PHOTOS: Patti and Erin get hitched

Longtime Dallas LGBT activists Patti Fink and Erin Moore were married on April 1 by Judge Teena Callahan in her courtroom. They held a politically-themed “wedding convention” at the Round-Up Saloon on Saturday afternoon, with the event chaired by former state Rep. Glen Maxey.

Resolutions were introduced and overwhelmingly approved to recognize the couple as married.

—  David Taffet

Congratulations to the newlyweds

Erin and PattiAll of us here at Dallas Voice extend our congratulations to two of the Dallas’ LGBT community’s most treasured activist icons, Patti Fink and Erin Moore. The women, who have been a couple for more than 15 years, were married today by Judge Teena Callahan (the Dallas family court judge who was the first to actually declare DOMA unconstitutional when she granted a divorce to two gay men).

There will be a celebration of their wedding tomorrow at 1 p.m., at The Round-Up Saloon. Everyone is invited. David Taffet says it’s ok if you’re a little late — Patti will be.

—  Tammye Nash

Patti Fink and Evilu ‘Pridge’ Pridgeon named 2015 grand marshals

Patti FinkEvilu-Pridgeon-Web

Local activists Patti Fink and Evilu “Pridge” Prigeon have been named the grand marshals of the 2015 Alan Ross Freedom Parade.

Patti Fink, left, is a longtime LGBT and Democratic Party activist. She serves as president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and as co-host of Lambda Weekly on KNON 89.3-FM. She has served on numerous boards, including the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and Democracy For America. She has also a past co-chair of the HRC DFW National Coming Out Project.

Evilu (Pridge) Pridgeon, right, was one of the earliest healthcare and grief counseling activists and a co-founder of the Oaklawn Community Services, where she served as the Director of the Counseling program.  She currently serves as president of The Dallas Way, which is dedicated to preserving the LGBT Dallas history.

Congratulations, Patti and Pridge!

—  James Russell

Voting underway for Dallas Pride grand marshals

DallasPride1-260Six people have been nominated for grand marshal of Dallas Pride, and you can vote for your two favorites at DallasPride.org.

All of them deserve to win.

In alphabetical order, the nominees are Oliver Blumer, Carter Brown, Wayne Davis, Patti Fink, Jeffrey Payne and Evilu “Pridge” Pridgeon.

Blumer is chair of the Transgender Education Network of Texas. He has been Dallas/Fort Worth co-chair of diversity and inclusion for the Human Rights Campaign and served on the Dallas/Fort Worth HRC Steering Committee.

Brown is founder and president of Black Transmen, which offers a radical, holistic approach to empowering communities through outreach that provides resources, support and social advocacy. In just a few years, the Dallas-based organization has grown into a national presence.

Fink is the longest-serving president of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance and is known as The Late Patti Fink to listeners of Lambda Weekly on 89.3 KNON-FM. She has served on the HRC Board of Governors and co-chaired HRC’s National Coming Out Project.

Davis is known as coordinator for Texas Bear Round-Up and is Emperor 32 on the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. He is treasurer of International LeatherSIR and board exchequer/treasurer of the Leather Knights and is Saint B. Tim Harder in DFW Sisters.

Pridge was one of the founders of AIDS/HIV healthcare in Dallas where she was director of the counseling program at Oaklawn Community Services. She is a founding board member and president of The Dallas Way.

Payne is known nationally in the leather community and founded and is a spokesman for the Sharon St. Cyr Foundation for Hearing Impaired. He is co-owner of the Dallas Eagle, CEO & president at InternationalSIR, Leatherboy & Community Bootblack.

Because of the work of Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, you may vote for any two nominees this year, regardless of gender. But you may submit only one ballot. Multiple votes from the same person will not be counted.

Voting continues through June 29. Vote here.

 

—  David Taffet

Welcome aboard, Erin Moore

erin-moore_8824_facebook-dv

We are thrilled to welcome aboard the newest addition to the Dallas Voice family, graphic artist Erin Moore.

That name may sound — probably does sound — familiar. That’s because Erin has been an active member of DFW’s LGBT community for years. She has been president of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and vice president of Stonewall Democrats of Texas.
Erin’s also served on the Human Rights Campaign’s national Board of Governors and co-chaired National Coming Out Day.She grew up in Slidell, La., and moved to Dallas in 1992 to be staff adviser to Southern Methodist University’s student newspaper the Daily Campus. From there she began doing layout and design for Texas Lawyer and most recently worked at Brown & Partners designing jewelry advertising for national clients. Erin’s partner, Patti Fink, is currently president of DGLA and hosts the show that Dallas Observer named best talk show in Dallas, Lambda Weekly.

—  Tammye Nash

KNON’s Lambda Weekly named 2014 best radio show

Taffet.DavidVoice staff writer David Taffet and his KNON radio show Lambda Weekly co-hosts Patti Fink and Lerone Landis won a 2014 best radio show citation from the Dallas Observer.

According to the citation:

On the air since 1983, Lambda Weekly claims to be the longest-running gay and lesbian radio show on the air anywhere on Earth. We were unwilling to do the work required to substantiate that claim but considered it irrelevant anyway: Lambda Weekly is just such a great show, gay or lesbian or longest-running or not.

I asked my colleague, whom they described as “genial and well-informed”, what he thought. He said he was “shocked but delighted.” KNON, he said, “is so excited.”

Then he went to Twitter to say the same:

Fortunately, Fink’s partner Erin Moore just joined the Voice staff, so hopefully David’s ego won’t become too inflated.

Congratulations, y’all.

—  James Russell

Wendy Davis works the phones, rallies supporters

LGBT activist Patti Fink was among the Dallas area Democrats who turned out Monday night for a rally for Wendy Davis and a phone bank for the Democratic slate of candidates. She graciously shared some of her photos with Dallas Voice.

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas City Council approves resolution

Photos by Steve Ramos

—  Steve Ramos

A ‘landmark day for the city of Dallas’

Council passes comprehensive resolution, ending more than a year’s work and beginning the process for full city equality

CoxRawlings

HAPPY ENDING | Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Resource Center CEO Cece Cox chat after the equality resolution passed Wednesday with a vote of 13-2. Allies and LGBT community members filled the room during the discussion and vote. (Photos by Steve Ramos/Dallas Voice)

 

ANNA WAUGH  |  News Editor

With Wednesday’s passage of a comprehensive equality resolution, 13 councilmembers assured the local LGBT community they support equality in city employment, living and tourism.

The resolution is a “comprehensive statement of support” that directs the city manager and staff to identify inequities in those areas and work to resolve them administratively and also through council approval.

Changes that require council approval will be brought to the Finance, Budget and Audit Committee first. Councilman Jerry Allen, committee chair, had openly gay city employees Theresa O’Donnell and John Rogers make three presentations on LGBT issues before the committee passed the resolution in February.

The measure easily passed the council 13-2 with Sheffie Kadane and anti-gay Councilwoman Vonciel Jones Hill voting against it.

Mayor Mike Rawlings came out in favor of the resolution Tuesday. His support was questioned after he delayed the vote a week by requiring the measure be discussed in executive session for legal concerns last week.

GaitherKiven

ACTIVISTS | Nell Gaither, left, Cd Kirven and David Mack Henderson chat after the city council vote.

“I am proud to have voted in favor of this,” Rawlings said after the resolution passed. “It’s very humbling to be mayor of this city. We have so many great communities. …There’s not a better community in the city of Dallas than the LGBT community.”

Rawlings angered the LGBT community in June after he blocked the previous resolution that addressed marriage equality and workplace protections from being added to the agenda. He had the city attorney declare him present so former Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano couldn’t place the item back on the agenda as acting mayor after former Councilwoman Delia Jasso pulled her support from a memo requiring the item to be voted on.  While he told supporters and Dallas Voice he supported those issues personally, he called the resolution a “misuse” of the council’s time.

He said this week he’s completely behind the current resolution and analyzing what the city leadership can fix moving forward. He even wore a red and blue striped tie Wednesday, which he said doubled as his support for Southern Methodist University and the LGBT community.

“I believe in the resolution, and I think it’s a good structure to come back to so we are prepared to make those decisions,” Rawlings told Dallas Voice. “We’ve done a lot of the hard work now. God’s in the details on this stuff. We need to look at each one of them, examine them and have those discussions, but I’m enthusiastic about it.”

As for the tension with the community after last year’s resolution failed, Rawlings said he’s ready to look past it.

“I never had an issue with the LGBT community,” he said. “I’m very proud of them. I love them. Now they may not like me, but I’m always a believer in turn the other cheek and be positive, love people and the rest will take care of itself.”

But LGBT activists and advocates have struggled to support Rawlings since his time in office began in 2011 when he failed to sign a pledge for Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Followed by the resolution’s failure, advocates wondered if he would back any equality measures. GetEQUAL TX activist Cd Kirven said his support and his words about the LGBT community this week show a shift in his attitude towards the community.

“I’ve very proud of the mayor for getting behind this and championing our community,” Kirven said. “I’m just very proud of the progress he’s made.”

The resolution is the council’s most significant show of support for the LGBT community in a decade after the council approved domestic partner benefits in 2004. Two years before, the council passed a nondiscrimination ordinance in 2002, barring discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Before that, the council approved a nondiscrimination policy for city employees to cover sexual orientation in 1994, which was later amended to include gender identity.

Councilman Scott Griggs, the author of the previous resolution, thanked the LGBT community for coming together and working with city staff, councilmembers and the city’s LGBT Task Force to bring the new measure forward.

“I can’t speak enough about your patience and your perseverance,” Griggs told the audience Wednesday. “It’s a real testament to the whole community. This is a wonderful landmark day for the city of Dallas.”

City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said he’s already begun discussions with city staff about employee pensions and other items.

However, he said anything with a financial impact would be brought to committee. He expected a report to be presented next quarter with a list of items and a timetable for implementation.

“That process has already begun, but I can’t give you an answer as to which one will be first,” Gonzalez said.

Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center, said she glad to hear the city manager’s office has already begun discussing possible changes, and she’s already spoken with Gonzalez. Cox said the center’s staff would prioritize changes into what can be done quickly and what can be done ,that has the most impact.

“I think it’s a start,” she said. “The resolution sets forth a whole lot of things that now need to be done.”

Some items the city’s LGBT Task Force plan to resolve fairly quickly are adding comprehensive transgender healthcare for city employees, making the pension plans equal for same-sex spouses and updating policies to improve the city’s score on the Hunan Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Cox was among the more than 30 LGBT advocates wearing red in the audience Wednesday and clapped when the resolution passed. She said the work and input from many LGBT organizations to help the resolution succeed shows how significant its passage means.

“A lot of work went into this, so what was accomplished today was very significant,” Cox said.. “It makes me proud looking over 20-plus years of ordinances and resolutions and discussions. It’s significant.”

Click here to read the resolution and here for more photos.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 7, 2014.

—  Dallasvoice

Marriage ruling celebrated at Legacy of Love monument

IMG_0163A small crowd gathered at the Legacy of Love monument on Wednesday to celebrate a federal judge’s ruling that declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The quickly organized gathering, energized by activist Cd Kirven, listened to short speeches by LGBT leaders that included Resource Center’s Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell and Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance President Patti Fink.

“I own my equality, and you need to own it, too,” Fink said. “A few people can’t carry it for everybody. When we show up in numbers, we are unstoppable.”

Judge Orlando Garcia issued the preliminary injunction earlier in the day after two gay couples challenged a state constitutional amendment and a longstanding law. He said the couples are likely to win their case, and the ban should be lifted, but said he would give the state time to appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”

See photos here.

—  Steve Ramos