What’s Brewing: Committee votes to oust Dan Ramos; Texas Senate to vote on anti-trans bill

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A special committee voted Saturday to recommend removing Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos from office, in part for his recent comments comparing gay Democrats to “termites” and “the fuckin’ Nazi Party.” The committee’s recommendation came after a three-hour trial, and a larger group will meet May 3 to vote on whether to accept the recommendation. Ramos didn’t attend the trial and says he plans to challenge the effort to remove him in court.

2. The Texas Senate is slated to vote today on a bill that’s apparently designed to bar transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex. LGBT advocates are urging people to contact Senate Democrats and ask them to vote against SB 724. If all 12 Democrats in the Senate vote against consideration of the bill, it will die. For contact info for Senate Democrats, go here.

3. An LGBT tax demonstration is planned this evening outside the Dallas Main Post Office at Interstate 30 and Sylvan.The “Equal Taxes, Equal Rights” demonstration is one of many being organized around the country by GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA. From the Facebook page: “We will be hosting a peaceful demonstration to educate the public that while we pay the same taxes as our heterosexual counterparts, we do not have access to the same rights. Pro- Equality Activists will rally and hand out informational fliers from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. This event is designed to be a creative and fun way to engage the public on issues of equality!”

—  John Wright

SDEC members, donning gay ‘termite’ Pride stickers, call for Dan Ramos’ resignation

SDEC members wore rainbow triangles depicting a wood-eating termite in solidarity with the Stonewall Democrats during their meeting on Saturday. (SDEC member Erin Moore on Facebook)

Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, sends along word that the State Democratic Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution Saturday censuring Dan Ramos and calling for him to resign. Ramos, of course, is the Bexar County Democratic Party chairman who recently compared Stonewall Democrats to “termites” and “the fuckin’ Nazi Party.” Graney reports:

The 110-member SDEC is the governing body of the State Democratic Party and consists of state party officers, representatives from each of the state’s 31 senate districts, statewide Democratic organizations and Texas members of the Democratic National Committee. Many of the SDEC members wore rainbow triangles depicting a wood-eating termite in solidarity with the Stonewall Democrats, which Ramos called “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.

After the resolution was adopted, SDEC members and guests leapt to their feet with sustained applause and cheers of approval.

As we noted last week, a group of Bexar County Democrats has voted to put Ramos on trial for rules violations. But Ramos remains defiant and says he’s seeking a restraining order against the group. For more on that, check out this report that aired on Fox 29 on Sunday night.

Graney’s press release also notes that also during Saturday’s meeting, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie announced that he doesn’t plan to seek another term in 2012.

—  John Wright

Who’s the cutest member of Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats’ new executive board?

DSYD’s new executive board is made up of Communications Director Michael Maldonado, from left, Community Services Director Michael Tijerina, Membership Director Clint Thomson, Vice President Justin “JT” Williams, Treasurer Jason Wallace, Political Director Stewart Stimson, President Jared Pearce and Secretary Solomon Arreguin (not pictured). (Chance Browning/Dallas Voice)

Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats elected its 2011 officers Tuesday night and passed a resolution condemning Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos for his recent anti-gay remarks, according to a press release from the group.

The new DSYD officers are President Jared Pearce, Vice President J.T. Williams, Secretary Solomon Arreguin, Treasurer Jason Wallace, Political Director Stewart Stimson and Community Services Director Michael Tijerina.

According to the press release, the new DSYD executive board will focus on gathering support for endorsed candidates in the upcoming municipal elections and continuing the Light Up Oak Lawn campaign launched last year, which seeks to reduce crime in Oak Lawn with more street lighting.

“I’m thrilled to take on the role of president for this incredible organization,” Pearce said. “Everyone on the executive board is looking forward to the great things DSYD is going to accomplish in 2011.”

Pearce penned an open letter that he emailed to Ramos with DSYD’s unanimously approved resolution attached. View the resolution here and read Pearce’s letter after the jump.

—  John Wright

New path emerges for ousting anti-gay Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos’ now-infamous anti-gay remarks came, ironically, during an interview 10 days ago about legislation aimed at removing him from office. Of course, calls for Ramos to step down have probably grown ten-fold in the wake of his comments in the interview comparing gay Democrats to “termites” and the “fuckin’ Nazi Party.” Trouble is, there’s still no clear path for removing Ramos from office. Or is there? Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, forwarded a press release from Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio this morning explaining that it’s possible Ramos could be removed using Robert’s Rules of Order. The full press release is after the jump, but here’s the key passage:

Following Quintanilla’s remarks, Co-Chair Eduardo Juarez introduced D’mitri Kosub, who serves on the Rules Committee of the Bexar County Democratic Party. Although state election law and state party rules do not provide a clear path for removing Ramos from office, Kosub explained that there are provisions in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th edition) (RONR) for doing so. Under RONR, an officer can be removed for official misconduct and dereliction of duty under a process that includes formal notice to Ramos of the bases for his removal, and a formal hearing at which Ramos will be given the opportunity to counter the charges underlying his proposed removal.  Kosub announced that charges have already been preferred against Ramos and efforts are now being made to serve notice on him to appear for a formal hearing before a committee of the County Executive Committee (CEC) on April 16. This process must first be ratified by the CEC at its meeting on April 5.

—  John Wright

Stonewall protests Ramos, whom Richie says is ‘in desperate need of mental health services’

Members of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio protested Thursday outside a fundraiser that Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos was scheduled to attend. Ramos didn’t show up, but other Democrats who did condemned Ramos for his recent remarks comparing Stonewall Democrats to termites and Nazis. At a press conference earlier Thursday, Ramos refused the many calls for his resignation and repeated some of his previous anti-gay statements:

Singling out the Stonewall Democrats, Ramos said “they have infiltrated the Bexar County party, much like termites infiltrate your house. They’re trying to destroy what has been around for a long time,” he said. …

Ramos said he supports gay rights — including marriage — but said “I don’t regret anything” about assailing the Stonewall Democrats. Ramos apologized to anyone offended by his remarks, but he rehashed several of controversial statements involving gays.

“I don’t care if they marry each other. That’s not my private business. I do care when they adopt kids that are already traumatized and are coming from orphanages and stuff. And then they wake up in the morning and say, ‘What? My mama is my daddy also?’ That’s my heartburn,” Ramos said.

Also Thursday, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie, one of the many who’ve called for Ramos’ resignation, said he believes the party’s Bexar County chair is “in desperate need of mental health services.”

“I don’t know Mr. Ramos all that well personally,” Richie told Sirius OutQ’s Steve Newman. “If this had only happened one time and he had made a sincere apology, then I might feel differently. But after having had the opportunity to do that, he’s only exacerbated the situaion and made it worse. In my humble opinion, Mr. Ramos is in desperate need of mental health services.”

Listen to the full interview here, and watch a video report about the protest here.

—  John Wright

Bexar County Dem party chair insults LGBTs

Omar Narvaez

Ramos resists calls to resign after calling Stonewall Democrats  ‘Nazis’ and ‘termites’

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Democratic Party officials across Texas are calling for the resignation of Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos after he called Stonewall Democrats “Nazis” and “termites.”

On Thursday, March 17, Ramos held a press conference where he was expected to resign. Instead, according to Sam Sanchez of QSanAntonio.com who attended the press conference, Ramos hurled new epithets.

Ramos said gays are like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”

He called Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie a “racist bastard” and an idiot who is advised by gay people.

Currently there are no rules in place for removing someone from a party position for incompetence, according to Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Director Steve Tillery.

“If he had publicly supported a Republican, he could be thrown out of office,” Tillery said. “But not for just being a dumbass.”

“He’s just ignoring calls for resignation,” said Dan Graney, president of Stonewall Democrats of Texas. Graney is from San Antonio.

The Bexar County Democratic Party has been in turmoil for several years according to Graney. The former treasurer was indicted recently for siphoning more than $200,000 in party funds.

That money came from the state to run the 2008 primary election.

The county chair stepped down in Dec. 2009, Graney said, but not because of the missing money. He said she left to run for higher office and was not implicated in the scandal despite her signature appearing on checks.

Graney’s husband Roberto Flores replaced her and served as interim county chair from Dec. 2009 through the May 2010 election that Ramos won.

Flores did not run for a full term against Ramos. He died in September 2010.

Graney said that Stonewall endorsed Ramos’ opponent in the election for county chair last year, but that Ramos sought the group’s endorsement.

Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio is among the largest Democratic clubs in that city and the second-largest Stonewall group in Texas after Dallas.

“He [Ramos] came to our meeting and answered our questions,” Graney said. “He made statements that he doesn’t condone discrimination.”

But Graney said that Ramos has a long history of divisiveness.

“He [Ramos] was an ACLU board member and was divisive there,” he said.

Graney said that the good that’s coming out of this is all the support Stonewall is getting from around the state.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas president Omar Narvaez said response to the incident shows how far the LGBT community has come in Texas.

“We didn’t have to ask for anything,” he said. “It was already done.”

Narvaez said that before Stonewall even asked for the party’s support, Richie had already called for Ramos’ resignation.

Narvaez said the state party was just following its platform of inclusion.

The 2010 platform states, “We believe in and support repeal of discriminatory laws and policies against members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.”

“It’s part of who we are,” Narvaez said.

At their monthly meeting, members of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas added their official voice to the chorus of organizations condemning Ramos and unanimously passed a resolution calling for him to step down.

Ramos made his original comments in reaction to legislation filed by San Antonio Democrat Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer that would enable a state party executive committee to remove a county chair for misconduct or incompetence.

Stonewall of San Antonio had criticized Ramos’ fundraising efforts and his attempts to change precinct level leadership, ignoring party rules and committees. Among other things, Ramos called Stonewall “90 percent white, blue-eyed and Anglo.” Narvaez, who is Hispanic, took offense. He said leadership in six Stonewall groups in Texas, including San Antonio Stonewall co-chair Eduardo Juarez, are also Hispanic.

The Dallas County Democratic Party called on Ramos to resign. In a statement they said, “His hateful, bigoted comments have no place in the Democratic Party. We are a party of inclusiveness that supports and promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance.” Dallas County chair Darlene Ewing and members of the State Democratic Executive Committee signed the letter.

In building his case against Ramos, Richie accused him of a series of violations in addition to his “bigoted attitudes.” He said that Ramos “consistently refused to follow the Bexar County Democratic Party Rules and the Texas Democratic Party Rules” keeping the county party “in a state of turmoil.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refuses to resign, hurls new epithets

Dan Ramos

Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, reports that Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos refused to apologize or resign during a press conference earlier today.

Instead, Ramos hurled new epithets and against referred to gay Democrats as “termites,” said Graney, who lives in San Antonio.

Graney said Ramos is holding a fundraiser tonight for the Democratic Party in downtown San Antonio, and members of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio plan to protest outside.

From the Bexar County Democrats website, directly above a photo of Ramos:

Who We Are

Before all other things, we are a family of many different kinds of people. We come from all walks of life. We are home-makers, business people, factory workers, public servants, educators, soldiers, preachers, you name it – we’ve got it. We come from all skin colors, religions, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities. We don’t exclude. That is who we are!

UPDATE: Sam Sanchez of QSanAntonio.com was at the press conference and reports that rather than resigning, Ramos said gays are like “white termites who have infiltrated the party much like termites infiltrate your house.”

Ramos called Choco Meza, the woman who opposed him in last year’s election, a lesbian, and he said gays have infiltrated the party. Sanchez reports that Ramos called Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie a racist bastard and an idiot who is advised by gay people.

CORRECTION: As indicated in the comment below, Ramos did not hold the fundraiser. The event was sponsored by Proud Democrats of San Antonio, a group that has not yet condemned Ramos’ statements. The top of their website indicates that they promote equality, diversity and tolerance. I guess that would include Nazi termites.

—  David Taffet

Stonewall Dems of Dallas responds to Ramos

Omar Narvaez, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, sent over the below resolution responding to recent statements by Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos, who last week compared gays to “termites” and Stonewall to the “Nazi Party.” As we noted this morning, Ramos followed up with another anti-gay rant in which he said being gay is “not natural” and compared it to being born with a polio leg. Narvaez said the resolution was approved unanimously by Stonewall’s members at Tuesday night’s meeting:

Whereas, the Texas Democratic Party Platform supports action against all forms of discrimination and specifically calls for the repeal of discriminatory laws and policies against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; and

Whereas, the honor of serving as County Chair in the Democratic Party in the State of Texas is accompanied by the solemn responsibility to uphold the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution without equivocation; and

Whereas, the Bexar County Democratic Chair Dan Ramos has gone on record describing the gay-rights movement as “very sinister”, the Stonewall Democrats as “termites” that “managed to get their people in key positions” in the Bexar County Democratic Party, and other reprehensible characterizations; and

Whereas, the unanimously elected Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie and many Dallas County Democratic Party officials have publicly called upon Bexar County Democratic Chair Dan Ramos to apologize or resign to no effect; and

Whereas, it is incumbent upon us as both Democrats and staunch defenders of equality for all people under the law including the LGBT community; therefore be it

Resolved, that the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas County join the chorus of voices from San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley, Houston, Austin and elsewhere in this great state of Texas to call for the resignation of Dan Ramos as Bexar County Democratic Party Chair.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: More anti-gay hatred from Dan Ramos; Kurt and Blaine finally kiss on ‘Glee’

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Dan Ramos, the Bexar County Democratic Party chairman who last week compared gays to “termites” and the Stonewall Democrats to the “Nazi Party,” followed up those statements Tuesday with another hate-filled rant in the San Antonio Current. This time, Ramos said homosexuality is “not natural” and compared it to being born with a polio leg. Ramos also said he’s glad gay couples in Texas can’t adopt children, which further shows what an idiot he is since the state has no ban on gay adoption. Here’s an excerpt:

Ramos frequently suggests that anti-Hispanic racism is to blame for the division that has been on display at past party meetings. When asked if race or sexual orientation were more a cause of concern for him, Ramos responded: “I go back to an old very well-used slogan: blacks wanted to get their way because they were black. What it is, is we have a very, very sinister movement in which you don’t know, at the end of the day, you didn’t even know that your next door buddy, your bosom fishing buddy was gay. That, I guess, goes to my belief in the religious thing. Look: this is not natural. This is like a kid who was born with a polio leg, you can’t kill him and you can’t sweep him under the rug. … I’m glad that Texas has not yet come to where gays can adopt children … because the poor kids have already come from a troubled family and then to be ‘hey, how come my momma is my daddy type of deal.’ It’s not natural.”

2. Kurt and Blaine finally kissed on Glee last night, and it was well worth the wait because we’re not talking about just a peck. Watch the scene below, at least until the video gets yanked from YouTube.

3. The City Council in Ogden, Utah, where I lived for about a year and covered City Hall for the daily newspaper, on Tuesday night unanimously approved ordinances prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination in employment and housing. Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey, who happens to be a complete jerk, had threatened to veto the ordinances until they were revised so they could pass with veto-proof majorities. Hey, Mayor Matt, kiss my white gay ass. No wait don’t, you’d probably like that too much. Also, a quick shout out to those who’ll be celebrating at the city’s only gay bar, the Brass Rail.

UPDATE: Some sad news to report: I’ve learned that the Brass Rail in Ogden has closed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Godfrey somehow conspired to put the bar out of business.

—  John Wright

Dallas Co. Democratic leaders call on Dan Ramos to resign for comparing gays to termites, Nazis

Dan Ramos

The other day we told you about Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos’ recent comments, in which he called gays “termites” and compared the Stonewall Democrats to “the fuckin’ Nazi Party.”

Today, Dallas County Democratic Party leaders joined the growing list of groups that have released statements condemning Ramos’ remarks and calling for him to resign. Here’s what they said:

“As the leaders of the Dallas County Democratic Party, we join [State Party] Chairman [Boyd] Richie in calling upon Dan Ramos to resign as Chair of the Bexar County Democrats. His hateful, bigoted comments have no place in the Democratic Party. We are a party of inclusiveness that supports and promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance. The comments of Mr. Ramos are not reflective of our party’s philosophy and we condemn and disavow the comments and the opinions he expressed. Mr. Ramos has proven he does not support nor represent our party’s ideals and therefore we call upon Mr. Ramos to resign. Bexar County deserves a true Democrat as the county chair.”

J. Darlene Ewing, Chair
David Bradley, SDEC Senate District 16
Susan Culp Bradley, SDEC Senate District 9
Theresa Daniel, SDEC Senate District 16
David Griggs, SDEC Senate District 8
Ken Molberg, Former County Chair, SDEC Senate District 23
Steve A. Tillery, SDEC Senate District 2

UPDATE: Ramos is ignnoring the calls for his resignation, according to the San Antonio Express-News, and he isn’t backing away from his hateful comments. Ramos claims his critics have skeletons in their closet that will be exposed in the upcoming embezzlement trial of Dwayne Adams, the Bexar County Democratic Party’s former treasurer. “Seems like those with skeletons in their closet are the ones screaming the loudest,” Ramos said in an e-mail to the newspaper. “Come check out the criminal trial of Dwayne Adams … We may get to see who the real criminals are.”

 

—  John Wright