What’s Brewing: House taps former Bush SG to defend DOMA; gay blog Queerty shuts down

Paul Clement

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. House Republicans tapped former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who served for three years during the Bush administration, to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. And Speaker John Boehner wants to divert money from the Justice Department to pay Clement, a partner at Atlanta-based King & Spalding whose services won’t come cheap (he reportedly earns more than $5 million a year). Clement, representing the House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, has already filed a motion to intervene in one of the cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.

2. The gay blog Queerty has shut down. We’ll miss Queerty’s snarky headlines and irreverent prose as much as anyone, but we won’t miss the blog stealing our original content without crediting us.

3. A bill that would bar transgender people from marrying people of the opposite sex is again on the Texas Senate’s intent calendar for today. That means if you haven’t already contacted Senate Democrats and asked them to vote against SB 723, you should do so now (contact info  is here). Meanwhile, LGBT advocates will again be speaking during today’s meeting of the Dallas County Commissioners Court to call on the court to add gender identity to the county’s nondiscrimination policy. We’re headed downtown and will have a report later.

—  John Wright

Hate The Love! Join Queerty at 10PM EST Tonight for The A-List: New York Live Blog

Hate them or hate them, the parade of tears that is America's favorite gay minstrel show will felch your TV screens at 10PM EST tonight—and Queerty will be all over it like shit on rice! Join the bitchiness in our A-List: New York live-blog and see the show that's so bad that not even GLAAD will touch it.

 

 

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—  admin

The Dallas Police Department makes national news for its crackdown on a gay bathhouse

The Dallas Police Department has officially made national news for its raid 10 days ago of The Club Dallas, the gay bathhouse in Deep Ellum, which resulted in 11 arrests on charges including public lewdness and indecent exposure.

Towleroad, Queerty and Joe.My.God., which could easily be called “the big three” of national gay news blogs, have all posted items about the raid. Their posts are for the most part straightforward, but Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God. raises a good question: “Interesting that this took place weeks before an election, eh?”

Instant Tea has long heard that these types of vice operations tend to occur shortly before elections, but we’re still not quite sure why. Presumably the incumbents want to show that they’re tough on crime and extra-tough on sex-related offenses. But city elections aren’t until May. Do you mean to tell us that this raid was designed to help Gov. Rick Perry?

Here’s another good question to ask now that the story has made national news: Does publicity about the raid help or hurt Dallas? Discuss.

UPDATE: Not sure why it didn’t occur to us before, but of course the Dallas County district attorney is up for re-election in November. Is it at all possible that Craig Watkins was behind this raid?

—  John Wright

Aspiring queer journalist Daniel Villarreal of Dallas vies to become America’s next Gay Travel Guru

Aspiring Dallas homo-journo Daniel Villarreal is competing for his dream job as GayTravel.com‘s Gay Travel Guru, and he needs your help by July 30. We’re going to overlook the fact that Villarreal writes for Queerty.com and focus on the fact that he’s a native Texan with a lot of experience who probably deserves this opportunity. Villarreal is among 60 contestants who’ve advanced to Round 2 of the competition, and the field will be narrowed to eight next month based on this public vote. It looks like Villarreal is currently at No. 3 with 755 points, so he’s definitely viable. Above is a video about Grapevine Bar that Villarreal produced for the competition (you can watch one about Lower Greenville by going here), and below is the flier he’s been circulating in the gayborhood, which includes instructions for voting. Here’s the note Villarreal sent us on Monday:

My name is Daniel Villarreal and I’m an aspiring queer journalist and regular contributor to the LGBT blog Queerty.com. I’d like you to vote for me so I can become GayTravel.com’s travel reporter. Your support would go a long way towards helping me highlight the diversity of national LGBT culture and assisting in my continued aims of being a serious queer journalist.

A) I’m mega-qualified: I have 17 years experience in print journalism, an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, a handful of web-based comedy sketches, a vast growing social network, a love of people, and extensive travel experience around the US, Japan, India, and Europe. All of these enable me to deliver travel coverage that’s fun, insightful, and entertaining.

B) I’ll represent everyone: In my work with Queerty.com, I have always tried to give a voice to under-represented parts of the LGBT community including local activists, artists, women, trans folk, people of color, the elderly, the poor, and HIV-positive people. As a travel writer, I would give coverage not only to popular LGBT destinations but to worthwhile local venues and events welcoming of our entire community.

C) I’m a good long-term investment: This vote isn’t just about the travel job. Working with GayTravel.com would also provide me the exposure and training I need to continue developing into an asset to the national LGBT community as a serious queer reporter.

—  John Wright

False alarm: Grindr isn't going anywhere

Grindr-Cascade-Main-View-screenshot-1.0.5-with-iPhone

Several blogs — including Queerty and Joe.My.God. — are reporting that Apple has pulled Grindr from the iTunes Store. According to Wikipedia, Grindr was removed from the app store last night at midnight. It’s unclear whether the removal is related to Apple’s recent purge of “adult” apps, and some are already alleging homophobia. If you already have Grindr on your phone, it’s still reportedly working — you just can’t download it. This development comes as Grindr was preparing to celebrate its first anniversary, with parties around the globe between March 23 and 29. One of those parties was set for Station 4 on Friday night.

UPDATE: Looks like this is a false alarm. Queerty is now reporting that the founder of the Grindr app, Joel Simkhai, said it will be available again soon. And sure enough, it’s back in the app store as of 12:48 p.m. Dallas time. Publicity stunt?

—  John Wright

'Hasn't Fort Worth's image been damaged enough by this raid?'

As we anticipated, the city of Fort Worth is receiving another round of horrible national publicity over its decision to move forward with prosecutions of Rainbow Lounge patrons. Here’s a sampling of what some national LGBT blogs are saying:

From Queerty: “As if the Texan city couldn’t bungle its Stonewall-style attack on the gays even more, prosecutors filed charges against Gibson and another civilian for their actions that night. … This is a nightmare for the two men charged. But if their legal bills can tolerate it, it will be a nightmare for Ft. Worth Police, the TABC, and their sympathizers.”

From Joe.My.God.: “Good for the two men for refusing a plea deal. This bullshit needs to go to a VERY public trial.”

From Towleroad: “Hasn’t Fort Worth’s image been damaged enough by this raid? Now they’re prosecuting the victims? Despicable.”

—  John Wright