Month: May 2007

Miller slams Oakley over rezone issue

By David Webb Staff Writer Mayor won’t make endorsement but says councilman supported “‘strong-arm’ tactics by city Laura Miller Dallas Mayor Laura Miller won’t say whom she wants to take her place at the horseshoe when she steps down after the June 16 runoff election. “No comment,” she said in an e-mail this week, “because I don’t want to get in an endorsement situation of any sort.” But based on what she had to say in a earlier telephone interview, it’s a pretty good bet it’s not Ed Oakley. Responding to a question about her thoughts on the mayor’s race, Miller said Oakley’s initial support of an agenda item recently brought before the City Council by Councilman Bill Blaydes had alarmed her. The agenda item, if it had been approved, would have forced a rezoning hearing on a 16-acre piece of business property against the owners’ wishes. The plan was to rezone the property occupied by Hollywood Door, which has operated on the Northeast Dallas site for a half-century, from its current commercial industrial zoning to something more complementary to the single-family houses that now surround it. The owners, Jack Pierce and his family, would have been forced to sell the land and move their business of building industrial overhead and garage doors to another site if that had been accomplished. “I have a huge problem with that,” Miller...

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Legislature laid off gays, even listened

By John Wright Staff Writer Equality Texas calls session “‘best combination ever’ for LGBT community Paul Scott For the first time in recent memory, the LGBT community avoided any direct attacks during this year’s biannual General Session of the Texas Legislature, which ended Monday, May 28. And the absence of enemy fire helped allow for some advances, according to Equality Texas Executive Director Paul Scott. “This is really the best combination ever I guess in the sense of not having any anti-LGBT bills filed, and at the same time having 15 (pro-LGBT) bills filed,” Scott said. “That’s the most that we’ve ever seen filed in any one session.” In the 2005 session, the LGBT community was hit with a successful constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In 2003, there was passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, Scott said. That year also saw a proposed amendment that would have banned LGBT foster parenting. The amendment passed both the House and Senate but was removed from a bill by a joint conference committee. Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, threatened similar legislation prior to this year’s session but never introduced a bill or proposed an amendment. “We’re just pleased that thousands of children can wake up still having gay or lesbian moms and dads instead of having a state investigator in the house...

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Denton case illustrates need for federal Matthew Shepard Act

By Ben Briscoe Staff Writer Lauper’s True Colors Tour to raise money, awareness about issue in Dallas on June 23 Chris McKee On the night of Dec. 3, 2005, Chris McKee left his favorite Denton bar on Fry Street, like he had done so many times before. But this night was different. It all started as McKee was saying goodbye to a friend that he calls “the biggest queen in Denton.” “We don’t do the handshake thing; when we say hello or goodbye we kiss each other,” McKee said. “Apparently that offended a group of people on the street, and two men followed me to my car as I was getting ready to leave. They kept saying “‘faggot this’ and “‘queer that.'” McKee says he kept his back turned to the men and tried to ignore them at first, but then they walked up and elbowed him in his sides. McKee asked them what their problem was and the men immediately replied, “Let’s kick this faggot’s ass.” By the end of that night, McKee had been repeatedly kicked in his side and had his hand slammed in a car door. According to the FBI, McKee is not alone in suffering a crime motivated by hate. About every six hours someone in the U.S. is victimized because of his or her sexual orientation. Despite this statistic, the current federal hate...

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How much more “‘out’ can he get?

By David Webb – The Rare Reporter Time Magazine article makes Oakley sound almost closeted David Webb – The Rare Reporter There was a quirky report in Time Magazine recently about Dallas’ mayoral runoff pitting veteran gay City Council member Ed Oakley against straight political newcomer Tom Leppert. In “The Lavender Heart of Texas,” which is now on newsstands, the writer described Oakley as a businessman who had avoided mentioning his sexuality while he was building his profitable construction company and of being alarmed that widespread attention now to his sexual orientation could cost him the mayoral election. In contrast, the writer portrayed lesbian Sheriff Lupe Valdez as being a “bit more open” when she campaigned for office. My reaction to that was, huh? In fact, I had to go back and read those few paragraphs again to make sure I had interpreted them correctly. I don’t know how long the writer spent in Dallas researching his story, but it obviously wasn’t quite long enough. First of all, any voter who lives in Dallas who is unaware Oakley is gay has been asleep in the voting booth. When you consider that he almost single-handedly convinced all but a couple of members of the City Council and the city manager, the police chief and the fire chief to ride in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, you realize this guy...

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