ISSUE 1170 WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE MARCH 28, 2003
Gay destinations near
and far make vacation
choices abundant for
Houstonians. Page 15.
Travel G Leisure
The gay-themed 'The Big
Voice: God or Merman?' starts
next week with opening night
Houston attorney Mitchell
Katine reflects on the challenge
to the Texas sodomy law
before the U.S. Supreme Court.
This weekend's opening ceremonies
kick off the Montrose
Softball League's new season.
Justices hear TX sodomy case
O'Connor, Kennedy key to
landmark gay rights case
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. and CHRIS CRAIN
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme
Court heard arguments Wednesday that a
Texas sodomy law violates privacy and equal
protection rights in a landmark case that
holds the potential for overturning sodomy
laws in 13 states.
In a case that originated in Houston, the
state of Texas, backed by vocal questioning
from the bench by Justice Antonin Scalia,
defended the law as a valid moral judgment
by the state’s legislature.
Legal experts predict the case will be
decided by the unpredictable swing votes of
Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony
M. Kennedy, who said little during the much-anticipated
Several justices fired off questions about
gay sex and the Texas law that bans consensual
sodomy between people of the same sex,
but not for opposite-sex couples, during the
Texas sodomy law votes Texas sodomy law
much-anticipated oral arguments.
Attorney Paul Smith, representing two
Houston men convicted under the Texas statue,
argued that the homosexual conduct law
violates the guarantee of equal protection
under the Constitution by discriminating
against gays without a “rational basis.”
Smith also argued the law also violates the
Please see SUPREME COURT on Page 6
Military expelled fewer gays last year
War in Afghanistan,
Iraq cited as cause
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
The number of gay service
members discharged in 2002
under the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” policy dropped by
about 25 percent from the previous
year, marking the lowest
number of gay discharges since
1996, according to figures released
by the Department of Defense.
The Servicemembers Legal
Defense Network, a military
watchdog group that monitors the
policy, said the decline — from
1,273 in 2001 to 906 in 2002 — was
most likely due to a reluctance by
the military to discharge service
members at a time when troops
were fighting in Afghanistan and
the Pentagon was deploying large
numbers to the Middle East in
preparation for conflict with Iraq.
“During any time of war or
conflict, gay discharges have
dropped,” SLDN said in its annual
report, “Conduct Unbecoming,”
which analyzes gay discharge figures.
The group released the
report March 25.
“Gay discharges decreased during
the Korean War, the Vietnam
conflict, the Persian Gulf War, and
now again during Operation
Enduring Freedom,” the group
states in the 55-page report.
The DOD has yet to formally
release the 2002 gay discharge
figures. SLDN spokesperson
Steve Ralls said SLDN obtained
the figures through a Freedom of
Information Act request filed
earlier this year with all four
branches of the services along
with the Coast Guard.
Please see MILITARY on Page 4
’Don't Ask' Discharges 1994-2002
Data released this week by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network shows
that, with the exception of one year, gay discharges by the military increased
every year since 1994 until 2002, when they dropped significantly.
2 MARCH 28, 2003______________________________________
| around houston
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Chorus presents 'Classics'
The Gay Men's Chorus of
Houston presented 'Songs of
the Classics' at Wortham
Theater Center last weekend.
Led by Artistic Director
James Knapp and Principal
McConnell, the chorus offered up a number of selections,
including 'Oliver Button is a Sissy,' with David
Houston police chief to
address gay political caucus
This Wednesday, Houston Police Chief
Clarence Bradford will be the guest
speaker at the general meeting of the
Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus.
Bradford has been a member of the
Houston Police Department since 1979
and has served as chief since 1996. He
holds a criminal justice degree from
Grambling State University, a public
administration degree from Texas
Southern University, and a law degree
from the University of Houston. On
Wednesday night, Bradford will address
issues including gay Houstonian and
police relations, safety in the Montrose
area, and hate crimes.
Houston Police Chief Clarence Bradford will speak
to the Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus this
Hoey (right) as Oliver. (Photos by Dalton DeHart) Wednesday. The public is invited.
O MORE INFO
Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus
7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2
Houston GLBT Community Center
3400 Montrose, Suite 207
Bunnies on the Bayou
Bunnies on the Bayou has released the
names of the charities that have been
selected to receive funds from its 2003
Easter Event, which will be held at 2 p.m.
April 20 at the Wortham Center in downtown
Houston. The selected beneficiaries
are: American Red Cross, Q Patrol,
People With AIDS Coalition, H.A.T.C.H.
(Houston Area Teen Coalition of
Homosexuals), PAWS Houston, Montrose
Clinic, The Center for AIDS Hope and
Remembrance Project, AssistHers and
Colt 45’s. Bunnies on the Bayou, Inc. is a
non-profit organization dedicated to
raising and distributing funds for various
charitable, educational, and cultural
programs. The non-profit organizations
and programs that benefit seek to
improve the quality of life for individuals
in the Houston community, and to
promote education and awareness of
individual human rights.
Theatre New West
to open second stage
A gay favorite in Houston, Theatre New
West is opening a second stage to be called
Theatre New West...Too. According to
Artistic Director Joe Watts, this second
stage will be used for riskier fare, small
cast productions, and also will be used for
teaching, new play readings, and possible
use by homeless theater groups in the city.
Watts produced and directed for 18 years
before opening Theatre New West in early
2000. He staged productions at Stages,
Main Street Theater, Kuumba Houston
Theatre Curtains and DiverseWorks, and
in non-traditional theater venues such as
Ovations in Rice Village, Brash Coffee
Shop and even The Lovett Inn, a bed and
breakfast. He also produced and directed,
at First Unitarian Church, “One,” the first
theater piece in Houston dealing with
AIDS, which was named in the “10 Best”
list in the Houston Post for 1985. “One”
was also the first “theater benefit” for the
newly formed AIDS Foundation of
Houston, Watts said. Since opening three
years ago, Theatre New West has experienced
some major successes, both critically
and at the box office with, “Fairy Tales,”
its inaugural production, “Dirty Little
Showtunes” and “The Most Fabulous
Story Ever Told” by Paul Rudnick, which
was named Best Gay-Themed Show” of
2002 by The Houston Press.
O MORE INFO
Theatre New West • 1415 California St.
Houston, TX 77006 • 713-522-2204
O MORE INFO
"The Big Voice: God or Merman?"
7:30 p.m. Tues., Wed., Thurs. and Sunday
8 p.m. Ep. and Sat.
4 p.m. Sat. and Sun. matinees, April 6 and 19
Stages Repertory Theatre
3201 Allen Parkway
PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Fund (PHYSF)
PO. Box 667010 • Houston, TX 77266
713-467-3524 • www.pflaghouston.org
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
J local news
'Big Voice' speaks for PFLAG/HATCH
Production by real-life gay
partners begins its run
as a fund-raiser for youth
By PENNY WEAVER
Gay actor Steve Schalchlin and his partner,
Jim Brochu, bring both their talent
and their generosity to Houston starting
The couple are the brains, hearts and
voices behind “The Big Voice: God or
Merman?,” a new production that opens at
Stages Repertory Theatre’s Arena Theater
on Friday, April 4.
A portion of the first night’s proceeds
will benefit PFLAG-Houston (Parents,
Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays)
and the PFLAG/HATCH Youth
Since its inception in 1999, the
PFLAG/HATCH scholarship organization
has awarded more than $200,000 to collegebound
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
teens. PFLAG-Houston works with
families, educators, community and religious
groups and others to broaden the
understanding and acceptance of gays.
Sue Null, secretary for PFLAG-Houston,
said Schalchlin is dedicated to
helping gay youth.
“I’ve known Steve for some time and
have seen him perform. He is a fantastic
songwriter and inspirational performer, as
well as being a wonderful person with a
special interest in helping teens in turmoil,”
Kenn McLaughlin, Stages’ managing
director, said the theater troupe is excited
about the Schalchlin-Brochu production.
“Stages is proud to present this work of
art to the community, and to support such
extraordinary organizations such as
PFLAG and HATCH,” McLaughlin said.
This two-man musical is a follow-up to
Schalchlin and Brochu’s award-winning
“The Last Session.” The work garnered
multiple kudos in Los Angeles, including
L.A. Drama Critics Circle “Best Writing”
and “Best Production” plus GLAAD Media
Award “Outstanding L.A. Theatrical
An autobiographical tale, “The Big
Voice” started with the idea of a play about
the human search for God.
“Our original idea was to write a play
about God, but we found we were writing a
play about each other,” Brochu said. “We
change the course of each other’s lives all
the time, and we never know it — that’s
what this play is about.”
According to Schalchlin, Ethel
Merman, the Broadway star who died in
1984, seems to have a renewed surge of
popularity. A recent story in the Chicago
Tribune quoted a prominent minister
who prescribes Merman CDs as a spiritual
uplift, the playwright said. A national
television commercial features Merman
singing “Anything You Can Do...” to a box
Left: Jim Brochu (left) and Steve Schalchlin star in 'The Big Voice: God or Merman?'. On the first night of
the production, April 4, a portion of the proceeds benefit the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation.
(Photo by Jeramy Peay) Center: Real-life partners Brochu and Schalchlin play a gay couple in 'The Big Voice,'
opening next week in Houston. (Photo by Bey Sykes) Right: Brochu, here with Ethel Merman, and Schalchlin
are partners in life as well as on stage. (Photo by Jeramy Peay)
A recent article in the New York Times
featured a story about a United Methodist
Church in West Hollywood whose minister
has been injecting show tunes into Sunday
morning services to great response,
Now, these two gay men bring “The Big
Voice” to the stage with a comparison of
Merman to deity. In the production, a
young boy’s first transcendent spiritual
experience happens at a matinee of
“Gypsy” starring Merman.
But this is not a musical about Merman
per se. Instead, the “musical solo for two”
is a profile of two lives: those of Schalchlin
“Tongue-in-cheek humor co-exists
alongside grandiose themes of strife and
divine intervention in this idiosyncratic
love story from the creators of the widely
acclaimed 1997 musical ‘The Last Session,”’
wrote Les Spindle in Backstage West.
In story and song, the authors trace
multiple themes involving spiritual
quests, personal revelations, and real life
challenges, all delivered with huge dollops
of humor, according to Schalchlin. It’s also
a story of religious and cultural opposites:
North versus South; Catholic versus
Baptist, he said.
Brochu grew up in the Catholic Church
and dreamed of being the first Brooklyn-born
Pope. Schalchlin grew up in southeast
Texas, son of a Missionary Baptist
minister on his way to a career as evangelical
gospel singer. They tell about growing
up in their respective religions: Brochu on
a trip to Rome and Lourdes, Schalchlin at a
big outdoor revival. They experienced disillusionment
and doubt leading to a spiritual
crisis based on their sexual orientation,
according to Schalchlin.
That all changed, though, when Brochu
saw “Gypsy” starring Merman. His father,
a friend of Merman’s father, arranged for
Brochu to meet Merman afterwards. By
the time he was in his 20s, he was a veteran
New York stage and television actor.
Schalchlin’s first experience in theater
was in Dallas at the Gran’ Crystal Palace, a
then-popular theatrical dinner club, he
said. But he attributes his now award-winning
theatrical career to Brochu’s play-wrighting
Musically, Schalchlin said, his songs
are pure East Texas.
“I grew up in the church. Every time I
play a chord, it sounds like church to me,”
he said. “Amazingly, they seem to work perfectly
in the context of a musical.”
And that’s* the main point of “The Big
Voice: God or Merman?”, the creators said.
In “The Big Voice,” the two tell the story of
an encounter with a woman named
Annette, who cancelled her own suicide
after seeing their musical, “The Last
Session.” The point is that you never know
when you’re going to affect someone else’s
life, Schalchlin said. Saving lives is not
reserved for the church or any other organization,
Now on its pre-New York tour, “The Big
Voice” began last July as a one-night
evening at the Laguna Playhouse near Los
Angeles, Schalchlin said. With overwhelmingly
positive response, “The Big Voice”
rose from workshop to . a full production
the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood.
“The Big Voice” has been nominated
by the LA Drama Critics Circle for Best
Media reviews of this performance
have been glowing. Praising these performers,
the LA Times said, “The lingering
afterglow suggests that the biggest
voice in question belongs to neither God
nor Merman, but to both performers and
their witty, inspiring confessional.”
___________________ MARCH 28, 2003 3
LOCAL NEWS.................................................... 3
OUT ON THE BAYOU........................................15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR............................... 21
MAKING HISTORY: Gay Houston attorney
Mitchell Katine reflects on the case of Lawrence
and Garner v. Texas, which challenges the state's
sodomy law, as the issue is heard by the U.S.
Supreme Court. Page 5.
MEASURING VICTORY: Law professor Nancy
Polikoff ponders how much gays really would
win — or lose — depending on the extent of the
U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Lawrence and
Garner v. Texas. Page 12
TRAVEL & LEISURE* Vacation options for gay
Houstonians include ship cruises that offer entertainment
such as diva Ms. Bernadette from Miss
Camp America. Page 15.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd.,
Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006.
Houston Voice is published weekly, on Friday,
by Window Media LLC. Subscriptions
are $92/year for 52 issues (only $1.77 per issue).
4 MARCH 28, 2003________________________________
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Commanders wait longer to expel gay soldiers
MILITARY, continued from Page 1
A DOD spokesperson did not return calls
seeking comment by press time.
In the past, DOD officials have asserted
that gay service members themselves have initiated
their own discharges by making “voluntary
statements” disclosing their sexual orientation.
Pentagon officials have further suggested
that many of these voluntary admissions
were in reality attempts by heterosexuals to
escape early their service obligations.
SLDN has acknowledged that some gay
service members have voluntarily disclosed
their sexual orientation, in violation of the
“Don’t Tell” provision of the Pentagon policy,
but has disputed the assertion that such
statements are truly voluntary. Many of the
gay service members do so only after being
subjected to anti-gay harassment and out of
fear of physical violence at the hands of fellow
service members, SLDN has said.
The group has said the Pentagon has
failed to take adequate steps to force commanders
to curtail anti-gay harassment.
The latest discharge figures released by
SLDN show that the number of gay discharges
by the Navy dropped from 314 in 2001 to 218 in
2002, and the number of gay discharges by the
Air Force declined from 217 in 2001 to 121 in
2002. The Navy and Air Force figures comprise
the smallest number of gay discharges for
those two branches since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” policy took effect in 1994.
According to the figures, the number of
gay discharges by the Army dropped from 638
in 2001 to 429 in 2002. The figures show that
the number of gay discharges in the Marines
dipped from 115 in 2001 to 109 in 2002.
The Coast Guard, which falls under the jurisdiction
of the Department of Transportation and
more recently the Department of Homeland
Security historically has had the least number of
gay discharges than any of the military service
branches. However, the figures released by SLDN
this week show the Coast Guard was the only one
of the branches to show an increase in gay discharges
in 2002. According to the SLDN figures,
the number of gay discharges in the Coast Guard
increased from 14 in 2001 to 29 in 2002.
Congress enacted the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Teh,
Don’t Pursue” policy into law in 1993 after
President Clinton withdrew an earlier proposal
to allow gays to serve openly in the military The
law recognizes that gays have served honorably
in the military and declares an end to the old policy
which barred gays from serving under any
circumstances and asked recruits to state on an
application form whether they were homosexual.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy allows gays
to serve as long as they do not disclose their sexual
orientation, do not engage in “homosexual conduct,”
and do not become a party to a “gay marriage.”
The policy defines homosexual conduct as
sexual acts with persons of the same gender or a
demonstrated propensity to engage in such acts.
New reluctance to discharge?
SLDN and other gay rights groups have
charged the military with violating the part
of the policy that bars military officials from
actively “pursuing” service members suspected
of being gay, noting that in the early
years of the policy, commanders often opened
“witch-hunts” to track down gays.
SLDN has complained, for example, that
many commanders ignored a section of the policy
that says a service member’s visit to a gay
bar or decision to read a gay publication should
not be interpreted to mean that person is disclosing
his or her sexual orientation. In addition,
SLDN has long complained that military
commanders were failing to take steps to curtail
anti-gay harassment, a development that has
prompted many gay service members to leave
the military out of fear of physical violence.
Ralls said anti-gay witch-hunts have declined
significantly during the past three years. Ralls said
military commanders also appear to have become
more reluctant to initiate discharge proceedings
against gay service members, even after strong evidence
surfaces that a service member is gay
“The big shift in the trend this year isttiat
commanders are less likely to discharge service
members in the time frame that they haVe in
the past,” Ralls said. “In the past, they usually
discharged them in a month or two,” he said.
“Now, we are seeing that commanders are waiting
as long as six months to a year or longer.”
Ralls said SLDN attributes this change to
the realization by military commanders that
gays are as qualified as any other service
member, and the disruption to their units that
the loss of a qualified gay service member can
cause should be put off as long as possible.
The SLDN report provides additional findings:
• The service branches continued to discharge
gay linguists “at a rapid rate,” despite
the public outcry over the Army’s decision to
expel seven Arabic linguists last year at a
time when the military faced a severe shortage
of expertise in foreign languages.
• The Army did more than the other service
branches to train its commanders and service
members about the policy and on the subject of
anti-gay harassment. However, Army leaders
were not fully enforcing the policy’s “Don’t
Harass” provisions, and documented reports
of anti-gay harassment in the Army in 2002
were the second highest ever recorded.
• A private memo written by Marine Corps
Captain Darrell Allen, of the Twenty-Nine Palms
Marine Corps base in California, which was
leaked to SLDN, reveals a changing attitude toward
gays by some military leaders: “We hesitate to discharge
Marines solely based on a statement they
make about their sexual orientation,” Allen wrote.
o MORE INFO
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
P.O. Box 65301 • Washington, D.C. 20035
202-328-3244 • www.sldn.org
No jail time for admitted killer of Tenn, activist
Prosecutors mum on details
of manslaughter plea bargain
By LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Friends of Joseph
Camber say they are struggling to accept a
plea agreement that allows the man who
admitted killing the popular Knoxville gay
rights activist to avoid serving time in jail.
“I’m hearing from a lot of people who are
just outraged,” said Robbie Arrington, president
of Knoxville Cares, the gay and HIV
organization that Camber helped organize.
“In the community, there is talk of
protests, but I think we need to move more to
celebrating what Joe was, and what he meant
to us,” Arrington said. “We need the community
to get more involved and look out for
each other while We are still here, so something
positive can come out of this.”
Chad Allen Conyers, 32, was sentenced to
15 years probation after pleading guilty
March 21 to voluntary manslaughter in the
death of Camber, 36.
Under a procedure known as judicial
diversion, if Conyers does not violate his probation,
his record will then be cleared.
“It’s hard to accept that if I had a DUI, I
could serve more jail time then he did for
killing my best friend,” said David Frazier,
secretary of Knoxville Cares, noting that
Camber was also his roommate and care-giver.
served as co-chair
Pride and on the
Knoxville Cares, a
gay and AIDS
death 'left a big
hole that will not
be filled,' friends
said. (Photo courtesy
Camber, who also co-chaired Knoxville
Pride, was last seen April 20,2002, leaving the
Carousel II, the Knoxville gay bar where he
worked as a bartender.
A jogger found his body at 6:55 a.m. the next
day near a parking lot close to the Uhiversity of
Tennessee campus, according to a report filed
by police investigator Greg McKnight.
In the weeks following the killing,
Knoxville police circulated a photograph
from a security camera in the Carousel showing
a tall white male with whom Camber was
seen leaving the bar, and appealed to gays in
the region for help in finding him.
Conyers was arrested based on tips after
the video from the security camera aired in
Virginia Beach, Va., according to -Darrell
DeBusk, Knoxville police public information
officer. Conyers, a Virginia Beach resident,
traveled to Knoxville the weekend Camber was
killed to visit a sick relative, prosecutors said.
During last week’s sentencing hearing,
Conyers acknowledged killing Camber, who
was strangled, and said he wanted to “make
“I just want to apologize to Joseph Camber’s
family and friends,” Conyers told the Knoxville
News-Sentinel. “Since his loss I’m sure they
have been through a lot of grief and suffering.
I’ll be living with this for the rest of my life.”
Conyers did not offer an explanation of
how the killing happened, and neither prosecutors
nor defense attorneys have addressed
the issue publicly.
“We did provide information in that
regard to prosecutors, and they provided it to
Mr. Camber’s parents, but I’m not comfortable
discussing it,” Bob Ritchie, Conyers’
attorney, told the Voice.
When Conyers was arrested, Ritchie at first
said his chent would plead not guilty to charges
related to the killing. But this week, Ritchie said
the plea agreement was the best possible outcome
for the case, which he cafted a “tragedy”
for both Camber’s and Conyers’ families.
“When a person agrees to a negotiated plea,
there are normally reasons, but I don’t feel at
liberty to discuss those,” Ritchie said. “Suffice
it to say that my client wanted to accept responsibility
for the matter and wanted a chance to
rebuild his life, and this satisfied both of those.”
Prosecutor Philip Morton said he, too, is
satisfied with the guilty plea to voluntary
manslaughter, although Conyers originally
faced charges of second-degree murder.
“For the evidence we had, we thought it
was a good result,” said Morton, Knox
County assistant district attorney general.
Morton said prosecutors believe Camber
and Conyers willingly left the bar together
and were walking together toward the hotel
where Conyers was staying when they
became involved in “some kind of struggle
that ended with the strangulation.”
“As to what led up to the struggle, we don’t
know,” he said.
According to Morton, forensic evidence —
including Conyers’ skin under Camber’s fingernails
— placed the two men together, but
there were no eyewitnesses to the killing,
making a conviction less than certain.
Still, the case was “absolutely not” a hate
crime, Morton said.
“That was investigated early on, and we
learned they were acquaintances or what
have you, so we conclusively established it
was not a hate crime,” he said.
Camber was killed on the night of his &th
birthday. Knoxville Cares will host a treeplanting
ceremony on April 21, the first
anniversary of his death, to honor his life,
Camber’s death “left a big hole that will
not be filled in Knoxville’s gay community,
“A hundred people couldn’t do enough
volunteer work to cover what he did on his
own,” Arrington said. “He brought so much
and everything he touched he gave his all to.”
| local news
Houston attorney proud of sodomy law challenge
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MARCH 28, 2003 5
On the case from the start,
Katine saw efforts culminate
as he sat before U.S.
Supreme Court this week
By PENNY WEAVER
From the beginning, gay Houston attorney
Mitchell Katine has been on the front
lines of the case that may over turn the
Texas sodomy statute and could be a landmark
gay rights ruling.
Since John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner
were arrested in Lawrence’s bedroom in
1998, Katine has helped defend the two men
and challenge their convictions under the so-called
“homosexual conduct” law.
On Wednesday, Katine was among those
present as U.S. Supreme Court justices heard
oral arguments in the case. He said Thursday
morning that he has closely watched media
coverage after the arguments.
“It’s real interesting to see the different
perspectives,” Katine noted.
“It was nice seeing this from the
beginning to the end,” he said. “Sitting
there in the courtroom yesterday, thinking
back to 1998 when we were sitting out
in the JP court in Pasadena...going from
the JP court in Pasadena to the Supreme
Gay attorney Mitchell Katine (right) has worked as
counsel for Houstonians Tyrone Gamer (left) and
John Lawrence (center) since their 1998 arrests
under the Texas sodomy statute. (Photo by AP)
Court in Washington was just a phenomenal
“To hear the justices talking about the
right to privacy and homosexuals having
families and the rights of gay and lesbian
people was a good experience,” Katine
added. “Certainly there are different justices
who have different opinions, ranging from
Justice Scalia to Justice Breyer — they
spoke the most or asked the most questions.”
Katine is local counsel in the case, and has
worked closely with Lambda Legal Defense &
Education Fund attorneys on the appeal of
the Lawrence and Garner case. Naturally, he
eagerly awaits the U.S. Supreme Court decision,
expected sometime this summer.
“I think that the argument went well.
We are looking forward to a decision in
June,” Katine said. “It’s hard to tell from
questioning what the final outcome will be
because many justices remained quiet.
“It’s just hard to tell what the final outcome
will be, but I certainly feel good
about yesterday’s oral arguments and I’m
looking forward to reading the decision by
the end of June.”
Katine said Lawrence attended the
hearing before the high court. He declined
to comment further on Lawrence or
Garner’s reaction to the case at this level.
As an attorney, and particularly as a
gay man, Katine finds the progress of this
case a highlight of his life so far.
“This is the type of case that I’ve been
waiting to work on my entire professional
career,” he said. “During the times when
HIV and AIDS was at a crisis point —
meaning where people didn’t know how to
handle it and people were being fired left
and right — it was an honor for me to represent
many HIV-positive people. That’s
not happening anymore to the extent that
it was. Those things don’t happen that
“Right now my practice involves a lot of
insurance and employment issues,” Katine
added. “This case has given me the opportunity
to work on a Constitutional matter
that will have implications to truly affect
the civil rights of gay and lesbian people,
and most lawyers don’t get the opportunity
to be involved in that.”
Katine has high praise for the way
Lambda attorneys have powered the case.
“I’ve also been fortunate to be the local
lawyer with Lambda Legal as the lead
counsel and to work with them and see
their work,” he said. “It was truly a privilege
to associate myself with them and
work with them.
“Yesterday, as I was sitting in the
Supreme Court chambers, I felt as if our
case had been prepared so well and so
much time and energy had been put in it
from the beginning to the end, as opposed
to doing something at the last minute and
staying up and pulling an all-nighter,”
Katine said. “[Attorneys involved in the
case] have been spending thousands of
hours going over details and preparing for
[Wednesday], where you really felt like this
was a well-put-together case and argument.
“I . don’t think any other group could
have done as well as Lambda has here,” he
added. “I tell them over and over on behalf
of Texas and Houston and the gay and lesbian
community: Thanks, Lambda. Any
success we have is really owed to Lambda.
“I’m really grateful and I know that the
clients are grateful that Lambda has taken
the lead in this case,” Katine said. “We’re
hoping for a good result.”
talk‘°her a film by Almodovar
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
•W PEDRO ALMODOVAR
"BEST PICTURE £
OF THE YEAR!" H
THE NEW YORK TIMES
AWARDS —------------ INCLUDING------------------
ra® ^nypictures classics'
NOW PLAYING AT THESE THEATRES
RIVER OAKS 3
2009 W. Gray St.
HOLLYWOOD 20 STUDIO 30
2101 E. Beltway Dunvale © Westhelmer
CALL THEATRE FOR SOUND INFORMATION AND SHOWTIMES.
Get to know the coach!
Have a question?
Mark your calendar for Friday, April 11, 2003!
For one day, I will answer all questions submitted by
e-mail that day. Ask whatever you want and I will
respond to your question. I will answer questions that
Abby won’t answer and that your Mother didn’t know.
The 25th e-mailer will win an hour with the coach and
a complimentary profile evaluation, a $175 value!
This is my gift to you. The winner will be announced on
my Web site on Saturday, April 12th, on the front page,
and I will leave the winner’s name posted for one week.
Donnie Day, Life Coach
Reality Therapy Certified
Limited seating at fl 25 per
person. Advance registration required
by calling 832.283.7390
or e-mail donnie9donniedAv.com
Let’s have some fun!!!
Phillips & Driver
Best Music Store • Hall of Fame • Best of Houston
selection of Music in Houstonl
Thousands of movie rentals
as low as 50 cents a day!
Phillips & Driver - Togetherness
Austin rocker Gretchen Phillips (formerly of Two
Nice Girls) and New York City crooner David Driver
have teamed up to mix country twang with cocktail
swing as they tackle their favorite heartbreak
tunes by artists like Leonard Cohen, Scud Mountain
Boys, Badfinger, Barry Manilow and Jimmy
Rogers, as well as a pair of Phillips & Driver_____ _
Get your new music first at Cactus Music and Video.
Stop in on any Monday Night and stick around,
because we stay open until 12:30 AM Tuesday.
MUSIC & VIDEO
Supreme Court hears oral arguments in TX sodomy case
6 MARCH 28, 2003_______________________________ www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
I national news
SUPREME COURT, continued from Page 1
Constitution’s fundamental right to privacy
by regulating private, consensual and
“intimate” sexual conduct that harms no
one and takes place away from public view.
Harris County District Attorney
Charles A. Rosenthal countered that
Texas has an interest in upholding
“moral standards for its people,” and that
“marriage and the family” and promoting
procreation are all justifications that
support keeping the homosexual sodomy
law on the books.
Rosenthal asked justices not to get
caught up in the “highly emotional” issue
of gay rights, warning that a decision
overturning the Texas sodomy law could
undermine the state’s marriage laws and
even impact public health.
Smith took strong exception to
Rosenthal’s claim that gay sex should in
any way be linked to health issues to a
degree greater than heterosexual sex,
pointing out that lesbian sex is among the
safest and certain forms of heterosexual
sex are far more dangerous than the homosexual
conduct prohibited by the statute.
At a brief press conference after the
hearing, Rosenthal said he raised the
issue of marriage because he believes a
decision striking down the Texas sodomy
law as a violation of equal protection will
be used by gay rights advocates to challenge
existing marriage laws.
Ruth Harlow, legal director for
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund,
which also represented John Lawrence
and Tyron Garner, the two Houston men
convicted under the statute, dismissed the
marriage issue as a “distraction.”
“This court knows the difference
between a criminal law that invades people’s
lives and the privacy of their homes,
and one that offers them legal recognition”
as married couples, she said.
Harlow noted that all the challenges to
state marriage laws have, to date, argued
only that those laws violate state constitutions,
though she declined to state for the
record whether Lambda Legal believes
such laws violate the federal Constitution’s
guarantee of equal protection.
“(Lambda Legal] believes in equal rights
and equal access under the law,” she said.
Rosenthal urged the justices to uphold
the Texas law, just as the court did in 1986,
when it voted 5-4 to affirm Georgia’s
sodomy law in a case known as Bowers
vs. Hardwick. Gay activists have cited the
Bowers case as a rallying cry for overturning
“To hold that the act of homosexual
sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental
right would be to set aside millennia
of moral teaching,” then Chief
Justice Warren Burger wrote in a concurring
opinion in the case. o MORE INFO
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
120 Wall St, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10005-3904
212-809-8585 • www.lambdalegal.org
The arrests of Tyrone Gamer and John Geddes Lawrence led to a court challenge that landed in the
U.S. Supreme Court this week. The case could nullify sodomy laws in 13 states. (Photo by AP)
Justices hint at stances
During argument Wednesday morning
in the current case, Lawrence vs. Texas,
Smith told the justices that public opinion
about gay people and gay relationships
has changed dramatically since the court
ruled in Bowers. Gay relationships and
private, consensual sex between gay people
are now widely accepted as a fundamental
right, Smith told the justices.
He noted that the change in attitudes has
led most states to repeal their sodomy laws
through legislative or court action; 26 states
had sodomy laws at the time Bowers was
decided, while only 13 retain them today
Even in states that still have such laws on
the books, Smith argued, they are rarely
enforced because police and prosecutors
respect the privacy of people’s bedrooms.
Justice Scalia, a conservative appointee
of former President Ronald Reagan who
wrote a fiery dissent in the landmark gay
rights case of Romer vs. Evans, asked the
most questions, as he often does, and nearly
all showed skepticism for Smith’s arguments
and support for Rosenthal’s, said gay activist
and attorney Barrett Brick, who sat in the
visitor’s gallery during the arguments.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who was
appointed by former President Bill
Clinton, often countered Scalia by asking
equally pointed questions to Rosenthal
and, joined by Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg (another Clinton appointee),
offering supportive questions to Smith,
Brick said. Justice David Souter, a reliably
liberal appointee of former President
George H.W Bush, also asked questions
hinting at striking down the Texas statute.
At one point during the arguments, Chief
Justice William Rehnquist admonished
Scalia and Breyer for appearing to debate
each other rather than allowing the two
attorneys to argue the case before the court.
As is his custom. Justice Clarence
Thomas, another Bush appointee, chose
not to ask questions from the bench. Also
quiet was Justice John Paul Stevens, an
appointee of former President Gerald
Ford, who dissented in the Bowers case,
arguing that Georgia’s sodomy law violated
Rehnquist, who was appointed to the
court by former President Richard Nixon
and promoted by Reagan to chief justice,
was less vocal than Scalia but pressed Smith
on whether it was a legitimate state interest
for Texas to express a moral preference in
favor of heterosexuals over homosexuals.
“If you prevail,” he asked Smith, “would
a state not be able to prefer a heterosexual
over a homosexual to teach kindergarten?”
When Smith replied that the justification
for such a preference would be different
than the one underlying the Texas
sodomy law, Scalia interjected.
“It’s just the same as it is here,” he said,
“disapproval of homosexuality” and “a
concern that children might be induced to
follow [the teacher] into homosexuality.”
The tone of the questions by the justices
led Brick and other Supreme Court
observers to predict that four of the nine justices
would likely vote to overturn the Texas
sodomy law and three would likely vote to
uphold it. The remaining two — O’Connor
and Kennedy (both Reagan appointees) —
were said to be unknown “swing” votes, who
could turn the decision either way
O’Connor and Kennedy asked only a
few questions and, unlike several of the
others, betrayed no hint of where they
stand on the case from their questions.
The four expected to vote to overturn
the statute are believed by most observers
to be Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg
and Breyer. The three expected to vote to
uphold the law are Rehnquist and
Justices Scalia and Thomas.
A decision in the case is expected
before the end of June.
Charged with private sex
Houston residents Lawrence and
Garner brought the case before the court as
part of their appeal following their conviction
under the Texas law in 1998. The two
were arrested by Harris County sheriff’s
deputies on Sept. 17,1998, after the deputies
barged into the bedroom of Lawrence’s
Houston apartment and observed the men
engaging in anal intercourse.
Please see SUPREME COURT on Page 7
Texas sodomy law
The Texas sodomy statute, Section 21.06, became law in
1879 and was applicable to both heterosexual and homosexual
acts of sodomy. In 1974, the state decriminalized
such acts by different-sex partners.
Challenges to the so-called "homosexual conduct" statute
since then have included Baker vs. Wade, which, like Lawrence
vs. Texas, was also appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court But
before that court could decide whether to hear Baker vs. Wade,
originally filed in 1979, justices issued the landmark decision in
1986's Bowers vs. Hardwick, establishing the court's precedent
on the right of states to maintain laws against sodomy.
The court then declined to rule on the Baker appeal, citing
the Hardwick case and allowing a lower court decision
that upheld the state's sodomy law to stand.
A group of gay men and lesbians filed a lawsuit in 1989 to
challenge Section 2L06 in a case known as Morales vs. Texas.
After two lower court decisions in favor of the gay plaintiffs, the
Texas Supreme Court in 1994 dismissed the appeal, saying that it
had no jurisdiction over the constitutionality of a criminal statute.
Lawrence vs. Texas is the next challenge to the Texas sodomy
law, and the first to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court
Lawrence vs. Texas
• Sept 17,1998: Sheriff's deputies entered the private residence
of John Geddes Lawrence, then 55, and allegedly found
Lawrence and Tyrone Gamer, then 3L engaged in consensual sex.
They were arrested and charged with "deviant homosexual" conduct
a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Both men spent a night in jail. They were charged under
Section 21.06 of the Texas criminal code, the section titled
Police entered the apartment after Robert Eubanks, then
40, made a false report of an armed intruder on the premises.
Eubanks later was convicted of filing a false report.
• Nov. 20,1998: Lawrence and Garner both pleaded no
contest to the charges against them and were fined $125
each. Both posted appeal bonds to move the case to the
county criminal court.
• Dec. 22, 1998: Harris County Court-at-Law Judge
Sherman A. Ross found Lawrence and Garner guilty of
homosexual conduct and fined them $200 each. Before the
decision, Ross "respectfully" denied defense motions to
quash the charges on constitutional grounds. Attorneys for
the two men gave notice that they planned to take the case
to state appellate courts in Houston.
• Nov. 3,1999: The 14th Court of Appeals in Houston heard
oral arguments in the case. Attorneys for the two Houston men
challenged the constitutionality of the Texas sodomy law.
• June 5, 2000: A three-judge panel of the Texas Court
of Appeals overturned the state's homosexual conduct law,
reversing the convictions of Lawrence and Garner. The court
held that the statute violates the Equal Rights Amendment
of the Texas Constitution. That same month, Texas officials
requested a hearing in front of all nine justices of the appeals
court in challenging the three-judge panel's decision. In July
2000, the court agreed to the state's request.
• March 15,2001: The full court of appeals reversed the
three-panel of judges' decision and upheld the convictions of
Lawrence and Garner, and the state's sodomy law. Attorneys
for the two men filed an appeal to the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals in Austin the next month.
• April, 2002: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the
state's highest court on criminal matters, refused to hear the
case, so attorneys for Lawrence and Garner appealed the
matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
• December, 2002: U.S. Supreme Court justices agreed
to hear the case.
• March 26, 2003: The Supreme Court will hear oral
arguments in the case.
Justices are expected to hand down a decision sometime
in the summer of 2003.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
| national news
MARCH 28, 2003 7
Justices' questions provide hints at TX sodomy case votes
SUPREME COURT, continued from Page 6
The arrest of Lawrence and Garner for
engaging in consensual sex within the privacy of
their bedroom shocked the gay community as
well as civil liberties advocates. The two men pled
“no contest” to the charges and were fined $200
each, prompting the men to appeal their convictions
with the hope of eventually striking down
the Texas law and sodomy laws inl2 other states.
Harlow, the Lambda Legal director, said
she was pleased with the performance of
Smith, who has argued previous cases before
the Supreme Court, and with the justices’
response to his arguments.
“I don’t think anything they said was surprising,”
Harlow said. “I think the indications are
good that they understand the basic claims that
we’re making about the state inappropriately
invading peoples’ homes and about the state having
discriminatory moral codes. So I think we’re
in a very good place after today’s arguments.”
As a local prosecutor more accustomed to
trying cases than arguing appeals, Rosenthal
often appeared uncomfortable in the rarified
atmosphere of the United States Supreme Court,
and appeared at times to frustrate several justices,
including even Scalia, when he seemingly
failed to grasp their questions and arguments.
“I didn’t do as well as I would have liked,”
Rosenthal said afterward of his performance,
“but our brief is far superior.” He expressed
confidence that the court would uphold the
Texas law, but declined to predict how the
individual justices might vote.
Privacy, equal protection
In his argument before the justices, and in
his lengthy legal briefs, Smith and Lambda
Legal called on the Supreme Court to overturn
the Texas law on two grounds:
• The Texas law’s ban on homosexual
sodomy, but not heterosexual sodomy, violates
the 14th Amendment of the Constitution,
which grants equal protection under the law.
• The Texas statute’s criminalization of
private, consensual sex violates the fundamental
right to privacy under the Due
Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
If the justices agree to the “equal protection”
ground, the court would strike down the Texas
sodomy law, but the precedent would effectively
invalidate the laws of the three other states that
ban only gay sodomy But left standing would be
the laws of nine states, including Virginia, that
prohibit both gay and heterosexual sodomy
The justices must rule that sodomy laws violate
the fundamental “privacy right,” which also
requires that they overrule their earlier ruling
in Bowers vs. Hardwick, to effectively invalidate
all 13 states’ sodomy laws. Four members of the
current court were a part of the Bowers decision:
Rehnquist, Scalia and O’Connor voted with
the majority ruling that the Georgia sodomy law
did not violate the fundamental right to privacy,
while Justice Stevens voted with the dissent
“I thought that the court gave us a full and
fair hearing, and we were able to make all of our
arguments,” said Smith, who is himself gay,
Attorney Paul Smith argued before the U.S.
Supreme Court this week that the Texas sodomy
law violates the Constitutional right to privacy and
after the court session. “The court was clearly
understanding of the reasons why this law is
discriminatory and that it singles out gay people
and why it intrudes in matters that are fundamentally
protected for all Americans, including
couples, whether they are same-sex or not.”
He added, “So the issues were all well discussed,
and the court seemed to understand
them well. That’s all we can hope for.”
Rosenthal argued, among other things,
that the Texas legislature, which passed the
Texas sodomy law, should be allowed to make
decisions on moral issues such as sodomy as
long as the law doesn’t intrude on basic freedoms.
He said he doesn’t believe the sodomy
law violates any freedoms.
Through pointed questioning, Breyer, Souter,
and Ginsburg challenged Rosenthal’s assertion
that the Texas sodomy law could be justified as a
means of upholding moral and family values in
Texas since the state had repealed laws against
adultery fornication and bestiality
On a few occasions, Rosenthal appeared to
stumble over his answers. At one point, after
Souter asked a pointed hypothetical, Scalia
jokingly warned Rosenthal, “Don’t answer
that; it’s a trick question.”
When Rosenthal evaded repeated questioning
from Breyer about why the court should not
overturn the Bowers precedent, the justice said,
somewhat exasperated, “I’d like to hear your
straight answers to those points,” eliciting
laughter from the packed courtroom, which
included a large number of gay observers.
Rosenthal insisted afterward that the Texas
law does not violate the constitution’s equal protection
clause because, he said, sodomy between
gays or heterosexuals is not a fundamental right
‘As long as you don’t consider it a fundamental
right—and they’ve never shown it to be a fundamental
right to engage in sexual intercourse
with anybody outside the marriage concept” he
said. “So I think we win on a rational basis.”
Lou Chibbaro Jr. can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Crain can be
reached at email@example.com.
I 1/2 Off on guaranteed
renewal rate memberships!
tRRDIO - FR« (HEIGHTS - WEIGHT OlflOlfflfS - CLASSES fi BORE!
4040 fflilam St. Houston 713.524.9932
8 MARCH 28, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
GET THE WIND-IN-YOUR-HA1R
ENJOYMENT OF A CONVERTIBLE
The All New 2003 Freetander SE3 Has Arrived
2003 SE3 Freelander lets all of the .9 APR outdoors in with its detachable hard-top
and glass roof panels. Always poised for
adventure, the Freelander SE3 features a multi-valve V6 engine,
5-speed automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive and
4-wheel electronic traction control. Enjoy open air motoring in
Land Rover's most unique blend of agile sports sedan and SUV.
2002 Freelander Service Loaners Still Available
Starting at $24,995
LAND ROVER HOUSTON
7019 Old Kaly Rood • 713-293-6100
y|/ Mon - Fri 9am-7pm • Sat 9am-6pm
CrOXZAJsJ-TXKQE AUTOMOTIVE group
The Southvretfs Largest Land Rover Centre
*2.9% APR available on '03 Freelanders only. W.A.C. up to 36 months Limited time offer.
Save the Date!
Sunday, April 6, 2003
Game Viewing and Dance Party!
For information, please
or visit www.hrc.org.
N.H. rights panel nominee withdraws over anti-gay stance
CONCORD, N.H. — Gary Daniels, a former
state legislator, withdrew his name from
nomination for a post on the seven-member
state Human Rights Commission on March
19 following controversy over his stands
opposing gay rights laws. Gov. Craig
Benson, a Republican, nominated Daniels
and accepted his withdrawal only after
polling the commission and confirming
that Daniels did not have enough votes to be
approved, the Concord Monitor reported.
“It’s clear that there were some people that
didn’t want to support his nomination,”
Benson said. Three of the five current
members, all Republicans, told Benson they
would vote against Daniels. The panel han-
his name from
nomination for a
post on the
dies complaints filed under the state’s civil rights law, which includes protections based on
sexual orientation. As a legislator, Daniels voted against the law, saying that homosexuality
is unnatural, immoral and unhealthy Daniels recently said he still does not believe sexual
orientation should be included in the law, although he would enforce it as written.
Lesbian couple wins
in Miss, adoption fight
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A lesbian couple
from Vermont won a fight to have both
of their names listed on the birth certificate
of a boy adopted as a newborn from
Mississippi five years ago. A Mississippi
judge this week ordered the state Bureau
of Public Health Statistics to issue a
revised birth certificate reflecting the
name of the boy and his parents, Holly
Perdue and Cheri Goldstein of Worcester.
The child “was lawfully adopted in
Vermont and that adoption is due the
recognition of the courts and administrative
agencies of Mississippi,” ruled Judge
William Hale Singletary. Perdue and
Goldstein filed suit in the fall of 2001 asking
the judge to order the state to issue
the birth certificate showing them as the
boy’s adoptive parents after the Bureau of
Public Health Statistics refused because
both adoptive parents were female.
Perdue said she considers the court decision
to be “a huge victory” for the people
Fla. town sued over gay-friendly
change to city charter
MONTVERDE, Fla. — Three Montverde
residents sued the town March 19 charging
voters were tricked into approving changing
the city’s charter to include protections
based on sexual orientation, the
Orlando .Sentinel reported. The question
on the ballot asked, “Should the town of
Montverde, Fla., amend its charter to
delete antiquated, outdated clauses and
delete clauses superseded by state law
adopted after the 1925 charter and provide
for the mayor to chair town council meetings
in a nonvoting capacity?” Matthew
Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, a
conservative law group representing the
plaintiffs, claimed Montverde “deceived
its citizens by confusing them as to the
nature of the charter and in the midst of
the confusion added sexual orientation as
a protected category.” But Mayor Helen
Pearce said the “city sent letters out, we
hacFsix public meetings, we sent a copy of
changes and the new charter to every registered
Federal court weighs
Ky. gay-straight alliance
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) — U.S. District Judge
David Bunning heard arguments last week
over whether a gay-straight alliance should
be allowed to start meeting in a Kentucky
high school as its legal case winds its way
through the court system. The ACLU, representing
seven students, asked Bunning to
grant an. injunction that would force the
Boyd County school district to allow the
group to meet on campus. The local school
board voted to suspend all nonacademic
clubs in December in an effort, the ACLU
contends, to prevent about 25 students from
forming the gay organization. Winter Huff,
an attorney representing the school district,
argued the school board “did so to return
the school district to its basic mission.” But
the ACLU said school officials have permitted
many other clubs to continue to meet
since the school board’s decision, violating
the gay-straight club members’ rights under
the federal Equal Access Act and the First
Amendment. Bunning has not said when he
will rule on the injunction.
Mont, high court gets
appeal of benefits case
HELENA (AP) — An appeal to the Montana
Supreme Court revived a legal challenge to
the university system’s policy denying
health insurance benefits for partners of gay
employees. The suit, filed more than a year
ago by two lesbian couples with the help of
the ACLU, was dismissed in November by
District Judge Thomas Honzel, who said the
policy was based on the marital status of
employees, not on their sexual orientation.
That is a reasonable and objective standard
for determining who qualifies, for
employment benefits, Honzel ruled. The
appeal asks the state Supreme Court to
examine claims of two lesbians who work for
the University of Montana. UM offers health
insurance only to employees, their spouses
and children. Heterosexual couples who are
not married, but file an affidavit of common
law marriage, can also qualify Because gay
marriage is not legal, same-sex couples have
no way to qualify for the benefits.
From staff and wire reports
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
Calif, trans victim offered money to be set free, witness says
FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — Transgendered teen Gwen
Araujo made a desperate bid by offering cash to be set
free after partygoers attacked her Oct. 4 upon discovering
she was anatomically male, according to a witness
in a March 24 pretrial hearing. Jaron Chase
Nabors, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in
exchange for testimony, said that defendant Jason
Michael Cazares, 22, told him that Araujo offered “a
couple of grand to get her out of the house.” Nabors
then testified that Cazares tried to stop the attack but
later hit Araujo in the head with a shovel. Cazares,
Jose Antonio Merel, 23, and Michael William
Magidson, 22, are charged with murder in the case.
Defense attorneys tried to undermine Nabors’ credibility,
pointing out discrepancies between testimony
and initial police interviews. Cazares’ attorney, Tony
Serra, noted that Nabors initially told police he didn’t
know Araujo’s location. “That was a bald-faced lie
wasn’t it?” Serra said. “Correct,” Nabors said, admitting
he initially lied to protect his friends.
Jaron Chase Nabors, convicted of
manslaughter in the killing of transgendered
teen Gwen Araujo, testified
in a hearing against three other men
that the victim offered her attackers
money to be set free. (Photo by AP)
Ala. high court sets execution
for inmate in killing of gay man
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The
Alabama Supreme Court set an April 24
execution for Gary Leon Brown, a death
row inmate whose previous execution
was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brown killed Jack David McGraw, a gay
man, by stabbing him 78 times, slitting
his throat to the point of decapitation
in 1986. Two other men were also convicted
in the killing. James Lynn
Bynum-* was paroled in 1997, while
Archie Bankhead is serving life without
parole. The three visited McGraw’s
home several times before the killing
and allowed him to pay them for “certain
sexual acts,” according to court
records. Brown was originally slated to
die in the electric chair in April 2002.
But the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his
execution based on an appeal that in
part contended the chair is cruel and
unusual punishment. The state later
switched its primary method of execution
to lethal injection.
Body found in Minn, river probably
gay magazine editor, police say
MINNEAPOLIS — Police tentatively identified
a body found in the Mississippi River
on March 17 as that of gay journalist and
theater director Tim Lee, who was missing
since Oct. 28, the Minneapolis Star
Tribune reported. Lee, 34, was managing
editor of Lavender magazine and reported
missing the day after he checked out of a
hospital seeking treatment for severe
depression and anxiety. “There’s no obvious
sign of the cause of death other than
presumption of drowning,” said Keith
Mortenson, chief investigator for the coroner’s
office. He said the medical examiner’s
office is awaiting tests before positive
identification and determining the exact
cause of death. At Lavender, Lee was
known as a managing editor who brought
humor to operations, said John Townsend,
the magazine’s theater critic. “He also had
a way of encouraging and facilitating people
to look at things with a fresh perspective,”
AIDS group files charges
against South African officials
SHARPSVILLE. South Africa (AP) — AIDS
activists filed criminal manslaughter complaints
March 20 against two South African
officials. Five members of the Treatment
Action Campaign filed the charges against
Health Minister Dr. Manto Tshabala-
Msimang and Trade Minister Alec Erwin.
The activists were accompanied by nearly 200
activists who wore T-shirts that said “HIV
Positive” and “Dying to be treated.” In South
Africa, civilians can file criminal charges
with police, who pass the accusations to prosecutors
who decide whether to pursue the
allegations. The activists said the government
fails to provide adequate treatment for
HTV7AIDS. “It’s probably premature for us to
comment on the basis of the information we
have,” said Health Ministry spokesperson Jo-
Anne Collinge. About 10 percent of South
Africa’s population is HIV-positive.
Anti-gay vandalism found on
Iowa State University campus
AMES, Iowa — A brick wall on the Iowa
State University campus was vandalized
with anti-gay slurs that were discovered
March 6, according to the Iowa State Daily
“ISU Fag Rag” was spray painted on a wall
near the University’s Journalism School and
the offices of the Iowa State Daily “We have
documented, taken photographs and contacted
Facilities Planning & Management to
have [the vandalism] removed,” said ISU
Police Capt. Gene Deisinger. The incident follows
two from last November when anti-gay
remarks were scrawled on campus buildings.
Thomas Hill, vice president for student
affairs, said the circumstance highlights a
need for diversity training on campus. “In
order to move forward, we can’t afford to
have these kinds of things happen,” Hill said.
Todd Herriott, adviser of the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender & Ally Alliance, said
the incidents serve as a wake-up call for
school officials. “I want the administration to
recognize this is what it is, which is an ongoing
hostile environment toward LGBT people
on this campus,” Herriott said.
From staff and wire reports
MARCH 28, 2003 9
Over 50 years Experience
Apply online at: americanfederatedmortgage.com
Sr. Loan Officer
$200 off closing costs
by mentioning ad!
"We strive to make
your mortgage solutions
Fast Fair and Easy."
Vice President / Sr. Loan Officer
811 Heights Boulevard
Houston, TX 77007
A diverse Christian Community
that honors tradition
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
2515 Waugh @ Missouri • 713.528.3269
Sundays: 9am • Adult Education: Studying the Birth of the Messiah
10SOam • Liturgy of Holy Communion
Celebrating 26 Years
in the Community
Catholic Mass Celebrated
Saturdays at 7:30pm
1307'H Yale • 713'880'2872
10 MARCH 28, 2003
4101 Greenbriar, Suite 235, Houston, TX 77098
One source for all your
Complete insurance billing and
coordination of benefits
NOT JUST ABOUT
StatScript is a leader in providing community-based pharmacy
services for people with chronic health conditions such as:
HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Organ Transplant and more.
of free delivery
toll free: 866-523-5995 Fax: 713-521-5855
3407 Montrose, Suite A5, Houston, TX 77006
toll free: 866-523-5998 Fax: 713-522-8696
For other StatScript Pharmacy locations call 800-320-2112 or visit www.statscnpt.com
Specialty Pharmacy. Specialty Solutions.
Need Tax Help?
❖ Corporate and Small Business
Janet S. Langham, CPA
3701 Kirby Drive, Suite 1184
Houston, Texas 77098
713.622.2650 ❖ CPA|SL@aol.com
___________________________________________www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Contrasting studies dispute young gays' mental health
LONDON — Young gay men are sometimes anxious
and depressed, while continuing to have unprotected
sex, according to a new British study. But a second,
smaller study suggests that gay teens often see
themselves as similar to heterosexual classmates
and don’t experience psychological distress. A study
in London showed that an “alarming” number of
young gay men expressed high levels of self-hatred
and low self-esteem, according to lead author Dr.
Debra Bekerian, from the University of East
London’s school of psychology “To the extent that
these findings are a representative sample, they suggest
that young gays are suffering from serious ...
mental health issues and that some formal attention
needs to be given to this problem,” Bakerian told
Health News U.K. The study also discovered that
some young gay men ignore safe-sex campaigns,
which may be feeding a rise in sexually transmitted
diseases. But a study of 15 gay men between the ages
of 16 and 22 by Dr. Tom A. Eccles, a pediatrician at
Indiana University School of Medicine, showed that
gay teens experience “much less angst” than
thought, according to Reuters Health. “Increasingly,
sexual minority youth seem to be much more open
A study by Debra Bekerian from the
University of East London shows that
young gays sometimes experience anxiety
and depression, which could contribute to
unsafe sex practices. (Photo courtesy
University of East London)
in the general community, much more so in the last 20 years and also they increasingly perceive
themselves pretty much like everyone else,” he said. But Eccles said he doesn’t dispute
that gay teens do have an increased risk for suicide and substance abuse.
T cells pivotal in mapping progression
of HIV to AIDS, study says
NEW YORK — T cells uninfected with HIV
in sooty mangabey monkeys that are
infected with the disease do not die, which
could offer new explanations on how AIDS
progresses, according to Reuters Health.
When a person becomes HIV-positive, the
progression towards AIDS is a drop in
immune cells called T cells. These cells,
both ones infected with the virus and others,
are destroyed. But when the monkeys
become infected with the primate form of
HIV, the monkeys see little or no decrease
in the number of uninfected T cells — and
the monkeys never develop AIDS. The
study findings show that a necessary step
in the progression of HIV to AIDS centers
on the loss of uninfected T cells, study
author Dr. Guido Silvestri of Emory
University in Atlanta, told Reuters Health.
“Having a virus that infects and kills (T
cells) at high rates is not enough to get
AIDS ... because these monkeys have that,
and they don’t get AIDS,” he said. The
monkeys, as a species, have likely been living
with the primate version of HIV for
years and it is possible that some “started
ignoring the virus,” allowing them to live
many years disease-free, Silvestri said.
The study appears in the journal
Fla. officials issue warning
about staph infections
TALLAHASEE, Fla. — Health officials in
Florida are alerting gays about a drugresistant
staph infection seen in at least a
half-dozen U.S. cities in. recent weeks.
Aureus, or MRSA, is a skin infection
resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics
that began surfacing late last year
among gay men in San Francisco and Los
Angeles, and have also been reported in
Washington, Houston, Atlanta and other
cities. The infections manifest themselves
as boils and abscesses on various
parts of sufferers’ bodies, including rectal
and groin infections. “Letting our
communities know about this infection is
vitally important,” said Dr. Gene Copello,
executive director of Florida AIDS
Action. Officials also want health
providers and others to be aware of how
to prevent the infections, while also
beginning to track them, a process that is
informal at best in other cities already
seeing staph cases. “The infection can
lead to life-threatening complications,
especially for those whose immune systems
are already comprised by HIV infection,”
said JoAnn C. Green, a registered
nurse and volunteer with AIDS Action.
Powerful HIV drugs contribute to
diabetes risk in women, study says
NEW YORK — Protease inhibitors, powerful
drugs extremely effective in preventing
HIV from progressing to AIDS, appear to
increase the risk of developing diabetes in
women, a new study shows, according to
Reuters Health. But the association
between the drugs and a small increase in
risk of diabetes should not be a deterrent to
use, according to study author Dr. Jessica E.
Justman of the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital
Center in New York. “[Protease inhibitors]
are so effective in helping people with AIDS
be healthier and live longer, and the risk of
diabetes is small, compared to the risk of
death without treatment,” Justman said.
Diabetes can often be addressed through
other medications or by losing weight,
though people using protease inhibitors
should receive regular screenings for it, she
said. The study appeared in the March 1
issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune
From staff and wire reports
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
MARCH 28,2003 11
Mexican lesbians join chorus of anti-war voices
MEXICO CITY (AP) — About 500 lesbians used
their first public Pride march to protest the war in
Iraq as opposition politicians blocked the U.S.
Consulate in Acapulco and dozens of anti-war
demonstrators camped out in front of the U.S.
Embassy in Mexico City. The marchers, led by
Mexico City independent lawmaker Enoe Uranga,
walked through the capital’s main streets last week
to the city’s central plaza to celebrate sexual diversity
and give a thumbs-down to the war. In the
resort city of Acapulco, about 100 members of the
left-leaning Democratic Revolution Party hung
anti-war banners from the front doors of the U.S.
Consulate in Acapulco, located in the city’s hotel
zone. “We demand that President George Bush stop
the massacre that his personal interests have provoked
and pull out his invading troops,” said
Serafin Gonzalez, leader of the Acapulco branch of
Lesbians in Mexico City used their
March 21 Pride celebration to protest
the Iraqi war at the American
Embassy in addition to rallying for
improved gay rights laws in their
country. (Photo by Jaime Puebla/AP)
Same-sex couples launch
pension plan campaign
OTTAWA—Gays across Canada will be bombarded
with posters and pamphlets explaining
a class-action suit affecting about 10,000
people, the Ottawa Sun reported. Acting on
unprecedented direction from the courts,
lawyers handling a suit aimed at claiming
survivor benefits from Canada Pension Plan
for same-sex couples are sending out comprehensive
promotional material. “Our aim is to
ensure that this large and diverse group be
made aware of their legal rights,” said
activist Douglas Elliott. The $400-million discrimination
lawsuit was launched in
November 2001 against the federal government
for the denial of survivor benefits. It
alleges that the government discriminates
against same-sex couples by denying surviving
partners a pension under the CPP, unless
the deceased died on or after Jan. 1,1998. The
federal government amended its law three
years ago to extend CPP survivor benefits to
same-sex partners but imposed a Jan. 1,1998,
cutoff date. The suit seeks benefits for all gay
survivors retroactive to April 17,1985, the day
equality guarantees were enshrined in the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
New Argentina laws
allow civil unions
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Gay couples
in Buenos Aires and the Rio Negro province
will make history next month when civil
unions between same sex couples are legally
recognized, marking a first for Latin
America, the Latin American Press reported.
The new laws grant gay couples rights that
were previously exclusive to married couples.
The measures whipped up a storm in
this predominantly Catholic country when
they were approved last December, inciting
intense public debate between conservative
sectors, the gay community and progressive
groups. Both laws entitle members of civil
union couples to many rights already
enjoyed by husbands and wives. But the civil
union laws do not permit same-sex marriages
or child adoption, nor do they establish
inheritance rights unless a prior agreement
has been formalized. These three
aspects were not considered because they are
included in the national Civil Code.
High court approves equal
benefits for gay couples
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The
country’s highest court ruled March 17 that
gay couples should receive the same financial
benefits as heterosexuals, the BBC News
reported. Lesbian judge Kathy Satchwell
brought the case because she wanted her
partner to get the same benefits as the married
partners of other judges. The South
African constitution outlaws discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation. The
Constitutional Court last year ruled that gay
couples in “permanent same-sex” relationships
could adopt children. This made South
Africa the first African country to let same-sex
couples legally adopt children, according
to the Agence Free Presse. The ruling
covers benefits such as pensions and the
allowance paid to spouses when civil servants
travel abroad. Willie Knoetze of the
Gay & Lesbian Equality Project said the
organization is delighted with the ruling.
Bereaved U.K. partners
to receive pensions
LONDON — The British government
announced last week that long-term partners
of soldiers, sailors and airmen killed
in action in the Persian Gulf will for the
first time be entitled to pension payments,
the London Times reported. Under previous
legislation, only the spouses of military
personnel who die in active service
were entitled to pensions paid by the
Ministry of Defense. Under the new
scheme, partners of soldiers slain in the
conflict will be entitled to about 90 percent
of their partner’s pension. But government
officials said that benefits would be
decided on a case-by-case basis. Officials
will look for evidence of a long-term partnership,
such as children or mortgages.
The case of Anna Homsi, the girlfriend of
Brad Tinnion, a member of the SAS who
was killed during the rescue of six British
soldiers in Sierra Leone three years ago,
focused attention on the issue. The government
awarded about $390,000 to Homsi
after she took her case to court. The decision
will also apply to gay couples.
From staff and wire reports
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH
2025 W. 11th St. @ T.C.Jester
Saturday, April 12 2-4pm
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday Services April 13 -9am &. 11am
Holy Wednesday Service April 16-7pm
Maundy Thursday Service April 17- 7pm
Good Friday April 18 - 7pm
Noche Espiritual Service April 19-7pm
Easter Sunrise Service April 20 - 6:30am
Easter Sunday Services April 20 -*9am & */ lam
March 30 •
“Settling Into A New Land”
Rev. Janet Parker
"Building Community Through Compassion "
Visit Our New Improved & Larger Nursery/Children’s area
begins at 10am and
nursery is available
for small children.
Group" services on
Please Join Us For
Praise and Worship at our
Sunday Morning Service
And Experience The Love
That Maranatha Fellowship
MCC Has To Offer!
3333 Fannin, Suite 106, at 10AM
Church office 713-528-6756 • E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
voice! Foru in EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION
Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN
Editor PENNY WEAVER
Production BONNIE NAUGLE, GEORGE WIDMER
Correspondents: LOU CHIBBARO JR., LAURA
DOUGLAS-BROWN, MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW
HENNIE, BRIAN MOYLAN, KEVIN NAFF, JENNIFER
SMITH, RHONDA SMITH, STEVE WEINSTEIN
Contributors JOSHUA CLEVELAND, LEE DAVIS,
ERIC ERVIN, ELLA TYLER
Photographers DALTON DEHART,
Webmaster JED DEMPSEY
SALES & ADMINISTRATION
General Manager DANIEL EMERICH
BRETT CULLUM - email@example.com
DONNA HULL - firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIAN MARTIN - email@example.com
National Advertising Representative
Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc.
Publisher-WINDOW MEDIA LLC
President- WILUAM WAYBOURN
Editorial Director- CHRIS CRAIN
Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON
Art Director- ROB BOEGER
General Manager- MICHAEL KITCHENS
Marketing Manager- DAN GARRIOTT
Established 1974 as the Montrose Star.
500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77006
Contents copyright 2003
Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays
To submit a letter
Letters should be fewer than 400 words.
We reserve the right to edit for content and length.
We will withhold names upon request, but you
must include your name and phone number for
verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice,
500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77006;
fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor@houston-voice.
com. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect
those of the Houston Voice.
All material in Houston Voice is protected by federal
copyright law and may not be reproduced without the
written consent of Houston Voice. The sexual orientation
of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists
published herein is neither inferred or implied. The
appearance of names or pictorial representation
does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation
of that person or persons.
Houston Voice accepts unsolicited editorial
material but cannot take responsibility for its return.
The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit
any submission. All rights revert to authors
upon publication. Guidelines for freelance
contributors are available upon request.
A win is not
always a win
The Supreme Court may strike down the Texas sodomy law.
But depending on how the justices reach that decision, the
mistreatment in the courts of gay parents may not be rectified.
By NANCY POUKOFF
J NOW, WOULD YOU
describe to the court
what that sex consisted of.
How did you do it, orally
A: I guess orally.
Q: Well, would you
describe — by the way,
how frequently, say in a week would you
and April engage in oral sex?
A: Maybe once or twice.
Q: And how many times did you do it
when the child was sleeping in the same
Q; TVou;, when you engaged in sex with
your partner, for the record, would you tell
me, do you engage in any type of sex other
than oral sex?
Q: Do anything else?
A: Well, yes.
A: Do I have to answer that?
Q: That’s not for me to decide, young
lady. I asked you the question.
A: Just fondling.
A FEW HOURS AFTER THE ABOVE
lawyer-witness exchange, in a Richmond,
Va., courtroom in September 1993, Judge
Buford Parsons issued an order.
“I will tell you first,” he opined, “that
the mother’s conduct is illegal. It is a
Class 6 felony in the Commonwealth of
Sharon Bottoms wasn’t prosecuted
for her crime, for which she could have
faced one to five years in prison. But she
was sentenced just the same: to separation
from her 2-year-old son, Tyler.
Judge Parsons found her an unfit parent
and awarded custody of the child to
Devastating scenes like this have
occurred in states with criminal sodomy
statutes throughout the past 30 years.
Although only 13 states currently have
such laws, lesbian and gay parents in
“free” states can still be affected.
Last year, an Alabama Supreme Court
justice invoked that state’s sodomy law to
rebuff the efforts of a California lesbian
mother. She was seeking to regain custody
of her children from their physically
abusive father, who had moved with them
to Alabama after the divorce.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral
arguments Wednesday in Lawrence vs.
Texas, the case challenging the constitutionality
of a Texas statute that prohibits
consensual oral and anal sex between
same-sex partners. When the court rules
on the constitutionality of that law, it will
say much about whether such scenes will
continue to take place in our courts. A
declaration that the statute is unconstitutional
would be a great victory.
The oral arguments on Wednesday
added little to what we already know
about this divided court; Justices
Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day
O’Connor, the two swing votes, remained
largely silent during the questioning.
If we do win, however, the court could
pick one of two distinct bases for its ruling,
and the fate of women like Sharon
Bottoms in the future may turn on which
one they pick.
LAWYERS FOR JOHN LAWRENCE AND
Tyron Garner, arrested for their sexual
activity inside Lawrence’s home, are asking
the court to overrule its 1986 decision
in Bowers vs. Hardwick, which expressly
approved criminalization of gay sex.
The court could strike down the
Texas law without overruling Bowers,
however. Because it applies only to same-sex
couples, a designation it shares with
only three states — Kansas, Missouri
and Oklahoma — the court could invali-
MARCH 28, 2003
date it as a violation of equal protection
of the law by holding that the state cannot
prohibit same-sex couples from
engaging in sexual acts allowed for opposite-
Texas and the other three states will
then have to decide whether to re-crimi-nalize
heterosexual oral and anal sex or
decriminalize all such conduct. Texas
isn’t squeamish about invading bedrooms;
after all, it outlaws the sale of
dildos and vibrators. (The enactment
and operation of this law is documented
in a recent hoot of a film, “Dildo
Diaries.”) Extending the sodomy ban to
all is a real possibility.
Justice Stevens made his views
known in the Bowers dissent. He was
ready to declare the Georgia statute a
violation of fundamental privacy and
liberty rights, and he will likely rule the
same way today.
As for the other justices likely to strike
down the statute, their questions at oral
argument touched both bases. Justice
Breyer challenged the attorney for Texas
to respond to each of the grounds offered
for overruling Bowers, but he was equally
insistent that Texas explain whether
there was any basis, other than morality,
for distinguishing between same-sex and
Justices Ginsberg and Souter focused
largely on the state’s unequal treatment of
straight and gay sex.
NINE STATES, INCLUDING VIRGINIA,
now criminalize all sodomy, heterosexual
and homosexual. This form of “equality”
does nothing for lesbians and gay parents.
There is no record that any heterosexual
parent has ever had to describe the
frequency and intimate details of private,
consensual sodomy, even where
such acts are illegal. No judge has ever
removed a child from a straight mom or
dad after a question like, “Did you do it
orally, or what?”
As long as anti-sodomy laws remain
on the books, lesbians and gay parents
alone will dread the indignity of such
To overrule Bowers, the court will
have to determine that consensual adult
behavior behind closed doors lies within
the scope of liberty and privacy enjoyed
by all Americans. A victory in Lawrence
on any ground will be welcome, but
that s the only one that will keep judges
from branding lesbian and gay parents
Nancy Polikoff is a
Vi? law professor at
and can be reached at
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MARCH 28, 2003 13
Opposition to war or 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
shouldn't obscure the extra sacrifices made
by gays in uniform and by their families.
THE GAY MEDIA HAVE, APPROPRIATELY
provided wide coverage to the contentious
political and moral dimensions of our
nation’s war against the regime of Saddam
Hussein. It has thus far, however, made scant
mention of the service and sacrifice by the
many thousands of young gay soldiers likely
serving on the front lines of this conflict.
A March 25 article in the San Francisco
Chronicle, mentioning the mobilization of
gay soldiers and the effect on their families,
quotes the partner of a deployed gay service
member as saying, “I feel like we’ve
been ignored by our own community”
As a gay veteran and activist, I hope we
can pause to reflect upon the extraordinary
sacrifice being made by all service personnel
involved in this war. No matter our individual
or collective thoughts about war in general,
or this war in particular, surely we can
mobilize behind the proposition that the
troops fighting this battle are deserving of
our community’s moral support and respect.
If our gay service members cannot
count on this support and respect from us,
they aren’t likely to find it anywhere.
GAY TROOPS’ FAMILIES ARE ALSO making
sacrifices and facing hardships as their
loved ones ship out to uncertain danger.
Unlike their heterosexual counterparts,
these families must carefully navigate “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” in their efforts to support
their loved ones, while holding down the
home front during their loved ones’ absence.
Something as basic as a care package
delivered during a wartime mail call must
be carefully sanitized to minimize the risk
of inadvertently outing their loved ones.
Or, what happens if a gay soldier is
wounded and sent to a military hospital?
Their gay family members face added
hurdles in gaining access to visit them.
This causes understandable added anxiety
to gay soldiers and their families that
their straight comrades do not face.
In light of these unimaginable stresses,
our community should collectively reach
out to and acknowledge those in these difficult
GAY AND LESBIAN AMERICANS HAVE A
justifiable distrust of the U.S. military. For
too long, gay and bisexual service members
have been the targets of irrational discrimination
and outright mistreatment at the
hands of military authorities.
The result, I fear, is a tendency to equate
all things military with the evils we know
from the Pentagon’s anti-gay policies. This
generalization, however, does a disservice
by overshadowing the truth that many of
our community’s young men and women
are serving in uniform, while many other
military personnel are open-minded and
accepting of gay Americans.
Young gay and lesbian Americans enlist
in the armed forces for the same reasons
others do: patriotism, education benefits,
and opportunity for travel. These men and
women make a commitment to serve, understanding
that their service may someday
place them in harms way on foreign soil.
They also understand that they must
make an additional, grueling sacrifice by
serving in enforced silence, lest knowledge
of their sexual orientation result in
expulsion from the military and the end
to their military aspirations.
As our movement continues its important
work to dismantle “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell,” we should all remember that gay and
lesbian youth are nonetheless serving in
uniform. As we see the wartime images
each evening streaming into our homes via
TV reports, I hope we keep in mind that
some of those are our brothers and sisters.
No matter our individual thoughts on
the war, and despite our justifiable disdain
for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” surely we
can all voice support for our gay troops —
and their families — who are bravely, quietly
doing their jobs.
I Cleghorn is a staff attorney at I Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meetly Unfabulous Social Life ef ETHAN GREEN by ErlcOrner
Jh's weird waking up at a guy's place the 1 st time. Weird
noticing how alike we can be (maybe a rogue agency of
the government is doing experiments which cause every
gay guy on the planet to buy the same lamp at Ikea)
while at the same time how different.
criere's a difference: He must buy cereal
from the bulk bins at the pricy organic
market. Ethan buys Grape Nuts (and Cap'n
Crunch and Lucky Charms at the Kroger's.
/Ilso, he's all about nature and science, a
vet—who works at a zoo, while Ethan
works at a TV station. So in that sense,
they're two very different people, with
two very different sets of experiences.
What would they talk about if
they decided to grow old together?
Peter's got birds. Ethan is
owned by a cat...
<7^he nice thing however, about climbing back into bed with a
a guy on a Saturday morning, is that differences about pet
choice, occupational interests, family background or
grocery shopping aren't nearly as important as how good
his arms and his back and his legs and his
everything else feels. ______
14 MARCH 28, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
■IF DDirierecctetedd b byy F Frarannccoo D Draraggoonnee ®
CD available on Cirque du Soleil Musique/RCA Victor.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL®
THRU APRIL 13 ONLY!
under the white Grand Chapiteau
across from the George R. Brown Convention Center
Get your tickets today!
'Alegria keeps the ‘WOW’
fefa.,. The Houston Chronicle
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
For Preferred Seating ask for VIP Packages
AEN Seeks Executive Director
The Atlanta Executive Network (AEN), the Southeast’s premier non-profit lesbian, gay, bisexual
AND TO APPLY, VISIT
and transgender business networking organization, seeks
an Executive Director to develop corporate partnerships,
act as a liaison to the community, and run business
operations. The E.D. will function as spokesperson and
leader of the organization, and will be responsible for
internal operations, membership service, public events,
and other functions in and around Atlanta. The E.D. will
serve with an active board of directors. This newly
created position will be full time, with competitive
compensation and benefits. For more information, and
to apply, please see the AEN’s web site at www.aen.org.
| on the record
“It’s just an indication that gay-bashing seems
to be in style this session,”
Randall Ellis, director of the Lesbian & Gay
Rights Lobby of Texas, on pending state legislation
that would ban same-sex marriage and preventgays
from becoming foster parents (Austin
American-Statesman, March 15)
?As Winston Churchill said of democracy, it’s
the worst system possible except for any other.
The military says it’s working OK; it’s the best
option available. I think it’s here indefinitely”
Charles Moskos, a Northwestern University sociologist
who helped devise the military’s “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell”policy on service by gays, about prospects
for repealing it (Associated Press, March 10)
“No one likes or wants war. However, Saddam Hussein has limited our options. Let
there be no doubt, Log Cabin Republicans supports the president and our men and
women in uniform.”
Stephen Scherock, president of the New York City Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans
(Press release, March 12)
“Gay and lesbian travelers are savvy. [Terrorist threats] haven’t been a deterrent.
We’re used to looking over our shoulders.”
Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing, a gay travel promotion company, on a
survey that showed travel by gays has not dropped since Sept. 11 (Miami Herald, March 13)
“Police in Virginia are looking for the
thief who stole one of Cher’s wigs during
a concert. Today, Cher made a special
plea to the thief to turn the wig in to the
Talk show host Conan O’Brien, joking
about the theft of a wig from Cher’s dressing
room during a concert in Richmond,
Va. (NBC’s “Late Night with Conan
O’Brien, ’’March 12)
“For marketing’s sake, we wanted to be
called a gay boy band. I think it’s important,
because often people wonder and
with a lot of boy bands, there’s always
someone who is gay but it’s a secret. With
us, it’s open. But eventually, we want to be
known as guys who can sing.”
Toronto native Yves Steinhauer, 26, lead .
singer of the openly gay boy band
Marilyn’s Boys, currently a sensation in
Germany (Edmonton Sun, March 15)
“Oh, no. The only way I would support [a crackdown on gays] was if there was a gay
J. Joaquin Padilla, challenging for a seat on the Topeka, Kan., City Council, correcting
the moderator in a debate who thought he had said he favored cracking down on
“gays, ” when in fact Padilla had said he was in favor of cracking down on “gangs. ”
The discussion on crime immediately followed debate on a gay-inclusive non-discrimination
ordinance. The resulting confusion amused all present. (Topeka Capital-
Journal, March 11)
“When I first heard about what would become known as AIDS, there were 41 cases
of some strange occurrence. Almost 25 years later, we have failed to mount a thoughtful,
concerted effort to stop what is now this plague. We have failed to keep up any pressure.
We have failed to outrage each other enough so that people in authority would
have no choice but to do something.”
Gay activist and playwright Larry Kramer,
founder of ACT UP and Gay Men’s Health
Crisis in New York, in an opinion column on
the global AIDS crisis (New York Times,
“Some people were upset that I made reference
to the ‘Gay Mafia’ last year.... I said,
‘Don’t get your thongs into a bunch.’ I think
the Gay Mafia themselves really did get
upset. The next morning, there was a poodlehead
in my bed.”
Oscar host Steve Martin, at the 75th
Annual Academy Awards (ABC, March 23)
SPORTS: Montrose Softball League begins its season
with opening ceremonies this Sunday. Page 20.
APPOINTMENTS: Landmark River Oaks Theatre hosts Oliver Stone's
'The Doors,' starring Vai Kilmer, as its midnight movie this weekend. Page 21 Out on the Bayou HOUSTON VOICE
MARCH 28, 2003
Travel, relax the gay way
By ERIC ERVIN
By ELLA TYLER
Please see ROAD TRIPS on Page 16
Houston's Miss Camp America diva
Ms. Bernadette (right) is a big hit on
Aquafest cruises. The Rhapsody of
the Seas (bottom) is the vessel that
will be home to spring and fall cruises
that cater to gay travelers.
F YOU AREN’T HITTING THE ROAD
sometime this spring, you are missing one of
the pleasures of being a Texan. Spring has
arrived and wildflowers decorate the highways.
You can wear sandals and shorts and
eat outdoors because it feels good, not to
abuse your friends who live north of IH 20.
Grab your keys, a Texas map, clean clothes and
head west. Or south or east. Reservations, long
waiting lines, and stripping for the metal detector
are not necessary.
The 1,000-year-old oak tree
Goose Island State Park, known
as the Big Tree of Lamar (above),
is worth a look when traveling to
Rockport, Texas. San Antonio
ends Lent with Fiesta (below), 10
days of festive and campy events
beginning April 19. San Marcos,
Texas, offers some of the biggest
shopping outlets (left) in the
Pick a city, any city, for some of the gayest fun in these
United States. Page 18.
Stay close to home and still enjoy mini-getaways. Page 19.
Plenty of destinations are within .
driving distance of Houston
F YOU ARE GAY, THEN YOU’RE GOING TO ENJOY
what the cruise lines and travel agencies are offering
to make sure you have a good time on the seven
seas aboard their vessels.
There are a number of gay-friendly and gay-specific
activities aboard many cruise ships. These include
late-night disco parties, Las Vegas style shows, hilarious
comedy acts, gay and lesbian film festivals, costume parties
where reality and make believe become a blur, and optional
gay and lesbian shore excursions where guests can shop and
go sightseeing in exotic destinations around the world.
There are also gay and lesbian bingo and trivia games
aboard some of the ships.
All of these activities are ways in which travel agencies
and cruise line companies have been catering to the
world’s gay population, and the idea seems to be working
tremendously, according to industry leaders.
Aquafest, a division of CruiseCenter.com, is one of the
biggest sellers of cruise vacations in the country. The company
has been in business for more than 40 years in
Houston, said Tom Baker, owner and president.
“We offer private entertainment, and more social group
events than other gay and lesbian groups that travel,” Baker said.
The company handles everything in providing gayfriendly
or gay-specific cruises, such as booking the ships,
scheduling the entertainment
acts and planning
events both on board and
in ports of call.
Please see CRUISES on Page 17
IF YOU PREFER FRESH WATER, HEAD TO
Austin. Gay Texan and Log Cabin Republican leader
Steve Labinski, who lives there, says that Splash
’W Weekend at Hippie Hollow, on Lake Travis, gets all
* the press, but it’s much more relaxing to go some
I other time when it’s not as crowded.
times on the high seas include
sco parties, drag queens and more
Road trips lure
THE RELAXATION PART OF A TRIP
to Rockport begins somewhere near the
Astrodome. Head south on 288 toward Angleton and
you’ll arrive at the coastal prairie in a few minutes.
The area has built up a lot since I first drove this
road and described it as a nice stretch of unspoiled
freeway (it had been way too long since I’d gotten out of
the city), but this is still the fastest way to open spaces.
Turn South at Texas 36. When you pass Bay City, you
will begin to see glimpses of the Gulf of Mexico.
I like the Best Western Inn by the Bay in Fulton for
its pretty pool and picnic area. Pets are allowed for a
small extra charge. The lobby keeps menus for many
local restaurants, and on my last visit I chose Silver
Anchor Seafood and liked it a lot. There’s not much to do
except fish, watch birds and visit the artists’ shops.
Do go to the Fulton Mansion and take the $4
tour. It’s an 1870s French Empire House and it
was built with air conditioning. Check ahead to
be sure you aren’t planning a quiet weekend at
the same time as one of the celebrations. This is
about a four-hour drive unless you stop to see the
1,000-year-old oak tree at Goose Island State Park.
You can begin this trip after you’ve run errands
on Saturday morning without feeling rushed.
If you have more time, or want more excitement,
drive on to Corpus Christi. The Texas
State Aquarium features fish and animals of
the Gulf of Mexico and the Art Museum of
South Texas, though small, sits right on the
water. I liked Water Street Seafood at 309 Water.
Liquid, the only gay bar I know of there, is
nearby, at 208 Water.
16 MARCH 28; 2003_______________________________________
| out on the bayou
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Short road trips lead to interesting places in Texas
ROAD TRIPS, continued from Page 15
For details about a big party
over Memorial Day weekend, see
www.partyaustin.com. There are several
gay bars on W. 4th and Sth streets, near
Lavaca, which offer a place to begin
checking out the Austin bar scene. Gurlz
Cellar is near there too.
There are always new things to see and
do in Austin, no matter how many times
you’ve been, but if you’ve never seen the
“tourist attractions,” do it soon. I’m
intrigued by the idea of a land and lake
tour with Austin Duck adventures. The
Web site is www.austinducks.com.
The Elisabet Ney Museum is worth
seeing. Ney, who came to this country
from Germany in the 1870s, was a famous
sculptor. She had married a doctor but
made him vow to keep the marriage a
secret, even after they had children. She
might have been straight, but she certainly
New Orleans and Galveston begin Lent
with Mardi Gras, but San Antonio ends it
with Fiesta, 10 days of festive and campy,
but more sedate, events beginning April
19. There’s a river parade on the 21st and
the Battle of the Flowers on the 25th. It is
worth planning ahead and making hotel
reservations and ordering tickets for
parade viewing spots, since the city is
crowded this time of the year.
At other times of the year, if you want
1905, is one of
to entertain nieces or nephews, or for the
increasing number of gay couples with
children, San Antonio is probably the best
city in Texas to entertain little ones. This
is not to say that there is no gay nightlife
there. The bars seem to be concentrated
north of downtown, near San Antonio
College. If you get to Main Street and San
Pedro, near Laurel, there will be someplace
nearby to entertain you.
I am fond of Earl Abel’s, at 4210
Broadway. It used to be open all night, but
now closes at 1 a.m. It’s a San Antonio
institution, serving fried chicken and the
like and plenty of cakes and pies.
The third place in this part of Texas
that is a great weekend excursion is San
Marcos and New Braunfels, and the attraction
is shopping. The state’s two largest
malls are in San Marcos, but the outlet at
New Braunfels has more household furnishings.
And the food is better in New
Braunfels. Krause’s Cafe, in downtown
New Braunfels, is a Texas institution.
PEOPLE FROM HOUSTON TEND TO
feel as if it’s disloyal to say anything nice
about Dallas, but there are several good
reasons to go. The Sixth Floor Museum is
showing “Warhol and Jackie: Artist and
Icon” until Oct. 30. The new Women’s
Museum, at Fair Park, is worth a visit,
and, if you are up to a side trip to Fort
Worth, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame
has a few cowgirls too.
I hate the drive to Dallas partly because
of the signs that say “Dallas, 180 miles;
Dallas 172 miles; Dallas 150 miles.” I’m surprised
they aren’t riddled with shotgun
holes. On my last trip, I flew (Southwest, of
course), and discovered that there is a city
bus that runs to downtown. It runs
through Oak Lawn, and might even pass
the ever-popular gay Crossroads bookstore.
I used the bus, trolly and train, supplemented
with an occasional cab after dark
when I wasn’t sure about the neighborhood.
It was very nice to have a car-free weekend,
and I got to see everything I wanted.
o MORE INFO
Explore the greatest river
in the world aboard the
mv Rio Amazonas
The Great Amazon Adventure Cruise
Join our extension to Historic Machu Picchu
July 3 -12, 2003
Following two days exploring Lima, we board the mv Rio Amazonas in Iquitos
for our week on the Amazon. We make daylight and evening forays into the
jungle via small boats and/or on foot, making contact with the Yagua and
Bora Indians and experiencing first-hand much of the Amazon’s absolutely
incredible flora and fauna. Visits to the river ports of Leticia, Colombia and
Tabatinga, Brazil provide additional opportunities to meet those who live
along the river, as well as access to Amazon handicrafts.
Please contact us about our trips to Greece, Ireland, and the Nile.
(866)294*8174 E-mail: HEtravel@aol.com www.HEtravel.com
• mvsoN Aminuacr (
Choose your favorite activity.
Pick an exciting destination,
and join us for a vacation
you’ll never forget. Make new
friends. Meet the locals and
sseeee a new llaanndd like few
f travelers ever do. See France,
Italy, Thailand, Iceland, New
Zealand, Costa Rica, USA
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com______________________
I mit on the bayou
MARCH 28, 2003 17
Gays can travel in style
on several cruise ships
CRUISES, continued from Page 15
Baker said in the 21 years since he has
come aboard with Aquafest, the business
of offering cruises targeting to the gay
population has increased.
“We’ve seen an explosion in the gay
and lesbian group,” Baker said. “It started
out as just a booking of about eight
friends, then it increased to about 75 and
has continued to grow.”
Although Baker said everyone on the
cruises is not gay, the atmosphere is welcoming
so gay travelers should feel comfortable.
“While we will have many private on-board
and optional shore-side events, this is a large
ship with a mixed clientele from most parts of
the United States and abroad,” Baker said.
“You should feel free to be yourself and
show your gay pride. Our groups range in size
from 30 to 200 plus gay travelers,” he added.
Baker said many of the heterosexual
guests aboard the ships enjoy the events
just as much as gays.
“You’ll be surprised at how many middle-
America people enjoy the drag shows,” he said.
One of the favorite drag queens on the
cruises is Ms. Bernadette, star of Miss
Baker said many of the ship’s staff are
gay and that also helps make guests feel
Setting to sail out from Miami for a
seven-day cruise in May is Norwegian
Cruise Line’s SS Norway as part of the
Aquafest II2003 event. The ship will cruise
the Virgin Islands to the cruise line company’s
private beach, Great Stirrup Clay.
Prices started at only $409 per person for
this voyage. The deadline to sign up was March
4. Baker and other travel agents suggest that
guest make reservations for cruises far in
advance in order to ensure at place on board.
In addition, each cruise line has cancellation
policies that begin approximately 60-75
days prior to departure and start with penalties
including the full deposit. These penalties
increase to 100 percent as the departure date
nears. Aquafest charges a one-time $50 per
cabin cancellation fee for all cancellations.
But there are more cruises to come, so
don’t feel all washed up, industry officials say
The Gayribbean Spring Fling Cruise
aboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of
the Seas will leave Galveston Island on
May 11 on its way to the ports of
Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Key
West. Key West is one of America’s top
gay destinations. TravelOut of Dallas handles
rates and booking for this cruise.
.Later, the Rhapsody of the Seas will
depart on Labor Day Weekend for a
Gayribbean cruise Aug. 31-Sept. 7 from
Gay-themed Aquafest, a division of Cruise Center in
Houston, will include a stop at the company's private
beach, Great Stirrup Clay, during its May excursion.
Galveston Island to the same destinations.
Rates for this cruise start at $520.55.
A cruise to New Orleans’ Southern
Decadence, a weekend of parties and other
festivities in the famous Louisiana city,
will take place Aug. 28-Sept. 1. TravelOut is
also handling booking for this cruise.
The Rhapsody of the Seas is a busy
vessel. It will also set sail on Oct. 26-Nov. 2
for Aquafest’s second annual Halloween
Costume Gala cruise. The seven-day
cruise will stop in ports of the Western
Caribbean. Early booking for this cruise
is highly suggested to receive some of the
best rates, according to travel agents.
Until May 31, rates start at $360 per
person. Non-discounted fees and taxes are
$160.55 per person and a $250 deposit is
due at the time of booking.
Another ship, Carnival’s Elation, will
leave Galveston Island on Oct. 26 for the
fifth annual Gayribbean Cruise and
Halloween Spectacular. The ship will return
on Nov. 2. Rates start at $550 for double occupancy
rooms and $860 for single occupancy
The ship will sail from Galveston Island
to the ports of Belize City, Cozumel and
Progresso, Mexico. The cruise will kickoff
with a Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party.
For Halloween, guests are encouraged to
dress up in their favorite costumes for a party
featuring prizes. There will also be optional
all-gay shore excursions and the Gay Games.
The fifth annual Gayribbean Holidaze
Cruise will take place Dec. 6-11 aboard
Carnival’s Celebration “fun ship.” It will
leave from Galveston Island to the ports of
Cozumel and Calica/Playa Del Carmen.
Rates start at $291 for double occupancy
rooms and $441 for single occupancy.
O MORE INFO
Aquafest • www.aquafest.net or
Cruise Center • 800-592-3887 • www.cruisecenter.com
Gayribbean Gay & Lesbian Group Tours
888-813-9947 • www.gayribbeancruises.com
The SS Norway
will be home to
Aquafest H's May
cruise to the
gayribbean Gayribbe.in Cruises?
Cajf & Lesbian Group TQWtS 'k lHllfr 111 & lfSl)ld[l
Cruising with years of experience Str Annum SAwaam
Come party this Halloween with
the BEST and our LARGEST gay &
lesbian group event of the year.
Sailing from Galveston to Cozumel,
Progreso and Belize, this is going to
be the best Halloween Event of the
Year! Staterooms are selling out fast
so book now!
• Interior Staterooms from $310.°°*
• Ocean View Staterooms from $410.00*
Ask how you can cruise for FREE!
•Optional All-Gay Shore Excursions
• Your cruise host Michael
•And so much more..
'Ssotti Snip’ Eiatiow
Book conveniently online now at
; WWW.SAYRtaaSAMCRUISgS.COM ;
'Rates are cruise only per person based on double occupancy and include port charges and taxes. Elation
also includes pre-paid gratuities. Rules and restrictions apply please call or go online for complete details.
Gayribbean Cruises are not all-gay cruises. Minimum participation is required for group events/tours.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston
for new members:
Mar 31, Apr 7, 14
Featuring the greatest hits of ABBA for www.gmch.org
our June Concert! No auditions required. 713.521.7464
18 MARCH 28, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
travel & leisure joshua Cleveland
October 26‘November 2, 2003
' All rates are per-person based on douMa o
Non Discountable fees and taxes are 16O.55r"“
Certain restrictions ap
when you boo
SPACE WILL GO FAST..^CiLL TODA
Bookings available ONLY through AQUAFEST
Rhapsody of the Seas
Film Festival at Sea
2 INCREDIBLE Shows
Special Guest DJ:
Michael K from "O”
2 Private Cocktail Parties
Late Night Dance Parties
3 Customized Shore
Deluxe Gift Bag
Gay & Lesbian
Fully Hosted Cruise
And a Few Surprises!
THE LOVETT INN
Distinctive Lodging and Catering Accommodations
Call us for your next out-of-town guest!
Historic Accommodations • Corporate Meeting Rooms
Banquet Facilities • Jacuzzi Suites • Pool/Hot Tub
Near Downtown, Museums and Medical Center
VCe do catered events for up to 200 people!
501 Lovett Blvd. Houston, TX 77006
(713) 522-5224 • (800) 779-5224
Fax (713) 528-6708 • lovettinn.com
YOU'LL LOVE IT!
From San Francisco to New York,
U.S. cities offer up something for everyone
Hit the gay hot spots
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET OUT
of Houston and hit some of the hottest gay
spots in the nation, there are plenty of
choices. Here are just a few must-sees for a
great gay vacation.
THE CASTRO IS GAY SAN FRANCISCO’S
town square, where activists regularly distribute
literature or have petitions signed at
the corner of 18th and Castro streets or near
the Muni subway station.
The sidewalks are almost always crowded
with people strolling, shopping and
socializing, while the folks in the area’s
numerous cafes and bars people-watch. The
district extends well past Castro Street itself
and is filled with interesting shops.
But don’t limit yourself to the
Castro. The influence of gay
San Francisco is felt, more sub-tly
but unmistakably, in many
neighborhoods, from the small-townish
Noe Valley to the newly
gentrified Hayes Valley Gay and
lesbian entertainment and nightlife
are everywhere — from the numerous theater
companies and cabarets to the packed
south-of-Market dance clubs.
And, well, they don’t call it Sodom-by-the-
Sea for nothing. Start with the basics
via the San Francisco Convention &
Visitors Bureau: www.sfvisitor.org.
ONLY A THREE-HOUR DRIVE FROM
Miami’s South Beach — which oozes high-gloss
Euro-glamour from its deco hotels,
shiny convertibles, and perfect tans — aloof
Key West is really a world away, according
to City Search.com
Aside from the semi-cruisey sands at
Fort Zachary Taylor, the beach in Key West
is nothing special, but the pools are crowded.
Most hotels and guesthouses have their
own pools, and wandering gay hordes gather
at the Atlantic Shores Hotel for communal
sunbathing with disco accompaniment.
The city’s AIDS Memorial, located next
to the Atlantic Ocean, is a 10,000-square-foot,
plaza-like area highlighted by blocks
of polished black granite, etched with the
names of people with a connection to the
Florida Keys who have died of AIDS.
For an online guide, check out
ARGUABLY THE GAY CAPITAL OF THE
South, Atlanta hosts everything from a
buzzing lesbian music scene to popular
clubs, bookstores and more.
Atlanta’s restaurant scene is hopping.
The perpetually packed, lesbian-owned and
operated Flying Biscuit, located in the
Candler Park area near the Bohemian-style
Little Five Points, is where you’ll find the
girls — and just about everyone else, as
well. Owners Cynthia, Missy and Dehlia
serve up eclectic healthy fare with Southern
and Southwestern influences including, of
course, many vegetarian dishes.
If the weather’s warm, don’t miss the
outdoor brunch at Einstein’s, where food is
served on the city’s largest patio. Clientele
at this hot spot, located in a refurbished
bungalow-style house, is mostly gay and lesbian.
The expansive menu includes everything
from burgers to pastas, and filets to
seafood. Einstein’s is in the ultra-gay
Midtown, conveniently close to Virginia
Highlands, a cozy neighborhood where lesbian
nesters have settled in and where you’ll
see plenty of rainbow flag bumper stickers.
At the Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in,
and an Atlanta institution, country
dykes in pickup trucks park hubcap to hub-cap
with soul kings in Cadillacs
; and frat boys in Jeeps. All likely
will end their meals with fried
For more on the whole gay
Atlanta scene, check out
GAY RECREATION ABOUNDS IN THE
capital city. The grandpa of Dupont Circle
bars, Omega (formerly the Frat House),
has a packed and racially diverse disco
downstairs; upstairs is a noisy video bar,
a dark room with porn, and a roadhousestyle
Guys hit nearby Fireplace when they’re
really ready to meet somebody. The largest
gay disco in town is Badlands; it is comprised
of two floors and at least a half-dozen
bars swarming with pretty boys.
Just south of the circle, the narrow,
multilevel club Garage hosts two floors of
dancing, plus schmoozing on its sundeck
(weather permitting) during Friday night’s
queer Pump party.
Of course, there is much more to do in
the nation’s capital than club hopping. Find
out more about gay D.C. at www.gaywdc.com.’
WITH A WORLD-CLASS SYMPHONY,
renowned museums, innovative theaters,
and an outdoor architectural gallery that
rivals Paris, Chicago is one of the world’s
most exciting cultural hubs.
Gay highlights of the Windy City include
dozens of gay and lesbian bars, gyms galore,
rainbow-friendly restaurants and more.
Start at www.chicagopride.com for more
New York City
GAY OR STRAIGHT, THIS CITY HAS
more entertainment than anyone could
possibly fit into one trip.
New York’s gay center, Greenwich
Village, is home to the Stonewall Inn and
Monsters, two of the more popular gay bars.
Henrietta’s bar — a favorite of lesbian rocker
Melissa Etheridge — is another important
stop. Oh, and did we mention Broadway?
Try starting travel plans at www.nyc.com.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MARCH 28, 2003 19
travel & leisure joshua Cleveland
Houston offers a number of gay-popular recreational
opportunities for both locals and visitors
Hometown leisure abounds
SOME GAY HOUSTONIANS MAY NOT
be up for a long road trip, or may just be
homebodies who prefer leisure opportunities
right here in the Bayou City.
For those traveling to Houston or
locals just looking for something to fun to
do with their time, this city has plenty of
options for gay R&R. Here are some of
those choices and upcoming events.
"HOW MODERN ART ESCAPED HITLER"
The Holocaust Museum Houston
5401 Caroline St. • April 3-5
This combination of permanent exhibits and
traveling shows is designed to educate.
"HISTORY OF JAPANESE
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet St • Through March
This institution houses a rich collec- ’
tion of world of art and hosts a variety
of film screenings and lectures.
6501 Memorial Drive • 713-845-1000
The Bayou City’s own Sam Houston
Memorial Park offers space for all kinds of
sports and leisure activities, from running
to bicycling, rollerblading, hiking, swimming
and more. The park is home to sports
such as golf, tennis, baseball and more.
Pets on leashes are welcome to walk then-owners
in the park. Open from dawn each
day until 11 p.m., Memorial Park also hosts
plenty of activity areas for children and
wheelchair-accessible recreation as well. •
Pride parade: 8:45-11 p.m. Saturday, June 28
Pride Committee of Houston
713-529-6979 • www.pridehouston.org
Houston’s 25th annual Pride celebration
culminates with the famous nighttime
parade on June 28 this year. The Pride
Committee of Houston plans 25 days of
Pride to lead up to the big event..
THEATRE NEW WEST
1415 California St. • 713-522-2204
April 16-May 24
Houston’s gayest theater troupe begins
its next production, “The Altruists,” in
mid-month. Theatre New West presents
this play, by Nicky Silver, which revolves
around a dedicated, if disorganized and
demented, group of young radicals.
615 Texas Ave.-713-228-8421
“Stones In His Pocket”
April 18-May 18
The smash hit of Broadway and
London’s West End, “Stones in His Pockets”
tells the hilarious story of an American
movie being shot in County Kerry
“Trip to Bountiful”
April Il-May 10
Texas playwright Horton Foote, the
celebrated author of the Alley-commissioned
“The Carpetbagger’s Children,”
brings his most beloved work to the Alley.
May 23-June 22
Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of Hamlet,
prince of Denmark, takes to the Alley stage.
; STAGES REPERTORY THEATRE
3201 Allen Parkway at Waugh Drive
' “Dirty Blonde”
Through April 13
Charlie and Jo are two quirky loners who
meet at Mae West’s grave. When Charlie, a film
archivist, reveals how West once beftiended
him, he takes Jo, an aspiring actress, on a wild
reminiscence of 1930s Hollywood.
“The Big Voice: God or Merman?”
This is the autobiographical story of two
gay men: Jim, a Brooklyn-born Catholic,
and Steve, a Southern Baptist from Texas.
How the two find their way from
church house to the stage is only the
beginning of this intense celebration of
the power of musical theater.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
1001 Convention Center Blvd.
800-678-5440 • www.cirquedusoleil.com
Through April 13
Houston hosts this touring show of the
popular circus troupe through the middle of
the month. Performances are at 8 p.m.
Tuesdays & Wednesdays; at 5 & 9 p.m.
Thursdays & Fridays; at 4 & 8 p.m. Saturdays;
and at 1 & 5 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $31-$65
Jones Hall • 615 Louisiana St.
One of the oldest structures in downtown’s
theater district, Jones Hall is the
home of several performing arts favorites.
“Graf and Glennie”
8 p.m. April 5 & 6
“Winter Dreams” with violinist Uri Pianka
8 p.m. Saturday, April 12 • 2:30 p.m. Sunday,
April 13 • 8 p.m. Monday, April 14
HOBBY CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS
“Kiss Me, Kate”
Through April 6 • 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Theatre Under the Stars presents this
Houston premiere of one of Broadway’s
most beloved musicals.
Stay with us!
A 7-ROOM ALL-GAY B&B
We're right /A the neighborhood.
And priced right!
Queen bed, cable TV,
phone. Walk to 15 gay bars.
April 8, 2003
7PM to 9PM
MO MONG RESTAURANT
1201 Westheimer #B
HOUSTON, TX 77006
20 MARCH 28, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Want to write?
(and get paid for it?!)
Houston Voice seeks to add to its pool of freelance
writers, particularly those interested in covering
news such as politics, police reports, court issues
and in-depth investigative pieces.
Ideal candidates will have polished writing skills,
an eye for accuracy and detail, and the ability to
adhere strictly to weekly deadlines.
Contact Penny Weaver
sports LEE DAVIS
Courts and fields get busy
as warm weather settles in
It's spring... play ball!
SPRING HAS SPRUNG! ACTIVITIES
for the sports-minded and for the sports-watchers
are getting into full swing.
Check out all of these events and stay
tuned for more as the weather turns a
Balls, balls, balls
The Houston Tennis Club meets on
Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7:30
to 9 p.m. Can’t make it during the week?
Look for them on Sunday from 9 a.m.
until noon. For more information, contact
the group at 713-692-2701 or via e-mail:
The Montrose Soccer Club of Houston is
open to men and women who have experience
playing soccer. For more information,
send an e-mail to MontroseSC@soccer.com
or go to www.geocities.com/MontrdseSoccer.
The Montrose Softball League’s (MSL)
season begins this weekend. Opening ceremonies
begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday,
March 30, at P.J.’s Park in Spring, Texas.
Teams this year include one A Division
team, three B Division teams and an ever-growing
D Division with nine teams. The
regular season consists of nine weeks of
play: six weeks at PJ Park and another
three weeks to be played at Cullen Park.
The regular season ends on June 8.
Contact the MSL on the Web at
Lone Star Classic
The Montrose Softball League
announces its Memorial Day Weekend
Lone Star Classic Softball Tournament is
May 23-26 this year. Registration is on
Friday, May 23, for Division B, C, and D.
Early registration postmarked by May 3 is
$300 with a fee of $350 for those who register
between May 3 and May 17. The host
hotel is the Houston Renaissance Hotel.
This tournament attracts teams from
all over the United States and Canada.
Participants and spectators alike will
have a chance to meet and greet people
and show them what Texas — more
specifically, Houston — hospitality is all
about. For more info, contact MSL at
Many people have an interest, as I’m
getting lots of replies on this issue. For
those who missed it before: Anyone interested
in a gay basketball league? Keep
your inquiries coming to me via
The Independent Billiard League of
Houston (IBL) requests that teams call in
scores to 713-942-0781 by 8 p.m. Friday following
After Week 6 of play, congratulations to
BRB Sidewinders and Bricks Kicks for
each boasting a perfect 6-0 record.
Individual congrats to B. Hunter and R.
Hines with 15-3 records and to V. Henry
and M. Soto, both at 14-4. The Break & Run
champion for week 1 was B. Arnold, and
for week 6 it’s B. Hunter. S. Santifer took
week 1 and S. Osteen week 5 in the Rack &
Run category. Way to shoot, guys! For more
information, contact the IBL on the Web at
Gay conference update
The National Gay & Lesbian Athletics
Conference will take place this weekend
in Boston. For more information, log on
to www.gayconference.org/index.php. If
anyone attends form this area, please contact
me (via e-mail at editor@houston-voice.
com) upon your return for an in-depth
MSL Lone Star Cup Classic
The Montrose Softball League recently
announced its first golf tournament will
be held Saturday, April 12, at Waterwood
National Resort and Golf Club. The shotgun
start time is 9 a.m. The entry fee is
$65 and monies will benefit league charities.
The fee includes greens fees, shared
carts, and range balls. Prizes will be
awarded to the first-, second- and third-place
Entry deadline is April 4. For more
information, contact MSL organizers at
www. montrosesoftballlgeague. com/.
The Lone Star Volleyball Association
.announces the Houston Classic XIV
Tournament, set for April 17-19.
Registration is April 17 from 7-11 p.m.
The beneficiary of this year’s tournament
is the Houston Buyer’s Club.
Housing accommodations have not been
Players must have a current NAGVA
membership to play. Photo ID and current
NAGVA registration is required to complete
the registration process and become
eligible to play. For eligibility/rating concerns,
contact the VP of Eligibility at eli-gibility@
nagva.org. Check ratings. USAV
Rules will be used unless superseded by
NAGVA Rules & Regulations.
Pool play will be Friday.
Championship play will be on Saturday.
All matches will be played at
Willowbrook Sports Complex. Divisions
being accepted are AA, A, BB and B.
The tournament features free T-shirts,
a sit-down banquet and local gay events in
conjunction with the tournament and
glass trophies. A $299.95 tournament fee is
all that’s needed for players to participate,
as long as they meet eligibility rules.
Come on out and meet folks from all over
the country! For more information, contact
the LSVA at www.lsva.org.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com_________________________________
SATURDAY, MARCH 29
Men's Gathering of Houston. Dialogue meeting, .6:30-9:30 p.m.
"PFLAG: What is It? and Ways to Reach the Black Community,"
with special guests Fred and Rosemary Wilson of PFLAG. First
Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, 5200 Fannin. Church
phone: 713-526-5200. Men's Gath