Pekers donates 6,000 bottles of water to AIN

Frank Holland

Frank Holland and Ron Nelson, owners of Pekers Bar in Oak Lawn, delivered 6,000 bottles of water to AIDS Interfaith Network to help homeless clients of the agency beat the heat, according to a release from AIN. The 200 cases of water will be distributed to AIN clients throughout the summer.

“Our clients don’t worry about electricity bills or air conditioning,” said Travis Gasper, AIN director of development. “They worry about having enough to eat and drink to survive. They will have one less thing to worry about this summer, thanks to the generous folks at Pekers.”

Each year AIN serves 2,000 individuals in North Texas battling HIV/AIDS. Half of them are without stable, permanent housing, leaving them in danger when the mercury rises. Proper hydration is essential to staying on HIV medications, which help prevent the further spread of the disease.

“We remain forever grateful to Pekers for their support,” said AIN Associate Director Edgar Carmona. “Their generosity means those most vulnerable to the heat will be able to stay hydrated and healthy this summer.”

Holland said the donation came from patrons and staff. And why did they help?

“Just because,” Holland said. “It was something that needed to be done.”

Pekers Bar just celebrated its fifth anniversary, and has supported HIV prevention efforts in the community since it opened. In addition to its water donations, Pekers has given more than $100,000 in cash to AIN.

—  David Taffet

Never say die: House Armed Services committee members try again to delay DADT repeal

You gotta give it to those right-wingers; they are some persistent folk.

Rep. Buck McKeon, left, and Rep. Joe Wilson

On Monday, Sept. 12, less than 10 days until the date set for repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule to finally go into effect, House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California, and Military Personnel Subcommittee Chair Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, tried one more time to keep the repeal from happening. The two sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday, claiming that repeal can’t happen yet because “all the policies and regulations necessary for the transition are not yet final,” according to Lisa Keen with Keen News Service.

As Keen reports, McKeon and Wilson were particularly concerned that the Department of Defense had not yet sent them “revised regulations and a summary of all the specific policy changes, especially with regard to benefits, that will take effect upon repeal.”

(Just a side note: Wilson is the guy who made headlines in 2009 when, during a speech by President Obama to a joint session of Congress, he hollered out,”You lie!” He later apologized to the president, but was officially rebuked by his congressional colleagues.)

A DOD spokeswoman said Thursday, Sept. 17, that DOD officials have, indeed, apprised Congress of all the changes to policies and regulations associated with DADT repeal, that none of the service secretaries, service chiefs or combatant commanders had long ago submitted all their recommendations regarding repeal, that none of those folks had suggested a delay, and that repeal will most definitely go ahead as planned next Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Let’s hope the DOD folks are right and the right-wingers don’t manage to find a way to stall things, because DADT repeal parties have been planned across the country for next Tuesday, including one at Resource Center Dallas (and later at Pekers). Gay Air Force veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network board member David Guy Gainer will be at the RCD event, donating his collection of materials related to DADT and its repeal to the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Library.

And while this will certainly be a day for celebration, SLDN is warning lesbians and gays still on active duty in the military that there are still plenty of dos and don’ts for them to keep in mind. You can read the SLDN’s guidelines on what parties lesbian and gay servicemembers should and shouldn’t attend here.

—  admin

Making up a winning team

Frank Holland

Pekers gay bar sponsoring team of Dallas Police officers in softball league

DRACONIS VON TRAPP | Intern
Intern@dallasvoice.com

When most people in Dallas think of nightclubs sponsoring a softball team, they think of the Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association. But the owner of the gay bar Pekers, located on Oak Lawn Avenue, this year broke that mold by sponsoring a team of Dallas police officers competing in softball league that plays in Garland.

Frank Holland, owner of Pekers, said the partnership started after some of the officers responded to a call in his bar’s parking lot. The extreme heat of this year’s North Texas summer was taking its toll on the officers, so Holland’s bar offer them water and food.

Not long afterward, “They actually came in and asked us if we would sponsor them,” Holland explained. “They remembered how nice [the people at] Pekers were, and they loved the logo.”

Holland also said the bar has gotten very good response from its patrons, who think it’s great that Pekers is sponsoring the officers’ team.

“Most of the gay bars have a really good rapport [with the Dallas Police],” Holland said. “We think it’s a good thing for the community because it shows the police are not as homophobic as people think they are.”

And the officers are happy with the arrangement, too.

Officer Brian Nolff, one of the softball team members, said that he and his fellow officers worked in the Oak Lawn area and had been looking around at different sponsorship opportunities. The gayborhood had been kind to them in the past, Nolff said, so they figured Pekers’ sponsorship of the team would be a good connection for them.

“It’s been real positive as far as the officers [and the community] are concerned,” Nolff said.

Nolff said it doesn’t matter where the sponsorship comes from, as long as the team supported. The prospect of having a gay bar as a sponsor didn’t deter any of the team members, he said, adding that they “haven’t had an issue with it yet.”

Pekers will be paying for the team’s uniforms and other equipment, and club staff and patrons plan to caravan out to Garland to watch the games. The games will be held on Monday nights at Audubon Park at 7 p.m.

—  John Wright