Pet of the Week: Nina

Nina was timid and did not want to interact with Operation Kindness staff or volunteers when she was first transferred to our shelter. With enough patience from everyone, she has started to trust humans. She is comfortable around other dogs and has recently started to walk well on a leash. Nina is a 4-month-old Manchester terrier mix that will be 25 to 35 pounds fully grown.

Many other great dogs and cats are available for adoption from Operation Kindness, located at 3201 Earhart Drive, 1 street south of Keller Springs and 2 blocks west of Midway Road, in Carrollton. The no-kill shelter is open 6 days a week: Monday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Tuesday; Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $110 for cats, $135 for kittens, $150 dogs over 1 year, and $175 for puppies. The adoption 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. For more information, call 972-418-PAWS, or visit

—  John Wright

Celebrating Diversity and Fighting for DADT Repeal in Manchester, NH

“My daughter has risked her life in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and has a high security clearance from the United States government. We are her family and we accept her, why can’t the United States military?” a mother asked me bright and early Saturday morning.

I was surrounded by booth after booth celebrating the diversity of Manchester, NH at the fourth annual People Fest in Veteran’s Park. People Fest is an incredible open air festival that brings together the many cultures of the area, from its early Irish settlers to the French Canadian and Lebanese populations (to name a few) that have grown and prospered over the decades.

With the sounds of traditional Native American drums as a backdrop, I listened to the story of a woman from a small town in New Hampshire who was too afraid of jeopardizing her daughter’s celebrated military career to get involved in our campaign to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell beyond signing a petition.

Amidst the celebrations and festive music, I realized; we have so much more to do.

Luckily, People Fest was the right place to be. With the help of Mary Lou Paquette, a twenty year veteran who has been a powerful voice in New Hampshire, and Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress, we gathered more than 120 petition signatures to Senator Judd Gregg asking for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year at this fantastic local event.

That night, with the dedication of super volunteers Tom Lavalley and Joshua Bedard, we more than doubled our efforts by pounding the pavement the old fashioned way. We heard more stories, got more signatures, and listened to more messages as they were left on the voicemail of Senator Gregg’s Manchester office.

Hopefully, by this time next year, the woman I met Saturday morning, and the hundreds of supporters I have spoken to over the last months will be able to take a sigh of relief, and reflect upon the fact that we did it. We made history. We will repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year, but only with your continued support.

Zandra from Granite State Progress

We are so close to this historic vote, and there is no way that we’re going to let up the pressure now. Please join us Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 4 Park Street in Concord at 5:30 p.m. to make calls to make the difference. This is the last leg, and we need you now more than ever!

Please contact Christine Sloane at for more information.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Thousands Attend Manchester HIV Vigil 

UK CANDLELIGHT VIGIL X390The 20th annual Manchester Pride weekend ended with a bang — literally — as
an estimated 2,000 people filed into the city’s Sackville Gardens to
hold an HIV candlelight vigil and witness a spectacular fireworks
display. Daily News

—  John Wright

Manchester, England Pride 2010: I Just Wanna Dance

This video makes me proud of my English American heritage. Although, I’ve visited the U.K. often, I’ve yet to make it to Manchester. The closest I ever came to visiting was a brief, but torrid affair with one of Manchester’s finest English Bobbies in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Don’t get me started! On the other hand, don’t stop me!

The conservatives of America who have made claims in the past, “‘They’ hate us for our freedoms,” have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to providing LGBT American citizens the same human rights, protections and freedoms afforded by so many other western nations.


—  John Wright

Ian McKellen Leads Manchester Pride

Ian McKellen X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMSir Ian McKellen served as grand marshal for the 20th anniversary of the Manchester pride parade Saturday. Daily News

—  John Wright