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Houston Voice, April 29, 2005
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Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 001. 2005-04-29. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 25, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2980.

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(2005-04-29). Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 001. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2980

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, April 29, 2005 - File 001, 2005-04-29, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 25, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3005/show/2980.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, April 29, 2005
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date April 29, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 001
Transcript FOSTER PARENTS: Gays may not be out. Page 3 MARRIAGE: House also bans civil unions. Page 3 Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble deny caving to religious leaders Companies reject claims they were bullied by boycotts By RYAN LEE A pair of religious conservatives pOtmded their chests last week. claiming victory in two separate attempts to force Fortune 100 companies to abandon their gay.friendly policies. Hut officials from both companies .:'>licrosoft and Procter & Gamble deny they caved into pres· sure n1nn threatened boycotts. On April 21. the Washington state Senate voted 25· 24 to reject a non-discrimination btll that would have outlawed hias in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and insurance based on SCX· ual orientation and gender idC'ntity. Earlier that clay, the Stranger, a weekly altC'rnative newspaper in SC'.att!C', reported that .:'>licrosofl stopped lobbying in support of the bill and changed il~ official position from supportive to "neutral" after two rneC't· ings in Fehniary between :\ficrosoft officials and Re\: Ken Hutcherson. Hutcherson leader of a "mega·church" in Redmond, Wash., ancl a vocal critic of same-sex mar· riagc could not be reached for comment by press time. But the clay after the vote, he tole! the New York Times that Microsoft "backed off" from supporting thC' hill wlwn lw threatrned a national boycott against the comp;m}: "I told them l was going to give them something to be afraid of Christians about," Hutcherson said. But ~l ir.rosofl officials. including Chair Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, flatly denied Hutcherson pln)ed any role in Microsoft switching its position to neutral "\\e met \\ith many people in the community, Rev. After Microsoft came under intense criticism for dropping its sup· port of a gay-friendly non-discrimination ordinance in Washington state. Bill Gates said the company may back the brll agarn next year (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP) Hutcherson being one, listening to all sides of this 1SSue. but agam, our decision was not influenced bv external factors," said Tann Bega,;se, a Microsoft spokesperson. Please see MICROSOFT on Page 7 dish Power to the people A women's Hollywood film co-op would have been a joke once, but color Power Up successful now. DONT ASK: Pentagon weighs sodomy law. Page 6 Page 13 A letter Pope Benedict XVI wrote when he was a cardinal m 2001 is being used ma lawsuit tl'j three men who claim they were sexually abused tl'j a seminarian in 1996. Lawsuit accuses Pope Benedict XVI of hiding church sex scandal A 2001 letter from then Cardinal Ratzinger is being cited in a lawsuit alleging child abuse in 1996 By BINNIE FISHER Three Houston-area men are using a letter wrttten by Pope Benedict XVI while he was a cardmal as the basis for a lawsuit against the Catholic Church. Please see LAWSUIT on Page 4 local life Jeffrey Coleman says his Fresh Start Church is affirming and radically inclusive. Will a new Beatie book reveal which of the Fab Four had PAGES sex with manager Brian Epstein? PAGE 18 2 APRIL ~. 2005 Can OU ... • Make people like you? • Start and hold conversations with drag queens, bank executives and other sundry types? • Brave the urban jungle and Mother Nature? • Juggle 10 things at once like a Cirque de Soliel acrobat? • Master the art of negotiation? •AND maybe even sell your own mother? If this sounds like you, fet's talk. The Houston Vo1Ce, the city's leading gay and lesbian newsweekly, is rooking for ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES. Candidates will have some sales experi­ence, ample determination and a "can do" attitude. Must love to promote yourself as well as our paper. You'll be responsible for all phases of the sales process: cold-cafling; prospect development; conceptualizing, planning and delivering sales presentations; writ­ing proposals, negotiating contracts & closing new business. We offer a challenging and exciting opportunity in a fast-paced, goal-oriented (yet fun) environment. Competitive compensation, training and a comprehensive benefits package including health/dental/1ife insurance, paid holidays, vacation & more. To apply, call Jason W son at 713-529-8490 and tell me why you're the best one for the job! www.houstonvoice.O HOUSTON WICE ~XES AREN'T THE ONLY fZJITCH IN YOUR LIFE. hAILABLE ON DVD APlllL 19 Cheri A. Post, M.D., offers the following services: • Laser Hair Removal •Acne & Acne Scar Removal • Botox• and Restylane• • Facials and Peels • Vein Therapies • Microdermabrasion • Waxing and Tinting •Permanent Make-Up Derma Health LASER ASSOCIATES 713-270-6505 6363 Woodway Dr., Suite 850 • Houston, Texas 77057 HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com local news briefs State Senate rejects legislatio~ that bans gay foster, parents A Texas House amendment to a serlate foster Cl!)"e bill that woUld ban gays and lesbians from serving in that capacity hit a snag when the legislation went back to th~ State Senate for approval. Senators rejected the measure as it was amended by the House and named a conference committee to hammer out a final bill. Senate Bill 6 was introduced as an overhaul to the state's fos­ter care system by Sen. Jane Nelson (R· Lewisville). The bill was approved by the Senate and went to the House where Texas Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena) tacked on an amendment that woUld ban gay and les· bian fos ter parents. Nelson is one of five senators who will join five House members on the conference committee. A spokesman in her office said Tuesday she would "argue vehemently" to cull the gay and lesbian foster care amendment from a final bill. "We cannot allow this reform bill to be tied up in the courts for years over an issue that was never 'pa11 of our review," Nelson said. She po1nted out that a similar ban in ArkaIL~as was overturned by a judge there. When the bill emerges . from conference committee, it will go back to both houses for a final vote. Houston forum will address reported new HIV strain The hottest topic currently being dis· cussed by gay men these days a super strain of HIV recently reported by Dr. David Ho and others at the Aaron Diamond Research Center in New York. will be addressed at a forum in Houston. Ho's disclosure of the case to the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene prompted a firestorm of criticism aimed at HIV· positive gay men and has prompted enormous controversy among researchers, medical professionals and public health experts across the nation. At the recent 12th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. the international conclave for professionals working in HI\' I AIDS, a special session was devoted to whether or not the new strain really exists. During that session. HIV researcher Ho defended his actions. In an effort to get to the facts at hand, The Advances m Treatment and Medications Committee, th~ arm of the Ryan White Planning Council that addresses how the latest advances in treatment impact those diagnosed with HIV, will conduct a community forum to educate the public and answer ques· tions regarding the medical, behav· ioral, and epidemiological aspects sur· rounding the existence of a multi-drug resistant HIV. The forum 1s scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the United Way Community Resource Center at 50 Waugh Drive. The forum will feature a panel of local expi:rts including Dr. William A. O'Brien, Professor of Internal Medicine and nationallv recog­nized expert on research regarding HIV-specific resistant viruses. Dr. Michel Ross. Professor at the Republic.in State Senator Jane Nelson will argue to have the amendment prohibiting gay and lesbian foster parents removed from Senate Bill 6. University of Texas School of Public Health and a leading researcher in HIV. sexually transmitted infections and human sexuality; and Dena Gray, Community Liaison. Houston. .Citv Council District D. The forum fs\w~· sored by the Center For AIDS and the Houston-area Ryan White Planning Council. For more information or to RSVP, call 713-527-8219. Houston GLBT Political Caucus speaker talks about HJR 6 Elizabeth McLane, a native Texan who has taught political science and crimi· nal justice and worked on a number of political campaigns. will be the fea­tured speaker at the Wednesday meet· ing of the Houston GLBT Political Causus (PAC) that will focus on House Joint Resolution 6. McLane will com· pare· the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage as well as c!V"il unions to leg· lslation that has been introduced or arlopted in states around the count!"}: Mrl.ane, who has served as a city com· missioner and taught at the University of Houston downtown campus and at Houston Community College, has enti tied her address, "Compared to Counterparts. A Review of Texas and HJR 6." Her talk will be followed by a discussion of strategies that could be used to combat HJR 6 and other anti· gay legislation. HJR 6 was passed by the Texas House on Monday. If the measure finds a two-thirds majority in the Senate. It will go on the statewide ballot in NovC"mber. The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Houston GI.BT Community Center, 3400 Montrose Blvd .. Suite 207 From staff and wire reports APR! L 'lfl. 2005 3 lo al news Texas House approves ban on gay marriage and civil unions Activists lobbying senate to get civil unions removed from proposed amendment By BINNIE n SHER One week after passing legislation that would prohibit gays, lesbians and bisexuals from serving as foster parents, the Texas House of Representatives approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would not only ban same-sex marriage but would also hmit civil unions. The tally was 101·29. with eight mem hers declining to cast votes on the measure. As originally introduced by Texas Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa). House Joint Resolution 6 would have prevented only gay marriage. Chisum later added language to also prohibit anyone in the state from entering into a civil union. In debate on the resolution, some legis­lators questioned whether the ban on cMl unions would interfere with the right of individuals to name insurance beneficiar· ies and heirs to whom they are not legally married. Chisum said his measure allows for private contractual agreements between unmarried partners. Questioned by Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) on the House floor regard· ing whether the measure would also exclude civil unions for heterosexual couples, Chusum said, ''I'm excluding any contract that would allow the same status as marriage." Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin) asked Chisum whether he thought HJR 6 was discriminatol"}: and Chisum replied, "I know I'm not dis;:rtminating because there is no person in Texas that does not fit under that one man, one woman." Among the handful of House members who argued passionately against the meas· ure, were Reps. Jessica Farrar, Garnet Coleman and Senfronia Thompson, all Houston Democrats, and Reμ. Paul Moreno. a Oemocmt from El Paso. Thompson, a black woman elected to the Texas House in 1973. said, "I'\·e been a member of th is body for three decades. and I believe we're going in the wrong direction here, the direction of hate and fear and discrimination." Thompson said she remembers that when she was a child, there was talk of protecting marriage then. "What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum"s color. you'd often find people of my color hang· ing from a tree." 'Compassion over discrimination' After the vote, Coleman said, ''Toda); the House pas.c;ed a constitutional amend- Texas Rep. Warren Chisum (R..J>ampa) 1s the author of House Joint Resolution 6 that bans not only sallK'-sex marriage but also civil umons. ment that would deny basic contractual rights to thousands of families across the state. It's time to stop piling on and to start putting compassion over dL.;aimination." In addition to Farrar. Coleman. Thompson, Moreno and NaL~htat, other House members voting agaim;t the resolu· lion included, from Hou~ton. Reps. Alma Allen. Harold Dutton, Scott Hochh<'n:. Joe Moreno. Rick Noriega, and Hubert Vo. The reso!Ut10n goes to the Texas Senate next, and activists in the state are urging action on the issue. The Lesbian! Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (LGRL) issued an action alert asking anyone who does not agree with the vote to contact his or her senator. "For the first time in our hlsto11; the Texas Legislature is choosing to write discrimination into the very document that shoUld protect all Texans," said Randall Ellis, LGRL"s executive director. ''The Texas Legislature continues to pu>h policies that hurt real Texas fami· lies Enough is enough. These lawmak· ers need to focus on the work of making Texas a better place for all Texans." If they're not able to turn the Senate around on the marriage resolution, activiqg hope they can at least get the civil uruon provision ~tricken. Some lawmakers who agree with the marriage amendment have said they approve of civil unions. Reps. Martha Wong (R·Houston) and Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) were among eight House members who ab~;tained from voting on HJR 6. Wong said, "I belie\'C the in~1itution of marriage should be maintained only between one man and one woman. But I cannot allow us to write blatant misun· derstanding and discrimination mto the Texa~ Constitution by banning civil unions as well." @MORE INFO l.esbiarv'Gay Rights lobby of Texas www.lgrt.org 4 APRIL 'l.9, 2005 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I local news Lawsuit claims conspiracy by Pope when he was a cardinal LAWSUIT, continued from Page 1 In a report by KPRC-TV, Channel 2 on Tuesday, the attorney for the plaintiffs told a federal judge during a hearing that the pope in 2001 sought to cover up cases involving the sexual abuse of chll­dren by pedophile priests The plaintiffs, who claim they are vic­tims of the church's sex scandal, say that a Jetter written by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzmger as instructions to bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, is proof that he conspired to keep claims of sex abuse secret. The men are suing the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza. Their attorney, Daniel Shea. argued Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal that Pope Benedict XVI was among those who sought to cover up the child sex abuse scandal in the church. MWe believe, actually, that the current pope, when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, was actively involved in that conspiracy," Shea argued. The letter in question, written in 2001, was sent to bishops of the Catholic Church and says, Mcases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret." The attorney for the plaintiffs is argu­ing that "pontifical secret" means that the bishops were being told not to tell anyone Archbishop Joseph FIOl'ellza of Houston said the plaintiffs in a court case do not understand the meaning of a letter written by Pope Benedict XVI when he was a cardinal. about cases of child sex abuse that were brought to their attention. Officials of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston have argued that "pon· tifical secret" refers to matters within the church and not to whether or not a pedophile priest would be reported to authorities. In a statement, Archbishop Joseph Resurrection MCC Board of Directors' Statement Regarding Talton Amendment to 586 The Board of Directors of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church of Houston, TX strongly opposes the Talton amendment to SB6, the Texas Legislature's bill designed to overhaul the child protective services system in the state. The amendment, included in the bill passed by the House of Representatives on April 19, 2005, bans same-sex couples from serving as foster parents The Board opposes the amendment because it jeopardizes children in the currently overloaded foster care system, puts at risk children who are most vulnerable in the system (i.e. those who are older, minority or have special needs), consumes state financial resources that could be more productively used elsewhere and is discriminatory. Rather than strengthening families and communities this amendment destroys the fabric of family and community life. We encourage all fair-minded citizens to let their voices be heard by contacting their state representatives and senators with their opposition to th Talton amendment to SB6. RES METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH 2025 W. 11th St. - Houston, TX 77008 - 713-861-9149 www.resurrectionmcc.org Fioren?.a explains "pontifical secret" this way, "These matters are confidential only to the procedures within the Church. but do not preclude in any way for these mat­ters to be brought to ci\il authorities for proper legal adjudication. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People of June, 2002. approved by the Vatican, requires that credible allegations of sexual abuse of children be reported to legal authorities." Fiorenza went on to say, ''On May 18, 2001, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to the Catholic Bishops of the World con· cerning certain grave violations of Canon Law in the celebrations of the sacraments and against morals. When these violations occur they are to be referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." The archbishop said there is no insinu· ation that breeches of law should be kept secret from law enforcement officials. "To insinuate that this Jetter from the Congregation for the Faith is part of a Vatican conspiracy is a total and complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the letter," Fiorenza said. "It is beyond belief that someone would try to interpret this Church document as a conspiracy" The lawsuit accuses Juan Carlos Patino-Arango, who in 1996 was studying for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston and serving in a local parish, of molesting the three plaintiffs when they were aged 11, 12 and 13. Annette Gonzales Taylor, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, said when the {then) Diocese of Houston· Galveston was informed of the alleged molestation, proper steps werP taken. "As soon as the diocese learned of the allegations, {the seminarian) was removed from the parish," she said. She said a call was made to Children's Protective Services. and an investigation was begun. "We hrld this young man at the semi· nary," she said. When police informed diocese officials that no charges were being flied, Taylor said, Patino-Arango was expelled from the seminary and released. "It was our understanding he was going back home to Colombia," she said. "We have had no contact with him." She added that Bishop Fiorenza noti· fled the bishop in the area of Colombia where the seminarian lived that he had been accused of child sex abuse but that no charges had been filed. Last year, the case was officially reopened, and on May 21, 2004, Patino­Arango was indicted by a Harris County grand jury on a felony charge of indecen· cy with a child. In court documents, his home was listEod as Tampa, Fla. The suit against the church was filed in June of 2004. Just because the state does not recognize it. ~iJ.~ Does not mean you can't. TuE GALAxlE JEWELERS ~ Create the Unusual 2511 Suruet Blvd. (near Kirby) 713.521.2511 2001 MCAF Diamond Star Award Houston Voice Readers Choice Be<t Jcwcl<"r of the City- 2-004" '~ The(;alaxie}e'\Velers.cont HOUSTON VOICE wwwhoustonvoice.com I nati nal news briefs Navajo Council outlaws same-sex marriage WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation has outlawed same-sex marriages on its sprawling Indian reservation. The Tribal Council voted unanimously last week in favor of the Dine Marriage Act of 2005. Dine is the Navajos' name for themselves. The act restricts a recognized union to a rela· tionship between a man and a woman and prohibits plural marriages as well as any marriage between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters and other close relatives. Supporters say the goal is to promote Navajo family values. "Men and women have been created in a sacred manner. We need to honor this," said Delegate Harriet Becenti. "Times have changed, and we are no longer really teaching our children. We want our people to realize that support 1s in existence for a man and woman." Critics of the legislation have said its sponsor, Delegate Larry Anderson of Fort Defiance, is attempting to rewrite cultural history to parallel conservative Christian backlash against gay rights across the United States. Mass. high court to hear bid to halt same-sex marriages BOSTON (AP) - The state's highest court will consider a bid by an official from a Catholic advocacy group who wants to halt same-sex marriages until residents vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the marriages. The Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear the cac;c brought by C. Joseph Doyle. executive direc­tor of the Catholic Action League, on May 2, the Republican of Springfield reported. In court papers. Doyle said gay marriages are stifling the full debate required by the amendment process. "His ability to vote is being inhibited and interfered with," said Doyle's lawyer, Chester Darling of Andover. "The court declared an outcome before a vote was taken on the amendment." The SJC legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts by a 4-3 vote in November 2003. The first marriages began last Ma)'. About 5,000 have taken place. In March 2004, legislators approved a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as betwCi'n a man and woman and establish civil unions for gays. The amendment needs approval again this year or next to go on the statewide ballot in November 2006. Critics say Minnesota play promotes homosexuality MORRIS, Minn. - A show billed as child· friendly has sparked controversy among school board members at the University of Minnesota at Morris who alleged the pro­duct ion promotes homosexuality, the Minneapolis Star Tnbune reported. Thr pla}: called "Cootie Shots." has a theme of tolerance, but four school districts recently withdrew their ticket requests for 1,200 ele­mentary school students for last W!!ek's opening, the Star Tribune reported. The play includes gay themes, according to opponents. and parents bcc;1me concernro when a scnpt from the production became public, news reports indicate. The show's directo1; R~y Schultz, told the Star Tribune that the play "does not mention. refer to or portray srxuality of any kind in any wa):" Harriet Becenti of the Navajo Nation said that marriage should be reserved as a right between a man and a woman. The Navajos approved a ban on gay marriages last week. Wis. lesbian workers sue state over partner benefits MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Six lesbian state employCi's backed by the American Civil Liberties Union went to court, saying Wisconsin's refusal to provide health insurance for their partners violates the state constitution. If successful. their law­suit would force all state government agen­cies to offer gay state employees the same health insurance and family leave benefits to their partners that are currently provid­ed to married workers. The lawsuit filed last weeh claims a state law excluding gay partners of state employCi's from health benefits violates the Wisconsin Constitution's equal-rights protection clause, which guarantees equal treatment for people in similar situations. "It is unfair that these people who work as hard as their neighbor in the next cubicle, the teacher in the next classroom, are not able to share in the kind of benefits that their co-workers share in," said Larry Dupuis. legal director of ACLU of Wisconsin. The lawsuit comes one month after Republican lawmakers expressed their opposition to a call from the governor to provide domestic partner benefits to employees of the University of Wisconsin System. Gay man wins discrimination suit against Ore. restaurant chain GRESHAM, Ore (AP) A jury ruled that a gay man who worked at a local Shari's restaurant faced a hostile work environ­ment because he failed to display tradition· al male behavior. The jury awarded Kevin Turner, 3.1, of Gresham $122,225 in the gen­der discrimination suit filed against Shari's Corp. in U.S. District Court. A Shari's spokesperson told the Oregonian newspa­per that the company dbagre!'d with the jury's conclusion and was considering an apjl('al. The franchise "strives to provide a safe and respectful environment for all our employl>e:;" said spokesperson Dick Olsen. From staff and wire reports APRIL '29. 2005 5 s~_~a·ssance LASER CENTER See before and after ictures at www skinrena1SSBnce.net Fort Lauderdale Real Estate ANDY WEISER Put Coldwell Banker's Top Producer to work for You 954-560-9667 COLDWeu BANl(eRC 1§.'f•'fizi; ti Ma'lS ~{§ 2% ·'; · '---~·--~ BETHEL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH (UCC) No matter who you are, or where you are on life's Journey. you're welcome at Bethel. the "'Church with Open Arms." Visit our Open and Affirming community this Sunday! 1107 Shtphtrd Drive @ Centlr Street Houston, TX 17007 • 713-&11-6170 -.bethelhouston.org Sunday School Sunday Wonhlp Wednelday Worship 9:00AM 10:30AM 6;00PM 6 APRIL '19, 2005 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I national news Pentagon weighs changing sodomy law Activists see a first step to reversing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' By LOU CHIBBARO JR. WASHINGTON President Bush must give final approval through an executive order to enable the Pentagon to preserve its policy of cnminalizing COllS('nsual sodomy among military service members, accord.ng to attorneys familiar \\ith military la\\: The Department of Defense has been deliberating over whether its military sodomy law could be retained since ID'.Xl when the US. Supreme Court struck d0\\11 state sodomy laws on groWlds that they infringe on the constitutional right of adult citizens to engage in private, consensual sex. The military has claimed the la\\ banning sodomy is its main justification for not allow Ing gay mm and lesbians to serve openl): Most legal expPrts have said the Supreme Court rulmg, which was hailed by gay right-; attorneys, applies equally to the military and the civilian population. The DOD disclosed its strategy for retain­ing its sodomy prohibition m the wake of the Lawrencevs. Texas decision on April 7, when it sent Congress a proposed amendment to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the statute that contains the military's sodomy law. The DOD also sent Congress a proposed change to its Manual for Courts-Martial, which has served as a set of regulations the DOD has used to tmplement vanous provi­sions in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. known as the UCMJ. Gay activists initially praised the pro­posed changes after the New Yorlc Times reported last week that they called for remov­ing the prohibition of consensual sodomy from the UCMJ. But a DOD spokesperson quickly contradicted the Times report, say· ing the DOD plans to retain consensual sodomy as a crime by moving it from one sec­tion of the UCMJ to anothei; and making it a regulatory offense in the court martial man· ual. Changes called a 'shell game' The Senicemembers Legal Defense ~etworlc, a gay litigation group, called the proposed changes a "shell game" that would not stand up to a legal challenge Wlder the Lawrence decision. SW~ noted that at least two military appeals court rulings have cited the Lawrence decision, v.ith one overturning a military sodomy comiction last December and another curtailing the military's enforcement of its sodomy law in August mt. "Pentagon leaders cannot rWl and hide from the Constitution." said Sharra Greer, SW N's director of policy and law. In its proposed changes, the DOD calls for moving the sodomy prohibition from Article 125 of the UCMJ, which is considered a sec­tion of the mllitary's cnminal !av.; to the UCMJ's Article 134. Article 134, among other things, addresses matters pertaining to con- President Bush must issue an executive order for the military to move its laws against sodomy in an effort to avoid having the ban overturned by courts. duct considered ''prejudicial to good order and discipline" among service members. Provisions under Article 134 are enforced through the DOD's Manual for Courts· Martial. Changes to the manual are consid· ered to be regulatory in nature and are not specifically part of the UCMJ. However, they must be put in place by the president, with the approval of Congress, the DOD told United Press International on Monday. President Clinton issued two separate executive orders changing the DOD Manual for Courts-M:trtial in ways that supported gay rights. One of his changes created a pro­vision to prosecute hate crimes. The other change pre~-ented the military from inwsti· gating seMce members for being gay if information about their sexual orientation surfaced in a routine background check for a security clearance. Tara Andringa, a spokesperson for Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it is widely believed among Capitol Hill observers that Bush will agree to issue an executive order retaining the military's sodomy prohibition. Andringa noted that the DOD most likely sent its recommendations to Congress call· ing for the changes needed to preserve the military sodomy prohibition with the approval of the White House. She said Levin, who has been a critic of some of the Bush administration's military policies, has not yet commented on the pro­posal to retain the military's sodomy prohi· bition. A spokes-person for Senator John Warner <R-Va), chairperson of the Armed Senices panel, did not respond to a Blade inquiry by press time. Warner is considered one of the most influential members of Congress on military matters. Gay rights attorneys believe the outcome of the military's sodomy law is important because it has been cited by military leaders are a key reason for prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military under the Pentagon's '"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. That policy, which President Clinton pro­posed in 1993 and Congress enacted into law, holds that gays are unsuitable for military service, in part, because they engage in con­duct deemed illegal under the UCMJ's sodomy clause. Attorneys for SLDN and the national gay group Log Cabin Republicans have filed sep. arate lawsuits challenging the "Don't A~k. Don't Tell~ policy on a variety of groWldS, Including that the Lawrence decision makes the military's laws against sodomy obsolete. In ~mber mt, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in a case known as United States vs. Bullock that a guilty plea by a soldier who admitted to engaging in con· sensual sodomy with an adult female in his private barracks quarters should be over· turned. The Army appeals court cited the Lawrence decision and an August 2004 deci· sion by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces kno\\11 as the U.S. vs. Marcum. The Marcum decision held that the Supreme Court's Lawrence ruling restricted the military's ability to prosecute for consen· sual sodomy except for the set of exceptions listed in Lawrence. The exceptions allow states to continue to prosecute for sodomy if the sexual relations in question do not involve consent, take place in public, include sexual activity with minors. involve prostitu­tion. and involve urelation.~h1ps in which consent mav not be easily refused." Different standards for n1litary But the Marcum decision went one step beyond the Lawrence exceptions by holding that military prosecution for consensual sodomy would be allowed if it could be shown that the conduct in question should be prohibited ''based on a particular military necessity." The decision did not specify what such a milit11)' necessity would be. Pentagon officials have argued in the past that earlier Supreme Court rulings have rec­ogn! Zed that the military in some instances has the authonty to re;trlct certain rights of semce members, even though such restric· t1ons could not be applied to civilians. A DOD spokesperson did not return calls by press time seeking comment on the DO D's legal rationale for retaining its prohibition against consensual sodomy. UPI quoted two unnamed Pentagon offi ctals as saying the DOD believes it can get around the Lawrence decision by moving the sodomy prohibition to the DOJJ"s f\lanual on Courts Martial. "That is why the move m locntlon was made, and thereby (we) avoid continued con stitutional attacks against 'sodomy' charges brought und£'r Article 125, UCMJ," the UPI quoted an unidentified Pentagon official as saymg. "A general stah1te (in the Manual) would continue to criminalize private, adult, consensual, non-commercial sodomy," UPI quoted another unnamed official as saying. According to UPI. one of the Pentagon officials believes the Armed Forces Court of Appeals would most likely uphold future con· victions for consensual sodomy if such con­victions are backed by "facts and circum­stances est1blishing the military's interest concerning conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or service-discrediting" con duct. Steve Ralls of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said military appeals courts would likely uphold a sodomy convic­tion under certain circumstances pertaining to the military, such as a case where an offi· ccr engaged in consensual sodomy with an enlisted person -a practice that is prohibit· ed among heterosexuals in the milita11: However, Ralls said SLDN believes courts in the future will cite the Lawrence decision to strike down military convictions for conscn· sual sodomy that don't involve circum· stances that apply to all types of sexual rela· lions, such as an officer having sex with an enlisted person. '"The military is playing a shell game to try to avoid having to comply with Lawrence," Ralls said. "Putting it in Article 134 doesn't change things." Ralls said SLDN would prefer that Congress and the White House reject the DOD proposals and direct the Pentagon to comply with Lawrence decision. But he acknowledged that most Capitol Hill observers believe the Republican controlled Congress will back the DOD request, just as they expect Congress to bottle up in commit· tee a pending bill SC('king to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Rep. Wayne Gilchrist (R-Md.) signed on as a co-sponsor to the repeal bill this week, becoming the fourth House Republican to do so. As of earlier this month. 70 House Democrats had signed on as co-sponsors to the bill. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 29, 2005 7 I national cover story Religious conservatives declare victory in boycott battles MICROSOFT, continued from Page 1 The company decided to downsize its legislative priorities list prior to the leg­islative session starting earlier this year, Begasse said. Exactly when Microsoft switched from being supportive of the Washington non­discrimination bill remains in dispute. Begasse said the company decided before the 2005 legislative session that it would focus only on issues directly related to its business, such as computer privacy, education and competitiveness. But on r'eb. 1, two gay Microsoft employees testified before a state House committee in favor of the non-discrimina· tion bill. Asked if they represented Microsoft's official position. the employ­ees responded by informing lawmakers that the company issued a letter of sup· port for a similar bill in 2004, and was preparing to send another letter this year, said George Cheung, executive director of Equal Rights Washington. "But the letier never came," Cheung said. "It seems clear in terms of thr tim­ing that [Hutcherson) had some impact on Microsoft's decision to withdraw its support." Upon watching the testimony of the two Microsoft employees, Hutcherson requested a meeting with company offi­cials to clarify whether the workers repre­sented Microsoft's official position, Begasse said. Over the course of two meetings between the conservative pastor and Microsoft officials, Hutcherson asked that the two employees who testified be fired, but Microsoft refused his demands, Bcgasse said. "Rev. Hutchrrson also urged Microsoft to change its position [on the non-discrim­ination bill) from neutral to negative, and we declined," Bcgassc ndded. •·we arc dis­appointed people are misrepresenting those meetings." Hut Hutcherson isn't alone in giving himself credit for coercing Microsoft to change its stance. Reports in both the Stranger and New York Times cited anonymous gay Microsoft employees who were present during a March 29 meeting between Microsoft Senior Vice President Brad Smith and GLEAM, the company's gay employee group. During that session, Smith allegedly cited pressure from Hutrherson as the rea· son behind the company's switch. Asked if there were any gay employees who attended the meeting who could refute the allegations from the anonymous sources, Begasse said there were and that those employees were allowed to talk with the media if they pleased. Multiple attempts to contact GLEAM members for interviews were unsuccess­ful by press time. Cheung, from Equal Rights Washington. said his group had also lx.'('n unable to talk with gay Micl'050fl employ1.-e:;, and added it is possible that Hutcherson is inadvertently benefiting from Microsoft's switch even though he may have had nothing to do with it But that doesn't lessen the negative impact Microsoft's decision had on the non-discrimination bill, Cheung said. "What's important to know is that Sen. Bill Finbeiner. the [Republican] minority leader who locked up all 23 members of his caucus to vote against the bill. represents Redmond, which is Micm;oft's district," Cheung :;aid. "So Microsoft's decision certainly gave him extra political coverage not to support the bill." Cheung also criticized Microsoft's employment of Ralph Reed, a conservative political consultant who rose to fame as for­mer president of the Christian Coalition. Reed, currently a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia, has been paid by Microsoft for several years, but his company, Century Strategies, is limited to advising Microsoft on issues like trade and competition. Begasse said. "Century Strategies has never advised Microsoft in any way on any social policy issues, including anti-discrimination leg­islation," Begasse said. In an interview with the Seattle Times published 1\1esday, Gates said the compa­ny did not expect the media firestorm over its decision to drop its support of the non­discrimination bill. He added that Microsoft may consider endorsing the bill when it is introduced in 2006. Procter & Gamble changing? Employing the same bravado Hutcherson used in describing his alleged takedown of Microsoft, the American Family Association recently sent an e­mail alert to its members, listing a litany of gay-friendly positions Procter & Gamble supposedly abandoned as a result of AFA's boycott of the company. "Our boycott of P&G has been success­ful." AFA Chair Donald Wildmon wrote in tht' April 16 e-mail. "We cannot say they are 100 percent clean ... but judging by all that we found in our research, it appears that our concerns have been addre ·sed." When the A~'A launched its boycott against Procter & Gamble products - most notably Tide detergent and Crest toothpaste - it cited the Cincinnati· based company's support for the campaign to repeal Article 12, a section of Cincinnati's charter that prohibited laws based on sex­ual orientation, including non-discrimina­tion and domestic partner benefit policies. Procter & Gamble's efforts included donating $10.000 to Citizens to Restore Fairness, an ad-hoc group created to remove the measure. In an August 2004 letter to employees. Procter & Gamble executlvt's said ''Article 12 "prevents Cincinnati from developing a reputation as an open and welcoming com­munity" and "negatively impacts the city and region's image and therefore limits P&G's ability to attract and retain the best talent to help build our business." AFA responded to the letter by launch­ing a boycott in conjunction with Focus on the Family, and claiming that Procter & Gamble's position equated to an endorse· ment of gay marriage. Ralph Reed has been paid by Microsoft for several years. but his company, Century Strategies is limited to advising Microsoft on issues like trade and competition. (Photo by AP) "To keep homosexuals from being legally married is discrimination for a good reason, which P&G says they will not tolerate," the AFA's boycott litera­ture read. Procter & Gamble did not withdraw its support for repealing Article 12, and Cincinnati voters approved the repeal in November But the AFA claimed this month that Procter & Gamble has changed its policies, including no longer advertising its prod· ucts on ''TV programs promoting the homosexual lifestyle, such as Alice and Grace [sic]." The AFA also notes that a Procter & Gamble executive who strongly supported repealing Article 12 "1s no longer with the company." But that former executive said Tuesday that AFA officials are being disingenuous in declaring victor); just as they were when they initially announced the bo) cott last fall. ''Accuracy and integrity, of course, isn't AFA's strong suit," said Gary Wright, who used to work as Procter & Gamble's corpo­rate demographer and associate director for global trends. Wright took a two-month leave of absrnce from Procter & Gamble last year to lead Citizens to Restore FairnPSS. Following the November election, Wright resigned from the company to immerse himself in gay rights activism on a full time basis, he said. ''As far as I can see. there has been no change in Procter & Gamble's approach to gay and lesbian issues, so I'm a little puz­zled by the timing in the AFA announce­ment to call their boycott off." said Wright, who continues to chair Citizens to Restore Fairness as it transitions into a permanent organization. Doug Shelton, a Procter & Gamble spokesperson. declined comment on the specific allegations made in the AFA e­mail, but said the company is pleased the boycott has been suspended. A representative from the AFA sched-uled an interview with the Blade this week, but cancded it the next da)~ Boycotts ineffective? \\llile Microsoft in particular 1-ereived blistering criticism from gay rights groups for its policy reversal, some workplace watchdogs said boycotts have become increasingly ineffective, causing them to doubt the claims of the conservative leaders. "We have to be really careful and definite­ly get all the facts straight in these situations before believing the words of these minis­ters, and improperly crediting them with bringing about change," said Shelly Alpern. assistant vice president and director of social research at Trillium A ·set Management, a firm dedicated to "soctally responsible im~ting." "On the face of it, it doesn't make sense that companies that have really been lead­ers on gay and lesbian issues are going to backtrack." Alpern said. Trillium owns Microsoft stock and is considering writing a letter to company e.xecutives. but first wants an in-depth briefing by gay and lesbian Microsoft employees, she said. The recent developments between corpo­rations and religious groups are surprising considering the limited success conserva­tives have had when trying to derail gay. friendly practices at the corporate level. said Melissa Sklarz. co-chair of the Equality ProjE t wh1 h advocates for workplace equality for gays. "I've always been so proud of corporate America in this area. to sec them take the lead on issues of diverslt); that now to think that they are buckling under a cam­paign based on hate and fear would be unfortunate," Sklarz said. "But I don't think corporate America will respond to this angry, small, bitter minority and change the American dream of being able to work hard and achieve suc­cess," she said. HOUSTON VOICE APRIL 29, 2005 PAGES He built a church where his flocl< could find a 'Fresh Start' Pastor Jeffrey Campbell said he wanted his congregation to be affirming and 'radically inclusive' By DAWN RORIE Every Sunday afternoon, the Houston GLBT Community Center is filled with the sound of rejoicing, singing and music. Wandering through the corridors, following the joyful sound. visitors find a room crowded with a congregation-pre­dominantly gay men-who have come there to worship. Leading the gathering is Pastor Jpffrey Campbell. a man whose goal has been to provide a place where gay, Jes· bian, bisexual and transgender individu· als can find reconciliation betv. een their sexuality and their spirituality. Born and raised in Cuero, Campbell says he was brought up in a mission­ary Baptist family that was always active in the church. When he entered into Texas State University to study accounting, he worked as a musician in the campus choir Campbell's involvement with mmistry work almost seemed inevitable He already knew that he had the ability to connect with people. While runnmg for student body vice president in high school, he had discovered that he had an amazing gift for public speaking. @MORE INFO Fresh Start Church Sunday, May l 11 am. service with New Covenant Church l p.m. on other Sundays Houston GLBT Community Center 3400 Montrose Blvd. Suite 21.7 'Punks' screening 7 p.m. Wednesday Bart1m l31B Westhermer Houston Splash Worship Experience 11 am. Sunday. May 8 Brookhollow Sheraton 3000 orth Loop 610 West When asked to describe what drew him into ministry work. Campbell smtles and says that it's difficult to explain in a way that can be put down on paper. "It's a call," he explains. "It was some­thing within me as I grew in my relation· ship with God. There was an urging or a moving in my spirit that said to me that there was more that God wanted from me; there was more that God had given me to do for him." After starting work on a Masters of Divinity at the Houston Graduate School of Theology, Campbell started holding weekly Bible studies in his home. In January of 2003, the small congregation began sharing space with a church in southwest Houston. where they had a worship service every Saturday night. With that, Fresh Start Church was born. Although its services were open to everyone. Fresh Start was not initially an open and gay-affirming church, Campbell admits. In March of 2004, a member of the con­gregation who was involved with organ· izing Houston Splash. the annual black gay pride celebration in Galveston. approached Campbell about signing on as the "Splash Pastor" and holding a wor­ship service at the event. "I was somewhat apprehensive, because at that time, there were still members of the church who were not aware of my sexual onentation. I always preached about unconditional love, but I hadn't completely come out of the closet," whispers Campbell, grin· ning sheepishly. Although Campbell's Sunday "Worship Experience" at Houston Splash was met with some resistance from within the gay community, its reception was overwhelm· ingly posltive. The minority that spoke out against the event did not feel that religion belonged at the Splash celebration. Campbell said that some people told him that they did not put the religious aspect of the!r lives and their sexuality together, and that Splash was not the place to be holding a church service. For others. the experience was an encouraging one. Campbell looked around the room to see "individuals who v.ere just excited to be in a place where if they were with their partner, they could hold their partner's hand and worship God, all at the same time " Others felt relieved to be able to come to Campbell with personal issues such as conflict in their relationships or llvmg with HIV or AIDS. As pastor of Fresh Start Church, Jeffrey Coleman knew he wanted his congregation to be a radically inclusive fellowship Fresh Start Church IS among the sponsors of a showing of the film comdey. Punks. ft JEFFREY COLEMAN Age: 39 Birthplace: Cuero Home: Houston Education: BBA rn accounting from Texas State University Occupation Pastor/HIV activist Marital status: Single Pets: None Hobbies: Traveling and spending time with good friends/good people Ra1ically inclusive fellowship After that experience, Campbell knew that he had found his calling, and Fresh Start Church underwent a transforma· lion. From then on. his church was known as "an affirming and radically inclusive Christian fellowship." That is to say, affirming to people of gay, lesbian. bisexual and transgender orientation and radically inclusive of all people. In August of 2004. Fresh Start held its first weekly Bible study on "Scripture and Sexuality" at the Houston GLBT community center. Later that year, Campbell began holding Sunday worship services at the community center, as well. Since then, the church has continued to grow. At this time, the congregation is up to about thirty-two members. Personally; Campbell has continued to grow. as well. He is an advocate for HIV I AIDS education and prevention, and is currently working with the African American Gay and Lesbian Alliance to expand awareness about this serious issue. Campbell has also been planning another Fresh Start program for Houston Splash 2005. Fresh Start, Lambda Legal and Human Rights Campaign Houston will host a screening of Patrik·Ian Polk's com· edy, "Punks," on Wednesday. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at Bartini on Westheimer. On Sunda}; May 8th, Campbell will hold his second Houston Splash "Worship Experience" at the Brookhollow Sheraton. The event will feature Fresh Start's choir, the Revolution singers, led by music coonh· nator l..eo Radford. Bishop Dr. Yvette Flunder, pastor of the City of Refuge Church in San Francisco, will be the guest preacher Campbell hopes all those who have felt unwelcome at other churches will open their h1•arts and attend. lie said he believes that 1t is only through willlng· ness to participate, study, and pray that the reconciliation between spirituality and sexuality can begm. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com out in houston (Photos by Dalton DeHart) The Houston Pride Band recently perfonned in a concert entitled, 'Out West· Themes of the Old Wesl' Michael Beard took careful aim recently as he slammed the ball in Montrose Softball League play. Dr. Patrick McNamara celebrated the opening o! a new location for his Skin Renewal Center with Vada Askew and Tony Yarbrough APRIL 29. 2005 9 Tony carroll (second from left) and Bruce Smith (rigilt) threw a party to commemorate the begmng of their second decade togethet: and among those in attendance were Houston City Counctl Member Gordon Quan and his wife. Sylvia Quan Rodeo cowboy Gene Mikulenlca (right) hU<J9ed it up with Andre Vega at the Pride Band concert. EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION ExeartiYe ElitDr CHRIS CRAIN &itnr BINNIE FISHER C«respcndents BRYAN ANO£RTON. DYANA BAGBY. LOU CHIBBARO. JR. JOE CREA MGBARAK DAHIR. LAURA OOUGlAS-8ROWN MIKE FliMING. MATlliEW HENNIE. JOHNNY HOOKS. PHIL LAPADUlA RYAN LEE. BRIAN MOY· lAN. KEVIN IWF, YUSEF NA.WI. KEN SAIN. RHONDA SMITH STEVE WEINSTEIN ANf1f ZEfFER Ccntrilutas DON MAINES DAWN RORIE. ELLA lYlER, SHANA NICHOi.SON JA CKAl't.1AN. RICI! ARENSCHIELDT AND ANAS BfH.MUSA ~ DALTON DEHART K£MBERLY THOMPSON ~Manager JAMES 'lEAl Welxnaster ARAM VARTIAN SALES & hDMINISTRA TION General Manager JASON WILSON ~<lhooslD!MJice.com Classlfiel! Sales I Offia! MniistratDr JOHNNYHOOKS-)hool<s<thooslonvotce.oom Naticnal Advertising Repmentative RiYeOOelt Media. 212-242-6863 Ni!isher· WINOOW MEDIA UC President· WIWAM WAYBOURN E!fitorial Di'ector· CHRIS CRAIN Ccrporate Centraler· BARNITTE HOLSTON Art llin!ct!r· ROB BOEGER Director of Operations- MIKE KITCHENS orectDr al Sales- STEVEN CUERR!lll llirector of Climlfied Sales 'lATHAN ilEGAN Maiteti1g Manager · RON ROMANSKI MEMBER t........d.....a......1.....i...l .e,_r awITTR MEMBER Estabfished 1974 as the Mcntrose St.u 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200 Houston. Texas n006 (713) 529-8490 Fax: (713) 529-9531 www..houstonvoice.com r m editorial Denial River runs deep A circuit party incident shows just how rampant drugs are among gay men - and just how indifferent we seem to have become when people fall out from them. By MUBARAK DAHIR T'S A PICTURE-PERFECT Saturday afternoon on South Beach the first weekend in Mareh. There isn't a single cloud in tho azure blue sky. This particular week· end, hordes of gay men have come to South Beach for Winter Party. At the Surf comber Hotel, the site of this year's pool party, hundreds of handsome men in seductive swimwear are hanging out by the pool, bumping and grinding on the makeshift dance floor. parading their rippled abs and bulging biceps. I'm standing with a friend soaking up the sea of flesh when our attention turns to a particularly muscular man with a hairy chest who's wearing a red ball cap. He's absolutely stunning, but it's not his body that grabs our attention. It's his inability to walk without stumbling. "He's really screwed up," my fnend conunents. "From the look on his face, it's probably tina," he says, though the man might just as easily be high on any num· her of "designer" drugs, such as G or K. A Winter Party volunteer, wearing the signature pink T-shirt that helps them stands out in the crowd, approaches the unsteady man and asks 1f he needs help. I overhear his friends dismiss the inquiry. "It's OK," they sa}: "We're his friends." Minutes later, there is a conunot1on in the packed crowd. The muscular man in the red ball cap has collapsed His apparently uncon· scious hodr:is lumped. limp in a white plastic pool chair. Four pink-shirted volunteers have sur­rounded him now. One of them has two fingers on an ai1ery in the muscleman's neck, as if she is checking whether or not he has a pulse. A band of volunteers heaves the chair up, and together they carry the uncon­scious man away. As they push through the crowd. the woman keeps her two fin· gers on the man's neck, and his pulse. The crowd hardly pauses, barely seem· ing to notice that someone has been car· ried past then;. The dance beat cranks, and the bodies continue to gyrate IT'S NO SECRET THAT DRLG USE, particularly crystal meth, is rampant at c1rcuit parties all around the country. When I mention the pool party episode to my gay friends, and comment I may want to write about it, the response is almost universal: Big surprise, stop the presses. And the drug and crystal prob· !em is hardly limited to circuit parties. It's all around us, on a daily basis, and it is \1.rrecking gay men's lives every day financially, physically and emotionally But what strikes me most, perhaps, Is the nonchalance surrounding the issue It's become so routine, many gay men don't even seem to notice it, or perhaps they just don't pay attention to it any­more. Obvious!}; the drug use and crystal problem mvolves a serious issue of per· sonal responsibil tty. But I can't help but think that there must also be a collective consciousness to this problem, if we as gay men as a group of people who have staked the claim that we are connected to one anoth· er in some sort of bond that forms a com· munity hope to beat it. In the early years of AIDS, gay activists combed the streets and the bars and the bathhouses, armed with condoms and safer sex fliers, gently reminding other gay men that all our lilies were at stake. In our newspapers and our maga· zines, at our offices and in private homes, people were talking to each other about the risks and perils of unsafe sex, and the need we all had to help each other stay as sale as we could. It didn't save everyone from HIV, or replace the personal decls1011-making at the moment of truth. But there was, at least, a recognition that we were all in this together, and that we needed to hold e3ch other's hands, literally and figura· tivply, because even with the best inten· tions, we are all human, and we all slip up sometimes. To some degree, aren't we all supposrd to watch out for each other? Particularly in places like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, 01· the Castro or Chelsea or Provincetown, or any of the vther gay ghettos where we've HOUSTON VOICE APRIL 29, 2005 PAGE 10 congregated by the droves to create our own little gay Meccas, our insular, protect· ed, sale spaces where we can fashion the kind of world we think i~ better than the places we came from. Aren't these places, at least the places where we've worked so hard to make bemg gay so easy supposed to come with something more than crowded bars and naked pool parties'! Or have we created places where we arc so callous to each other that we no longer notice, or care, if our community is partying itself to death? After the pool party. much later that evening, I get a poignant reminder about why, as gay men, we need to care about and care for our own. THE NEXT DAY, SUNDAY. MARCH 6, I am at Winter Party's beach party, right on the gay beach at 12th street. The enormous swarm of muscled men dwarfs even the crowd at the previ­ous Jay's pool party. It's another bright. hot Florida afternoon, and everyone seems to be hanging out shirtless and in sunglasses. I have my camera In my hand, and I'm taking pictures to publish in the gay news­paper that I edit in Fort Lauderdale. It's something I do frequently at such events, and I understand that different people have various comfort levels with their face bcmg shown in a gay publ!cation. Initially, I assume that is why so many people decline to remove their sunglasses when they agree to have their picture taken. Then I ask a smooth young Latin man in white pants and a sailor's hat to pose, and he gladly agrees. Lean and well-defined, he looks adorable in his little outfit on the beach. But he would look so much cuter without the dark sunglasses that hide too much of his face. I ask him to remove them. and he emphatically shakes his head no. "I can't show my eyes," he tells me. "They're a mess." Soon after, I come across the muscled man in the red ball cap from the pool party the day before, the one who had been carried away in the chair. He, too, is wearing sunglasses. l'l'f. Mubarak Dahir is ~ editor of the Express Gd9 f4ews and c.1n be reached at mdahir@express­gaynews. com READER FEEDBACK: Send letters, comments and suggestions to forum@houstonvoice.com . • HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com I viewpoint MICKEY WEEMS Why we should refuse to serve LOOKS LIKE WE GAY FOLKS MIGHT be allowed the privilege of fighting for our country. Actually, the government has no choice. The Pentagon is running out of options. Recruitment is catastrophically down. A fifth of our soldiers aren't even American citizens. We've been reduced to importing them. Suddenly, sex panic in the barracks showers doesn't seem like that big of a deal when faced with the prospect of an American military that's increasingly non-American. But don't expect the announcement of our recruitment to be contrite, apologetic, or in any way equalizing. I would not be surprised if it were put in terms of our irresponsibility. Be ready for the politics of blame: Why should homosexuals be allowed to shirX their patriotic duty just because they are perverts? As usual, it will be our fault. This will not, of course, lead to a big jump in lesbian enlistment. As with team sports, Americans expect that most women in the military are lesbians. "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) was aimed at men; women have been affected by it, but not to the same degree. It has not been enforced with the same rigor as with men. THERE ARE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE LGBT community of veterans who oppose DADT with dogged persistence. American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) and its local subsidiaries have done an admirable job representing sol­diers who cannot speak for themselves. I applaud these groups. I am a Marine brat (Parris Island '83; once a Marine, always a Marine). I have good friends currently serving in the mil­itary. I support BRAVER (the BR is for "Buckeye Region"), our local gay vet organization in Ohio, where I live. But I disagree with my BRAVER broth­ers and sisters on one fundamental issue. I do not want gay folks to be in the military. First of all, our soldiers, straight or otherwise, have been treated like chattel since the Invasion of Iraq. Ask them when you see them, especially those who are not officers. They are second-class citizens, unable to speak openly about some very serious prob­lems concerning their safety, their families, their pay, and the government's refusal to honor their contracts when they expire. We already know what it is like to be second-class citizens. Why would we want to have our social inferiority compound­ed by joining the military? Second, it is counterintuitive to serve a country that refuses to acknowledge our intrinsic worth as human beings, that consistently undervalues us because of our sexuality. As long as there is talk of a constitu­tional amendment banning the recogni­tion of our conjugal love, then the only time I see it fitting for us to "defend the Constitution" would be if our country were actually under attack. The war in Iraq, like the Vietnam War before it, does not even come close to being a national wartime emergency. Like disas­ter relief, national emergencies should be real, not imagined or hypothetical. I WOULD REQUIRE THAT ONE condition be fulfilled before accepting any mandate allowing us to serve openly: a full apology from the president and the secre­tary of defense for kicking us out. I would insist that, when the draft is reinstituted, gay boys and girls be automatically exempt based upon sexual orientation. While we're at it, I want every boy and girl, regardless of sexuality, the option of exemption based on temperament. The tender-hearted and sensitive (which accounts for a plethora of nelly gay boys and finely-tuned grrrls) have no business on the battlefield. Leave the fighting for the butch of either sex. Any study of the dynamics of war leads us to the conclusion that it is .. Without any doubt. it would have to be jobs and benefits. Jobs and finding jobs. pressing issue transgendered persons in the year 2005? JOSEPHINE TITTSWORTlf, 54 Baytown Retired from IBM/Student at University of Houston Clear Lake BRANDI WIWAMS Willis Aircraft mechanic shaped by heterosexual macho posturing. This is the reason we were kept out to begin with. Warfare, riots, and terrorism are straight masculine pastimes, not ours, so let straight men die while playing those games. Keep us out. A little-known fact about the so-called letters Rep. Al Edwards should know bigotry is wrong To the Editor: As reported in Tuesday's Fort Worth Star Telegram, Rep. Al Edwards called homosexuality a "social ill" on the floor of the House. He stated, "I take offense when people associate me and my race and my culture with a social ill. I don't see how the two relate." Representative Edwards ought to be ashamed of himself. His comments are bigoted, hateful and just plain wrong. No one is comparing race with sexual orientation - they are not the same thing, but discrimination is discrimina­tion. As an African American, Edwards should know what it feels like to hear such hurtful words. The only way to stop prejudice is to practice what you preach. Bigotry says a lot more about a bigot's own insecurities than it says about those they target. TEXAS REP. GARNET COLEMAN Houston Lesbian adoption case may not be completely over yet To the Editor After 14 months and going through every court in Texas, including the Supreme Court of Texas, the adoption of my daughter's six-year-0Jd has been upheld. Five days of a jury trial in Galveston last week awarded her full joint cus­tody. Kathleen Van Stavern is my APRIL 29, 2005 11 "Stonewall Rebellion": nobody died. And those involved in beating people up were straight, not gay. Iii\ Mickey Weems is a doctoral candidate at V Ohio State University and can be reached at miclceyweems@yahoo.com. daughter, and Julie Hobbs was her part­ner for nine years. Together they owned their home and decided to have a child together, but in February 2004 Hobbs decided it was over. Kathleen began $400 monthly child support, but in June had to file for visi­tation - not custody - and that was when Hobbs started the legal case to over­turn the adoption. Needless to say, Kathleen and our family were overjoyed with the uphold­ing of the adoption and getting joint custody as were many gay and adoption organizations. However, Hobbs has said, and the Houston Voice has printed, that she is considering going back to court to over­turn the adoption again. She has a doctorate and a profession­al position, and Kathleen is a police officer: Current legal fees are still due and if it starts again, Kathleen won't be able to do it. I want the Gay community to know this and why. Theirs' was an open relationship, and everyone knew the child was the daugh­ter of both parents and we were grand­parents. How can Kathleen suddenly turn off her paternal feelings? How does one suddenly NOT be a grandparent any­more? The mind cannot grasp that. How does the child comprehend that? What will the effect be on other adop­tions if Kathleen can't fight this any­more? Your comments and prayers will be most appreciated and comforting to me and relayed to my daughter bearing this burden. Thank you for listening to me. JANET WEINBERG Efland, N..C. janetweinberg@yahoo.com Passing the Right to Dignity Bill currently being considered. We need to have schools, businesses and people on the same page for human rights. We need to end the fear transgendered people have of being themselves. The most pressing issue for transgendered people in 2005, I feel, is trying to get people to understand exactly what "trans­gender" is and to show people exactly who we are. Employment JENNIFER POOL. 56 Houston Consultant - business and conslruction designer BILI HUDSON, 47 Austin Administrative cleri<. Texas Department of Public Safety MYKAl POtfill.10, 23 Pearland Student Sound off about what's happening in your world at www.houstonvoice.com/soundoff. Interviews and photos by Dalton DeHart • Canada ~ Quebec:: Montreal@ Radlo-C.nada TOI, SM' Montr6al i RI IN 20 6 16,000 PARTICIPANTS - OVER 100 COUNTRIES ~ 1 world:Jutgames Rendez-Vous Montreal 2006 fllμs ADA @ ou:--s; ·-- mm .-.-r. ... Register for your Sport or Cultural activity or for the International Conference now! 35 sports, 4 cultural activities featured, The Right to Be Different International Conference for the advancement of LGBT Rights, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Opening and Closing parties. Come to compete hard and furious and enjoy everything there is to enjoy. World class facilities, a great friendly city and much more. The one international Rendez-vous you don't want to miss! d.~t!e 0 MONTR~A,~/ 26 July · S August 2006 (,1pre TOUR OPERATOR r:mJ il!l 1!11 llil r:::JCll' ~j~ ~rstlt~ Mtd .• • • IZ!]fom-:= -~ +Q 1-0 ,OUT\owl GUS Tours ff www.abovebeyondtours.com pinke ~ ~ ..am GAY HOUSTON NIGHTLIFE, ARTS & CULTURE www.houstonvoice.com Raise for Will & Grace Rumor is that all four stars will get a whopping $600.000 per episode next season. Page 18 APRIL 29, 2005 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ power to the people HOLLYWOOD CO -OP FI NANCES LESBIAN FILM By SARAH KELLOGG UV HAT WOULD YOU CALL A WOMEN'S Hollywood film cooperative that finances short movies about lesbians and gay men? A joke? A pipe dream? Dead on arrival? These days, you call it successful. Despite the odds, POWEH Ul' (Professional Organization of Women in Entcrtainm1•nt Reaching Up) will celebrate its fifth birthday in October, and with considerable pride. After all, the non· profit production company-that-could has produced and distributed 11 short films and is working on its first fea­ture. That POWER UP has succeeded where others have failed or not even dared to go - is due in no small part to its powerhouse founder. Stacy Codikow, a former television and film producer, who apparently won't take no for an answer. '"I completely believe in what we're doing here," says Cod1kow, whose previous credits include a stint on "Cagney & !..ace):" 'There are so many lesbian and gay filmmakers who have so much to say out there, and up until recent!}; not that 1rumy places to say it. We're a club with memlX'r~ around the country, and we are trying to help as many of them trll their stories as possible. .. Telling those stories wouldn't have been possible, Codikow says, if there hadn't been exceptional people to support POWER UP's mission. Even she marvels at the vein of talent that POWER UP has tapped into in recent years. Talent that many in Hollywood had ignored or didn't even know was there. Look at the credits for any of POWER UP's short films. and you'll find the names of successful directors (Jamie Babbit, Lee Friedlander), producers (Andrea Sperling, Lisa Thrasher) and writers (Cherien Dabis, Michele Greene). "These people are making it right now,"' Codikow says. "Imagine what they're going to be doing in five years." TO DATE, POWER UP'S MOST ACCOMPLISHED alum has been Angela Robinson, the director of the recently released feature film, "O.E.B.S.," the lesbian spy caper. POWER UP financed a short version of the film in 200'.l, and it~ success proved to be a ticket to directorial st:1rdom for Robin<;0n. Stacy Codikow, a fonner television and film producer in Hollywood says there are many lesbian and gay filmmakers who have so much to say and, up until recently, not many places to s.1y it. For the past five years, POWER UP, the company she founded. has been worl<ing to fix that problem. "Stacy and Lisa really came in and took a risk with me," says Robinson, whose latest film, Di~ney's "Herbie: fully Loaded," is coming out in June. "Here was this les­bian talking about directing a story with girls in short skirts carrying big guns. I'm not sure everyone would have bought it. but they did and my life changed after that." POWER UP HAS HAD AT LEAST O!\'E OF ITS SHORT films accepted into the Sundance Film Festival (the gold standard of festivals) every year since the production com· pany first opened Its doors. And aJmo,t every one of its short films ha won festh'al h-udos and awards. Origmall>; the grant program selected three short film scripts each year, helping fledgling directors and writers turn their dreams into reality through ~.<XXl grant.~ and m·kmd contributions that ranged from production help to distributing the film. The group has gh·en away ·1 million m ca.~h and in· kind assistance since 2000. By sheMng the sho11s program to focus on feature films, the company will surely increase its \isibility and influence. Feature fihns. not short films, are the cw·renc:y of real power m Hollywood. and Codikow and her board of directors are determined to elbow their way into the film world's old boys' club. The feature film application dead­line is l\1ay 1 First at bat for POWER UP in the features league b ''The !tty BittyTitty Committee," a comedy about a high school gtr1 who joins a radical feminbt imiup. The film was written and will be directed by Jamie Babbit ("But I Was a Cheerleader"). \\'hat has made POWER UP so successful up to now has been Its old-school, major-studio approach to bring­ing films through the pipeline. At every step along the wa); whether it's production, marketing or distribution. POWER UP"s Codikow and her No. 2 partner, Lisa Thrasher, have called on a cadre of friends at Los Angeles studios and production companies to assist their first·time directors. ''PO\\'ER UP really came to the rescue when I was making 'Memoirs of an Evil Stepmother,"' recalls Y.Titer/director Cherien Dabis, whose screenplay "Little Black Boot" was produced by POWER UP with a different director. "They offered me production insurance, crew recommendations, free locations and completion funds. It doesn't really get much better than that. This is a group of women who want to tell good stories and are willing to help anyone who a~ks." The result has been compelling films v.ith high pro­duction values and. more importantly for some, famous names. The actors in POWER UP·financed films have included Sharon Lawrence ('"NYPD Blue"). Michele Greene (''LA Law"), Tammy Lynn Michaels ("Popular") and Amanda Bearse ("Married with Children"). Please see POWER UPon Page 19 LYRIC DELIGHT: HGO's 'Romeo and Juliet' offers up rousing I stage action with moments of great passion. Page 14 RIDING WITH ROSIE: Rosie just isn't believable as a developmentally disabled woman in TV movie. Page 15 14 APRIL 29. 2005 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I opera RICH ARENSCHIELDT A lyric delight OPENING HOUSTON GRAND OPERA'S much-touted 50th anniversary season's spring repertory is Gounod's rendition of Shakespeare's much adapted "Romeo and Juliet." This offering is a reinvigorated remount of a previous, somewhat sluggish production presented eight years ago. This time HGO gets it right on all counts. Gounod's classic, second only in popu· Iarity to his "Faust," is one of the two com­positions that cemented his music firmly into the worldwide operatic repertoire. The work has its shortcomings in that some­times the action doesn't come fast enough, but it also contains some splendid opportu· nities, each of which this cast, designer and director take complete advantage . .Making their role debuts as the doomed lovers are HGO Studio alumna Ana .Maria Martinez and the reigning king of the lyric tenor repertoire, Ramon Vargas. With four significant duets throughout the opera. audiences hear a lot of music from these two. This continuous musical dialogue sus· tains the production. French conductor Emmanuel Joel, a maestro with every single major French opera under his belt, leads the ensemble in an interpretation guided by subtlety and understatement. Neither Martinez nor Vargas possess­es a particularly huge voice, and this offering benefits from a continuous "trio· like" performance, equally balanced between tenor, soprano, and orchestra. No contests among singers or orchestra are evident here. Each vocal line is gently respected and perfectly shaped to fit with· in a completely lyric framework. As one v;ould expect, there are moments of great passion, but the fines.o;c with which these characters communicate is never obscured by overblown emotionalism. Other singers in this work play mini· ma! roles but among these, American bari· tone Daniel Belcher shines dramatically and vocally as Romeo's ill-fated friend Mercutio who, before bleeding like a stuck pig, offers a delightful version of the vocal· ly challenging "Queen Mab" aria. Directorially, the same evenhanded· ness is evident on stage. One of the dan· gers of the genre is that sometimes, the pace of mid 19th century theatrics tend to somnificate 21st century audiences. LIKE AN ART FILM. GOUNOD OFFERS us plot and action at a relaxed pace. This production gets "jacked" as the result of a redo from German director Christian Rlith, whose work was last seen here in ft MORE INFO 'Romeo and Juliet" Houston Grand Opera Through May 8 Wortham Center 550 Pra1ne Sl 713-228-0PERA www.houstongrandopera.org Romeo and Juliet (Ram6n Vargas and Ana Maria Martinez) are married by Friar Lawrence (Nikolay Didenko) (Photo by Srett Coomer) the visceral staging of Benjamin Britten's nearly homo-erotic "Billy Budd." Rath used the spartan but cool mau­soleum. inspired set designed by Bruno Schengle to its full advantage. Guys in euro·trash inspired costumes gallop around the stage fighting and carousing just as you'd expect young roguish ren al$Sancc nobility to do. Additionally, there are also some poignant moments - Romeo bestows a ten­der kiss U!JOn Juliet's shoulder during an aria a small motion that speaks volumes. The chorus and principals are always in motion but not in a manner that draws inordinate attention. Fight scenes staged by Brian Byrnes possess realism usually not seen in most productions, especially in those with more "well rounded" casts. This cast is nimble, and the suspense they initiate reinforces the veracity of the feudal family feud. The dichotomy of love and hatred is omnipresent in this production. The passion and adoration that Romeo and Juliet in;sess is sharply contrasted by the mistrust and contempt experienced by their respective families, the Capulets and The Montague.. The stage is often split in two depict· ing the irreconcilable chasm existing between these two clans. Life and death are represented by two fates who serve as superfluous distractions to an otherwise well-conceived visual presentation. French composer Camille Saint·Saens also known for setting another famous pair to music with his opera "Samson and Delilah" wrote of his elde1; Gounod'. "His aim was to achieve the maximum effect with the minimum of apparent effort." In this "Romeo and Juliet," HGO's combined forces have accomplished that precise effect - a great blend of musical lyricism and dramatic action. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com i• on BRIAN MOYLAN She tries hard, but Rosie O'Donnell isn't convincing as a developmentally disabled woman in 'Riding the Bus with My Sister.' Rosie O'Donnell (left) stars as a developmentally disabled woman entrusted to the care of her sister. played by Andie MacDoweH. in CBS' 'Riding the Bus with My Sister,' which airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. A busload of problems LEAVE IT TO A SHOPPING CART TO reveal the biggest problem with "Riding the Bus with My Sister," a new Hallmark Hall of FamP movie that airs on CHS Sunday, l\lay 1, at 9 p.m. In an early scene, Beth. a developmen tally disabled woman played by former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, refuses to put away her shopping cart after a trip to the SU!l<'rmarket. This is much to the chagrin of her oldl'r sister, Rachel <Andie MacDow('ll). who is entrusted with her sister's care after their father's death. "I know why dad called you 'the sher· ifT,"' MacDowell's Rachel tells her sister. "Because you always get what you want." Rachel then puts th!.' cart away herself, while &>th laughs and claps. And herein lies the problem. As much as Rachel is trying to improve Beth's life by setting boundaries and making hPr take respons1bilit): she always ends up raving in to her sister's desires. Why is this? lt appears to be because Rachel can't blame Beth for being born with a developmental disability. Rachel also appears to feel slightly guilty that she was born without a disability. RUT AS HARD AS O'DONNELL TRIES TO tranc.form herself tnto Beth, the movie Just doesn't work. Under dinictor Anjelica Huston, Beth has the speech, tics and traits often found with develop· mentally disabled people, but sht> just doesn't srr.m believable. O'Oonnrll seemed much more believ· @MORE INFO 'Riding the Bus with My Sister' CBS Sunday. May I 8p.m. able m 1992 playing Doris Murph): a third· base player in "A League of Their Own," and in 199.1 when she portrayed assistant D.A. Gina Garrett in "Another Stakeout " She !>eemcd to succeed in those films because she was more or less playing Rosie O'Donnell. Maybe O'Donnell's portrayal of Beth falls short because we all knm\ so much ahout her real life: her activism, her loving partner and their handful of adopted kid<; back home. She just doesn't have the seamless believabilit} of,~}: Dustin Hoffman in ''Rain Man." MacOowell, who has always been more beautiful than impressive as an actress, does a better job hc>re. And all she has to do is (finally) not look like she's actually acting. Rut this movie has other problems. As a Halhnarl< Hall of Fame film, it doesn't devi· ate from the basic, sentimental formula of all them.plus franchi<;e movies that came before this one. Based on a book of the same name by Rachel Simon, the film's main character Rachel initially doesn't want to be bothered with her sister, who spends her days riding the buses in an unnamed cit): lbchel views Beth as a burden and does· n't want to give up her mm life in New York as a photographer to take care of het Of course, she eventually learns about the beauty of life from Beth and the family her sister has created among the drivers and regular pa<;.c;cngr.rs on the bus line. In the end, Rachc>l can't imagine life without Beth. Just from hearing this premise, you pretty much already know how the plot is going to unfold, and the predictable script doesn't disappoint. If you like making pasty paper balls by crying into tissues on your couch. go ahead and indulge. Otherwise, don't bother with this wishy-washy tearjerker. APRIL 'l'J. 2005 IS HoustonGrandOpera ~ www.HoustonGrandOpera.org Don't miss two grand producbors based on 1mmorta1 works of Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet stars Ram6n Vargas and Ana Maria Martinez as the far"'ous l().ll!r5 1:1 a stOI)' of innocence and heartbreak. International superstar Bryn Terfel portrays another side of love as the "fat knight" Falstaff whose ... nrequ1ted KM! for Ahce F'ord soprano Patricia Racette Wt have yoi. augh ng out oud. • , ~'1.r1<1A.,,d ROMEO AND J t.:UET Apn 22, 24, 21: 29, May 6,* 8 Corporate Grand Guarantor 0 SHEU Oil COMPMY FOUNDATION )._~ FALSTAFF Apn 28, May 1 4,* 7, 13,* 15 Corpora•e Guara !or and Med a Partner ~:ne Warner Cabe Corporate Guara tor Anadarlw ~leum Grand c;uaranto: Albert and Margaret A kel< FoundatiOn • Special discounted performances. Cart fof details. Continental Dim Airline s lft'I buildyourbusiness CONTACT OUR SALES TEAM 7135298490 iiidlt'.1M11 voice Your agent. Your advocate. Rob Schmerler Insurance Agency 6575 West loop South, Suite 185 Belloire, Texos 77401 713.661.7700 www.schmerleragency.com 16 APRIL 'l!J. 2005 1220 Taft Street Houston Texas 77019 713-529-6255 info@MyCateringCompany.com OPEN for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with a full bar 7 DAYS a week Early Morning and Late Night ;\\arnott. HOUSTON WESTCHASE THIS MOTHER'S DAY, MOM'S THE WORD. Treat Mom to the day she really deserves. A special Mother's Day Brunch at the Houston Marriott Westchase. Choose from an elegant array of traditional breakfast and dinner dishes, carved items, salads, desserts and more. So leave the work to us. And be our special guest. Going above and beyond. IT'S THE MARRIOITWAY."' Sund<Jy. ,\lay 8, 2005 /O:fllam - NJOpm $15. 95 adult; • I !2. 95 m11or1 ll7.'J5 children 6-12 5 & under FREE Rt'1Nnlllon.; kt'quzrt'd (.a/I 7 H '178 7400 Houston Mamon\\ csichaw 2900 Bnarpark Dnn Houston.. TX 77042 7u.9;g.7400 .).l.amottwn1eh.aiw.com •Mu'°'1flOl111<l.Jr1UnJ~a1.u, 16'1pt•llY .JMJ lo,.,™' of Ju (6) ,,, mo" Full Service Catering Corporate Events Carry Outs & Delivery From Breakfast to Late Dinners :.l www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE 0 dining J.A. CHAPMAN Azuma goes downtown with sushi and robata served in a an upscale but casual environment that is great on the sushi but could use just a bit more rice on the side. Downtown to Azuma FANS OF AZUMA WILL BE PLEASED to learn that a second location has opened downtown. The sleek, modern Japanese restau­rant has brought across its style and menu from the original Kirby location to the Rice Lofts. Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar is a good fit for this neighborhood - upscale and casual. The decor is done in sharp black and neutral tones. Intriguing touches such as ceiling light fixtures made from asymmet­rical beige cloth boxes are visually styl­ish, yet in keeping with the overall Japanese ambience. The robata, or open flame charcoal grill, is one of the signature dining experiences at Azuma. We ordered the robata combo one ($12), whidl allov.l.'d us to sample beef; shnmp and calamari. grilled on skewers. And thus began our adventures in poor seIVJce. We ordered the appetizers even before our drinks, yet the kitchen served up one of our main courses before anything else arrived. The person who delivered the food was not our waitress, so it took some time to sort out of the situation. Eventuall;: our appetizers arrived. but they brought us combo two. which includ· ed shiitake mushroom and shrimp as well as the other three items. The robata is tasty, but the various items seemed to be seasoned in the same manner, making them all a bit the same. Two dipping sauces add flavor. We all agreed the mushrooms were the best of the bunch, so in the end we were glad for the service mix up. Our favorite appetizer was the shiitake age ($6), shiitake stuffed with shrimp Md calrunari and tempura fried. A delicate tern· pura outside contrasted nicely with the ten· dC'r shiitake and seafood inside. Even the SC'rving wa5 generous. Unusual Md creative. it was one of the best dishes of the evening. Don't miss the Azuma hot rock bcEof ($14). A blazing hot rock. butter. and thinly sliced beef are placed in front of you on a stylishly arranged platter You season the ro«k with the butter, thC'Il cook the beef to your liking. It's fun and decadently delicious. Like many of Azuma's dishes, however. the serving.~ are miserly, there's no rice or other starch, and you're left wanting more. Tm~ VOLCANO CONCH ($12l SOUNDED intriguing. Our waitress told us fake crab cake, along with the conch meat, was sauteerl with vegetables. We could hardly wait to see what she meant. Although stunningly served in a large upright conch shell with a piece of fruit set aflame, the result was somewhat dis­appointing. The conch meat was rather tough and slices of unidentifiable seafood made it seem almost down-market. Quite The sushi at Azuma's new loc.1tion 1s made of top· quality seafood and ts stylishly presented. spicy, it too would have seemed a more complete dish if accompanied by rice. Fortunate!;; we had plenty of rice to spare from the una ju ($15). grillt>d fresh· water eel on rice. The eel was outstand· ing, served slightly warm with a hint of smokiness. The serving of eel could have been more generous, but there was enough rice for six people. Odd serving combinations seem to be a theme. Azuma is a better deal at lunch. A spe­cial lunch menu, with a wide variety from sushi to udon to bento boxes is offered. The lunch specials are served with a salad, topped with the traditional Japanese spicy dressing. The roll combo C ($12.95) includes three hand rolls and a spider roll made with soflshell crab. The seafood is top quality and very fresh. and everything is stylishly presenter!. Even the service seems more attentive and speerlier at lunch. The dishes arrived prompt!): and the waitress was quick with the check. Azuma is a stylish, dependable Japanese restaurant, and the new loca· tion is a good fit for downtown. With a built·in clientele from lofts, the busy the· ater district and nearby offices, it's sure to fill a niche. Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar 909 Texas. Suite E 7J.3.22J..0909 www.azumajapanesecom Food. •••'112 Service·••• Value:••• Scene:•••• ., = St.iy home and eat cereal 191 191 = Well, If you really must 191 ,.. 191 = Fine for all but the finicky 19! • • •=Worth more than a 20-minute drive 191 Tel 191 ,.. 191 =As good as you'll find m this city HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com From 'Valley of the Dolls' to Adoptathon 2005, the last weekend in April also includes an HGO appearance by rock diva Elton John. Of dolls and divas CAN 11' R~~ALLY BE THAT THE LAST week of April is already here? Time flies when you're busy HoV-oing on the Go· Go! This week lets visit the Valley of The Doll's, join our Spoiled Boyz and enjoy some Fire and Ice! GOT TO GET OFF. GOT TO GET OUT. To Cypress that is! Darling's your eyes are not deceiving you, and HotGG is not making this up. Valley of the Dolls, the p~ is here, or rather there! Valley of the Dolls was fU'St published in 1966, and this riveting tale became the best selling novel of all time. A camp}; funny, and often moving expose of the Hollywood lifestyle became a time-hon· ored, cult classic film. The play version is adapted from the explosive book and the over·th~top movie. Jacqueline Susann's sen· sational story of three wildly dilierent, pill· popping, show-biz friends (modeled, rumor has it after Judy Garland, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe) perfectly crystallizes the decadence of the OO's entertainment indus· l:lj( Recommended for mature audiences' Friday and Saturday at the Cy-Fair College Center for the Performing Arts, 9191 Bark<'r Cypress Drive in Cypress. Curtain is at 8 p.m. with tickets running $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $.5 for students. There is al50 a Sunday matinee with curtain at 3 p.m. C1ll the box office at 281-29(}.SIDJ or for spe­c. ial group rates call Joe Watts at 713-522· WI. I lotGG would walk a hundred miles to see this show! ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW four-legged friend'! HotGG has three at home alrc:idy, but if we didn't we'd be at the Adopt A Cat event this weekend. Saturday and Sunday, Adopt A Cat is joining thousands of othC'r animal welfare organizations across the country and around the world for Pet Adoptathon ~- This annual worldwide event was organized to make lifelong friends by matching adorable homeless and orphanr.d pets with loving people, people just like you! Visit Adopt A Cat to find your life­long friend, between Noon and 5 p.m. at Pch:\1art, 61 O at Westpark or Shepherd at West Alabama, at PETCO, 1960 at f:Idtidge or on Highway 6 in Coppcrfil'ld. Adopt A Cat, 17319 Ramwood, Houston, 281- SOOffi.52 for more in-purr-mation! A NEW Cl .UB IS HOSTING Tiil<: NEXT Spoiled Boyz event. The always.frenzied event this time happens Saturday at a new spot in mid-town called Escobar. This chic space boo ts a great sound system and is a grmt match for this raging latll nighVeariy morning event. The th<'me this time around is Lavmderl Oh how sw~-ct! Charles Soloman of Beyond Entertairunent explams, "Spring has sprung, flowers are in bloom! So DJ Manny Lehman spins for the Fire and Ice Ball Saturday at South Beach. prepare to enjoy the lighter side of Purple: Lavender." The event honors the fashion color of Spring~. Escobar is located at 2905 Travis at Anita NYC's own DJ Joe D'Esplnosa will be providing the beatz. Any shade of Purple attire is suggested, however Spolied floyz usually have most of their clothes off about an hour in! Doors open 331 a.m., and the party goes until 831 a.m. Advance tickPts at $15 are available at M2.' .\ 1 Fashion. Expect to be treated like royalty at the purple velvet ropes' AS YOU KNOW, HOTGG DOESN'T usually include opera in this column, but when Sir Elton is involved well, that's different. The soon-to-be-wed diva of rock joins opera divas Renee Fleming, Patricia Racette and others Saturday night for Houston Grand Opera's 50th birthday celebration at Wortham Center. With tickl't prices starting at $250, Hot· GG may have to sit this one out, but we'd love to be a fly on the wall. flNALLY THIS WEEKEND THE FIRE and Ice Ball is Saturday night at South Beach. Superstar DJ Manny Lehman. touted as "the most sought after DJ on the Circuit" will be tearing up the tool~ies from 10:~) p.m. until 5 a.m. with resident DJ Jimmy Skinner opening earl~ Advance tick"'Cts are $15 and can be had at JR's Bar and Grill, l\Meor; South Beach, J\121\t Fashions and the I lollywood Superstore. Decor and special effects provided by Alienliteforms and Bright Star. WW\\'.SOUthbmchthenight· club.com for all the details! ' IJ'fti If you have any club announcements or ~ events. email them to jhooks@houstonvoice.com or call 713-529.·8490. See you on the Go·Go! APR! L 29. 2005 }.; 'R2772V~R \ilfT7 WWW.CROSSOVERGIFTS.COM • 713.523.5201 CROSSOVER GIFTS • 415 WESTHEIMER RD • HOUSTON 18 APR! L 2.9. 2005 SPRING CLEANING s49· Panelists: GETS YOUR MEMBERSHIP STARTED Felfing good about yourself and how you look 1s the key. We can help you get there with a program 1ust for you. Call today! 1501 Durham Street 713-880-9191 www.houstongym.com Michael Ross, DrPH Professor, UT School of Public Health at Houston Dena Gray Community Liaison, Houston City Council District D William A. O'Brien, MD Professor of Internal Medicine, UTMB Galveston Free Parking & Refreshments will be provided. American Sign Language & Spanish translators available. RSVP Required LOCATION: The United Way Community Resource Center 50 Waugh Drive (at Feagan) Houston, TX 77007 To RSVP please call Georgette at 713-572-3724. www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE dish There's a Fine Line Between Telling the Truth and Talking Trash The numbers game The hottest gossip about TV's gay quartet, the Fab Four and a dynamic duo Dish has always been a big fan of numerology and thinks a lot can be learned from looking at numbers. For instance, take 600,000. On its own, it's just a string of six digits. Put a dollar sign in front of that number, however, and it becomes a big fat paycheck. What Dish wouldn't do for $600,000. One thing she would do is star on NBC's "Will & Grace," and that's how much money I'd get for one episode. Yes, each of the four stars of the show SEAN HAYES, ERIC MCCOR)IACK. DEBRA MESSING and MEGAN MULLALLY - will take home about that much per episode in the show's eighth season, according to Reuters. That's between $13 and $15 million a season. NBC just inked a deal with the stars for the upcoming season, which will include at least 24 episodes and a show with clips from previous episodes. The actors all received a raise from about $400,000 per epL~ode this season. It's the first time Hayes and Mullally, the "supporting" players, will be making as much money as Messing and McCormack. All four actors have each won an Emmy for their work on the show, which earned an Emmy for Best Comedy in 2000. While this quartet (and countless guest stars) is still good for a few chuckles on Thursday evenings, the loss of UFrienrls" has caused W&G's ratings to slip thts season. But a lucrative syndication deal leaves the show a moneymaker for NBC and NBC Universal TV Studio, the network-owned producer of "W&G." Fabbest of all Speaking of groups of four, Dish hears that the BEATLES were so open·minded that one of the band's members had an intimate relationship with gay manager BRIAN EPSTEIN. Epstein's longtime assistant, Joanne Peterson, is hard at work on a book titled "There's a Beatie in My Closet," about her experiences with Epstein and the band. According to Brian Epstein Australian newspaper MX, in the book she says that the manager engaged in sex acts with one of the band's legendary members, JOHN LENNON, PAUL MCCARTNEY, RINGO STARR or GEORGE HARRISON. But, of course, she won"t say which one just yet. Only McCartney and Starr Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) and all the other stars on Will & Grace' recently learned they're gettmg big fat raises. are still alive. Epstein died of a drug overdose in 1967 at age 32. Many have speculated over the years that Epstein had an unrequited love for Lennon. In 1992, filmmaker Christopher Munch released "The Hours and the Times," a movie about a fictional romance between the two during an actual trip they took together to Barcelona in 1963. Wedding belles Sir ELTON JOHN announced last week that he and his partner DAVID FURNISH. who have been an item for 11 years, are getting married. Well, sort of. John told the Mirror in London that he Elton John and David Furnish and Furnish plan to hold a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor in December. The United Kingdom is allowing gay couples to take part in civil unions beginning Dec. 5. The unions grant gay couples the same rights as married couples. including tax breaks and inheritance rights. John's publicist, Gary Farrow. later told Reuters that the ceremony may not be until early 2006 and he said one of the main reasons for the union was financial. Last week, John was in the news because his company is losing money. Now, he's marrying to save cash. See, it call comes back to the numbers, which apparently never lie. '1f. Send comments, suggestion~ to ~ ~houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com I clipse over story The recently released feature film. 'DE.B.S.,' a lesbian spy c.1per. propelled POWER UP alum Angela Robinson to directorial stardom. POWER UP, continued from Page 13 SOME CRITICS SAY THAT POWER UP IS less a club than a clique - think an A-list lesbian sorority. But Codikow says there's an important reason why the same names keep appearing in the credits of POWER UP films: Those people show up. "Much of what we do is done for little or no pa~;" she says. "We keep calling on our friC'nd~. and they keep calling on their friend~ If you're willing to give us your time and expertise for free. we'd love your help." The group caused a minor coronary in the lesbian filmmaking community when it flllall® the film, "Starcro;sed," last year. not neces.<;ari!y because of its subject matter (sex· ually intimate brothers). but because a man, James Burl<llammer, wrote and directed it Codikow says POWER UP's mission has never been about separatism; it was and is about finding a voice for lesbian and gay filmmakers. "We aren't afraid to work with men, because their stories are important to all of us," she says. But the real bread-and-butter for POWER UP these last five years has been the rich, sometimes.painful and often· ft MORE INFO Since 2000. POWER UP has produced ll lesb1an and gay films that have traveled the gay film circuit. They are: ·Billy's Oad is a Fudge-packer." 2004 ·starcrossed," 2004 ·prom·Trovsey," 2004 ·intent," 2003 ·uttle Black Boot." 2003 'Zoe Cadwaulder: 2003 ·oE.ss: 2002 ·Fly Cherry," 2002 'Give or T.1ke an Inch." 2002 ' Chicken Night." 2001 ' Breaking Up Really Sucks.· 2001 .... --.--- ----------­., -· .... ~-· .. ~- ·-= ~-..:- (top to bottom) Billy's Dad is a Fudge-packer; Little Black Boot; Starcrossed; Breaking Up Really Sucks. humorous, stories of women making their way in a world that doesn't always welcome diversity and dissent. APRIL 2.9, 2005 19 b ~ ha&aear1 gltlt c:twnber al CGIWl&ce 713-523-7576 ghglcc.org O CHASE '"' .... , •11.AllOllSll l P • • 1vt••r11t• 6.."' 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You'H be responsible •or all phases of the sales process: cold calling. pr0>pect de veloprnen~ conceptualJZ1ng, planmng and delivenng sales presentatJOllS. wnt1ng proposal~ negotJatJng contracts anc:I closJng~busJness. We off et a challeng ng and exCJ!Jllg opporturuty on a fast paced. goal oriented (yet fun) enwonment. Competl!lve com­pensallOfl. tra Oll19 and a compell!lve benefits package In ducfJflCI health/dental/life Insurance, paid holidays. vacatJon and MOREi Call Jason Wilson at 713 529-8490 and tell him wl>y you're the best for the job! FREELANCE REPORTERS NEEDED to cover har : ew. Send resume and three crips to: Editor Houston Voice 500 Lovett #200 Houston Texas 77006 NOW HIRING. RN'S, PT, OT & Office Staff for Home Health Agency. C.11 for more information or contact us via f11x or email. 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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com ITHINKITSAYSVOLUMESABOUT our value system when a bona-fide rock star like Bob Mould has less attitude and is easi­er to talk to at the gym than a lot of the everyday gay "hunks" who work out there. SOME OF THESE GUYS ONLINE WILL say it's their first time but then have a repertoire that would make a gay sailor blush. What's wrong with this picture? THE BEAR MOVEMENT WAS SUPPOSED to be a celebration of men as men actually are. Turning it into yet another form of drag defeats the purpose. SINCE YOU DIDN'T GET THE MEMO: Drug addicts are not attractive! LOCKER ROOM TIP NOS. 43 AND 44: If you have back hair, please don't try to shave it in the sink; it's disgusting to watch. And, if you choose not to shave it, don't spend forever drying your back hair with a blow dryer. I manage to dry my chest hair using a towel, and not look ridiculous doing it! FIRST YOU FELL OFF THE BAR AND the bartender caught you. Yeah, it was humorous. Next time you might break my bottle of Jack Daniels. That will be far from funny! OUT AT 25 AND NEED A SUPPORT group for college-age people? PFLAG - or Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays - is a national organil.ation with chap­ters in most cities. PFLAG welcomes every­one, not just parents. You may not pick some­one up, but you will find support and a place to speak to others on relationships, coming out and more. BITCH I WASN'T TRYING TO PICK YOU OW PAGES OF GAY PORN 36 easy-to-surf categories Cruising • Voyeurs Bodybuilders· Erotic Art Bears & Cubs Twinks Celebr1tles · Solo Adult Stars • Athletes Amateurs • Galleries Escorts· Exhibitionists Tltt Fret Gay Dirtct!(J 28,000 Websites Listed 1,000s of Free Sex Pies 13,000+ Flff Stories To the guy who complained that I don't call. What's the point? I have yet to get a word in edgewise. up when I asked you where the dates were. I was there with my husband. You're too short and balding for my taste anywa~ DAMN IT! BAPTISTS, EVANGELICALS, Muslims, Jews and Mormons disagree on almost everything but they all agree when it comes to hating and excluding gays' TO THE ILLITERATE QUEEN SPREADING lies about my best friend: What goes around comes around; and as much as you've been around, you should know. MAYBE I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE MY father because he chose not to be a father. Why be like someone who doesn't want to be in your life, or you to be in his? I'VE NOTICED A DISTURBING NEW trend among gay men: bad oral hygiene. Honey, if your ass smells and tastes better than your mouth, it's time to see the dentist! SOME THINGS JUST NEVER GET EASY to accept: like being smart, educated, APRIL 2.9 2005 23 hard-working, in-shape, drug-free, kind and considerate, but watching Joe Blow get all of the attention and dates because nature made him better-looking. WHY IS IT HETERO-MALES ARE GE'ITING as rare as a snowflake in July? \\'hatever you gay guys are doing, cut lt out. From a lonely hetero female LORD KNOWS HOW. BUT V.'E NEED TO get over our in-fighting at least enough to build a real community that truly cares for its own, because the straight world will never treat us as equals. WHY IS IT THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE to lie to you online? It's pretty stupid to say a pie is of you when it's really of the guy you're sending it to. Think before you steal, you could end up with a charge of ID theft. STRAIGHT PEOPLE DO NOT HATE US because we write to "Bitch Session." They hate because they were taught that it's OK to hate fags just because they are fags. So don't lay the blame where it doesn't lie' TO THE BOY AT THE BAR V..1!0 TOLD his man, 'TU kill you if you ever leave me": You are a terrorist! Eiitm' rm. These are real bitches. sent 111 bot real readei\ aboot !Jo1Y life's little iVl10'{aOO!S. DI the big ones. too. Got a bitch? Call!~ Gr e-mail: bitcl@expressgacom
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