Welcome aboard, Erin Moore

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We are thrilled to welcome aboard the newest addition to the Dallas Voice family, graphic artist Erin Moore.

That name may sound — probably does sound — familiar. That’s because Erin has been an active member of DFW’s LGBT community for years. She has been president of Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and vice president of Stonewall Democrats of Texas.
Erin’s also served on the Human Rights Campaign’s national Board of Governors and co-chaired National Coming Out Day.She grew up in Slidell, La., and moved to Dallas in 1992 to be staff adviser to Southern Methodist University’s student newspaper the Daily Campus. From there she began doing layout and design for Texas Lawyer and most recently worked at Brown & Partners designing jewelry advertising for national clients. Erin’s partner, Patti Fink, is currently president of DGLA and hosts the show that Dallas Observer named best talk show in Dallas, Lambda Weekly.

—  Tammye Nash

Democratic platform calls reparative therapy quackery and calls for Texas marriage equality

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Stonewall Dallas President Jay Narey, center, at the Texas Democratic Convention

The platform that emerged from the Democratic Convention held in Dallas last week stands in stark contrast to that of the Texas Republican platform that encouraged reparative therapy to “cure” gays.

“For decades it has been beyond dispute by health professionals that homosexuality is a normal, natural and positive variation of human sexual orientation,” the Democratic platform says. “Similarly, it is clear that a person’s gender identity — one’s inner sense of being male or female — is deep-seated and cannot be changed.”

Jeff Strater, a gay delegate, was elected to serve on the state Democratic Executive Committee from Senate District 23. He said he was overwhelmed by Democrats’ response to the Republican platform.

“LGBTQ mentions are peppered throughout the platform,” Strater said, adding that each plank in the platform was passed by the entire convention.

“There were no holdouts,” he said. “No cranky ‘no’s’ from East Texas.”

Strater is not the first gay man elected to the executive committee from District 23. Gary Fitzsimmons and Buck Massey held that seat in the past.

Former state Rep. Glen Maxey said he was impressed by the planks submitted by the trans community that passed just as easily as the others. Those planks would make it easier for a person to change information on their state identification.

While LGBT is mentioned elsewhere in the platform, one whole section is devoted to “personal security and equal protection for LGBTQ Texans.”

Had Texas Republicans not made so-called “reparative therapy” an issue by calling for it in their state party platform, Strater said, most Democrats would likely not have given the concept a second thought. But with the GOP platform making headlines on the subject, reparative therapy ended up being included in the first section in the Dems’ platform relating to the LGBT community. Democrats want to ban the practice — referred to as “quackery” in their platform.

Strater said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro reflected the sentiment of the convention when he addressed delegates on Saturday: “Gov. Perry, if you believe gay people need repairing, then I would suggest your soul needs repairing,” Castro said.

Jay Narey, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said, “Democrats stand in stark contrast to Republicans — like day and night.” He said the reparative therapy issue was just the obvious contrast, but positive platform planks on issues affecting everyday life in the LGBT community’ were passed overwhelmingly.

Other planks Democrats adopted dealt with marriage equality, trans-inclusive employment nondiscrimination and personal security that call on “social, health care and public service professionals to seek out and adopt best practices in the delivery of services to all Texans.”

Narey also pointed out that while Log Cabin Republicans were not allowed even a small table at the GOP convention, the Stonewall Caucus was so large, it met on the main convention floor while other caucuses were assigned meeting rooms.

Narey said he had no idea how many people attended the Stonewall Caucus because there was no controlled access to the convention floor. Hundreds of people — and all but one statewide candidate — attended the caucus. He estimated at least 300 LGBT delegates participated, but hundreds more allies also participated in Stonewall events.

“There’s been a dramatic shift on our issues over the last four election cycles,” Narey said. “State Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa is extremely supportive of the LGBT community. He’s largely responsible.”

Strater said he was energized and motivated as a result of the convention and made quite a few new contacts that he’ll call on through the campaign. His only negative comment about the weekend concerned the Ladybird Johnson breakfast: “When [anti-gay Dallas City Councilwoman] Vonceil Jones Hill was introduced to give the prayer, there were gasps from the audience,” he said.

—  David Taffet

Stonewall Caucus at the Texas Democratic Convention

The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus met on the main convention floor of the Texas Democratic Convention on June 27. Major candidates for statewide office and current officeholders addressed the caucus.

—  David Taffet

Alameel addresses Stonewall as LGBT equality advocate

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David Alameel

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate David Alameel attended the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting Tuesday, the first time he has had contact with the state’s largest Democratic organization. He faces Kesha Rodgers in a runoff. The Texas Democratic Party has issued a warning against Rodgers whose main platform is impeaching President Obama.

While Stonewall usually packs the back room at Ojeda’s on Maple Avenue, attendance was sparse because gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was opening her Dallas headquarters on MLK Boulevard at the same time.

Alameel addressed not yet having visited the group. He said he’s tried to visit each of the 254 counties in Texas, but when he arrives he mostly hears complaints that he hadn’t been there yet.

He said he and his wife could retire to Hawaii and not have to work another day, but he said he remembers working minimum wage jobs. He wants to go to Washington, he said, to address the Republican war on women, war on the poor, war on the elderly and war on immigrants.

Alameel is an immigrant, himself. He was born in Haifa, Israel, and is Lebanese Christian. He’s lived in the U.S. more than 40 years.

He attacked Texas Sen. John Cornyn for voting against protecting women in the military from sexual assault. He said he opposed corporate greed that shipped jobs overseas and recent Supreme Court decisions giving corporations the same rights as people.

“I don’t remember where it said in the Bible God created Wall Street in His image,” Alameel said.

He also attacked what he called the Republican war on the gay and lesbian community.

“I’m a devout Christian who accepts equality,” he said.

He said if one of his kids told him he was gay, he knows how he’d want his child treated.

Early voting continues through Friday, May 23. 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Runoff day is Tuesday, May 27.

—  David Taffet

Early voting begins Tuesday

EEarly voting for the Democratic and Republican primaries begins Tuesday, Feb. 18 and runs through Friday, Feb. 28. The primary takes place on Tuesday, March 4.

A registered voter may vote at any early voting location in the county where registered. On primary day, voters must go to their own precincts. No early voting locations will be available in Oak Lawn, which is one of Dallas’ most densely populated neighborhoods. Grauwyler Park Recreation Center on Harry Hines Boulevard, five blocks north of Mockingbird Lane, is the closest.

Early voting times in Dallas County:

Tuesday, Feb. 18 – Friday, Feb. 21 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 23 1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 24 – Friday, Feb. 28 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

—  David Taffet

Stonewall Dallas cleared of ethics complaint, ratifies endorsement slate

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Pauline Medrano

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsed a slate of candidates for the March primary and Treasurer Mike McCue announced an ethics complaint against the group was dismissed at its January meeting on Tuesday.

The Texas Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint filed by a tea party organization against Stonewall PAC Treasurer McCue.

The complaint involved the address of the treasurer that had not been updated and a $250 donation from the Stonewall PAC to another PAC, the Texas House Democratic Committee.

“The complaint did not meet the form requirements for a complaint filed with the Ethics Commission,” the dismissal notice said.

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David Bradley

The commission returned the complaint to the tea party complainant explaining how the form failed to comply with a copy of the rules. The complaint was resubmitted, but still failed to comply. The group was given until Nov. 25, 2013 to resubmit but it failed to do so and the complaint was dismissed.

The tea party organization also filed complaints against San Antonio Stonewall.

The general membership of Stonewall ratified a slate of candidates in the upcoming March primary. A motion to reconsider two of the races — Constable Precinct 5 and County Treasurer — failed.

Some members wanted to consider a co-endorsement because two longtime Stonewall members — David Bradley and Pauline Medrano — are running. Medrano received the organization’s endorsement.

In the Constable’s race, those asking to reconsider thought there was misinformation about a lawsuit concerning a name change in the race between incumbent Beth Villareal and challenger Susan Lopez Craig who is lesbian. Villareal received the endorsement.

In addition to those screened by the committee, Stonewall’s general membership voted to endorse Wendy Davis for governor and Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor. Neither is actively seeking the endorsement of local Democratic clubs.

Click here for a full list of the endorsements: 2014 SDD Endorsement Recommendations Notice v4

—  David Taffet

Dallas Stonewall Dems targeted by tea party PAC, but complaint dismissed

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A tea party political action committee that has filed three complaints with the state ethics commission against the San Antonio Stonewall chapter also filed a complaint against the Dallas chapter.

The Texas Ethics Advisory Board, which has no affiliation with the state ethics commission, reviewed the San Antonio chapter’s campaign finance report because its an LGBT organization.

Omar Narvaez, president of the Dallas chapter, said he thought the man behind the PAC targeted Stonewall chapters because they are LGBT groups. He said the complaint against the Dallas group centered around a wrong address. The group received a letter Tuesday from the state ethics commission dismissing the claim for a lack of sufficient information in the PAC’s complaint.

“Basically this organization — and it’s one guy — has decided that he has nothing better to do in the world than look for any organization that has supported anything to do with LGBT equality,” Narvaez said. “I guess he saw the name Stonewall and is trying [to look into every group with that name].”

—  Anna Waugh

Wendy Davis says she’ll announce possible governor bid on Oct. 3

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Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer

State Sen. Wendy Davis announced today that she’ll make an announcement about her political future — and a possible governor run — on Oct. 3.

The Fort Worth native and LGBT ally was the talk of the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting Tuesday.

The Texas Democratic Party’s new Executive Director Will Hailer addressed the group and hinted that Davis will run for governor.

Hailer moved to Texas from Minnesota in May and since his arrival the party’s staff has increased from four to 21. He said he expects to double that as the 2014 election approaches.

His experience includes the election that saw the defeat of an anti-marriage amendment in Minnesota by 10 points that led to the state becoming a marriage-equality state within six months.

In his first few months at the helm of the party, Hailer said he’s traveled around the state visiting Democratic clubs.

“People are fired up,” he said.

His strategy to take a statewide office for the first time in 20 years is to do what Democrats did in Minnesota.

“Have neighbors talking to neighbors,” he said.

And talk about the issues. He said Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a statewide Lilly Ledbetter bill. He wants to talk about equal pay for women.

He wants Democrats to talk about healthcare, affordable education, clear air and clean water.

“Talk about our values,” he said. “We can’t let Republicans bully us anymore. We believe in equality and the right to marry who you love.”

He said Texas is not a Red State but a non-voting state and is planning massive voter-registration and voter-turnout drives.

Hailer described the ticket he’d like to see on the 2014 statewide ballot.

“I think we need a woman from Fort Worth,” he said, but then stopped short. “I’m not making an announcement.”

But he said an announcement would come shortly, and it seems it will.

This morning, Davis sent out an email to supporters.

There’s one question I’ve gotten quite often in the past few months. I’ve heard it online, while I’m traveling around the state, from the media, and in my Fort Worth neighborhood: What’s next?

On October 3rd, I’ll be answering that question. And as part of my dedicated network of grassroots supporters, you will be among the very first to find out.

So look for her announcement on Oct. 3. And just an observation: No one does this type of build up to announce they’re not running.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: LGBT activists speak during pro-choice rally at Dallas City Hall

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Gay couple Mark ‘Major’ Jiminez and Beau Chandler, who gained notoriety last year when they were arrested for seeking a marriage license at the Dallas County Clerk’s Office, attend a pro-choice rally at City Hall on Tuesday night.

GetEQUAL TX was among the organizers of the Texans Unified for Change rally outside Dallas City Hall on Wednesday night.

About 50 people gathered to protest the anti-abortion bill working its way through the special session of the Legislature.

Activist Cd Kirven carried a wire hanger to symbolize women having to resort to dangerous methods of abortion.

Speakers included Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus co-chair Erin Moore and Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance President Patti Fink.

Moore, wearing pink Wendy Davis sneakers, encouraged the crowd to become more involved in politics to help get more people like Davis in office and those who oppose women’s rights out of office.

“It’s easy for men to write a bill to attack women’s rights,” Fink said.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: About 500 attend Day of Decision rally on Cedar Springs

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By the time Dallas’ Day of Decision rally began at 7 p.m. at the Legacy of Love Monument, more than 300 people had gathered. As the crowd grew to close to 500, police closed a lane of Oak Lawn Avenue and two lanes of Cedar Springs Road.

GetEQUAL TX organizer Daniel Cates began the rally with chants of, “Right here, right now, I deserve full equality!”

Before the scheduled speakers, people from the crowd spoke in an open-megaphone session. One who claimed to be an “ex-lesbian” was countered with a chant of “No more hate” until the mic was taken from her and she left the steps of the monument.

Some of the speakers discussed the implications of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decisions. Lambda Legal’s Ken Upton called the DOMA ruling a broad decision. He said it would take awhile to sort out the full implications.

“The ruling benefits the whole LGBT spectrum,” trans activist Oliver Blumer said. “It breaks down barriers.”

—  David Taffet