Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Houston Voice, No. 1170, March 28, 2003
File 001
File size: 22.40 MB
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Voice, No. 1170, March 28, 2003 - File 001. 2003-03-28. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/13120/show/13091.

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

(2003-03-28). Houston Voice, No. 1170, March 28, 2003 - File 001. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/13120/show/13091

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

Houston Voice, No. 1170, March 28, 2003 - File 001, 2003-03-28, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/13120/show/13091.

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

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Houston Voice, No. 1170, March 28, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
Publisher Window Media
Date March 28, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 001
Transcript voice Special 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 INSIDE The gay-themed 'The Big Voice: God or Merman?' starts next week with opening night benefiting PFLAG/HATCH youth scholarships. Page 3 Houston attorney Mitchell Katine reflects on the chal­lenge to the Texas sodomy law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Page 5 This weekend's opening cere­monies kick off the Montrose Softball League's new season. Page 20 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 argument. 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 of decline 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' J, 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 Accompanist Beth 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 General meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2 Houston GLBT Community Center 3400 Montrose, Suite 207 www.houstonglbtcenter.org www.hglpc.com Bunnies on the Bayou announce beneficiaries 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?" April 4-19 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 Tickets: $30 Stages Repertory Theatre 3201 Allen Parkway 713-527-0123 www.stagestheatre.com www.thebigvoice.com PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Fund (PHYSF) PO. Box 667010 • Houston, TX 77266 713-942-7002 PFLAG-Houston 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 next week. 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 Scholarship Foundation. 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,” Null said. 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 Production.” 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 of Tide. 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, Schalchlin said. 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 and Brochu. “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 skill. 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, he added. 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 Score. 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 inside ISSUE 1170 LOCAL NEWS.................................................... 3 NATIONAL NEWS..............................................8 FORUM....................................... 12 OUT ON THE BAYOU........................................15 COMMUNITY CALENDAR............................... 21 APPOINTMENTS..............................................21 CLASSIFIEDS..................................................22 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________________________________ [national news 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. Joseph Camber served as co-chair of Knoxville Pride and on the original steering committee of Knoxville Cares, a gay and AIDS organization. His death 'left a big hole that will not be filled,' friends said. (Photo cour­tesy of David Frazier) 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 amends.” “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, Frazier said. Camber’s death “left a big hole that will not be filled in Knoxville’s gay community, Arrington said. “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 experience. “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 much anymore. “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 |WINNER ^ACADEMY AWARD' BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY •W PEDRO ALMODOVAR "BEST PICTURE £ OF THE YEAR!" H THE NEW YORK TIMES TIME MAGAZINE PREMIERE MAGAZINE I WINNER BAFTA AWARDS —------------ INCLUDING------------------ BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY ra® ^nypictures classics' NOW PLAYING AT THESE THEATRES LANDMARK RIVER OAKS 3 2009 W. Gray St. 713-524-2175 CINEMARK AMC HOLLYWOOD 20 STUDIO 30 2101 E. Beltway Dunvale © Westhelmer 713^475-0081 281-31*4AMC 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 donnleday.com Let’s have some fun!!! Si 71S.526.9272 Phillips & Driver BAR RECORDS cactus 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_____ _ originals. NONE $12.99CD 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. ■HnMB MUSIC & VIDEO &Driver 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 sodomy laws. “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 the Constitution. 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 "homosexual conduct." 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. PENNY WEAVER 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 arguments cited 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 equal protection. 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 lchibbaro@washblade.com; Chris Crain can be reached at ccrain@washblade.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 ujivijj.fitnessEschange.ee fitness exchange 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 Trover a LAND ROVER HOUSTON 7019 Old Kaly Rood • 713-293-6100 www.landroverhouston.coni 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. HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN® Save the Date! Women's College Basketball Finals Sunday, April 6, 2003 Game Viewing and Dance Party! For information, please e-mail events@hrc.org or visit www.hrc.org. the nation 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- Former New Hampshire law­maker Gary Daniels withdrew his name from nomination for a post on the state's Human Rights Commission after controversy over anti-gay remarks. (Photo courtesy Milford Cabinet) 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 of Mississippi. 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 voter.” 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,” Townsend said. 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 American F ederated Mortgage Corp. Over 50 years Experience Apply online at: americanfederatedmortgage.com Denise Wargo Sr. Loan Officer 713.516.0534 cell $200 off closing costs by mentioning ad! "We strive to make your mortgage solutions Fast Fair and Easy." Les Powell Vice President / Sr. Loan Officer 281.787.9610 cell Corporate Office 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 e-mail office@gracelutheran-houston.org Celebrating 26 Years in the Community Catholic Mass Celebrated Saturdays at 7:30pm 1307'H Yale • 713'880'2872 10 MARCH 28, 2003 STATSCRIPT PHARMACY CHRONIMED 4101 Greenbriar, Suite 235, Houston, TX 77098 One source for all your medication needs Private one-on-one consultation Complete insurance billing and coordination of benefits ABOUT LIVING WELL NOT JUST ABOUT Living Longer 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. The convenience of free delivery 713-521-1700 toll free: 866-523-5995 Fax: 713-521-5855 3407 Montrose, Suite A5, Houston, TX 77006 713-522-7373 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? ❖ Individual ❖ Corporate and Small Business ❖ Accounting Janet S. Langham, CPA 3701 Kirby Drive, Suite 1184 Houston, Texas 77098 713.622.2650 ❖ CPA|SL@aol.com ___________________________________________www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE medical report 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 Immunity. 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. Methicillin-Resistent Staphylococcus 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 Deficiency Syndrome. From staff and wire reports HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com international news 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 the party. 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 713-861-9149 www.resurrectionmcc.org Childrens Easter Eggstravaganza! 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 Maranatha Fellowship Metropolitan Community Church March 30 • “Settling Into A New Land” Rev. Janet Parker "Building Community Through Compassion " Visit Our New Improved & Larger Nursery/Children’s area Church Service begins at 10am and nursery is available for small children. Mid-week "Home Group" services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 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 maranatha@evl.net www.maranathamcc.com voice! Foru in EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN Editor PENNY WEAVER editor@houstonvoice.com Production BONNIE NAUGLE, GEORGE WIDMER guest editorial 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, KIMBERLY THOMPSON Webmaster JED DEMPSEY SALES & ADMINISTRATION General Manager DANIEL EMERICH demerich@houstonvoice.com Account Executives BRETT CULLUM - bcullum@houstonvoice.com DONNA HULL - dhull@houstonvoice.com BRIAN MARTIN - bmartin@houstonvoice.com National Advertising Representative Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc. 212-242-6863 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 National Cay Newspaper Guild CHARTER MEMBER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax:(713)529-9531 www.houstonvoice.com 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. Issue 1170 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 or what? 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 bedroom? A: None. 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? A: No. Q: Do anything else? A: Well, yes. Q: What? 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. <1 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 Virginia.” 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 Sharon’s mother. 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- HOUSTON VOICE MARCH 28, 2003 PAGE 12 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- sex couples. 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 opposite-sex couples. 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 questioning. 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 as criminals. Nancy Polikoff is a Vi? law professor at American University and can be reached at npoliko@wcl3merican.edu HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MARCH 28, 2003 13 Remember our JEFF CLEGHORN 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. gay soldiers 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 circumstances. 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 atjmcleghom@aol.com. 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® NOW PLAYING THRU APRIL 13 ONLY! under the white Grand Chapiteau across from the George R. Brown Convention Center Get your tickets today! cirquedusoleil.com 1800678-5440 Proud Sponsors SS AMflUCJUV IVWut 'Alegria keeps the ‘WOW’ factor working.” fefa.,. The Houston Chronicle CIRQUE DU SOLEIL presents 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 NETWORKING FOR MORE INFORMATION, AND TO APPLY, VISIT OUR WEBSITE: AEN.ORG 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 nearest homosexual.” 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 gang-banger.” 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, March 15) “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 PAGE 15 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 state. 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 Go west 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 gay Texans 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. Cruises cater 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 wasn’t conventional. 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 Austin's Elisabet Ney Museum, shown circa 1905, is one of the oldest museums in Texas. 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. Go north 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 Rockport www.rockport-fulton.org Corpus Christi www.corpuschristi-tx-cvb.org/ Austin www.austintexas.org www.ci.austin.tx.us/elisabetney/ San Antonio www.sanantoniocvb.com www.fiesta-sa.org San Marcos www.sanmarcostexas.com/tourism/ New Braunfels wWw.newbraunfels.com www.newbraunfels-tx.net/ Dallas www.visitdallas.com/visitors/ Hanns Ebensten TRAVEL 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 ( ▼HIKEtBIKEtDIVE ▼DREAM! 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 and more! 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 Camp America. Baker said many of the ship’s staff are gay and that also helps make guests feel comfortable. 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 Travel Out 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 Virgin Islands. gayribbean Gayribbe.in Cruises? Cajf & Lesbian Group TQWtS 'k lHllfr 111 & lfSl)ld[l Cruising with years of experience Str Annum SAwaam JUSH •MorMgiftbags •GayGames ms 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 •Group Dining • Your cruise host Michael •And so much more.. HCarnival 'Ssotti Snip’ Eiatiow I I 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 SING OUT! Open Rehearsals for new members: Mar 31, Apr 7, 14 7:00 pm Bering 1440 Harold Featuring the greatest hits of ABBA for www.gmch.org our June Concert! No auditions required. 713.521.7464 One Voice GMCH 18 MARCH 28, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE travel & leisure joshua Cleveland Including Our UNMATCHED Amenity Package. i:imi 2003 October 26‘November 2, 2003 **** Rated ' All rates are per-person based on douMa o Non Discountable fees and taxes are 16O.55r"“ Certain restrictions ap 7-DAr6ArtlfS8uui Halloween Spectacuuh CAKIBSEANGHaifCAlHSC when you boo SPACE WILL GO FAST..^CiLL TODA Bookings available ONLY through AQUAFEST 800.592.3887 www.aquafest.net Rhapsody of the Seas ARLY BOOKINGSAVINGS!!! dt Lesbian Film Festival at Sea 2 INCREDIBLE Shows Starring "BERNADETTE” Private Halloween Costume Gala/Contest Special Guest DJ: Michael K from "O” 2 Private Cocktail Parties Late Night Dance Parties 3 Customized Shore Excursions (optional) Deluxe Gift Bag Group Dining Gay & Lesbian Bingo/Trivia Fully Hosted Cruise And a Few Surprises! Si 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. San Francisco 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. Key West 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 http://gaykeywestfl.com/. Atlanta 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 peach pies. For more on the whole gay Atlanta scene, check out www.gayatlanta.com. Washington, D.C. 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 lounge. 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.’ Chicago 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 details. 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. MUSEUMS "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 PHOTOGRAPHY" 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. RECREATION MEMORIAL PARK 6501 Memorial Drive • 713-845-1000 www.ci.houston.tx.us/departme/parks/ 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 2003 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.. PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE NEW WEST 1415 California St. • 713-522-2204 “The Altruists” 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. ALLEY THEATRE 615 Texas Ave.-713-228-8421 www.alleytheatre.org “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. “Hamlet” 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 713-527-0123• : www.stagestheatre.com ' “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?” April 4-19 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 “Alegria” 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 HOUSTON SYMPHONY 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 800 Bagby “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. ON YOUR NEXT VISIT TO HOUSTON Stay with us! Montrose Inn 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. 408 AVONDALE 800-357-1228 713-520-0206 montroseinn.com ART EXHIBITION "SOUL SANCTUM" Featured Artist LISA HERRINGTON April 8, 2003 7PM to 9PM AT MO MONG RESTAURANT 1201 Westheimer #B HOUSTON, TX 77006 713.524.5664 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 e-mail: editor@houstonvoice.com 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 little warmer. 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: houstontennisclb@aol.com. More balls 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. Batter up 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 www.montrosesoftballleague.com. 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 http://www.montrosesoftballleague.com. Gay basketball 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 editor@houstonvoice.com. Scratchers The Independent Billiard League of Houston (IBL) requests that teams call in scores to 713-942-0781 by 8 p.m. Friday fol­lowing play. 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 http://iblhouston.com. 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 interview. 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 finishers. Entry deadline is April 4. For more information, contact MSL organizers at www. montrosesoftballlgeague. com/. Volleyball tourney 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 determined yet. 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_________________________________ community calendar 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
File Name pdf_uhlib_31485329_n1170_ac.pdf