Straight ally talks to reporters

David Bowling
David Bowling

Earlier this month, David Bowling was at Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office asking her support for ENDA. This week he was in front of the George Allen Courts Building talking to reporters who were there covering the same-sex divorce case.

Bowling is not gay. He’s a straight ally. He’d get straight married and he’d get straight divorced. But equality is important to him. He thinks his gay and lesbian friends should be able to get lesbian married and gay divorced and other people’s relationships don’t affect him. What does affect him is the attorney general interfering in someone else’s private life.

When asked by one reporter why he was there protesting Attorney General Greg Abbott’s actions in this case, Bowling was very clear.

“It is unconstitutional,” he said.

“They were actually married in Massachusetts so if they do recognize this divorce then they are recognizing gay marriage,” one reporter said.

“Beautiful!” Bowling said.

—  David Taffet

Video of GetEqual confronting chairman of the House Health Education and Labor Committee Meeting

Video, sent by Dallas activist Mark Reed, of the GetEqual protest at the House Health Education and Labor Committee hearing. They are escorted out by gay Representative Jared Polis, and then have a conversation with him in the hall way.

—  John Wright

DC arraignment for ENDA 4 today; local rally planned outside Hutchison's office

Chastity Kiven and others as they are led in handcuffs from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on March 18
Chastity Kiven and others as they are led in handcuffs from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on March 18.

The ENDA 4 will appear in a D.C. courtroom today for their arraignment. Dallas activist Chastity Kirven said that their attorney, former Attorney General for the District of Columbia Robert Spagnoletti, has worked out a plea agreement.

Kirven said that more than 200 supporters signed up to attend the hearing. Demonstrations supporting the ENDA 4 and their goal of getting the Employment Non-discrimination Act out of committee and onto the House floor for a vote will take place today across the country.

In Dallas, supporters will gather outside the office of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The rally will begin at 3:30 p.m. The office is located at 10440 N. Central Expressway in the hotels.com building (on the east side of Central Expressway between Meadow Rd. and Royal Lane).

When the rally ends at 5:15 p.m., Get Equal, the group sponsoring the demonstration, will gather at The Brick in Oak Lawn and get an update on the arraignment in D.C.

Kirven and three other activists were charged with illegal entry when they refused to leave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office after a scheduled meeting with her staff. The meeting was to encourage Pelosi to move ENDA out of committee and up for a vote.

UPDATE: 10:55 a.m. — From a report from National Equality March and Get Equal in Washington D.C.

The ENDA 4 pleaded NOT GUILTY to charges stemming from the March 18 meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. They have been sent to an immediate “status hearing” in the same courthouse. The judge has ordered them to stay away from the Capitol and related buildings.

Kirven told Dallas Voice yesterday that she expected to plead “no contest” and was told that her attorney had worked out a plea deal that would have included community service and six months probation. No word on what happened to the plea bargain.

Among those in attendance at the hearing was Lt. Dan Choi who has been charged separately. Earlier on that same day, he was handcuffed to the White House fence protesting “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

—  David Taffet

ENDA Four: Chastity Kirven speaking in Pelosi's office

Four people were arrested in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Here, Dallas activist Chastity (C.D.) Kirven speaks and in the second video is arrested. The video is by Mark Reed, also of Dallas. The group, from the activist organization Get Equal, was demanding the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) be moved to the House floor for a vote.

See this Friday’s Dallas Voice for more information.

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Dallas group involved in San Francisco and D.C. protests

I just got off the phone with Mark Reed who was at the protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office yesterday. He was about to board a plane headed back to Dallas and will have more information, photos and video over the weekend.

Reed said that Michael Robinson was among those arrested in Pelosi’s Sn Francisco office. Robinson paid a $135 fine and was not taken into custody.

Mark Reed
Mark Reed

In Washington, the group met with an aide at 4 p.m. to discuss moving ENDA out of committee and onto the floor of the House. Without a commitment, the group refused to leave.

Reed said that his role was mostly to photograph and send communication about the event out. At one point, he was told he could take no more pictures. He said during the protest he was free to come and go and he brought the protesters food and water.

Kirven was among the protesters. She was arrested about 8 p.m. and taken to jail. Reed bailed her out at about 11 p.m. She has a court date set for April 4 on a charge of illegal entry.

Reed, Robinson and Kirven are involved with the new direct action group Get Equal. This is the first protest in which the new group has participated. The group also had a role in the Dan Choi protests at the White House.

Look for updates later in the weekend after the group returns home.

—  David Taffet