Letting it REGISTER • Pride Weddings & Celebrations 2011

Gift registries can be intimidating. Dean Driver makes them easy

FASHION. PLATE. | Dean Driver knows how to make a tabletop pop — and how to make it easy on you to choose your gifts. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BY RICH LOPEZ

Perhaps the one wedding tradition same-sex couples might waffle on is signing up for that beg-a-thon, the gift registry. Forget whether to do so (you should); the real question is, where can you find that particular china pattern you once saw in a magazine?

The answer to that question is probably Dean Driver. With his new company, Consilium Lifestyle Collections, Driver makes what could be a daunting (even intimidating) task for same-sex couples possibly the easiest  job out of all the wedding planning.

“I don’t know if the average gay couple feels comfortable going into stores,” Driver says. “They may, but many retailers just aren’t reaching out to gay couples.”

Teaming up with Consilium Creative Marketing, Driver created what may be the first by-appointment source of its kind in Dallas to provide a wedding gift registry for same-sex couples. While the services are for everyone, Driver believes that this personal touch can bring comfort to any gay newlyweds hesitant about how to sign up for gifts. It also gives them a home field advantage when looking for fine tabletop products and more.

“The way we do business is changing, and this has afforded me the ability to do in-home consultations and also wedding registries,” Driver says. “I come to the client with samples to get an idea of their lifestyle and suggest products and can see what will work with what’s already in the home.”

The affable Driver knows his stuff. After working with tabletop industries for years in large markets like New York, he has access to many luxury brands and even unique home products. The usual china and crystal items are no problem, but items like linens and household accessories are more easily available through him.

Driver’s first piece of advice on getting started with a registry: Don’t be intimidated.

“I demystify all that for you,” he says. “That’s what I’m here for. I’ll make it easier for you. And people shouldn’t think that everything offered in a registry costs so much. We do have some unique options that are moderately priced.”

Consilium has only been around for a few months, but it has burst out of the gate with a selection of up to 50 brands, some exclusive to them. And with Driver’s knowledge and background, he can pretty much get anybody anything they want.

“I’m a sort of an expert in tabletops, and I have my finger on the pulse of the industry,” he says. “I go to Paris, to Milan and see all the new patterns. And if you saw a plate in a magazine and brought it to me,  I could pinpoint what it is. When I say anything, I mean anything — and you may be only person in the country to have it.”

Something his company can guarantee is the death of that most dreaded wedding tradition: The return. Once items are selected for the registry, gift givers don’t have to worry about buying an item that’s already been purchased. Instead, the company does gift cards only, which are beautifully packaged for the giver to present.

“This prevents exchanges or duplicates,” he says. “Plus, clients may change their minds and gift cards give them an opportunity to get something else. And it’s a little more green without all that wrapping paper and shipping to worry about.”

Driver and company seems to have gotten rid of all the excuses couples can make to partake in registering for gifts. Being that a wedding is a life-changing event, Driver mostly wonders why not go all out?

“Couples shouldn’t shy away from getting nice things,” he says. “This is the one time to get the nice stuff, so why not? Anything you want, I can get.”

The only caveat — Driver encourages people to use the nice stuff everyday.

“Yeah, don’t pack it away in a cabinet like our parents did,” he says.

Of course, if there’s one thing gays know how to do it’s merchandise.

For more information, visit ConsiliumLifestyleCollections.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

WATCH: Is this Bud for us? New Budweiser ad appears to support gays in the military

Budweiser has released a new military-themed ad that some folks are saying is also a “pro-gays-in-the-military” ad.

The ad starts off with a soldier calling another guy and saying, “Hey man. I’m coming home.” Then in a split-screen, continues with scenes of the soldier making his way home while the other guy goes about planning and organizing a welcome home party, and then being the first one to step forward and hug the soldier when he gets home.

If it is a “gay” ad, it isn’t, well, flamboyantly gay. And that’s perfectly fine, since there are many, many, many LGBT people out there — including many of our men and women in uniform — who are definitely not flamboyantly gay themselves. We deserve to have our diverse community portrayed (and honored and celebrated) realistically in all our diversity.

Is this a gay ad? Did Budweiser mean for it to be a gay ad? Huffington Post has a poll up, and readers there are pretty evenly split, with 33 percent saying it is totally gay, 25 percent saying no way it’s gay, and 41 percent saying probably not but I can see why some folks think it is.

And AfterElton.com points out that “if you substituted a woman for [the guy the soldier calls first], it would read pretty much exactly like a heterosexual relationship.”

Only Budweiser knows for sure, of course. But — again, as AfterElton notes — this is a mega-big company with some pretty experienced advertising folks working for them, and do you really think they would let something so very obviously possibly gay slip through inadvertently?

Watch the ad yourself (below) and see what you think. All I know for sure is that I don’t drink beer of any kind, but if I did drink beer, I think I’d probably drink Bud.

—  admin

Limbaugh On DADT repeal: ‘Does this mean Mrs. Clinton can finally … join the Marines?’




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Maggie Gallagher: Prop 8 Could Mean The End Of Marriage In The United States

This had to be emailed to me because NOM has blocked me from subscribing to their YouTube channel. WhatEVER for?

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Instead of Helping The Poor, Southern Poverty Law Center Is Being Mean To NOM

Joining the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins in refudiating its addition to the Southern Poverty Law Center's updated list of hate groups, the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown calls his group's inclusion "an absurd distraction emanating from a once-great organization’s real mission." Wait, is he talking about SPLC's attack on NOM, or the Human Rights Campaign's? (NB: SPLC has some of its own questions to answer about its "real mission.")


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Queerty

—  admin

What exactly does ‘fair and open amendment process’ actually mean to Senators Collins and Lugar?

We keep hearing that some GOP Senators will support bringing the Defense Authorization bill to the floor. Via Kerry Eleveld’s report on the Senate Press conference yesterday:

I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP senators Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as yes votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”

Here’s my question: What exactly does “fair and open amendment process” mean to Senators Collins and Lugar? Are they going to tell us in advance — or will they keep moving the goal line (think Grassley and Snowe during the health care debate.) And, what happens when Mitch McConnell brings down the hammer on them? Let’s be clear: The Senate Republican leaders have already made their decision — they will filibuster the Defense bill over DADT. Will Collins, Lugar and the other allegedly pro-repeal GOPers cave, like they usually do, but offer some lame-ass procedural excuse?

One has to wonder if Lugar, Collins and other GOP Senators want to face the wrath of John McCain. He’s known for his extremely volatile temper and he’s become obsessed with blocking the DADT language from passing. Look at how quickly he got his wife to flip-flop on DADT after she told the world it’s one of the reasons gay kids are killing themselves.

We need a transparent process here. Obviously, this blog has been unabashed about holding Democrats accountable — and we will continue to do that. But, we need to know the specifics of what Collins and Lugar want the process to look like. Then, we can gauge if they’re playing fair, too.

And, I included this paragraph from the NY Times in the post below, but it bears repeating:

Leaders of the new House Republican majority have indicated that repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a priority for them, making it unlikely they would approve the bill again. That means if the repeal language is not approved by the end of this year, it will be effectively dead.

That’s right. And, it will be dead for a long time. This is our best shot. Those are the stakes. That is what Obama, Reid, Collins, Lieberman, Lugar and the rest need to remember.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Video: Hey Iowa For Freedom: Rejecting state DOMA law doesn’t mean ignoring it!

Here’s some more proud point-missing from the Iowa For Freedom coalition. This time from a voter who believes the state Supreme Court justices “ignored” the DOMA law, even if in reality, the Varnum panel quite openly and honestly found the law to be unconstitutional:

The down and dirty fact is that social conservatives tend to think any and all laws ever made that go against LGBT people and their rights are somehow cast in indelible stone, the likes of which can only to be reconsidered by a 50%+1 vote of “the people.” In this mindset, the only decision that any court can reach that’s in accord with righteousness is a decision that says, for the first time in American history’s clearly archived inevitability, that a minority group’s civil freedoms are to be ultimately determined by a majority of (largely) faith-motivated voters. As in always. As in only.

And it’s not just in states where courts roll back prior bans, either. In jurisdictions like Maine, where legislators reversed bias and implemented civil freedom, these same suspects come out of the political woodwork, this time decrying the “activist legislature” as opposed to the “activist court.” So don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only the judiciary that’s the “bad branch” in the “pro-family” community’s eyes. It’s *any* branch that opens its eyes to equal protection and due process. It’s *any* branch that does the right thing for America and her populace.

Now In Iowa, voters have a chance to do the right thing with this retention vote. And I’m not even saying that the right thing here is to automatically cast a “yes” vote for the three justices up for retention. No, no — the right thing is to look at the judge’s full record and to cast a vote based on a fleshed out, far-reaching assessment of the individual jurist’s merits, and not a monolithic vote based on vindictive spite for the one certain pro-equality opinion.

***

*SEE ALSO: Our complete Iowa For Freedom Archive




Good As You

—  admin

And by *straw* poll, they mean ‘one that could easily facilitate gays’ suckage’

This from FRC:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Next week, Family Research Council Action will hold its 2012 presidential straw poll during its fifth annual Values Voter Summit. The ballot will feature 17 possible presidential candidates, several of whom will be speaking at the Summit – Michele Bachmann, Jan Brewer, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum.

And if none of these 17 are conservative enough for attendees, we hear Values Voters honoree Michelle Duggar will simply give birth to a few more options.




Good As You

—  John Wright

Might Mean Something, Might Not

If Protect Marriage’s emergency motion to stay the overturn of Prop 8 is denied by the Ninth Circuit Court, they are expected to immediately appeal to the Supreme Court. The justice assigned to hear cases from the Ninth is swing voter Anthony Kennedy.

Interestingly, as the clock ticks down on Judge Walker’s stay extension, Justice Kennedy will be in Hawaii to appear at the annual Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, which runs Monday through Thursday next week. Kennedy is the scheduled speaker at 10:45am the day after Walker’s stay expires. The three judge panel that will hear Protect Marriage’s motion has not yet been assigned (I don’t think), but at least some of the Ninth Circuit judges will also be at the conference.

I don’t what, if anything, this could mean for the case.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright