VP conducts his first marriage ceremony, for two gay WH staffers

VP Biden wedding tweet

Vice President Joe Biden has conducted his first wedding ceremony, and it was for a gay male couple, both of whom are longtime White House staffers.

BuzzFeed reports that Biden obtained a temporary certification from the District of Columbia so that he could perform the wedding ceremony for Brian Mosteller and Joe Mahshie. The ceremony took place Monday afternoon at Biden’s home.

The vice president then tweeted out a photo of himself performing the ceremony for Mosteller and Mahshie, saying, “Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn’t be happier, two longtime White House staffers, two great guys.”

His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, then retweeted the post, saying, “Love is love! — Jill.”

Buzz Feed notes that Mosteller is the director of Oval Office operations and Mahshie is a trip coordinator for First Lady Michelle Obama.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: The gayest of weddings — Tallon-Tenenbaum

Surrounded by about 100 of their family and friends, including me, Zach Tallon and Harold Tanenbaum — a popular couple in the North Texas gay community — legalized their relationship of 10 years with an official ceremony in their North Dallas back yard. Despite being a Jewish service, Sister Helen Holy showed up to entertain with her benedictions. Mazel tov!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Couples needed for wedding apparel fashion show

920x920Dallas Voice is looking for LGBT couples to model wedding attire at our upcoming Wedding Party and Expo. The event, the second that Dallas Voice has hosted since the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision last June 26, will be held March 20.

Mark Stinson-Stokes, the Voice’s conference and events director, said he is looking for “a diverse group of couples/models” to “represent the beauty of the DFW LGBT community.” “Couples” are not required to actually be in a relationship to model as a couple in the fashion show. There is no compensation, other than paid parking and the chance to be a wedding fashion model.

Couples will be interviewed Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Dallas Voice offices, 1825 Market Center Blvd., Ste. 240 (that’s in the Chase Bank building at the corner of Market Center and Turtle Creek Boulevard, in the Design District.). No reservations or booking are required.

A small panel of people will participate in the interviews to choose four lesbian couples and four gay couples for the Wedding Party and Expo, set for noon-4 p.m. on March 20 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel.

Those who are chosen to participate as models will be notified within 48 hours.

Anyone with question can contact Stinson by email at expo@dallasvoice.com.

—  Tammye Nash

This is why marriage equality matters

Here’s a video from the Liberty Education Forum. Nothing else needs to be said.

—  Tammye Nash

Really? People are surprised Barry Manilow is gay?

ManilowWhy the stupid headlines?

People: Surprise! Barry Manilow Has Married His Manager Garry Kief

National Enquirer: WORLD EXCLUSIVE: BARRY MANILOW SECRET GAY WEDDING

And this from the story in the U.K.’s Daily Mail: Apparently, the star who has millions of female fans around the world, was worried that if they made their union official, word would leak out about his sexuality and that his fans wouldn’t approve of him being gay.

Yes, because a gay male star can’t have millions of female fans. Right Ricky Martin? Liberace? Elton John? Adam Lambert? Clay Aiken?

And those headlines — really?!

Surprise?!

No, Barry Manilow, 71, never came out officially with a big public pronouncement. No one did that in the late ’60s, early ’70s. He never did the big Advocate coming out cover story interview.

He didn’t have to. He was gay. There was never any secret since his 1971 hit, “You deserve a break today, so get up and get away to McDonalds.” Really. “I am stuck on Band-Aid brand cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me” is his, too.

But if anyone needed clues that the man who made the whole world sing was gay, he dropped a few along the way.

He wrote the Broadway musical Copacabana. Gee, I hate to stereotype, but name a straight Broadway composer — later than Oscar Hammerstein — off the top of your head.

Here’s another:

He got his start as Bette Midler’s piano player. At the Continental Baths. With gay men dressed only in towels watching him perform. Night after night. Especially every Saturday night. With the Divine Miss M. At the baths. The really sleazy Continental Baths.

Anyone who didn’t catch on with that clue wouldn’t have gotten the hint had he said, “Yep, I’m gay” on the cover of Time. With some people, it just doesn’t sink in.

And “secret gay wedding” as the Daily Mail claimed? They got married at their home with about 30 friends there. Just because they didn’t make a big announcement to the press doesn’t make it a secret wedding.

Maybe it just bothers some straight people that “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time” was by a gay man.

—  David Taffet

Congrats to Amy and Kelly — and all the other Florida newlyweds

Screen shot 2015-01-08 at 4.52.15 PM

Florida newlyweds Amy and Kelly

My friends Amy and Kelly were among the 30 Florida couples tapped to receive their marriage license immediately after midnight Jan. 5 — so, on Jan. 6 — when the stay expired on Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling declaring the Florida marriage equality ban unconstitutional. Because of legal wrangling over to whom Hinkle’s order applied, the Orlando county clerk guaranteed only 30 marriage licenses at first.

As it turned out, the stay on a second pro-marriage-equality ruling was lifted on Jan. 5, and Hinkle issued an order making it clear that his ruling applied to everyone in every Florida county. So Amy and Kelly and the other 29 couples were not the first to get their licenses and exchange vows. But that didn’t make their ceremony any less touching and wonderful.

The CENTER — LGBT Community Center of Central Florida hosted a wedding for the 30 couples getting their licenses Jan. 6 in Orlando, and as Amy said on Facebook, she and Kelly never expected to be able to get married in such style. She has given me permission to share this photo of them, above, and this video, below, of the mass wedding. In the video, Amy and Kelly are the first couple in the procession, and they are both wearing white.

So congrats, Amy and Kelly, and all the other happy couples in Florida. I can’t wait til Texas gets on the bandwagon and my spouse and I get to make it legal.

—  Tammye Nash

AFFA auctioning off big gay wedding in Charleston

Same-sex marriage may not be legal in South Carolina, but Charleston‘s leading LGBT advocacy organization is still auctioning off a complete destination-wedding package for one lucky same-sex couple.rings

The Alliance for Full Acceptance has pulled together the city’s “top wedding professionals” to create a prize package that includes a wedding for 50 guests to be held Jan. 24,with wedding and event planning, hotel discounts, limo service, live entertainment, the cake and more. The prize package is valued at over $45,000.

Bidding continues through Aug. 8 at Bidding for Good. All proceeds will benefit AFFA’s LGBT advocacy efforts in South Carolina.

Said AFFA Executive Director Warren Redman-Gress: “Tourism is the No. 1 driver of the local economy, and we are constantly ranked as one of the friendliest, with the most mannerly residents. So we think it’s time for Charleston to show what we’re really made of: Acceptance for all.”

—  Tammye Nash

Rev. Amy Delong, tried by Methodists for being a lesbian, to preach at Bering Memorial Methodist Church

Rev. Amy DeLong

Paperwork can be the bane of any job. For Rev. Amy Delong a simple annual report catapulted her into the maelstrom of the United Methodist Church’s debate on accepting LGBT people. DeLong visits Houston’s Bering Memorial United Methodist Church (1440 Harold) on Sunday, Feb. 12 to preach at both the 8:30 and 10:50 service.

In 2009 DeLong was approached by two women who wanted to get married. After conducting premarital counseling with the couple Delong agreed to perform the ceremony. As a clergy person, DeLong was required to report on her activities at the end of the year, including any weddings she had performed. She knew that the Methodist Church did not allow same-sex marriage but thought “I don’t know if anybody even reads these.” Boy, was she wrong!

With-in three days she was hauled into the her boss’s (the bishop) office. DeLong’s relationship with her partner Val was well known to her colleagues. “I’ve never had a bishop or a leader in the church or a pastor who didn’t know that I was gay,” says DeLong. “Everyone knows Val.” But the church was determined now to make an example of her, and DeLon’s relationship would now be an issue.

In 2011 DeLong was tried in the church’s court with violating the Methodist “Book of Discipline” by being in a same-sex relationship and by performing a same-sex wedding. During the trial she refused to answer pointed questions about her and her partner’s sex life. “No heterosexual couples are ever asked if they
still engage in genital contact in their marriages,” says DeLong. That refusal left the court with no evidence against her on the first charge.

She was convicted of performing the wedding and suspended from ministry for 20 days. The court also required DeLong to work with a group of ministers to prepare a statement on how to “help resolve issues that harm the clergy covenant, create an advesarial spirit or lead to future trails.” “This sentence is complicated,” says DeLong. “It doesn’t lend itself well to media soundbites. So a lot of folks have been saying to me ‘I can’t tell, is this penalty good?'” DeLong responds with a resounding “Yes!” Saying that she welcomes the opportunity to write, teach and study on a topic dear to her heart.

DeLong recalls that during that initial meeting in the bishop’s office one of the bishop’s assistants referred to her as a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” To which she responded “Val and I aren’t practicing any more… we are pretty good at it by now.” The assistant laughed. More than anything that is the impression one gets of DeLong: someone with a lot of humor and aplomb who is unwilling to back down from a fight for justice.

After the jump watch a clip of DeLong talking about her experience.

—  admin

Drawing Dallas • 11.25.11

As ‘Twilight’ returns, Skylar Brooks shows blood sucking can be a service

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Skylar Brooks, 24

Occupation: Testing coordinator, Resource Center Dallas, and shift manager, Starbucks

Spotted at: Exxon on the Run at Maple and Oak Lawn

A twinkle in her unbelievably pale blue eyes and an effervescent smile are the first things you notice about this fine Virgo. Born in Monroe, La., and raised in Euless and Bedford, the perpetually positive Skylar considers herself a clown and a jokester — smiles and laughter come to her quite freely. She came out at 16.

She loves the nightlife. Skylar loves to dance, and her freestyle moves on the floor have garnered her three “dance off” wins at Station 4. She also loves to sing, especially R&B (Brian McKnight is a favorite). She auditioned for American Idol last year, and while she didn’t get through, says she’s determined to try again. Her love of music and dance is hereditary: Her mother was on the drill team and danced ballet, and her father plays drums and the trumpet and loves to belt out a song.

In addition to indoor activities, she plays midfield and forward in a local soccer league, and basketball for fun. Skylar loves to travel, she has a special affinity for the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Bahamas).

Enter love  “Three months in, I knew she was the one,” says Skylar of her fiancé, Shereen, whom she met through mutual friends 18 months ago; they have a wedding set in Vermont next June. Both of their families are excited for them.

Skylar’s goal is to become a surgical technician. Her motto: “I help people one blood draw at a time.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 25, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens