Drawing Dallas 12.30.11

As the New Year begins, some things remain the same — like the reliable Mario Sulit, a fixture at Hunky’s for 15 years

MarioSFNL_3

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Mario Sulit, 52

Occupation: Manager at Hunky’s Old Fashioned
Hamburgers on the Strip

Spotted at: Hunky’s.

Will you have fries with that? This handsome and vivacious gentleman was born in El Salvador to a Filipino father and an Italian mother. He came to the U.S. at age 14 and has made Dallas his home for the past 30 years. Many people may know Mario from his 15 years behind the counter at Hunky’s at the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs — a job he loves. Most of his customers feel like family, and he’s very grateful for them.

You might spot Mario riding around on his Honda Metropolitan Scooter, his signature vehicle. On rainy days he drives a black Jeep Wrangler, what he calls “the gayest car in the car universe.”

Namaste: Mario is obsessed with yoga, sometimes practicing up to 10 times a week. He is also a self-taught chef/home cook. His favorite cuisines are Italian and French.  He loves to travel and spend time with his friends and family. His immediate family is spread all over the place, so his vacations consist mainly of family visits.

Next stop: Peru!

—  Kevin Thomas

Hospital visitation rules take effect

Parkland Hospital

An executive order saying hospitals that receive federal funding must allow same-sex visitation went into effect on Tuesday.

Federal funding includes Medicare and Medicaid payments.

President Barack Obama issued the order last year after hearing about a case in which a woman wasn’t allowed to see her partner before she died.

“We applaud the Obama administration’s steps to address the discrimination affecting LGBT patients and their families,” Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart said in a statement. “Now, in hospitals across the nation, LGBT people and their families will have more protections so they can be by their loved one’s side when they are sick and need them most.”

The city of Dallas has an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations. Partners in Dallas should have access based on public accommodations, and no complaints against a Dallas hospital has been filed since the ordinance went into effect.

Hospitals in other cities that prevented partners from visiting loved ones used the excuse that only immediate family members could visit.

I contacted several area hospitals for comment and heard back from Parkland.

“Parkland will continue to offer an open visitation policy to all patients and their family members. Research has shown that patient care is greatly enhanced by the more time a family spends with the patient,” said Miriam Sibley, Parkland’s senior vice president and chief nursing officer.

I thought this was interesting wording. While that same wording has been used elsewhere to exclude people, at Parkland it’s meant to express acceptance of same-sex partners as family that is — and has been — welcome.

The full Lambda Legal press release is after the jump.

—  David Taffet