Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a Democrat, on why she’s going to the Log Cabin Republicans Convention

Sheriff Lupe Valdez

The Log Cabin Republicans will hold their National Convention in Dallas this coming weekend, and we’ll have a full story in Friday’s print edition. But because the convention actually begins Thursday, we figured we’d go ahead and post the full program sent out by the group earlier this week.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the program is a scheduled appearance by gay Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who is of course a Democrat.

Valdez, who’ll be one of the featured speakers at a Saturday luncheon, contacted us this week to explain her decision to accept the invitation from Log Cabin (not that we necessarily felt it warranted an explanation). Here’s what she said: 

“We have more things in common than we have differences, but it seems like in politics we constantly dwell on our differences,” Valdez said. “If we continue to dwell on our differences, all we’re going to do is fight. If we try to work on our common issues, we’ll be able to accomplish some things.”

On that note, below is the full program. For more information or to register, go here.

—  John Wright

Watch: Alabama Governor Apologizes for ‘Christian Brother’ Remarks

 

Bentley

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley made a post-inauguration apology for remarks he made at a Baptist church on MLK Day regarding non-Christians.

Said Bentley at the MLK Day service: "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." 

Said Bentley on Wednesday: "The terminology I used, I believe, seemed to disenfranchise other religions, and it certainly was not meant to do that…It was never my intension to disenfranchise anyone. If I did make anyone of any faith feel disenfranchised, let me say I am sorry."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Palm Springs Police Chief Resigns Over Remarks Made During Sting Targeting Gay Men

Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez resigned today over remarks he made during a sting operation targeting gay men in the city's Warm Sands neighborhood in 2009, the Southwest Riverside News Network reports

Dominguez Dominguez came under fire after a June 2009 operation in the Warm Sands neighborhood. The sting, which netted 19 arrests, was done in response to what police said were complaints about drug use, public sex and prostitution in Warm Sands. However, it drew complaints that police were targeting gay men unfairly.

During a pretrial hearing, one defendant said a police officer could be heard using a gay slur on a video recording in an undercover vehicle. An attorney for some of those arrested said Dominguez was in that particular car.

The lawyer lodged a complaint, alleging Dominguez disparaged the arrestees to his officers.

“What a bunch of filthy mother (expletive),” Dominguez allegedly said. “You guys should get paid extra for this.”

As Steve reported last week, "According to court documents, Dominguez used the phrase 'filthy motherf**kers' while another officer involved in the sting was overheard using the slur 'c**ksuckers.'"

Dominguez also apologized last week, but issued this statement today: "“After careful consideration of the events surrounding the Warm Sands undercover operation, I believe this decision is in the best interest of my family, the city and the Police Department."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

NC:Mecklenburg equality resolution passes unanimously; debate, condemnation of Bill James’ remarks

Image of James part of CREDO Action post.

Matt Comer at QNotes live-Tweeted tonight’s Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners meeting (the Charlotte area) where an equality and tolerance resolution passed unanimously, and the night included debate — with overwhelming condemnation — over anti-gay commissioner Bill James’s notorious recent “homosexuals are sexual predators” remarks.

From Matt’s QNotes report:

The resolution, proposed by Cogdell and approved Tuesday night, read, in part: “…the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners affirms, proclaims and declares its public support for community values that embrace and promote equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion; and stands united in firm opposition to inflammatory speech that may cause bullying, intimidation, harassment, persecution or discriminatory treatment of any individual because of their race, color, sex, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability.”

The unanimous vote marks one of the first times all Republicans on the Mecklenburg County board have voted in favor of a pro-equality statement. Several GOP members also made strong statements condemning James’ remarks.

…GOP Commissioner Karen Bentley also voiced her support for the resolution and said James’ comments were “beyond reproach” and “out of line with my Christian principles.”

James, as usual, blew off the criticism (and probably enjoyed the attention). He was incredibly rude, not bothering to look up from his terminal to make eye contact with those addressing him.

During his debate on the resolution, James said homosexuality was “perversity, not diversity,” and cited several laws and court cases he said showed homosexuality to be illegal. He also cited a 1988 study he says showed gay men more likely to molest children. The study, conducted by a Minneapolis-St. Paul medical center, contained less than 300 study participants and in no way connected homosexual men to molestation.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James Stands by Remarks That ‘Homosexuals are Sexual Predators’

Mecklenburg County (NC)  Commissioner Bill James is standing by remarks he made in an email to colleagues following the Senate's vote approving repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, in which he said "Homosexuals are sexual predators."

Reports the Charlotte Observer: James

"People are entitled to their opinion, and that includes me," James said Thursday. "I don't expect people to (always) agree with me. It's a political discussion and I wouldn't have raised it on my own, but Jennifer (Roberts) decided to wade in on it."

The County Commission chair expressed reluctance about punishing James for the comments, even though James has bashed gays before:

But Jennifer Roberts, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, said Thursday she hasn't talked to commissioners about what action, if any, the board should take.

"The challenge is everyone recognizes that it's inappropriate language," Roberts said. "This is a repeat performance and I just don't know if it helps or hurts the end goal by making any kind of formal statement."

In related news, James has also sent out a letter saying that gays prey on young men at YMCAs.

The next question is, when will we see James in a Larry Craig or George Rekers situation? Travelers, keep your eyes peeled.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Palm Springs Police Chief Apologizes For Homophobic Remarks

Yesterday, Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez publicly apologized for homophobic remarks he made during a sex sting operation that targeted gay men in that city.

David_dominguez Valley News reports on exactly what Dominguez was caught saying: "What a bunch of filthy mother (expletive). You guys should get paid extra for this."

According to court documents, Dominguez used the phrase "filthy motherfuckers” while another officer involved in the sting was overheard using the slur "cocksuckers."

It took Dominguez a few months (and a couple of denials) but he has now apologized: "An inappropriate comment made by me did not display the utmost professional conduct expected from the chief of police and I sincerely apologize to the community at large."

The apology came only after City Manager David Ready released a memo to the Palm Springs City Council that criticizes the way in which the stings were conducted: “Portions of the operation were not conducted according to the professional standards that are expected of our Police Department. As a result, appropriate disciplinary and correction action has already been taken.”

Valley News provides more information about the findings: "In the city's report, Ready said police should have reached out to hoteliers, businesses and residents to warn them about the sting operation. He suggested the sting could have been done with surveillance instead of undercover decoys."

You may recall that the sting operation caused quite an stir among the city's gay community over the summer. The undercover operation targeted gay men involved in public sex and were charged under a harsh and unusual section of the Penal Code that would require them to register as sex offenders for life.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

BELGIUM: Archbishop Andre Leonard Hit With Pie Following AIDS Remarks

Days after comments in which he declared that AIDS was God’s punishment for being gay, Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard was struck with a pie as he stood at the altar during a service.

Footage of the incident released Saturday showed a young man approaching Archbishop Andre Leonard on Monday and smacking him with a pie. A church official says the archbishop will not press charges against the unknown attacker. The incident came amid growing turmoil within Belgium’s Roman Catholic church, which faces an investigation into hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. Leonard himself shocked Catholics by sympathizing with priests accused of pedophilia and by saying that homosexuals deserved to get AIDS.

On Tuesday the Archbishop’s spokesman resigned, saying, “Archbishop Léonard has sometimes acted like someone who’s driving against the traffic and thinks everyone else is wrong.”

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Clint McCance Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remarks, Resigns from Midland School Board in Arkansas

Midland School Board Member Clint McCance told Anderson Cooper that he is resigning from the school board following a firestorm of outrage over remarks he made on Facebook celebrating the suicides of teens who killed themselves after homophobic bullying.

MccanceEllen DeGeneres also spoke to Anderson about the remarks.

Said DeGeneres: "It would not be acceptable if someone used the N-word. When the civil rights movement happened, it took not just the community of blacks to make a change, but white people needed to step in and say this is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this and treat any citizen with lesser value. And, I think, as a gay person, I would like to personally ask every heterosexual person out there who is appalled by this to – we need your help now. This is absurd and he should resign.”

I'll have clips up once available.

Previously…
Protesters Call for Resignation of Clint McCance [tr]
Anderson Cooper Rips Clint McCance [tr]
Arkansas Midland School District Distances Itself [tr]
Watch: Thomas Roberts Talks to Arkansas Times Reporter [tr] 
Arkansas School Board Member Clint McCance Wants 'Fags' Dead [tr]


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Arkansas Department Of Education Condemns Anti-Gay Remarks Made By School Board Member Clint McCance

The Arkansas state Department of Education has issued a statement denouncing the anti-gay remarks made by local Independence County school board member Clint McCance, who used Facebook to celebrate the suicides of LGBT teenagers and the deaths of gay people from AIDS. The DOE’s statement does not appear in the above-linked Associate Press story other than their word “dismayed.”

The posting said to be from Midland School Board member Clint McCance came after last week’s nationwide move for people to wear purple ribbons in support of gay and lesbian youth. The posting, first reported on The Advocate’s website, said that the only way McCance would wear purple is “if they all commit suicide.” McCance couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday but told the Arkansas Times that the issue had been “blown out of proportion” and he plans to issue a statement later in the day. The Facebook page has since been disabled but a screen-grab remains on The Advocate’s website. The Human Rights Campaign has called for McCance’s resignation. The state Education Department’s statement Wednesday said it is “dismayed” over the posting.

A Little Rock-based television station is looking for McCance.

After receiving several emails alleging Midland school board member Clint McCance made disparaging remarks about gay students, Today’s THV is investigating the allegations. McCance is accused of posting on his Facebook page that several recent suicides of gay students across the U.S. were due to those students’ sin. He also allegedly made other comments bashing gays. Today’s THV has not confirmed McCance actully made the posts, but B.J. Steed is in Midland, which is just outside Batesville in Independence County, trying to contact McCance as well as other school board members. Today’s THV contacted Superintendent Dean Stanley’s office, but he is out until Friday. Midland Principal Donna Clark would only reply “no comment” to all our questions. In response to the comments on Facebook, someone set up another Facebook page calling for McCance to be removed from the board. THV’s BJ Steed will have more on this developing story on Today’s THV at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

MSNBC is reporting on the story as I type this. I’ll have video ASAP.

UPDATE: Here’s the statement from the Arkansas Department of Education.

The Arkansas Department of Education strongly condemns remarks or attitudes of this kind and is dismayed to see that a school board official would post something of this insensitive nature on a public forum like Facebook. Because Mr. McCance is an elected official, the department has no means of dealing with him directly. However, the department does have staff who investigate matters of bullying in schools and we will monitor and quickly respond to any bullying of students that may occur because of this, as we have with other civil rights issues in the past.

UPDATE II: The Advocate reports that McCance may keep his job.

“In Arkansas law, the only way to recall a school board member is over a felony [committed by him or her] or absentee issues,” said Julie Johnson Thompson, the director of communications for the Arkansas Department of Education in Little Rock. Thompson says McCance, as an elected official, answers to voters, not Midland school district’s superintendent. “[The Arkansas Department of Education] doesn’t have any control over his job,” Thompson pointed out.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

American Family Association Endorses Homophobic Remarks Of Carl Paladino

“Carl Paladino, running for governor of the state of New York against Andrew Cuomo, trod yesterday where angels fear to tread: he told the truth about homosexuality, right out in front of God, the public, and vicious, mean-spirited homosexuals. Paladino brought it yesterday, throwing a live grenade into what had already been a contentious campaign, the kind that makes politics the spectator sport it is in the Empire State.

“Everything – every single thing – that Paladino said about the homosexual lifestyle yesterday was dead on the money. What he said is so true and so evident and so obvious that the real controversy here is that there is any controversy at all. The fact that homosexual activists will now bare their fangs, veritably dripping saliva as they go for Paladino’s carotid artery, and will do so with the full-throated blessing of the out-of-the-mainstream media, only illustrates the enormously dangerous clout these purveyors of perversity have been given in our culture.” – American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer, who makes no mention of Carl Paladino’s admitted adultery or ten year-old love child with a former employee.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright