PHOTOS: John Grissom captures AWOL title

John Grissom, shown above, took home the title of AWOL Leatherman 2012 on Saturday night during AWOL III, Third Strike (A Weekend of Leather) at the Crowne Plaza Dallas.

The AWOL competition feeds Mr. Texas Leather.

The Leather Knights, who put on AWOL, also announced the dates for next year’s event, “AWOL IV – FLEET WEEK,” which will run Oct. 12 through 14, 2012.

This year’s AWOL benefited the SSC Fund, a nonprofit that raises funds to provide hearing aids and sign interpreters for hearing-impaired and/or deaf individuals.

For a slideshow of photos from Saturday’s AWOL Leatherman contest, go here.

—  John Wright

Santa’s helper

GIFTS A-PLENTY | Steven Graves of Steven Graves Insurance Agency gets ready to deliver the more than 40 gifts he donated as part of the Leather Knights’ Angel Tree Project. “We wanted to make sure that everybody had a happy Christmas. This community gives to us so much, and we wanted to give back,” Graves said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 24, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

A year’s worth of giving

LEATHER KNIGHTS DONATE | Leather Knights President Jason Kloss, front left, and Charitable Events Chair Derrick Dawson present a check to Steven Pace and Larry Finch of AIDS Interfaith Network for $1,001 raised during the Dragon Lady of the Realm pageant in February. AIN was one of four organizations who received donations from the Leather Knights during a reception at Youth First Texas on Monday, Dec. 13. Youth First Texas received $1,404 raised during the Buy Daddy’s Box auction in November. The dental clinic at the Nelson-Tebedo Health Center received $1,200 raised during Military Manuevers in November. And AIDS Services of Dallas received $2,000 raised during AWOL 2 in May.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Heavenbent for leather

Leather Knights bring back Angel Tree to benefit AIDS Services of Dallas

ANGELS IN AMERICA  |  David Henry  is making his list and checking it twice. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Santa Claus isn’t always a fat old man in a fur suit. Sometimes he’s a hot leather daddy in a harness.

That’s the way the Leather Knights see it, at least. Once again, the group is sponsoring its Angel Tree for the holidays.

The idea is simple: Go to the Dallas Eagle and check out the tree, decorated with paper ornaments on which are written requests for some holiday cheer for clients of AIDS Services of Dallas and Hillcrest House. Some are middle-aged men in need of warm clothes. Some are children wanting their first iPod. All are deserving.

Take down the ornament, buy the gift, wrap it (with a tag) and return it to the Eagle no later than Dec. 18. The Knights and Eagle staff do the rest, delivering the gift to the person requesting it and making an angel out of you. And let’s face it: Most of the year, you’re more of a devil, so this is a perfect time to get into the holiday spirit.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Visit the Angel Tree and return the gift between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18 at the Dallas Eagle, 2515 Inwood Road, suite 107. LeatherKnights.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 26, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Knights of Columbus understand civil marriage distinction (*is something I could’ve written in 1958)

The first, most obvious reaction when looking at the following clip from the spring of 1958: Disbelief over the fact that the Catholics Knights of Columbus have been so darn focused on other people’s marriages for so darn long. However, when giving it a little more nuanced read, we actually see something to really like about this religious group’s 52-year-old definition of marital acceptability:

March of 1958

201011091704

So what do we like about it? Well, look back up to the first four paragraphs. Right at the beginning, the mid-20th century scribe spells out a key point: “Civil marriage laws are necessary, of course, in a society which includes the unreligious as well as the religious.” A key point that is obviously true. A key point that is fundamental to an America where religious ceremony is ALWAYS an ancillary (even if oft-utilized) component of civil marriage. A key point that is severely lacking from this current camp’s modern war against same-sex marriage.

We can actually accept the above take. Respect it, even. Because while the 1950s Knights would surely be standing as staunchly against same-sex marriage as their modern counterparts, had they had the foresight to envision as much, they were not expressing a desire to use their strong personal convictions to change the civil marriage laws that they admit, right up front, are necessarily separated from religion. And that’s not a minor distinction, either. It really shows what a departure from tradition the current marriage war really is. Because at its heart, nothing has fundamentally changed in the fifth thru tenth paragraphs: The Knights of Columbus were expressing their personal theological convictions then, and they are expressing their personal faith convictions now. What’s changed is the first part. What’s changed is their willingness to respect civil law independent from faith conviction in the same manner that we on the pro-equality side are willing to respect faith conviction that’s kept off of our civil rights!




Good As You

—  admin

Knights Of Columbus: We’re Too Powerful To Be Bullied About Our Pro-Prop 8 Donations

The Knights of Columbus, the Connecticut-based Catholic group, in 2009 donated some .4 million to the National Organization for Marriage, more than it used to fund to food and educational programs. But while that information was already known, what's worth noting is that while NOM has gone to court to hide its donor list, KoC freely disclosed its pro-discrimination donation. How come? Says spokesman Patrick Korten: "The fact of the matter is that those who favor same sex marriage are working hard to intimidate individuals and groups that support our cause, but [the Knights] are big enough that intimidation doesn’t work on us."


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Queerty

—  John Wright