Dallas County Commission proclaims June Pride Month

Dallas County Pride

Members of the LGBT Community (and ally Judge Ken Molberg) gather in the lobby outside the Dallas County Commissioners Court to celebrate Pride Month in Dallas County (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

County Commissioner Mike Cantrell has made it a routine to skip the Dallas County Commission’s proclamation of June as LGBT Pride Month. But the court continues to issue the proclamation. And today (Tuesday, June 21), in addition to issuing the proclamation, the commissioners spent time remembering the victims of the Orlando massacre and the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. (Cantrell couldn’t be bothered with that either.)

County Judge Clay Jenkins noted this was the first meeting of the commissioners since the Orlando shooting. He called for a moment of silence for those who died in the attacks.

But Commissioner Theresa Daniel, who presented the Pride Month proclamation, was clearly tired of moments of silence that get nothing done: “Instead of a moment of silence, let’s have a moment of action,” Daniel said. “At this table, we have a responsibility for public safety.”

She said when someone comes to a county facility for a flu shot, to serve jury duty, to pay taxes or interact with the county for any other reason, citizens have an expectation of safety. The best way to achieve that is to create an environment where all are welcome.

“Diversity in our society is our strength,” she said.

Commissioner Elba Garcia expressed horror that last night (June 20) the Senate voted to allow people on the terrorist watch list to buy assault weapons.

Commissioner John Wiley Price commented on Mother Emanuel and the history of bombings against the black community.

In her proclamation, Daniel noted the Stonewall riots and the one-year anniversary of marriage equality. She called Dallas County a beacon of light, where same-sex couples are welcomed. Harassment and job discrimination are still problems, Daniel’s proclamation points out, and must be ended.

Once the proclamation passed unanimously (minus the absent Cantrell), Lambda Legal’s Omar Narvaez spoke for the group of LGBT community members and allies who attended the meeting. He talked about the gut-wrenching week the community has endured since the Orlando massacre, but thanked the commission for being allies.

—  David Taffet

Dallas County Commissioners issue LGBT Pride proclamation

Dallas County Pride
Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel read a Pride proclamation in honor of Pride month. Several leaders of the community were at Commissioners Court to accept the proclamation and thank commissioners for presenting it. Commissioner Mike Cantrell conveniently had a phone call that he had to take so couldn’t be present while there were gay people in the chamber.

Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, GEAR, Resource Center, Hope for Peace and Justice, Cathedral of Hope, Stonewall Democrats and Lambda Legal were represented at the presentation.

Pride Month Resolution:

BE IT REMEMBERED, at a regular meeting of the Commissioners Court of Dallas County, Texas, held on the 9th day of June, 2015, on a motion made by Dr. Theresa M. Daniel, Commissioner of District #1…the following Resolution was adopted:

WHEREAS, 46 years ago this month, on June 27, 1969, the New York City Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood patronized by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The Stonewall Riots that followed that bar raid marked the beginning of the modern LGBT movement that transformed the oppression of people into a catalyst for pride and action; and

WHEREAS, The Stonewall Riots are key to the development of the LGBT movement in not only the United States but also worldwide, and it also led to LGBT Pride Month, where governments and ordinary people alike mark the events of June 1969 while also committing to work for equal justice under the law for LGBT Americans; and

WHEREAS, Dallas County’s LGBT community from youth to senior citizens has the right to feel safe, not be discriminated against and not live with the threat of harassment and persecution; and

WHEREAS, Dallas County leadership and staff have committed to make a LGBT-welcoming county by establishing a Dallas County Sheriff’s Department LGBT liaison, by establishing a LGBT task force in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, by ratifying a fully-inclusive employee nondiscrimination policy, and establishing both equal employment partner health benefits as well as family leave. Dallas County remains the first and only county in Texas to have an employee policy health benefits and equivalent family leave in place; and

WHEREAS, Even after an expected U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage later this month, there is more work to be done to make sure that equality for all means all aspects of the LGBT community, and Dallas County wishes to be a leader in this quest; and

WHEREAS, The LGBT community has made great strides, however equality, inclusion and acceptance are not yet fully achieved. These values are fundamental to our county’s founding governing principles and are values that we all must practice and teach to future generations.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dallas County Commissioners Court does hereby proclaim the month of June 2015 as LGBT Pride Month.

DONE IN OPEN COURT this the 9th day of June, 2015.

—  David Taffet

POLITICAL CALENDAR: Fundraiser for 7-11-born Theresa Daniel features free adult Slurpees

Three political events of interest to the LGBT community are happening Wednesday night and Thursday. Equality Texas will be raising funds in Fort Worth, and candidates Theresa Daniel and Paul Sadler will be meeting voters. Without endorsing any candidates, however, Daniel does win our vote for best logo of the political season (right).

Equality Texas

Red, White & You takes place Thursday at the Rebecca Low Gallery in Fort Worth and benefits Equality Texas. The evening includes signature drinks, gourmet tastes, music and fun.

In the upcoming legislative session, Equality Texas hopes to advance employment nondiscrimination legislation and money raised at this event will support that effort.

Tickets are $50. Register here.

Rebecca Low Gallery, 7608 Camp Bowie West, Fort Worth. July 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Paul Sadler

Also Thursday, the Preston Hollow Democrats host Democratic Senate candidate Paul Sadler at Northaven United Methodist Church. Mingling starts at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins promptly at 7 p.m. Sadler will discuss his vision for Texas and answer questions from the audience.

Sadler faces Grady Yarbrough in the July 31 runoff. Early voting takes place July 23–27.

Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road, July 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Theresa Daniel

On Wednesday night (and beginning in about an hour), attend a birthday celebration and fundraiser for Theresa Daniel, the Democratic nominee for the District 1 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. In honor of her birthday on 7-11, complimentary “adult” Slurpees and appetizers will be served. A minimum campaign contribution of $25 is appreciated.

In November, Daniel faces Republican Larry Miller, whose used anti-gay tactics in the GOP primary.

The Home of Norma Minnis, 9729 Van Dyke Road, Dallas. July 11 from 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.

—  David Taffet

Ex-Councilman J.T. Price rescinds endorsement of Theresa Daniel over her support for gay rights

On Monday we told you that Theresa Daniel, a Democratic candidate for the newly redrawn District 1 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, had sent out an endorsement letter signed by 17 “LGBT Leaders & Friends.” Among other things, the letter mentioned that Daniel is a longtime member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, which is, of course, the party’s LGBT caucus. Well, apparently that came as a surprise to former Dallas City Councilman Jesse “J.T.” Price, who had endorsed Daniel for Commissioners Court. Daniel reports this morning that, after learning that she’s a member of Stonewall, Price requested that she remove his name from her endorsement list.

“I am disappointed by this development, and had I known Price held this view, I never would have used his name to begin with,” Daniel said in an email. “To my mind, being a Democrat means that you are inclusive and accepting of others. It also means that you are committed to fighting discrimination wherever it exists. I am proud of my convictions, proud of my work with the LGBT community and Democratic Party, and proud of my membership in Stonewall Democrats.”

FYI, in case you’ve never heard of Jesse Price, according to Dallas Morning News archives, he served on the council from 1967 to 1972.

Read Daniel’s full email after the jump.

—  John Wright

17 ‘LGBT Leaders & Friends’ back Theresa Daniel for Dallas County Commissioners Court

Theresa Daniel, a Democratic candidate for the newly redrawn District 1 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, today sent out an endorsement letter from a group of “LGBT Leaders & Friends.”

Read our recent story on the District 1 race here. Coincidentally, The Dallas Morning News had a good primer on the race in today’s edition saying there’s a “good chance” the district (currently represented by retiring Republican Maurine “Trans Fat” Dickey) will go Democratic. The story also compares the new district to “the head of a pipe wrench” and notes that it “flows into the north, south and eastern parts of the county and includes parts of Pleasant Grove, Garland, Richardson, Oak Lawn and White Rock Lake.”

“Because of the new demographics, the winner will have to develop a coalition that crosses racial and geographic lines and be able to reach out to all the groups,” the DMN’s story states.

The letter in support of Daniel is signed by 17 people, from former State Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt to former City Councilman Chris Luna, and states that Daniel “didn’t join the Stonewall Democrats last month or last year just because she is running for office.” Which, apparently, is a jab at one of her opponents in the primary, Daniel Clayton. The letter also notes that Theresa Daniel, a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, voted in favor of putting a marriage equality resolution on the statewide primary ballot earlier this year. As we’ve noted, that resolution has failed twice.

“Theresa Daniel does more than talk the talk,” the letter states. “She walks the walk. She has been there with us, and with dozens of other community groups, working to make Dallas County a better, more Democratic place. We don’t have to worry about where Theresa Daniel stands or how she will perform. She has earned our trust.”

Read the full letter after the jump.

—  John Wright

Democrats seeking District 1 Commmissioners Court seat to debate Saturday at Oak Lawn Library

Theresa Daniel and Daniel Clayton

Park Cities/Central Dallas Democrats hosts a forum for candidates for Dallas County Commissioners Court, District 1, on Saturday, March 3 at the Oak Lawn Library from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Three candidates will square off in the Democratic Primary to fill the seat currently held by Republican Commissioner Maureen Dickey.

The candidates are Gloria Levario, Theresa Daniel and Daniel Clayton.

Clayton works for State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. Daniel, a UTA professor, has served on the State Democratic Executive Committee since 1996 and as chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party Advisory Committee for four years. Levario works for Baylor’s physician network to manage their medical practices.

The district lines have been redrawn, making the seat more likely to be won by a Democrat. The new district covers a north central portion of the county and includes parts of Oak Lawn. Cedar Springs Road is the boundary line.

Read more about the race here.

—  David Taffet