Houston’s homo-hop duo The Qure releases preview track of upcoming debut album

While we keep waiting for the homo-hop explosion to blow up locally, Houston is representing Texas just fine. H-Town has given us these two guys already (although Infidilex is more Denton now than Houston), but lest we forget there’s also the hip-hop duo The Qure. They release an ample clip of their song “Shake” from their upcoming release The Virus.

Virus will be the duo’s first full-length release, but they were on people’s radars with their mixtape release Gay 4 Pay. Touted as the “hottest gay rap group on the planet,” that kind of confidence is pushing rappers J.A.P.A.N. and Apollo to be the first gay rapper duo to be signed to a major label. However, I kinda hope they stick to the indie stuff only because we’d get to hear the good stuff. I’d hate for The Qure to lose their vision once caught up in the big industry machine.

—  Rich Lopez

Houston Mayor Annise Parker helps dedicate ‘Tolerance’ sculptures inspired by hate crime


Openly gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker and her predecessor Bill White were among those who spoke last week during the dedication of a set of sculptures called “Tolerance,” at a park not far from the city’s heavily gay Montrose neighborhood. The sculptures were inspired by the death of David Ritcheson, a Mexican-American teen who committed suicide in 2007 after being beaten unconscious and sodomized with a pole in a hate crime. CultureMap reports:

The Houston Arts Alliance-commissioned sculptures of kneeling human figures, composed of multi-lingual melded metal letters resting on Spanish boulders, have been installed at the corner of Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard, and will soon serve as the locus of Harmony Walk and the Rosemont Bridge.

With the downtown skyline as a backdrop, the sculptures encourage Buffalo Bayou joggers and commuters on Allen Parkway to give pause and consider the city’s dynamic diversity.

Plensa, who said he “grew up in a forest of books,” sees the letter as a beautiful metaphor for human beings.

“When you compare ‘A’ with ‘B’ or ‘C’ with ‘D,’ or other characters, they seem different. But how beautiful when you can put them together and build up words. And words with words, text. And text with text, culture,” he said.

Mosbacher, widow of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, detailed her involvement with the project, which was sparked by a vicious 2006 hate crime attack against then 16-year-old Latino student, David Ritcheson, who later committed suicide.

—  John Wright

Why haven’t these anti-gay Texas leaders said anything about Wednesday’s Prop 8 ruling?

Wednesday’s ruling in the Prop 8 case represents a potential threat to Gov. Rick Perry’s baby, 2005′s Prop 2. So why hasn’t he said anything to defend it?

Perry v. Schwarzenegger could eventually result in Texas’ same-sex marriage bans being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. So you’d expect politicians here to be lining up to sound off about Wednesday’s watershed ruling from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that declared California’s Prop 8 unconstitutional. Or not.

So far, we’ve seen only two statements from Texas politicians — both in support of the ruling. Linda Chavez-Thompson, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, posted a message on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

“So glad to hear Prop 8 was overturned today,” Chavez-Thompson wrote. “It was discrimination at its worst. I will keep fighting for equality for all Texans.”

And Democratic State Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston said this via-email:

“I’ve always supported marriage equality for all Americans and believe that the U.S. Constitution supports it as well. When Texas passed its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in 2005, I filed a constitutional amendment to let voters repeal the discriminatory amendment. I’m glad to see that our country continues to move forward. Every year, the public’s opinion on marriage equality is more supportive. The law should prohibit discrimination, not sanction it.”

Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who championed Texas’ marriage amendment, hasn’t said a word about the Prop 8 ruling other than perhaps to his wife, though he did post a statement on his website Thursday ranting about a spending bill in Congress (since when did Washington become more of a threat than the homosexuals?).

Likewise, we haven’t heard anything from Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who’s fighting to protect Texas from gay divorce; or Republican Ag Commish Todd Staples, who co-authored Texas’ marriage amendment and filed a brief opposing gay divorce; or Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who’s apparently more concerned about drama classes at Tarleton State University.

In fairness, we also haven’t seen statements from the likes of openly gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White or any of the other statewide challengers.

In the end, it appears that with a key election a few months away, most would rather simply avoid this issue altogether, which is rather telling if you ask us.

Anyhow, now that we’ve had a chance to sift through our Inboxes, we’ve posted some of the other local reactions we’ve received below.

Cece Cox, executive director, Resource Center Dallas:

“Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in the Perry vs. Schwarzenegger case — striking down California’s Proposition 8 as a violation of both the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment — will be remembered for its pivotal role in our march towards equality.

“In plain and direct language, Judge Walker said that “plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right…many of the purported interests identified by proponents [of Proposition 8] are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples…moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians.

“But, it’s important to remember that Judge Walker’s ruling is not the last word in this fight. Forty-five states, including Texas, deny marriage to our community. The case now likely moves to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and may end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Much work needs to be done. Until our relationships and families are legally recognized in all states, we are second-class citizens. Continue to have conversations with your families, friends, and co-workers about why marriage equality is important. The tide of public opinion is gradually changing in our favor, and what seemed a dream a generation ago is one major step closer to fruition.”

The Rev. Jo Hudson, senior pastor, Cathedral of Hope:

“Today [Wednesday], Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker declared the California state law that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman unconstitutional. I applaud this ruling and believe that Judge Walker has issued a just and fair ruling that pleases God. The journey to full marriage equality for all Americans is still before us. But I have faith that the God who created each of us and called it good is with us in this journey and will see it through. As the world’s largest predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregation, we stand with the 18,000 same-sex couples who have already been married in California and with the hundreds that have been married here at the Cathedral of Hope in our 40 years of ministry. We also stand with every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender person who has courageously made covenant with someone they love despite the laws in our nation. This is a day of celebration and joy and we have seen the realm of God come closer to the earth and for that I give God thanks.”

Equality Texas Executive Director Dennis Coleman:

“As we stand in solidarity with Californians, we must remember that our work is far from over. The laws in Texas are not similar to California. Existing law here allows for systematic discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans every single day. There is much work to be done legislatively to change the laws in Texas. And in order to change the laws, we must elect public officials who will support equal treatment under the law for every Texan.”

—  John Wright