Vertigo12 salon wants you to look nice for your wedding pic. And it’s free

Nolan Matthew, supercool straight guy

Nolan Matthew is one of those guys who you think is gay because he’s the most awesomely cool guy ever, and then when you find out he’s straight, still wish he was gay, because he’s so damned handsome. Alas, we must be satisfied merely to label him an ally.

And what an ally he is. Matthew opened a cool-ass hair salon Downtown last year across from CBD Provisions, one that was a funky and fun as his staff. But a dispute with the landlord caused him to move out in search of new digs. It took a while, but he finally opened Vertigo12 Hair Lounge, a salon on the 12th floor of the building at 211 N. Ervay St. It has awesome views and a great vibe (wanna complimentary beer while you wait? Help yourself!). And it’s terrific in even another way.

Matthew has a deal going on right now, in celebration of marriage equality: If you come in with a marriage license dated from June 26, 2015 forward, you can get a free haircut. Gratis. I mean, you wanna get married to your husbear and look like a heavy metal bandmate from the 1980s and need a flattop for the ceremony? Done. It’s like his wedding gift to those who tie the knot.

And because he’s that guy, the offer doesn’t apply only to gay couples. Straight, bi, whatever — you have a license, you wanna cut, Nolan’s your man. (Or maybe you’ll get fellow stylist Krystal Summers to take her shears to your tresses.) The only catch is, you have until Aug. 31 to take advantage of the offer. So don’t dawdle! Get that license and look good as a result.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Lawsuit filed against Mississippi adoption ban

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Attorney Robbie Kaplan

Mississippi is the last state that has a ban on same-sex couples adopting.

Attorney Robbie Kaplan, who represented Edie Windsor in her fight against the Defense of Marriage Act and represented Mississippi couples in their fight against their state’s marriage ban, filed the lawsuit.

“We like to finish what we started,” Kaplan tweeted.

On its website, the Campaign for Southern Equality wrote:

The case, Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on behalf of four same-sex couples: Kari Lunsford and Tinora Sweeten-Lunsford, who are seeking to adopt a child; Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck, also seeking to adopt; Donna Phillips and Janet Smith, parents to a young daughter; and Kathryn Garner and Susan Hrostowski, who have a 15-year-old son. Two organizations — the Campaign for Southern Equality and Family Equality Council — join the case as plaintiffs representing the LGBT families across Mississippi.

—  David Taffet

To Paxton, ‘immediately’ means … well, maybe soon

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Attorney Neel Lane

When U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued his order that interim Commissioner of the Texas State Department of Health Services Kirk Cole issue an amended death certificate for James Stone-Hoskins to his husband John Stone-Hoskins, he used the word “immediately.”

“It is further ORDERED [Garcia’s emphasis, not mine] that Defendant Kirk Cole …immediately [my emphasis, not his] issue an amended death certificate for James H. Stone-Hoskins to state that John Allen Stone-Hoskins is the surviving spouse of James, and in doing so, fully recognize their legal out-of-state marriage.”

Neel Lane, attorney for Stone-Hoskins, answered a question via email to Dallas Voice. I asked whether the amended death certificate has been issued.

“We have been discussing, but nothing final yet,” Lane wrote, almost 24 hours after Judge Garcia wrote “immediately.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but when a federal judge says “immediately,” I’m thinking he means today. He means pull out the damn death certificate that’s already sitting on your desk and add “John Allen Stone-Hoskins” to the line that’s currently blank. Then send it FedEx because it absolutely, positively needs to get there before you’re sent to jail.

Cole and Attorney Ken Paxton have until Monday to send any written pleadings and responses to the court and must appear on Wednesday to defend themselves against contempt of court charges.

Seems to me by not issuing, they’re thumbing their noses at judge and begging to be held in contempt.

—  David Taffet

UPDATE: Death certificate lawsuit charges Ken Paxton with contempt of court

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James Stone died in February 2015

Neel Lane, attorney for the Texas marriage equality lawsuit, said he filed a lawsuit today in federal court in San Antonio charging Kirk Cole,  commissioner of the Department of State Health Services and Attorney General Ken Paxton with contempt of court and asking for a change on his client’s husband’s death certificate.

James Stone died in February. The death certificate lists his husband as “significant other” and Texas refuses to amend the certificate. The head of the DSHS, under instruction from Paxton, said the state will make no changed.

Lane charges that the ruling made by Judge Orlando Garcia in February 2014 and upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals applies. In his ruling, Garcia ordered the state to stop enforcing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and to offer all the same benefits of marriage to legally married same-sex couples. The order was stayed and the stay not lifted until after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision.

Lane’s position is that Garcia’s ruling is in effect from February 2014 so same-sex couples’ rights should at least date from there. The Obergefell decision allows couples who were married to file amended taxes that go back three years. Other rights may date back farther.

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: Dying man wants his name on his husband’s death certificate

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James Stone, left, and Jay Hoskins at their wedding last August

Jay Hoskins is battling the state of Texas to amend his husband’s death certificate and he’s on a deadline. He’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

James Stone, 32, died in January in Conroe after a battle with Sjogren’s Syndrome, a genetic autoimmune disorder. The couple legally married in New Mexico six months earlier and had been together 10 years. We told their story when churches in his hometown refused to perform a funeral service because he was gay.

Because the death occurred before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 marriage-equality ruling, Texas listed Stone as single and referred to Hoskins as “significant other.”

Hoskins is filing a lawsuit against the state but Texas claims it doesn’t have to recognize marriages performed prior to the ruling. He would like the matter resolved quickly because he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer and may only have two months to live.

His attorney, Akin Gump partner Neel Lane, holds a news conference later today and will discuss the case. Check back for updates.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: Wedding Party and Expo

Not to toot our own horn too loudly, but the Wedding Party and Expo that Dallas Voice sponsored Sunday at the Anatole Hotel was pretty much a smash. Dozens of vendors with more free cake and noshes than a sane person could eat (though I tried), with entertainment ranging from green-screen photos to aerialists to a fashion show and concert by the Turtle Creek Chorale made for a beautiful and fun event. I heard tons of positive comments, from the atmosphere to the layout to the diversity to the air conditioning. If you missed it, check out some of the photos from it below. It was almost enough to make confirmed-bachelor me wanna get hitched. Only almost, though.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Marriage equality leads to new marriage equality rulings

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Charles David Fancher, left, and Paul Hard. (Photo from Association of LGBT Issues in Counseling in Alabama)

Paul Hard filed one of the Alabama marriage equality lawsuits to force the state to recognize his marriage to Charles David Fancher. That case has now been resolved, according to Alabama Media Group.

Residents of Montgomery, Ala., Hard and Fancher were married in Massachusetts in 2011. Three months later, Fancher was killed in a car accident. Hard sued to get Alabama to recognize his marriage so he could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

The family opposing Hard was represented by the Foundation for Moral Law headed by Kayla Moore, wife of Alabama state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Moore ordered Alabama county officials not to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay on a lower court ruling that declared the state’s marriage law unconstitutional. That put marriage on hold in the state until the final marriage equality ruling.

The Foundation for Moral Law argued Hard’s marriage should not be recognized retroactively and even if it was, Hard is not entitled to money that was awarded in the case and being held in escrow because the couple was only married three months.

The judge in the Hard case ruled his marriage must be recognized retroactively and is entitled to the full spouse’s share. Nowhere in case law has a marriage been considered less valid because a couple was only married a few months.

The judge was asked to stay his ruling but he refused.

—  David Taffet

You can be part of a ‘Sordid Wedding!’

Del-Shores-32Del Shores — he of the snarky Texas-twanged rants against religious hypocrisy and homophobia, in works from Southern Baptist Sissies to Queer as Folk— is primed to begin filming his latest movie, the first official sequel to his signature hit Sordid Lives. A Very Sordid Wedding puts your favorite characters in the receiving line of a gay wedding — which, thanks to SCOTUS, is now just called “a wedding” — and will begin filming soon in the Metroplex. But the groundwork isn’t done yet. Shores and his producer (and Dallas Voice contributor) Emerson Collins will join Louise H. Beard for a fundraising and location scouting tour of North Texas this week. If you want to be part of the producing team, you can attend an investors’ informational meeting Friday in Fort Worth or Saturday in Dallas (both at private homes, starring at 7:30 p.m.). The minimum buy-in is $25,000, but if you don’t have that much cash in a drawer, you can always pool some money with your friends … and be on the cutting edge of the marriage equality movement.

To learn more, email Del at DelShores@me.com. And if you see him around town looking at sites, come up and say howdy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Garth Brooks is back, and that’s especially good for gay folks. Here’s why

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It’s been 17 years since Garth Brooks went on a live concert tour that took him to the Metroplex. Well, that drought ends on Sept. 18 and 19, when he will appear at American Airlines Center for two concerts.

If you’re not a country music fan, you might not fully grasp how significant this is. Brooks was a sensation in the 1990s, the biggest country star — and one of the biggest crossover musicians — in history. He was a hit-maker, releasing about a dozen albums (including studio, live and compilation) in less than 10 years. And he scored 13 — 13! — Top 10 singles in a row, including 12 Top 5. And what is significant about that 14th release? It only hit the Top 20, peaking at 12 — still a hit, but not a runaway. The song was called “We Shall Be Free,” and it shocked conservative shit-kickin’, boot-scootin’ country fans at the time. Not only did it promote liberal values (i.e., American values, like freedom of religion and speech), but it also contained the following lyric: When we’re free to love anyone we choose / when this world’s big enough for all different views

Ummm … did Garth Brooks, the biggest music star in history, just come out — in 1992! — in favor of … gay rights?!??

You’re damn right, he did.

Brooks’ sister is openly lesbian, and he may be a country-boy, but he ain’t no bigot. Brooks won over a lot of gay fans with that one … and he paid a price.

For more than a decade, he’s cooled it, rearing children with wife Tricia Yearwood. But he’s back, and he was right: As of now, we all are free to love — to marry — anyone we choose.

I’ll be there. (You can too, starting at 10 a.m. July 24. Click here.)

Below is a performance of the song recorded in Houston last month — just two days after marriage equality.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Couples must sign forms about JP’s religious beliefs before he’ll marry them

DePiazza.JamesIf you’re getting married in Denton County, getting the license isn’t the problem. Finding the right person to officiate over the ceremony is.

Justice of the Peace James R. DePiazza will marry couples, even though he’s not happy about marrying same-sex couples. But that damn state law doesn’t allow him to discriminate.

So he only has two choices: He can marry any couple with a marriage license issued by Denton County or he can marry none. He’s opted to marry couples.

But that little glitch in the law won’t stop DePiazza from helping to make it the most miserable day in your life.

DePiazza is having couples — all couples, same-sex or straight — sign a form of his own design that says same-sex marriage is against his religious beliefs. Because, after all, his religious beliefs are part of his job as justice of the peace.

And whether a same-sex couple can marry or not is just what an opposite-sex couple has on their minds on their wedding day.

And his religious beliefs are important to any couple who has decided to be married by a justice of the peace rather than clergy.

And creating his own forms is what he was elected to do.

What may be unconstitutional is a government official having members of the public sign a form regarding his religious beliefs.

DePiazza’s office is at The Colony Government Center, 6301 Main Street, The Colony.

—  David Taffet