Equality Texas calls on mayors from state’s 10 largest cities to sign marriage pledge

Equality Texas is calling on its members to ask the mayors of Texas’ 10 largest cities to sign Freedom to Marry’s pledge in support of same-sex marriage. “No individual mayor can confer marriage equality. Similarly, no municipality can enact a law providing for the freedom to marry,” the group writes. “However, the mayors of Texas’ 10 largest cities can lead the way in demonstrating their support for eliminating discrimination, and ending the exclusion of lesbian & gay couples from the institution of marriage.”

Equality Texas’ Action Alert includes photos of 13 Texas mayors — the six who’ve signed the pledge, and the seven from top 10 cities who haven’t. Green checks appear next to the mayors who’ve signed the pledge, and, as you can see in the screen grab above, red X’s appear next to those who haven’t. In addition to Mike Rawlings of Dallas and Betsy Price of Fort Worth, the latter group includes Robert Cluck of Arlington and Phil Dyer of Plano. To take action, go here.

In related news, the group of mayors from across the country who’ve signed the pledge, called Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, issued a statement today reacting to a federal appeals court’s decision striking down Proposition 8:

LOS ANGELES – Today, Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Annise Parker of Houston, Jerry Sanders of San Diego, and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, who are all Chairs of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, the bipartisan group of more than 130 mayors from across the nation who have pledged their support for ending marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian couples, released the following statement:

“As Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, we know how important marriage is to our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation.  When committed couples are able to pledge their love to one another and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage, our communities flourish and our cities are more competitive. Today’s decision by the 9th Circuit reaffirms that the American Dream is possible for everyone and brings us one step closer to ending marriage discrimination once and for all.  We look forward to a day when all of our citizens will be able to share fairly and equally in the freedom to marry.”

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, added:

“America’s mayors understand why marriage matters – to loving and committed couples, to their families, to communities navigating tough economic times.  Today’s important court ruling affirms basic American values, and helps tear down a discriminatory barrier to marriage that benefits no one and make it harder for people to take care of their loved ones.”

—  John Wright

GIVEAWAY: Tix to The Wanted at the Prophet Bar

If you’re needing a boy band fix, look no further than Tuesday night. Composed of British and Irish boyos, The Wanted may be picking up where N’Sync left off and where New Kids and Backstreet Boys won’t seem to let go of. Embarking on their first North American tour, the group comes to Dallas bringing its twinkish ways and pop music vibes.

And it looks like they really like their gays. Although they hit up Deep Ellum here, part of their tour consists specifically of playing gay clubs. They’ve already performed at Roscoe’s in Chicago and Saloon in Minneapolis; next week, they hit Krave in Vegas and Cherry Pop in WeHo. They got the right idea, because if you make it with the gays, then it’s all clover from there.

Curious? OK. We have five pairs of tickets to give away for tomorrow night’s show, thanks to promoters Tactics Productions. What do you gotta do? It’s a new band, so I won’t give ya tough trivia. Just email me here with “Boi power” in the subject line and your full name in your email. Winners will be selected by random at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Congrats to the winners. Enjoy the show!  In the meantime, check their sound out in the video “Warzone,” after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

8-year-old to Michele Bachmann: “My mommy doesn’t need fixing”

Michelle Bachmann

Everyone knows how Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann feels about LGBT people: She doesn’t like us, even though some people claim she is married to a gay man herself.

Michele Bachmann is very vocal about her support for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. She and her husband Marcus owns — and he operates — a clinic where they purport to turn gay people straight. Michele Bachmann has said, according to the Human Rights Campaign, that, “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” And her husband Marcus has said, in essence, that gays and lesbians are “barbarians that need to be educated.”

So you can bet that when an 8-year-old boy named Elijah approached Michele Bachmann at a recent meet-and-greet event in South Carolina to promote her new book, Core of Conviction: My Story, to let her know that his mom was a lesbian and didn’t need to be cured or converted, Michele was none too happy to be cornered that way.

Watch the video below, and you’ll see that all starts out friendly enough: Michele is seated behind a table as a woman and young boy approach. There are polite greetings and then the mom tells her son, “Don’t you have something you’d like to say?”

The youngster mumbles few his message, then Michele Bachmann tells him she’s sorry, but she couldn’t hear him. She pulls him closer and bends down with her ear near his mouth as he repeats: “Miss Bachmann, my mommy’s gay but she doesn’t need any fixing.”

The look of shock on Michele Bachmann’s face is priceless, but when she straightens up, the look she gives Elijah’s mom — well, let’s just say that if looks could kill, Elijah would be an orphan.

—  admin

UPDATE: Famed drag queen Greg Smith AKA SheGotta Mustache passed away Sunday

We were saddened to learn Sunday that longtime drag entertainer Greg Smith, aka Shegotta Mustache, passed away on Sunday. At this time, we’ve only heard that Smith had cancer and succumbed to the disease this weekend.

Over the years, Smith made quite the comic impression on the Dallas scene and was involved with many organizations, including DIVA and Texas Bear Round-Up.

According to his alter ego’s Facebook page, Smith posted this under Basic Information:

“Love making people laugh with the songs that I do and coming up with creative ways of making a song stand out and be funny.”

We will post more information as it is reported and confirmed.

UPDATE: We received the following information regarding Smith’s funeral services.

Wake at Gregory W. Spencer Funeral Home, 4000 Miller Ave., Fort Worth. Nov. 4 at 8:30 p.m.

Funeral service at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 2951 Evans Ave., Fort Worth. Nov. 5 at 11 a.m.

Burial will be a private ceremony.

Celebration of Life at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 6525 Inwood Road. 7 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Study: Gay men get cancer more often

Bret Camp

Study also finds that lesbians, bisexual women report poorer health than straight women after surviving cancer

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

A new study released this week in Cancer, a journal published by the American Cancer Society, suggests that gay men have a higher prevalence of cancer than heterosexual men.

Data came from interviews done in 2001, 2003 and 2005 of cancer survivors in California and was the largest state health survey to include questions about sexual orientation.

Lesbian and bisexual women who survived cancer reported poorer health, but in this study did not contract cancer at a higher rate. Male cancer survivors do not report a difference in health levels.

Researchers were not sure if gay men were developing more cancerous tumors or if their survival rate was actually higher. The survey interviewed more than 122,000 survivors. No study has tracked people who died of cancer by sexual orientation.

The study did not look into causes for the differences, but a number of reasons have been suggested.

Gay men smoke at a higher rate than the general population, which may account for some of the higher cancer rate.

Bret Camp, associate executive director of health and medical services at Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, suggested two causes for the difference in rate between gay and straight men.

Certain cancers develop as opportunistic infections related to HIV, which might partially explain the difference, he said. The study did not factor in HIV or track how many participants were HIV-positive.

Camp also suggested that another factor might be the human papillomavirus. HPV is sexually transmitted and can cause anal cancer.

Physician assistant Trew Deckard said, “Ano-rectal cancer is highest among HIV-positive gay men [some literature points to at least 35 times the general population], and the second highest rate of ano-rectal cancer is found in HIV-negative gay men.”

He said that ano-rectal cancer found in greater rates in both HIV-positive and -negative gay men is related to the presence of high-risk HPV types found in these populations.

While smoking traditionally has caused most oral cancer, the rate has jumped 225 percent since 1974. A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who had oral sex with six or more different partners in a lifetime are almost nine times more likely to contract oral cancer.

According to the report, gay men also developed cancer on average 10 years younger than straight men. Cancers that result from sexually transmitted diseases may account for that difference as well.

Cancer in lesbians

The difference in reported levels of health among women may be a result of a number of factors.

According to Andra Baker who ran a lesbian support group for cancer survivors at Gilda’s Club in Dallas, now known as Cancer Support Community, lesbians tend to access regular health care less frequently than straight women.

“Lesbians don’t go to the doctor as much,” she said.

That may mean that many lesbians and bisexual women are not as likely to detect their cancers at an early stage, making recovery for them more difficult.

The study did not collect information on stage of diagnosis or whether straight women on average report better health because they are recovering from a smaller tumor.

Baker said social support does affect survival and was somewhat surprised by the results showing worse health among lesbian and bisexual survivors.

“Women who attended my group didn’t have lower health or rates of survival,” she said.

But she was working with women who did seek out support, she said.

Baker, who is a survivor herself, said that people who jump into the fight are the ones who do better. She cited Lance Armstrong as an example of someone who adopted a competitive attitude to beat his cancer.

“Stress has a negative effect on the immune system,” she said.

Ulrike Boehmer, one of the study’s authors, put forward the idea of minority stress. Discrimination, prejudice and even violence experienced by lesbians and bisexual women take their toll on psychological health, which can affect overall well being, according to Boehmer.

Just having to come out to each health care provider can be stressful. Hiding people in a survivor’s support system can have a negative effect on recovery, Boehmer said.

She suggested that the study should be used to develop new services for the LGB population including cancer prevention and early detection programs for men and well being programs for women.

—  John Wright

Gay shrink Dr. Sophy at book-signing tonight

If you’re a fan of “Celebrity Rehab” — or just like listening to/staring at silver fox Drew Pinsky — you might be familiar with his cohort, Dr. Charles Sophy. The gay L.A.-based psychiatrist has been on Dr. Drew’s shows, as well as on news programs with fellow silver fox Anderson Cooper.

Sophy will be at the Noble Jewelry store in Highland Park Village tonight from 6 to 8, signing his new book about mother-daughter relationships.

Dr.Sophy

—  Arnold Wayne Jones