficult time arguing that Pride doesn’t remain full of queer expression.

At this point, this is just a Facebook page, similar to the effort to bring former first lady Laura Bush to Dallas Pride. And again, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. Thoughts?

—  John Wright

Stonewall rally to be held in Founders Plaza

Organizer Daniel Cates sent over an update this morning on the event planned for June 27 in downtown Dallas to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion:

“We will have the official march route for June 27 on Thursday afternoon, but it looks like the rally portion will most likely take place at Founders Plaza at the intersection of Main and N. Market. We have some amazing speakers lined up — Dr. Steven Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School at TCU; Chastity (CD) Kirven and Michael Robinson with GetEQUAL, both of whom were arrested during ENDA demonstrations a month ago; Spencer Young, a student at Tyler Junior College, a member of Tyler Area Gays and a cast member in the Tyler Civic Theatre’s controversial production of “The Laramie Project”; Nonnie Ouch, president of the Texas Tech GSA; Krystal Summers, performer and actress, and star of the Israel Luna film “Ticked-Off Tr*nnies with Knives”; Marla Compton, GEAR coordinator for Resource Center Dallas; Rafael McDonnell, strategic communications director for Resource Center Dallas; Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC’s Dallas Rainbow Council; Mattie Williams of Queer Liberaction, Denton; and of course myself, lol. I will send you an official press release on Thursday as soon as we have our route finalized! Looking forward to this event, I hope you will be taking part!”

—  John Wright

Daniel Cates says there will in fact be another Stonewall march in Dallas this year

cates.kroger
Daniel Cates speaks in the parking lot of Kroger on Cedar Springs before last year’s Million Gay March.

Back in April I reported right here on Instant Tea that Equality March 2010, this year’s version of last year’s Million Gay March, had been moved to October to beat the June heat. But as it turns out, one of the organizers of last year’s event is now separately planning a march at the end of this month to commemmorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. Daniel Cates, a co-chair of the committee that organized the Million Gay March, said this year’s Stonewall anniversary march will take place on the evening of June 27 in downtown Dallas:

“I am waiting on details to finalize before sending out official press releases and such, but this march is in fact going to happen on June 27,” Cates said. “This is not an Equality March Texas event, they do still plan to hold their march in October to celebrate National Coming Out Day. This march is being organized by independent activists including myself, Chastity Kirven, Nonnie Ouch (president of the Texas Tech GSA), Elizabeth Pax and a bunch of others. The idea [is] that there is still a need to remember the Stonewall Riots here in North Texas. As opposed to last year, we will kick things off in the evening to avoid the blistering heat, and the event will be taking place in downtown Dallas (exact march route is still in limbo as we are waiting on a meeting with DPD — this will also affect where we start and stop — hence us not quite sending out press releases just yet). Some confirmed speakers for the event are Dr. Stephen Sprinkle of Brite Divinity School, Chastity (CD) Kirven and more still to come.”

A Facebook event page for the march is here.

—  John Wright

Get ready to march on Wednesday

Equality March Texas spokesman Daniel Cates
Equality March Texas spokesman Daniel Cates

Equality March Texas this week announced plans for a rally to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8, the ballot referendum that amended the California Constitution and took away legal recognition of same-sex marriage there.

The rally, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, will come just one day after elections affecting the legal status of same-sex couples in both Maine and Washington state, and will also be either a celebration or a protest of those results, according to EMT cofounder and spokesman Daniel Cates.

Maine lawmakers earlier this year passed a bill giving legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Marriage equality opponents, however, were able to get a referendum on the November ballot giving the state’s residents the opportunity to exercise their “citizens’ veto” and rescind the law.

The Washington Legislature this year approved what has been called “the everything but marriage” law there, giving same-sex couples all the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, but without calling those unions marriages. Residents there will also be voting on a ballot initiative to rescind that law.

“We want to continue to express our outrage over the passage last year of Proposition 8. And we want to either celebrate or protest the outcome of the votes in Maine and Washington,” Cates said Wednesday, Oct. 28. “And we will use those to continue expressing our demand for marriage equality in Texas and all across the country.”

Cates said the rally is EMT’s response to the call by Equality Across America — a group birthed out of the National Equality March on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C. — for local groups across the country to plan events during a “Week of Initiative,” Nov. 1-8.

“The whole idea behind the national march was to get people fired up enough to go back to their home districts and start organizing like never before,” Cates said. “It’s like, ‘Great, you’re angry. Here’s something you can do about it.’ This [rally] is something we can do about it.

“We really want to have a good-sized crowd turn out,” he continued. “Proposition 8 was a really terrible thing, and we need to make a statement about it, to show we have not forgotten. And we need to respond to whatever happens in Maine and Washington. If we lose there, that’s another terrible blow and we can’t let it go unanswered. But if we win, then that’s a huge cause for celebration, because it will be the first time gay marriage has won in a popular vote.”

Cates said the rally will be held at the Legacy of Love monument located at the intersection of Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue. Participants should start gathering around 7 p.m., and the rally will begin at 7:30 p.m.

“We are still finalizing plans, but since TMC [The Mining Company] has a sound system on their patio, we might be able to march from the monument down to TMC for the speakers,” Cates said.

He added that EMT is still lining up speakers for the event, and that they want to have “a good range” of people to speak. The only speaker confirmed by Wednesday afternoon was activist C.D. Kirven.

“We need to do something to make a statement, whatever happens in Maine and Washington, and we hope people will come out and participate in this and help us make that statement,” Cates said.

For more information, go online to Equality March Texas’ Facebook page,

—  admin

Welcome to the big leagues!

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What has to be one of the most common complaints editors hear from readers is, “It’s not newsworthy.” For example, when someone’s brother gets arrested for performing sex acts on the family cat and it shows up in the paper, they get mad and call the editor. “It’s not newsworthy,” they say.

This same type of criticism is rearing its ugly head over in the comments thread to this story about Queer Liberaction. But my question is, how much of this criticism is based on the fact that the commenters really don’t think it’s newsworthy, and how much of it is based on the fact that they just don’t want it in the newspaper?

One of the first things QL founder Blake Wilkinson said when I called him this week was, “Why is it that you guys will never cover Queer Liberaction’s events, but then when there is internal squabbling, you want to write about it?”

I told Wilkinson to go back through our issues and review our coverage since the group formed last November. How many times have QL events been featured in a photo on our front page? I just now counted, and the answer is seven. That’s right, seven times out of about 40 issues QL demonstrations have been the main photo on the front page of Dallas Voice. Wilkinson also alleged we haven’t covered anything they’ve done in the last month. My response was that DVtv’s Israel Luna produced an excellent video segment for us about QL’s Kiss-In just a few weeks ago, and that this had been my idea. Wilkinson didn’t have any response to that, and he finally agreed to discuss with me what’s going on with QL.

So while some would undoubtedly prefer that we didn’t cover QL at all, others want coverage, but only when it’s in a positive light and only when they feel it’s “newsworthy.” The problem with this is, we would never grant such treatment to any LGBT group or individual, and for obvious reasons.

Consider this hypothetical: If Stonewall Democrats President Erin Moore were to kick Jay Narey and Mike Lo Vuolo off the group’s board because they wanted to start another group with a competing mission, we would absolutely report on it. I’m not saying the same coverage would be given to every internal squabble at any LGBT organization, but Daniel Cates and Latisha McDaniel were high-profile board members for Queer Liberaction, which as I noted above has been a high-profile group.

Cates and McDaniel were the co-chairs of this year’s Million Gay March, which was organized by a coalition of local LGBT leaders and which drew more than 1,000 people. And they say they were kicked off the QL board because they insisted on starting another group that they hope will get along better with the rest of the community.

Now if that’s not newsworthy, I don’t know what is.

P.S. — After reading the story comments thread and this post, Publisher Robert Moore suggested that I also address the criticism that we don’t cover Fort Worth. There’s probably no better way to address this than by pointing to the centerpiece story on today’s front page about the AIDS Outreach Center, and the lead story in our Life+Style section about the aftermath of the Rainbow Lounge raid.

—  John Wright