Turtle Creek Chorale performs at Dallas City Council swearing-in ceremony

Chorale

Outgoing council members sat in front of the incoming Dallas City Council as members of the Turtle Creek Chorale in the Choral Terrace sang the national anthem.

The predominantly gay Turtle Creek Chorale opened the swearing-in ceremony for the Dallas City Council this morning at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center. About 50 members of the Chorale participated.

A number of out officials and former officials, including Sheriff Lupe Valdez and former District 2 Councilman John Loza, attended. Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance were well represented. Among family members attending was Cowboys hall-of-famer Roger Staubach, whose daughter Jennifer Staubach Gates was sworn in as District 13 councilwoman.

Mayor Mike Rawlings paid tribute to five members leaving the council. The outgoing council had more women than any other council in the city’s history. All five members leaving are women.

Among those leaving, Rawlings cited Delia Jasso for her work on the LGBT Task Force and growth of business in her district, especially in Bishop Arts. He mentioned her recognition by the National Diversity Council in April as the most powerful and influential woman in Texas. He credited her with educating him on domestic violence issues. Rawlings made no mention of Jasso’s stunning recent betrayal of the LGBT community when she withdrew her support for an equality resolution, which effectively killed the measure.

The mayor called Angela Hunt a good friend. As the youngest person ever elected to Dallas City Council, he said she brought a new vitality to the horseshoe.

—  David Taffet

New DISD superintendent backed ENDA, opposed federal marriage amendment as Senate candidate

Mike Miles

The sole finalist to become the new superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District is a supporter of LGBT equality, according to positions he took during his unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2004.

Mike Miles, a former Army Ranger who currently serves as superintendent of a school district in Colorado Springs, Colo., was named the sole finalist for the DISD job on Monday. He is expected to be formally hired April 26 after a 21-day waiting period, and would begin work in July.

Last month, Resource Center Dallas sent a letter to DISD trustees urging them to keep LGBT issues in mind as they selected a new superintendent to replace Michael Hinojosa. In the last few years, DISD has enacted a fully LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying policy, and amended other policies to include transgender protections.

Information about Miles’ record on LGBT issues as a superintendent wasn’t immediately available. But in 2004, Miles ran for U.S. Senate as a Democrat in Colorado, losing in the primary to Ken Salazar, who eventually won the seat. According to excerpts taken from Miles’ campaign website in 2004, he supported the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — which would ban anti-gay job bias — and opposed a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

—  John Wright