Black gay Republican running for TX House on pro-life, gun-rights platform

Michael Cargill

Michael Cargill

In our story last week on out state House candidates, gay Republican Michael Cargill wasn’t mentioned.

Cargill, who’s running in the special election Nov. 5 to fill Mark Strama’s unexpired term, has been a business owner for 10 years. He currently owns Central Texas Gun Works in Austin.

He’s the only Republican who’s filed to run in the special election, and will be up against lesbian Democrat Celia Israel, among others. If he doesn’t win in November, he plans to run again in the Republican Primary and to seek the Victory Fund’s endorsement.

—  Anna Waugh

Gay Republican wins Tarrant County precinct chair race

William Busby, a 20-year-old Republican active in Fort Worth politics, won his precinct race Tuesday night against a longtime chair.

Busby won in South Fort Worth’s precinct 4256. He said he decided to run because the current chair has served for more than a decade and has rarely attended important events and committee meetings in the past year.

While open about his sexuality, Busby said he won the race without his opponent running an anti-gay campaign, despite few gay Republicans being open in his political circles.

“I’m pretty much one of the few,” he said, adding that his stronger presence in the party will help change any anti-gay attitudes. “I think it helps to bring openness to the party.”

Busby is one the few openly gay Republicans elected in Tarrant County, if not the first. And while he won with seven votes in a race that garnered 17 total votes, he said the impact was still important.

Dallas GOP leader Rob Schlein won his North Dallas precinct chair race after beating Homer Adams by five votes.

Schlein said Tuesday night that he was the first openly gay Republican to win contested primary in Texas, but gay Dallsite Paul von Wupperfeld said about a dozen gay Republicans were elected in contested precinct chair races in the early 90s in Travis County.

Von Wupperfeld said he served as a precinct chair in Travis County in the 90s and served on the platform committee in Travis County in 1990 and 1992. He was also elected as a delegate to the GOP state conventions in 1990, 1992 and 1994 and served as the state chairman of Log Cabin Republicans.

Von Wupperfeld moved to Dallas 16 years ago and is now a Democrat. He said Schlein was not even he first openly gay Republican elected in the county, as three men in the 90s were elected in Dallas County – Stan Aten, Keith Pomykal and P.D. Sterling. And while Schlein is the first openly gay Republican elected in at least 10 years, von Wupperfeld said it doesn’t reflect a changing, more inclusive Republican Party.

“The GOP in Dallas County is gone,” he said. “When they take all the hate language out of the platform and stop running anti-gay candidates and campaigns, maybe there’s change. Just electing one gay candidate is nothing.”

—  Anna Waugh

Rob Schlein beats Homer Adams in N. Dallas precinct chair race

Log Cabin Dallas President Rob SchleinMetroplex Republicans of Dallas President Rob Schlein beat Homer Adams by five votes to win his North Dallas precinct chair – making him the only known openly gay candidate to win a contested Republican primary in state history, he said.

“I’m elated,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Adams led in early voting with 67 votes but Schlein went to his local precinct polling location Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to talk to voters. He said many people told him they were voting for him because they didn’t like a recent mailer Adams sent out. He said he took that to mean it was likely an anti-gay flier.

By the end of the day, Schlein said he was up by 72 votes, leading to a final count of 256 to 261. The five-vote win was important to him, he said, especially after losing to Adams by three votes in 2010.

Precinct 1800, renamed after redistricting to 2041, is still in far north Dallas.

Adams, the husband of Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams, known as one of the most anti-gay voices in Dallas, has been precinct chair for the past 12 years.

Schlein said making history shows that his inclusive platform is appreciated by the Republican Party.

“It’s pretty sweet,” he said. “I think it shows the demographic shift that’s occurring so that the Republicans can remain a majority.”

 

—  Anna Waugh

REVIEWS: DTC’s “Joseph,” T3′s “Ave. Q”

Sydney James Harcourt as a buff Joseph. (Photo courtesy Karen Almond)

The problem with the Webber and Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has always been its roots as a kids’ Sunday school pageant. It was written to be 20 minutes of Bible education set to music; when they decided to expand it, you could tell where they were padding. The result is tuneful, light enjoyment — 70 minutes of anachronistic songs about the Old Testament. But there’s never been a lot of meat to it; it’s a sing-along show with a Broadway attitude.

Or at least it used to be. Joel Ferrell, who directs and choreographs the version now playing at the Dallas Theater Center, has found a way around Joseph‘s weaknesses. First, the DTC has licensed the extended score, including a mega-mix curtain call medley that reiterates the entire score in digest form.

Second, he’s given a shape to the story it has always been in desperate need of: Instead of the show just being what it is, we now have a reason for it. A group of school kids trudge through a museum with a stern security guard (Liz Mikel). One of the children is fascinated by a copy of the Torah, and the guard takes note. She tell him the story of Joseph and his 11 brothers, and as she does, the stage opens into a Pee-Wee’s playhouse of colorful stagecraft; the kid even imagines himself as the baby brother in the tribe. This conceit does more than bookend the play: It explains to hip weirdness the show has always wrestled with, specifically, songs (and some characters) that seem unexpectedly modern. Why is Pharaoh be portrayed as Elvis? It makes sense if a 21st century child projects his ideas onto a story. And it gives Ferrell the chance to ratchet up the disconnects. The brothers now are skateboarding iPod junkies in baggy shorts and ball caps.

The change does two important things: It raises the energy level of the show, and it allows Ferrell to mount one of the gayest family musicals you’ll ever seen. (Maybe those are the same thing.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

National Log Cabin Republicans adds local President Thomas Purdy to Board of Directors

Thomas Purdy

The National Log Cabin Republicans announced Friday that local Dallas chapter President Thomas Purdy would join its Board of Directors.

“Thomas has excelled as president of the Dallas Log Cabin Republicans for the past year, and we welcome his voice representing the heart of Texas and red state America,” the national organization said in a statement.

The national group de-chartered the old Dallas chapter last year and Purdy, who had served on the local board, was installed as president when the new local chapter reformed at the beginning of this year.

Purdy told Instant Tea he’s proud for the opportunity to serve, writing that his role on the national board will consist of setting long-term strategies and sharing the accountability in achieving them.

He wrote that he hopes gaining experience on the board will make “me a smarter, better leader for our members in Dallas and more effective in advancing the issues of equality that we all believe in.”

“While I am very proud to have been asked to serve on Log Cabin Republicans national Board of Directors, the greater source of pride for me is to just be part of an organization that, while not always widely known, has had a tremendous track record of success in the fight for equality for LGBT Americans,” he wrote. “As a national organization, Log Cabin was instrumental in the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by challenging the policy in court and working for its demise on Capitol Hill.

“On state and local levels, Log Cabin’s Chapters are also at the tip of the spear. LCR New York was part of a coalition of allies that worked to make marriage equality a reality for all citizens of that state. They were the only partisan organization in the coalition able to lobby Republicans as Republicans and make the successful conservative case for the freedom to marry.

“And here in Dallas, our Chapter has made tremendous inroads with the Republican Party and we are making a difference by supporting openly LGBT and pro-equality Republican allies seeking elected office. We do not-and must not ever-rest on our laurels, though. The fight for equality continues and I am thankful to have the opportunity to sit on the Board and, as a result, be able to stand in the ring.”

The full press release is below.

—  Anna Waugh

“Head Figure Head” more about journalism than about Gov. Rick Perry’s sex life

Head Figure Head, the new e-book from Glen Maxey, details the author’s arduous and frustrating six-month effort to investigate rumors of Gov. Rick Perry’s gay sex life. Maxey served as executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (now Equality Texas) during Perry’s tenure as a state representative, later serving for 12 years as a state representative, spanning Perry’s time as agricultural commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor. Of all the people who’ve attempted to look into the rumors of Perry’s trysts with men, Maxey is perhaps best positioned to get to the truth, and takes great pains to ensure we are aware of that fact.

The book is the narrative of Maxey’s research, assisted by a journalist from a national media outlet. Like almost every character in the book other than Maxey and Perry himself, “the Journalist” is referred to only as a pseudonym. Maxey and the Journalist begin their search for proof in June 2011 as rumors of Perry’s impending presidential bid are widely circulating. Immediately the pair find that almost every gay man in Austin has a friend who has a friend who claims to have slept with Perry. For the next three months they track those leads and come excruciatingly close to breaking the story.

—  admin

It’s not too late to let everyone know how fabulous you are: ‘A List’ still seeking Dallas cast members

When The A List New York debuted on Logo last fall, I asked my partner, “Honey, are we A list?” “In Dallas?” he asked. “Yes.” “No, honey. We’re not. But we know them.”

He thought, like I did, that to be on the real A list, you have a to have a last name that begins with Nasher or Hamon or even Goss. I’ve met those folks, but I’m not them. Not even close.

The good news is, you don’t need to be them to get on Logo — this is basic cable, after all. And gay, at that.

Casting for The A List Dallas started last December, but apparently the producers are still looking for more fabulous Texans to round out their cast, and so the deadline for applying was extended to this Friday. That gives you two days to show America why you should be the Next Top Model Gay, Texas-style.

There are some criteria. Producers are scoping out a new or long-term gay male couple with “fabulous job, hot friends” who live an A list lifestyle (that’s defined as “home/car/parties/career” — that’s pretty low bar; without two of those, you’d probably be homeless). Another casting spot is open for a “single gay Republican” who is dating and open about his conservative beliefs. He’s also expected to have a fabulous job and hot friends. Guess that leaves me out, though I did vote for Reagan!

Finally, here’s a game-changer: A woman — the “Paris Hilton of Dallas!” And not necessarily a lesbian. Yep, they are looking for a ‘hag. All are expected to be “20s to 30s.” Does the age you put on your Grindr profile count?

If you think you’d like to be one of these, have at it! Send your resume (a photo and brief bio to Info.Atomic@mac.com ASAP). We’d love to see you on TV!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Openly gay candidate Fred Karger is 1st Republican to file to run for president in 2012

Fred Karger

Fred Karger, an openly gay Republican, this morning became the first person to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2012.

He becomes the first openly gay candidate to ever run for president.

Karger has worked on a variety of Republican campaigns including Reagan-Bush in 1984. From 1977 until he retired in 2004, he was vice president of the Dolphin Group, a political consulting company.

In 2008, he founded and became co-director of Californians Against Hate in reaction to Proposition 8. He filed formal ethics violation complaints leading to investigations of the Mormon Church and the National Organization for Marriage in California and Maine. He organized four boycotts of companies that donated more than $100,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign.

Karger doesn’t expect to do well among religious conservatives, but his strategy is to win in early primary and caucus states New Hampshire and Iowa. Both of those states have large numbers of independent voters and both have legalized same-sex marriage.

By this time in the 2008 campaign cycle, at least a dozen candidates had announced that they were running in the two parties. Yesterday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced he was forming an exploratory committee, the first step in becoming a candidate. He is the only candidate other than Karger to formalize his plans.

Other Republicans have indicated that they are deciding whether to run, but no others have announced. Former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee said he would have to walk away from a lucrative deal with Fox to run. Donald Trump said he’s considering a run but due to contractual constraints, he can’t make an announcement until the season of The Apprentice ends.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are also potential candidates. Jimmy McMillan, the New Yorker who ran for mayor on the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, said he plans to run as a Republican.

Although Karger is the first openly gay man to run for president, James Buchanan, the 15th president, is the only one to have never married and was probably gay. He lived with Franklin Pierce’s Vice President Rufus King whose nicknames were Aunt Fancy, Miss Nancy and Mrs. Buchanan. King died while in office. Nieces of the two men destroyed their correspondence after their deaths so little written evidence of their relationship remains.

—  David Taffet

Top 10: Dallas Dems narrowly survived GOP tidal wave

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While Texas turned redder, Dallas County remained an island of blue. On Election Day, Texas followed national trends turning Democratic incumbents out of office and replacing them with conservative Republicans.

For the first time in Texas history, more than 100 Republicans will sit in the 150-member Texas House of Representatives. As recently as 1983, Democrats held more than 100 House seats.

Several gay-friendly Democratic House incumbents lost their seats in North Texas.

However, Democrats swept countywide races for the third consecutive election cycle.

Among the winners were Tonya Parker, who will become the first known openly gay African-American elected official in Texas. Parker is also the first openly LGBT judge elected in Dallas County. Openly gay Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons won re-election, as did Judge Tena Callahan, a straight ally who in 2009 declared Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, for the first time in a generation, Democrats will control the Dallas County Commissioners Court, possibly paving the way for LGBT employment protections and domestic partner benefits.

Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Elba Garcia unseated anti-gay Republican Commissioner Ken Mayfield, with strong support in heavily LGBT neighborhoods in Oak Cliff.

Clay Jenkins, who defeated openly gay County Judge Jim Foster in the Democratic primary, knocked off Republican Wade Emmert in the general election and will serve as chair of the court.

But Republicans retained all statewide offices in Texas, including governor. Anti-gay incumbent Rick Perry was elected to a third full term, easily defeating Democrat Bill White, who’d received a rare endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign.

Nationwide, a record 106 openly LGBT candidates won election, including David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who’ll become the fourth openly gay member of Congress.

In California, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who first decided his city would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was elected that state’s lieutenant governor.

But mostly the news around the country was good for conservatives.

Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, where the leadership will include two conservative North Texas congressman, Jeb Hensarling and Pete Sessions.

In the Senate, the Democratic lead was cut to 51 seats plus two Independents who caucus with the Democrats.

While tea party-affiliated candidates won a number of Texas seats, Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s tea party opponent received only 25 percent of the vote.

With the Republican majority in the House, most agree there’s little chance the 112th Congress will pass any pro-LGBT legislation. Incoming House members have already threatened to work on a repeal of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Count on the Senate, however, to stop any anti-gay bills from making their way to the White House.

Other troubling signs for the LGBT community included an election in Iowa, where three judges who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage were defeated after a multimmillion campaign by the religous right. Anti-gay activists have begun a movement to impeach the remaining four.

Because of Republican gains, the LGBT community is not looking for additional advances in equality legislation in 2011 on the federal level. However, some state legislatures and the courts may provide some bright spots.

— David Taffet

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 31, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas