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McKinney, Texas Gay Man's Front Door Vandalized With Homophobic Slur, Image: VIDEO

Fag

Shown above is the front door of Eric Arthur, a McKinney, Texas, resident who — as you can see — was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime this week. 

Arthur, who's openly gay and has lived in McKinney — a conservative distant suburb of Dallas — for the last five years, says he hasn't had any problems until now.

ArthurPolice believe it was an isolated incident, and there have been no arrests. WFAA-TV reports: 

On Tuesday morning a neighbor alerted him to something on his front door.

"Open the door and immediately feel my stomach in my chest," Arthur said. ...

"[I'm] vulnerable, scared, confused… I think every emotion I could possibly feel at the time, it was happening," Arthur said.

Arthur's neighbor, who has a gay son, told WFAA: "That is just totally uncalled for… for something so idiotic to take place."

According to WFAA, the hate crime was one of several incidents of vandalism in the neighborhood of late, including "trampled garden lighting, sprinklers, and smashed potted plants in the front yard."

"If they feel it's OK to do that to your property, what's keeping them from taking it a step further?" Arthur said.  

In all likelihood this is the work of a mischievous teen. But based on the perpetrator's apparent fascination with male genitalia, we'd suggest their issues may run deeper than prejudice. 

Watch WFAA-TV's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...(warning:autoplay)

Continue reading "McKinney, Texas Gay Man's Front Door Vandalized With Homophobic Slur, Image: VIDEO" »


Over 100 Texas Organizations, Including 13 Fortune 500 Companies, Sign LGBT Equality Pledge

TexasCompetes

More than 100 corporations and other organizations — from American Airlines and Apple to the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee — have joined an impressive coalition of businesses pledging to support LGBT equality in Texas.

The coalition, called Texas Competes, launched Tuesday in Austin against the backdrop of 22 anti-LGBT bills in the state Legislature. 

From the Texas Competes website

Texas Competes' mission is to provide a unified voice for the Texas business community on the clear economic and business case for fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers, families, customers, and tourists. That unified voice takes the form of the Texas Competes pledge.

Many of Texas' most successful businesses have policies and workplace cultures that are inclusive and welcoming to LGBT workers and customers. But the competitiveness of these businesses, and of the Texas economy, is impacted by the brand that the state of Texas projects on the LGBT issue. The Texas Competes pledge creates an opportunity for business leaders to clarify their shared economic interests in fair treatment for gay and transgender people.

More from The Texas Observer:

Texas Competes spokesman James Shackelford said the coalition won’t take positions on specific legislation and that the effort has been in the works for months, long before anti-LGBT religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas sparked historic backlash from the corporate sector.

“But obviously the timing, when it’s launching and when we’re going public with it, is important,” Shackelford told theObserver.

The Texas Association of Business, the state’s powerful chamber of commerce, has come out against two religious freedom amendments that critics say would enshrine a license to discriminate against LGBT people in the constitution. However, dozens of other measures also target LGBT rights, from statutory religious exemption bills to proposals that would ban local nondiscrimination protections and transgender restroom use.

“Texas is an economic powerhouse because it’s a place where talented people, entrepreneurs and companies want to call home. But our competitiveness is in jeopardy if Texas does not become a place that is welcoming to LGBT workers and families,” Texas Competes advisory board member and former Dell CFO Tom Meredith said in a statement. “Businesses that embrace diversity are doing both the right thing and the economically smart thing.”

Interestingly, several business not otherwise known as LGBT-friendly have joined the coalition, while others long considered corporate allies have not. 

For example, Texas-based MetroPCS, which joined the coalition, has a score of 0 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. But AT&T, which hasn't joined the coalition, has a score of 100. (AT&T was also a major supporter of anti-gay Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's campaign last year).

Watch a report from KXAN-TV and check out the full list of organizations that have joined Texas Competes, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Over 100 Texas Organizations, Including 13 Fortune 500 Companies, Sign LGBT Equality Pledge " »


Billboard Advertising Gay Hookup Site Squirt.org Sparks Controversy In Dallas: VIDEO

Squirt

A billboard advertising the gay hookup site Squirt.org is stirring controversy in Dallas, according to a report from Fox 4

“The main thing that bothers me is that the gay community is trying to, you know, we're trying to get equal rights,” said John Anderson. “We're trying to get marriage rights; things like that. And something like this being put up in a public place, it's completely immoral.”

The app that the billboard is an ad for allows invitations for sex with strange men in public places. ... 

Not everybody thinks the billboard is out of bounds. 

“I don' think it's over the top,” said local resident Jessica Tindall. “I don't think it's too much. I think it's catching up with the times and what we're doing today.”

TrobbersonAs far as I can tell, the so-called controversy over the billboard was largely manufactured by a conservative editorial writer at The Dallas Morning News, Tod Robberson (right). 

Robberson penned a post on April 3 in which he railed against the billboard, apparently prompting Fox 4 to seek out a story. From Robberson's post: 

Everything about Squirt.org seems focused on the idea (again, sorry to be so blunt) of male orgasm. Even the dot over the letter “I” in Squirt isn’t a dot. It’s a droplet in horizontal flight. You don’t have to be a cloistered nun to be disgusted by this ad and the notion behind Squirt.org. This advertisement does not belong anywhere on a billboard in this city. I would argue that it doesn’t even belong on a billboard in San Francisco.

Regardless of how you feel about the billboard, it's worth noting that Robberson apparently took no issue with a similar advertisement in January promoting the dangerous practice of gay conversion therapy. 

It's also worth noting that a few years back — on Father's Day, no less — Robberson published a glowing interview with University of Texas researcher Mark Regnerus about his widely discredited study on gay parenting.

In a follow-up post responding to Fox 4's story about the billboard on Friday, Robberson wrote: 

"It turns out I’m not the only one who finds the Squirt.org billboard at the I-345/Canton overpass to be offensive and in appallingly bad taste. Some gays disagree with it too. And you know what, it’s not really a gay thing. If this billboard depicted a shirtless heterosexual couple embracing, with the 'Non-stop cruising' logo attached, the offensiveness of the message would be the same."

Somehow, that seems a little hard to believe.  

Watch Fox 4's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Billboard Advertising Gay Hookup Site Squirt.org Sparks Controversy In Dallas: VIDEO" »


Dallas-Area Firefighters Arrested For Using Sausage To Sexually Assault New Recruit

Firefighters

Five volunteer firefighters in a Dallas suburb are charged with aggravated sexual assault after they forcibly inserted a sausage into a new recruit's anus, according to police. 

A sixth person was arrested for videotaping the incident, which occurred in January at a volunteer fire station in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas. 

The firefighters initially planned to use a broomstick to assault the victim, but instead decided on a "chorizo" — a Spanish pork sausage.

After the victim came forward on March 31, Texas Rangers arrested Keith Wisakowsky, 26; Casey Stafford, 30; Alec Miller, 28; Blake Tucker, 19; Preston Peyrot; and Brittany Leanne Parten, 23. 

The Dallas Observer reports: 

SausageWisakowsky retrieved the sausage, and the trainee was bent over the couch while Tucker and Stafford held him down and the sausage was inserted into his anus, the Rangers say. Then Wisakowsky cut the sausage out of the package and attempted to reinsert it, but the sausage broke up.

The trainee told the Rangers he was then released and he crawled into the nearby restroom with "smashed up sausage still between his butt cheeks." He removed the sausage, threw up and took a shower to clean up. While he was showering, he says, someone took his clothes from the restroom. He came out of the restroom in a towel to look for his clothes. When he did, he says, Tucker took his towel. The man covered his genitals with his hands and ran to his truck to get some shorts, he says.

Watch a report from WFAA-TV here


Dallas Mayoral Candidate, Anti-LGBT Activist Arrested For Spray-Painting '666' On Gay Landmarks: VIDEO

Sheridan

A mayoral candidate and longtime anti-LGBT activist has been arrested and charged with spray-painting "666" on two gay landmarks in Dallas

Richard Sheridan (below), 66, who is running for mayor in May, is charged with vandalizing the Legacy of Love Monument (above) and the Cathedral of Hope (below) last June. 

The monument, in the heart of Dallas' gayborhood, and the church — known as the world's largest LGBT congregation — were among 12 sites in the city vandalized with "the number of the beast" in red paint. 

However, Sheridan thus far is charged in only two of the incidents. A grand jury indicted Sheridan for a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years behind bars. If prosecutors treat the case as an anti-gay hate crime, the charges could be enhanced to a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

The Dallas Morning News reports: 

SheridanIn August, police told The Dallas Morning News that Sheridan was the only person who’d been questioned in the case. Sheridan maintained he didn’t do it: “I’m not guilty, I’m not guilty, I’m not guilty,” he told our Tristan Hallman on August 14 in the lobby of Dallas police headquarters. But Sheridan said he knew who did — and that he agreed with the tags. He also said that despite what police were saying, the tags were “not a hate crime [but] an act of love — and a warning.”

Sheridan, who frequently distributes anti-gay leaflets around Dallas City Hall and has been escorted out of council chambers more than once, took to his Facebook page last summer to admit to having been interviewed twice. He insisted he was merely “representing the person who did it.” In an open letter to Dallas police on August 2, Sheridan claimed that the person who actually tagged the locations “recognizes that there are some in the Gay community, the rabid faction, that wants vengence [sic], wants a ‘scalp’, wants to hang him out to dry, wants to send a message across Dallas and the Nation that (if they get their way) this is what will happen to anyone who dares to call out the immorality of the Gay lifestyle, to reference the Bible in saying that the Gay community is violating Gods laws.”

More from NBCDFW.com

“At no time did he admit to being the person that committed these offenses, but he also did not deny that to be the case either,” said assistant chief Randy Blankenberger. ... 

"We also believe that it is likely that Mr. Sheridan selected these locations due to their connection or significant to the LGBT community," Blankenberger said. ...

"These types of crime, that appear to be targeting people based on their sexual orientation or because of their race or religion, those types of crimes are important to the police department to solve," Blankenberger said. "So we can send a message that everyone is inclusive in the police community."

Watch NBCDFW.com's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dallas Mayoral Candidate, Anti-LGBT Activist Arrested For Spray-Painting '666' On Gay Landmarks: VIDEO" »


5 Things You Can't Miss In Dallas, Texas

Dallas Linda tanner https---www.flickr.com-photos-goingslo-9887346254

This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital premium gay travel magazine from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

We’re not really sure why rodeos are assumed to be a straight man’s sport. Think about it: a sexy guy in skin-tight jeans hanging on for dear life while a wild, bucking horse or bull tosses him around like a rag doll sounds like a typical Saturday night in West Hollywood to us. But never mind all that. The good news is, we don’t need those hetero rodeos because we have our own; and the now legendary Texas Tradition (gay) Rodeo in Dallas, Texas is the best one on the circuit for visitors.

From May 1-3, the rodeo will celebrate 31 years and more than $3 million raised for Texas charities. Whether you’re going to enjoy the gay rodeo antics, or protest animal cruelty, it’s a great time to visit Dallas and ride a cowboy. Speaking of cruelty, the Park Inn by Radisson is the official host hotel for the event, but our sources tell us it’s dingy, dated, and smells like pool hall. Don’t despair, we have plenty of incredible hotel recommendations for you including our top pick below. For the event itself, check the rodeo’s website for ticket and registration information and a list of events and entertainment as it becomes available. Grab your cowboy hats, boy (and our top 5 list below): You're heading to Texas!  

1. Warwick Melrose Hotel, Dallas: For distinctly classic luxury — and the bill that comes with it — the Warwick remains an outstanding choice for accommodations. The spacious rooms, elegant decor, and location smack dab in the Oak Lawn gay neighborhood make The Warwick a hard splurge to deny. Just be sure to wipe off your cowboy boots before you set foot in this classy joint.

2. The Pecan Lodge: Despite its name, this spot  is a restaurant, which has been voted Best BBQ in Dallas — no easy feat in this carnivorous state — making this a must-do for meat-lovers. Ask for the burnt ends —  a secret treat not on the menu.

3. The Dallas Museum of Art: Dallas offers a treasure trove of cultural assets, including the DMA with a robust permanent DFW7 http---www.flickr.com-photos-iain-4089452083- collection (including an important riches of Islamic art), intriguing temporary exhibits and robust programming including live musical performances.

4. FT33: FT33 is a design district favorite that serves modern, farm-to-table Southwestern cuisine in a beautiful setting with an open kitchen. Don’t miss the smoked potatoes and kale salad starters, though pork is the real star on the menu, especially during the new Tuesday night Swine & Wine happy hour, 4:30-6:30pm.

5. The Round-Up Saloon and Dance Hall: The Round-Up is easily the friendliest of Dallas’ gay bars — and one of the most fun. Warm, welcoming and a stop on just about everyone’s weekend circuit, The Round-Up is a great place to meet locals and show off that two-step (or learn). The bartenders are also generally quite happy to make introductions to any regulars they think you might like, especially if it’s a bit quiet.

For more opinionated travel information and inspiration, get ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android). 

Image credits: Top: Linda Tanner; Right: Iain Farrell; Bottom: Doug Wertman

DFW1 http---www.flickr.com-photos-nanoprobe67-5948041661-


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