Out & Equal to honor Parker, Welts

Mayor Annise Parker

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates will honor Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts at its Leadership Celebration on March 14 in San Francisco.

In October, Out & Equal held its week-long Workplace Summit at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Because of rave reviews, the group plans to return in the next few years. Welts was among the speakers at the Dallas convention.

Now in its fifth year, the Leadership Celebration is a fundraising event that includes a hosted reception and dinner. Parker and Welts will be recognized as role models and inspirations in the movement to achieve equality in the workforce.

To attend the San Francisco event, register online.

The 2012 Workplace Summit will be in Baltimore on from Oct. 29-Nov 1.

—  David Taffet


RAISING FUNDS  | Out & Equal DFW Council held “Deep in the Heart of Texas” at Times Ten Cellars on Aug. 18. The event was the organization’s fifth fundraiser to support its educational programming in the DFW area and to support scholarships to attend the 2011 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, set for Oct. 25-28 at the Hilton Anatole. Pictured are Gib Murray of Raytheon, left, Jeffrey Gorczynski of Citi, center, and Paul von Wupperfeld of Texas Instruments.

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

—  Michael Stephens

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

Marriage CoMission Summit: Unlikely to serve KFC, gays’ pro-equality interests

This post will build on our last one, in which we highlighted some level of connection between Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation and Jennifer Roback Morse’s Ruth Institute (an affiliate of the National Organization For Marriage). So if you haven’t read that earlier post, now if your chance to (a) get caught up or (b) run away now. We won’t be offended ro talk about you while you’re gone. Honestly.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten rid of those lazy slackers and are all on the same “culture war”-obsessed page: We must tell you that we’ve discovered further connections between Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape program and the entire “protect marriage” movement. Not just to the Pennsylvania Family Institute. Not just to the Ruth Institute. But to the organized marriage movement in this country — period.

Oh yea: And this time we have much of it on video, via internal documents, in photos, and through other fun things. Let’s go:

Alright, so it turns out that Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation, as part of its marriage outreach efforts, has partnered with other “pro-family” groups on something called The Marriage CoMission. Oh, and that’s not a typo — it’s one “m.” As in a mission that they’re all “co”-ing in on. A mission that (spoiler alert) doesn’t want to hear “Here Comes The Bride” either pluralized or masculinized.

On said CoMission, Winshape/Chick-Fil-A are very well represented. There’s Jeff Fray, who, by all accounts, largely steers the CoMission’s ship:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 7.05.55 Pm

But even more than Fray: The CoMission’s most prominent representation comes from Bubba Cathy, the scion of Chick-Fil-A’s pickled bun dynasty:


And there are other WinShape/Chick-a-dees involved. Full leadership list here.

Okay, so every year in December, this CoMission gather group of prominent marriage stalwarts to strategize how they can strengthen their movement. But they don’t just get together anywhere. No, no — they all get together at WinShape’s own Georgia Retreat. Here’s the Summit’s purpose statement, initial signatories (from folks like professional “gay-changer” Alan Chambers), and a link to the full charter:


[Full Charter]

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 7.16.32 Pm

735390902 Szxja-M

And like most things in the “protect marriage” movement, this summit seems to grow in conservative prominence by the year. By 2008, the participant list had grown to include folks like David Blankenhorn, Alveda King, and Focus on the Family president Jim Daly:

2008 Bios

Some brief highlights from that year’s banquet: FoTF’s Daly made sure to thank the Cathys (i.e. Chick-Fil-A) for bringing the movement together:

WinShape’s Jeff Fray praised Blankenhorn for his prowess in the same-sex marriage debate:

And there’s much more. We’re making our way through literally hours of ’08 clips; we’ll post more that we deem pertinent to our movement.

Though for our interests of today, it’s really the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Summit that hold our interest. So let’s start, naturally, with 2009. That’s the year that the gay marriage movement players who really have our attention started attending the summit. Players like, for example: Maggie Gallagher and Jennifer Roback Morse:

2009 Bios

Agenda Participant

Morse’s ’09 participation is of course interesting because of our earlier post, where we undeniably connected her Ruth Institute (which again, is a NOM affiliate) directly to the WinShape Foundation’s forthcoming LoveIsHere.com project. Which, incidentally, is the very project that segues us to the 2010 Summit.

For 2010 (which just took place in the first week of December), we don’t yet have handy video or pictures or participant lists or really much of a concrete agenda to follow. However, we do have #something to let us know what went on. Namely: We have tweets. Tweets from Summit participants like Bull Coffin, who tells us that this soon-to-be-launched LoveIsHere.com site was prominently touted at WinShape 2010:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 8.00.34 Pm


Reminder: The same LoveIsHere.com that is hosting the Ruth Institute’s contest videos. The same Ruth Institute that works daily to stop basic civil fairness for same-sex couples. The same WinShape that is a product of the Chick-Fil-A chain and its more than 1,400 locations in 38 states and D.C. The same Chick-Fil-A that began this week with national questions, due to a (now-scrubbed) sponsorship claim from Pennsylvania’s leading anti-marriage equality group. Same, same, same, same, same.

As with all other developments from this week, we’re simply highlighting the known reality. No boycott calls. No petitions. No personal attacks. If all of these groups are proud of these bonds that they’ve made, then they will have zero problem with us bringing these undeniable connections to light. It will be just ho-hum, the way it would be if they highlighted our alliance with just about any group or corporation fighting for basic equality.

But if the reaction is to resort to the same messenger-shooting we’ve already seen this week? Well, then that will be more telling than anything we could ever write, now won’t it?

Good As You

—  admin

WATCH: Leppert misses Black Tie but shoots promo for Out & Equal Workplace Summit

Via GLBT Dallas, above is a promotional video for next year’s Out & Equal Workplace Summit, set for Oct. 25-28 in Dallas. The video reportedly was shown to attendees at this year’s Workplace Summit, in Los Angeles last month.

Among other things, the video features a spot by Mayor Tom Leppert near the end.

“We’re building a bright future by embracing and welcoming everyone,” Leppert says in the video. “We know that being a world-class city means being a place where all citizens and visitors are both welcomed and appreciated.”

In related news, Leppert was absent from the Black Tie Dinner for the second time in four years on Saturday. He missed gay Pride this year too, also for the second time in four years.

Leppert is widely believed to be eyeing a run for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2012, but the video shows that he hasn’t completely distanced himself from the LGBT community.

Leppert’s openly gay chief of staff, Chris Heinbaugh, said the mayor missed Black Tie because he had a wedding and two other events on Saturday night.

“They changed the program a bit this year and the Mayor was not asked to speak, so it made the decision a bit easier,” Heinbaugh said.

—  John Wright

Black Pride Weekend: Black LGBT Summit kicks off weekend

Black Pride starts off on a proper note

The organizers at DFW Pride Movement start Black Pride with an actual summit. Now that’s pretty cool and it gets the message across that this just isn’t a partying weekend. Although, there is that too. In the summit, they want to tackle health in the community and solidarity between citizens and leaders.

Before premiering the new season of GLO TV on Saturday, network president Maurice Jamal, pictured, will serve as the summit’s keynote speaker.

DEETS: Westin City Center, 650 N. Pearl St. 1 p.m. DFWPrideMovement.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Gary Bauer at the Values Voter Summit compares 2010 elections to overthrowing 9/11 hijackers

I don’t understand how Gary Bauer can bleat over-the-top crap like this and think he’s going to appeal to the mainstream. This garbage not only exploits 9/11, it’s batsh*t insane. Amanda Terkel at HuffPo:

At Friday’s conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., speakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) urged attendees to turn out and vote in November in order to elect more conservatives to office. But the most extreme call came from onetime presidential candidate Gary Bauer, now the president of the right-wing group American Values, who equated the importance of turning out in November to defeating the 9/11 hijackers:

BAUER: From the cell phone calls that were made and the tapes that we have [from 9/11], we know that those passengers went to the back of the plane. Being good Americans, they started a debate. “Well,” some of them said, “we need to get back to our seats. We can’t do anything about this. You don’t fight hijackers. The plane will land. And then there will be negotiations. We’ll get out of here.” Other people said, “No, no, the country is under attack. We’ve got to fight.” And you know what they did? Nobody won the debate! So somebody said, “Let’s vote.”

That’s what we’re going to do in 45 days, right? We’re going to vote. If you get up that morning and you’re tired, you’re sick, it’s raining — remember these Americans on the plane. They voted to fight back. So they made weapons with whatever they can — leftover utensils from breakfast. The flight attendant was still alive; she boiled the water for the coffee. That was going to be her weapon. They took the drink cart, used it as a battering ram. They ran down the aisle of that plane, throwing the water, fighting as hard as they could, into the teeth of men armed with box cutters!

They brought that plane down. They spared this country more pain, more sorrow, more deaths. God bless them! Don’t forget them!

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

HRC Participates in School Bullying Summit

Starting today, the Department of Education’s Office for Safe and Drug Free Schools is hosting the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit. During the two day summit, a wide range of participants (including the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services) will gather with experts from around the country to discuss the scope and impact of bullying, and what programs and policies are working best to combat it.

Earlier this month, HRC sent a letter [pdf] to Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, expressing our support for new federal initiatives to prevent and address bullying in our nation’s schools. In these letters, HRC recommended 9 actions that the federal government can take to address bullying against LGBT students, those perceived to be LGBT or those from LGBT families.   In addition, HRC joined a coalition of civil rights, religious, education, professional and civic organizations to submit policy and programming recommendations [pdf] for the summit conveners.

Bullying prevention is a critical issue to the LGBT community because LGBT students are disproportionately affected by bullying.  According to a 2007 School Climate Survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth reported being verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation; more than 60 percent of LGBT students said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and more than a third of LGBT students felt unsafe because of their gender expression; nearly 45 percent of LGBT students reported being physically harassed in school because of their sexual orientation; and nearly one third of LGBT students nationwide said they had missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.

While it will not be easy to change the school environment, the engagement and cooperative action being taken by these agencies is a promising step.  It is our hope that this first-of-its-kind bullying summit indicates that combating bullying in our nation’s schools, particularly against LGBT students, those perceived to be LGBT or those from LGBT families, is a priority for this Administration.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Talking Equality at the State Legislators Summit

The annual National Conference of State Legislators Legislative Summit brings together state senators and representatives from across the country to discuss the most pressing state issues of the day. But, while more than 450 bills having a direct impact on the LGBT community were introduced in 2009 and more than 300 already introduced this year, a substantive discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity were notably absent from the official agenda. HRC worked to highlight the importance of LGBT inclusion by providing a booth dedicated to state successes and failures on our issues. We also hosted a reception along with Gill Action and the Victory Fund for LGBT and allied state legislators. By covering broad problems such as interstate recognition of same-sex marriages [pdf] and relationships as well as targeted discussions such as lack of inclusive anti-bullying provisions [pdf] and hate crimes laws [pdf], state legislators were drawn in to discussions of how they can introduce or support efforts to pass bills specific to their state.

Many state legislators told stories of personally supporting the LGBT community but decried a lack of support from their constituents. Your state legislators need to hear from you! Passing state legislation is equally important to passing federal legislation. Often state legislation can cover issues inaccessible by federal laws or fill in gaps. Under the federal hate crimes law, the Department of Justice can only prosecute crimes where there is a federal nexus. States must pass their own inclusive hate crimes laws to ensure adequate protection. By reaching out to state legislators, pressure can be created to pass a wide range of critical legislation.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Queer People of Color Summit in Austin next weekend

Chastity Kirven
Chastity Kirven

This year’s Statewide Queer People of Color Summit begins July 9 at Alma de Mujer, a retreat northwest of Downtown Austin.

The summit is a gathering of LGBT people of color and activist allies. The goal of the weekend is to build relationships, think critically, envision liberation and create strategies that build and sustain a queer people of color movement across the state of Texas.

Dallas activist Chastity Kirven is among the speakers.

The registration fee includes includes two nights lodging at the facility, six meals, snacks and materials.

The summit is from 6 p.m. July 9 through 3 p.m. July 11 at Alma de Mujer, 3621 FM 2769 in Austin. The cost is $120. For more info, call 512-472-2001.

—  David Taffet