Death: Burleigh John ‘B.J.’ Smith

Burleigh John “B.J.”  Smith, 62, of Dallas died March 29 from complications due to liver cancer.

Born in Shreveport to the late Bernard Cyril and Gwendolyn Smith, B.J.Smith worked 20 years for Cinemark Theaters as a film buyer before retiring in early 2010. He had a very outgoing and uplifting personality and he never met a stranger. His hobbies and interests included singing with the Turtle Creek Chorale for 11 years, movies, traveling, cooking and enjoying food and wine with friends.

He is survived by his partner of 31 years, Dennis Bellotto,; his sister Lynn Norton and family of Flower Mound; his brother Barney Smith and family of San Antonio; and his cherished cat Lance.

In lieu of flowers, Smith requested that memorial donations be made to AMFAR www.amfar.org or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society www.lls.org. No formal memorial service is planned at this time.

—  John Wright

First State-Approved Gay March Held In Russia Ends With Violence

Russia Radio Free Europe reports: "Local reports say Orthodox Christians and other radicals attempted to forcibly break up Russia's first state-approved gay rights march in St. Petersburg. The report said police arrested at least 10 people and that the march was broken off after 40 minutes due to violence."

Hateful protesters, which reportedly included "old ladies and skinheads," shouted and threw eggs at the gay rights advocates and also, after grabbing the rainbow flag out of the hands of the marchers, proceeded to tear it up.

According to the AFP news agency, despite the violence, participants are looking at the positive side of this: "'the fact that this demonstration was authorised is a step forward for us and for all of democratic Russia,' said Maria Efremenkova, one of the organisers. The group was outnumbered by counter-protesters and were guarded by police."

Earlier this year, gay rights organizers held two successful 10-minute "flash" pride parades in Russia, the first time in years that one such march did not end in violence.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Coffeehouse brainstorming: suggestions for Philippine LGBT Pride March 2010 counter-protests

NOTE FROM PAM: Now this is a nice project for our Blenders here in the coffeehouse! We gab all the time about the fundies, so I know we can help out our friends in the Philippines who are about to rake on the bible-beaters in some fun direct action. Post your ideas (and photos if you have some) in the comments.


Hello Everybody!

Antonio Yang III here from the Filipino Freethinkers, a community of skeptics, atheists, godless heathens, and baby eaters in the Philippines.

I was hoping to ask for advice regarding an upcoming event we are planning to support this December 4, 2010: The 2010 LGBT Pride March.

Getting into the details, our task is to serve as counter-protesters against the religious groups that normally troll these events, mostly of the Evangelical Chritsian and Catholic variety.

Their rhetoic is familiar – placards and signboards that dictate that homosexuality is a sin, that God hates sinner, and all the other usual rubbish about gays going to hell. It's nowhere near as vicious as the messages that the Wetboro Baptist Church vomits, but it's still bigoted.

I've already emailed Pam, and she's suggested that we keep our counter-protest signs peaceful and friendly. She's also suggested that I ask you guys directly if you may have suggestions for countersigns we can come up with.

I've been following how the LGBT community in the US has been handling the fundies, and I have to say you guys do good work.

We're looking for something witty and intelligent – something like the signs some of our members used when the local Catholic Church tried to justify their opposition to a Reproductive Health bill:

 

We're also busy preparing an Excommunication Party for this November 26, as a show of support for the RH Bil.

In any case, I look forward to any suggestions for signs you guys might have – Pam's already sent me a couple of links to her previous activities too. You may want to visit the 2010 LGBT Pride March's Facebook page for further details regarding the event, and the discussion thread we've set up at the FF Forums.

Note: That skinny dude in a black shirt holding the “Citation Needed sign is Ryan “Red” Tani, the Supreme Leader/Overlord of the Filipino Freethinkers.

 

 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Video: Marriage equality march has legs






Good As You

—  John Wright

HRC to Join One Nation Working Together March in D.C.

The following is from HRC Associate Director of Diversity Donna Payne:

HRC has recently endorsed the One Nation Working Together March for jobs, equality and justice.  In doing so, we have joined thousands of our progressive allies — NAACP, Leadership Council for Civil Rights, Council of LaRaza, AFL-CIO, Color of Change, National Immigrant Solidarity Network, Young People for Civil Rights, Jewish Funds for Justice, UAW and over 150 organizations across the country!

Why?

As LGBT people, we believe that quality health care should be accessible, affordable and culturally competent. We believe that the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBT people living in this country, deserve access to a system which allows workers to earn legal status and people from all backgrounds to stay with their families. We believe that these are crosscutting issues and that regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability or immigration status, it’s time to join forces with our allies and demonstrate our collective power.

Our partnership comes upon the heels of the anniversary of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. A few weeks ago, thousands came to Washington, D.C., to commemorate the March and “Reclaim the Dream.”  HRC stood strong that day.  We were on the right side of history in speaking up for justice with our civil rights allies and we will march again October 2nd because our collective fight for equality and justice continues. There have been many advancements over the last four decades, but there is still much more work to be done.

Visit the One Nation Working Together website to learn about this partnership.

 

One Nation Working Together is about reordering out nation’s priorities to invest in our most valuable resource—our people. We believe that everyone deserves an equal playing field to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

HRC will be taking to the streets on October 2, 2010 with One Nation Working Together.  Come join us!

When: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Time: 12n – 4pm
Where: Lincoln Memorial National Mall- HRC marchers will meet at 11:00 am at the HRC building and join all LGBT organizations at the Mall.

Contact Donna Payne at 202-216-1544 to learn more about joining us for this event.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

AMSTERDAM: Hundreds March In Protest Of Rise In Anti-Gay Violence

Led by well-known drag performers, hundreds marched in Amsterdam today in protest of the city’s recent rash of violence against LGBT citizens. The rally was organized by the LGBT group Right To Feel Safe. Posters with the details of each of the attacks were affixed to street poles at the incidents’ locations along the march route. A fuller account of today’s action can be found in Dutch here.

(Tipped by JMG reader Tim)

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

2,000 march in Kathmandu Pride parade

Wild. I love the addendum Rex ads at the bottom of the article:

Sunil sent me these great pics just a few minutes ago. I know we’ve had this Interwebs/InnerTubes thing for like 18 years now, but it still blows my mind that I can sit in my underwear in San Diego and publish a report and photos from Nepal, to the entire planet, the same damned day the story happened. You young’uns have no idea what it took to report international gay news in the ’80s, which I did. I oughta work on a little blog essay about how I did it back in the era of -a-minute international phone calls, jammed thermal-paper fax machines, and boat-mail exchange subscriptions with fledgling foreign-language gay newspapers from all over the world. As for photos, that was a 0, two-day FedEx adventure, in the best-case scenario. My first fax machine, by the way, cost 0 in 1980s dollars.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

India Day Parade’s 11th Hour Decision to Let The Gays March

Despite an earlier ban, the South Asian Lesbian Gay Alliance will be (or, depending on when you read this, already took part) in today's India Day Parade in NYC. Last year the Federation of Indian Associations blocked their application. So that's one way to make sure nobody is protesting your event.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Show vs. Show • 03.26.10

By RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer lopez@dallasvoice.com

Dallas doesn’t find itself too often in the middle of a gay live music dilemma. This weekend, two musicians might get to bring their sounds to the masses. That is, if LGBT Dallas heads out to support their own.

Tommy Hernandez was mostly on the local music scene as a solo artist but his latest venture takes him away from pop music into a trancey realm. As one half of Museum Creatures, he and Stephen Holmes go the electronica route.

Museum Creatures is part of the Mercy for Animals Benefit at the Cavern on Lower Greenville. They share a heavy bill with Soft Environmental Collapse, Division of Power and more for the Rockout for Animals show.

Patrick Boothe approaches music with a raw attitude. In his latest release, Jump In, a five song EP, he explores his darker side.

Boothe relocated from Dallas to Austin partly to be near the music industry there. A lonely spell set in and provided inspiration for his newest set of songs. But he’s confident his gay audience will relate.

“I do have a mostly gay audience and they don’t listen to just the poppy music at gay clubs and bars you always hear.”

He’s alt-rock with a piano but more in the vein of Tori Amos. Yet, maybe a bit louder.

“It’s just me and a piano but it’s gonna be loud. I sing pretty loud and I’m not a classically trained pianist so it can get intense at times.”

He’s alt-rock with a piano but more in the vein of Tori Amos. Yet, maybe a bit louder.

“It’s just me and a piano but it’s gonna be loud. I sing pretty loud and I’m not a classically trained pianist so it can get intense at times.


— Rich Lopez

 


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


—  admin

Dallas could elect 1st gay judge

Judicial candidates John Loza, Tonya Parker among 4 LGBTs running in local races in 2010

By John Wright | News Editor wright@dallasvoice.com
IN THE RUNNING | Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons, clockwise from top left, County Judge Jim Foster, attorney Tonya Parker and former Councilman John Loza are LGBT candidates who plan to run in Dallas County elections in 2010. The filing period ends Jan. 4.

Dallas County has had its share of openly gay elected officials, from Sheriff Lupe Valdez to District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons to County Judge Jim Foster.
But while Foster, who chairs the Commissioners Court, is called a “judge,” he’s not a member of the judiciary, to which the county’s voters have never elected an out LGBT person.

Two Democrats running in 2010 — John Loza and Tonya Parker — are hoping to change that.

“This is the first election cycle that I can remember where we’ve had openly gay candidates for the judiciary,” said Loza, a former Dallas City Councilman who’s been involved in local LGBT politics for decades. “It’s probably long overdue, to be honest with you.”

Dallas County’s Jerry Birdwell became the first openly gay judge in Texas when he was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards in 1992. But after coming under attack for his sexual orientation by the local Republican Party, Birdwell, a Democrat, lost his bid for re-election later that year.

Also in the November 1992 election, Democrat Barbara Rosenberg defeated anti-gay Republican Judge Jack Hampton.

But Rosenberg, who’s a lesbian, wasn’t out at the time and didn’t run as an openly LGBT candidate.

Loza, who’s been practicing criminal law in Dallas for the last 20 years, is running for the County Criminal Court No. 5 seat. Incumbent Tom Fuller is retiring. Loza said he expects to face three other Democrats in the March primary, meaning a runoff is likely. In addition to groups like Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, he said he’ll seek an endorsement from the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which provides financial backing to LGBT candidates nationwide.

Parker, who’s running for the 116th Civil District Court seat, declined to be interviewed for this story. Incumbent Bruce Priddy isn’t expected to seek re-election, and Parker appears to be the favorite for the Democratic nomination.

If she wins in November, Parker would become the first LGBT African-American elected official in Dallas County.

Loza and Parker are among four known local LGBT candidates in 2010.
They join fellow Democrats Fitzsimmons and Foster, who are each seeking a second four-year term.

While Foster is vulnerable and faces two strong challengers in the primary, Fitzsimmons is extremely popular and said he’s confident he’ll be re-elected.

“I think pretty much everybody knows that the District Clerk’s Office is probably the best-run office in Dallas County government,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think this county is a Democratic County, and I think I’ve proved myself to be an outstanding county administrator, and I think the people will see that.”

Randall Terrell, political director for Equality Texas, said this week he wasn’t aware of any openly LGBT candidates who’ve filed to run in state races in 2010.

Although Texas made headlines recently for electing the nation’s first gay big-city mayor, the state remains one of 20 that lack an out legislator.

Denis Dison, a spokesman for the Victory Fund, said he’s hoping Annise Parker’s victory in Houston last week will inspire more qualified LGBT people to run for office.

“It gives other people permission really to think of themselves as leaders,” Dison said.

The filing period for March primaries ends Jan. 4.


This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 18, 2009.

—  admin