Fort Worth LGBT mayoral forum is Wednesday

Fort Worth mayoral runoff candidates Jim Lane and Betsy Price will attend a forum Wednesday evening sponsored by Fairness Fort Worth and the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce

Fairness Fort Worth and the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce will host a forum for Fort Worth mayoral runoff candidates Jim Lane and Betsy Price on Wednesday at Four Day Weekend Theater, 312 Houston St. That’s on Houston at Third Street, next to The Reata in downtown Fort Worth.

Price and Lane both talked to Dallas Voice last week about where they stand on LGBT issues. But this forum gives the community a chance to hear more from the candidates not only on LGBT issues, but on other topics of interest, too. Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy and I will be moderating. Anybody who has a specific question they would like to see asked can email that question to FairnessFtWorth@aol.com.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for 30 minutes of meeting and greeting with the candidates, and the Q&A session starts at 6 p.m.

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Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a Democrat, on why she’s going to the Log Cabin Republicans Convention

Sheriff Lupe Valdez

The Log Cabin Republicans will hold their National Convention in Dallas this coming weekend, and we’ll have a full story in Friday’s print edition. But because the convention actually begins Thursday, we figured we’d go ahead and post the full program sent out by the group earlier this week.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the program is a scheduled appearance by gay Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who is of course a Democrat.

Valdez, who’ll be one of the featured speakers at a Saturday luncheon, contacted us this week to explain her decision to accept the invitation from Log Cabin (not that we necessarily felt it warranted an explanation). Here’s what she said: 

“We have more things in common than we have differences, but it seems like in politics we constantly dwell on our differences,” Valdez said. “If we continue to dwell on our differences, all we’re going to do is fight. If we try to work on our common issues, we’ll be able to accomplish some things.”

On that note, below is the full program. For more information or to register, go here.

—  John Wright

Local Briefs

GAIN holding monthly meeting

GAIN, the GLBT aging interest network that is a program of Resource Center Dallas, will meet Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Resource Center, 2701 Reagan.
Educator, public speaker and writer Deneen Robinson, BSW, will present the program on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the aging LGBT community.
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Students seeks study participants

Cindy Chwalik, a clinical psychology student at Walden University who is interning with Youth First Texas, is looking for natal females (those who were born biologically female) who were born in the South and came out as lesbians while living in the South to participate in a research project she is conducting. She is particularly looking for women born in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Participation involves a 60-to-90-minute interview. Chwalik said there is no compensation for participating, but the information will help those who come out in the future.
Contact her via email at cindychwalik @aol.com.

TDWCC to hear from candidates

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold their next general meeting Monday, April 25, at 6:45 p.m. at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco, Founders Hall, Shawnee Room F148.

The program will feature a forum of candidates in the upcoming non-partisan municipal elections. Confirmed thus far from Plano are Judy Drotman, campaign manager for City Council Place 3 candidate Andre Davidson; City Council Place 5 candidate Matt Lagos; City Council Place 5 candidate Jim Duggan, and City Council Place 7 candidate Pat Gallagher.

Candidates in the Frisco elections who have confirmed so far are Mayor Maher Maso, City Council Place 5 candidate Bart Crowder, and Frisco ISD candidated Anne McCausland and Dody Brigadier.

—  John Wright

CORRECTION: All major candidates for Dallas mayor vied for LGBT vote in 2002

In my cover story for this week’s paper, I made a minor mistake. Actually it was fairly major. The opening paragraph of the story, as originally written, stated that 2011 marks the first time in history that all major candidates for Dallas mayor have actively courted the LGBT vote.

As former DV staff writer David Webb pointed out in the comments to the story, that’s not true. In 2002, Laura Miller, Tom Dunning and Domingo Garcia — the three major candidates for mayor — all courted the LGBT vote.

From The Dallas Mornings News on Jan. 15, 2002:

Dallas gays and lesbians, who used to hope that they could just find a candidate who wouldn’t be hostile to their interests, find themselves for the first time being wooed from all directions in what boils down to a three-way citywide race – and disagreeing about whom to support.

“It’s the first time I haven’t had to go vote for the lesser of two evils,” said Deb Elder, a Laura Miller supporter and political organizer. “Nothing has piqued my passion like this mayoral vote.”

Put another way, with major candidates Ms. Miller, Tom Dunning, and Domingo Garcia all touting their support for including gays in a nondiscrimination ordinance, a sector of voters that was shunned not long ago can’t lose this time around.

“It’s historic. I knew it would happen, but I didn’t know it would be this soon,” said Michael Milliken, one of the city’s first publicly identified gay appointees. “The gay community is in a unique position this year.”

I had based my report on statements by openly gay former City Councilman Ed Oakley, who called the 2011 mayoral election “a watershed moment for the community” and “unprecedented.”

While that may be true in some other respects, this isn’t the first time all major mayoral candidates have sought the LGBT vote, and I apologize for the error.

—  John Wright

Tucson Mayor: We Must Return To Civility

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Mayor in Portland, ME Calls on Senators to Repeal DADT

With votes on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” looming in both the House and Senate, HRC field staff recently met with the Mayor of Portland, Nick Mavadones, at town hall. We updated the Mayor on the status of repeal and watched as he signed a personal letter to both Senators Collins and Snowe on the topic. In his letters, he urges both Senators to “exercise their leadership and repeal this outdated policy.” You can read the full text of the Mayor’s letters here.

After the unsuccessful vote on the Department of Defense Authorization Act in the Senate last week, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, announced that she is cosponsoring a new stand alone bill. The bill may be our last chance to see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed this year. We are grateful to Senator Collins for her stand on this bill, but we do not yet have a commitment from Senator Olympia Snowe. We have been holding phone banks every night and canvassing Mainers in public areas everyday, asking them to call Senator Snowe and urge her to cosponsor the new bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” NOW!

As we continue to watch this develop in the Senate, we must keep pushing with all that we have. If you live in Maine, please call Senator Snowe NOW and ask her to cosponsor S.4023, the new stand alone bill to repeal DADT.

Senator Olympia Snowe:
DC: 202-224-5344
Portland: 207-874-0883

If the line is busy, keep trying. If you have called already, call again. The vote could take place at any moment!

When you are through, you can also send a “thank you” message to Senator Susan Collins and others in the Senate who have championed this cause.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Daley, not weakly: Chicago mayor excited for Christmas, New Years, equality’s inevitability

Mayordaley

Good on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley:

After a historic vote legalizing civil unions this week, Mayor Daley on Thursday welcomed the Illinois General Assembly into “this new century” and urged lawmakers to “move faster” — and legalize gay marriage.

“Finally, they realized they should have the same rights under state law. But eventually, [gay] marriage will take place. It has to. . . . We have to move faster,” the mayor said.

Daley wants state to ‘move faster’ on gay marriage [Chicago Sun-Times]

(H/t: Towle)

Hmm. If only we could think of another prominent Chicagoan who could help facilitate America’s marriage progress. Hmm. We’re simply stumped. Can anyone think of one?




Good As You

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Chi. Mayor Hopefuls to Announce

JAMES MEEKS Rahm Emanuel X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMSeveral Chicago mayoral aspirants, including James Meeks (pictured,
left) and Rahm Emanuel (pictured, right) will formally announce their
candidacies this weekend.
Advocate.com: Daily News

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Gay Mayor for Lexington, Ky.

JIM GRAY x390 (his site) | advocate.comJim Gray was elected as the first gay mayor of Lexington, Ky., the state’s second-largest city.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Houston Mayor Annise Parker: ‘Being Gay Isn’t Tough – It’s Who I Am’

Annise-Parker_1542660c-1

Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. city with over one million people, opened up to journalist Diane Brady to open up about what it's like to be an out and proud public servant in Houston.

Here's a sample of what Parker, whose sexual orientation once caused a scandal, had to say:

People assume the toughest decision in my life was coming out. But being gay isn't tough—it's who I am. What's been tough is learning how to be social, and how to adapt to public life.

I don't get death threats anymore, but I still have to work at being comfortable with the public part of the job. There are so many more images of gay and lesbian people today, and so many ways to be gay. I'm a middle-aged soccer mom and I appear in public with my spouse of 20 years and my kids. It's hard to make me scary. When the job is over for the evening, I go home and pull up the drawbridge. It's a relief when the scrutiny isn't there. But being honest about my personal life pays off every day. 

That line, "It's hard to make me scary," should be put on a gay rights t-shirt.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright