UPDATE: Follow-up on the proposal during the Bulls game

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Jacob proposes to Michael at Center Court

Last Friday night (Dec. 9), I posted this blog about a man surprising his partner by proposing at center court during a break in play in the NBA game between the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs, at Chicago’s United Center. It started with Benny, the Bulls mascot, pulling Michael out onto the court to dance along with the Bulls Cheerleaders, turning Michael’s back to the court as the cheerleaders formed an aisle for Jacob. When Michael turned around, Jacob walked to him, dropped to one knee and presented him with a candy “ring pop” as he popped the question.

Watch the video below.

Today, I got this note from Jacob Conrad, the young man who got engaged to Michael at center court, telling a little more of their story, and offering some truly heartfelt gratitude to the Chicago Bulls organization:

Thank you, Tammye, for the kind posting of our engagement. It still feels like a fairytale. Here we were at the Chicago Bulls game because of an organization that we have always deeply admired, and they took a giant step towards inclusion, acceptance, and equality putting together an unbelievably special moment in front of 21,000 people. The Chicago Bulls offered Michael and me a lifetime memory, but what they offered the LGBTQ community is an opportunity to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise. During a time like we all must realize how fortunate we are to live in a society that embraces us and has shared this moment with us. Thank you for your kindness and support. It has been amazing to see how many people care! We are touched by the fabulous work of the Chicago Bulls and those that have shared our moment. It is incredible to think that just 3 years ago, Michael had never been to a gay bar and hadn’t even been on one single date!! Now he has been viewed breaking it down with Benny-the-Bull by over a million people!

 

—  Tammye Nash

Gay man proposes during Bulls vs. Spurs game in Chicago

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A gay man surprised his partner with a “ring pop” engagement ring and a proposal at center court at Chicago’s United Center during a break in play in the Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs game Thursday night, Dec. 8. A Tweet quoted by TheBigLead.com identifies the two only as Michael and Jake.

The Bulls mascot, Benny, pulled one of the men out out of his seat and onto the court, dancing around and encouraging the man to dance. The Benny turns the man’s back to court and pretends to brush his hair as the dancing cheerleaders form two lines behind and his partner appears on the other side of the court. When the first man turns around, his partner walks to him, between the two rows of cheerleaders, before kneeling and offering the ring pop and popping the question.

Reporter Sean Highkin told TheBigLead.com that the two men kissed and that the reaction from the crowd was very positive. Watch the video below.

Oh yeah. The Bulls won, 95-91.

—  Tammye Nash

A musical proposal

Braeden and RyanWhen Braeden Ayres and Ryan Aguirre met, back in October 2013, they say, they fell in love almost immediately. Since both men are music teachers in public schools, a musical proposal is an obvious choice.

So Braeden, a Texas native, wrote a song about why he wanted to marry Ryan and gave it to the Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus, for which Braeden is assistant conductor and with which both men perform, under an assumed name. So the chorus rehearsed the song, intending to include it in a concert that was part gay Pride celebration and part tribute to Harvey Milk, never knowing that it was Braeden’s love letter to Ryan, and that Braeden had concocted a plan for special proposal.

During rehearsal one night, Braeden asked Ryan to come sit down and listen as the chorus performed the song, “Request,” contributed to the chorus by “Serena Redbay.” Braeden explained that he was actually the one who had written the song and that he had written it for Ryan. Then, as the chorus sang, Braeden went down on one knee and asked Ryan to marry him.

Braeden posted a video of the proposal to YouTube on June 4 (see below), and on June 10, Huffington Post published this interview with the two.

Congratulations Braeden and Ryan. Here’s wishing you many happy years together.

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Love needs no translation

Just watch this. And remember: Italy is a “Christian” nation. Seems to have remained standing through this. And listen to those cheers.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Congrats to Martina and Julia, to Neil Patrick and David — but especially to Vivian and Nonie

Martina proposes

Martina Navratilova, left, proposes to Julia Lemigova.

Twenty-five years after she won her fourth and final singles championship at the U.S. Open, tennis great Martina Navratilova dropped to one knee on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Arthur Ashe Stadium to propose to her girlfriend, Julia Lemigivo.

The proposal, which came during a break in play while Navratilova was providing color commentary on the U.S. Open men’s competition, was shown on the stadium’s Jumbotron, and fortunately for Navratilova, Lemigova said yes.

Navratilova, 57, and the 42-year-old Miss USSR have been a couple since 2006. Read more here.

In other celebrity wedding news, Neil Patrick Harris married his longtime partner, David Burtka. The couple married in Italy, with a featured performance from Elton John. Harris and Burtka have been engaged since 2011, and are fathers to twins.

For more info (like how Elton John played at the reception) and to see a gorgeous photo, go here.

But here is the REALLY big wedding news of the past few days: Vivian Boyack, 91, and Alice “Nonie” Dubes, 90, both of Iowa, also got married over the weekend after 72 years together. They exchanged vows on Saturday in a small ceremony in Davenport, Iowa, surrounded by family and friends.

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—  Tammye Nash

My favorite image of the summer

Favorite image

There always a lot of good photos to enjoy over the course of a year, but perhaps my favorite — and certainly of the summer — is this one from the Associated Press, which says so much with so little. (It also reminds me of another iconic photo, which you can see after the jump.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Hundreds rally against Ind. marriage amendment

DEANNA MARTIN | Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Several hundred people gathered Monday at the Indiana Statehouse to rally against a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions.

The “Equality for All Hoosiers” rally Monday came two days before a Senate committee meeting that will take up the issue. The Republican-controlled House already has approved the proposal, and the Republican-led Senate also is expected to pass it.

But those at the rally said the amendment would write discrimination into Indiana’s constitution. They’re urging lawmakers to vote against the proposal and voters to pay attention to those votes during the next election cycle.

If the General Assembly approves the proposed amendment this year, it would have to pass again in 2013 or 2014 to be on the ballot in 2014.

—  John Wright

We’re used to state-by-state laws on same-sex marriage, but what about county by county?

Conservative House Republicans in Iowa have introduced a bill that would prohibit county recorders form issuing marriage licenses — and block the state Supreme Court from reviewing the issue.

The apparent goal of the legislation is to prevent additional same-sex marriages in Iowa before a constitutional amendment can be passed to ban them. The Iowa House has already approved a resolution that would launch such an amendment.

But even the state’s attorney general says the latest proposal is unconstitutional because it would block review by the state Supreme Court:

That possible outcome: Iowans could challenge a recorder’s decision in trial courts, but those decisions could not be appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

That would make the lower court ruling final and would mean Iowa could become a patchwork of counties in which some recognized the law and others did not.

“I think the result is that you would have a hodgepodge of rulings across the state,” Bartrum said. “It would depend on whatever the local district judge thought because there would be no uniform appeal.”

While this legislation would clearly be a bad thing for Iowa, where same-sex marriage is already legal, we wouldn’t mind seeing a different version of it in Texas. Since our state leaders claim they’re all about local control, why not let the gays marry in Dallas County?

—  John Wright

A revised draft of DISD’s new bullying policy

Lew Blackburn

If you’ll remember, the Dallas Independent School District’s board of trustees moved forward last Thursday with a new bullying policy that would specifically protect LGBT students. The LGBT-inclusive bullying policy, which would be the first in the state, was brought forward by trustees Lew Blackburn and Bernadette Nutall after a previous proposal from the administration failed to enumerate protected groups.

Today, Blackburn was kind enough to send over a revised draft of the LGBT-inclusive policy, which reflects some minor changes suggested by trustees during Thursday’s meeting.

“The changes are mostly formatting, with a few wordings that individual trustees wanted to add for greater clarity,” Blackburn said. “We are scheduled to vote on the policy next week.”

Read the revised draft of the policy by going here. Next week’s meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in the Ada L. Williams Auditorium, at 3700 Ross Ave. in Dallas.

—  John Wright

Proposal revived to prohibit Cedar Springs club-goers from parking on Hall Street

A little over a year ago we wrote about a proposal to establish a “resident-parking only” zone on the 3900 block of Hall Street, just off the Cedar Springs strip.

The RPO zone would prohibit non-residents from parking on the block during certain hours on weekend nights.

Some residents say the RPO is needed because they have no place to park due to spaces being taken by patrons of the gay entertainment district.

But opponents say those residents knew it was an entertainment district when they moved there, and they fear another RPO zone would make a bad parking situation worse in Oak Lawn.

There are dozens of RPO zones in Dallas — mostly in the Lower Greenville area. There currently is only one RPO near the gay entertainment district — in the 3200 block of Throckmorton Street.

According to Jim Musick, a resident of the 3900 block of Hall Street who opposes the RPO, the proposal appears to have been revived after more than a year.

“I find this totally inappropriate and offensive.” Musick wrote to Instant Tea.

Musick forwarded a note from the property manager for his complex seeking volunteers to circulate a petition in support of the RPO. As the note dated Oct. 12 states, the petition would need the signatures of two-thirds of homeowners on the block for the proposal to proceed. Here’s what the note said:

Hi All:

It had been mentioned to me at the Board meeting held last month that there is an interest in homeowners and guests being able to park in the street and spaces being available.

I met with a neighboring property on your street that I also manage and they have visited the city to see what needs to be done to apply for permits for homeowners on Hall Street . I have a form that each homeowner would have to sign and provide your license plate number. A total of 2/3 of the homeowners have to sign this document to be submitted to the city.

I need a volunteer that can visit each homeowner within your community to get it signed. Would someone like to help me with this project as I need original signatures?

Please let me know and I can drop by and give you the form.

Thanks
Ed

Ed Colvin, CMCA, AMS
Association Manager
Principal Management Group, AAMC, AMO

—  John Wright