Wrangle out that over-sized belt buckle, your 10-gallon hat and brush up on those two-stepping skills. Equality Texas, the LGBT advocacy group, will host its first-ever Texas-themed Ally Awards on Friday at the Vendome on Turtle Creek Boulevard. This year’s honoree recipients are: J.C. Penney for Business of the Year, rapper/singer/producer Adair Lion and Miss West Texas Kaylee Anne Keith for Individuals of the Year; and President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for Civic Leaders of the Year.
Dennis Coleman, executive director for Equality Texas, said the idea for an ally awards benefit was created after seeing the success of Equality Utah and Equality Colorado’s Ally Awards banquets. The winners were chosen from an online poll earlier this year. “We cannot do this on our own word. We need our allies. They have been important for the fight for equality,” said Coleman. “We are hoping this becomes a catalyst for larger things to come, like our friends in Colorado.”
In May, J.C. Penney published an ad featuring a lesbian couple in their Mother’s Day circulation, and recently another ad featuring Dallas gay couple Cooper Smith and Todd Koch and their two children. J.C. Penney received a lot of backlash, specifically from the group One Million Moms, but has stood by its decision to represent diverse families.