Iconic LGBT activist Ray Hill files for Texas House seat

Ray Hill

Ray Hill

Long time Houston LGBT activist Ray Hill filed paperwork this week to run for the 147th Texas House seat against incumbent Garnet Coleman, D – Houston. The iconic (and iconoclastic) Hill said that he and Coleman agree on many issues but that he had “some issues  that aren’t on the table in Austin.”

Specifically Hill has concerns with the legislature’s approach to criminal justice issues. “The Texas legislature is a serial world class red-necking competition,” says Hill. “What they are doing on criminal justice is wrong and it doesn’t work… we need a serious rethink.”

Coleman has a strong history of supporting LGBT legislation. For the last three sessions he has attempted to pass anti-bullying legislation that would require school districts to report instances of bullying using an enumerated list of motivating characteristics that include both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, he has also filed legislation to remove the the crime of “homosexual conduct” from the Texas penal code (a law that has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court), to equalize age of consent laws in Texas and to add gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crime law. In the 82nd legislature earlier this year Coleman authored seven pieces of legislation designed to create greater equality for LGBT people, including the first ever filing of legislation to standardize change of gender marker procedures for the transgender community and the first effort to repeal the state’s constitutional prohibition against marriage equality.

Hill recognizes Coleman’s historic contributions, “The incumbent and I agree on a lot of issues,” says Hill, “but we don’t tell young gay people ‘if you work real hard and go to school and do your best you can grow up to have straight friends in Austin who like you.’ No, we tell them ‘if you work hard they can grow up to be Mayor of Houston, or City Supervisor of San Francisco.’”

When asked why the community would be better served by him than Coleman, a 20 year legislative veteran, Hill replies “I understand how government works. A freshman legislator can’t do anything more than irritate, but that’s about all any member of the minority party can do. On that level the incumbent and I are on the same level… I think we need somebody obnoxious [in the legislature] who’s going to purposefully rub the cat hair the wrong direction.”

Since being elected to the legislature for the first time in 1992 Coleman has been unopposed in 5 of his 9 primary reelection bids. No primary challenger to Coleman has pulled more than 21% of the vote.

—  admin

Great Spaces Spring 2011: Table of Contents

There grows the neighborhood: Architect/TV host John Gidding offers tips for multiple-home improvement, or just a single room

Conditioner love: Yes, you can have a cold house without the big bills — and that’s not hot air

Cool it now: Now that it’s bearable outside, this would be an ideal time to get that air conditioning unit tuned up

Not-so-secret gardens: Three gay gardens make elite 5 highlighted in this year’s Garden Conservancy Tour

Kitchen possible: One local couple can take the nightmare out of revitalizing your kitchen into a dream

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF

editor
Rich Lopez

contributing writers
Steven Lindsey
David Taffet
Jef Tingley

creative director
Michael F. Stephens

graphic designer
Kevin Thomas

web design
John Wright

—  John Wright

FEEDBACK: Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Why I’m supporting Kunkle

Thank you for the in-depth expose on the three major mayoral candidates (“Decision in Dallas,” Dallas Voice, April 8).

While there are different opinions regarding the candidates, David Kunkle is my personal choice. I have watched him closely over the last several years and was so impressed with his style of leadership and soft-spoken manner when he was police chief. He went all over this city, listening and getting feedback from not only the GLBT community, but everywhere.

Additionally, he is effective. He may not be the flashiest or most dynamic of the candidates, but he’s a keen thinker and avid reader focused on real world solutions on what works and what doesn’t.

He also appreciates the eclectic aspects of Dallas. That’s an important place to be in my mind, so that we can attract not only Fortune 500 companies but also the small businessman/woman and the budding creative entrepreneurs who want to live in our city.

I don’t know that I necessarily want another CEO as mayor. We hear all the time that government should be run like a business. I think it should not be. Contrary to popular belief today, government is not a business.

Municipal government needs an experienced and competent administrator. In addition to serving as Dallas police chief, David Kunkle also has experience serving as the assistant city manager of Arlington, which will provide him with a skill set from day one that will no doubt serve him well as mayor.

Ron Natinsky and Mike Rawlings both are pleasant gentlemen and they each bring their own “skill set” to the table and there are good people supporting them. But I’m going to be casting my ballot for David Kunkle.

Jay Narey
Dallas

—  John Wright

Pelosi: All options are on the table re DADT repeal

An intriguing statement from the Speaker. All options? Like attaching DADT repeal to the CR or the tax compromise?

Drew Hammill, spokesman for Speaker Pelosi, said:

“By an overwhelming 40-vote margin, the House voted for the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal amendment as part of the Defense bill in May.

“There has always been the possibility of bringing up the repeal as a freestanding bill in the House or Senate.

“As we come to the end of the session, all options to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ are now on the table.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Cardinal says gays persecute and silence; we might shush our Catholic Aunt Bethany at the Thanksgiving table, but that’s about it (*and that’s b/c she’s annoying, not b/c she’s Christian)

Cardinal-BiffiCardinal Giacomo Biffi has updated and republished his memoirs, with new portions focused exclusively on homosexuality. This snippet from the openly anti-gay LifeSite News:

In these “shattered” times, the cardinal said, the new ideologies have resulted in an “intellectual blindness” and in the silencing of Christians who are intimidated by persecution by homosexuals and their ideological accomplices.

But in the end, the cardinal wrote, the Church will not be defeated: “We are with the Lord of History.”



The ideology of homosexuality, he said, as often happens to ideologies when they become aggressive and are politically successful, “becomes a threat to our legitimate autonomy of thought: those who do not share it risk condemnation to a kind of cultural and social marginalization.”

“The attacks on freedom of thought start with language,” he wrote. “Those who do not resign themselves to accept ‘homophilia’ … are charged with ‘homophobia’.”

“Is it still permitted … to be faithful and consistent disciples of the teaching of Christ … or must we prepare ourselves for a new form of persecution, promoted by homosexual activists, by their ideological accomplices, and even by those whose task it should be to defend the intellectual freedom of all, including Christians?”

Aggressive homosexual ideology silencing Christians: senior Cardinal [LifeSite News]

Pretty harsh and dangerous claims, no? Here we have an influential leader of the Roman Catholic Church putting forth messaging that pretty much tells believers that gays who are ‘radical” enough to see themselves as equal citizens of the world (how dare we?) are out to get people of faith, and therefore the church must fight back against the supposed persecution. In this day and age of bullying and other highlighted torments, this is the meme the Cardinal is choosing to drum up. As we said: Dangerous.

And then there’s the element of pure nonsense. The Cardinal paints a portrait of militant gays intimidating and silencing and persecuting and attacking. Then he talks about how the church will ultimately win. All the while, we’re sitting here on the sidelines, wondering why people keep trying to drag us into a fight we never asked for, fostered, or raise a fist within. It’s like junior high all over again, where we just wanna get through the day so we can go home and play Super Mario World, but our friend Mason keeps insisting on running his mouth, getting into arguments, and dragging us into it. Next thing we know, Mason’s coming to blows behind the football field, and we’re forced to sit there feigning interest and wasting crucial Yoshi time, having been drug into the silly melee by unsubstantiated claims, demanded sympathies, and the unfortunate fact that our seventh grade locker proximity led Mason to determine that our geographical closeness should translate to friendship. Yea, it’s kind of like that. Except, you know: With the Cardinal’s reach extending well beyond Mason’s influence at the most popular lunch room table, and the stakes being marked in actual human lives rather than Mario’s digital 1ups.

But who here in America has signed on to this unfortunate, nonsensical, perilous rhetoric as a fan? None other than the Catholic-focused National Organization For Marriage, natch:

Screen Shot 2010-11-24 At 6.59.53 AmCardinal Biffi’s new essay in a book “The Inconvenient Memoirs” points out the ways in which an “aggressive ideology” is shattering the once-Christian west and increasingly silencing the voice of Christians. But to those who argue for the inevitability of the victory of this new ideology, he says, fear not, “We are with the Lord of History.”

“We are With the Lord of History” [NOM Blog]

Makes sense (in nonsensical “culture war” terms) that NOM would get behind this kind of thing. We’ve always said that while “marriage protection” is NOM’s stated goal, their underlying, perhaps more pervasive strategy is script-flipping. They want to change the stakes of this conversation, position this current civil rights conversation as being their own struggle over supposed gay persecution, so that for the first time in history, it will be the rights-strippers who history shines favorably upon. In that sense, Cardinal Biffi’s “with the Lord of History” rhetoric fits like a gay love.

But despite it being non-shocking, we should not neglect the concerns attached to this mindset. It is an outlook that, by design, will more fully enrage like-minded people of faith every time an LGBT person gains a fortuitous new labor-fruit. As that can is more fully cracked open, none of NOM’s carefully parsed language or measured sympathies will be able to control the way the masses receive and act on what pretty much sounds like a Christian call to arms.




Good As You

—  admin

TX: GOP congressional candidate: violent overthrow of government is ‘on the table’

Holy mother of dog, this is the Texas GOP in 2010. This guy is referred to as “Constitutionalist Pastor” Stephen Broden. (Dallas Morning News):

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising “is not the first option,” but it is “on the table.” That drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks “inappropriate.”

Broden, a first-time candidate, is challenging veteran incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas’ heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District. Johnson’s campaign declined to comment on Broden.

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation’s government as tyrannical.

“We have a constitutional remedy,” Broden said then. “And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.”

I love the soft sell response by the county chair — “inappropriate” LOLOLOL. WTF!?  Bring on the crazeee…

Also in June 2009, Broden compared those governing the United States to Nazi Germany.


“Let me tell you that is something that happened in Germany when the Jews were walking into the furnaces and they didn’t even try to stop or fight their way. They walked in because they did not believe that this was happening. They didn’t believe that humanity could be so evil. I am submitting to you tonight that is where America is right now. They are our enemies and we must resist them.”

News 8 wanted to know if Broden was trying to say that Barack Obama is like Adolph Hitler. “No I am not,” he said Thursday.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Audio: Gillibrand committed as ever to #DADT; Dioguardi might put hand on table after others have done heavy lifting

New York debate for U.S. Senate: Incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D and former Congressman Joe Dioguardi (R) speak out on #DADT repeal. Basically it’s a split between a “moral imperative” to lead vs. a willingness to wait while good and decent citizens are discharged because of who they are:

MORE: Sen. Gillibrand cites #DADT appeal as a top two point where she breaks from her boss. Meanwhile, the moderator gives Dioguardi the perfect opportunity to repudiate Carl Paladino’s hurtful comments, yet the Republican challenger fails to seize it:



(SOURCE: WABC)




Good As You

—  John Wright

October 7th In NYC: Ali Forney Center’s “A Place At The Table” Annual Benefit

The Ali Forney Center, NYC’s homeless shelter for LGBT youth, will be holding their annual “A Place At The Table” benefit gala dinner on October 7th at 91 Horatio Street in the West Village. Get tickets here. This year’s host is openly gay Tony winning actor Denis O’Hare, whom you may best know as True Blood’s vicious vampire, Russell Edgington.

The Ali Forney Center’s 2010 honorees are furniture mogul, author and gay activist Mitchell Gold…and somehow…yours truly. How’d that happen? I can just picture the King Of Mississippi ripping my heart out in mid-acceptance speech. “Now, time for the weather. Tiffany?” Seriously, I’m very flattered. As longtime JMG readers and my pals know, I can’t go two sentences about the noble and desperately needed work of the Ali Forney Center without needing a tissue.

Get tickets here. If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation. Times are hard everywhere, but nowhere more so than charities such the Ali Forney Center, where the stream of desperate gay youth is endless, but the money flow is definitely not. If you are a business owner or ad buyer, please consider placement in the evening’s program.

RELATED: Check out my post from last year’s “A Place At The Table” where the honorees were NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Councilman Lewis Fidler, with entertainment provided by Rufus Wainwright. Also in the house last year: Sandra Bernhard, Dan Choi, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright