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Houston Voice, No. 1210, January 2, 2004
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Houston Voice, No. 1210, January 2, 2004 - File 001. 2004-01-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7139/show/7110.

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(2004-01-02). Houston Voice, No. 1210, January 2, 2004 - File 001. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7139/show/7110

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, No. 1210, January 2, 2004 - File 001, 2004-01-02, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/7139/show/7110.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1210, January 2, 2004
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date January 2, 2004
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 ISSUE 1210 WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM Trip to Tuna The Voice does Tuna before 'A Tuna Christmas' does Galveston Island Page 15 ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE. JANUARY 2, 2004 Court date draws near for Marc l<ajs civil suit Gay activists say case has changed police handling of gay domestic violence By BINNIE nsHER As February draws near, attor­neys on both sides of a murder case that rocked Houston's gay and lesbian community are noti· fying witnesses and preparing last-minute details. The defendant in the case is not the man who murdered 28- year-<>ld Marc Kajs on March 28, 1998 in front of the Montrose restaurant where he worked. The defendant in the civil case scheduled next month is the City of Houston. Gloria Swidrisk.i. the mother of Marc Kajs, alleges in her suit that although her son sought help from police several times during the months he v.'as stalked by Ytlmaz, police offered him no help that might have preserved his life. The lawsuit almost died in 2001 when a federal judge ruled that the family did not have a case. A decision handed down later m the year by the U.S. Crrcuit Court of Appeals O\ er· turned the decision. The court ruled that the only The draped body of Marc Kajs lies on the pavement near the restaurant where he was gunned down on March 28. 1998. After pumping eight bullets into Kajs that Sunday morning, the killer, 32-year-old llhan Yilmaz, turned the gun on him· self and fired. The murder of Marc Kajs would never be tried In criminal court. Please see KA.JS on Page 8 With sadness, Birch counts down final days at HRC Executive director steps down on Monday to spend more time with family By JOE CREA With few regrets, some serious anger at a propo ed constitutional marriage amendment and even some acknowledgements of pro­fessional weakness. Elizabeth Birch will strp down as executive director of the Human Rights Campaign on Jan. 4 to spend more time with her two 4 vear-old twins and her partner. Biliary Rosen. "I'm very sad," Birch said. "It's really hard and very emotional to leave. I love this staff. and it's just been the highest privilege to work at this organization." Bircll said that the organization Is presently "very wide-ranging" and demands a tremendous amount of travel. Due to her children. Birch sud she could no longer make the job "work an}111ore." "The organization I'm leaving is in very solid condition," Birch said. "Financially it is in very good shape, the building campaign is complete and it just seemed like a time to transition to a new leader." Birch praised the selection of Please see BIRCH on Page 9 Elizabeth Birch (left) praised the woman who will replace her as the executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, Cheryl Jacques Birch said Jacques' legislative experience will be an important - and new - arsenal for HRC's future leaderslup. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Christians, Jews align with Islamic group vs. gay marriage. Page 6 I SO LONG MR. MAYOR: Bid farewell to Houston's gay-friendly Mayor Lee. P. Brown, Jr. Page 3 2 JANUARY 2. 2004 BROTHERHOOD 2 '"FllGHTUlllG ,..a• -Movies Unliniled Life. Love. And • little payback! Your DIRECTV Adventure Starts Here! ~ ~ Equipment & Installation Over 135 All-DIGITAL-QUALITY .rw ~ for up to 3 ROOMS FREE! CHANNELS for just S39."/MO. DIRE C TVa ~IDI 1-866 275-9295 CIWISllUSGmAlDIRECTY.COlllOllllEI --- Oftlor..._.Nll .. wld•-lrlod.w.....cltlt'.....,..or ....... ol ... NMIDftlill~T1l1i=D~ ilQltliOit;C~ ........ ....,.,... Clllllcmln dO ,.,,._.....,, Olt£CTV s.,......,,.. ~ ...... ~ tQrtMJ Wll ~Sid~_.,.,....., b 12 ~ ..,.__, ISlf TOTALCHOCE orOPC:IOlll EXTRA ESPEDAL ~ ~ 1$ll IMM • MOft) ... '°...,. ol ~ ourc:nate °""' vOld .................. ~ • l9lh:llNI No c:dt! .......... tll9~--............................... ~~~bdlallllJIR Har-.. ... - --Cl2<03CMECTV 1nC. DIR£CIV_.,.C __ -· n>"ULOOCE-c.clONEXTM ~---dDIRCClV OOc. •-d ...... ~C.. UIOl~ www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com I ocal news Brown: Everybody's mayor Lee Brown was first mayor to ride in Gay Pride Parade, appoint community liaison By BINNIE FISHER If Houston residents remember him for nothing else, former mayor Lee P. Brown, Jr said, he hopes they will remember him as a city leader who truly celebrated diversity "I've worked hard to stress the fact that this city must be one of inclusiveness," he said a few days before leaving office. After six years as Houston's mayor, Brown was prevented from seeking another two years in office by term limits. Early in the New Year, Brown took a ride on the Houston METRO Light Rail Line that he fought for, and he left office Jan. 2 after the inauguration of Mayor-elect Bill White. Gays and lesbians concur that Brown reached out to all segments of the city, including the gay and lesbian community. Janine Brunjes, the mayor's liaison to the community, said, "He has tolerated noth· ing less than a diverse city. He was the first mayor to appoint a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community liaison. I would hope that the role will continue." Brunjes said the appointment of a liai· son was a monumental moment in Houston's history. "I think that was an important step toward getting clear representation in city government," she said. "Cities the size of Houston ought to be responsive to the GLBT community." Brown said having a liaison was helpful to him as mayor, and he praised Brunjes for her contributions. "She brought to me the issues before they became issues in the gay and lesbian community," he said. "A dynamic gay, !es· Mayor Lee P Brown. Jr. answers media inquiries during a recent event at City Hall. (Photo by Dalton De Hart) History was made in 2001 in Houston when Mayor Lee P. Brown. Jr. (seated) signed the city's non-<liscrimi· nation ordinance into law He is surrounded by gay and lesbians leaders (from left) political consultant Grant Martin, former city councilwoman and new City Controller Amise Parter, transgender activist Vanessa Foster and Janine Bnlljes. liaison to the gay and lesbian community. bian, bisexual and transgender community is part of what makes Houston a great city." Ken Jones, president of the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus PAC, said Brown's contributions have been many, "He's been very gay friendly," Jones said. "He's been in every Gay Pride Parade, and he pushed the non-discrimination ordi· nance for city employees." Jones said it is possible that one of Brown's most significant contributions won't be found on any document he signed or any ordinances he supported. "His most important contribution is he showed that he could be supportive of the gay community and still get elected," Jones said. Over the long haul, Jones said, Brown's supportiveness of gay and lesbian issues even in election years will speak to future city leaders. "By his showing that it didn't hurt him to support us. that is a very important step," Jones said. "We are very grateful for that:· If he finds any fault with Brown, Jones said, it is perhaps that he made an issue of domestic partner benefits before timing was right. Jones said conservatives mobilized against the idea, and it was defeated. Brunjes said she commends Brown for his support of the measure, that became known as Proposition 2. "He stood behind us on Prop. 2," she said "He stood with us on our issues when others would not." Brown explains his support of gays and lesbians in this way, "I was elected to be mayor of all of Houston. No one should be left out." As far as his accomplishments are con· cerned, Brown said he hopes he left behind a little something for everyone. "If you like the arts. we lifted up the cap on the hotel and motel taxes so that more goes to the arts," he said, adding that the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts was opened during his tenure as mayor. For those who like transit, he said, "We have light rail." Those who are drawn to a city by its downtown should appreciate Houston, Brown said. "We have a vibrant downtovm." The sports minded should recognize a few new landmarks on Houston's horizon, Brown said, including Reliant Stadium, Minute Maid Park and Toyota Center. In addition, lest anyone forget, Brown reminds Houstonians that the city is host­ing the Superbowl m a few weeks. If he could give any advice to gays and lesbians, Brown said it would be, "Be a part of the structure of our city. Vote. Pick the people who will look out for your interests." Jones echoed those sentiments. "What the gay community needs to understand is that it (city politics) is a process. You have to build fences and build bridges and build support." As gays and lesbians vote for candidates who will support their issues, Jones said, in time they will get domestic partner benefits for city employees. Eventually, he said city contractors will be required to offer those benefits to their employees as well. As for the outgoing mayor, he isn't going far. Bro'l\on will return to Rice University as the Herbl•rt Autry Visiting Scholar in the School of Social Sciences. Robert M. Stein, dean of the School of Social Sciences. said Rice University wel· comes Brown. ''.After sLx years of service to the City of Houston, Mayor Brown has a wealth of experience that he can share with the Rice University community," Stein said. ".Mayor Bro'l\on will be available to students and fac­ulty and plans to 'l\oTite on several topics including community policing." JANUARY 2. 2004 3 inside ISSUE 1210 LOCAL NEWS 3 NATIONAL NEWS 4 FORUM 10 OUT ON THE BAYOU 15 COMMUNITT CALENDAR Zl APPOINTMENTS Zl CLASSIFIEDS 22 HOROSCOPES 25 SYPHillS le INTERtE: The Center for Disease Control and other organizations are using the internet to infonn gay men regard­ing an increase in syphilis cases. Page 4 . -. ... ..,.!t NO LOVE BOAT: Two members of a gay travel dub who were assaulted aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise vessel say the ship's crew failed to assure their safety. Page 12 GAY GLOBES: Actress Cllilrlze 1w. received two Golden Globe nominations, among many gay-related 2003 Globe nominations. Page 20 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Houston VOKe. 500 Lovett Blvd. Suite 200, Houston. TX 77006. Houston Voice is publlshed weekly. on F~ by Window Media LLC. Subscnptions are $9~r for 52 issues (only $1.77 per issue). 4 JANUARY 2. 2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I national news STD prevention efforts turn to Web hook-ups Syphilis rise among gay men tied to sex partners met online By RYAN LEE Health advocates want to turn the Internet into a tool in their prevention efforts against syphilts and other sexually transmitted diseases that gay men are increasingly getting through sex that began with Web-based hook-ups. The federal Centers for DLc;ease Control & Prevention on Dec. 19 highlighted the Web­based approaches of the San Francisco Department of Public Health in delivering safe se.i: messages in response to a four-year syphilis outbreak \\itlun the city, concen· trated in heavy numbers among gay men. '"Because a majority of new syphilis cases are from men who have met online, we had to bring our staff up to speed on how to use the Internet to reach people," said Jeffrey Klausner, director of the STD Prcvmtion & Control division of the San FranclSco Health Department. In 2002, gay and bise:!.."Ual men with early-stage syphilis accounted for 88 per cent of the 495 reported cases in San Francisco, a spike from 22 percent of the 41 cases reported four years earlier. To determine what role the Internet STD prevention efforts among gay and bisexual men must adapt to address the greater use of the Internet for sex hook-ups, according to Jeffrey Klausner, director of the STD Prevention & Control division of the San Francisco Health Department. (Photo by AP) played In feeding the rise of syphilis among gay men, researchers collected information from 415 of the gay and bisexual men who were diagnosed with early syphilis In 2002. Those men reported a combined 6,482 sex partners during the period In which they may have acquired syphilis. The Internet proved to be the most common venue for meeting sex partners. Nearly 33 percent of hook-ups resulted from online meetings. Bars account· ed for about 21 percent of hook-ups among the men, with bathholbes and sex clubs ranking hat are you waiting for? it's fr e1 tal<e a closer lool< third and fourth. respectively. Of those gay and bisexual men in San Francisco who have syphilis, some 37 per cent met sex partners online in the last half of 2002. compared to 12 percent dur ing the first six months of 2000. Data from January through April of 2003 showed that 44 percent of the gay and bisexual men with early syphilis sought sex partners online. But just as the Internet fac1htates easy sexual hook-ups, it also establishes a new paper trail of a person's sex partners, Klausner said. The San Francisco Department of Public Health created a set of guidelines to help health agencies use the Internet to contact potential sex partners. The guidelines are intended to ensure prevention messages pro­tect confidentiality and aren't discarded as spam or junk mail. two impediments to online prevention, health officials said. Also on Dec. 19, the National Coalition of STD Directors called on Internet service providers to help curb the spread of STDs through online hookups. "The internet has the potential to increase the spread of HIV and STDs, but also has unique characteristics which, if we take advantage of them, can help reduce transmission," Theresa Raphael, executive director of the National Coali!lon of STD Directors, said in a pre pared statement. The degree to which service providers participate with health researchers varies, according to Klausner. ranging from Gay.com being "very cooperative and sup· portive· to AOL being "quite obstructive and not so helpful." On Tuesday, an AOL official took excep· lion to the company being labeled "obstructive." The company has posted CDC banners in chatrooms and includes STD prevention information in its health section. according to Nicholas Graham. an AOL spokesperson. "I vigorously dispute [Klausner's) asser· tion," Graham said. "We feel we have done what is necessary. what is appropriate and what is possible for us to do. It's important to know that we have worked with the CDC with issues relating to public health." In late 2001, Klausner was criticized after a Congressional aide said he urged Virginia to use Its "public health powers" to shut down the on-line chat rooms of Virginia-based AOL. Klausner denied asking AOL to close gay chat rooms. Gay health advocates said it is vital that public health funding follow current trends. "The Internet is extremely powerful tool, and we have to target it." said Connie Smith. director of social marketing for the Atlanta-based National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities. "It is the new dat· ing service for a lot of individuals who find technology gives them the freedom to speak openly about sex." 1-40 c, T V onals 1.f,Jlt.if.t'tl voice I PLACE YOUR FREE AD NOW! CALL 877 863 1885 OR PLACE YOUR AO ONLINE AT WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com E'.J na nal news Mich. governor bans anti-gay bias in state employment Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm came under fire from conservatives for issuing a new order that bans dis· cnm1nation against gays in state employment. LANSING. Mich. (AP) - Gov. Jennifer Granholm. a Democrat. has issued an order banning discrimina· tion against gays in state government employment. a move critics condemned as a first step toward legaliz· ing gay marriage. The order issued last week covers the executive branch, which has about 55,000 employ· ees about 95 percent of all state workers. "The employment practices of state government should pro­mote public confidence in the fairness and integrity of government and should reflect a commitment to equal employment opportunities." Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said in a news release. Gary Glenn. president of the American Family Association of Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press the move "is simply the first step in a stepping stone strategy for legalizing homo­sexual marriage." The order bans discrimination based on sexual orientation Michigan is the 10th state to adopt such a gay rights policy, according to the Triangle Foundation. a gay rights advocacy group. Poll: Most Americans support gays serving openly in military WASHINGTON. D.C. Despite the mili· tary's "don't ask, don't tell" polic}; a new sur­vey shows that most Americans support allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military, according to a Gallup poll news release. Conducted Dec. 5-7, the CNNIVSA Today/Gallup poll questioned 1,004 adults. They were asked: "Do you think people who are openly gay or homoSi'xual should - or should not - be allowed to serve in the U.S. military?" according to media reports. Overall, 79 percent said gays should be able to serve openly. Some 91 per­cent of those surveyed who are age 18·29 ~aid gays should be allowed to openly serve in the U.S. mill tar): In the age range of 30-49, some 81 percent of respondents agreed; 74 percent of those ages 50-64 agreed; and 68 percent of those ages 65 and over agreed, according to the release. The new poll shows more support than previous surveys. An August ~bx News survey found that 64 per­cent of Americans supported gays serving openly in the military. while a 2001 survey by MIT Pres:; showed support at 56 percent. Boy Scouts ask Supreme Court to review case over anti-gay policy WASHINGTON. D.C. - The U.S. Supreme C'ourt has a chance to review a new case brought to them by the Boy Scouts of AmC'nca, according to a news release by the youth organization. The Boy Scouts want jus­tices to consider whether its rights were vio­lated when Bov Scout councils were excluded from a charibble fund-raising campaign by Connecticut state employees. the release said. The Boy Scouts appealed the case after a fed· eral court in New York City ruled that the group's rights were not violated when the state of ConnC'Cticut took the Scouts off of a list of charities that civil servants may con­tribute to via payroll deductions. Complaints over the Boy Scouts' anti·gay policy led to the move by the state. The state's Commis.~ion on Human Rights & Opportunities said that including a group that excludes gays would violate anti disctimination law~, hut tho Boy Scouts said thetr group should not have to "pay a price" for "exercising its First Amendment rights," tho release said. Calif. lesbian resort accused of discrimination against men PALM SPRINGS -A lesbian resort in this liberal tourist town is being sued for allegedly discriminating against two poten­tial guests because of their gender, the Desert Sun reported. Casitas Laquita is one of two resorts in Palm Springs that courts lesbians. according to the Sun. Los Angeles residents Michael Cohn and Greg Lewis are suing the resort, alleging that they were denied reservations in August because they are male. The two women who operate the business, Denise Roberson and Joanna Funaro, said they do not recall talking to either man but that they rent to gay men. straight men, nudists and transsexuals. in addition to their core market of lesbians. the Sun reported. Their attorney. Jeff Thomas of Los Angeles. told the Sun that the lawsuit is "the thinnest suppos1~ com­plaint I've seen in 14 years of practice. It's just an excuse to get a lawsuit started." Yankees prevail in gay-bashing lawsuit by clubhouse worker ALBANY. N.Y. (AP) The state's highest court ended a case last week in which a New York Yankees' clubhouse worker accused the team and some of its players of gay bashing, physical abuse and play­ing cruel practical jokes. The C'ourt of Appeals declined to hear an appeal sought by Paul Priore. who sued the Yankees and three players in state Supreme Court in the Bronx in 1998. each for $50 million. Priore contended that after he began work­ing for the team as an assistant equipment manager in 1996. several players made anti·gay remarks and played cruel pranks on him because of his sexual orientation. He also claimed he was fired in August 1997 because he was HIV·positive. 'Tm shocked," said Priore's lawyer, Edward J. Pavia Jr. He said the Yankees knew of the harassment, contrary to the appellate divi­sion's finding. Pavia also said that even if tlw club didn't know. the players should have faced the lawsuit separate!): with his chent claiming they violated the city human rights Im\ s. From staff and wire reports JANUARY 2. 2004 PRIDE COMMITTEE OF HOUSTON! DEADLINE FOR GRAND MARSHAL NOMINATIONS FOR HOUSTON PRIDE PARADE 2004! Let your voice be heard! PICK YOUR PARADE GRAND MARSHALS! Nomination forms are due to the Houston Pride Committee by January 10th, 2004! There are 4 positions. One male and female Grand Marshal an Honorary Grand Marshall, and an Honorary Grand Marshal Organization! Nomi;iees should be selected based on their commitrrent and outstanding contributions to the community Areas of contribution can include social. po: '.'cal. rea::!l child welfare. education and business. Types of contrlbuttons can include mentoring, volunteensrr generosity. leadership roles. and civic pr de Eacr individual Grand Marshal should be self-identified gay, bisexual. or transgender man or woman. They must also reside II' J.farris County for the Grand Marshall position (•esidency exch .. ded for Honorary Grand Marshal) The Organization may be any group that has supported the comrrumty for more than lwo years. Nomination forms can be found on-line at ww.pridehouston.org < http://www.pridehouston.org > ! Forms can be obtained by calling (713) 529 - 6979 as well. Forms are due by January 10th to the PCOH office at 1415 California. They can be fa~ed to 713 529 6929' Norrinations will be reviewed by a committee of former Grand Marshals. and announced Tuesday Jaruary 13thl POLL VOTING ON CANDIDATES WILL BE HELD AT THE PCOH OFFICE ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY ?TH AND SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21 STI 5 6 JANUARY 2. 2004 www houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I international news Opposition to gay marriage unites former foes: Christians, Orthodox Jews, radical Muslims Alliance For Marriage includes Islamic group with possible terrorist ties By LOU CHIBBARO JR. The anti-gay Alhance For Marriage, which 1s coordinating efforts to pass a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same­sex marriage, has come under fire for ally· ing itself with an Islamic group that critics accuse of being sympathetic to terronst causes. A heated debate over the Alliance for Marriage's decision to include the Islamic Society of North America into its coalition of conservative Christian, Catholic and Jew1Sh organizations surfaced m a recent article m the conservative Jewish publica· uon, Jew1Sh WorldReview.com The writer, Evan Gahr, criticized prom!· nent Jew1Sb and Christian leaders for v.orking With ISNA through the Alliance for Marriage, calling it an unholy alliance in which they put thetr hostility toward gay marriage above the interests of the Jewish people, Israel and the t:nited States. Citing published reports and testimony before Congress by experts on terrorism, Gahr asserts in bts Dec. 2 article that ISNA, while portraying itself as a main· stream group, uses its resource' to help Islamic terrorist organizations and related causes. He also points to statements by ISNA members and supporters at ISNA· sponsored conferences that have denounced the United States and Israel as enemies of Islam. Gahr and others who monitor the ISNA's activities accuse ISNA of foment· ing anti-American views among Muslims living in the Umted States. with the poten· tial that U.S. Muslims could be recruited for domestic terrorist activities. "What better way for the ISNA to main· tain its 'false veneer of moderation' than by working side by side with prominent religious figures that also bring the pres· tige of their institutional association?" Gahr asked in his article. "How can critics plausibly depict the organization as extremist if It boasts the company of so many prominent Jews and Christians?" Controversy simmers Among the founding members of the Alliance for Marriage is former D.C Congressional Delegate Walter Fauntroy, a Baptist minister who has said allowing gays to marry would contribute further to the weakening of the black family, Former Boston !\layor Ray Flynn, the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican during the Clinton administration, also serves with Fauntroy on the ABl's board of advisers. Criticism by Gahr and others surfaced after the alltance named Sayyid M. Sayeed, the ISNA's secretary general, to the board of advisers and welcomed ISNA into its fold. The Alliance For Marriage has respond Rinner D.C Congressiooal Delegate Walter Famtroy is a founcfmg member of the Alliance For Marriage. a group of social conservatives ~ to limit mamage to reterosexual coop!es. (Photo by Brian Branch-Price/AP) Joomafist Stevm Emersoo claims an Islanic group af9ied with Clristians and Jews to r.grt gay marmge has StWOrted terrorists 11 the past ed to reports by Gahr and others on the ISNA by calling the criticism unfounded and pointing to Middle East experts who characterue the ISNA as a mainstream, moderate group that has no ties to terror· ist organizations. Officials with the Alliance for Marriage cite literature on ISNA's Web site, which describes the organization as an umbrella group for the American Muslim communi· ty and U.S. and other North American Islamic organizations and mosques. Paul E. Rondeau. senior vice president of the Alliance For Marriage, responded to a Blade inquiry about his organization's a~iation with the ISNA by sending an e­mail message containing comments defendtng the ISNA by three university professors, one from Georget9wn and two from the University of Maryland. All three were Y.Tltten in July 2000. "You ask my opinion on the legitimacy of ISNA and whether [its member groups] 'can fairly be described as hate groups or groups with ties to terrorist organiza. lions,"' said University of Maryland pro· Cessor Charles Butterworth three years ago. in comments cited by Rondeau. ''The answer is very simple: they are legitimate groups that have no ties to hate groups or to other groups that have ties to terrorist organizations," Butterworth stated. "ISNA is one of the largest and best· known Muslim organizations In North America," stated Middle Ea~tern studies professor John Voll of Georgetown University, in another of the statements from 2000 sent by Rondeau. "For people who want to deal with representative Muslim orgamzat10ns. they are the best one to deal with. Most i\1uslims in thP Untted States see ISNA as the national organization for their comm unit)'." A State Department spokesperson told the Blade this week the ISNA is not includ· ed on any U.S. government list of terrorist organizations or terrorist front group . Gahr responds by pointing to U.S. ter· rorism experts, including investigative journalist Steven Emerson. author of the 2002 book "American Jihad: The Terrorists Livmg Among Us," who claim that ISNA assists anti-American and terrorist causes indirectly through its programs and con ferences. "It serves as an umbrella group for hun· dreds of Islamic organizations in North America, some of which promote the Islamic fundamentalist doctrines of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas. and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," Emerson wrote. "ISNA publishes a bimonthly maga­zine, Islamic Horizons. which often cham· pions militant Islamist doctrine. and it convenes annual conferences where Islamic militants have been given a plat· form to incite violence and promote hatred," Emerson said in his book. Comments at rally spark concern Emerson said Muzammil Siddiqui, the president of the ISNA's board of directors until 2001, has repeatedly "made state· ments supporting the violent ideology of radical Islam," including statements sup· portive of the elimination of Israel. "[Y]ou will see, in a few years, we will be celebrating, insha'allah. the coming victo· ry of Islam in Palestine." Emerson quoted Siddiqui as saymg in his role as president of the Islamic Society of Orange County, Calif "We will be celebrating, insha'allah, the coming of Jerusalem and the whole land of Palestine, insha'allah, and the establishment of the Islamic state throughout that area." According to Emerson, Siddiqui's com· ments at a recent rally in Washington. D.C. took on the tone of a warning to the United States for its support for Israel. which Siddiqui called unjust. "We want to awaken the conscience of America," Emerson quoted him as saying. ':America has to learn that. Because if you remain on the side of injustice. the wrath of God will come. Please. please all Americans. do you remember that, that Allah is watching everyone .... If you con· tinue doing injustice, and tolerating injus­tice. the wrath of God will come." "I am not going to accuse ISNA of being directlv involved in terrorism," Emerson told \\•THR·TV, an NBC affiliate in Inrlianapohs, which has investigated the ISNA. "I will say ISNA has sponsored extremists, racists. people who call for Jihad against the United States," he said. In an investigative report broadcast ear· lier this year, WfHR said it confirmed through independent sources that about a dozen charities, organizations or individu als "under federal scrutiny for possible Please see TERROR TIES on Page 9 HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com I te national news Belgium to debate allowing gay couples to adopt Karel De Gucht. president of the Flemish Liberal Oen1ocratic Party in Belgium. this week led introduction of a new bill that would allow gay couples m the nation to adopt children. BRUSSELS - A new law sparked debate over the right of gays to adopt children in Belgium, a nation that lrgalized same-sex marriages in January 2003, News21. South Africa. reported. The Flemish Lil>eral Di>mocratic Part): the political affiliation of Belgium Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, is set to unveil a draft law that would allow gay couples to adopt children, News24 reported. Party President Karel De Gucht irnd Martine Taelman, the lawmaker l>ehind the bill, officially presented the mea~ure this week. Belgian media reported that two other major political parties are likely to support the law, Y.hlle one is expected to oppose it. If so, the measure likely would achieve a small majority in its fa\'or in federal parhamrnt. News21 reported. After the Netherlands, Belgium is only the second country in Europe to allow gay marriage, and gay Belgian couples already have most of the same rights as heterosexual mar­ried couples, the report said. Tasmania first in Australia to register gay couples llOBAHT. Tasmania On Jan. I, Tasmania became the first state in Australia to registPr same-~·x couplPs and give them legal rccogni· lion ruul bcn!'fits as a couple, the Australian newspaper in Sydney reported. !-'it-st to legally register are Michael Carnes and Bob Lavis, who now gain medical. career. parental and other entitlements once reserved only for het· ero.<;cXual couples, the newspaper rerx>rted. '-What these chang<!S do is SPnd absolute alarm bells to all those who haw been dis cnminatory in the past that those days are well and truly gone ... said Carnes, a gournwt chef fotred to leave a job 12 years ago because of his &•xuality 'Tusmania now has it all tlle natural beaut); the fantastic people and now n'forms that show we arc no longer a backwater, but a wunclerful, open societv." The Relationships Act includes sweeping reform:> approved in~ and eclipse-:; Tasmania's rr1>­utation lt" a state with little tolerance. where homoscxuahty wa~ a criminal offense until l!Ql, the Australian reported. Gays in Taiwan protest 'empty promises' for rights TAIPEI, Taiwan - In the largest gay righl" protPsts ever in this country, more than two· dozen gay activist groups demonstrated in Taipei to demand that the Democratic Progres.~ive Party push gay rights legisla· lion, according to a report by eTaiwan News. The groups held the rally in front of the ollkes of President Chen Shui-Bian, whom the artivL"L~ criticil.ed for failing to pass gay tights that he promised to ad\·ocate, the Website reported. The president and his Democratic Progres.-;ive Party announced a same-sex marriage bill in October, but noth· lllg more has been 1lone on the measurP. Protcstors also want Shui·Bian to rehukr a lawmakPr in his party, I lo Shui sheng. for a comnH•nt that sam< sex unions Y.Uuld cause the Pnd of Taiwan because gay couple:> can· not tnclPpcndPntly producP children, e'l'aiwan NPws n'1JOrll'<I. Shui·shPng latPr apolog1zL~l. Taiwan's prrs1rlent has spokrJ1 for gay rights many times, acconling to Ashlpy Wu, SJJOke.person for the ·1~11wan Tongzhi Hotline Association for gavs. "But so far thPy are just empty promises with no sign of concrete action," Wu said. Judge: Organization didn't discriminate against transsexual VANCOUVER. B.C. (AP) A rape crisis cen· ter in Britbh C'.olumbia did not dLscrimlnate against a trans.<>exual when it denied her work as a wlunteer counselor, a Supreme Court judge ruled. Justice E.R.A. Edwards overturned a Human Rights Tribual decbton that said the \'ancouver Rape Relief C'rbi~ Cmter breached the human righl'> code by barring Kimberly NLxon from counseling womrn. "This is quite a diJTerent case from. sa~: Ms. Nixon being e.xcluded from a rp_o;tau· rant becausP of her transsexual chamcteris· tics," Edwards said. "Unlike a for-profit busi· nPs.~ providing ser\·ices or recruiting Pm ploy· ees fmm the general public or a volunteer organ iwtion open to all, Rape Relief defined itself a~ a women-only organization." Thafs the only reason NLxon was attracted to the socit>t~: Edwards wrote. adding her participa· lion had a political dimension. NLxon said she was humiliated and even contemplated suicide afier she was removed from a train· ing program by Hape Rrlief in 1995 l.Jecause she was not born a woman. Uzbek authorities: No pardon for jailed gay journalist TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) Uzbek authorities said last week that a gay jour· nalist jailed in a case that drew interna· tional criticism was ineligible for a wide-­ranging amnesty declared by President Islam Karimov this month. The chief of staff of the pris1 ins system. :.Hkhail Gurevich, saul Rusl'ln Sh.1.ripov could not lie pardoned bcr.aus1 his me was gra\1!. The amne.-;tv covers those convicted of minor crimes. women sentenced for the first tune and elderl}; minor and foreign convicts. Surat Ikramov. a human rights activist and one of Sharipov's drfenden;, said the decision was "unacceptable" and that thP amnc>stv should apply lter.ause an apppals court had cleared Sharipov of th<> most srrious of the thrre charges on which lw wa.-; convicted In August. Sharlpov, who 1s openly gay, was convicted of sO<lom}; having sc>x with minors and involving minors into anti-social behavior and sen· t<•nct!d to 5 112 years. From staff and wire reports ~'Clay H ard y o,. & •, · .Jules Czarnik ~ • 0 - - 0 • • .... ~ ... Ray JANUARY 2, 2004 ----·- J:-- SUPerBUllD ·.: J DXVlll Great Car Insurance! 713.661. 7700 /or 1uto. /lonll',llniUT> I if•, /lealr/1. Business ln.<11mnce and much mo". 657.'i I\. Loop '>Out/1, .\te.18.'i lkllaire, TX 77401 u "'"' ~merlerAgmcy.rom AID FOR AIDS www aldfor ds rg lm FOB llllS nds msd llY •HJClleS If Ill IJpts II sud It llY ·p1$1tln pte,le ii Will l criu. lH C u ad lfnu. If JH'n tw' tllmpln 1f stoctJiled mcds, yu cu sm DltS lly dmti.g tbse •diulills t1 llD F &IDS 7 8 JANUARY 2. 2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE l1ocal news Activist: 'Sociai services are lacking' for battered men KA.JS continued from Page l legal basis of the suit is that police violated Kajs' right to equal protection by discount­ing his claims of domestic violence. A pohce investigation into the case determined that officers followed depart­ment procedure In handling the complaints of Kajs. However, an expert witness com­missioned by the Kajs' familyis expected to testify that the police investigation itself was flawed. Though the suit is more than a month away from going to trial gay and lesbian acuvists ~ tt already has changed the way police deal v.1th cases of gay domestic battery. .. The whole community policing has been affected by this case," said activist and radio host Ray Hill. "The \\hole idea of community storefront policing is that citt zens can get direct access and services at a comenient location." The first visit Ka.is mad£> to the Montro e pohce community storefront oprrauon did not help htm find peare and srcunty. Mr. Kajs 'I\ thf' worst case SC'enano," Hill sJ.id. Co-workers at Urbana, the trendy Montrose restaurant where Kajs worked, were aware that Kajs was being stalked by his former partnei: Y"Ilmaz, who delivered pizzas. often drove by the restaurant and appeared at nightspots where Ka.is and his friends went after work. His friends say what started as a case of emotional harassment escalated over a period of months to clear incidences of domestic violence. They say they felt help· less at times because Kajs had difficulty admitting that his former partner might intend to do him serious physical harm. Fnends had begged Kajs to report threats and battering from Yilmaz to police. \\'hen threats from Ytlmaz escalated to v10· Jenee, Kajs finally consulted officers about a restrammg order. His friends remember that he \\as turned awa}: Hill said the lawsuit flied by the sur­vivors of Ka s started having ripple affects as attorney Robert Rosenberg began preparing hlS case. "Robert Rosenbug's deposition sched· ule has opened some eyE.S," Hill said. "In thoroughly preparmg the case on behalf of the Kajs' survivors, he has certainly gotten people' s attention regarding some pretty glaring errors in community policy:" Were Kajs to walk into the Montrose Police Storefront on Westheimer today, Hill said. the results would be far different. .. If somebody were in the exact same sit­uation. there would be greater attention paid," he said. "I don't think that person would be encouraged to leave that store­front without some investigation." Now, Hill said. police would do their best to make certain victims of gay domes· tic violence were safe before escorting them to the door. He said a short walk home on a recent evenmg after attending a community event more or less confirmed that assumption. Hill said he couldn't help but overhear a cell phone conversation that a young gay man was having as he stood on the street. He listened as the young man told the per son on the other end of the conversation th.at his partnrr was on probation for assaulting him "That tells me that somewhere, gay domestic violrncc is being prosecuted," he said. "Im glad to know somebody ts on pro­bation for assaultir.., that young man.·· Lawsuit brings attention to needs For lesbians reporting domestic violence, Hill said, they not only will get help from police, but they may also be eligible to seek refuge at Houston Area Women's Center . For men who are battered by their part· ners, Hill said. there is no such haven. '"The only place a man can go who is in that situation 1s among their friends." he said. "There are endearing friendships that help them in their socialization." Where social services are lacking, Hill said. "There are informal networks to take up the slack." Lawsuits like the one filed by the family of Marc Kajs will help bring attPntion to the fact that gays and lesbians who are in domestic partm:rship situations have many of the same needs as hett'roscxuals in marriages. In time. Hill said, then: will be resources uvailable to deal with cases like that of Marc Kajs. In the meantime he saICI, gays and Jes· blans will have to wait until the case goes to court to learn whether the kgal system agrees that KaJs was denied equal protec­tion because he is gay. MTV revives plans for gay cable channel By BRYAN ANDERTON try's first 24 hour gay themed TV network at least in a mannrr of speakme For $5.~ a month, people arywhn"{) in the Y.Orld Yo Ith broadband C'omputer con· nection can ace ,s the nety;o k through theircomput r: Fe a paratefe~. the} czn p rcha'lf' hard r •l t trnr. Us the r. • work• h rTI But All I I: arc! •t P N, s 1d the f •1' t the r~·\1ork Y.asn • on 1; 'JI t ll a bereft not a hm Troubled history for gay cable channel efforts drance "Basically Y.hat were: able to do 1s we rrally have no hmus. because 11e re not on cable. we re not on satellite or mainstrrnm trlevis1on, s:i \\e can reallv present the community m reality form, Ed11 irds said Not 11hat the Mamstre1m Y.ants to pre 'it'nt us as but what the actua communm really 1s <'urrc th, •I: r. tworl on v o~f, a limit schedule that m uc. movie~ doC' umentarles and celebrity interviews. Curre!ltly, only one other all gay nrt· work is avmlable to American a•1chences. Last July, the gay Canad. n cable channel Pn•leV-mon began broadcasting throueh l...rgo C'-0m'!lu111cat10ns, a satclhtc d1stnb u or 1 i Fort Laud rda'" Fla Al 8 1~rs10n of PndcV1s10n "Aas or o nal ~ s t du' ti to laurch m late ~002 but has sir. e b en •>'11. •d dJe to c:ontractua pro le!T' I Compdcd by Matthew A. Hl!IUlJc HOUSTON VOICE wwwhoustonvoice.com JANUARY 2. 2004 9 I national news Birch: proposed federal marriage amendment 'scary' BIRCH continued from Page l Cheryl Jacques as the organization's new executive director, saying that she will bring legislative experience to the 25-year­old group, something Birch never had. "It is something I was lacking," Birch said. "I had not spent time on the Hill. I never was a staffer. I never had pure leg­islative experience but I did have good leg­islative instinct. Cheryl has lived in that world for 13 years. She's a good strategist in the sense of how to block legislation and work with committees." That 'scary' amendment Birch called the proposed federal mar­riage amendment, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and includes language that some say wipes out any form of legal recognition for gay couples, including civil unions and domes· tic partnerships, a "very scary thing" that could possibly be "narrowed even further" to become more acceptable to legislators unwilling to support the amendment in its current form. "The strategy [by the social conserva­tives) has always been to go broad brushed, which seems very cruel. But some might chose to narrow the language down until it is palatable to gain a broader array of sup­port," Birch said. Birch noted that conservatives are QMOREINFO Human Rights Campaign 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington. D.C. 20036 202-628-4160 www.hrc.org engaged in their own debate over what type amendment they can support and said she hopes the infighting continues. "One camp would like to be very practi· cal and sweep this thing through and the other side . . they are so obsessed and such zealots, would like to go for everything they can get," Birch said. "I hope they keep fight· ing and never come to a definitive strateg): The truth is their entire enterprise is one large lie because they are only using it for politics and they will never admit it." President Bush has been ambiguous about his support for such a constitutional amendment, and Birch said he is likely to continue being vague throughout the entire election. "He will never fully commit," Birch said. "In his interview with Diane Sawyer, he gave what appeared to be a mumbled mess of partial phrases. He parsed the issue out and gave a bit to everyone. The ambigu­ity will continue throughout the campaign and dirty politics [against gay men and les­bians) will play a role but the Bush admin· istration won't be anywhere near it. "It will be the fringe groups, under the radar, engaging in the nasty politics by smearing the opposition," she said. Birch said that to defeat the proposed amendment, gay activists should not "dis· count the House," which she called an "important vehicle" to block the amend· ment. She added that despite the assertion by some social conservatives, the federal marriage amendment would not be the dominant issue of the 2004 election. "It will only be the dominant issue in a handful of 'red' states, very close states," Birch said, citing states that voted for Bush in the 2000 election, which were coded in red on the networks' election news coverage. ''.And it could be used effec­tively, in order to drive in a marginal num-ber of votes." Birch said that to block such an amend­ment. it is important for HRC to continue "humanizing our families" and to tell the pub­lic that the proposed amendment is attempt· ing to "socially engineer" the culture." 'Colossal disappointment' of Clinton years Birch said some of the darkest days of her tenure came in 1996, when President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned federal legal recogni­tion or benefits for gay married couples and guaranteed that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. "What was so frustrating about that period is that we were commg out of the most intense years of HIV." Birch said. "We were working so hard to build for our own dead and dying, coming out of that and the whole Reagan/ Bush era which was so silent and stony for so many gays. And the Clinton years were nothing but bright light and hope and yet the legacy of that era is DOMA and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' "It just ended up being a colossal disap­pointment," she said. Birch said that in the future, it will not be enough for Democrats to have "motiva­tion" on gay issues, but that they will "have to pay a price and stand up and do what's right." "So far they've been unwilling to do so," Birch said. "In budget negotiations, when they had the chance to put something like [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and hate crimes on the table saying, 'This is a part of the package or the bill dies,' they have not done so. "We must move beyond the era of plati­tudes and nice words," she said. "[Democrats) must come mto an era of deliverables." And as far as Republicans go, Birch said they appear to be "in an era of do no harm and everything will be fine." "If they can look just less mean than people expect 1heM to look, things are great;· Birch sa ·sc .s long as no one is bashing Mary C'i• ·v they are not sup­porting no affirmative language that appears to be harmful to gays, they get this image that they are not that bad. "The challenge going forward will be to have moderate Republicans stand up, and have the guts to ~a)~ 'When we do nothing, It rips families apart.' They'll need to stand up for the l\lar)' Chene) ·s of the world who has silenced herself for her father," she said. And Birch d1sm1ssed criticL'm from some gay men and lesbians who have pub­hcly argued that HRC should not fund Republican lav.iuakers, saying that HRC "absolutely must do it" as it is the "only approach that will work." "I have become more bipartisan after mne years of this work. and there is no long term way to make public policy progress and not have a bipartisan approach," Birch said. The future is families Birch said that the next stage of the gay movement must be about "our families." "It will take revealing the facts that this movement is about people," Birch said. "We will have to humanize and strategize and do way more than we've ever done before as a movement. There's an inevitability to us making progress because we are what we are. And we are on a path that is inevitable. And because it is inevitable, it will be born.'' Report: Anti-gay alliance includes 'radical' Islamic group TERROR TIES continued from Page 6 ties to terrorism" have some links to ISNA. The station noted, for example, that ISNA provided convention booth space and helped raise funds for Islamic charities later linked by the government to terrorist groups, such as the Holy Land Foundation. The Justice Department has said the Holy Land Foundation allegedly "funneled dollars to support suicide bombings car­ried out by the militant group Hamas," the station reported. The U.S. government has since frozen the assets of the Holy Land Foundation pending an investigation into its activities, the station reported. Sayeed, the ISNA's secretary general, and other officials with the JSNA could not be reached by press time. Sayeed told WTHR·TV in Indianapolis that ISNA had no knowledge of any links by Holy Land Foundation or other groups it has supported in conferences to terrorist organizations. "We were donating money according to the claims they were making," he said. "We will condemn anywhere there is hate. whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jew or whatever." ISNA leadership 'homophobic' The ISNA is located in Plainfield, Ind. The group describes itself on its Web site as "an association of Muslim organiza· tions and individuals that provides a com­mon platform for presenting Islam, sup­porting Muslim communities, developing educational, social and outreach programs and fostering good relations with other religious communities and civic and ser­vice organizations." Faisal Alam, one of the founders of the gay Muslim group al-Fatiha, said he dis­putes allegations that ISNA assists or sup­ports Islamic terrorist groups. "The Muslim community is mostly con­servative, so it's not surprising that a Muslim group would join a coalition to oppose gay marriage," Alam said. "I have attended ISNA conferences. The leadership is homophobic, but not all members are." Alam said ISNA's decision to join the Alliance For Marriage is the first time, to his knowledge, that a U.S. Islamic group has officially participated in an anti-gay organization. "The person who wrote this article is trying to put a wedge between mainstream gays and mainstream Muslim groups," Alam said, in referring to Gahr's articles. Gahr said his aim is to alert the conser­vative and mainstream Christian and Jewish communities that homophobia among many of the nation's religious lead· ers has prompted them to align themselves with a group that is clandestinely working against the interests of the United States and Israel. Faisal Alam. a founder of the gay Muslim group al­Fatiha. disputes charges that ISNA supports Islamic terrorist groups. l1f1iit:1td 1i voice EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Elu!arti'le Elitor CH~ IS CRA i N ELtt« BINNIE FISHER-bfisher~ Prol*JCllon Elltor KIKI CARR Ca1t:ijXllide11ts: LOU CHIBBARO. JR. JOE CREA. LAl#!A OOUGlAS-BROWN LAUREL FAUST ~IIKE FUMING. MATIHEW HENNIE. RYAN lil. BRIAN MOYl.AN. KEVIN NAFF KE~ SAIN CHRISTOPHER SU: Y STEVE WEINSIBN Coo!riblttn JOHNNY HOOKS. JOSEF l.IOl.NAR. JA50N VICTOR SERINUS ANO MUBARAK OAHIR l'hotogiapheis OAlTON DEHART KIMBERl.Y nlOMPSON Webmaster ARAM VAffrJAN SALES & ADMINISTRATION General Manager DANIEL EMERICH demeric houstOOVOtCe com Acaiulrt ExeartiYes BRETT CULWM bell houstOl\VOfCe.COJ11 JENN FER HOL..A/10 houstonvoice.com Administrafrle Assistant NV HOOKS ioo1<> houstonvolcemn National Advertising Represental.ive wnde Media • 212 242-{,863 ed a P bhcation Pllblisher· WINDOW MEDIA ..tC President-WIWAM WAYBOUR.'I Editorial OirectDr· CHRIS CRA N Corporatl! Cootroller· BARNETTE HOlS TON Art Director· ROB BOEGER Operatioos Manager-M ClfAil. KITCHENS Martetilg Manager- DAN GARRIC'T rn ......... ~=···· MEMBER tt.d1a11Eer a;e.,__.,.._OI_ awrnR MEMBER Estab ;lied 1974 as the MontroseSIJT 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston. Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax: (713) 529-9531 www.houstonvoice.com Contents copyright 2003 Office hours: 9 am to 5:30 p.'."1. weekdays • To SlllxTi! a letter Letters s1n*1 be !ewer th.1:1400 words. We resem) the lij1I to eiit fer axitent ;nl leJJ;jth. We will w !h­ldl romes upoo ~ b:J! Y1X1 llLISt idide ~ Mlll! .!rid phooe IUliler b venficatioo. Please seOO onail to Houstoo \llice. 500 l.Dllett BM!. Stile 200. HCllsta!. Telas 77006; fax 013l 529 lJ53I or e-mail to editor111ws!oovtXe..cCm ~ e:qnssed therein do oot refkd llllSe al the lbuston V0tre Issue 1210 The only thing we have to fear No group ever dined and danced their way to civil equality, however sweet sounding the idea. If we are afraid of the fight ahead, we will not win it. By CHRIS CRAIN HEY SAY WE'RE AFRAID TO fight Its the latest argument raised by conservatives agamst full equality for gay Americans. and tt'~ one that has an ugly tra· d1tion, dating back to opposition to the civil rights movement fought by African· Americans. The difference this time around IS that "they" may be right. After the Supreme Judicial Court tn Massachusetts ruled in November that gay couples were entitled to all the "rights and benefits" of marriage, conservatives complained that unelected, life.tenured "judicial activists" were acting Ulm a "super-legislature," deciding a controver· sial question of social policy that was in mid-debate among elected legislators. Even as the court ruled, they pointed out, the state assembly was already consider· ing competing bills that would have banned gay marriage rnacted gay mar riage, or adopted civil unions. Conflicting polls notwithstanding, thes<' conservatives were probably correct that a bare ma.iority of the Massachusetts court was tn fact imposing Its will on an elected maJonty of state representatives (and the state's governor). Certatnl); history is on the conserva uves' side. The highest courts in Hawaii and Alaska tssued rulings m the mid '90s similar to the one handed down in l\lassachusetts, but "the people" had other ideas. Through the democratic process, a whopping majority- nearly 70 percent - in both states overwhelmingly backed bal­lot initiatives that amended state constitu· tions to ban gay marriage. Similar story in Vermont, where its Supreme Court decided in 1999 that the state constitution's guarantee of equality meant that gay couples were entitled to marry. But Vermont's elected representa· tives, led by a Democratic governor · named Howard Dean, chose a more prag· mauc route rnactmg civll unions leg1sla tlon that is not only separate from real marriage but also unequal. Even without the direct threat of judi­cial intervention. majorities m 37 state legislatures, backed by their democrat!· cally elected governors, have enacted laws banning gay marriage. So did the federal government, passed by a bipartisan maJorlty Congress and signed by a Democratic president in 1996. SO ARE WE AFRAID TO FIGHT? EVERY tlme the Issue of gay marriage has gone before "the people," we lose Even now, our elected representatives in Congress are considering a constitutional amend­ment that would ban gay marriages, civil unions and maybe even govern­ment ·issued domestic partnerships, and our barely elected president has hinted that he just may throv; his weight behmd the effort We don't need a majority to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment only enough support to bottle it up m a com mittee of either house of Congress, or more than one-third of the votes of etther house if lt goes to the floor, or just 14 states 1f the amendment is submitted to the states for ratification. But are we afraid, even, of that rela· tively easy fight? The year 2003 wtll go down in the books as a fantastic year of progress for the gay rights movement, but our wins were not in the hearts and minds of "the people." as depressing year-end polls con· firmed. We can, of course, win some ver· sion of equality by having it imposed by judges. but we need look no further than the tortured history of abortion rights to see that the ultimate prize may be an entrenched and angry opposition, always threatening to undo our gains. The story of the black movement for HOUSTON VOICE JANUARY 2, 2004 PAGE 10 civil rights has a different ending, with a much more successful resolution. Courtroom wins were backed up in state legislatures and the halls of Congress, where elected representatives gave much needed legitimacy to the idea of equality by casting their votes without a gun to their head of the type held now by the Supreme Judicial Court m Massachusetts. Those legislative victories didn't happen by accident African Americans from around the country took to the streets and marched and lobbied until the prize was won. THAT'S "IOTTHE WAY WE GAYS IIAVI-: fought our movement, .it least not in recent yrars We much more pref('r dressing up m tuxedos and fancy dresse~ and gomg to fancy dinnrrs ovrr marching m the streets. And we re less likely to boycott than we al'£' to strip do\\ n for dance party, a mm..scule portion of which ma~ or ma~ not bf' donated to a group that ma~ or may not effectively bf' .:ibbytn •for our civu rights. Pi:rhaps with the da\\n of a ne\\ vear, we can face the cold hard realuv that no group ever danced nd dmed its way to equalit~: however sweet ~ounding the Idea. It will take more from us, and it's not at all clear that we have the fight in us to do the job. Of course, not everyone takes an inter· est In pohtics, and many people are not the "activist type," and that's fine. But there is more each of us can do, and it doesn't even cost any money. If every queer in America added Just two items to their New Year's reso· lutions, and then followed through, this coming year would make the gains of 2003 seem paltry. What are these two things? Both are free, and one is rela· tlvely painless. The easiest is voting. The year 2004 is an election year, of course, and to win the battle fought by those duly elected repre sentatives, we med to make sure we duly elect the right ones. There arc lots of issues at stake this year. but if we arted more like we v;ere in the middle of a civil rights movement. \\e'd vote according to which candidates respect our equality and our place at the table The harder is coming out, but it's arguably even more important. Poll after poll shows what we all know instinctively to be true. Fair-minded people are far more likely to support our equality if they know one or more of us. And if we can't swallow our shame long enough to introduce our lives to all of our friends, families and coworkers, then the opposition is right. We are afraid to fight. Ir., Chris Crain IS ~ executive editor of the Houston Voice and can be reached at ccrair@houstonYoice. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com view 01• n JOHNNY HOOKS When friends insisted, Marc Kajs went to police, but they turned him away Police weren't there for Marc l<ajs IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT YOU ALWAYS remember the firsts in life: your first kiss. your first love . your first friend who was murdered. Marc Kajs was his name, the name of my friend who was murdered It was March 28, 1998, and I'll never forget 11. I met Marc while we were both work· lng as waltE>rs at Urbana Restaurant and Bar. a sleek new space where ladies lunched, boys brunched and the dinner wait averaged two hours. Marc had a wicked sense of humor, a devilish laugh and a stalker, an ex who at times made his life a living hell. \\'hen you work as a waiter, you tend to remember the big tippers. I remember Ilhan from the first encounter I had with him. One late lunch shift, he sat down alone and ordered the ribeye. a top-dollar item on the menu. He was polite, ordered a beer along with his iced tea and paid in cash. He left me $20, a more than SO-per­cent tip. I memorized his face and asked him to come by again and ask for me. He simply answered "Oh you'll see me again." Sure enough, Mr. $20 Tip came in fre· quently. He always sat alone, usually when I was by myself in the restaurant, almost always during a weekday afternoon. figlit or fligflt p One night, as Marc and I cleaned tables on the patio facing Montrose, I heard my friend say, "llhan. just made the block. I know that's his car". Marc had made many references to his stalker, Ilhan before. As a blue Honda Prelude with a pizza delivery sign rounded the corner and con· tinued south on Montrose, I asked l\!arc, "Ilhan delivers pizzas?" Marc was matter-of-fact. "Yeah. then he can keep tabs on me while he's work· ing." It was as though having a stalker was nothing out of the ordinary. After work, at J.R.'s, Marc pointed hlm out. Suddenly, coming towards us was the S20 tip guy from all those afternoons at Urbana. Now. I was creeped out. As stalkers usually do, Ilhan became more and more aggressive. Those of us who feared for Marc's life did our best to convince him that instead of laughing off each incident, he needed to do something to protect himself. One day Ilhan walked into Urbana, threw a bullet-riddled target at Marc and said. "That's going to be you." That was the last straw for me. I begged Marc to call the police. "Like they'll do anything about a couple of fags," he laughed. "You just wish you had JANUARY 2. 2004 11 .... ... 11 •• • cni 1hell I got the 'QJeer Eye' ~ .11 a stalker. girl." From that moment on, Ilhan became a constant presence in Marc's life, always circling the re~taurant, hovering tn the corner of seemingly every bar or club. Eventually, Marc did go to the police. Just as he had predicted, he was turned away because he was told, Ilhan had done nothing illegal. On March 26, Marc and I went to a movie at the Odeon. When we walked out of the theater at about 2 a.m .. Ilhan was there, swearing and grabbing Marc by the neck. I begged Marc, ''Get a restraining order." He would. he promised. tomorrow. The next evening, Saturda): Marc and I worked together. On Sunday, I slept late. When I awoke, I heard references to a shoot· ing at Urbana. Everything clicked. I jumped in my car and drove to the restaurant. Outside the restaurant. a friend con· firmed. "I'm sorry budd~~ it was Marc" I crumpled onto the sidewalk. Later my Mom told me she saw that piece of video on two different channels. I ran mside and threw up in the bathroom. Ilhan had attacked Marc as he was leav­ing the re,taurant with his frtend, Donna. After chasing Marc down the sidewalk and pumping bullets into him, Ilhan turned the gun on himself. He fell almost on top of Marc. It was all over in a matter of minutes. For those of us left behlnd it will never be over We tried to persuade him that stalkers were serious business. The trouble is, when we fmally convinced him to go to the police. they didn't take it seriously either. , ... Johnny Hooks is a columnist for the ~ Houston Voice. 12 JANUARY 2. 2004 January 4th "The Visit of the Maji . . . ~( // Every Knee Shall Bow" I.,.~~ R~. J anet Par;aranat?'~~)) Fellowship Metropolitan Community Church ' "Building Community Through Compassion• Visit Our New Improved & Larger Nursery/Children's area Please Join Us For Praise and Worship at our Sunday Morning Semice And Experience the Love of God! 3333 Fannin, Suite 106, at 10AM Church office 713-528-6756 • E-mail maranatha@ev1.net www.maranathamcc.com Donnie Day Life Coach Group Coaching A small, 1rteractrve support group focused on Personal & Professional Development. emphas Z'':lg action accountability anc follow-through in a coach1rg environment! Come expenence the synergy of tre group! Wednesdays 6:30-Bpm, starting January 7 832.283. 7390 • 4040 Milam, Suite 310 (Fitness Exchange Building) www.donnieday.com or e-mail: donnie@donnieday.com STOP GREEDY CORPORATE POLLUTERS & CORRUPT POLITICIANS ·.{ork on exciting campaigns to protect public health ana the environment. hust have excellent communication skills. ~:34!>/wk + bonus. 1:30-lOpo 1·:-1'. Call Clean \l'ater Action today ! 713-~2g.g426. Ct.. -. .111 \·V.llcr Action www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE I ction ! alert No love boat for gays Gay passengers say Royal Caribbean did little to ensure safety after bashings By ANDY ZEFFER and BRYAN ANDERTON FORT LAl'DERD:\LE FLA TWO rr. -nber<• of a gay tra.el group v.ho said thev \\ere as aulted aboanl a Ro)'ai Caribbean crmse shtp said official from the cnu~e line failed to taKe proper pre cautions to l"nsurc their safct:1< Steve Garrod, Tl, of Seattle Md J. Gardner. a 34 year-old lesbian from C'allforma, sald the)' were attacked by two straight couples while aboard Royal Car1bbean's Monarch of the Seas crwse sh1pfor a~ Halloween cnuse Oct. 3! to No~ 2 v.1th the gay travel group Outcnusmg.com. Garrod said he suffered bruises, lacerations and a broken fac1al bone whil!! Gardn!!r satd sh!! sustruned damage to her eyesight from bemg kicked In the face and the !!ye. Acconling to Garrod, he and several other members of the travel group were in one of the ship's bar following a mas querade part}: when two straight couples began harassing group members, calling them "fucking faggots." He said he asked the bartenders to call sl!Curity officers, who arrived several minutes later In that time, Garrod sald, he was pushed to the ground by two women who kicked him in the face and head. Their male partners then began assaulting Garrod as well, he said. "I just thought to protect my head and hoped that It would stop," Garrod said. The two straight couples ended their attack after secUI1ty arrived and escorted them out of the bar to question them. At that time, Gardner said, she went outside to see if security needed any statements from the group. In th~ presence of the ship's security staff. Gardner said, she was hit In the fare and pushed to the ground by one of the women, and that one of the men then kicked her in the face and eye Garrod and Gardner charged that the ship's crew failed to keep them safe and never detained or confronted the assailants. Michael Sheehan a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean International, declined to comment on the situation, citing an "ongoing investigation." but a company statement sent via ~mall said, "We take very seriously any behavior on boanl our 0 ACTION! INFO Royal Caribbean Intematiooal P.O. Box 026053 Miami. FL 33102 800.256-6649 wwwioyalcanbbean.com Thr~ people claim they we ssaultcd while on board Royal Canbbean auise ships, and that 111 CJCh nc1dent the s. ips crew 1ailed to det.Jin their assaila. ts. (Photo by AP) ships that breaches the rights nd safrty of any guest or any ere\\ mrmbers." ThEJ statement said the company v;as cooperating with offtc1als. mcludmg the FBI. 10 mvrst1cate the assaull Pattern of ignoring assaults? Following published reports about the assault, a third man came forward to say he had also been the victim of an anu gav assault aboard a Royal Caribbean ship in June 2002, and that the company also failed to detam his assailant in that case as y,ell. Craig Combs, of Fort Lauclcnlale, Fla., said he was aboard Royal Caribbeans Enchantment of the Seas on June 1, 2002. when he was assaulted by anothrr passen· ger According to Combs, he and a friend were 1n one of the ship's bars when another passenger approached them in a hostlle manner. When Combs tried to brush the man off, Combs said he replied, "\\That are }OU gcring to do now, sissy?" The man then grabbed him by the neck and pushed him against a wall while calling him several anti·gay epithets, Combs said. There were no security guards in sight, and the man eventually let go of Combs after several seconds. When Combs ran to a bar· tender to repot1 the assault. he said the har· tender at first ignored him altogether Md then told him to call secmity himself. Combs said the security omcers who responded to his call caught up with h Is assallant but only questioned him briefly and did not detain him. He said he filed a report with the purser's desk, but nothing v.as ever done He said his assallant never faced any consequences for his assault and was allowed to enjoy the rest of the cruise. Sheehan the cruise line's spokesman, said he was not aware of the Comhs incl· dent. but that he would look Into it. Combs, meanwhile, sale! he won't make the same mistake again. 'Honestly, I don't see myself Pver going on a Royal Caribbean again," Combs said 'i\nd if somebody told me they were golng on Royal Caribbean, I would tell them to rethink it, unless there is going to be a large group of gays on board." ABOUT ACTION Al.£RT: Action Alert is a Forum sect10n feature that mfonns readers of issues for response and lobbymg. Send suggest1011s and comments to forulllJiWashblade com. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JANUARY 2. 2004 13 Ront HuLtn (11/ 23/ 42- 12/ 21/03) During thC' morning of Sunday, D<'CC'm!x>r 2l our bnghlC'sl star Y.'er\t out ,.;hen Rom ixi.ssro u»ay suddenly and uncxpcctro ly at her home. What a bC'auttful caring spin! sh!! had Hrr carrer in special education 1vith f-USD, lu·1· IO'J<.> of basketball her carC' and concm1 for an:ma\ her uclt~isrn, and her contnbution lo the! H!Vrl\.JDS community \\'<?re her possions Roni cclttrated life and rilled the! liW5 of others with h'<? and py She taught us lo l0\1C' l1fo .il1<l il to the f ul!C'St, and always fmd the sil~c·r lining. She "'us first and foremost a mother, fncnd and soulma!C! to her daughter She had a chosen ~ fom,ly of wmy, """Y f,-wod. Support our community. Holiday gift shopping at: Roni nul'!urt'd her relationshi~., and sprinkled us "'ith l0\1in9 9tittC't', roch ~rnkk> briqh!C't' and brt9h!C't'. Life "'a' always larger. hawicr, and catnpiC't' \~hm she Was r-c nl She tS pt'<'COOOO m droth by her daughter, :'\ngic, and hied onQS left to chertsh her memory are her girls. Laro and MicklC', her brother Dan, her cats Beaux and Tina, and her cbrn family of frimds. RmC'C, Da,,id, ~· C1eri, Judy. and many many rnoro. Roni \\'Ill be Cl'C'mated "'1th no accornpanyin9 &'NtCC', per her rrquest. A celtttahon of her l,fe "''ill be schroulro at a later date In heu of usual remembrances and for thoott who so dc.,tre, nwmorial donations may bc directro to: PWA - Holiday Charity, P.O. Box 66849, Houston. Tx 77266 MY RESOLUTION LOSE WEIGHT FEEL GREAT Feefirg gooCI abol.' you;self and how you look 1s t'1e key. We can tie p you get there with a program iust ':>r you Ca Today' Resolution Special* Join Now & Pay Only: s2004 1 Time - Joining Fee USTONGYM 1501 Durham Street 713-880-9191 www.lloustllllgym.com •Tour Cl~b tor deta Is 14 JANUARY 2. 2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE THE PRIMARY SOURCE BOOK FOR GAY MEN Don't miss our ski and sun issue in January ALAN CUM MIN AlTRACTION PLUS SUV SHOWDOWN DMNE D!V[RS Sfv1ALL SCREEN STUDS .,AN, FE8 s:J)4 N'.) , 4 $4.95 I $6.95 ~ THL SKI & BUN ISSUE" HL.lWWtl IVF SKIWEAR AND SWIMSUIT SLAM DUNKS SUBSCRIBE NOW AT genremagazine.com FREE RIDE: Catch a ride on the METRO's new light rail system, and don't pay a dime till Jan. 5. Page 21 I GAY OLD YEAR: HBO and Bravo ruled the small screen in 2003 with runaway hits like 'Queer Eye.' Page 17 Out on the Bayou HOUSTON VOICE JANUARY 2 2004 PAGE 15 A Christmas visit to Tuna Before visiting Galveston, the ladies of Tuna, Texas talk about more than Tuna By BINNIE FISHER nybody who grew up in any of the dusty little towns that dot those black rib­bons of highway windmg through West 'I'exas will recognize it when they see it: Tuna, Texa~. Joe Sears and Jaston Williams creat· ed Tuna and its inhabitants. and although they have never revealed much of Tuna's infrastructure: the main drag, the drug store the five and dime, the pie tures are there in the heads of those who have been there The creations of Sears and Wilhams Greater 'I'una " "A Tuna Christmas" and "Red, White and Tuna," are v1v1d portrayals of the peo pie who inhabit every small town in Vera Carp will forever be Tuna's most renowned fashion plate and socialite. West Texas. the center of the universe to everyone who lives there, The Tuna plays make you want to go home, pull up to a table in the local drtve­ln restaurant and spm a yarn or two with Helen Bedd and lnita Goodwin, the underpaid, overworked but effervescent waitresses who work for the Tastee Kreme's overseer, Vernon. The Houston Voice recently was granted the rare opportunity to v1s1t Tuna in advance of tl1e Jan. 6 opening of ·A Tuna Christmas" at the Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston. It was obvious from the out­set, that conversation at the Tastee Kreme should stay on the light side. If talk veers toward job~ and the econom}: the girls could get worried. Too late. Someone men­tions that a friend is losing his job because the work is being sent to India, where workers will do three times the work for a sixth of the pa}: "Oh good Lord." says Inita. her bouf· fant frontal wisp col­lapsing in a salutatory Didi Snavely's take on the new Medicare drug bill' aim for the head and wave over her fore­you don't need it. head. "Don't ever let Bertha Bum~ler 1s all decked out for Christmas and ready for her upcoming visit to Galveston. Vernon know that the Indians will take a sixth of what the Americans were get­tin' for a third ·a the work!" Helen shudders a bit as she bows her head and whispers. "Oh no. Don't ever let Vernon know that.· Quick. somebody order a double bacon chili cheeseburger \\1th fries and a vanilla Coke. Time to walk on down the street. Is that Didi's "If we can't kill it, it's immortal" Used Weapons and Knives Please see TUNA on Page 19 16 JANUARY 2. 2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE Houston 713-595-9952 817-289-1234 214-379-7979 210-933-1234 512-735-5002 Call Toll FREE 1-888-399-MALE Specials: • 1 hour massage for $45 • Facial for $40 713.523.6905 • 415 Westheimer, Suite 21 O • Houston, TX 77006 .. HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com televisio BRIAN MOYLAN In 2003, HBO and Bravo ruled the tube, fighting to provide high-quality, high­profile shows featuring gay sensibilities. Tale of two channels IN 2002, THE BIG GAY TELl..\ ISION n!'ws \\as thl:' c.;hlft of gay characte~nd sho\\s from nel\\orh tel!'\ is10n, where th!') had a surpr ising!} SJ.ff' home. after Elkn DeGeneres cu ne out to rvrn big g1 r and better shows on cable. Now that gay television Is booming on cablC' it's time for the 11attle of th!' Non Network Stars, most notably Bravo and HBO Of course, •Bravo Is home of th!' year's biggest gay hit and perhaps one of the blggrst mainstream hits ' Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." The show garners an average audience of 2 mllhon viewers for nrw episodes and 1s taking ov!'r the cultural landscape with hook deals, spin-offs. and spokesperson deals for its stars. There was also "Roy l\leets Boy," the gay dating show with the cruelest twist since ",Joe Millionaire' re\·ealed he was a humble construction worker: Regardless of tactic, the show was still a modest hit, a great lead in for "Queer EyP," and the subject of much buzz. "Roy" may not come back for anoth­er season, but Bravo is always a little bit fe): With it's annual "Broadway on Bravo" special, the cast of "Will & Grace" on "Inside the Actor's Studio" and plenty of Cirque du So-ga): But programmers should beware. With Cirque du Soleil under fire for alleged HIV discrimination, Bravo should be careful about how the gay audience reacts to its constant repeat pe1formances and reality shows about the performance troupe ~~ . '"REVIEW HBO DOESN'T NEED TO WORRY ABOlIT its gay demographic as much as how to get some new hit shows on Its roster. Bravo was a brave gay upstart, but llBO continued to wow and woo viewers with "Six Feet Und!'r" and the final season of "Sex & the City" as well as a host of other quality gay programming, includ ing the Emmy-nominated transgender drama "Normal." "Sex & the City" is clone atler its eight new episodes beginning in January, and gay favorite "Oz" wrapped its sLx season run earlier thLc; year. Still, tht> rwtwork has "Sl<'U" and "The Wire," which ft•a­tures two gay characters of color and is a much underappreciatcd show. The runaway gay hrt of the year rn televtSron was 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.' starring Ted Allen. Jai Rodriguez Carson Kressley. Thom Fdicia and Kyan Douglas. This year's two new HBO shows, •carnivfile" and ''K Street, mcludcd gay characters, but both suffered from mediocre ratings. At press time, "C.arnivrue's" fate is still unclccidcd, and 'K Street" will not be back for another season. Then, of course, there is "Angels in America," HBO's two-part adaptation of gay playwright Tony Kusher's Pulitzer Prize winner about the early days of the AIDS crisis. which hit a home run for the channel. Superbly acted (by the likes of :\1eryl Streep, Al Pacino, and I-;mma Thompson) and shot (by Mike Nichols), the film adap­tation was the highlight of a very gay year, rounding up more than 4 million viewers for HBO. It was a little long, but with big movie stars, a great script and widespread acclaim. Angels" is sure to clean up come Emmy time. HBO RIVAL SHOWl'll\11:: Tm; !\!OST hlatant pursuer of gay audiences. Just doesn't offer the caliber of program­ming that is found on HBO or Bravo. "Queer As l<olk" is definitely the gayest Showtime offering, but more people would be excited about tuning m If the hour wasn't so trite. The network introduces the lesbian counterpart to "Folk," The L Word," In Januar): As far as the networks were con­cerned, there were a few baby steps worth mentioning in 2003. "ER's" resi dent lesbian simmers on the backburn­t> r, and ''Will & Grace" st ill relies too heavily on the power of guest stars. but ABC's "It's All Relative" scored with primetime's first committed, normal and fi.mny gay male couple Fox's "A Minute with Stan Hooper" also has a committed gay couple, but in a much small r role. JANUARY 2, 2004 17 I PARKS 18 JANUARY 2. 2004 what yoi a looking for WHATEVER YOU ED ••• WHENEVER YOU NEED ... HOUSTON V ICE CLASSIFIEDS DELIVER! I v.t ,oj I ti:1c f, ej , j IP LACE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD NOW' CALL 877 863 1885 OR PLACE YOUR AD ONLINE AT WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM Authentic Ne\vYork Pizza Pizza He deliver & more than pizza t Q/q¢i dwicJies ,f ' satl Galleria Area (. 32; 251-0:!:!0 Indoor Outdoor-Patio Seating \ "ww.nypizzeria.com G4} FRIE\DLY I LL ATTORNEY AT LAW J.A. CHAPMAN The menu's been tweaked, and with a touch of fine-tuning, this could be a destination www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE Ragazza hits a high note AITER TAKING OVER THE SPACE previously occupied by The R1vendell Bar and Grille, there was work to be done. The menu needed updating. The decor needed an overhaul. And most of all. the restau· rant needed focus. The previous tenants couldn't decide if they wanted to be a sports bar or a restau· rant. Now open a few months. Ragazza offers a casual, Italian-inspired menu in a relaxed atmosphere. Ragazza has kept some of the design elements from The Rivendell. like the long bar that lines one side of the room and fea· tures a stone wall backdrop and columns. Gone. howe\er, are the dart boards and pool ta hie Ragazza is aiming more square­ly at the restaurant side of the business. Ragazza feels spacious. with a high, exposed celling and open floor plan, bro­ken up only bY low dividing walls topped with glass panels. A few booths offer inti· mate seatlng, and tables can accommodate groups of various sizes. The lighting needs to be rethought, however. as several tables are in shadow from poorly placed spotlights. The lack of diffuse lighting makes the restaurant seem dark. ON A RECENT SATURDAY NIGHT. WE found Ragazza about half full. Live piano music provided a soothing backdrop as we were shown to our table. nd then we wait­ed. And waited. And waited some more. Three different servers visited tables near us, while we waited for someone - anyone - to acknowledge us. Finally, I got up from our table and tracked down a wait· er. To his cn.>dit. once we were on his radar, the service was excellent. But, the whole system could do with a closer look. Ragazza starts diners off with a bread basket containing an acceptable farm house white. A robust dipping sauce with an olive oil base, parmesan, fresh basil. red pepper, garlic and goat cheese provides a substantial start to the meal. The excellent shrimp bisque l· 1.95/cup) is a recent addition to the menu, which has already been updated in the short time Ragazza has been open. Sweet and creamy, it has a slight firry kick at the end The shrimp flavor is perhaps a tad too subtle, but it's a warming and comforting start. The Italian nachos ($8.95) sounded too intriguing to miss. A huge platter of multi· colored chips arrived topped with Italian sausage, tomato, greE'll onion. black oli.c, banana pepper and an alfredo cream sauce. Its easily largr enough to be hared by four \\lille thr dJSh shows admiral'le creatM· n. somE how t nevrr t:.:.tt<; of! Thr bland cmun sauce lacks tllf' omrph needed to ser\-e as a base for the sarpnsingly parse toppings. I found myself wishing for some gooey chee.e and a jalapeno to add some zip. For main courses, the menu offers a selection of entrees and pastas. The pasta Ragazm ($10.~- penne with grilled chick en, spmach, tomato, basil, feta in a white wine cream sauce-- was nicely done. if not remarkable. Heavy on the pasta, it would benefit from a slightly more liberal hand with the rest of the ingredients. The tuna Ragazza ($16.95) was a treat. Perfectly seared slices of fresh tuna arriwd atop a creamy parmesan risotto. A tangy pine nut balsamic ponzu sauce added just enough zing, while wilted spinach and grilled vegetables proved wor­thy accompaniments. The dessert menu contained the usual suspects, along with a banana nut tres leehes ($5.95) that caught my eye. Exactly as you might suspect, a piece of banana nut cake is soaked in three milks. The result is moist, milky banana bread punc­tuated with crunchy walnuts. Ingeniously simple, this dessert was a true gem on a fusion-heavy menu. Happy hours are available each week· day, and Thursday nights are hopping at the bar, which is large enough to accommo· date good sized groups. Previous!}: the menu offered unusual signature drinks, but by this visit they were no longer avail· able. However. the full bar should be more than adequate to accommodate most tastes. Ragazza Italian Bar and Grill is settling into its comfort zone. The menu has been tweaked and refined and the decor has been revamped. It's a solid Italian style restau· rant, with moderate prices, dependable food, and a welcoming bar. With a little more fine-tuning, it could be a destination. Ragazza Italian Bar and Gnll 920 Studemont. Suite 900 Houston, TX m- 7J.3.864·3/oo www.ragazzahouston.com ~ood .,,.,.., Service· ,., •' .., Value le' ,., le' ~ce-e ,., •' • ., Stay home and eat cereal re - Well 11 you really must ie .., ie•- Fi. e for d:I but the f nmcky ,., !9' •' •' Worth a 20illmute drive •' •'•'=As good~ you II find he•e HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JANUARY 2. 2004 19 I out on e ayou Out and about on the streets of Tuna, TX TUNA, continued from Page 15 up ahead? Current events and crime and punishment are always suitable conver­sation at Didi's. And there she is, peering down the empty barrel of a .45 she's holding In one hand and takmg a long drag on the cigarette shC' balances between the fingers of the other hand. The sleeve of her jungle camouflage dress peeps out from the cuff of her plastic raincoat. It must be normal for people to unbur­dC'n themselves when they cross Didi 's thre~hold, because it all comes spilling forth: crime in the city, women traveling alone at night, assaults on gay men in Montrose. Her attention is suddenly peaked. She puts dO\rn the .45, takes anothtr long drag, and smoke wafts out with her words, uttered slowly, deliberately and in the raspy v01ce of someone who s smoked way too mam unfiltered Camels for wav too long. · "We had n gay basher in Tuna once, shC' says, "and we hanged him with his own pantyhose · At once turning her attention to the folks who are thumbing through th~ purse· sl2P canisters of mace and discussing the new Mt•dicare drug bill, Didi takes aim and fires another verbal volley at point·blank range, "If you aim for the head, there's no need for Medicare." Her voice drops another octave or two on "Medicare," and she cocks her head slightly to the side for effect. Ah. the wis· dom of a woman who knows when to pull the trigge1: The streets of Tuna are portrayed as friendly places. but just up ahead. Bertha Bumiller and her aunt, Pearl Burras, take a sharp left when they spy Tastec Kreme waitresses Helen Bedd and Inita Goodwin will be looking for cowboys when they hit Galveston on Jan. 6. someone with a note pad. "Yoo·hoo, Miz Bumiller, Miz Burras. a word or two for the Houston Voice?" Bertha. in that lovely poinset· tia-prtnt blouse and green pantsuit that is her personal holiday greet· mg this time of year, replies over her shoulder, "No comment No comment today. •Hurry, she bids Aunt Pearl, who hobbles along w1th her cane and old lady l11gh-top ~ace· ups. I'm an old woman. Don't rush me." They disappear around another corner l\lercy! What were we thinking? Of course Bertha shies away from interviews. That reporter from "Intellect burned her pretty bad a few years ago. Oh \\CU on to City Hall and a lit tie chat wlth City Secretary Dode Debcrrv. Its Dixie \\ho worries about Fid~l (she pronounces Jt \\Ith a long "i," as in "Faydell") and his commu· nists invadmg someda}'. If she wornes about the commu· nists in this day without a cold \\ar to wage, the V01ce \\ ondered whether she also considers the Gay Mafia to be a concern. She gives it some thought ·1 didn't know there was a Gay Mafia, she says. "I just can't pie· tu re Al Pacino with a purse." City Secretary Dixie Debeny and pal. Pearl Burras. are cooking up a little Chnstmas rruschief m 'A Tuna Christmas.' The Voice tried to steer conver· sation to city government. You know, Houston just elected its first-ever les­bian city controller "Yes, well, lesbians are great control freaks," she says. One might be mclined to ask how she knows, but some things are best left unsaid. Who should walk in about that time but la fashionista de Tuna, non other than .!\lrs. Vera Carp. DLxie is thumbing through a copy of the Voice Yes, that's Harvey Fierstein dressed as Mrs. Claus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "donning gay apparel • don't vou think? Vera takes a look Her eyes bead up behind her cat-eye specks as she tJ.ghtens her shoulders and blurts out, They obviously need a cavity search before the parade." She purses her mouth in that wav that is oh so Vera and adds. ·wrong cavity and :;ou'rc off the float." The Voice left itself open for that one. Should have known bet· ter. After all, Vera does head up Tuna's Smut Snatchers of the New Order. What brings Vera to City Hall on this day? She wants to be sure the light bill gets paid. Wouldn't want to end up in arrears when the winner of the holiday decorating contest is about to be announced. Want to keep those lights shining on the life-size statues of Bing Crosby and Natalie Wood in the nativi· ty scene, not to mention those live sheep. She's put out with "that girl, Lupe," the one who cleans her house and waits on her hand and foot. Just out of curios· ity, would a lady of Vera's stature give a Christmas bonus to undocumented hired help? "I ghe them all mv old shoes and swim· smts and tickets to Baylor football," she says with her Vera smile and her eyes glts· tening somewhere behind those cat -0ves. She's out the door and so is the Vorce Williams and Sears, who wrote the "Tuna" Trilogy and \\ho play all the char acters, will brmg the citizens of Tuna to Galveston for I., performances Jan & 11 All will be re\•ealed: the reason Helen and Inita arc concerned about Job loss, the name of the citizen \\ho won the Christmas yard decorating contest and the identity of the infamous Christmas phantom. @MORE INFO 'A T ooa Christmas' The Grand 1894 Opera House 2020 Postoffice St Galvestoo, Texas 7:30 p.m. Jan 6-9 2 p.m. and 8 pm Jan. 10 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. ll Sll-$48 800-821-2894 wwwthegrand.com 20 JANUARY 2. 2004 OF$5DESIGN BOLD it or BOX it Contact us for the POWER (8Tl) 863-1885 TOLL FREE in-person at 500 Lovett Blvd, Suite 200 Houston by fax (888) 409 6768 TOLL FREE by web www.houstonvoice.com/classads 713 523 5845 Otkrn1g Pt"a<.e & Rt.·crn 1cifo uioi 1 to the Alienatt'CI 1030 Hdght-. Bh1l l louston, TX 7700':! ph. 713~ 1.1 '.)) imwkd•ptryrt.org WWW.GOSYSTEMSUSA.COM CALENDAR Monday Jan.-y 5th Sotvrday January I 0th Eucharist 7 30pm Friday "-->' 9th ~N1ght7pm Prates of the Co~n Breolfa•I 9 3Com Monday January 12th Eucha<·.t 7 30pm Friday January 16th Maming Prpyer I Oom www houston voice.corn HOUSTON VOICE dish There's a Fine Line Between Telling the Truth and Talking Trash Gay-themed nominees for Golden Globe awards, Jim Palmer is a pitcher for gay causes, the Material Girl gets political on campaign trail. The award goes to ••• WITH ·nrn LATE~T GOLDEN GLOBE nommations, there is nothlng gayer than the nominee~ in the made-for-televbion movie category. In fact. five of the televi­sion categories are dominatt>d by pro­grcunmmg that is either gay-themed. gay­crc: ttecl, or has gay characters. Nomtnees in the Best :\tini-serics or Made·for·Tl'levbion·:\lovie category Include the AIDS drama "Angels In America"; tran.~gender drama "Normal"; the docudrama about the hate-<:rimc­related death of BARRY WINCHELL. "Soldier's Girl"; and an adaptation of Tennessee Williams's "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone: The only non-gay-related nominee was "My House in Umbria.• In the IP.ad actress category. individuals who garnered Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-series or a Motion Picture Made for Television were: MERYL SI'REEP for "Angels,• JESSICA LANGE for "Normal," HELEN MIRREN for "Mrs. Stone," JUDY DA VIS for her role in the "The Reagans; and MAGGIE SMITH for "My House in Umbria." Nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television were: AL PACINO for "Angels," TOM WILKINSON for "Normal,• TROY GARITY for "Soldier's Girl .. JAMES BROLIN for The Reagans,• and ANTONIO BANDERAS for ·And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" Every nominee in the supporting actress made-for-television categories is somehow affiliated with gay themes. For Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television. the nominees are KIM CATTRALL, KRISTEN DAVIS and CYNTHIA NIXON for "Sex and the City." MEGAN MUL­LALLY for Will & Grace, and MARY-LOUISE PARKER for "Angels.· The nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role In a SPriP., Mini·scries or Motion Pirture 1\lad• · for Television are: BEN SHENKMAN. PATRICK WILSON and JEFFREY WRIGHT for 'Angels in Amerka .. SEAN HAYES for "Will & Grace,' and LEE PACE in the role of a trdnsgrnder woman in Soldier's Girl." ThC're wC're a few other nomination.~ for "Slx Feet Under," "Sex and the Cit);" and "Will & Grace," but they'll have some competition from those pesky non·gay· Utemed shows. The Golden Globes ceremony, sched· uled for Jan. 2.5, is sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and i~ thought to be a good predictor of Oscar For her role as lesbian serial killer Aileen Wuornos. actress Chariize Theron was one of two gay-related nominations tn the movie categories for the Golden Globes. (Photo courtesy of New Market Films) winners. Oscar nominees are to be announced on Jan. 27, with the awards ceremony following on Feb. 29. From the mound THERE WAS MORE THAN ONE BASE­ball star at the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of South Florida's annual gala a few weeks ago, according to the Express, a gay newspaper in Florida. Not surprisingly, BIILY BEAN, the gay former baseball player was there, but so was JIM PALMER the former Baltimore Oriol~ pitcher most famous to some of us for those Jockey underwear ads. Sorry to tell you. boys, Palmer is most definitely straight. "lie is very much a heterosexual man. The reason he was there is that we invited him and he wanted to show his support for the foundation and thr community," said his friend Dan Pye, a gay man. Palmer has b(>(•n to many parties with a predominant· ly gay attendance, Pye said, but this was hL~ first gay public rvent. New Duet FOR ALL OF YOU CLUB QUEENS WHO couldn't decide how to cast your vote for the Democratic presidential nomination until MADONNA made herendors~ ment. the wait is finally over Madgr is dressing Gen. WESLEY CLARK up in her love. "I thmk he has a good handle on for· eign J>Olic;: I think he's good with pPople, and I think he has a heart and a con· sclousness." Madonna told CNN. "lle's interested in spirituality I mean, thoi;e things mean a lot to me." A Send comments, suggestions to ~ Oisl@soYo.coot HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com I community calendar SATURDAY JAN. 3 All·Spanish Worship Service/Noche Espirtual 7 pm. fte:.urrt .t1011 Metropolitan Community Church, 2026 W 11th. 713·861-9149. After Hours. KPFT 901 FM 1·4 a.m. Dignity mass. 7'30 p.m. for gay Catholics. 713-1180·2872. Free HIV TesUng. Montrose Chnic.11 p.m. 2 am. at Viviana's. 713-830·3000. Gay & Lesbian Breakfast Club. 9:30 am. 281-437·0636. Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 11:30 a.m. Eye Opener Group, 8 pm. Saturday Night live. 9:30 p.m. W1Jhng Ones Group. 1201 W Clay. 713·52J.1243 or 713· 52B·9m www.lambdahouston.org. Montrose Soccer Club. JO am practice. Woodrow Wilson School Fairview and Yupon. New players welcome. but beginners not currently being admitted. 7U·862·949L httpJ/geoc1t1es.comtmontrosesoccer E·malt monl1'11SeSOC· cer o. yahoo.com Q-Patrol Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate cnmM. 9:30 p.m. Convene at commurnty center 7U·528· SAFE. E·mali: qpatrohnc o.aolcom Sl Stephen's Episa>pal Church Rosary 8 a.m. 1805 W Alabama. 713-528·6665. Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-111. noon-5 p.m. o CATS (Community Awareness for Transgender Support) board meeting. 2 p.m. 3400 Montrose Suite 207. 713·524· 3£ ~ www.houstonglbtcenter org SUNDAY JAN. 4 Front Runnen Houston. Runners meet at Memor1a1 Park t Barn for a three m le run http) /home.<wbe ' net&rathon/ houfr h'm E M I I r thon sw I '1el n I 522 089'l Bering Memorial United Methodist Churth. Sel'V1Ces at 8 30 & IC 50 m. Sunday sc 9 45 713 526 1017 Center for Spiritual LJvlng. Serv ces t 'I a.m fo ch t 10:50 l m 6610 liarw n. 713-339 1808 The cent r lso comm ~ reremornes. me~physlcal bookstore ano c ses. Commurnty Gospel. Service at !I am & 7 p.m Sunday School for children 10 a m. 7U 880-9235 or www com mumtygosJ)<'l 9rg Community of Kindred Spirits in Beaumont Worship at 6 pm 1575 Spmdlctop Ave.. Beaumont. Texas 409-BB· 2055. E·mall cksrev3 o netzcro net Covenant Church, Ecumenical, Liberal Baptisl Service 9:30 a m & education hour 11 ant 713·668·8830 Emerson Unitarian Church. Adult educ t1on 10 a m. Service II • m Lunt~ at noon www emersonhou 011 Fltst Congregational Church (Memorlaf). Serv ce at 10 am C! Uan Educ tion. 1130 am 713-468·9543 or kc h::llston org Fltst Unitarian Unlvenalist Church. S:"V!Ces at 9 30 & 11 'IO a 11. Brunch at 10:30 am 713-~26-SZOO n: f rstuu.org FreeHIVTesting.MontroseClnc 9pm mid t tfub I gy m 830-'IOOO Gay Bowling LeagutS. 7 p B vd 71 Bbl 11 1 Thoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Adult discus· s1on, 9 ant Service 11:15 a.m. 281·277·8882. www.tuuc.org Unitarian Fellowship of Galveston County. 502 Church St Service, II a.ni 713·686·5876. Houston GLBT Community Center. Some Transgenders are Guys !STAG)). 7 p.m. 3400 Montrose, Suite 207. 713-524· '818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org MONDAY JANUARY 5 Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic 1·7 p.m. at the clime. 215 Westhe1mer and 3311 Richmond, Suite JOO: 4-8 p.m. at Bncks. 617 Fa1rv1ew: and 9 pm. - I a.m. at O. no Paclf1t. nl-830-3070. Free HIV Testing 4-8 pm. at All Star News. 3415 Katy Freeway Health chmc with free tesUng for HIV and syphilis. 7U-869-787a Gay Bowling leagues. Womens league. 6:45 p.11' Dynamic UneS. 6121 Tamcf Drive. 713-8611187. Gay Fathers/Fathers First Support group. 8·9:30 p.m. Berlnq Memorial United Methodist Church. Tom, n3·72b- 873b. www.geoc1ties.com/gaydadshouston/ Grace Assembly Church Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 p.m. aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas. 77351. 936-646·7214. E-ma1L leol o.easttex "Cl Grief & Divon:e Support Groups. 7 p.nt Benng 713 526· 1017. ext 208. Kolbe PrOJect Euchar1st 7 30 p '!1. 7U.Sbl .eoo Lambda Center. Alcohohcs Anonymous. 8 pm. Beg nners Group. 1201 W Clay 7U·52! 1243 r 713-528·9772 www l.lmbdahouston org lesglans Coming Oul Orgamzationa meet ng p.m 3400 Montrose Suit• 201 713-524·3818. Montrose Clinic. Of m weekly peer support groups for g y and b1sexua1 men with HIV Span speak ng group med 6 30 p "' 21 > West mer 713·830-3050 Grupo de Apoyo para • t nos gay y b sexual \' pcsi tunes b 30 Par mas lnfc maCIOfl I ma I 713-830 3025. Queer Voices Radio Show. 8· 10 p.m KPFT 90.1 Houston GLBT Community Center Amer n Veterans f Equal Rights. 7p m 3400 Montrose S.: • 201 n3 524 3818, www.houstonglbtccnter.orq. TUESDAY JAN. 6 Bering Support Networit lunch Bunch Gang. II am 713· S26-IOII Grace As3tlllbly Church. Gay/gay-affirrmng congregation. 7 p.m. aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Uvmgston. Texas. ms1 936-646-7214 E·mail: leol a easttex.nct Houston Pride Band. Open rehearsal 7"30·9:30 p.m. 1307 Yale. 713·862·1488. Houston Tennis Club. 7-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis Center. houstontenmsclb roaol.com Spiritual Uplift service. 7 p.nt Resurrection MCC 713-861· 9149. Houston GLBT Community Center. 7 p.m.. Houston Gay and lesbian Pohtical Caucus, 3400 Montrose Suite 201 713- 524 3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org THURSDAY JAN. 8 Community Gospel. Sel'V1Ce 7:30 p.nt 713-88o-9235 www.communitygospel.org. Frte HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 am.·2 p.nt at Joseph-Hines er.me. mo West 25th St Also 11 am.-3:30 p.m. at Gallery Medical Clinic. 5900 North Freeway. and Club Toyz from 9 p.m.-tmdmghl 713- 526-0555, ext 231 227 or 22b. Free HIV TesUng. Montrose Clime 8 p.nt· 1111dn1ght at Brazos River Bottom (8RB), 2400 Brazos. atd at CouSln~ B17 Fa1rv1ew, and 4 ·8 p.nt at All·Star News, 3415 Katy Freeway 713-830-3000. Free HIV Testing. 4·8 pm at All Star News, '!415 Katy Freeway. Health clime with free testing for HIV and syph s. 711·869-7878. FrontRunnen Houston. Runners meet at Memonal Park at 6:30 p.m for a three-mile run. ~ttp://home swbell net/larathon/houfr him or e-ina athon s~ net ru 522 0899 Gay Bowring leagutS. Luci Duos. 9 pm. Dynamic ~ I Tamef Dr ve 71J.86Hl87. GLOBAL Gay ~b1an or B sexi;;: A liance at the u vel'Slty of llooston-Central Campw. Weekly meeti b ~.m e-ma nguyen0023o hotmailcom Hep C Recovery. Support group. b 30 p m Be ng 713 526-1017. Exl 21L Houston Roughneck Rugby. Practice from 6:30 • 8 30 p For more mfornatlOll. log on to www.roughnecksrugbv '::11 Houston Women's Rugby Team. No expcr'ence necessary P. irll'.e. b '30·8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay 713-208-1529 lake lMngston GLST Support Group 7 p nt dmner and discussion Grace Assembly Chun:h. 567 Cedar C.rove Livingston, Texas, 77351 931> 646-7214. E-mail leol rueasttex nel lAmbda Skating Club. B p.m. Tradew nds Skating R k www.neosoflcom/ lrsc. 713-523-9620 Montrose Clink. Offn week!y peer ::=1 groups for gay and b u I 111<1 w th HIV Eng sh speaking g p meets. 6 !O p.m. 215 Westhe1mer 7.J-830-3050 Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance essons. No partner requited Brazos R ve• Bottom 8:30 p.m. 713-528 9192 Recovery From Food Addiction (RFA) Meet ng f 12 progr open t n N I p nt St Stephens E Church 1805 W Alaba St RFA 713-673 284B t r' n235/ E-i! ,,_,,,,_·on•~• JANUARY 2. 2004 21 app • FRIDAY, JAN 2: Who says there's no such thing as a free ride' Rides are absolutely free on METRO's new light rail trams through Jan. 4. When light rail service officially begms on Jan. 5. light rail rtdesw1!1 cost a dollar for a one-way trip and $2 for an alJ.day pass. 713-635-4000. An Inaugural Celebration to commemorate the swearing·m of Mayor Bill White. the c1tys first lesbian controller Annise Par1cer and newly-fleet ed city council members 1s planned at 730 pm. at the ll1lton Americas-Houston. 1600 Lamar St next to the George R Brown Convention Center 71.3-24 73500 22 JANUARY 2, 2004 CLASSIFIEDS REAL ESTATE SERVICES RELOCATING TO HOUSTON? One <all~ It all• Let JS 00 the wM or Se!VIClllQ an are Prof al fnenclly staff Same Jay se Ca 7 B 266 '460 wwwfi tk SALE I HOUSTON MEDICAL CENTER S 174 900 2 H TH sought after commurvty• Assigned COYeled png, ccme:r ~'side yard, 'llaf1y ~ .mique •rubby 11o1e· Ou<en sized bed 'l)a(el RE Al OR, (832) 496-751 RENT I HOUSTON BEAUTIFUL TOWNHOMES nestfe<J the trees! 2 & 3 8d 8e dose to 11 all• 'lew carpet & IX!ules. Cal for .ippt S69'>-S I 29S/mo By appt only (713) 166-1460 DOWNTOWN LOFTS Ballpar1< - Sig Dogs wt:;.;:mtl 3 F I BR S833 2 BR S' 15 Call for appt (713 i66 14£;; WWW ' com EASTWOOD non led 45 South. S! ccmmut~ to i• C ter. '"l 2 BR. ' BA. de & formal DR. hdwd !lefvts. Bottom s:~ cf 'tna.I '1orne. S65 - GALLERIA Gorgeous llOWctown VltW5. WO Included, all utih patd ~ew carpet 1st !llOOth r ee• By appt only. (713) 166 460 www f thooston com GREENWAY PLAZA I INNER LOOP LUXURY ::'esigner enor< c own mo 1 ng. hdwds. I BR. S 795, 2 BR 1cwnhorne. S' 495 By a1>1>t 11y (713) 266-146C WWW findithcuston ccm MEDICAL CENTER 1. 2 & l BR\ ND llKI. New carpet & app;s <;;. •t & pnvate t3 166-1460 www ndithouston com MEMORIAL TOWNHOME 1 750 ~t ~ BR, l ~ BA. private Perfect OCll!lm.:' floorplan S' 195 ht M th FP.H Call for appt 13 266-1460 www 'indithooslon com MONTROSE NEW CONSTRUCTION ~ C!Wi!1 WO 1posed bid ' & 2 BR Lofts By onlv (7' J 26& '460 WWW f."ldithcuston C<Jm. MUSEUM DISTRICT I RICE VILLAGE 1 & 3 BR lownhcme< WO Beaut f •enovated With ._ applsl can for a1>1>t !713) 26& '460 www f.'ldithcustcn.rom RENT IT FAST With ')Uf new •eatures. Draw attentJon ID your ad by us::; OUf bold Cl be< feature. Contact °"' cus tomer seMCe reps for more details. (877) 863·1885 SHARE I HOUSTON NEAR 610 I NORTH ~1ng <.LBT indr.'!Oual ID Shi I. BR. l BA home c;uK't ""91'.borhood. S450/mo + 1/2 utils. WO in­cluded No pets. :ll1p & efsreq'dJ713, 3023649 COMMITMENT CEREMONIES ANNOUNCE YOUR UNION The Houston -· proud to announce the addtuon a ·corr. tment Cmmornes· ca.,. ~ to °"' Cl.mi ied "'95- When making arrangement 'or your L don t forqe• to include the most portant aspect ct an annconc nq the date. Publishmg your UfllOl'1 is easy & sunple Cad 877) 863 1885 ext 223 to put the f stung touch es on ye: cere www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE Visit houstonvoice.com to place your ad. Up to 25 words only $12.50 per week. 50~ each additiona word Fax toll-free 1.888.409.6768, or call toll-free 1.877 .863.1885 ANNOUNCEMENTS EMERGENCY AIDS Housing Cea tton tloUSton UISIS need tax deduct ble donat1cns. 50'(c)3 non-profit (7' 3) 864 '195 ~ttp Jhcl' octnpod com TRAVEL I INTERNATIONAL GAY CRUISE FOR OLDER GAY MEN I THEIR ADMIR· ERS Leaves Ft. Lauderdale Feb 8, 2004 on a brand new lu.xury cruiseship. 7 days western Caribbean. visiting Key West. Progreso/Merida. Cozumel, Grand Cayman I a couple of fabulous days at sea. Como find your Valentine I join a great group of guys for a fantastic week of fun I friendship. For more info contact Norm at (954) 73S·BOSS or toll free (177) 469- 1055. GAYRIBBEAN CRUISES IS SAILING FROM GALVESTON IN V' Fling Cruise April 25-May 2. t/' Pnncess Cruise December 04 11 >on ~ne for <ates & info (888) 8'3·9947 ;nbbeanCruoses.corn TRAVEL I U.S.A. DC GuestHoltSe Elegant Ytctorian mansion built in 1167. Logan/Convention Center location. Ilks away from world class dining I diverse enter· tainment. Gay owned I operated. (202) 332·2502 www.dcguestholtSe.com. HILTON HEAD, SC Pl.JM ng to relocate• Need a •acanonl r.t;ik, your ~ now •o come to beautJftn beaches ot Hi ton lfead South Carotma Long term •entals or m tl'd ~ term •ental~ See some of our property :ngs at http 1homehstmg~tnpod com/ Ftt hee to senG rqu •-es •o Me oselongte @aol com LOST RIVER, WEST VIRGINIA The Guest House at lost Riv er 2 hrs Beltway Pre'll1um accommodatt0ns , a cort country style B&B setting QI. etly seduded, private & bordering the m1~ lion ac•e George Washington National Foreit. t~" mm1 resort offers a continuous atmosphere of uanqu1hty & absolute peace while n a luxurious setting. Our main lodge. w/ over 4,000 sq h of common ilfea, 1s Lonstructed of loci & cedar w/ an enor mous '9 foot tall stone fireplace Guest wi I always f 'id a nook or cranny ID enror a cozy place to cuddle, relax & en1oy the 'l)a(e 'O yoooelf. Amen beS tnd heated pool, Outdoor racUlll. indoor subterranean stone & ~le grotto w 10 person spa & 8 ~ steam room. new fi•ness cente: ACE Ce:'. I Per ,ar rr ntr by appt 'llaSSage herapy room. li<ensed therap st !"' stz'.' f.Joals & tan111ng """ Saturdays. (304) 897 5101 l mail guesthseChardynet Web pq www guesthouseat lostnvercom MOOSE MEADOW LODGE Vennont log home, Wate-'xny Gay-owned, luxunous Adi ondack styie B&B on 86 acres. Ple­nuer site for cMI uruons & romantic ~taways. (802) 244 5378 www moosemeadow~ com NEARBY GETAWAYS GALVESTON ISLAND SUPER BOWL GETAWAY Escape the uowds· Fabulous selection of beachfron~ beachs1de. & ca 'I.JI & bay homes 'or weekend/weekly rentals. Cal. (800) 880 1554 or vls4 www sandnsea.com SOUTH BEACH, Fl. ISLAND HOUSE Be "' the llllddle of the sexiest strip at 5o8e's largest gay guesthouse Rooms/studios. ComplnnentaJy bl'eakfas1 & weeLo>nd haPl>Y 'lour Wal' ID gay beach, hot ni9hd1fe. the ~~t shopping & dining 1428 CoHins Ave 800) 382 2422 www ~beach com VEHICLES RUN IT 'Till YOU SELL IT. Take advantage of our new "Run it 'till you sell it" promotional. Place an ad to sell your car and email a photo of the car and run the ad until it sells. It's only $39.99. Call our friendly staff toll free today! (877) 863·1885. • com HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com I CLASSIFIEDS GRAPHIC ARTS DESIGN VIVAGRAND GRAPHICS XPRESS v Customized postcard design v Corporate or Band logo design v Business card design v CD cover design v Display advertising design You have to be seen to be heard ! www.vivagrand.com I (917) 304-4SS6. MAIL ORDER WWW.SPANKTHIS.COM Male spanking videos from new producer. Bad boys get spanked hard. OTK, hand or paddle, buy or view online. free Spanking Personals available. www.spankthis.com. FINANCIAL SERVICES LEADING FINANCIAL INSTITUTION approving small busi· ness, mortgage & vehicle loans. Immediate response. Give us a call at (866) 219-7661 INSURANCE SCHMERLER AGENCY Great car insurance' Also great for home, renters, life, health, business insurance & much more. Call (713) 661·7700 or www.SchmerlerAgency.com. HOME IMPROVEMENT YOU BUILD HOMES ... I BUILD ADS FOR YOUR SUCCESS' Call me, Rodney, to place your Home Improvement ad with Houston Voice Classifieds (877) 863· 1885 ext 247 or rwoodland@washblade.com JANUARY 2, 2004 23 WELLER & RYGIEL CONSTRUCTION Interior & exterior re· modeling, additions & new construction. Any kind: homes, gar- MASSAGE ages, etc. Commercial & residential. free estimates. No job too small! Rrchard Weller (832) 867-0391. ================== NEW CONSTRUCTION I REMODELING free estimates on residential & commercial projects. LAWRENCE CON· STRUCTION (713) 205-7016 CLEANING SERVICES HOUSE CLEANING Experienced housekeeper for top quaiity maid service. Apts, homes, offices. References ava11 on request. (281) 492-8460. MOVING FRENCH'S MOVING SERVICE Local & State Wide. www.ahoustonmover.com. (713) 861-1212. PHOTOGRAPHY I VIDEO DAVID LEWIS IMAGES Events, headshots, portraits. New studio location. (713) 240-5503 or ~.davrdlewisimages.com. BODY STRESS RELIEF Montrose location. 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BY EMAIL: Visit houstonvoice.com to place your order online. AD POLICY: The Houston Voice reserves the right to edit. reclassify or reject ads not meebog Houston Voice standards. No refunds for early cancellatlon. Misprints The Houston Voice Is not responsible for misprints appeanng after the first week. Check ads promptly. DEADLINE FOR AD SUBMISSION • MONDAY AT 5:30PM FOR FRIDAY'S PUBLICATION PICK YOUR CATEGORY RATE $12.50 Legal Notrces Announcements In Memoriam Lost/Found _Resumes Employment _Domestic Help Careers Posttlons Wanted Voluntee" _Groi.ps _Performing Ans . 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Give the New Year a chance. Share your hopes and fears with another Aries. V Taurus (April 21 to May 20): The U Sun's transit through your house of adventure should make this a rollicking time of year for you. While others are going back to work. you should give your· self a little getaway· or at least extend your holiday a tiny bit. A Scorpio wants to get you in bed and keep you in bed. prefer· ably in an exotic locale. Il Gemini (:vlay 21 to J une 21): Mars is moving forward in your house of friends and inspiring you to be as direct as possible with your buddies. There's no reason to hide your feelings. Sarcasm is so 2003. Try cutting to the chase and letting pals know what your turn-ons and turn offs are. An Aries is a quick stud~: § Cancer (June 22 to July _22): Be careful whom you waste time on, Cancer, because time is one thing you don't have enough of the~e days. At work they want more of you. In your personal life it's time to settle down. Get serious with a Gemini or don't get involved at all. ,.() Leo (July 23 to August 22): U l Money matters go well as the New Ye 1r begins, so stop worrying about every last nickel and dime. Work you did last year will start to pay off soon. so don't panic. A Taurus gives you sound financial advice and some superb sweet talk to boot. YYl\ Virgo (August 23 to September 11~ 22): The moon meets Jupiter in your sil(Tl on Jan. 11 and brings you close to a lover who can really make you happy Or perhaps it is you who is finally opm to having it all. Stop compartmentalizing your life and start beliPving that a Cann•r cun share every aspect of your existrnre. Love starts strong in the New Year .!'t Libra (Si'ptemher 23 to October - 22):The moon opposite Nl"ptune on Jan. 9 could stir up thP contrary side of you. You may not believe anything anyone tells you. Before you sever any important rela· tionships, count to 10. Or better yet. wait till the middle of the month bi'fore you make any serious decisions about a Scorpio. YYl Scorpio (October 23 to 11 4 November 21): Mercury conjunct Pluto in your money house could propel you into another ta.x bracket. The key is to stay there, Scorpio. Stop gambling with your future: play it cool and conservative for once A Leo is a blue-chip stock; invest. )(' SAGITI'ARIUS (!\Towmber 22 to December 21): Money matters go moothly as long as you remember to check all your facts. Get the concrete parts of your life on track and then you can return to the business of your personal life. A Pisces wants to get even more per· sonal with you. YL Capricorn (December 22 to 'F January 19): Moods may swing dur­ing the first half of Janual"); but don't worry · you'll land on your feet. You need to take care of an impending crisis in your love life so that you can concentrate on business. Apologize to a Cancer If that will make your life easier'. Be gentler with all your loved ones· even if they don't deserve it~ ~ Aquarius (January 20 to ~ February 18): The full moon on Jan. 7 falls in your house of health and body issues. Give yourself a day of rest. relaxation, and pleasure. or at least plan one for the near future. Stop leading your life from the head up, and get back in touch with the earthy part of your nature. A Sagittarius can help. ft Pisces (February 19 to March 20):: Don't get hysterical about mat· ters that are out of your control, sweetie. Let a work situation unfold slow!): Time is on your side, and soon enough you will bi' in a position of greater authority A Capricorn can help you get to where you want to be. llf. Jill Deannan 1s the author of the best· ~ selling 'Queer Astrology for Men' and 'Queer Astrology for Women' (both from SL Martin's Griffin). For information on charts and consultations. call 212-841-0177 or e-mail QScopes@aol.com Put Coldwell Banker's Top Producer to work for You 954-560 .. 9667 COLDWeLL BANll(C!RC JANUARY 2. 2004 25 i§.:,:.:;&sj ;t. M1M &1§ 2%·'; ·'-~----.. One call does it all!!! DIRECTORY MASSAGE Full Body Relaxation - ~ ss.ige net 713.942.2399 26 JANUARY 2. 2004 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE Fresh news, that is. Every week, the Houston Voice brings the Bayou City the latest in news of interest to gays. Don't settle for old news or nonexistent gay news from other publications. We keep it fresh ... for you. Call 713.529.8490 to subscribe, for questions, or to advertise. 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