Dallas filmmaker wins award from Louisiana film festival

CaminaRobert L. Camina, the documentarian responsible for Raid of the Rainbow Lounge, which tracked the events in Fort Worth on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, received the PACE Paragon Award from the North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival over the weekend.

The festival takes place every September in Shreveport; the award was presented by PACE (People Acting for Change and Equality) to Camina Saturday on the fest’s opening night. It was followed by a sold-out screening of Camina’s latest documentary, Upstairs Inferno, which tells the little-known story of the greatest mass-murder of gays in U.S. history — an arson at a gay bar in New Orleans in 1973 — which took 32 lives.

The festival continues through tonight. Upstairs Inferno screens again this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Death: Burleigh John ‘B.J.’ Smith

Burleigh John “B.J.”  Smith, 62, of Dallas died March 29 from complications due to liver cancer.

Born in Shreveport to the late Bernard Cyril and Gwendolyn Smith, B.J.Smith worked 20 years for Cinemark Theaters as a film buyer before retiring in early 2010. He had a very outgoing and uplifting personality and he never met a stranger. His hobbies and interests included singing with the Turtle Creek Chorale for 11 years, movies, traveling, cooking and enjoying food and wine with friends.

He is survived by his partner of 31 years, Dennis Bellotto,; his sister Lynn Norton and family of Flower Mound; his brother Barney Smith and family of San Antonio; and his cherished cat Lance.

In lieu of flowers, Smith requested that memorial donations be made to AMFAR www.amfar.org or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society www.lls.org. No formal memorial service is planned at this time.

—  John Wright

WATCH: Victim of brutal attack in Shreveport confirms it was an anti-gay hate crime

John Skaggs, the 52-year-old gay man who was brutally attacked with a pool cue at a downtown Shreveport bar last week, tells KSLA 12 that he’s convinced it was a hate crime. Skaggs is home from the hospital, but as you can see in the video below, he’s barely able to talk due to the injuries he suffered, and he’ll need reconstructive surgery. The man who attacked Skaggs, 32-year-old William Payne, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and the commission of a hate crime. Under Louisiana law, the hate crime charge carries an additional sentence of up to five years in prison, which must be served consecutively.

—  John Wright

Shreveport mayor issues executive order protecting LGBT employees

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover
Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover on Thursday, Dec. 17, issued an executive order protecting LGBT city employees there from discrimination in employment.

It was his first executive order as mayor.

The move puts Shreveport on the very short list of Louisiana cities offering such protections to their LGBT workers. Baton Rouge and New Orleans are the only other cities in that state to do so. And New Orleans is the only city that offers such protections to employees in the private sector.

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—  admin