Northaven UMC votes to perform all legal weddings

Northaven UMC’s retired pastor, the Rev. Bill McIlveney, center, was brought up on charges by the denomination after performing a wedding for George Harris and Jack Evans at Midway Hills Christian Church in February 2014.

Northaven United Methodist Church has voted 270-5 to perform same-sex marriages.

The vote was “to support and honor marriages of couples licensed to be married on an equal basis.”

In a public statement, the representatives of the church wrote, “The decision by the Northaven congregation is in full alignment with the ministry of the church, its mission field, its commitment to social justice and inclusion, and to the core precepts of the United Methodist Church. The Northaven vote empowers the church to extend pastoral care to all of its members in the important area of marriage.”

At its recent meeting, the United Methodist Church made some movement on same-sex marriage, but delayed any change in policy by appointing a committee to study the issue.

In its statement, Northaven made clear it was not making a political statement. No same-sex marriages were scheduled and no public announcement, other than usual wedding announcements, would be made.

Announcement of the vote came a day after the death of Jack Evans. Evans married George Harris in a religious ceremony after a 53-year engagement at a service held at Midway Hills Christian Church. The Rev. Bill McElvaney, retired pastor of Northaven UMC presided. McElvaney was brought up on charges after the wedding. Northaven’s senior pastor, the Rev. Eric Folkerth, attended along with dozens of other Methodist ministers from around the state.

Evans and Harris were legally married a year ago today (June 26, 2015) in the first civil ceremony for a same-sex couple held in Dallas County. Again, Folkerth didn’t preside, but attended. Instead, his wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, performed the wedding.

Northaven’s statement concludes by saying marriage is “an intensely personal and pastoral event.” By saying that “Northaven will fully respect the personal and pastoral nature of marriage ceremonies Northaven,” it is putting other area Methodist churches on notice to butt out of its business.

—  David Taffet

#IAmDone stages rally against pastor’s hate speech in Fort Worth

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About 50 people organized by #IAmDone, a new direct action group created in the wake of the June 12 murders at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, staged a peaceful protest across the street from Steadfast Baptist Church in Sansom City on Sunday morning, June 26, speaking out against hateful comments made by the pastor of the church.

The main goal of Sunday’s protest, said organizer Karen McCronklin, was “to make a peaceful response to a hateful statement.”

On Thursday, June 16 — just five days after a gunman armed with an assault rifle murdered 49 men and women at Pulse, and injured more than 50 others — Steadfast Baptist Pastor Donnie Romero posted a video on YouTube, in which he defended hate speech by another homophobic preacher, Roger Jimenez of Sacramento, Calif., and said that the men and women killed in Orlando deserved to die.
“These 50 sodomites are all perverts and pedophiles,” Romero sad in his video. “They’re the scum of the earth and the earth is a better place now and I’ll take it a step further. … I’ll pray to God like I did this morning, and I will again tonight, that God will finish the job that that man started.”

That kind of hatefulness, said McCrocklin and others at the rally, cannot go unchallenged anymore.”When this kind of hate speech happens, we’re going to take a stand against it,” organizer Steve Atkinson said.

After #IAmDone first announced plans to protest outside Romero’s church, the pastor said publicly that he and others in his congregations carry guns and would not hesitate to use them to defend their church. That put the #IAmDone organizers, already on high alert for violence in the wake of Orlando, in an even more protective stance, and even more determined to meet Romero’s hate with peace.

Protest organizers worked with police in Fort Worth and Sansom Park to make sure the protest was as peaceful and safe as possible. The group then gathered in a parking lot about a block away from the church and marched with a police escort to a spot just across the Jacksoboro highway from the church.

Protestors sang “Jesus Loves Me” as they waved a rainbow flag and a transgender Pride flag, along with posters bearing messages of pride and love.

One poster bore photos of iconic Dallas couple Jack Evans and George Harris, and the words “This is what love looks like.” Evans and Harris were together more than 50s years, and were the first same-sex couple legally married in Dallas County last year. Evans died Friday after a lengthy illness.

In addition to chants and singing, McCrocklin read aloud the names of those killed in Orlando and the Rev. Stephen Sprinkle with Brite Divinity School at TCU led the group in prayer.

Among those attending the protest were Dale Blackwood and Clint Nelson, Sansom Park residents who have been together 17 years. The owners of the dry cleaners they use — Morenos — brought a flat of water for protestors, as did the owners of River Oaks Café. Alan Small, another Sansom Park resident, brought his three children to join the protest.

Another man, who identified himself as a former Baptist minister who is now an atheist, said he hadn’t known about the planned protest when he decided to come and protest Romero’s remarks. “I was really surprised to see all these people here,” he said. “I expected to be here by myself. But I am glad everyone came out.”

#IAmDone was created to be able to organize quickly to answer hate with peaceful direct action. Organizers said they expect to stay busy once the Texas Legislature convenes in January. Most of those involved — McCrocklin and her partner, Marla Custard, Atkinson and his husband, Ted Kincaid, spouses Patti Fink and Erin Moore, and others — are longtime activists in the LGBT community.

Check the #IAmDone Facebook page for information.

See photos of the rally below.

—  Tammye Nash

The Brick/Joe’s saying farewell after 25 years

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3 Greg Christi Howard Greg BRICK IMG_1647

Brick owners Howard Okon, second from right, and Greg Parrish, right, pictured here with friends at the Brick, announced this week they are closing the bar July 24 and retiring.

Howard Okon and Greg Parrish announced this week that, after 25 years, they are closing The Brick/Joe’s and retiring from the bar business.

The popular Wycliff Avenue bar’s final day will be Sunday, July 24. Watch for Dallas Voice’s profile of the bar and its owners during the month of July, before the final day.

Here is the full text of Okon and Parrish’s announcement:

The Brick Dallas would like to thank the community and our patrons for 25 wonderful years in Oak Lawn. We have seen many changes in the last 25 years in the LGBT community and the bar industry, made many new friends over this time, and lost some along the way. The Brick has an amazing staff that has been loyal and now are some of our closest friends. This includes DJs, promoters and entertainers. We have strived to provide a fun, entertaining and safe environment for everyone.

It is now time for us to start a new chapter in our lives. Over the years we have watched many young men and women go from kids into productive members of the community. We started here when our community had few places to go. Times are changing, and we are hopeful that progress continues for the LGBT community and Oak Lawn.

July will be our last month in business and our final day will be Sunday, July 24.

We hope you will come by in the following days and say goodbye to us as we prepare to say goodbye to Dallas.  We have a full calendar of events in July and hope to see all of our customers before we close our doors July 24th with our “Farewell” Party.

As one of the last founding members of The Dallas Tavern Guild remaining, I want to say thank you to all the members and bars who have been a part of this group. Michael Doughman has been a great leader and we wish many more years of events and strength for The Tavern Guild and all the bars.

We could not have been in business for 25 years without teaming up with these great agencies: Resource Center, AIDS Arms, LifeWalk, AIDS Services of Dallas, GDMAF, Legacy Counseling Center, The Red Foundation, The Purple Party and many more.

Thank you to our softball (Titans, Hashtags, Synergy), volleyball (DIVAS) and rugby teams that have been very supportive to us for many years.

Thank you to our loyal poker players who come out week after week to play poker and eat pizza.

Thank you to Greg Turner (Camille), Bob Wright, Dan Lambert, Betty Neal, Gaylan Zant and Adam Metts for your years of service to The Brick.

A very special thank you to Mikey Howard, and Dannee Phann for being the most amazing managers we could have asked for.

Thank you to our staff and friends: Jimmy, Laurie, Shawn, Dwayne, Mickey, Charles (DJ Unique), Ivan (Ida Mae), Netta, Michael, Brittanie, Larry, Jason, DJ Rudeboy, Stanley, Chris, Andy, Brandon, Jennifer, Shy T, Jay, Blake, Pay, CJ, Cooper, K, Baby, Lukas, Skylar, Aubrey, Kingston, Travis.

Orlando Strong!

Howard Okon and

Greg Parrish

—  Tammye Nash

Don’t ‘straight-wash’ Orlando

The murders at Pulse were an act of terrorism, but just as much an act of anti-LGBT hate.

Haberman-Hardy-I think it’s time for a little “Gaysplaining.”

When you call the creep who murdered my Latino/a brothers and sisters at Pulse — a GAY BAR — a terrorist, you are only half right. He was a terrorist who hated LGBTQ people, and many in the media are soft-peddling that fact.

If you do not understand why this is so disturbing, you are most likely not GLBTQAAIA, or whatever letter you can tag onto the acronym.

Am I angry? Hell yes.

Do I want change? Yes.

I would love it if everyone would just “get along.” But in America, we love our prejudices. And we have politicians and pundits who nurture them.

They stoke the fear that a lot of heterosexual men and women have of a different sexual orientation. They stoke the fear of the “other,” whether it is race, heritage, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The “other” is something to be feared, despised and hated.

Add to this toxic mix the insanely easy access to high-powered weapons and ammunition designed to do nothing but slaughter people, and you have an even more volatile and deadly situation.

Sadly, in America when we are wronged — either by action or perception — we immediately look for revenge.

Usually, revenge with a gun. We even joke about it, speaking of “blowing away” people we disagree with.  It is the subject of movies, TV and books — a consistent thread in our culture.

So is it any wonder that the epidemic of gun violence has become an LGBTQ issue?

Meanwhile, there is the hate crime in Orlando.

Orlando  — I used to think of that city’s name as synonymous with fun, vacations, and pleasure. The theme parks, the tourist attractions and the gay bars made it a favorite spot for me and many of my friends.

But now, I can never use that city name again without seeing the faces of the 49 mainly Latino/a brothers and sisters who were murdered and the 50-plus others who are making painful recoveries in hospitals around the city.

Aside from tarnishing the city’s name, the crime committed against the LGBTQ community has left a lot of LGBTQ people, such as myself, feeling wounded as well.  Not just by the despicable act of the shooter, but by the “straight-washing” that has taken place in the press.

Calling the murderer a terrorist is only half right. He also hated LGBTQ people, and he specifically targeted a gay nightclub.

Frankly, I don’t care that he called 911 and ranted about ISIS. I don’t care if he wore a fake explosive vest or not. I don’t care if he was “radicalized” or not.

Anyone who goes into a gay bar and starts mindlessly killing people is radical in my book, and his target makes the reason pretty clear. This was not random violence; it was specific and it was a hate crime.

Now, that said, to the many heterosexual friends who have offered sympathies: Thank you. You recognize that this was an event that affected me and all the LGBTQ community. But please understand that the raw nerves and grief being experienced by the worldwide LGBTQ community is very real and very raw.  We have all been attacked and it is every bit as traumatic as 9/11 was for the entire country.

So cut your LGBTQ friends a little slack, and maybe, if you really believe that you are an ally, you will join in doing something to change things.  That could start with, oh, I don’t know … stricter gun laws?

The measures we are asking for have worked in every other “civilized” country, and they can work here. Almost half of the U.S. Senate thought gun law reform was a good thing, but those who were on the payroll of the NRA managed to get even the lamest form of control voted down.

I know, I know — Second Amendment and “bearing arms,” founding fathers and “well-regulated militia” and blah blah blah. Hey, just what is an assault weapon anyway?

Want to quibble about the definition of “assault weapon”? Then go over to the NRA website and chat with the people over there stroking their guns.

Here in my community, we are healing. And we really don’t care about whether you want to call this a terrorist attack or not.

To us, it was family, and to us, it calls for action.

I sincerely hope a big part of that action happens this November at the ballot box. All but three votes that defeated four minor gun control bills in the Senate came from Republicans. Let’s start with eliminating all those (R)’s who are up for re-election.

Then maybe we can do more than talk about healing.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and board member for the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

 

—  Dallasvoice

Media and the community

Looking back on a life in the field of journalism

David WebbWhen you count your blessings this month during gay Pride, don’t forget to say a word of thanks to the Dallas-Fort Worth mainstream media. You wouldn’t enjoy the freedom you experience today without the editors and reporters of those newspapers and television stations.

My thoughts on mainstream media crystalized June 9 at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza, when I accepted an award from the Press Club of Dallas for “Excellence in Journalism” at the 2016 North Texas Legends ceremony. The club honored me along with some real bigshots, including retired Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow, who wrote countless missives over the years in support of the LGBT community.

I stood in heady company, and I worried about how I would stack up.

The beauty of your last name starting with one of the last letters in the alphabet is that you will likely be the last one called to speak, which I was. The horror of it is that you must dwell on what you are going to say when it comes your turn to talk.

When my turn came I mounted the stage, and I hoped the words would come from my heart and mind. It helped that the beautiful NBC Channel 5 host, Kristi Nelson, welcomed me warmly, and she gave me a boost of confidence.

Looking out at the audience that included stalwarts such as retired ABC Channel 8 anchor Gloria Campos and investigative reporter Brett Shipp — not to mention “legends” like former Dallas Times Herald journalist Hugh Aynesworth, who covered the John F. Kennedy assassination — I might have shrank. But that didn’t happen because I knew I stood in the company of good people.

So I told my story as it relates to journalism. It began at the age of about 10 in my native town of Childress. I would go to the newspaper office, and they would give me 10 newspapers to sell for 10 cents each. When I returned to the office with the money, I got to keep half of it.

Back in those days, a half-dollar bought a lot more than you might imagine. And I loved sodas and chocolate.

I knew from an early age I wanted to be a journalist, and I eventually made my way to the University of Texas at Austin where I earned a degree in journalism. I was a good student, but I graduated in terror. The thought of getting my first job in my chosen field scared me to death.

I will forever be grateful to Rich Heilland, the editor of a newspaper in the NewsTexas chain of suburban newspapers owned by the Belo Corp., for giving me my first job. I worked every beat at that newspaper — except sports — learning the basics of reporting. Someone asked me once to cover a football game, but they dismissed me from the project when I asked if they could explain the game to me first.

Everyone understood I was different, but no one challenged me on it. From the start, I gathered everyone would accept me if I carried my weight. I did.

At my next job at the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen I became increasingly alarmed about a new disease that came to be known as AIDS. I began dabbling in coverage of the epidemic, and I grew increasingly more interested in coverage of issues not routinely covered by the mainstream media.

My subsequent move to the Dallas Times Herald introduced me to William Waybourn, president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, whom I met at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport during a protest he and his colleagues staged. It changed my career because their bravery so impressed me.

After leaving the Times Herald, I went to work as a staff writer at the Dallas Observer when it was still owned by the original founder, Bob Walton. The Observer reported LGBT news occasionally, but it left most of that to the newly-founded Dallas Voice that specifically served the gay community. I decided to change that, much to the distress of my editor, who reasoned that gay news should be in a gay newspaper and only occasionally reported by an offbeat weekly alternative publication.

Many “legendary” battles ensued between us over the coverage, but we made peace long ago and are good friends today. During that time, the Dallas chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation presented me with an award for a story I wrote about a gay man and his ill partner, who later died of HIV complications.

It was a time of change, and all media outlets began reassessing their coverage of AIDS and LGBT issues. Once again, I became a little confused about my purpose in life, and I applied for a job at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. To my utter amazement, they hired me, and I moved there.

After a couple of years of monitoring hate crimes and chasing white supremacist groups, I wanted to return home to Texas. I returned with an inspiration from SPLC founder Morris Dees and chief lawyer Richard Cohen that would influence the rest of my career. Dees and Cohen liked me, and they encouraged me to follow my heart.

I later applied for a job at the Dallas Voice, and editor Dennis Voice and publisher Robert Moore hired me. The next chapter of my career unfolded with me launching a new direction for myself and, to some extent, the weekly newspaper because Moore held a hands-off philosophy about editorial content. Many of the newspaper’s readers and advertisers never dreamed that the LGBT community would be held to strict, traditional standards of journalism and investigative reports in the pages of the publication.

Hostility often ensued, but the community eventually sorted it out.

From its start, Dallas Voice exhibited a unique presentation among LGBT publications. The newspaper printed news in an unbiased manner, and it attracted the notice of mainstream journalists who often sought assistance about local LGBT issues. The sense of respect spread to local officials and finally to the Dallas-Fort Worth community at large.

Today, I’m best known for my reporting and columns for the Dallas Voice. I retired from the publication about eight years ago, but I still contribute to it occasionally. I’m happy to be remembered for my work at the Dallas Voice, especially after my peers at the Press Club of Dallas told me it rose to the level of excellence.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

 

—  Dallasvoice

Trans athletes still excluded in Texas

Despite threat of lawsuits, UIL doesn’t budge on exclusionary policy

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Rafael McDonnell

 

JAMES RUSSELL  |  Contributing Writer

The 32-member legislative council of the University Interscholastic League can’t say Rafael McDonnell didn’t try to educate the committee on Tuesday, June 14.

McDonnell, the communications and advocacy manager of Resource Center, spoke to the statewide body overseeing high school sports and other extracurricular activities about a rule barring transgender student athletes in sports set to go into effect in August.

McDonnell asked the committee to halt its implementation, which states gender is based on a student’s birth certificate, not gender identity. He also shared policies from Colorado, Florida and Minnesota, all of which have rules accommodating transgender athletes.

As the Dallas Voice and other outlets have reported, McDonnell said, “UIL did not consult outside resources; they simply codified their current practice.”

The rule was one of 11 ballot items sent to school district superintendents across Texas for consideration. It passed in a lopsided 586-32 vote.

“The reception from the legislative committee was polite. They all intently looked at it and some took notes,” McDonnell said. “But because it wasn’t on the agenda, they couldn’t take it up.”

The committee however declined to consider a different proposal — unaffiliated with McDonnell’s previous advocacy — allowing transgender athletes to play sports based on their gender identity.

His request to halt enforcement isn’t without precedent, however.

Last year, the Education Department ruled a Palatine, Ill., school district violated Title IX for refusing to allow a transgender girl on a girls’ sports team to use the girls’ locker room. If the district did not remedy the situation within 30 days, the Education Department warned, it would risk losing some or all of its Title IX funding.

Some of the legal battles are currently playing out in Texas. Most recently Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, on behalf of a Wichita Falls school district, challenged new guidelines for transgender students released by the Obama administration.

In Fort Worth, a group known as Stand for Fort Worth, is rallying against similar guidelines released by the school district for accommodating transgender students. In their literature, the group suggests the provisions threaten the parent-child relationship and force an “agenda” on their children.

They’ve been joined by a chorus of local legislators, including Republican state Sen. Konni Burton, and state Reps.

Matt Krause and Stephanie Klick, all of who represent parts of Fort Worth. Parents in Palatine recently formed a similar group known as “Students and Parents for Privacy” and filed a suit against the federal guidelines.

What the opponents have in rhetoric, they lack in historical precedent, however.

Earlier this month the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear a case brought by transgender Virginia student Gavin Grimm. The Gloucester County schools student successfully sued to overturn his school district’s policy segregating transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use separate restroom facilities.

The American Civil Liberties, representing Grimm, successfully argued the rule violates Title IX, federal non-discrimination laws and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

While the appeals court declined to re-hear the case, the Fourth Circuit halted the decision. The Gloucester County School Board plans to appeal its case to the Supreme Court.

McDonnell believes the Supreme Court will ultimately rule in favor of transgender equality.

Until then, “UIL now has in its hands good policies,” McDonnell said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Keeping our guard up

‘If you see something, say something,’ minister, others advise

Safe-Spaces

 

DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

“We owe it to one another to be extra vigilant,” the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas said after suitcases were found outside the door of Cathedral of Hope on Sunday, June 19, just a week after 49 people were shot to death inside an Orlando gay nightclub.

Cazares-Thomas said the church has stepped up security after the Orlando murders. Before the church opens now, a security officer checks the perimeter.

It was while checking the property that first Sunday after the Orlando attack that the guard found two suitcases and a laptop bag with something beeping inside.

That prompted an evacuation of the building and a call to police, who in turn summoned the bomb squad.

Cazares-Thomas moved the 9 a.m. service outside, but the bomb squad swept the church inside and out and had the bags removed in time for the 11 a.m. service to take place inside.

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Gregg Kilhoffer, left, and Bob Roton

Cazares-Thomas’ advice for people to use throughout the community — in bars and businesses, offices and churches — is if you see something, say something.

Church officials later learned the bags belonged to two homeless people who thought they were leaving their belongings in a safe place. And it would have been, the pastor said, had they let someone know. In fact, he added, the church would have locked the bags up kept them secure for the owners had church officials known what the bags were.

Instead it prompted a call to police.

“It’s sad we have to do that,” Cazares-Thomas said.

The church has done quite a bit of work to ensure its safety, including studying a video put out by the FBI and Homeland Security.

Ushers are the first people who greet anyone coming into the church, Cazares-Thomas said, and they are the first line of defense against an attack. “You can tell a lot about someone who won’t make eye contact,” he said.

According to the FBI video, if you do make that eye contact, the likelihood a shooter will carry through with his plan goes down.

Cazares-Thomas said the Orlando shooter was wearing a coat and carrying a backpack. Take note if someone is dressed inappropriately, he advised.

“We’re not allowing backpacks or big purses,” Cazares-Thomas said, adding that the alternative is to go through everyone’s backpacks and purses — and no one at the church wants to do that. Instead, church-goers can check those larger bags or return them to their car.

But taking steps to remain safe doesn’t mean living in fear.

“Go about your normal life,” Cazares-Thomas advised. “Don’t let fear win.”

Bob Roton, Legacy Counseling Center’s clinic director, said although he’s trained to look for suspicious behavior, the trick is knowing when suspicious behavior is actually dangerous behavior.

Police and airport security usually look for someone who’s behaving nervously. That wouldn’t work in a gay bar where someone may be nervous because it’s his first time in a bar or nervous about returning to a bar after the Orlando massacre, Roton said.

Actually, a bit of nervous behavior in an LGBT bar would be quite natural right now.

Roton also suggests engaging someone who seems to be behaving suspiciously; have a conversation with the person.

Roton said one situation he sees in his office is when someone who’s been referred to Legacy is given an appointment or referral elsewhere and then doesn’t leave. Or they leave, walk around the parking lot and then come back.

That can happen in any office. Someone comes into the lobby and asks a question, but then doesn’t leave after he gets an answer.

If the situation seems threatening, call for help — either building security or the police. Dallas police are on high alert to protect the LGBT community right now. They’re aware of LGBT events going on through the end of the year and the location of many gay businesses. If you’re calling from an LGBT-owned business, especially in the Oak Lawn area, let the 911 operator know.

Caven Enterprises CEO Gregg Kilhoffer said his clubs and others in Oak Lawn have banned backpacks for awhile.

If someone using public transportation comes in with a backpack, and therefore has no vehicle in which to store the bag, bartenders will check the bag behind the bar.

If someone arrived wearing inappropriate clothing, Kilhoffer said, door staff checks them before letting that person in.

Still, bartenders get busy and may not notice when packages are left or when bags are unattended, Kilhoffer said.

So, “If you see something that doesn’t look right, please notify a bartender.”

He said bartenders in all the clubs in Oak Lawn have safety procedures they follow and appreciate customers looking out for everyone’s safety. So if you see something or someone that seems out of place, speak up, he said. Interrupt. Do whatever you need to do to get the attention of a manager, floor staff, door personnel or a bartender.

Look for packages left next to a building, in the bushes or elsewhere. Notify security or call 911 rather than examine the package yourself.

Look for odd behavior among other patrons inside the club. But what does odd behavior look like?

If you see someone who looks nervous, approach that person. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Start a conversation. In most cases, that person was just nervous about being in a bar by himself. In the rare case where you suspect something, say something to bar staff. They’ll keep an eye on the person and call security or the police if necessary.

Kilhoffer also advised club-goers to be aware of their surroundings and know where all the exits are.
Staying home isn’t an answer. Looking out for each other and being aware of what’s going on around us will help keep the community safe.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

 

—  David Taffet

The Gay Agenda • 06-24-16

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­­­Have an event coming up? Email your information to Managing Editor Tammye Nash at nash@dallasvoice.com or Senior Staff Writer David Taffet at taffet@dallasvoice.com by Wednesday at 5 p.m. for that week’s issue.

• Weekly: Lambda Weekly every Sunday at 1 p.m. on 89.3 KNON-FM with this week’s guest is Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez; United Black Ellument hosts discussion on HIV/AIDS in the black community (UBE Connected) at 7 p.m. every fourth Tuesday of the month at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C; Core Group Meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.; Fuse game night every Monday evening except the last of the month at 8 p.m. at the Fuse space in the Treymore Building, 4038 Lemmon Ave, Suite 101; FuseConnect every Wednesday from 7 p.m. For more information call or e-mail Jalenzski at 214-760-9718 ext 3 or Jalenzski@myresourcecenter.org.

JUNE
• June 24: Gay Pride Shabbat Congregation Beth El Binah, a Reform Jewish congregation, celebrates the ancient biblical holiday Gay Pride Shabbat. The Rev. Eric Folkerth and Neil Cazares-Thomas are among the participants. 7:30 p.m. Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Northaven St.

• June 24: Movie time for adults
The Danish Girl at 2 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Branch Dallas Public Library, 4100 Cedar Springs Road.

• June 25: National HIV Testing Day
Resource Center, 5750 Cedar Springs Road, offers free walk-in HIV testing and free condoms, 4-7 p.m. Call 214-528-0144.

• June 25: Federal Club Women’s Event
HRC DFW Federal Club holds a Women’s Event at Noble Rey Brewing Company,
2636 Farrington St., in the Design District. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $25/person, available online at DFWFederalClubWCW.eventbrite.com. Price includes a commemorative print glass and three beers.

• June 25: Dallas Wings Pride Night
Dallas Voice and Dallas Wings invite you to come celebrate Pride Night at College Park Center as the Wings take on the Indiana Fever. Come early, cheer loud and have fun! College Park Center, 600 S. Center St., Arlington. Wings.wnba.com.

• June 25: Buddies Groupies Night Out, Cowtown Style
The Buddies Groupies, fans and patrons of the longtime Dallas bar Buddies, meet for the Buddies Groupies Night Out, Cowtown Style. Check the Buddies Groupies Facebook page for details. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at The Urban Cowboy Saloon, 2620 E. Lancaster Ave.,
Fort Worth.

• June 25: Houston Pride Festival and Parade

• June 25: National Loving Day Sidewalk March
Join P-FLAG Abilene as it celebrates the 1967 Loving v. U.S. decision that legalized interracial marriage. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at Vera Hall Minter Park, North 2nd and Cypress streets, Abilene.

• June 25: Rainbow Family Day
Sponsored by the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force. From 4-7 p.m. at Resource Center, 5750 Cedar Springs Road.

• June 25: Blow Torch
QueerBomb’s music festival from noon-5 p.m. at RBC, 2617 Commerce St.

• June 25: Queerbomb Dallas 2016
Free Pride celebration begins with music festival a noon followed by apoken word/open mike at 6 p.m., rally at 7:30 p.m., march at 8:30 p.m. and a party until 2 a.m. at RBC, 2617 Commerce St. For more information and to volunteer visit Facebook.com/QBDallas.

• June 25: FemmeBomb
Music festival presented by Planned Parenthood from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St.

• June 25: What’s Up Doc
Oak Lawn Band a free concert featuring music from popular old and new TV and movie animation at 4 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St.

• June 26: Marriage Equality Day
Celebrate the day that love and freedom won. From 4-6 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

• June 26: Interweave Dallas LGBTQ and Allies fellowship brunch
LGBTQ and A are invited to a brunch sponsored by Interweave, an affiliate organization of First Unitarian Church of Dallas. From 1-3 p.m. at Truck Yard,
5624 Sears St.

• June 26: Fears for Queers VI
LGBT horror film festival benefiting GALA Youth at 5 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

• June 26: I Am Done: Protest against Hate in Fort Worth
Take a stand against speech that incites hatred and violence toward the LGBT community
at 10 a.m. at Stedfast Baptist Church, 5840 Jacksboro Highway, Fort Worth. Text Done to 41242 for details and updates.

• June 27: National HIV Testing Day
Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, 4012 Cedar Springs Road, offers free walk-in HIV testing and free condoms, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For information call 214-528-0144.

• June 28: Commissioner Theresa Daniel’s District 1 town hall meeting
From 6-7:30 p.m. at Eastfield College,
Pleasant Grove campus, 802 S. Buckner Blvd.

• June 29: Commissioner Theresa Daniel’s District 1 town hall meeting
From 6-7:30 p.m. at Arlington Hall, Lee Park, 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.

JULY
• July 1: Garden Gigs at Dallas Arboretum
Every Friday night in July, featuring John Lefler with Camille Cortinas, The Ray Johnson Band, Rania Khoury, Matt Tedderand Zach Nytomt. Bring your own picnics, or get food and drink from the food trucks on site. Tickets are $10, $8 for members, and parking is free. From 7-9:30 p.m. 8525 Garland Road.
For information call 214-515-6500.

• July 2: Teen Pride Volunteer Orientation
Real Live Connection, which hosts “Teen Pride: A Celebration for All” each September as part of Dallas’
LGBT Pride weekend, will hold two volunteer orientations for anyone interested in helping  with this year’s event on Sept. 17. Orientation sessions will be held July 2 from 4:30-5:30 p.m., and July 9 from 10-11 a.m., at Oak Lawn Library, 4100 Cedar Springs Road. Participation in one orientation is required to volunteer with Teen Pride. Participants must pay $10 for a background check.
For information call 469-666-REAL(7325) or email volunteer@rlc365.org.

• July 2: San Antonio Pride
Crockett Park, 1300 N. Main Ave., San Antonio. PrideSanAntonio.org

• July 6: Painting to Benefit Orlando
1851 Club in Arlington and Poured restaurant and wine bar host a special glass painting night to benefit the victims of the June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, at the restaurant, 1601 E. Debbie Lane, Ste. 1105,
in Mansfield. Cost is $35 per person, and includes all supplies, instruction and food, with house wines for $5 a glass and $1 off all beers all night. 6:30 p.m.. RSVP by email to bridget@pouredtx.com or call 817-453-7919
to choose a wine or beer glass.

• July 8: High Tech Happy Hour
Organized by TI Pride Network but open to everyone. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Maracas Cocina Mexicana, 2914 Main St.

• July 16: Quinceanera Gaybingo
Monthly fundraiser for Resource Center takes place 6-9 p.m. the third Saturday of the month at Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Doors open at 5 p.m. For more information, call 214-540-4458 or email Bscott@myresourcecenter.org.

• July 17: Drag Star Divas for Orlando
The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce partners with The Rose Room and Drag Star Diva to present Drag Star Divas for Orlando, a benefit for the victims of the shooting in Orlando, a drag extravaganza featuring an all-star cast, 6-9:30 p.m. in The Rose Room at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door, and the event is open to those 18 and over. Visit http://bit.ly/Divas4Orlando for more information.

• July 23: Summit on LGBT Aging
Second annual summit is a joint venture with GALA North Texas. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Southern Methodist University Plano Campus, 5326 Tennyson Parkway, Plano. cfa.lgbt.

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Equality Texas joins with Cathedral of Hope, Resource Center, Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, Turtle Creek Chorale, GALA Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas and the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce to host “Love Ignites: Lighting the Path to a Brighter Tomorrow,” a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the marriage equality ruling, at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. The event takes place from 4-6 p.m. For more information, contact Collin Acock at collin.acock@equalitytexas.org or 512-474-5475 x2.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Obituary • 06-24-16

Mike-JensenMichael Robert Jensen, 55, died Sunday, June 19, 2016, at his home in Oak Cliff, after a hard-fought battle with ALS.

A native of Door County, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Jensen had lived in Dallas for more than 25 years. He worked as the head of security at the Nasher Sculpture Center and was past co-owner of Roxy Art Deco. He loved classic cars and was a longtime member of Classic Chassis Car Club.

Jensen was preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Edna Jensen and Robert and Marion Malzahn; his godmother, Donna Marx; his niece, Sarah Marie; his grandparents-in-law, Edgar and Nora Parks and Dallas and Mildred Kniskern, and his father-in-law, James William Parks.
He is survived by his husband and partner of more than 29 years, Jim Parks; parents, George and Peggy Jensen; sister, Monica, and her husband, Jack; brother, Steve, and his wife, Kay; sister, Ann, and her husband Kevin; mother-in-law, Marion R. Parks; sisters-in-law, Kathy, Mary and her husband, Doug, Anita and her husband, Glen, and Patty and her wife Linda; as well a large extended family and friends, including his Nasher Sculpture Center family and his Classic Chassis Car Club family.
A memorial service will be held at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Sunday, July 17th. Memorial contributions can be made to the Nasher Sculpture Center, attention Mike Jensen Memorial Fund, 2001 Flora St., Dallas, Texas 75201.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice

Pet of the week • 06-24-16

Yepeh

Yepeh is a domestic shorthair mix, about 3 months old and weighing about 4 pounds. Like all kittens, she is a
ball of energy, bringing love and joy wherever she goes.
If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous companion, come meet Yepeh or one of the other kittens at
Operation Kindness.

Other pets are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open six days: Monday, 3-8 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Wednesday, 3-8 p.m.; Thursday, noon-8 p.m.; Friday, noon- 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. The cost is $110 for cats, $135 for kittens, $150 for dogs over 1 year, and $175 for puppies. The cost includes the spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs, leukemia and FIV test for cats, and more. Those who adopt two pets at the same time receive a $20 discount.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2016.

—  Dallasvoice