Business Briefs: AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

Mark Sadlek

AssociaTitle announced it appointed Mark J. Sadlek director of business development at its corporate headquarters in the heart of Uptown Dallas at Crescent Court.

“We are thrilled to be adding Mark Sadlek to the AssociaTitle team,” said AssociaTitle President Paul Reyes. “He is a seasoned real estate professional in the Dallas area with a track record of proven success and will serve both our clients and our company well.”

Sadlek joins AssociaTitle from Republic Title of Texas, where he served as vice president of business development and director of coaching services. He worked to build and promote the company externally with Realtors, developers and lenders. His focus also included business coaching and training.

He has also served as vice president of business development for American Title and as home mortgage consultant for Shelter Mortgage & Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Previous to his work in the North Dallas real estate industry, Sadlek worked in marketing and sales for almost 20 years and was intimately involved in the start-up of two companies, VerCeram and Velux-America.

For the past nine years, Sadlek has worked in the North Dallas real estate industry, building positive relationships with local Realtors and lenders. He was awarded the 2010 Affiliate of the Year Award from MetroTex Association of Realtors, served on the MetroTex Board as an affiliate appointee board member, and chaired the Affiliate Forum Committee of MetroTex.

He was a co-founder and co-chair of Leadership Lambda Inc., an LGBT leadership development organization. He was also a board member of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and has chaired the Heart Strings Fundraiser at the Majestic Theatre. Additionally, Sadlek served on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, as well as a co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Club.

Ernst & Young Announces Gross Up for Jan. 1

On Jan. 1, Ernst & Young joined more than 30 major U.S. employers that are equalizing the pay for gay and lesbian employees by covering the cost of state and federal taxes for domestic partners.

Employees enrolled in domestic partner benefits incur additional taxes as the value of those benefits is treated as taxable income under federal law, while the value of opposite-sex spousal benefits is not.

Federal law treats domestic partner benefits differently from federally-recognized spousal benefits.

—  David Taffet

Araguz booking raises questions about Harris County jail’s treatment of transgender inmates

Judge Vanessa Valasquez

Judge Vanessa Valasquez

According to the Houston Chronicle, Nikki Araguz has been booked into the Harris County Jain after arriving 40 minutes late for a scheduled court appearance on Friday. The court date was to allow Araguz to plead guilty to charges that she stole a watch from an acquaintance last year. Under the proposed plea bargain Araguz would have paid $2,600 in restitution and served 15 days in county jail. State District Judge Vanessa Velasquez, a Republican first appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Perry, responded to Araguz’ apologies for her tardiness with “It’s too late for sorry,” ordering bailiffs to escort her to a hold cell next to the courtroom.

Araguz is the widow of firefighter Capt. Thomas Araguz who died in the line of duty last year. Capt. Araguz’s ex-wife and mother have sued to claim the portion of his survivor’s benefits reserved for the spouses of slain firefighters, claiming that since Nikki Araguz was identified as male at birth the marriage was invalid under Texas’ laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage. Mrs. Araguz’s birth certificate identifies her as female, as does her state issued identification.

Araguz’s booking has raised questions about the Harris County’s treatment of transgender detainees. The Sheriff Department’s Public Information Inquiry System listed Araguz using her male birth name on Friday. They have since removed the name from the site’s searchable database but have retained the record, listing it under the department’s “special person number” (SPN) filing system. The SPN record includes Araguz’s birth name. The Sheriff’s office has not returned calls from Houstini asking why the department is not using Araguz’s legal name and if this is common practice.

According to a friend who has visited Araguz at the jail her identity bracelet correctly identifies her gender as “F” – but reflects Araguz’s birth name, not her legal name. Araguz is segregated from the general jail population, but can receive visitors during regular visiting hours.

Araguz will remain in the Harris County Jail until Jan 25 when she is scheduled to appear again before Judge Velasquez.

—  admin

“Head Figure Head” more about journalism than about Gov. Rick Perry’s sex life

Head Figure Head, the new e-book from Glen Maxey, details the author’s arduous and frustrating six-month effort to investigate rumors of Gov. Rick Perry’s gay sex life. Maxey served as executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (now Equality Texas) during Perry’s tenure as a state representative, later serving for 12 years as a state representative, spanning Perry’s time as agricultural commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor. Of all the people who’ve attempted to look into the rumors of Perry’s trysts with men, Maxey is perhaps best positioned to get to the truth, and takes great pains to ensure we are aware of that fact.

The book is the narrative of Maxey’s research, assisted by a journalist from a national media outlet. Like almost every character in the book other than Maxey and Perry himself, “the Journalist” is referred to only as a pseudonym. Maxey and the Journalist begin their search for proof in June 2011 as rumors of Perry’s impending presidential bid are widely circulating. Immediately the pair find that almost every gay man in Austin has a friend who has a friend who claims to have slept with Perry. For the next three months they track those leads and come excruciatingly close to breaking the story.

—  admin

Kindred Spirits presents: The Judy Garland Christmas Show

Judy Garland Christmas ShowThere’s kitsch. There’s camp. Then there’s the Judy Garland Christmas Show, perhaps the single most absurdly divine thing to ever be produced by the 1960′s television industry. Kindred Spirits presents its 4th Annual Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along December 4th at Meteor (2306 Genesee St) at 5 pm.

In 1963 Garland found herself in trouble with the IRS for forgetting to pay taxes for a couple of years. Desperate for cash, she agreed to star in a weekly variety show for CBS, then proceeded to record 26 of the most gin-soaked hours in television history. Garland was remarkably cogent for the Christmas episode however, perhaps because her children were all on set as guest stars. Lorna Luft, Joey Luft and (almost unrecognizable with long hair) Liza Minnelli join fellow guests Jack Jones, Tracy Everitt, Mel Tormé and the true stars of the show, the chorus line of dancing Santas, for an hour of surreal delight.

With Nancy Ford emceeing, the Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along has become a Houston holiday tradition. In addition to the show and complimentary eats there’s also a raffle for a flat screen television. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and can be purchased at kindredspiritshouston.org. Proceeds benefit AssistHers, the Lesbian Health Initiative Houston, and Expert Nutrition.

After the break watch the opening number from the Judy Garland Christmas Show.

—  admin

TCU LGBT alumni group forms

Organizer says school has been helpful, supportive in forming group for gay graduates

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

There are some schools that are — or have been — affiliated with religious institutions that  not only wouldn’t welcome an LGBT alumni group, they would block such a group outright.

But when Doug Thompson, a graduate of Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University, associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), approached his alma mater’s alumni association about forming an LGBT affiliate, he said, the response was, “Absolutely. No problem.”

TCU’s new LGBT alumni group will hold its first large meeting on Saturday, Oct. 22, after the TCU homecoming game. Thompson acknowledged that sports isn’t the main concern of many LGBT alumni, but homecoming is still a time when many alumni return to visit the campus.

Thompson said when he asked the alumni association whether the LGBT group would need approval by the school’s administration, he was told the administration would back it. The group was approved in April.

Unlike Baylor University, which sued to keep its LGBT alumni from using the school name to organize a group, Thompson said there has been no objection from the TCU campus.

“We just want to get people involved however they want to be involved,” Kristi Hoban, associate vice chancellor alumni of relations, said. “We just reach out, whether it’s a class or the business school or a special interest group.”

She said that black alumni were not participating until the Black Alumni Alliance formed about 11 years ago. Now, she said, they’re active leaders in class reunions, homecoming and department alumni events, adding that she hopes to see the same thing happen with the LGBT network.

Finding LGBT alumni hasn’t been easy, Thompson said, as students aren’t asked about their sexual orientation before they graduate.

But Thompson said about 120 alumni have already responded, mostly to calls on social media sites. And now that the school has a Gay Straight Alliance, he said, finding future alumni will be easier.

“Our goal will be to support gay and lesbian students and start a scholarship,” Thompson said. “And we’ll form activities around things gay alumni have an interest in.”

He mentioned support for the Trinity Shakespeare Festival on campus as a direction for the group.

Thompson said that having an LGBT alumni group will help the school provide a better environment for its LGBT students.

Two years ago, TCU proposed setting aside dorm space for LGBT students. A week after the announcement, when only eight students had signed up for the housing, the school scrapped those plans.

“That got totally blown out of proportion,” Hoban said.

She said the intention was never segregated housing but really just an LGBT campus group.
Thompson said the school would have avoided the bad publicity if it had the alumni group to guide them.

The LGBT alumni group will get together after the homecoming game against New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 22. They will meet at Tommy’s Hamburgers’ Camp Bowie Boulevard location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

…………………

OUT, PROUD ATHLETE

Pryor.Victor

Victor Pryor

Perhaps one of the best known Texas Christian University grads that will be attending the new LGBT alumni group’s meeting this weekend is Vincent Pryor, a TCU Horned Frogs football star from 1994.

That year, before the final game of the season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Pryor came out to his teammates. Rather than shunning him, Pryor’s coach told him he was proud of his honesty

“My teammates and my coaches overwhelmingly supported and accepted me,” Pryor writes on his website, VincentPryor.com. “All of the fears and concerns I had about being kicked off the team, or losing my scholarship, or embarrassing my school — none of that happened.  And the best part of it was that I became a better athlete after I came out.”

That day, Pryor had the biggest game of his college career, tallying a record 4.5 sacks — a record that still stands today. His performance helped TCU win the conference title and a berth in a post-season bowl game.

Today, Pryor works in sales and lives in Chicago with his partner of 12 years, who was a classmate at TCU. To watch his just-
released an “It Gets Better” video, below.

—  Kevin Thomas

Gay Guinness Kiss Record Broken

MATTY AND BOBBY KISS ALT 02 X390 (AJVR PHOTOGRAPHY) | ADVOCATE.COMCollege students Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello won’t be appearing in the Guinness Book of World Records for longest kiss after all. Their record was just broken by a straight couple in Thailand.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

As long as we’re all looking at Reinhardt’s record…

Screen Shot 2010-12-07 At 1.10.01 Pm-1As the far-right continues to toss around “Reinhardt’s a radical liberal” claims in order to discredit one of the three members of the 9th Circuit panel tasked with hearing the Prop 8 appeal, we want to stop and offer some brief perspective.

(#1) Reinhardt’s supposed “liberal” record in terms of gay rights really constitutes nothing more than doing the right and principled thing in the face of others’ unfair treatment. Like back in 1976, when Reinhardt served as on the Los Angeles police commission and took on the chief when it came to unfair harassment at gay bars:

Long Beach Independent, 5/21/1976

201012071254

A commitment o fair and dignified treatment in the face of “powerful lobby” claims. Sounds familiar, huh?

Though (#2), even though Reinhardt does clearly support equality (which again, is just plain right, not right or left), the judge is also on record showing the kind of restraint that should make conservatives happy. Like in 1988, when he dissented from the other two members of a 9th Circuit panel because the law of the land at that time (pre-Lawrence v. Texas) simply wouldn’t allow him to side with how own conscience:

With great reluctance, I have concluded that I am unable to concur in the majority opinion. Like the majority, I believe that homosexuals have been unfairly treated both historically and in the United States today. Were I free to apply my own view of the meaning of the Constitution and in that light to pass upon the validity of the Army’s regulations, I too would conclude that the Army may not refuse to enlist homosexuals. I am bound, however, as a circuit judge to apply the Constitution as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court and our own circuit, whether or not I agree with those interpretations. Because of this requirement, I am sometimes compelled to reach a result I believe to be contrary to the proper interpretation of constitutional principles. This is, regrettably, one of those times.



As the majority points out, Sgt. Watkins has every reason to feel aggrieved. His homosexuality has been well known for many years. During that entire period, his army service has been exemplary. Those who have worked with him, including his supervisors, are anxious to see him continue with his military career. Yet, under the Supreme Court’s (and our own circuit’s) interpretation of the Constitution, the Army is free to terminate that career solely because he is a homosexual. There are only three entities which have the authority to afford Sgt. Watkins the relief which I, like the majority, believe a proper interpretation of the Constitution would require. First, the Supreme Court could undo the damage to the Constitution wrought by Hardwick; it could overrule that precedent directly or implicitly. Second, the Army could voluntarily abandon its unfair and discriminatory regulation (or, I would assume, the Department of Defense could direct it to do so). Third, the Congress could enact appropriate legislation prohibiting the armed services from excluding homosexuals. I recognize that from a practical standpoint the existence of these forums may offer Sgt. Watkins little solace. Nevertheless, I do not believe that a panel of the Ninth Circuit may, consistent with its duty to apply precedent properly, afford him the relief he seeks.

For the above reasons, I must reluctantly dissent.

Sergeant Perry J. Watkins vs. United States Army [9th Circuit]

Funny how the conservatives overlook this highly pertinent example when building their cases against the judge.

But now we’re on to phase (#3), the day when past precedents are lifted and long-held commitments are free to prevail. We’re happy to have Reinhardt on board not because he fits in sort of partisan labels, but because he transcends them.




Good As You

—  admin

WASHINGTON: Rally For Sanity Smashes All-Time Metro Ridership Record

Yesterday’s Rally For Sanity broke Washington’s all-time record for Metro ridership on a Saturday.

By preliminary estimates, Metro recorded 825,437 Metrorail trips on Saturday. Whether it served any of those riders very well is different question. The demand for public transit to attend the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear — hosted by Comedy Central duo Stewart and Colbert — exceeded supply. Metro customers suffered long waits at various Metro stations throughout the city. Several even suffered injuries. Nevertheless, the new record fairly shattered the old record, set on June 8, 1991, when Washington played host to a victory celebration for U.S. troops who served in the First Gulf War. That day Metro recorded 786,358 trips. A 1997 Promise Keepers rally in the District has the third-place record, with 735,909 trips.

Of course, we’ll never know how many more people were turned away from using the subway (as was my group) because the cops were freaking out about how crowded the platforms were. We ended up walking the hour or so from our hotel to the Mall and it was amazing to look down the side streets and see tens of thousands of people streaming up from all directions.

RELATED: Despite the ridership count and all the other attendance reports, the Freepers are, of course, declaring that the lamestream media are conspiring to cook the head count so that Glenn Beck’s rally looks smaller in comparison.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

HRC Volunteers in Florida Come Out in Record Numbers

The following post comes from  Regional Field Organizer Jess Osborn. Jess is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:

The last couple weeks have been an amazing success for the HRC’s volunteer effort. Last week, an HRC phonebank here in Florida had seventeen volunteers come out to dial up HRC members about the upcoming elections. Seventeen! No doubt a record for an HRC Phonebank. The volunteers at this phonebank, and each phonebank we hold here in Florida, are working hard to ensure that people have everything that they need for Election Day, and that they are fully aware of their pro-equality candidates in these elections.

Volunteers for this record-breaking phonebank included a member of the HRC Steering Committee here in Orlando, young college students from local schools and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) from the University of Central Florida (UCF). AMSA turned out ten volunteers and made a big contribution to this phonebank. It is so inspiring to see young people getting involved in the elections, and doing everything that they can to push for equality this election. Young people are our future and it is crucial that we encourage and educate the future leaders (and the future voters) of America.

This phonebank is just one of the many events that we are taking part of down here in Florida, in the last few weeks, I have been all around the state, doing everything in my power to reach out to our membership and to get the word out about pro-equality candidates. Whether it rallying with members and volunteers in Orlando(with Former President Bill Clinton!), hitting the ground canvasing or setting up our table at Revolution Nightclub to talk to young voters, I am honored to be a part of the exciting work that is going into this year’s elections. Thanks to all of amazing volunteers that have made all of our work possible. Let’s keep up the momentum through election day and keep equality moving forward.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Paladino Attacks Cuomo’s Gay Rights Record, Wife Speaks

Cuomoland
Carl Paladino has released the first in what he says will be a series of vibrantly-named attack ads aimed at Andrew Cuomo. The first so-called "Cuomo Land" ad lambastes the gubernatorial candidate for being hypocritical in his stance on marriage equality in New York state.

The New York Daily News points out how the ad might be a bad idea for Paladino:

Paladino, who staunchly opposes gay nuptials, accused Cuomo of being a hypocrite for touting his support for same-sex weddings now – but being "all but invisible" when the issue was before the Legislature last year. "He was asked by those pushing for the measure to call three wavering senators," the Paladino campaign said in the first of what it promises will be daily "Cuomo Land" attacks.

Political pros were puzzled that Paladino would attack Cuomo on gays, given that the Tea Party darling's campaign unraveled this week after he delivered an anti-gay diatribe. Veteran Democratic operative Hank Sheinkopf called it a "bad choice of a first issue" for the "Cuomo Land" attacks. "All it will do is reinforce the fact that he looked like a bigot last week," Sheinkopf said.

Paladino lifts some of his attack information from this New York Times article, published earlier this summer, that focused on Cuomo's support of the gay community.

Meanwhile, taking a different approach than Laura Bush did during her husband's run in the White House, Mrs. Paladino has publicly stated her opinion on marriage equality. She told the New York Times: “I have gay friends, and they’re some of the most generous, loving people you ever want to meet. If they want to live together and be together and share a life, that’s their business.”

She also commented on his controversial remarks last weekend: “I don’t know how it came out. Probably badly — it usually does.” When someone says, "There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual," I'd say "badly" is an understatement.

Mrs. Paladino also revealed that her openly gay nephew is upset by her husband's critical views on the LGBT community. Sounds like that's why he went AWOL earlier this week.

Read the full e-mail, via Talking Points Memo, AFTER THE JUMP.

Andrew Cuomo says "Gay Marriage is the civil rights issue of our time" (New York Daily News, Oct 15, 2010)
"As a landmark gay marriage bill hurtled toward an uncertain vote last year, New York's Democratic leaders scrambled to corral support. Gov. David A. Paterson delivered impassioned speeches, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand headlined a giant rally and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn shuttled back and forth to Albany to lobby lawmakers.

But the state's most popular Democrat, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, was all but invisible.

He was asked by those pushing for the measure to call three wavering senators. He never spoke with two of them, their aides said, and did not reach another until after the senator had voted — against the bill.

In the end, none of the three senators supported the bill." (The New York Times July 8, 2010)


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright