Feedback • 12.02.11

Valdez.Lupe

Lupe Valdez

Valdez vs. Latham for sheriff

“Southern Baptists don’t believe in that.” Don’t believe for a second he won’t use her sexual orientation as a way to turn out religious voters for him if he feels the need.
Tyler, via DallasVoice.com

“I wasn’t raised that way.” What exactly is Latham implying by this statement? What exactly is “that way”? I guess in this part of the world religion trumps science.
Lynn, via DallasVoice.com

They can’t attack her on job performance because she’s doing a great job. After all, she brought the Dallas County jail up to state standards, something the previous sheriff wasn’t able to do.
Matthew, via DallasVoice.com

Texas Dems and gay marriage

While most of the GLBT community is focused on marriage equality and DOMA, personally I think that ENDA — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — is vastly more important to the community. Marriage and the concomitant rights that come with it are great and I’m all for that of course. But having the right to “marry” your partner if you are unemployed with no income means very little. Today, all over America, GLBT people can be fired just for being GLBT and that’s wrong. I wish our community would fight as hard for ENDA as they seem to want to do for marriage. In today’s very competitive economy, a good paying job should be of primary concern to our community, in my humble opinion.
Jay Narey, via DallasVoice.com

Jay, I agree. I just don’t know why we can’t put as much energy behind both. Both are important. Sadly there is not enough votes in congress to pass it. My side (Dems) are not all behind it, either. I know some think the president can just sign something and put it in place, but that’s not how it works. Congress makes laws; the president enforces them. ENDA is vital for everyone, but is going to be just as hard to get through as marriage is. It sucks.
George M., via DallasVoice.com

Freaking cowards. And just hours ago here on the pages of Dallas Voice, we read about that Waxahachie gal who was fired from her job for “working while lesbian.” It just sickens me.
Ray Harwick, via DallasVoice.com
This isn’t strategic; it is cowardly. Principals should rule politics, not fear.
Carrie Stewart, via DallasVoice.com

Ray, you’re not going to get ENDA from Texas. It needs to come from the U.S. government. Texas won’t pass it, even if Dems scream it, and I’m sure you know that.
George M., via DallasVoice.com

ENDA won’t pass here in the near term. But an ENDA resolution might help drive voter turnout. It could also help us to educate Texans. Most people don’t realize that you can be legally fired in Texas for being gay.
Matt, via DallasVoice.com

A few things: Prioritization of rights (ENDA trumps DOMA repeal, blah blah blah) is insulting to anyone who really regards himself or herself as a free and equal person. In other words, “How dare you tell me that certain civil rights are more important than others.” Injustice is injustice is injustice, plain and simple. I represent a growing LGBT population that is weary of this piecemeal, backburner approach to gaining our rights. “My thoughts are that we should be dealing with issues about jobs and education and the economy.”  This is a cop out, and not even a good one.
I will let the words of Harvey Milk sum this one up: “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.”
What we are seeing is simply cowardice. The Democrats want our votes. They constantly remind us just how terrible the alternative would be. Well, NEWS FLASH! If they aren’t even willing to SAY they support us, they are helping fuel the fires of bigotry.
Remaining on neutral ground ALWAYS helps the oppressor, NEVER the oppressed.
So Dems, you want my vote? Make good on your commitment to this community or take a hike. I would rather sit out the damn election.
DSC, via DallasVoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

LOCAL BRIEFS: AIN poker tourney at the Brick; Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

AIN poker tourney set at the Brick

A charity poker tournament is set for Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Brick, 2525 Wycliff, to benefit AIDS Interfaith Network.

The Dallas Bears and the LGBT poker league Pocket Rockets will co-host the event with the Brick. Miller Lite is the sponsor and play begins at 3 p.m.

It’s free to play but AIN will benefit in a number of ways. The agency will receive a portion of the drink specials sold. Players may buy additional chips, and the Bears will hold a 50/50 raffle.

A cash prize pool of $500 will be awarded and all levels of players are welcome.

Bates set for Dallas Black Pride

Christopher H. Bates will speak at the Dallas Black LGBT Community Summit on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Dallas Marriott City Center Hotel. He is the director of Health and Human Service’s Office of HIV/AIDS Policy.

Bates will discuss the federal government’s response to the high infection rate among young gay African-American men. He has 20 years experience in public health policy and has been with OHAP for more than a decade.

Bates administers funds for the Minority AIDS Initiative and advises the Undersecretary of Health on education, prevention, testing, research, care and treatment strategies. Information is available at DFWPrideMovement.org.

Martin offers program for couples

Randy Martin, LPC, will facilitate an eight-session program for couples, Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. throughout September and October.

The program is based on the theory and practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). The first session focuses on the new science of love and what it teaches us. The next seven sessions focus on helping couples shape and use the seven conversations laid out in the book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, the developer of EFT.

Couples interested in participating should contact Martin at 214-520-7575. The cost of the program is $500 per couple and includes a copy of the book Hold Me Tight and other necessary materials.

NGPA seeks donations

The National Gay Pilots Association recently awarded $22,000 in scholarships and is seeking donations for future awards to aspiring LGBT aviators.

Since its founding in 1998, the NGPA Education Fund has given 46 awards totaling $139,000. Donations can be made on the group’s website, NGPA.org.

—  John Wright

AIDS Denialists: Science Under Attack

In the first half of this BBC Science Under Attack special aired Sunday night, Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse examines the mindsets of folks who deny the science behind global warming. Interesting stuff, but skip forward to 43:00 where Nurse takes on a New Yorker who blithely denies that HIV causes AIDS.

(Via -Atheist Media Blog)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Science Honors Two HIV Advances

HIV MUTATION X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMTwo major advances in HIV prevention made Science magazine’s top 10 achievements of 2010.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Video: Ken Buck’s most credible science: Ken bucks most credible science

Republican tea drinker Ken Buck really, really, wants to unseat Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet to become Colorado’s next U.S. Senator. And he just might win, as long as doesn’t start hitting the bottle of Jack or Jim a little too hard. Or, alternately: The bottle of potion that makes Jack and Jim hard for each other:

Oh yes: The “it’s a choice because one chooses one’s partner” explanation of sexuality. Which would of course mean that Ken Buck is just one relatively minor choice away from grabbing David Gregory and making him his love pundit. Sitting there, looking in each other’s eyes, when suddenly Mr. Buck sees a tuft of grey drop down from Gregory’s perfectly styled coif. “Ooh, let me get that for you, Dave,” purrs a coquettish Buck as his hand drifts past Gregory’s furrowed brow. Gregory, having his own choice to make, keeps his cards close to his pocket square. But there’s a commercial break coming up and choices. must. be. made. gentleman. Does Ken act? Does Gregory buck his way? Do the two invite Bennet in for a nonpartisan menage? If next week’s “Today” show interview is via satellite, might Matt an/or Meredith choose to engage in a sexy cam session with the GOP challenger?

What did Ken choose? When did he choose? Why did he choose what (and who) he did? How is he so certain about his choices, unless his own story is filled with a constant stream of Option A and Option B decisions, wherein attractions involve either soft lips or razor stubble, depending on the wind (with a little bit of bithin’ thrown in)?

Only Ken knows the answers to these questions. Our more important concern: Whether or not Colorado voter will demand some explanation, or if they’ll just go ahead and send to the Senate a man who may boil up a fury in order to make TEA, but who surely boils down sexuality in order to brew division.

***

*HRC responds:

HRC to Ken Buck: You’re a Dangerous Extremist Who Needs to Get His Facts Right

WASHINGTON – Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party darling, Ken Buck called homosexuality a choice and compared it to alcoholism – a theory debunked by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Buck’s extremist views and prior lapses of judgment show he is not worthy of representing the citizens of Colorado in U.S. Senate. The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization – in partnership with One Colorado, call on Mr. Buck to correct his dangerous statements immediately.

“Mr. Buck’s ill-informed views are not only factually inaccurate, but they are extremely dangerous,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “In the past six weeks a number of teenagers have taken their own lives after being the victims of anti-gay bullying and harassment. When public figures like Mr. Buck make statements like he did today, kids struggling with their identities question their self-worth and other kids justify bullying. Ken Buck must correct his remarks now.”

“This is yet another in a long line of examples showing that Ken Buck is out of touch with the majority of Coloradans,” said One Colorado Executive Director Brad Clark. “Instead of focusing on common values of respect for all people, Buck is spewing divisive, extreme rhetoric. His claim that homosexuality is a choice is yet another example of his extreme views falling out of step with everyday Coloradans.”

Buck’s judgment is lacking. In 2005, as the Weld County, CO district attorney, he declined to prosecute a rape suspect, saying the details appeared to show the victim consented to the sexual encounter. Buck accused the victim of having “buyer’s remorse,” and regretting her relationship with the perpetrator.

In an interview after his appearance on Meet the Press, Buck said issues affecting the LGBT community will not come before the Senate. In reality, the Senate will likely take up over a dozen pieces of equality-related legislation. After being pressed on his comments that being gay is a choice, Buck said he is not a biologist and has not studied the issue.

“It is evident that Ken Buck’s views are out of line with the fair-minded people of Colorado,” Solmonese added. “He has proven to the people that he lacks good judgment and cannot be trusted to serve in the United States Senate. He says he is not an expert on LGBT issues. He will be making a lot of choices about issues he is not an expert on. We now know his extremist ideology will always win out.”




Good As You

—  John Wright

The Science Duck says ‘allowing gay marriage appears to reduce the divorce rate.’

The Science Duck makes an interesting discovery:

Traditional marriage ‘defenders’ are in a tizzy after a federal judge overturned Proposition 8. Newt Gingrich issued a statement explaining how this ‘notorious’ ruling shows ‘disrespect’ for the Constitution and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. He should know about marriage sanctity; Newt’s been married no less than three times, with a few extramarital affairs to boot. Divorce is a hot topic for conservatives worried about preserving the institution of marriage, so there is a silver lining in Proposition 8 for them: allowing gay marriage appears to reduce the divorce rate. Here’s a case study from the country with the longest history of allowing same-sex marriage: The Netherlands.

Check out the Duck’s chart.

Nate Silver made some similar findings last fall (Check out his chart, too):

As is somewhat visually apparent, those states which have tended to take more liberal policies toward gay marriage have tended also to have larger declines in their divorce rates. In Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2004, the divorce rate has declined by 21 percent and is the lowest in the country by some margin. It is joined at the top of the list by Rhode Island and New Mexico, which do not perform same-sex marriages but idiosyncratically also have no statute or constitutional provision expressly forbidding them, as well as Maine, whose legislature approved same-sex marriage only to have it overturned (although not banned constitutionally) by its voters.

On the other hand, the seven states at the bottom of the chart all had constitutional prohibitions on same-sex marriage in place throughout 2008. The state which experienced the highest increase in its divorce rate over the period (Alaska, at 17.2 percent) also happens to be the first one to have altered its constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, in 1998.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright