Feedback • 12.02.11

Valdez.Lupe

Lupe Valdez

Valdez vs. Latham for sheriff

“Southern Baptists don’t believe in that.” Don’t believe for a second he won’t use her sexual orientation as a way to turn out religious voters for him if he feels the need.
Tyler, via DallasVoice.com

“I wasn’t raised that way.” What exactly is Latham implying by this statement? What exactly is “that way”? I guess in this part of the world religion trumps science.
Lynn, via DallasVoice.com

They can’t attack her on job performance because she’s doing a great job. After all, she brought the Dallas County jail up to state standards, something the previous sheriff wasn’t able to do.
Matthew, via DallasVoice.com

Texas Dems and gay marriage

While most of the GLBT community is focused on marriage equality and DOMA, personally I think that ENDA — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — is vastly more important to the community. Marriage and the concomitant rights that come with it are great and I’m all for that of course. But having the right to “marry” your partner if you are unemployed with no income means very little. Today, all over America, GLBT people can be fired just for being GLBT and that’s wrong. I wish our community would fight as hard for ENDA as they seem to want to do for marriage. In today’s very competitive economy, a good paying job should be of primary concern to our community, in my humble opinion.
Jay Narey, via DallasVoice.com

Jay, I agree. I just don’t know why we can’t put as much energy behind both. Both are important. Sadly there is not enough votes in congress to pass it. My side (Dems) are not all behind it, either. I know some think the president can just sign something and put it in place, but that’s not how it works. Congress makes laws; the president enforces them. ENDA is vital for everyone, but is going to be just as hard to get through as marriage is. It sucks.
George M., via DallasVoice.com

Freaking cowards. And just hours ago here on the pages of Dallas Voice, we read about that Waxahachie gal who was fired from her job for “working while lesbian.” It just sickens me.
Ray Harwick, via DallasVoice.com
This isn’t strategic; it is cowardly. Principals should rule politics, not fear.
Carrie Stewart, via DallasVoice.com

Ray, you’re not going to get ENDA from Texas. It needs to come from the U.S. government. Texas won’t pass it, even if Dems scream it, and I’m sure you know that.
George M., via DallasVoice.com

ENDA won’t pass here in the near term. But an ENDA resolution might help drive voter turnout. It could also help us to educate Texans. Most people don’t realize that you can be legally fired in Texas for being gay.
Matt, via DallasVoice.com

A few things: Prioritization of rights (ENDA trumps DOMA repeal, blah blah blah) is insulting to anyone who really regards himself or herself as a free and equal person. In other words, “How dare you tell me that certain civil rights are more important than others.” Injustice is injustice is injustice, plain and simple. I represent a growing LGBT population that is weary of this piecemeal, backburner approach to gaining our rights. “My thoughts are that we should be dealing with issues about jobs and education and the economy.”  This is a cop out, and not even a good one.
I will let the words of Harvey Milk sum this one up: “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.”
What we are seeing is simply cowardice. The Democrats want our votes. They constantly remind us just how terrible the alternative would be. Well, NEWS FLASH! If they aren’t even willing to SAY they support us, they are helping fuel the fires of bigotry.
Remaining on neutral ground ALWAYS helps the oppressor, NEVER the oppressed.
So Dems, you want my vote? Make good on your commitment to this community or take a hike. I would rather sit out the damn election.
DSC, via DallasVoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Natinsky opts not to screen for Stonewall

As John Wright reported earlier here on Instant Tea, Dallas mayoral candidate Ron Natinsky was scheduled to participate in the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ screening and endorsement process on Saturday, even though, as a Republican, he’s not eligible for the group’s endorsement.

Now, however, according to an email to Stonewall — and copied to Dallas Voice — from Natinsky supporter Craig Holcomb, Natinsky has decided not to participate in the Stonewall screening. Holcomb, of course, is an openly gay former Dallas city councilmember.

Gentlemen,

Councilman Natinsky had been looking forward to participating in Stonewall Democrats’ screening tomorrow. However, since your bylaws clearly state that someone who has voted in a Republican primary is not eligible for endorsement, he will not be submitting a questionnaire or taking part in Saturday’s screening process.

Councilman Natinsky is opposed to disccrimination based on sexual orientation. That will not change when he is elected Mayor.

I am grateful for your prompt responses to my questions today.

Sincerely,

Craig Holcomb

UPDATE: Natinsky sent over this email addressed to “The Readers of Dallas Voice,” further explaining his decision:

I respect the GLBT community and had looked forward to participating in the Stonewall Democrats screening process.

However, when I learned that their bylaws would prevent me from receiving their endorsement because I have voted in a Republican primary, I decided it was more important to communicate directly with the community through The Dallas Voice.

Accordingly I am releasing my answers to their questionnaire to The Voice.

Stonewall Democrats, according to the email they sent, will be shredding all the other candidates’ questionnaires.

Sincerely,
Ron Natinsky

We’ve posted the completed Stonewall endorsement questionnaire supplied by Natinsky after the jump.

—  admin

Navigating our Top 10 News Stories of 2010

In this week’s Dallas Voice, which will be available on newsstands by Friday, we take a look at our Top 10 LGBT News Stories of 2010. Because the list was designed for the print edition, it may seem a little difficult to navigate here, so we thought we’d go ahead and provide this quick reference. As always, you can also download the print edition as a PDF by clicking here.

1. Teen suicides put spotlight on bullying

2. DADT repeal capped 17-year fight

3. Dallas Dems narrowly survived GOP tidal wave

4. As Prop 8, DOMA cases proceeded, Texas made its own marriage news

5. Bus driver’s plight led to trans protections at DART

6. Controversy brewed success for ‘TOTWK’

7. Perry, Dewhurst were tied to cancellation of gay-themed play at Tarleton

8. FW changes continued in wake of Rainbow Lounge

9. Dallasites helped fuel GetEQUAL

10. Rare bathhouse raid sparked controversy

—  John Wright

Yahoo News confirms disproportionate drop in gay vote support for Dems

First the article poo-poo’d the drop in gay support, then the researcher realized the drop was significant, and worse than any other groups.  This backs up the data I posted last night.

Exit polling commissioned by the major cable news networks has found that 31 percent of people who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual voted for Republicans on Election Day. That represents a big uptick from the 24 percent of gays who voted for the GOP in 2006 and from only 19 percent who did so in 2008. The trend appears to bear out pre-Election Day predictions from gay rights organizers that gay voters were angry and disenchanted with Democrats for not delivering on promises to the community.

UPDATE: After reviewing the full data, Sherrill says there was a disproportionate drop in Democratic support among LGB voters compared to Hispanic, black, and young voters. Though the sample size is still very small and thus there’s a large margin of error, Sherrill now says the drop may be attributed to “dissatisfaction with the pace of change on LGB rights over the past two years.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Where The Dems May Lose House Seats

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver today takes aim at some of the polls crying doom and gloom for House Democrats previously thought to be safe, cautioning that the volume of losses may not be as bad as some fear.

Many of the polls are either partisan-affiliated, or were “robopolls” that used automated scripts rather than live interviewers, or both. Polls with an explicit partisan affiliation are on average about 6 points friendlier to their candidate than those conducted by independent groups. Robopolls have not shown any persistent bias in the past — but this year, they have been 2 to 4 points more favorable to Republicans than traditional surveys, and the differences have tended to be larger in polls of House races as opposed to conducted in Senate or gubernatorial campaigns. So this is a group of polls that you’d expect to be pretty Republican-friendly.

Silver’s own calculations, some of what are shown in the chart above, predict that the GOP will gain 45-70 House seats. But by pretty much everybody’s numbers, the Democrats will lose their majority.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

GOP filibusters Defense bill, while we’re in 2 wars, then accuses Dems of playing politcs with national defense

They’re good. John McCain has been politicizing the Defense bill for months in an effort to convince Arizona voters that he really is a conservative Republican. And now that we’re a little more than a month away from the election, the entire GOP is trying to bring down the defense bill in order to score political points by hurting Latinos and gays. Incredibly, the Republicans are now claiming, after all that, that it’s Democrats who are politicizing the Defense bill a month before the election.

In fact, the military’s gay ban was included in the defense bill the first time around, back in 1993. That’s where “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” actually resides. Any effort to remove the ban has to be in the defense bill. John McCain knows that. So does Mitch McConnell. But both are willing to lie to the American people in order to score political points on the backs of our soldiers.

The only remaining question is whether Susan Collins and Scott Brown, who both voted for the Defense Bill in committee, will now flip-flop, in the face of pressure from Mitch McConnell, and support this outrageous filibuster.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Newsweek on Obama’s ‘moral cowardice’; NYT on House Dems running scared

The headline of Jacob Weisberg’s column continues: “The president needs to find his principles.”

It is one of the more scathic indictments of the Obama administration — and the President himself that I’ve seen in a while. It touches on many issues, including immigration and marriage equality.

Obama has had numerous chances to assert leadership on values questions this summer: Arizona’s crude anti-immigrant law, the battle over Prop 8 and gay marriage, and the backlash against what Fox News persists in calling the “Ground Zero mosque.” These battles raise fundamental questions of national identity, liberty, and individual rights. When Lindsey Graham argues for rewriting the Constitution to eliminate the birthright-citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, or Newt Gingrich proposes a Saudi standard for the free exercise of religion, they’re taking positions at odds with America’s basic ideals. But Obama’s instinctive caution has steered him away from casting these questions as moral or civil-rights issues. On none of them has he shown anything resembling courage.

With the Proposition 8 fight, Obama has fallen short in a different way, by his reluctance to join an emerging social consensus. Obama had previously criticized California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, as “divisive.” But his official position-which no one believes he actually holds-is that he is against legalizing gay marriage. Americans are changing their views on this issue with inspiring rapidity. Judge Vaughn Walker’s moving opinion provided an occasion for Obama to embrace the extension of equal rights to gay people. Instead, he slunk mumbling in the other direction. How dismal that America’s first black president will be remembered as shirking the last great civil-rights struggle.

Few would argue that defending liberal principle serves Obama’s short-term interests. Americans oppose the mosque 61 percent to 26 percent, according to one recent poll, and support the Arizona law by an even wider margin. But even if some people don’t like Islam, or illegal immigrants, or gay weddings, they may respond to admonitions that our society is built around freedom of conscience and equal treatment under law. If he applied his oratorical gifts to these principles, Obama could remind a grumbling nation what it liked about him in the first place.

Weisberg may be overly optimistic about how responsive some Americans to logic or appeal to equal treatment under the law. It didn’t help with Prop 8. And I really doubt that appeal with work for immigration. The nativism awakened with that and the “9/11 Mosque” shows just how much our nation is in moral distress.

He also takes the position is that the President’s inability to weigh in with sufficient fervor has allowed the right wing noise machine to flourish – and put the WH on the defensive. After all, look at how it drops everything (including political common sense) to respond to Glenn Beck when he opens his mouth. The response is to ensure America that the President prays every day and is a good Christian.

This is a WH that chooses to be weak and respond with political pablum to challenges. That was not the Barack Obama that was on the campaign trail, and certainly not the same man who asked to be challenged if he was dropping the ball. There in lies the problem when you have a WH and President beholden to the charges of the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the “papers, please” supporters, rather than the people who put in money, time and votes to get him into office.

***

Meanwhile, take a look at this NYT article – Democrats Plan Political Triage to Retain House. The meat of the story here is the begging for $$$ — watch for more ploys to tap the gAyTM touting that long list of padded “accomplishments” as the desperation mounts. What it boils down to is “it’s the economy, stupid.” The jobs have no materialized in some of the hardest-hit areas of the nation. People are angry, and sadly, only a couple of years after over a decade or GOP economics, some are ready to revisit that disaster again.

“We are going to have to win these races one by one,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, conceding that the party would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground.

… A sputtering economy and discontent with Washington have created a high sense of voter unease that has also put control of the Senate in question.

To hold the line against Republicans, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, issued an urgent plea for members in safe districts to help their endangered colleagues by contributing money. She called out Democrats who were delinquent on paying their party dues and instructed members with no re-election worries to tap into a combined 8 million from their campaign accounts to help save their majority.

“We need to know your commitment,” Ms. Pelosi wrote to lawmakers last week in a private letter, demanding that they call her within 72 hours to explain how they plan to help. She added, “The day after the election, we do not want to have any regrets.”

As always, give time, effort and money to the individual pols who support issues important to you. No DINOs. No homophobes. No self-loathing closet cases. No more.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Dan Savage: Why should we care who’s in charge if Dems never really do what they promise?

Dan makes a rather interesting argument. While on smaller issues, it matters greatly if the Democrats are in charge instead of the Republicans, on the big issues, the GOP rarely rolls anything back, and the Democrats rarely roll anything forward. And he’s right.

Here’s what happens to the gays and our issues when Republicans win the White House or control Congress: not a whole hell of a lot. There’s no progress on our issues under Republicans—all forward momentum ceases—but things don’t get appreciably worse.* We have to endure small outrages and insults, put up with slights, and be vigilant about legislative malice, but we don’t see a big rollback of previously secured rights. The Bush administration got everything it wanted out of Congress but it didn’t get the FMA or a ban on same-sex couples adopting. Eight years of Bush meant no progress at the federal level on our issues—lots of bullshit at the state level in the form of anti-gay marriage amendments (most of them orchestrated by some straight guy named Ken Mehlman)—but no ground lost.

When we open our wallets for Democrats—and vote for them—the hope is that electing a Democratic president and Congress will result in significant progress on our issues. That’s not just our delusional hope; that was an explicit promise made to us by Democrats. Once the Democrats were in power, everyone from Obama on down promised us, we would see real and significant progress on our issues: an end to DADT and DOMA, action on ENDA, a president willing to use the bully pulpit to aggressively defend our rights. But if, as we’ve seen, working to elect a Democratic president and give Democrats control of Congress results in no progress on our issues—no action on DADT, ENDA, or DOMA—then why the fuck should we bother?

If we get no progress under Democrats (just empty promises meant to excite their base), but no regress under Republicans (just empty threats meant to excite their base), why should we waste our time—and our money—worrying about who’s in charge




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Dems Beware

Here’s a scenario that would have sounded laughable a year ago but no longer seems implausible. Imagine the year 2016. Republicans appeal to LGBT voters by claiming responsibility for ushering in marriage equality throughout the nation. They point out that a Republican judge, a Republican governor and a Republican attorney were instrumental in repealing Prop 8, while the Democratic president did everything he could to stall progress on an important civil rights advance.

It could happen, Dems.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

CNN poll: Majority of Dems. and Independents ‘think the Constitution conveys the right to marry to same-sex couples’

Every day it seems, the right-wings arguments about marriage crumble a little more. They’re losing on public opinion — and the trend is heading in our direction.

CNN just released its latest nationwide survey. There were two questions on marriage for gays and lesbians — and the results are good. I added some emphasis:

Nearly half of all Americans think the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll.

Forty-nine percent of respondents think gay and lesbian couples have the constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law, while 51 percent say those rights do not exist.

The gap widens dramatically when age is taken into account. Nearly six in ten Americans under the age of 50 say gay rights are protected under the Constitution. Only 38 percent of Americans over the age of 50 say the same thing.

“This is one of the few instances when independents side with one party rather than falling in between the Dems and the GOP,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “56 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Independents think the Constitution conveys the right to marry to same-sex couples. Only a quarter of all Republicans agree.”

By the time the Prop. 8 case hits the Supreme Court (assuming it does), we’ll have a majority on our side. Not that the Court will take that into consideration, but it takes away a talking point from the haters. By then, hopefully the President will be on board with full equality, too.

And, even better numbers when asked if gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to right to marry. A majority supports that view:

In a separate question, some respondents were asked whether the Constitution should (rather than does) give gays and lesbians the right to marry.

“That’s different than asking respondents what they think is currently in the Constitution,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

In that separate question, 52% said that same-sex couples should have the constitutional right to marry; 46% say the Constitution should not convey that right.

Here’s how it looks:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright