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

Why we still march

Here in Dallas, within the last three weeks we have held the 26th annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in Dallas, the Dallas Southern Pride weekend and the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade. Within the last six months, we have seen the Equality March Texas commemorate the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, and we have seen numerous rallies and protests against the Rainbow Lounge Raid in Fort Worth and in support of gay rights.

And now, thousands are expected in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the National Equality March, the same weekend that the president of the United States will speak at the Human Rights Campaign dinner there.

But why do we still march? I think this video answers that question very well.

—  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