Price named chair of organization devoted to electing Republicans

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in the Tarrant County Pride Parade last year.

Mayor Betsy Price riding in Tarrant County’s LGBT Pride parade

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has been named chair of the Community Leaders of America, “the national caucus of Republican mayors and city council members,” according to a statement released today (Wednesday, Jan. 20), by the CLA.

“Up until just over two years ago there was no national strategy focused on supporting conservatives running for mayor and city council. CLA’s commitment to supporting these Republican officeholders and candidates is unrivaled, and I’m proud to continue that record of support in the elections ahead,” Price said in the CLA statement. “I look forward to working with my fellow conservative municipal elected officials to take advantage of the opportunities to grow and expand the Republican Mayors and City Council caucus.”

Outgoing CLA Chair Richard J. Berry, mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., praised Price as “one of the hardest working mayors I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years,” and said her “focus on the issues has made Fort Worth a national leader when it comes to health, jobs, safety, and community engagement.”

Price, a Fort Worth native, was first elected mayor of Cowtown in 2011, just two years after a raid by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and some Fort Worth Police officers on a gay bar called the Rainbow Lounge made international headlines. Although municipal elections in Texas are nonpartisan, Price’s status as a Republican was well established — she had served as treasurer of Tarrant County for several years, and those elections are partisan — and the city’s LGBT leaders initially worried that she might derail progress toward LGBT equality the city had made since the raid.

But while she hasn’t been actively promoting LGBT issues at the city level, Price has pretty much stuck by the promise she made during her first campaign to treat everyone equally and fairly. She has served as grand marshal of the city’s annual gay Pride parade, and last fall helped kick off Tarrant County Gay Pride Week, among other things.

“I am the mayor for everybody,” Price said at Pride Week festivities.

When I got the email with the statement from the CLA, I decided to check into that organization’s mission and goals. After all, Republican organizations overall are not known for being particularly LGBT-friendly. So I sent CLA an email:

“I am editor of Dallas Voice, and I received your email regarding Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price being named chair of your organization. Can you tell me where CLA stands on issues related to LGBT equality? Thank you.”

I quickly received this answer:

“Hi Nash – thanks for the note.

The Community Leaders of America (CLA) is the caucus of America’s local elected Republican leaders with representatives from every state and from communities of all sizes. CLA was created as a direct response to the lack of a unified national strategy supporting Republicans running for local elected offices.

“Unlike their state and federal counterparts, America’s local leaders live and work in the very communities they represent. Their constituents are the families they see in the work place, at the grocery store, or out and about in the community every single day. Choosing to push a problem in need of a solution off to another day, or legislative session, is not an option for these local leaders. They must govern and lead practically, in a principled, efficient, and effective manner. These selfless individuals, and the communities they represent, are the ideas engines that will help propel America down a path where every community has the opportunity to thrive and prosper for generations to come.

“Thanks,

“Ben Cannatti

“Political and Communications Director

“Community Leaders of America”

So yeah, I still have no idea what Community Leaders of America thinks about us LGBT folks. But I am going to give Mayor Price the benefit of the doubt on this one. After all, she hasn’t done us wrong so far.

—  Tammye Nash

Faces of Pride: Tarrant County Pride 2015

One Saturday evening we posted photos from the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week parade through downtown Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon. Now here’s a slide show from the festival after the parade in General Worth Square.

(And the Voice’s own David Taffet — one of the winners of the Raina Lee Community Service Award this year — will be posting photos from the Pride picnic on Sunday, as well as some photos from his vantage point of riding in the parade on Saturday.) Photos by Tammye Nash.

 

—  Tammye Nash

Marriage Equality Decision Day in Fort Worth

Here is a gallery of photos from the Tarrant County Clerk’s office from Friday morning, June 26. Photos by Cassie Quinn.

—  Tammye Nash

Dallas LGBT Task Force celebrates Pride

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 5.14.22 PMThe city of Dallas’ LGBT Task Force celebrates national Gay Pride Month beginning at noon Wednesday, June 10, when the Task Force chairman, Councilman Adam Medrano of District 2, presents a proclamation signed by Mayor Mike Rawlings in Room 6EN — the Flag Room — at City Hall.

Here’s a schedule of other Pride events taking place this month:

• June 10, 6 p.m.: LGBT Rainbow Book Club and discussion at the North Oak Cliff Branch Library, 302 W. 10th St. Refreshments will be served. Bring your favorite LGBT book. June is also LGBT Book Month, and the Dallas Library will be Tweeting a new book recommendation each day this month.

• June 13: Bahama Beach LGBT Day, 1895 Campfire Circle. Guests should indicate that they are attending for LGBT Day to receive reduced admission ($9, down from $15).

• June 20-21: Juneteenth Pool Party and Juneteenth Unity Barbecue, sponsored by United Black Ellument in collaboration with Dallas Southern Pride. Pool party, 5-10 p.m. June 20 at 3121 Ross Ave. Unity Barbecue, 2-7 p.m. June 21 at Stone Tables Pavilion, 650 E. Lawther Drive. For information visit UBEDallas.org/Juneteenth. The Unity picnic is also sponsored by Cosmopolitan Congregation of Dallas.

• June 26, 1-5 p.m.: Children’s Rainbow Crafts and Movie, at the Children’s Center at the J Erik Jonsson Central Library, with children and families invited to make fun rainbow crafts and relax with a family-friendly movie. Drop-in crafts start at 1 p.m., and the movie starts at 2 p.m.

• June 27, 4-7 p.m.: Rainbow Family Day at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 500 Marilla St., with activities for the whole family.

—  Tammye Nash

Allstate celebrates Pride by putting everyone in good hands

AllstateAllstate celebrates Pride month with its Safe in My Hands campaign.

In this animated video produced for Allstate, the message is “Everyone deserves to be in good hands” and “being visible should never leave you feeling vulnerable.”

—  David Taffet

Labor Secretary Tom Perez: Promoting opportunity for all Americans

Tom Perez

U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez

By Secretary Tom Perez

U.S. Labor Department

 

Pride Month gives us an opportunity to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have had on our nation. Here at the U.S. Department of Labor, it’s also a chance for us to recommit to our efforts to ensure equal rights for LGBT workers, and to celebrate the great work we’ve done on this front.

We have a responsibility to make sure that every worker has the same opportunity to pursue and realize their dreams, and we take that responsibility very seriously — and not just because it’s the right thing to do, which it is.  It’s also the smart thing to do.

Diverse and inclusive workplaces are productive workplaces. Our economy works best when we field a full team, so we can’t afford to leave any talent on the bench.

At DOL, our agencies are doing great work to advance the rights of LGBT workers. We’ve worked to implement the president’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We’ve taken steps to make sure that all families receive the benefits and protections of our programs and services. We’ve made clear that job training and other workforce programs in the nation’s workforce development system may not discriminate against someone because of gender identity, gender expression or sex-stereotyping. We’ve worked to make workplaces more inclusive for transgender workers.

And we’ve done so much more. In fact, you can read about all of the work we’ve done to protect and empower LGBT workers in a new report here. http://1.usa.gov/1FPeKGy.

We’re proud of our accomplishments on behalf of LGBT workers and job seekers and their families. Of course, for all our progress, there remains more work to do.

As we celebrate Pride month, we also celebrate our continued commitment to building on our accomplishments going forward so that every person in our nation can realize their highest and best dreams, no matter who they are or whom they love.

—  Tammye Nash

State Department sends reps to Jamaica to discuss LGBT rights as JFLAG plans 1st Pride

Screen shot 2015-05-20 at 12.06.40 PM

Randy Berry, special envoy for the human rights of LGBT persons, and USAID Senior LGBT Coordinator Todd Larson leave for Jamaica tomorrow (Thursday, May 21), to discuss the rights of LGBT people and other marginalized groups with Jamaican leaders, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of State.

Berry and Larson will spend three days in Jamaica meeting with representatives from the Jamaican government as well as religious, business, academic and civil society organization leaders.

Homosexuality remains criminalized in Jamaica, and the Caribbean Island is well-know for homophobia and violence against LGBT people. Human Rights Watch released a report last October documenting 56 cases of violence against LGBT people.

An organization called JFLAG has announced plans to stage the island’s first LGBT Pride celebrations in August this year. The theme for the celebration is “The Pride of a People: Breaking the Rules of Oppression,” and JFLAG has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the $10,000 needed to pay for Pride.

—  Tammye Nash

Andrew Scott: The gay interview

PRIDEBy Chris Azzopardi

Editor’s note: If you’ve seen Andrew Scott in the BBC miniseries Sherlock, you already know (1) he’s a hottie; (2) he’s scary as hell as Sherlock’s insane nemesis Prof. Jim Moriarty. But you might also have seen him in the new film Pride, which, sadly, closes today after a brief run at the Angelika. Our Chris Azzopardi chatted with the recently-out 38-year-old Irishman.

Dallas Voice: For you, how does it feel being part of a movie that’s moved so many people in the gay community?  Andrew Scott: It’s extraordinary, really. We’re all completely blown over by it. The response we’re hearing from cinemas across the country, where people are standing up at the end and they’re clapping — it’s just very unusual for me. I’ve certainly never been in a film before where that happens.

People just feel very inspired by it, and they have very passionate feelings toward it. So yeah, I’m thrilled about that — thrilled [it’s being embraced] not just by the gay community, but by a lot of different audiences. We kind of really hoped that the gay community would embrace it, but we keep saying that it’s not just a gay movie. The message — the idea of solidarity — isn’t just for a gay audience. All of us are more similar to each other than we think we are.

Pride demonstrates strength in numbers, which seems especially relevant now that the gay rights movement is in full swing and more straight allies are standing up with us. As the fight for equality marches on, what do you see as the relevancy of this story right now?  Being gay isn’t something in and of itself that’s a virtue any more than being straight is, but the attributes that gay people develop as a result of being gay – mainly empathy toward other people, and compassion and tolerance — those are things to be proud of. It’s a real message that I find really heartwarming. To segregate people is very dangerous in the struggle for gay rights for people across the way. Inclusivity rather than exclusivity. We must celebrate our differences, and we must celebrate our humanity as well as our sexuality.

You recently spoke out against the notion of “playing gay,” which is obviously something you feel strongly about.  You can’t. It’s absolutely impossible to play that as an actor. If someone were to play me in a film about my life, I would hate for just gay actors to audition for the role, because I think I could potentially have attributes as much in common with a straight actor as I could with a gay actor.

You can really make a general wash of people’s sexuality [and say] that people are exactly the same. But the attributes I possess as a human being could be represented by anybody with human sexuality, really, if they have the chief attributes that an actor needs, which are empathy and imagination. So, I do think it’s very important that those things are mentioned, that a human being is made up of a whole range of things and sexuality is, of course, one of them, but it’s not the sum total.

Which straight actor would you want playing you in a film?  Oh, I have no idea! That thought terrifies me! The fact that I can’t even get an audition for that part terrifies me even more.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cowtown Pride: Annual TCGPWA Parade held Saturday in downtown Fort Worth

Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association staged its annual Pride Parade Saturday in downtown Fort Worth, featuring entries ranging from LGBT bars to LGBT churches, LGBT employee affinity groups from major corporations to gay-straight alliances to Metroplex Atheists. The festival followed on Main Street in front of the FW Convention Center.Here are just a few photos from the parade and festival.

Watch for a second slide show of photos from the TCGPWA Picnic, held Sunday at Trinity Park.

Parade photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS FROM PRIDE: Scenes from the 31st annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade

Photos from the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade on Sunday by Kat Haygood, Arnold Wayne Jones, Chad Mantooth and Stephen Mobley.

—  Tammye Nash