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

Stonewall

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].”

—  Dallasvoice

Texas Stonewall Democrats to honor state party Chair Boyd Richie prior to convention in Houston

Boyd Richie

The above photo apparently was taken Tuesday night during Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ monthly meeting at Ojeda’s on Maple Avenue. It was sent to Instant Tea on Wednesday by Daniel Graney, the president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus who, according to Facebook, is celebrating his birthday today. (Happy birthday, Dan.)

As we mentioned Tuesday, TSDC has named the Dallas chapter the recipient of the statewide group’s Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award, which is named for Graney’s late partner.

On Wednesday, Graney announced this year’s other award winners. They are JC Dufresne, a straight ally from San Antonio, who’ll take home the Buck Massey Legacy of Leadership Award, named for the late Buck Massey of Dallas; and Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie, who’ll receive the Lone Star Equality Advocate Award.

All three awards will be presented in Houston prior to the state party convention, at a reception hosted by TSDC at the Hilton Americas Hotel from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 7.

Graney’s full press release is below.

—  John Wright

With early voting in full swing, Stonewall Dems and Log Cabin go head to head in Dallas tonight

Expect bigger-than-usual turnouts at monthly meetings of the Dallas chapters of Stonewall Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans — now both held on the third Tuesday of the month. With early voting in full swing, candidates should be making last-ditch appeals to win over LGBT voters.

DV contributor Phyllis Guest, who serves as secretary for Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, reports that the group will also be celebrating an award prior to Tuesday’s meeting. The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, the statewide organization, has announced that the Dallas chapter will receive the Roberto J. Flores Club Achievement Award. From a press release:

Created to recognize Stonewall Democrats clubs for growth in membership and political activism, the award recalls Flores, first Chair of the Club Development Committee of the TSDC.

SDD is the largest of the state’s Stonewall Democrats clubs with more than 400 members and has served as a model for other clubs across Texas. Its outreach and energy have spurred the development of Stonewall clubs throughout Texas and have enabled the TSDC to gain recognition as the official LGBT Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party.

Dan Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, will present the award to Dallas President Omar Narvaez at a reception prior to the state party convention in Houston in June.

Stonewall meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave.

Meanwhile, Log Cabin’s monthly meeting will consist of a meet and greet for Dallas County Republican candidates, according to an email from the group.

“It’s a great, last minute opportunity to decide who it is you want to vote for — not by reading a pamphlet, but by reading a person. Already voted? Great! Join us for a drink anyway!” the group writes in an email.

The Log Cabin meeting runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Texas Land & Cattle, 3130 Lemmon Ave.

UPDATE: Speakers at the Stonewall meeting will include openly gay former State Rep. Glen Maxey, who’s running for Democratic National Committee, and Taylor Holden from the Obama campaign.

—  John Wright

Bi U.S. House candidate talks about being a role model for LGBT youth at campaign stop in Dallas

Former Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a bisexual candidate for U.S. House, talks about her challenging youth that helped inspire her to run for Congress at a fundraiser at Sue Ellen's April 29. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Former Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema charmed a small crowd at Sue Ellen’s Vixen Lounge on Sunday night on her first campaign trip to Texas to raise money for her campaign to become the first bisexual elected to Congress.

Sinema, a seven-year veteran of the Arizona Legislature, resigned in January to focus on her campaign for Arizona’s new 9th Congressional District, which covers Phoenix and areas to the north and east.

In her speech to the audience about her run for Congress, Sinema talked about her time growing up with divorced parents and the time she lived in an abandoned gas station when she was 8. While Dallas Voice did an interview with her before the event where she discussed views on immigration and how former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was a role model for her, Sinema spoke about how she now inspires youth.

“I want LGBT youth to see me and think, ‘I can do that,’” she told Instant Tea about running for Congress. “In particular I want young women and young gay people to feel like they can do anything, because they can.”

While working with youth as a social worker after putting herself through college with scholarships and grants, Sinema said she started lobbying at the Arizona Capitol to try to create change for the struggling youth and families she worked with daily. But the result was unsatisfactory as lawmakers refused to listen, she said.

“So I went to law school,” she said, adding that then she was not yet 25 and could not run for state office.

But in 2004, at 27, she won her first election as a state representative — the youngest women to win in the state’s history — and began to build relationships with Democrats and Republicans to change anti-gay views.

—  Dallasvoice

Texas Democratic Party leaders again refuse to put same-sex marriage on primary ballot

Daniel Graney

As David Taffet mentioned the other day, Freedom to Marry is pushing for the Democratic National Committee to add a pro-marriage equality plank to its platform — and prominent members like former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have signed on to the effort. Meanwhile, here in Texas, state Democratic Party leaders are apparently afraid to even ask primary voters whether they support marriage equality.

Back in November we reported that the State Democratic Executive Committee had voted 33-22 against placing a non-binding resolution on the primary ballot calling for same-sex couples to receive “equal access to civil marriage and all its benefits,” and stating that “all state and federal laws denying such access should be repealed.”At the time we noted that two openly gay SDEC members from Tarrant County had actually voted against the proposal.

Now, the president of the state Democratic Party’s LGBT caucus reports that the proposal resurfaced at an SDEC meeting on Feb. 11 — only to be shot down again, apparently by an even wider margin. Daniel Graney, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, writes at QSanAntonio:

This time the “no” vote came on a procedural matter. Garry Brown, an SDEC member from Austin, made a motion to bring back the marriage equality resolution for reconsideration in general session. State Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie ruled Brown’s motion out of order “because this was already voted on at the last SDEC meeting and was defeated.”

Brown appealed Chairman Richie’s ruling. A voice vote was taken on the appeal. The outcome of the voice vote was unclear and a division of the house was called. Only 16 members stood in support of the appeal and more than 40 stood in support of the Chairman’s ruling.

“I am very disappointed in the leadership of the Texas Democratic Party,” said Daniel Graney, President of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus.

“Many of these SDEC officials privately tell LGBT Democrats that they are with us on marriage equality and yet, they vote against us in public. Some of these officials who voted against us are LGBT, which makes this even more disgusting. The SDEC is clearly on the wrong side of history here.”

—  John Wright

Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus marks 10th aniversary

Group will honor founders, including Michael Milliken, Al Daniels of Dallas

From Staff Reports

Michael Milliken and Al Daniels

Michael Milliken, left, and Al Daniels

The Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus marks its 10th anniversary as the officially recognized LGBT caucus of the Texas Democratic Party at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention, which is expected to attract 8,000 delegates, alternates and visitors, including hundreds of LGBT delegates, to Corpus Christi June 24-26.

The anniversary events begin Thursday eve-ning, June 24, with a reception at Desiree’s By The Bay Restaurant at the Art Center, 100 Shoreline Blvd. The reception will feature a full buffet, cash bar, anniversary cake and presentation of the Founder’s Awards.

Co-founders Michael Milliken and Al Daniels of Dallas, who served as TSDC’s first president and treasurer respectively, first vice president Nancy Russell of San Antonio and first secretary Jonathan Westerman of Houston will be honored, as will Ron Ennis, who got TSDC chartered with National Stonewall Democrats, and Molly Beth Malcolm, a straight ally who was chair of the Texas Democratic Party at the time.

On Friday, June 25, the TSDC will hold its Biennial Caucus Membership Meeting at the American Bank Center before the business of the State Democratic Party begins. More than 350 delegates and visitors from around the state are expected to attend.

Current President Dan Graney of San Antonio and current Vice President Erin Moore of Dallas are seeking re-election. A new secretary and treasurer will be elected. Candidates and elected officials will be invited to address the group.

Milliken, Daniels and Ennis teamed up with other LGBT Democrats in Texas to found TSDC in January 2000 as the successor organization of the Lesbian/Gay Democrats of Texas. At the Texas Democratic Convention in Fort Worth in June of that year, Milliken successfully petitioned the convention delegates to approve adding TSDC as an “add-on” organization of the State Democratic Executive Committee, thus giving TSDC two LGBT seats on the SDEC, the governing board of the state party between conventions.

Since then, both the president and vice president of the TSDC have served as voting members at SDEC meetings.

At the time of TSDC’s founding, there were only three Stonewall Democrats chapters in Texas. There are now 10.

For more information, go online to TexasStonewallDemocrats.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 18, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice