Porn expo coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison … and we’re shocked

ExxxoticaI rarely call it the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. But in this case I will. On Aug. 7-9, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosts eXXXotica.

That’s a porn expo.

Not gay porn. Straight porn actresses, mostly.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is “deeply concerned,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

Of course he is. He has to say that.

I’m deeply concerned as well.

Dallas is a wholesome city where same-sex couples come to get married and raise our children. (Dallas Voice is even hosting its own Wedding Party and Expo this Sunday at the Anatole.) It’s not a city where we go with friends to  … gulp! … the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. So consider this a warning. We’re shocked — shocked, we tell you! — that something like this could take place in our fair city. Oh, and you can get tickets here.

—  David Taffet

Business Insider highlights Dallas efforts to become ‘hot new gay destination’

BIGBusiness Insider published an article this week calling Dallas “one of the most gay-friendly cities in the U.S.” and promoting LGBT travel to the city. The Dallas Visitors and Convention Bureau seems to be behind the campaign to promote Dallas as LGBT-friendly.

Dallas Voice and our upcoming Wedding Party & Expo are both mentioned in the article. The Expo is presented as evidence Dallas is open for business, especially as a wedding destination.

There’s a link to the LGBT Visitor’s Guide on the CVB website. The page links to several resources, with some glaring omissions. For example, under hotels, you can choose properties by location. There’s a Market Center/Love Field selection and Downtown/Uptown, but not one for Oak Lawn, even though on the CVB page, they promote “Oak Lawn” as the LGBT neighborhood. There should be a list for Oak Lawn hotels.

The page also lists nine LGBT events, two of which are no longer in existence, one which is on hiatus and one we’ve never heard of.

We love the enthusiasm of the head of the CVB who thinks people from states all over the country that have had marriage equality — some for years — are suddenly going to think it’s a great idea to come and get married in a state whose attorney general still hasn’t clearly instructed county clerks to follow the law.

—  David Taffet

LIVE UPDATES: Harris County to issue marriage licenses at 3 p.m., scenes from Travis County

Check out instant tea for ongoing coverage of the marriage equality decision and reactions from across North Texas and elsewhere.

I’ll be providing updates throughout the day. Have a tip or photo? E-mail me at russell@dallasvoice.com.

1:50 p.m.: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart will begin issuing current marriage license forms to same-sex couples, reversing an earlier decision by his office. Stanart originally told couples to wait for correct forms from the state, which could’ve been delivered as late as 4:30 p.m.

1:49 p.m.: My friend Drew Stanley sent me a couple of photos from inside Travis County government offices, seen below:

1:19 p.m.: Terry Thompson took a photo of a few of us at the Voice around David’s desk. No surprise here: I didn’t want my photo taken and look like I want to punch someone. <3 <3 <3

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(L to R): David Taffet, Chad Mantooth, Steve Mobley, James Russell and Leo Cusimano.

12:53 p.m.: WOW. A lot is going on. I just got off the phone with Houston couple John LaRue and Hunter Middleton. The Harris County residents told me they were the first in line at the Harris County Clerk’s office this morning. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, the couple was denied a license.

An employee told the couple they were awaiting a decision from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office before issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. At a press conference, LaRue said, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said his office was also awaiting forms that indicate the correct sex from the stare.

Stanart had previously indicated his opposition to same-sex marriage.

LaRue said, however, the county attorney’s office wrote Stanart to use the current forms, just like other counties. Stanart said he has yet to see that letter.

Meanwhile Denton County couple Tod King and Casey Cavalier were denied a marriage license for similar reasons. They would have been the first same-sex couple to have gotten married in the county. They opted instead to get married in Dallas County.

12:01 p.m.: More photos from newlyweds Cpl. Tracey Knight and her wife Shannon:

11:55 a.m.: Jack and George Evans, after 55 years, have officially gotten hitched. They were among the first at the county clerk’s office this morning.

11:31 a.m.: Fort Worth’s Cpl. Tracey Knight, who serves as the department’s LGBT liasion, and her partner are the first couple in Tarrant County to get their marriage license. Knight said the police chief allowed her to go in uniform for the historic occasion.

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11:09 a.m.: News release from Tarrant County: “clerk to proceed with issuing of marriage licenses to all persons who qualify, regardless of sex.”

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11 a.m.: Sheriff Lupe Valdez, at a press conference, said “we now have the same rights, we have been waiting so long.”

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10:49 a.m.: Bill Reyno, left, and Chris Walters, right, have been together 6 years and plan to get married today:

Bill Reyno, left, and Chris Walters, right, have been together 6 years and plan to get married today

10:47 a.m.: Jack and George Evans, together for 55 years, finally will get their marriage license. George told Tammye, “I remember when you could be arrested for being homosexual.”

Here’s a photo of the couple:

Jack and George Evans will finally have a legally recognized marriage in Texas after 55 years.

10:44 a.m.: Tarrant County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia has given her employees the green light to get married.

10:34 a.m.: David reports that Judge Ken Mohlberg is awaiting orders from Dallas County Clerk John Warren before waiving the 72 hour waiting period to get marriages.

10:06 a.m.: The line at the Dallas County Clerk’s office as of 10:06 a.m.:

The line as of 10:06 a.m.

 

—  James Russell

Today’s downpour is brought to you by the letter F

Pictures of Turtle Creek across the street from Dallas Voice office. The creek crosses I-35 underground and is usually just a trickle and sometimes dry. When it’s flowing, it meanders past our office, past Mama’s Daughter’s Diner, and around the back of the Anatole Hotel before emptying into the Mighty Trin somewhere near Sylvan Avenue. To get the pics of the Trinity, we walked across an empty lot, up a very muddy embankment and up the levee. The water, this morning, is as high as I’ve seen it since the flooding began.

—  David Taffet

Narvaez sworn in for 6 year term on Dallas County Schools Board

Narvaez sworn in

Dallas School Board Trustee Omar Narvaez, left, was sworn in by Judge Ken Molberg on May 20.

Judge Ken Molberg swore in Omar Narvaez for a six-year term on the Dallas County School Board. Narvaez was appointed to fill a vacancy last year and was elected to his first full term.

Narvaez’s name was to appear on the May municipal ballot, but he and board chair Larry Duncan were unopposed. Rather than expend almost $1 million in county schools funds, Narvaez and Duncan were declared the winners in their races. Both were sworn in at the regular monthly meeting on May 20.

—  David Taffet

Legacy’s Master Leasing needs sheets

Melissa Grove

Legacy Counseling Center’s glamorous Melissa Grove … because I didn’t have a picture of Larry to post

Legacy Counseling Center needs new and gently used full-sized sheets and bedding for its clients in its Master Leasing Program.

The program began about a year-and-a-half ago. About 24 apartments in Oak Cliff’s Oak Park Estates neighborhood were renovated and decorated with donations from the community to house people with HIV/AIDS who were homeless.

Residents who participate develop a one-year plan to get back on their feet, but having a place to live gives them the stability to do that. A number of residents who have participated in the plan have graduated out of the program.

Contact Larry by email or at 214-244-2240 to donate sheets or find out what else the program needs.

—  David Taffet

Start building the toll road now

We think building the toll road is a great idea and construction should begin now — as in today, before the flooding in the floodway where the road will go gets any worse.

Here are some pictures taken over the weekend along the proposed toll road route. We agree with Councilman Adam Medrano that the trees that are slowing down the flow of river should be kept in place to slow down the water as it cascades down the toll road.

—  David Taffet

Nebraska judge throws God’s lawsuit out of court

Screen shot 2015-05-06 at 10.05.40 AMA Nebraska federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against “Homosexuals” on the grounds that the woman filing the suit was not God’s spokesman.

Sylvia Ann Driskell claimed to be the “Ambassador for Plaintiff’s God, and His, Son, Jesus Christ.”

Although she claimed in her suit that gays were violating God’s law, she filed under the Civil Rights Act, a U.S. law, that gays were violating her rights.

No word on Driskell’s reaction to finding out that she’s not God’s spokeswoman.

 

 

—  David Taffet

Cuba and other places making bigger strides than Texas on marriage equality

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Mariela Castro

Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, will hold a “mass gay wedding” as part of the island country’s LGBT Pride celebration,s as a way to draw attention to the lack of legal protections for same-sex couples and transgender Cubans, according to Reuters.

Castro told Reuters, “We can’t do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders. In the future we’ll see what more we can do.”

CYPRUS

The cabinet of Cyprus has approved a “civil partnership bill” that allows same-sex couples to register their relationships with the government, granting all the same benefits of full marriage, except for “joint adoption.” The bill now heads to parliament, where the body can deliberate and put the legislation to a vote, according to Gay Star News.

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled that all professional associations must treat same-sex spouses the same as they would treat opposite-sex couples. The ruling comes after a lawsuit was filed against the Costa Rican Doctors and Surgeons Association, which refused to extend membership benefits to the spouses of gay and lesbian members.

Gay Star News notes that earlier this week, President Luis Guillermo urged lawmakers in Costa Rica to pass a new bill that would extend civil unions to same-sex couples, saying that doing so is an “ethical and moral obligation” to the country.

—  David Taffet

Parkland opens new community clinic along the Green Line

ParklandThe easiest way to access care at Parkland is to visit one of its 12 community health clinics.

The newest Community Oriented Primary Care location will be dedicated today (Thursday, May 7) and open on May 19.

Hatcher Station Health Center at 4600 Scyene Road is probably the easiest COPC to reach, located across the street from DART’s Hatcher Station on the Green Line, two stops past Fair Park. Parking at the clinic is free.

The 43,000-square-feet, one-story health center’s services will include adult, pediatric, geriatric, behavioral health, financial counseling, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services, among others.

—  David Taffet