Scott Griggs is ‘very optimistic’ his pro-LGBT resolutions will pass

Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs addresses LULAC #4871—The Dallas Rainbow Council on Thursday at Havana on Cedar Springs Road.

Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs says he wants to obtain signatures from eight or more council members — a majority — before he brings forward resolutions in support of marriage equality and statewide LGBT employment protections.

Only five signatures would be needed to place the resolutions on the agenda for a council vote, but Griggs said because it’s an important issue, “You want to know where you are going into it.”

Dallas Voice reported in December that seven of 15 council members have said they support the concept of the resolutions, which Griggs now hopes will pass sometime this spring.

Griggs said he met with Mayor Mike Rawlings recently to discuss the resolutions, which the mayor has not yet publicly endorsed. Griggs called it a “positive meeting” but would not comment on whether he thinks Rawlings will come around.

“I’m not in a position to speak for him or any of my colleagues on a particular vote,” Griggs said, adding that he’s “very optimistic” the resolutions will pass the council.

—  John Wright

WATCH: New DPD Chief David Brown talks about the recent hate crime in Oak Lawn

Dallas’ new police chief, David Brown, spoke last Tuesday night during the regular monthly meeting of LULAC Council 4871—The Dallas Rainbow Council. As far as I know, this marked Brown’s first appearance before an LGBT group since he became chief. As you can see from the video, it was pretty dark inside Havana, where the meeting was held. But Brown’s comments concerning the recent hate crime near Cedar Springs are at least worth a listen.

—  John Wright

Thanks to the gays in Dallas, LULAC National sends out an e-mail urging a repeal of DADT

Pepe Johnson
Pepe Johnson

Jesse Garcia, president of Dallas’ gay chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC 4871), sends along word that LULAC National distributed an e-mail to all members on Friday urging them to support a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” Garcia said he believes this marks the the first time LULAC National has sent out a pro-LGBT message to its membership, which consists of 700 chapters and 115,000 members across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The e-mail sent Friday by LULAC National consisted of a letter from Pepe Johnson, a LULAC 4871 member and a former Army sergeant who was discharged under DADT. Johnson’s letter encourages people to participate in tomorrow’s Veteran’s Lobby Day on DADT:

LULAC is joining with other national organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United as a partner in Veterans Lobby Day. Veterans from all across the country will gather in Washington on 11 May to voice their support for ending DADT. LULAC National President Rosa Rosales states that “this spirit of cooperation continues in the example of our great civil rights leader César Chávez who not only fought for justice for Latino farm workers, but also built coalitions with his Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters. Just as LULAC stands against the discrimination taking place in Arizona, we stand with our Latino and LGBT sisters and brothers in the armed forces to say no to discrimination against our dedicated servicemembers.”

In 2008, Garcia, Johnson and Felix Arrieta attended the National LULAC Convention in Washington, D.C., and got a resolution passed overwhelmingly that calls for the repeal of DADT. Johnson is now in the D.C. area volunteering with HRC, Garcia said, and Friday’s e-mail was his idea:

“It just goes to show you that our battle for equality is not always centered in New York or Los Angeles. Great ideas are coming out of Dallas. We should be very proud of Pepe Johnson and Dallas!” Garcia said.

After the jump, the full text of Friday’s e-mail.

—  John Wright

The gays go to the Mega March

Staff writer David Taffet shot these photos Saturday featuring some of the LGBT folks who participated in the Mega March for Immigration Reform in downtown Dallas. He’ll have a full story on gays and immigration in Friday’s Voice.

The LGBT groups that participated in the Mega March that are in the video include Rainbow LULAC, Equality March Texas and Queer Liberaction Denton.

The video begins at the Meyerson Symphony Center where the LGBT marchers gathered. They joined the main march from Cathedral Guadalupe on Ross Avenue to Dallas City Hall.The march ended with speakers and the playing of “America the Beautiful” by lesbian writer Katharine Lee Bates.

Si se puede!

—  John Wright

Immigrants are the new gays in a scenario that reminds Jesse Garcia of Nazi Germany

megamarcha_image

Dallas’ LGBT chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens will be among the groups participating in this Saturday’s Mega March for Immigration Reform in downtown Dallas. The previously scheduled march is expected to draw up to 100,000 people in the wake of Arizona’s recent decision to racially profile crack down on suspected illegal immigrants.

LULAC Council 4871-The Dallas Rainbow Council will discuss plans for the march at its regular monthly meeting tonight, which will also feature State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, executive director for the Dallas Peace Center; and Shawn Amoei, a student leader from the local Iranian-American community. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at hung*ding*er, 4000 Cedar Springs Rd., Suite E.

From a note on posted on LULAC 4871 President Jesse Garcia’s Facebook page this morning:

“Ten years ago, the hate toward different went after the gay. That feeling of seeing two men or two women sharing love was just too much to bear by those in the majority. State by state, laws against same-sex marriage were passed. They took away the right of consenting adults to share a home, a life. After devastating a community that only makes up 10 percent of the population and sending a nation of states backwards, the majority looked elsewhere to express their frustration that their numbers were not growing. Their rage inside had not subsided. Now the majority has gone after the immigrant. Even though immigrants come from every part of the world and in every color, the ‘browning’ of America was too much for the majority in power. Slowly, communities and states are now masking their racial hatred by coming up with their own immigration enforcement. …

“These scenarios have been played out before. Different characters in different times. One only needs to look at how Nazi Germany started to see parallels of where our society is going.”

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Garcia, who had this to say:

“In 2006, there were a lot of gay people who participated, so I’m hoping to replicate that. I just think it’s important that the gay community reach out to a fellow community that’s under attack, and that we need to realize it’s not just a Hispanic issue. Immigrants come from every part of the world.”

Garcia said marchers are being asked to wear white T-shirts in a show of solidarity. American flags are also encouraged. He suggested that people carry signs that say, “The LGBT community supports our immigrant brothers and sisters.”

After the jump, the full text of Garcia’s Facebook note, as well as a map of Saturday’s route and a photo from the 2006 march.

—  John Wright

Gay LULAC chapter seeking volunteers for holiday service project on Saturday

Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC 4871, is looking for volunteers to help out with a service project to provide food to the needy on Saturday. After the jump is the note Garcia sent out today on Facebook. Those interested can contact him via e-mail at jessegarciadallas@gmail.com.

—  John Wright

HRC teams with Valiente and Lulac 4871 for double Pride duty tonight

Here’s another Pride event reminder for you.

I heard last night’s Chicken Fried Pride turned out well. The DFW Human Rights Campaign will likely hope for the same with their 8th Annual Salsa Cocktail tonight at Havana, 4006 Cedar Springs Rd. Valiente and Lulac 4871 help out the HRC with this event that kicks off their Pride goings-on as well as celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. See what I mean by double duty?

General admission is free but with a $35 suggested donation, you can partake in drinks and appetizers and walk away with a brand new HRC membership. But the salsa dancing is for everyone. The event starts at 6 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez