Holiday Gift Guide 2011 • Body & Soul


>> Body & Soul


Stemming from the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, Melissa Krueger had the epiphany of Gay Coffee. With a passion for roasting the best java, she created this fun and quirky line of, well, gay coffees. The name says it all, as do the blends such as sensual and dark Red Hanky Roast and medium roasted Stone Butch Breakfast Blend. All roasts are fairly traded and one percent of all profits are donated to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The coffee is priced at $13 for 10 ounces.

Available through



Today people are tied to their phones, but this ZOMM wireless leash makes sure a phone is never lost. The poker-chip sized gadget will alarm when the phone gets far enough away from its owner thanks to a Bluetooth connection. ZOMM also acts as a speakerphone to answer if the phone is out of quick reach and the panic button calls for emergency assistance. This little thing packs quite the big punch. The ZOMM is priced at $99.99.

Available at Fry’s Electronics locations and


Bookbinder Darlene Dominguez has taken recycled book leather, flea market finds and vintage buttons and turned them into these beautiful unique cuffs. With an elastic band that pulls it gently around the wrist, these one-of-a-kind pieces are both fabulous accessories and works of art. The cuffs start at $20.




These essential oil smart boxes also get quite the message across, thanks to Michelle Bardwell. Find ginger and peppermint scents in the Eat Me box, rose and magnolia in the Love Me box and rosewood and tea tree in the Try Me box. All boxes contain either four 10ml bottles of essential oils or five 2ml vials of essential and therapeutic oils. Each is priced at $36.

Flower Road Natural Therapies



Some occasions and palates just call for both white and red wine. This dual wine tote makes it easy to bring both, or champagne even. Made with high density, stain- and-pill-resistant German merino wool felt, vegetable tanned leather handles and polished nickel finish for hardware, the tote is not just handy, it’s stylish as well. The tote is priced at $145.

Dallas Museum of Art Museum Store,
1717 N. Harwood Road.


Taking tea to the next level, Numi’s Enchanted Blossoms Flowering Tea appeals to all the senses. Filled with hand-sewn tea leaves and flowers, the box included a glass teapot and comes in a handmade dark mahogany bamboo case. The flowers begin to blossom when they are steeped. The tea box is as magical as it is elegant. The tea set is priced from $30–$35.

Available through

halsa-wellness-acupressure-matBED OF NAILS

The idea of lying down on more than 8,000 spikes may not sound too appealing, but with the Swedish Halsa wellness mat, the body only reaps benefits. Based on the spiked mats of ancient Indian tradition, this mat stimulates acupressure points which increases circulation, lowers blood pressure and releases physical, mental and emotional blocks. The Halsa wellness mat comes in black, green or purple and is priced at $39.95.

Available through



Classy and cool, this HEX Vision metal watch band is made for the iPod Nano Gen 6 to be clipped in as the watch face. The band comes in gun metal or silver and takes the predictability out of giving just any ol’ watch. The watchband is priced at $69.95.

Apple Store Northpark Center,
8587 N. Central Expressway.



Pride goes way posh with this bracelet. It features over 15 carats of fine round sapphires in rainbow colors surrounded in yellow gold.  There can only be one word for this — fabulous! The bracelet is priced at $11,700.

Skibell Fine Jewelry, 8411 Preston Road, Ste. 110.



Don’t forget the stocking stuffers. These new iFrogz headphones change the way sound travels in tiny spaces. The chrome-plated Legion model bumps up the high notes and bass lines. The TimbrePro offers deeper bass sounds through a wooden sound chamber. The Transport uses turbine engine design for purer sound on all levels. The TimbrePro and Transport come with a single button remote/microphone for mobile devices and is compatible with Apple, Blackberry and Android. Headphones start
at $24.99.

Available at Walmart stores and


rafii-scarvesBUNDLE UP

A quality scarf is a must for any strong wardrobe and Astor + Black’s cashmere collection makes for a stylish accessory. The scarves not only protect in cold weather, but make clear fashion statements in a variety of colors and patterns. Get one for yourself even. The scarves are priced at $150.

Astor and Black
Custom Clothiers.




s fun as this looks, the POP phone  by Native Union also has a distinct purpose. For the chatty Cathies out there, this handset attaches to your smartphone and protects from up to 99 percent of harmful effects of cell phone radiation. In seven bold colors and soft-touch finish, the POP phone is totally for that whimsical hipster who appreciates the irony of nostalgia. The handset attaches to most Mac products and Blackberries. and prices start at $29.90.

Available through




Rufskin is known for making extreme choices in its clothing designs, but when it comes to denim, the sex appeal is out of control. Whether they rethink classic jeans or offer sexy, snug fits, Rufskin’s denim is incomparable. Jeans start at $120.
Union Jack,
3920 Cedar Springs Road.














Why not give a one-of-a-kind bottle of wine complete with a personalized label? At Two Corks and a Bottle, customers can bottle their own personal vintage wine with a list of available varietals. The winery will even help out to make it just right. After the blend is done, just add a personal holiday greeting on the label for that special touch. Half batches (about 14 bottles) start at $165.

Two Corks and a Bottle, 2800 Routh Ste. 140
(in the Quadrangle).
214-871- 9463.
















Classify this as for the person who has everything. Epic Helicopters takes the holidays to the skies with its Holiday Lights Tour. With tours in Fort Worth and Addison, Santa’s not the only one who gets airspace during the holidays. Epic offers 10 different lights tour variations through Jan. 1. Tours in Fort Worth start at $379; tours in Addison start at $429.

Epic Helicopters, Fort Worth Meacham Airport
4201 N. Main Street, Suite 109
Fort Worth. 817-625-1800.
Addison Airport, 
4553 Jimmy Doolittle Drive,
Addison. 214-799-1501.

—  Kevin Thomas

Is Wyoming the next gay marriage battleground?

State Rep. Cathy Connolly

In the state-by-state march toward marriage equality, four states have been on the radar for possible legalization of same-sex marriage this year. This week, a fifth state became a new possibility.

According to the Billings Gazette, Wyoming State Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, will file two bills. One would legalize same-sex marriage, the other civil unions. Connolly is lesbian.

Wyoming does not have a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. Bills have been filed to change that, and Connolly’s bills are in response.

Like Iowa, where same-sex marriage became legal a few years ago, Wyoming does have a history of equality. When Wyoming was admitted to the union in 1890, it became the first to allow women to vote and was the first to elect a woman governor. (That was 1924 and Texas elected a woman — “Ma” Ferguson — that year as well).

In Wyoming’s 60-seat lower house, only 10 of those seats are held by Democrats. In the Senate, only four out of 30 are Democrats.

Four other states that may consider marriage equality this year are New York, Rhode Island, Maryland and Minnesota.

Of those four, Rhode Island and Maryland are the states where it is most likely to pass. Rhode Island’s new governor favors marriage equality and Democrats hold a strong majority in both houses. Their former governor opposed equality although the state already recognizes marriages performed elsewhere.

Maryland has been studying equality for more than a year and a bill is progressing.

New York recognizes marriages performed elsewhere and two courts have upheld that recognition. The state’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo, supports equality, as did their former governor, but the state Senate has a one-vote Republican majority that may block passage.

In his inaugural speech, Cuomo said, “We believe in justice for all, then let’s pass marriage equality this year once and for all.”

Minnesota’s new governor campaigned as an LGBT ally, countering his opponent’s staunch anti-gay bigotry. Support of the Republican is what led to an unorganized Target boycott. The new Democrat has said he supports marriage equality and would like to see a bill pass.

—  David Taffet

The parents were not all right: Why Prop 8 passed

Newly released study says ads claiming same-sex marriage would endanger children, run late in the campaign, swayed enough parents to pass California’s anti-gay marriage amendment

Lisa Keen  |  Keen News Service

David Fleischer
BY THE NUMBERS | David Fleischer talks to volunteers about results of a poll of Boston voters on the issue of same-sex marriage in 2004. This week, Fleischer released a study he conducted on what swayed voters to pass Proposition 8 in California in 2008. (Stanley Hu/Associated Press)

Proposition 8 passed in November 2008 because parents with kids living at home were scared and the LGBT community did nothing to assuage that fear.

That’s the conclusion of an exhaustive, 448-page analysis of the vote on California’s Proposition 8, which passed by 52 percent-to-48 percent — or barely 600,000 votes — in an election in which 13.7 million votes were cast.

But 500,000 of those 600,000 votes were ready to side with the LGBT community against Proposition 8 up until the last six weeks of the campaign.

During those last six weeks, explained the report’s author, David Fleischer, the Yes on 8 campaign saturated the television airwaves with advertisements that borrowed from the 30-year-old Anita Bryant “Save the Children” campaign from 1977.

The advertisements — also used successfully in 2009 in Maine — told parents that the legalization of same-sex marriage would require public schools to teach children that same-sex marriage is a viable option for them. The No on 8 campaign failed to respond directly and quickly to that claim and, thus, lost the vote.

Fleischer’s analysis — “The Prop 8 Report: What Defeat in California Can Teach Us about Winning Future Ballot Measures on Same-sex Marriage,” — was released Aug. 3 and drives home the point that “anti-gay forces know how to exploit and stimulate anti-gay prejudice, and the LGBT community has difficulty facing and responding to the attack.”

“Recycling a lie as old as Anita Bryant’s ‘Save the Children’ campaign in 1977,” said Fleischer, “the anti-gay Yes on 8 campaign whipped up fears about kids to move voters to its side.”

Fleischer rejected analyses proffered by other political observers who suggested that African-American voters had been the deciding factor in the Proposition 8 vote. He also rejected a recent analysis by political scientist Patrick Egan, who said spending large amounts of money on ad campaigns has no impact because most voters’ minds on gay ballot measures are made up long before election day.

Instead, Fleischer lays the passage of Proposition 8 at the feet of “parents with children under 18 living at home,” saying that about 500,000 such voters switched from “no” to “yes” on 8 in the closing weeks. And he says the No on 8 ad campaign could have made a difference if it had responded quickly and directly to the fears parlayed by the Yes on 8 ads.

The most effective Yes on 8 ad, said Fleischer, was one showing a little girl coming home and telling her mother that she had just learned in school that a prince can marry a prince and that she could marry a princess.

The narrator then claimed that, “When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, schools began teaching second-graders that boys can marry boys. … The courts ruled parents had no right to object.”

“The lesson of the ‘Yes on 8’ campaign,” said Fleischer, is that “when parents hear that their kids are in danger, even if it’s a lie, some of them believe it — particularly when the lie largely goes unanswered.”

“Those ads are fear-mongering directed at parents to make them think their children are in danger,” said Fleischer, during a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Aug. 3.

He noted that daily polling data showed that adults with no children at home did not show any change in their plans to vote against Proposition 8 once the so-called “Princes” ad started airing, but adults with children at home changed their plans — from voting against to voting for Proposition 8 — in dramatic numbers.

The “Princes” ad was on the air by Oct. 7, just a week after Yes on 8 had begun airing another TV ad in which San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was shown telling a crowd that gay marriage is “going to happen — whether you like it or not.”

Prior to those ads going up, said Fleischer, polling showed a virtual tie on the Proposition 8 question.

“Yes on 8’s fear-mongering about children was particularly effective because No on 8 waited 17 of the 30 days remaining until the election was over to directly respond,” said Fleischer.

“[W]hen an anti-LGBT campaign alleging indoctrination of kids unfolds on TV; and when that campaign is well-funded enough that the average voters see ads exploiting anti-gay prejudice five or more times each week for four to five weeks; then the ads generate, awaken, reawaken or reinforce a response among some voters that moves them to vote against the LGBT community,” wrote Fleischer in his report.

The report can be viewed in its entirety at

Fleischer spent many years training openly gay candidates to run for elective office as a part of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and then the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He notes, in the report, that he has participated in more than 100 campaigns to “preempt, stop, delay, and overcome anti-LGBT ballot measures.”

His analysis examined more than 10,000 pages of data and related documents and included more than 40 hours of interviews with No on 8 officials. Fleischer also analyzed the use and penetration of every television ad aired by both the pro- and anti-gay campaigns in Proposition 8.

Fleischer says data shows that the initiative, approved by a margin of about 600,000 votes, secured 687,000 votes in the last six weeks of the campaign. More than 500,000 of these crucial last-minute shifters were parents with children under 18 living at home.

Parents, noted Fleischer, comprised about 30 percent of the 13.7 million voters in California in November 2008. While Yes on 8 initially had only a two-point lead over No on 8 in this 4 million-strong demographic group, it had a 24-point lead on election day.

“Overall, parents with kids under 18 at home began the campaign evenly divided on same-sex marriage,” said Fleischer, “but ended up against us by a lopsided margin.”

But they weren’t the only groups to shift away from a pro-gay position.

“Other groups that moved significantly in favor of the ban on same-sex marriage included white Democrats (by 24 points), voters in the greater Bay Area (31 points), voters age 30-39 (29 points), and Independent voters (26 points).”

Fleischer criticized the No on 8 campaign for delegating “too much of the thinking and therefore too much of the de facto decision-making” to consultants. And he said its message to voters was “vague, inconsistent, and too often de-gayed, reducing its power to persuade.”

No on 8 took too long to respond to the “Princes” ad, said Fleischer, because its decision-makers “did not choose to directly respond to the attack.”

There had been a change in leadership in the No on 8 campaign just a week before “Princes” began airing, and the new decisions-makers also hired a new media firm to create their ads. But their failure to act quickly and directly was hardly anything new.

“The LGBT community has historically avoided responding directly to the issue of kids,” said Fleischer, “in part out of the belief that no response will defuse the issue, and in part out of a wish not to have to face this unfair, untrue defamation.”

But that failure to respond, said Fleischer, amounts to a “decision not to defend LGBT people as trustworthy.”

Ballot measures over gay civil rights issues have been taking place throughout the United States since 1974, but pro-gay ballot campaigns didn’t even use the word “gay” until 2002 and didn’t use an openly gay spokesperson until 2004.

Although acknowledging that he had not studied Maine as thoroughly as California, Fleischer also criticized the No on 1 campaign there that fought an initiative to repeal the state’s marriage equality law.

He said the  No on 1 campaign also avoided responding directly to the “kids are in danger” ads and even avoided using the word “gay” in all but one of their own ads.

Rather than respond to the Yes on 1’s claim that marriage equality would put the kids of voters in danger, noted Fleischer, No on 1 talked about the need to protect gay kids and children with gay parents.

Post-election data from Maine’s campaign — which repealed its marriage equality law in 2009 — suggested the parents’ concerns there were not that kids would experiment with being gay. Instead, said Fleischer, parents were concerned their kids would accept gay couples and that other kids would be raised by gay parents.

Fleischer strongly recommended that the LGBT community not return to the ballot box “until we are prepared to vitiate this [child-related fear-mongering] attack.”

He also urges future campaigns to adopt a more modern approach to campaigning — one that calls for quick, direct and forceful responses to attacks.

Fleischer’s analysis was not entirely critical of the No on 8 campaign. He credited the campaign with enlisting a “record-breaking” number of volunteers and dollars, and making “a series of smart choices that maximized the number of dollars raised and volunteers involved.”

Kate Kendell, one of the best known No on 8 leaders, said of Fleischer’s report, “I think we need to learn all we can about how to win these campaigns and we need to digest all the info we get to do that.”

Meanwhile, Equality California, which was a key component of the No on 8 campaign in 2008, issued a press release July 20 indicating it plans to organize for a ballot measure to repeal Proposition 8 in 2012.

© 2010 Keen News Service

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 6, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Will Day of Decision turnout rival 2009?

We hear there’s going to be a Prop 8 “Day of Decision” rally at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Legacy of Love Monument, but thus far we’ve been unable to get in touch with the organizers. The Facebook event page lists Daniel Cates as the contact person. The Equality Across Texas website lists Cd Kirven. We’ve got e-mails and phone messages in to both of them. Here’s the bulk message we received from Cates on Facebook this morning:

The ruling on the Prop 8 case will be issued today.. most likely between 1-3pm.. WIN OR LOSE the Dallas/ Fort Worth LGBT Community will gather at the Legacy of Love Monument at Cedar Springs and Oaklawn to either celebrate a historic victory for our community or protest another defeat! Please make plans to attend, bring signs, bull horns, flags and loud loud voices!

And from the Facebook page for the event:

Whether we celebrate or protest, we will stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in California, and with hope for a future that includes equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all fifty states. Hope will never be silent.

In November 2008, Proposition 8 was passed in California, overturning the state’s Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Effectively, this is the first time in our great nation’s history that a right was taken away from a select portion of our demographic make up.

The fight for equal rights under the law has been a long, hard struggle the GLBT community has faced for years. This ruling has the potential to be the platform for the national legalization of same-sex marriage. Whether we are celebrating a victory or protesting another loss, our voices WILL be heard.

In May 2009, the Day of Decision rally seemed a little better organized. Of course back then Queer LiberAction was in its heyday. After gathering around the Legacy of Love Monument, a crowd of hundreds marched down Cedar Springs Road to the TMC patio, blocking traffic in what was a pretty compelling display (shown above). This was followed on the jam-packed patio by a series of speakers, many of whom called out President Barack Obama.

We’re sure there’s going to be a rally this evening, but it’s a little unclear how it will play out. Who will be the speakers? Will there be a march? What will be the message? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

—  John Wright