voice Keys to success
The Briar Patch piano bar continues
to draw gay patrons in its new
Montrose location, picked out by
ISSUE 1181 WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE JUNE 13, 2003
Lambda Legal attorney Ruth
Harlow comes to Houston in
conjunction with the anticipated
U.S. Supreme Court ruling
on the Texas sodomy
Pride Month is in full swing
with activities gearing up for
the infamous nighttime
parade. Check out this week's
events in the Houston Voice's
No venture Out on the Town
this week would be complete
without a viewing of Houston
Grand Opera's 'The Little
Anti-gay bills disappear
as Legislature closes
Trio of proposals targeting
gay parents fail to make
progress before Texas
lawmakers end session
By PENNY WEAVER
Despite the approval of the anti-gay Texas
Defense of Marriage Act this spring, gay
activists declared victory as the 78th session
of the Texas Legislature ended this month.
“The end of this session is a great relief
to many of our families and great for many
kids who need care in this state,” said former
state Rep. Glen Maxey, the only openly
gay person to serve in the Texas
Legislature, in a press release from the
Randall Ellis, executive director of LGRL, helped
instruct more than 200 participants in LGRL's lobby
day in March, part of the group's efforts to fight
anti-gay bills in this year's session of the Texas
Legislature. (Photo by James Null)
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas.
“But after watching the level of hate and
venom of this Legislature, I assure that this
war is long from over,” Maxey said. “We better
start raising the money tomorrow for
the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby. We only won
a great battle. The war is still raging.”
Three anti-family bills that LGRL helped
fight died when the session ended, according
to Randall Ellis, LGRL executive director.
They are House Bill 194,1911 and 916.
House Bill 194, filed by Rep. Robert
Talton (R-Pasadena), would have disqualified
gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in
Texas from serving as foster parents. The
proposal was referred to the Juvenile
Justice & Family Affairs Committee but
never received a public hearing and therefore
never went to lawmakers for a vote.
A similar bill filed by Talton, H.B. 1911,
would have prevented unmarried Texans
from serving as foster parents. In late
Please see ANTI-GAY BILLS on Page 4
Ontario court overturns gay marriage ban
North America's first legal
gay weddings held this
week, open to U.S. couples
By KEVIN SPENCE
TORONTO — Two Toronto men were
married on Tuesday, in the first legal gay
marriage ceremony in North America.
The men immediately took advantage of a
landmark Canadian appeals court decision
that ruled that Canada’s ban on gay marriage
Just hours after the decision, Michael
Leshner, 55, and Michael Stark, 45, tied the
knot in a civil ceremony at the largest
courthouse in Toronto. Leshner’s 90-year-old
mother sang “0 Canada,” the Canadian
national anthem, at the historic union,
which was attended by about 50 of friends
“Yesterday we were giddy with happiness,”
Please see MARRIAGE on Page 6
Michael Stark (left) and Michael Leshner show off their wedding rings, moments after they were married in
Toronto on Tuesday. They were the first gay couple to be legally married in North America. The ceremony
came a few hours after an Ontario court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny gays and lesbians that right
(Photo by Michael Stupyark/Toronto Star)
2 JUNE 13, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
IPITA & ADASSA
WTIME AT 4 PM
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■3E Events SchEO^
AND SOUTH BEACH
ftjoE Committee of Houston
Two Great Shows!
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
| local news
Gays anticipate sodomy issue ruling
Events planned to lead up to
and follow U.S. Supreme
Court decision on Texas case
By PENNY WEAVER
Gay activists are gearing up for the
U.S. Supreme Court decision on the challenge
to the Texas sodomy statute, and
that decision could come as early as
The court is expected to issue its ruling
in the case of Lawrence v. Texas this
month, and has announced so far that it
will hand down various case decisions on
June 16 and June 23. The court also may
add decision days later in the month,
according to Lambda Legal Defense &
Education Fund, which is helping lead
opposition to the Texas “homosexual
conduct” law. The Texas decision could
be among rulings handed down any of
Lambda Legal, which assists gays
across the country in legal battles, charges
that the Texas sodomy statute violates lesbian
and gay Texans’ constitutional rights
to privacy and equal protection. Lambda
has asked the high court to review that
statute and declare it unconstitutional.
The Texas law bans intimate relations,
including oral and anal sex, between consenting
adults of the same sex. It does not
apply to heterosexual couples.
In 1998, sheriff’s deputies, responding
to a false report of an armed intruder,
entered John Lawrence’s Houston apartment
and found Lawrence and Tyron
Garner having sex. Both were arrested
and jailed overnight. Both pleaded no contest
to the Class C misdemeanor and paid
a $200 fine.
The case was appealed to the Texas
Court of Criminal Appeals, which refused
to consider the matter. U.S. Supreme Court
justices agreed last fall to hear the case,
and oral arguments were given before the
court in March.
This month in Houston, a number of
events are planned with the anticipated
Supreme Court decision in mind.
On Friday, June 13, Lambda legal director
and attorney Ruth Harlow will be the
guest of honor for the Sexual Orientation
& Gender Identification Issues Section of
the State Bar of Texas (SOGII), the nation’s
first gay state bar group.
SOGII members meet from 1 to 5 p.m. as
part of the State Bar of Texas’s Conference
at the George R. Brown Convention Center
in Houston. Harlow was the chief strategist
in the challenge to the Texas sodomy
statute and is considered a top civil rights
attorney in the nation.
“(The Lawrence easel is a tremendously
important case for gay people and
for everyone who believes in basic freedoms,”
Harlow said in a SOGII press
release. “Laws that criminalize oral and
anal sex by consenting gay couples are
an affront to equality, invade the most
Gay activists this month anticipate a U.S. Supreme
Court ruling on the Texas sodomy statute, a case
that began with Houstonians Tyrone Garner (left)
and John Lawrence in 1998.
private sphere of adult life, and harm
gay people in many ways.”
Community Law Day set
As part of Houston Pride 2003, and with
the Texas sodomy case in mind, the
Stonewall Law Association of Greater
Houston will offer the nation’s first event
designed to teach gay citizens about their
According to a SLAGH press release,
the free seminar called Community Law
Day will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 14, at Bering Memorial
United Methodist Church. The sessions
will feature more than 25 SLAGH attorneys
and judges who will present 17 topics
of interest to gays.
“Some laws can affect GLBT people differently
or exclude us all together from
certain protections and rights,” said
Stonewall Law President Jerry
Simoneaux. “We felt we needed to let our
community know what their rights really
are and how we can work within our current
legal system to recapture and preserve
The keynote address to kick off the
event will be given by Houston attorney
Mitchell Ratine, who is local counsel in the
case of Lawrence v. Texas.
Participants will then be able to choose
from four classes offered each hour from 1
to 5 p.m. Classes will be taught by noted
attorneys such as University of Houston
Professor Richard Aiderman, Jim Walker,
transgender activist Phyllis Frye, John
Nechman, and Judge Steven Kirkland,
among others. Each class is planned for
the non-attorney; however, attorneys who
participate will receive up to 4.75 hours of
Continuing Legal Education Credits
approved by the State Bar of Texas, according
“We are very excited about this event,”
said Ratine, who also is Stonewall Law
Planning Committee Chair. “We have put
together a great program featuring topics
dealing directly with the GLBT community
such as employment, housing, forming
and dissolving relationships, parenting,
name change procedures and transgender
issues, and estate planning. There are
also topics of more general interest such
as auto accidents, traffic tickets, criminal
defense, consumer protection, and much
more. Everyone is sure to find something
Events planned in reaction
to Supreme Court decision
Local events around the nation are
being planned for the day the Lawrence v.
Texas decision is announced, according to
Gay groups plan celebrations or protest
rallies for the afternoon and evening of the
decision, depending on the court’s ruling.
Lambda Legal is working with community
activists to coordinate these events and
disseminate up-to-the-minute information
on the case and the decision, according to a
Lambda press release.
Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Supreme
Court to strike down the Texas sodomy law
for two reasons: first, that it is an unconstitutional
invasion of privacy; and second,
that by singling out gay people, it violates
the Constitution’s guarantee of equal
protection under the law. A victory on
either or both claims will affect all 13
remaining sodomy laws in the nation and
will be a powerful tool for securing equality
for lesbians and gay men in all 50 states,
according to Lambda Legal.
Events planned for the day of the
Supreme Court decision on the Texas case
include rallies in West Hollywood,
Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and
In Texas, activists plan a 5:45 p.m. rally
in Dallas on the day of the decision.
Houston leaders plan a 5 p.m. rally on the
steps of City Hall, 901 Bagby St., in reaction
to the decision when it is made public.
O MORE INFO
1314 Texas Ave, Suite 1700
Houston, TX 77002
Community Law Day
11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 14
Bering Memorial UMC
Houston, Texas 77006
Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston
Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund
JUNE 13, 2003 3
LOCAL NEWS................................................ 3
OUT ON THE BAYOU..................................... 15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR............................ 21
MY STARS..................................... 26
COMPLAINT: College softball player Andrea
Zimbardi has accused the University of Florida's
softball team coaches of anti-gay discrimination.
INDICTED: Media attention has focused on
Martha Stewart's indictment, but gay stockbroker
Peter Bacanovic also faces charges in connection
with the security fraud case. Page 8.
VIEWPOINT: As Fathers Day approaches,
columnist Rich Arenschieldt marvels over the
out-of-this-world transformation of one dad.
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DOMA was session's big defeat for gays
4 JUNE 13, 2003_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
| local news
O MORE INFO
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
P.O. Box 2340 • Austin, TX 78768
512-474-5475 • www.lgrl.org
ANTI-GAY BILLS, continued from Page 1
April, lawmakers said H.B. 1911 did not
have the support it needed to pass and
would not be moved out of committee. That
proposal, which also hit a nerve with gay
parents, died with the legislative session.
Originally the measure stated that the state
should “prevent the placement of a child in a
foster home with any unmarried individuals.”
But as the House State Affairs Committee
heard testimony regarding the bill, Talton substituted
the phrase “unmarried individuals”
with “homosexual or bisexual”
That move confirmed what gay
activists had said since the lawmaker filed
the bill: that it was directed at preventing
gay Texans from serving as foster parents.
The third anti-gay bill concerning families
was H.B. 916, filed on by state Rep. Sid
Miller (R-Stephenville). Miller called the bill
the Defense of Families Act; it would have
prevented two people of the same sex from
filing a joint petition for adoption of a child.
H.B. 916 was referred to the Juvenile
Justice & Family Affairs Committee, just
as Talton’s H.B. 194 was sent to that panel.
The bill stalled in committee and never
received a public hearing.
Lobbying by families
damaged anti-gay bill
Gay activists rallied to stop the anti-gay
H.B. 1911—the only one of the three anti-gay
family bills to get a public hearing—and lawmakers
said testimony from gay families
helped keep the bill from coming up for a vote.
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Carrollton),
chairman of the Republican-dominated
House State Affairs Committee, said compelling
testimony by bill opponents was a
factor in trashing the bill last month, along
with the $15.7 million price tag.
A number of gay rights advocates and
social workers on April 22 denounced
Talton’s proposed legislation, calling it
cruel and crazy. There aren’t enough foster
Gay parents, their families and supporters from
across Texas rallied at the state Capitol in March
against anti-gay legislation. Lobbyists credit the
outspokenness of gay families with defeating at
least one bill. (Photo by James Null)
homes as it is, said opponents, and there is
no evidence that a parent’s sexual orientation
is harmful to a child, they noted.
Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin) said an
estimated 1,560 foster homes with single
parents would be closed by the bill, displacing
“So if they’re displaced, where do they
end up?” Naishtat said. In state-paid institutions,
he said, answering his own question.
LGRL called H.B. 1911 “one of the most
serious and potentially damaging bills” of
the Texas Legislature’s 78th session.
'Slap in the face'
to gays is now law
The big defeat for gay Texans this year
was the approval of the Texas Defense of
Marriage Act, which Gov. Rick Perry
signed into law on May 27.
The new legislation prevents same-sex
marriages or civil unions from being recognized
in Texas, even if they are performed
and recognized in other states.
Vermont currently is the only state that
provides civil unions for same-sex couples.
Already, Texas only permits marriage
between a man and a woman. Gay activists
call the state’s DOMA “a slap in the face”
to gay Texans.
But supporters said the act was needed
to protect Texas from the legal decisions of
judges in other states where same-sex
unions could be recognized.
The bill faced some unsuccessful
Democratic opposition in the Texas Senate.
It received widespread support in a record
vote in the House. It was authored by Sen.
Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, and sponsored
by Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa.
When the House approved the DOMA
bill April 30, it was by a vote of 118-13,
sending the proposal to the governor’s
desk. A similar bill already had been
approved by the Senate on a vote of 22-9.
Chisum also was a co-sponsor of
Talton’s anti-gay H.B. 194.
continued to the end
In the last days of the legislative session,
Senate Bill 1952 emerged as a vehicle
for amendments of all kinds, according to
Ellis. That kept activists concerned about
potential anti-gay proposals that might
ride into law with other legislation.
S.B. 1952 dealt with a broad topic of government
reform, and lawmakers including
Rep. Miller attempted to add a proposal
against gay adoption to the bill.
“The far-right pushed its social agenda
of intolerance right up to the very end,”
Ellis said. “Even with the obstacle of a $118
billion dollar budget still on the table, Sid
Miller was attempting to amend his anti-gay
adoption language onto any bill he
could. It did not make it because it was bad
policy, and lawmakers were unwilling to
waste their time with his pettiness.”
Although some anti-gay bills died with
the end of the legislative session, more than
one pro-gay bill also perished when lawmakers
concluded their work. They included:
• H.B. 574, filed by Rep. Jessica Farrar
(D-Houston). This measure would have prohibited
employment discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill was referred to the Business &
Industry Committee, and a public hearing
was held on March 25, but the proposal
remained pending in committee.
State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)
signed on as a joint author to Farrar’s bill.
• H.B. 862, filed by Coleman and known
as the Dignity for All Students Act, would
have protected Texas students from discrimination
based on characteristics including
race, religion and sexual orientation. The
proposal was referred to the Public
Education Committee and left pending.
Farrar signed on as a joint author to the
Dignity for All Students Act.
• H.B. 1136, referred to the State Affairs
Committee, was proposed by Mike
Villarreal (D-San Antonio).
The legislation would have banned discrimination
in housing and employment
based on sexual orientation. It defined sexual
orientation as “having a preference for het-erosexuahty
homosexuality or bisexuality;
having a history of such a preference; or
being identified as having such a preference.”
It also stated: “This Act may not be construed
to mean that this state condones
homosexuality, bisexuality, or any equivalent
The legislation would have prohibited
employers from firing, refusing to hire, or
otherwise discriminating against anyone
based on sexual orientation.
DOJ reverses decision, will allow Pride party
Ashcroft reverses decision, but Justice
Department won't sponsor gay event
In a last minute reversal, the Department
of Justice said Tuesday night that employees
will be allowed to stage a gay pride event
at the agency’s headquarters. The agency
had earlier refused to permit any Pride celebration
But in what gay employees called a continued
deviation from usual policy, the
department will not be officially sponsoring
the gathering. The decision means that
employees will have to pay for event
Allison Nichol, vice president of
Department of Justice Pride, said a
department spokesperson had hinted that
budgetary concerns were behind the decision.
But Nichol questioned how her group
would be able to cover event expenses
without help from the department.
In previous years, the department paid
for the expenses, including use of the
Great Hall, set-up and breakdown of
microphones and added security costs as
the event is held after hours.
“We’ve always covered expenses for the
food, like trays of brownies and coffee, and
we always pay for the awards themselves,
but we’ve never had to handle these other
expenses,” Nichol said. “While we welcome
the partial reversal, we certainly do
not think that this treatment is equal to
that afforded to other groups in the department.
We think that is unfortunate.”
A Justice Department spokesman told
the Associated Press Tuesday night that it
had never been the department’s intention
to block the event, but only to make it clear
that they would not financially support the
gathering. The Justice Department did not
return Blade calls seeking comment.
Nichol said her group is waiting to hear
back from the department’s Equal
Employment Opportunity Office on the cost
for the event and to find out if the Great
Hall is available on June 20, the date DOJ
Pride hopes to hold its awards ceremony
In a related move, the Department of
Commerce’s Office of Civil Rights has
announced it will not sponsor gay pride
events this year. It will permit the group
to celebrate the event in the Commerce
building, according to a member of the
department’s gay group.
The DOJ and Attorney General John
Ashcroft have faced mounting criticism
for the past week over the initial decision
to refuse permission to the gay employee
group. Some senators and ACLU officials
said Ashcroft violated a promise he made
during his confirmation hearings that he
would not discriminate against the department’s
gay employee organization.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) sent a
strongly worded letter to Ashcroft urging
him to reconsider his decision and threatened
to take legislative action if the matter
was not resolved. Lautenberg wrote that if
the DOJ decision was not reversed, he would
invite DOJ Pride to the Capitol to celebrate
gay pride month.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 5
College softball player dropped from team after complaint
University of Florida)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Andrea Zimbardi, a former star
player and co-captain of the University of Florida’s soft-ball
team, accused the team’s coaches of anti-gay discrimination
after they released Zimbardi, a lesbian, from the
program, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“It’s not just me,” Zimbardi told the newspaper. “There
were two other players released, and they were never
given a clear reason why but they were also of a certain
sexual orientation.” While UF does not include sexual orientation
in its non-discrimination policy Zimbardi, who
had complained to school officials of her two coaches’
“inappropriate” comments regarding her sexual orientation,
said she was told the situation would be addressed.
Instead, she was suspended for two days after her meeting
with the officials and later released. “[Head coach Karen
Johns] said I was pulling a big scam and that I shouldn’t plaining about 'inappropriate' com-feel
what I was feeling,” Zimbardi said. Athletic Director ments directed at her by a coach
Jeremy Foley said in a prepared statement that he was at the school. (Photo courtesy the
“very comfortable” with how the situation was handled.
Andrea Zimbardi, a lesbian athlete
at the University of Florida, was
released from the team after com-
Conservative group thwarted
in Gay Days fly-by attempt
BUENA VISTA, Fla. — A Virginia-based
Christian group attempted last week to
remove a no-fly zone over Walt Disney
World so they could hire planes to display
anti-gay banners during the park’s
annual Gay Days weekend, according to
the Associated Press. “Airspace is a free-
First Amendment zone,” Joe Glover,
president of the Family Policy Network,
told AP. But U.S. District Judge Anne C.
Conway rejected the petition, stating it
did not meet the burden of proof to lift
the-restraining order put in place to prevent
terrorist attacks. Despite the controversy,
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
opened the event, which drew thousands
of gay men and lesbians to the central
Florida city last weekend, with a welcoming
speech, according to the
Orlando Sentinel. “I’m the first mayor to
attend this event, and I promise this
won’t be my last,” Dyer said, according
to the newspaper.
Army journal publishes study
on military's gay ban
WASHINGTON — A study that shows
gays don’t undermine the military’s ban
on openly gay service members was
recently published in Parameter, the
official journal of the U.S. Army. The
publication is distributed to more than
12,000 senior Army officers and officials.
Study author Aaron Belkin, assistant
professor of political science and director
of the Center for the Study of Sexual
Minorities in the Military at the
University of California, Santa
Barbara, said that the military has a history
of suppressing its own studies
showing that gay men and lesbians do
not undermine the military. Belkin said
the publishers of Parameters took a
“bold step” to publish a study “based on
evidence, methodology and one that
addresses the issue squarely.” “Those
who are reading this are tomorrow’s
colonels and then generals,” Belkin
said. “One effect that could result from
the research is that if they read a piece
that has a very calm, measured tone,
that they might be likely to intellectually
argue within the military to their generals
that the policy [Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell] is wrong.”
City Council in Ky. challenges mayor
on domestic partner benefits
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Despite heated
debate among city council members,
Mayor Teresa Isaac is confident that her
policy extending health benefits to government
workers’ domestic partners
will remain unaltered, according to the
Lexington Herald-Leader. Stating budgetary,
procedural and moral objections,
11 of the 15 members of the council
voted to take steps to place a moratorium
on- the benefits until October.
Though the outcome of the moratorium
is uncertain, Isaac said the council is
fighting a losing battle because the
authority to extend such benefits rests
exclusively in her office. “That’s why it
was important to do it administratively,”
she told the Herald-Leader, adding
that only if the council were to get a
legal ruling in favor of the moratorium
would they have any hope of enacting it.
N.Y. doctor sues lesbian partner
over alleged money mishandling
NEW YORK (AP) — A foot doctor who
received millions of dollars after being
hit on the head by ice falling from the
Empire State Building sued her domestic
partner for allegedly misusing her
money while she was disabled. Dr.
Caryn Brandland said in court papers
the severe head injury she suffered on
Feb. 9, 1998, left her unable to take care
of herself or her financial affairs. By
March 2003, court papers say, Brandland
had recovered “to the point where she
was able to comprehend that Eagle had
massively misappropriated her funds
and had obtained title to her [$1.6 million
condominium] apartment as a joint
tenant.” At this time, court papers say,
Brandland told Eagle she wanted her
out of the apartment. Brandland’s
lawyer, Adam Richards, refused to comment
on the case except to say Eagle is
still living in the apartment
From staff and wire reports
The Most Important
LGBT Court Decision
ot Our Generation
♦ Health Benefits
♦ Social Security &
... and more /'
; | ♦ Immigration
affecting our_egua[ access toj
♦ Jobs & Housing
♦ Families &
Will be made over the
next several days*
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide Lambda Legal's case which will
directly affect the rights and lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgendered people for years to come as it decides whether or not to
uphold Texas’s “Homosexual Conduct Law,” outlawing sex between
couples of the same gender. Courts and legislators around the nation have
used laws like this as the excuse to deny us a whole host of rights, making
whether or not the court upholds the Texas law critical to our civil liberties.
ALL who support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered people’s
freedom are asked to join either...
a PROTEST or
K nm on th® stePs Of
U pin City Hall (901 Bagby Street)
on the evening of the
Join John Lawrence & Tyron Garner
for this important occasion.
We will either PROTEST the court’s decision if they insult our humanity by
upholding Texas’s bigoted law, or we will CELEBRATE the defeat of this hateful
legislation. Either way, we call on all fair-minded Houston-area individuals and
organizations to make a public commitment to attend this action. Please go to
www.CABN.org/DefendOurRiqhts to pledge your support.
Speakers will include GLBT leaders, lawyers, and public officials.
Info: contact Mitchell Katine at 713.981.9595 or at email@example.com
* We do not know the date, although it almost definitely will be announced in the
morning on a Monday in June. Listen to the news each morning, and please
attend this event the evening of the Court’s announcement.
6 JUNE 13, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
U.S. gays can get mamed in Ontario
MARRIAGE, continued from Page 1
Leshner told the Voice. Justice John Hamilton
performed the ceremony
“All we had to do was produce the
license,” Leshner said. “He said it was an
honor to marry us. They treated us like
In addition to allowing ceremonies like
Leshner and Stark’s, the court retroactively
validated the unions of two couples who
had already been married by the
Metropolitan Community Church in 2001.
Canadian officials have confirmed that
gay couples from the U.S. may also be married
in Ontario, leading American gay
activists working on legalizing gay marriage
in this country to ask whether
American couples married in Ontario will
have their unions recognized back home.
They are also talking about the impact of
the Canadian ruling on court cases and
pending bills in individual states.
Evan Wolfson, executive director of
Freedom to Marry, is ecstatic about the
“It puts tremendous winds in our sails
in our freedom to marry movement,” said
Wolfson, whose organization is seeking to
win marriage equality nationwide.
Joanna Radbord, a gay marriage supporter
in Toronto, just married her partner,
Maretta Miranda. She was also one of
the attorneys who argued the case before
the appeals court.
Radbord expects Martin Cauchon,
Canada’s minister of justice, to make an
announcement soon about a potential
appeal, but she is hopeful the decision will
be left standing.
“It looks like the government is not
going to appeal the decision,” Radbord said.
“When we were arguing the case, one of the
o GAY MARRIAGE
Countries with gay marriage:
Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003)
Countries with marriage-like "registered
Denmark (1989), Norway (1993), Greenland
(1994), Sweden (1995), Iceland (1996)
Countries with D.P. laws:
France (1999), Germany (2001), Portugal
Countries with some D.P. recognition:
Austrialia, Brazil, Israel
U.S. states with civil union laws:
U.S. states with D.P. laws:
California, Hawaii, New York, District of
U.S. states with pending gay marriage
Massachusetts, Hawaii, Indiana, New Jersey
Newlyweds Michael Leshner (left) and Michael Stark sign their marriage certificate after a wedding ceremony,
presided over by Justice John Hamilton (right). (Photo by Michael Stupyark/Toronto Star)
federal government lawyers said it would
be the last time they were going to argue it.”
The issue of gay marriages has already
been litigated in several Canadian
provinces, with mixed results. Prime
Minister Jean Chretien is stepping down
soon. According to Radbord, Paul Martin,
one of the leading contenders for
Chretien’s position, has stated, “If [the gay
litigants] were successful before the
Ontario Court of Appeal, that should be
the end of the legislation.”
Radbord added that Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Finance John
Manley, another front-runner to become
prime minister, said that marriage for
same-sex couples is acceptable to most
Conservatives, however, have expressed
their unhappiness with the decision. They
have expressed interest in seeking to overturn
“Should Parliament or the courts be
deciding this?” asked Peter Jervis, a constitutional
lawyer who is representing a
multi-faith coalition that opposes the decision.
“That’s why it’s an interesting issue.”
Jervis’ clients include the nation’s
Roman Catholic Bishops (the largest religious
organization in the country), the
Islamic Society of North America, the
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (including
40 denominations), the Ontario
Council of Sikhs and the Catholic Human
“I’m not surprised at the finding that
this was discriminatory,” Jervis said.
“They’ve taken a radical approach. They
said ‘We’re going to decide this ourselves.
We’re not going to give the Parliament the
chance to decide this.’”
Jervis said he questions whether
Parliament should be in the business of
defining gay marriage.
“A further complication is that the government
is defining a social institution,”
Jervis said. “It’s happened in Vermont. Is
that the right approach?”
'Comity'for U.S. couples?
Stateside, Wolfson said the decision can
only help gay men and lesbians here
because the Ontario court ruled that discrimination
is very clear in this context —
and the remedy is very simple.
Although gay marriage lacks legal
recognition in the United States, the decision
will be a catalyst for change, said
Wolfson. Vermont is the only state that recognizes
civil unions, yet it is still outside
the realm of the full rights and responsibilities
of legal marriage.
“The exclusion from marriage
infringes on human dignity, harms real
families, and benefits no one,” Wolfson
said. Legal challenges are ongoing in
Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and
“In Massachusetts, where we expect a
ruling from the state’s highest court, a
decision could come in a matter of weeks,”
Already, in Michigan, same-sex couples
are planning on crossing the Friendship
Bridge into Ontario to marry, according to
the Associated Press.
“There are no residency or citizenship
requirements for Americans to marry in
Canada,” said Radbord. But Wolfson cautioned
that, upon return to the United
States, the definition of “comity” will
determine its value.
“Canadian and other foreign marriages
are recognized in the U.S. via the legal concept
of ‘comity,’” which, according to
Wolfson, “is the respect given by jurisdictions
to other jurisdictions. The bottom
line of ‘comity’ is that in almost all cases, a
marriage that is legal where celebrated is
respected elsewhere. So people have the
security of knowing their family is intact
as they travel.”
In Michigan, some officials are already
grappling with the predicament. A same-sex
marriage license may never be recognized
in Michigan because state law
defines marriage as a union between a
man and a woman.
“I think there is concern — whether it
be in a neighboring province or in another
state where homosexual marriage is legalized
— that it may lead to court challenges
of Michigan’s Defense of Marriage Act,”
Gary Glenn, president of the American
Family Association of Michigan told the
“The Vermont decision was good in
its context,” Radbord said. “It is progressive,
but in Canada we wanted to
achieve something more than second-class
status. Your courts are in a whole
different era on gay and lesbian rights
issues,” she said.
Internationally, she added, Canada’s
highest court is well respected.
Leshner himself is an expatriated
American who became a Canadian citizen
“To be gay in America, you might as
well be living in Kabul,” he said.
He added that in the United States,
there is only public policy debate and tolerance
but legal protection is absent. In
Canada, on the other hand, gay sex was
legalized nationwide in 1967. Common-law
homosexual couples received the same
rights as their heterosexual counterparts
“This is the best tourist place short of
the Netherlands and Belgium,” Leshner
said. The Netherlands was the first
country to legalize gay marriage on
April 1, 2001. Belgium did so more
Within the last decade, several countries
have moved to create a new marital
status for gay men and lesbians, according
to Lambda Legal Defense & Education
Fund. Denmark, Norway, Greenland,
Sweden, Iceland and the Netherlands
established a registered partnership by
honoring each other’s partnerships.
Several other European countries are considering
similar legislation, as is the
“When the country’s largest trading
partner, closest neighbor and NATO ally
has ended marriage discrimination, it
means that the Canadian couples will
need to be treated with respect here,”
Wolfson said. “They will see that the sky
doesn’t fall when a country treats its gay
citizens with respect and equality,
including the freedom to marry,” he
added of the United States, “if Canada
can do it, we can, too.”
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 7
8 JUNE 13, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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Gay stockbroker indicted with Martha Stewart in fraud case
NEW YORK—As media attention focused on Martha
Stewart in her indictment on securities fraud and
other charges, her gay stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic,
was also indicted June 4 in the investigation of
Stewart, according to the New York Times. Bacanovic
allegedly advised Stewart in the controversial $45,000
ImClone stock sale based on insider information.
Bacanovic pleaded not guilty to charges of perjury
and obstruction of justice under allegations that he
altered work sheets on Stewart’s portfolio to reflect an
agreement he and Stewart said they had to sell
ImClone stock at $60 per share. “The government is
alleging that Bacanovic used two different pens to
write in that [$60] number,” said Robert G. Heim, a
lawyer for the Securities & Exchange Commission.
“If the government can prove that Bacanovic altered
documents, that would be enough to prove an
obstruction case.” If convicted, Bacanovic and
Stewart could face several years in prison. Attorneys
for Bacanovic and Stewart said they were confident
the pair would be exonerated of all charges.
Peter Bacanovic, the gay stock broker
at the center of Martha Stewart's security
fraud indictment, faces charges of
perjury and obstructing justice in the
investigation of Stewart's controversial
ImClone stock sale. (Photo by AP)
Convicted killer of trans
teen seeks DNA test
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An attorney for a
man sentenced to death for the 1993 killing
of transgendered teen Brandon Teena,
asked for DNA testing June 5 to prove his
client’s innocence. Death-row inmate John
Lotter claims that another man convicted
in the crime, Marvin Nissen, actually murdered
Teena and two witnesses. Nissen testified
that he stabbed Teena, but he said it
was Lotter who shot him and the witnesses.
Nissen is serving a life sentence.
Letter’s attorney Jerry Soucie, asked the
Nebraska Supreme Court to order tests on
gloves that Nissen wore the night of the
killings. Another judge rejected an earlier
request for the tests. Assistant Attorney
General Marie Colleen Clarke said that
Lotter took Nissen’s gloves after the killing
and wrapped the gun and knife in them,
making it no surprise if blood from all
three victims is found on the gloves. “What
would it prove?” she asked. Prosecutors
contend Teena was killed because he
accused the men of rape after they learned
he was biologically female.
Priest in Boston scandal won't
face charges in Calif, case
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — One of the central
figures in the Catholic priest sex abuse
scandal will not face criminal charges here
after prosecutors rejected the case against
him involving a 17-year-old male. Retired
Rev. Paul Shanley, 72, was arrested last year
in San Diego and was taken to
Massachusetts, where he was a longtime
priest. He pleaded innocent to 10 counts of
child rape in that state and remains free on
$300,000 bail. Prosecutors said June 3 that
problems with evidence against Shanley
including no proof that the gay priest knew
the boy’s age, led to the decision not to prosecute
him. Last month, San Bernardino
County prosecutors also declined to charge
Shanley for allegedly seducing the same
boy which led Riverside prosecutors to
investigate alleged incidents at a Palm
Springs Shanley co-owned. If Shanley is
convicted in Massachusetts, he could get a
Egyptian appeals court reduces
four sentences in sex case
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — An appeals court
on June 4 reduced the sentences of four
Egyptian men from three years to one
following conviction on charges stemming
from their arrest aboard a gay Nile
River boat in May 2001. Of 52 men
arrested that night, 29 were acquitted
and 16 appealed. Another two men were
sentenced to five and three years, respectively.
Court officials said 12 of the men,
who were also initially sentenced to
three years imprisonment, lost their
appeals because they did not attend the
hearing. Another five did not appear at
the hearing and will be retried if arrested.
Egyptian and international human
rights groups have condemned the case
as persecution of gays.
Former Texas high school trainer
jailed for indecency with students
BRYAN, Texas (AP) — A former high
school athletic trainer was arrested June
3, accused of indecency with two male
students during weekend trips in 2001,
authorities said. Shannon “Doc” Wheat,
39, was jailed after he admitted to school
officials and parents that the accusations
against him were true, according to court
documents obtained by the Bryan-
College Station Eagle. Wheat resigned in
March after working at the school since
1988, school officials said. “The school
district has taken every precaution to
ensure that students affected by the
events have been given the opportunity
for counseling and the proper information
to contact law enforcement,” school
district spokesperson Shelly Hullihen
said in a prepared statement. Wheat’s
bond was set at $500,000, and he faces two
charges of indecency with a child and
one charge of aggravated sexual assault.
One of the two boys accusing Wheat told
police that Wheat gave him sleeping pills
and he woke up with the teacher cuddling
with him, according to the newspaper.
From staff and wire reports
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 9
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JUNE 13, 2003
The church and
The Episcopal Church, once an establishment bastion,
made a 180-degree turn to lead on gay issues.
The Roman'Catholic Church should take heed or else.
By STEVE WEINSTEIN
■HM FUNNY THING HAPPENED
to the Episcopal Church. A w Once the bastion of the w Establishment in the United
States, somewhere along the HHB line, it did a 180-degree turn. In
the process, it has become one of the most
progressive Protestant denominations in
the country on social issues, including
same-sex unions and gay clergy.
From the time of this country’s founding,
when the Episcopal Church was
formed as a breakaway from the Church
of England, until the 1960s, Episcopalians
were considered the bedrock of conservatism.
They put the “P” in “White Anglo-
Saxon Protestant.” This was the high
church of Sunday snobs and Boston bigots
— Auntie Marne’s proverbial Aryan
The American Episcopals always maintained
ties with the Anglican mother
church, which has as its secular head the
living embodiment of white European
aristocracy, the Queen of England herself.
A story is told of the vicar of Grace
Church, on Broadway at Ninth Street — at
one time, the church of New York’s High
Society — solemnly declaring, “I cannot
be responsible for the immortal soul of
anyone who moves above 14th Street!”
Then, beginning in the 1960s, the
Episcopal Church began slowly to reinvent
itself. Spurred to a social conscience
by reformers like the late, very much
beloved Bishop Paul Moore of New York,
the Episcopal Church reached out to
minorities and broadened its membership
from rock-ribbed Republican suburbanites
to inner-city dwellers.
The church updated its liturgy, “The
Book of Common Prayer,” and even retranslated
the King James Bible, eliminating
sexist words and rendering a more
Now the New Hampshire church has
taken the unprecedented step of electing
an out-gay man, Gene Henderson, as bishop.
The action has upset some bishops,
such as Dorsey Henderson, of a diocese
in South Carolina. Interestingly, just to
the north, two bishops in North Carolina
ISSUES AROUND HOMOSEXUALITY
have been roiling the Anglican Church,
with which Episcopalians maintain ties.
A diocese in British Columbia has
agreed to bless same-sex unions. Because
of that, the Nigerian Anglicans are
threatening to disassociate themselves
with that Canadian province’s hierarchy.
Some British Canadians have called on a
Yukon bishop to administer to them,
prompting threats from the new archbishop
of Canterbury, the head of the
The archbishop himself has come
under fire from conservatives because of
his past support for same-sex unions and
gay clergy. He once ordained an out-gay
man when he was serving as a bishop in
Does this portend a schism in a church
that was once so staid it provided the
paradigm starched country parson parodied
in Jane Austen and Anthony
Probably not. It may be difficult to see
right now how all of this will sort itself
out in the long run. But these controversies
may just be the very healthy growing
pains of a denomination struggling to
redefine itself in the midst of revolutionary
changes in human sexuality, not a
church at war with itself.
Compare the Anglicans and Episcopal
Church with the Roman Catholic Church.
Once an outpost of social progressivism,
with heroes like Dorothy Day (on
the fast track for sainthood) and Mother
Elizabeth Seton, the Catholic hierarchy
has become an ossified relic of itself.
Faced with social change, the church has
circled the wagons and become insular.
As a result, when faced with a rohing
series of sex scandals, Catholic leaders
have done their best to suppress reform,
excommunicate dissidents and fight off
legal challenges. Now several dioceses are
facing financial ruin from victims’ lawsuits
and boycotts by donors, while it
becomes to butt of late-night comics.
What has been Rome’s response? To
fend off any change and deny allegations
that it aided and abetted rogue priests.
Church doctrine has been in shambles
in years, a product of ridiculous, outdated
Medieval dogma concerning contraception
— ignored by the vast majority of the
developed world’s Catholics. As for gay
clergy, forget about it. The Vatican
adamantly refuses to acknowledge any
gay priests among Peter’s descendants.
The joke here, of course, is that the
recent scandals have unveiled what has
been an open secret for years: the huge
percentage of gay Catholic priests.
THE EPISCOPALIAN CHURCH HAS
apparently learned from the mistakes of
the Church of Rome. Rather than shutting
out the modern world and retreating into
outdated dogma, Episcopalians have
actively engaged contemporary issues.
Yes, this means controversy, debate and
even threats of schism.
Nothing happens when a top-down
hierarchy attempts to dictate church policy
to the flock. The Catholic princes of
the church truly believe that modern,
educated people are lambs who need to be
taken in hand by the shepherd.
Episcopal bishops, on the other hand,
truly believe in an active dialogue.
Sometimes that dialogue becomes angry;
but honest discussion is the only way to
clear the air.
If the church decides to accept Gene
Robinson as a bishop, it will set the tone
for much of the discussion of gay rights
in this country. George Bush is
Episcopalian, as are many of his advisors,
close friends, supporters and cabinet.
No surprise there: However liberal the
church has become, it remains the
bedrock of belief for the WASP aristocracy
that effectively rules this country.
So let the great debate continue. The
church will come out of this a stronger,
more lasting institution, ready to preach
the true meaning of the Gospel, which is
“change is good.”
Let the Roman Catholic Church take
heed: History has proven that institutions
need to be like reeds.
Jesus himself said, “Just picture a
wheat field and how the wheat bends as
the wind blows across the field. The tares
will not bend, they just stand out above
If the Catholic Church will not bend, it
will break. The Anglicans are bending —
or at least, they’re trying.
Steve Weinstein .
CU/ is editor of the ‘
New York Blade, |
a sister publication to 1 ' |
this newspaper, and can I t
be reached at swein- V 4
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 11
Vi point RICH ARENSCHIELDT
Why it's best that
LOTS OF FRIGHTENING THINGS HAPPEN
(luring these hot summer months, especially
in June. Graduates step into an uncertain
future, family vacations begin, often
resulting in life-changing events (“Mommy,
what’s Johnny doing with that Forest
Ranger?”), people get married, and let us
not forget the annual remembrance of filial
love, Fathers Day.
For a short period this was a particularly
difficult occasion. Years ago my parents
went through the most heinous
divorce in known history. It was so vituperative
that they understudied Kathleen
Turner and Michael Douglas during the
1989 filming of “The War of The Roses.”
My mother’s anger was especially profound;
years later she overtly fantasized at
being the assisting nurse at my father’s
Like many “what do I do with my gay
son?” fathers, Dad was from Mars and I was
from Venus. Actually, those planets are probably
too close together to describe some of
the differences between us. For many years
we weren’t even in the same solar system.
My dad is a real man’s man and I’m
...well...a sissy. He loves to wake up early on
October mornings and shoot small flying
animals. He took me hunting once and all I
could think was, “This seems like a lot of
work for something you could purchase at
the grocery store.”
Pop is an avid sportsman and loves to
ski. I, however, am about as agile as a camel
with two sprained ankles. My father’s one
attempt to get me on the slopes resulted in a
pile up of monumental proportions on a ski
lift. All I remember were the sounds of
bones snapping and people shrieking “STOP
THE SKI LIFT!” echoing down the mountain.
Twenty years later, I was able to
approach such a contraption again - in July
LIKE MANY BABY BOOMERS, MY PAR-ents
had a classic division of labor. Dad
worked long hours and cut the grass. Mom
did everything else. My greatest fear was
that I would be in a horrible accident while
Mom was at the hairdresser and Dad would
have to take me to the hospital. I can just
hear him attempting to answer the preadmit
medical questionnaire. “Has your son
ever had: vaccinations? Medication allergies?
Previous surgeries? A brain tumor?”
Dad would have treated it like an exam with
This was not entirely his fault. Dads in
the 1960s and ’70s had no idea about this
kind of parental minutiae. If it didn’t
involve fertilizing the lawn or their wives,
they weren’t interested. Heck, my mom’s
been dead five years and I can’t remember if
I have my appendix or not - who am I going
to ask? Given these circumstances typical of
the era, the years pass and Daddio and I tacitly
agree to accept and appreciate our differences.
The love that he has for me is
never in question; we just ramble through
life in different ways.
Apparently you can teach an old dad new
tricks. As the result of losing his first wife
and getting divorced and reamed royally
from his second (I didn’t go to the wedding),
something bizarre happened: Aliens landed
on earth and sucked the brains out of my
I remember a specific conversation
where he said, “Now, Rich, you know you
can come to me if you need anything.”
Since all my credit cards were paid off, I
had no idea what he was talking about. (It
had been years since I had stolen spare
change off his bureau while he was taking
a shower). He looked at me with nervousness
I hadn’t seen since our “birds and
bees” talk circa 1972. That fateful conversation
occurred in a canoe that I, in a weird
foreshadowing, accidentally overturned.
“You, know,” he continued, “if you have
anything you need to talk about, any problem,
I’m here to help.” Oh, crap - my father
has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember that
we already had the “That male porn you
found? It wasn’t Mom’s” conversation years
ago. As my surviving parent, Dad realized
that he was now required to enter unexplored
territory: the emotional landscape in
which his children lived.
Overnight, the “pull my finger” dad had
disappeared and was replaced with this
strange guy who started asking us how we
“felt” about things, went to counseling, and
read self-help books. My sisters and I held
quick consults and checked his closets for
saffron colored robes. Our dad is famous for
his fads: acupuncture, vitamins, shrimp
farming, juicing, you name it. To this day he
takes great pride in buying $19 worth of
turnips to make you a one-cup health drink
that tastes like liquefied three-day-old diapers.
We had no idea if Dad’s increased
“awareness” was temporary insanity or a
new and permanent condition. One year
ago, we received the answer.
Last June, Dad hosted the commitment
ceremony of my sister and her partner,
which took place on a huge boat in Kemah
(I thought it amusing that they got married
among all those fish). Dad bankrupts his
frequent flyer miles and brings our entire
clan to Houston for the nuptuals. During the
ceremony he offers his family and 100
guests the most beautiful, sentimental statement
I’ve ever heard about how proud he is
to be our father. This small speech reduces
even the most rugged “Comets” fans in
attendance to tears. Even the deck hands on
this “What? A LESBIAN wedding?” boat are
weeping at his sincerity.
He finishes, sits down and then blubbers
uncontrollably for the rest of the ceremony.
At this point I realize, “Oh no, those space
invaders really did steal my other Dad!”
As a result of this inadvertent galactic
transfer, some Martian housewife whose
spouse used to make souffles and read poetry
now has a husband who farts while napping
on the sofa.
Rich Arenschieldt is a freelance writer
for Houston Voice. He may be reached at
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12 MAY 13, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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“So there’s this display you won’t normally
find in a place like, say, for
instance, Omaha. Tower Records at
Lincoln Square has a big section suggesting
Father’s Day videos. And what are
they pushing for Pop? James Bond, ‘Star
Trek’ and ‘Queer as Folk.’ Only in New
York, kids. Only in New York.”
Gossip columnist Cindy Adams (New
York Post, June 4)
“The same groups that object to
Santorum comparing sodomy laws to
prohibitions against bigamy and
polygamy uniformly profess support for
‘the freedom to marry’ But how can
homosexual couples lobby for marriage
rights as a matter of equity — and then
demand that households of three-somes
or more-somes be excluded from those
very same benefits?”
An editorial in the gay magazine The Guide, slamming gay activists for their criticism
of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who compared gay sex to incest, adultery and polygamy.
The magazine argued the government had no legitimate interest in regulating any of the
above. (The Guide, June edition)
“I would never do that to your family A lot of you have gotten to know me. You’ve
come to my home, you’ve met Rob.... He’s my spouse, and he is treated differently than
all of your spouses. My spouse doesn’t get benefits. He gets zip.... You are shameless.”
Jon Cooper, a gay Democrat on the Suffolk County, N. Y, legislature, criticizing
Republican opponents who successfully killed a proposal for a domestic partner registry
(Newsday, June 10)
“Did we suddenly move Suffolk
County from New York to the state of
GOP Rep. Michael Caracciolo, in the
Suffolk County legislature, an opponent of
the domestic partner registry, responding
to Rep. Jon Cooper (Newsday, June 10)
“I’m sorry I’m not gay or Jewish,
so I don’t have a special interest group
of journalists that support me. I’m
sorry for a lot of things, but I’m not
sorry for making this movie.”
Director Vincent Gallo, lashing
back at film critic Roger Ebert, who
Gallo said falsely reported that the
director apologized for making “Brown
Bunny, ” which scandalized this year’s
Cannes Film Festival for an oral sex
scene between Gallo and Chloe Sevigny
(New York Post, June 2)
“The latest news from Broadway is that Elton John is writing a brand new musical
about vampires. When investors of the
vampire musical were asked to comment
they said, ‘We’re just glad it’s about blood
Talk show host Conan O’Brien (NBC’s
“Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ’’May 15)
“As president, Mr. Bush has appointed
several openly gay people, including Janies
C. Hormel, the ambassador to Romania, to
A New York Times report on the growing
acceptance in the GOP of gay Republicans.
Hormel was actually appointed ambassador
to Litxembourg by President Clinton over
Republican objections. Bush did appoint as
ambassador to Romania Michael Guest, who
is openly gay but did not discuss his sexual
orientation publicly until after his confirmation.
The Times, which has recently been
scandal-plagued, corrected the error two days
later. (New York Times, June 1)
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AUTOS: Playful, quirky cars match I OUT ON THE TOWN: Houston Grand Opera's 'The Little Prince’ is a
nonconformist owners. Page 19. I production not to be missed by veteran and new opera fans alike. Page 20.
OKI .L SHIi HOUSTON VOICE i rt on toe tsayou
Briar Patch plays on This week's activities as part of Houston
Pride Month include:
Gay piano bar continues decades of
tradition even with a new location
The briar patch, that venerable gay piano bar
that graced the suburbs of West University-Bellaire for
more than 30 years, recently packed up and moved to the
heart of the Montrose area, signaling a new era for what
many maintain is oldest gay bar in Texas.
David Ellzey, the whiz kid who bought the Briar Patch three
years ago when he was only 28, is still only 31. Ellzey, wiry and
not very tall, still looks like a kid and, with his wholehearted
enthusiasm for life, often acts like one — in a good way, that is.
He’s charged with energy, talks fast and moves fast. And he
has a sleek-looking black Corvette to prove it.
He had always wanted to own a bar and when he heard
the Briar Patch was for sale; he didn’t hesitate. He worked
out a deal and bought it, even though he doesn’t drink and
he doesn’t smoke.
Ellzey says there’s a reason the Briar Patch opened its
doors 33 years ago in a nondescript shopping center at the corner
of West Holcombe and Greenbriar.
“There was a back door to the Briar Patch when it was on
Holcombe Boulevard and there was parking in the rear.
Professional men, many married, would come straight to the bar
after work still in their coat and tie. They could park in the back
so no one could see their cars,” he says with a gleeful smile.
The place used to get crowded. “It was the biggest happy
hour in town,” Ellzey says. To carry the subterfuge further,
patrons were allowed to pay for their drinks with checks and,
instead of making them payable to the Briar Patch, they made
them out to 2294 W. Holcombe — the bar’s address. That way
no one knew they were writing checks payable to a bar — and
a gay one at that.
“To this day, even though we’re in the Montrose, people still
make out their checks to 2294 Holcombe,” says Ellzey.
New home in an old home
The relocated Briar Patch is no longer hidden
in a corner of a shopping center — not much is hidden in
Montrose. For one thing, the bar is prominently located at the
David Ellzey, owner of the Briar Patch, says both new and prior patrons of the
gay piano bar seem happy with the establishment's relocation to the heart of
Montrose. (Photo by Dalton DeHart)
corner of Fairview and Converse within walking distance
from many other gay bars.
Its new home is in an old house, built in the early 1900s,
that a few years ago was converted to a bar. Out front is a
small patio that once had a high fence surrounding it so
passersby couldn’t see people sitting outside. Ellzey wanted
none of that. He cut the fence down to around four feet so that
customers seated there can see what’s going on in the street.
And, what’s more, they can also be seen.
But those seeking a more secluded spot shouldn’t despair.
At the back of the bar is a small patio complete with a high
fence, bar, lush green plants and subdued lighting. It’s a
private area; only those “in the know” may realize there’s a
patio in the back.
The bar still has its signature grand piano with seating
around it, and every night there’s a pianist tickling the ivories
and crooning tunes. Customers still join in the singing and
often take over for the singer. Some favorites are “Proud Mary,”
“American Pie,” “All That Jazz” and, of course, show tunes.
As a matter of fact, patrons never know what they will find
when they walk into the Briar Patch. Regulars may be spotted
dressed as nuns, wearing Mickey Mouse ears, honking
foghorns, shining flashlights or maybe wearing bath towels
around their heads. Seems like anything goes, except of course
anything too risque. And on Sundays, it’s all gospel music.
There’s not as much room as the old place, but the horseshoe-
shaped bar helps give the small room an airy appearance.
Ellzey and his friends built the bar themselves. He stayed up
for four days to get ready for the grand opening last January.
ELLZEY MOVED THE BAR WHEN HE WAS TOLD THE
lease was about to expire and they had to make room for a
pharmacy that was moving into the building. He searched
for a new spot and the current location was not his first
choice. He initially decided on a building adjoining Rich’s
on San Jacinto. “I spent $25,000 building it out,” says Ellzey.
Please see BRIAR PATCH on Page 17
Houston Gay & Lesbian
Psycho Beach Party
Midnight on June 13 and 14
at Landmark Theatre/River Oaks
2009 West Gray
Food of Love
June 13-20: Various times
at Angelika Theatre
510 Texas Ave
The Business of Fancydancing
7 p.m. June 13-15
9 p.m. June 13-15
The Odds of Recovery
2 p.m. June 14 and 15
4 p.m. June 14 and 15
at Rice Cinema
Entrance 8, University Boulevard at Stockton
Pride Committee of Houston
Friday, June 13
6-7 p.m„ with sponsor reception from 7-9:30 pm
Civil Rights Celebration benefiting Lambda Legal
Meteor, 2306 Genesee
9 p.m.-3 am Virginia Slymm's
Super Special Show
Rich's, 2401 San Jacinto
Saturday, June 14
8 a.m.-4 p.m. LHI Rainbow Health Fair
Montrose Clinic Building, 215 Westheimer
Noon-5 pm. Community Law Day
Location to be announced. 713-227-1717.
9 p.m.-5 am Annie Lennox "Bare"
Rich's, 2401 San Jacinto
Tuesday, June 17
7 p.m. Pride Parade mandatory meeting
All groups who will have a parade entry must
send a representative to this session.
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center
1475 West Gray
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 17
Energetic bar owner hints at future plans
BRIAR PATCH, continued from Page 15
But his efforts were soon dashed.
He wanted to show some of the bar’s
longtime and valued customers the new
spot. So, he loaded into his white stretch
limo and whisked them to San Jacinto.
“They didn’t like it. They didn’t like the
location. They just didn’t like it,” he says,
his voice rising. He wanted to make them
happy and he wanted to keep them coming
to his bar, so he looked for another spot.
His next choice was what was once a
gay bar called Rascals just past Waugh
and McDonald’s on Westheimer. His customers
didn’t like that spot either and
nixed the idea. “They said it was too
dangerous trying to drive out of the
parking lot onto Westheimer,” Ellzey
He desperately wanted to please his
loyal customers. “We’re a family — we’re
a team — we love each other.” So, he
asked them where they wanted to move.
They wanted the Montrose area. He
found out that the old bar behind El
Paradise Mexican restaurant on
Fairview was for sale.
Trouble was, says Ellzey, “I had to
buy the bar, the house next door and the
garage apartment next to the house.”
But he did it and is very happy with the
result. Now, his old customers still come
Longtime patrons of the Briar Patch helped owner Ellzey pick out a new location for the piano bar.
(Photo by Dalton DeHart)
but because he’s close to other gay bars,
he’s attracting a younger crowd as well
— a younger generation to carry on the
“Business has tripled,” Ellzey says.
History of success
Judging by his track record in the
world of business, this native
Houstonian will do well, for he seems to
have the Midas touch. He went into real
estate when he was only 20 and made a
whopping $52,000 commission on the
first home he sold. Of course it was a
huge home that cost more than $1 million,
but to him it was an easy sell.
“We had an open house for this home,
but instead of following people through
the house, I let them wander around on
their own and talk it over.” They bought •
the house and he’s been selling houses
since. He’s also dabbled in buying, remodeling
and selling homes.
Ellzey recently took a six-month break
from the real estate business to remodel
the new Briar Patch location. He worked
hard on it and says he couldn’t have got it
open on time without his friends. Now
he’s back into realty as welTas the bar —
he has 16-hour workdays.
He lives next door to the bar With his
white standard poodle, Sherlock. Well,
Sherlock is white most of the time, except
for special occasions. On Valentine’s Day,
his coat is sprayed red; for St. Patrick’s
Day, it’s green; and on Mardi Gras, it’s
purple and yellow. Oh — and he has his
toenails painted to match.
Recently, Ellzey added a kitten to the
household. He heard meowing for three
days but couldn’t quite figure out where it
was coming from. Finally, he decided the
kitten was trapped in the wall. So he tore
out the wall. “Took me eight hours to get
the cat out,” he says, without even mentioning
the monetary cost.
He found the kitten’s siblings in his
truck and he found homes for them all,
except for the kitten in the wall — he
kept that one.
What’s next for Ellzey? One certainly
gets the strong impression that the Briar
Patch is not his only venture. He hints
that he has something up his sleeve, but
he won’t tell yet.
It’s something very big, you can be
sure, he says. “It’ll be big — I’m not
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Hip, playful cars
ailtOS JOE PHILLIPS
Nonconformists unite. Today's
fun and funky cars are edgy,
eccentric, and often even erotic.
TATTOOS. BODY PIERCING. BUNGEE JUMP-ing.
Para-sailing. Perhaps you’ve been there,
done that. Are there no more barriers to cross?
Or maybe you’ve lived the 9-to-5, button-down
lifestyle. A “Matrix” backdrop, where conformity
rules day after endless day How to make like
Keanu Reeves and take a drive on the wild side?
The answer lies in a host of playfully
designed, sometimes quirky, yet always fun-to-
Chevy SSR (Super Sport Roadster)
Price: $42,000-MPG: 18
Fun: Sleek,1950s styling • Funky: Part ragtop, part pickup
Built on Chevy’s Trailblazer SUV chassis,
this is a vehicle for the beach and Home Depot.
From the front, the SSR is a brawny two-seat
convertible with retractable hardtop. But in
back, there’s plenty of room for a full cargo bed.
A spirited V8 (290 horsepower), thick
antiroll bars, flared fenders and pouty snout
exude stamina and sex appeal. Special brakes
and shocks mean firm, sporty handling.
A scant 12,000 to 15,000 of these babies will be
built each year. So expect a run on Chevy dealerships,
especially from gay baby boomers anxious
to re-create ‘American Graffiti” memories.
2003 Honda Element
Price: $16,600-$21,000 • MPG: 23
Fun: So square it's cool.
Funky: Off-beat, two-tone colors; 1960s suicide doors
This “RoboCop” of an SUV was targeted
toward college-bound Generation Y. But the
Element proved more popular with “older
buyers” — anyone between 22 and 52.
Like bees to honey, they’re drawn to the
fully loaded EX, not the base DX. Both offer a 4-
cylinder engine, power windows/locks, easy-to-clean
floors, removable/folding rear seats, backseat
heater ducts and waterproof front seats.
The EX also offers A/C, cruise control,
antilock brakes and a 270-watt sound system with
MPS capability There’s no center pillar with the
“barn-door” side doors, which can be opened a
full 55 inches for easy loading of mountain bikes,
surfboards or charity-auction conquests.
Vehicles with 4-wheel drive also come with
a large, removable sunroof and rear privacy
glass. All the better to stand up and change
into biking gear, a Speedo, or formal wear.
Land Rover Freelander SE3
Price: $27,000-MPG: 19
Fun: Removable roof for topless jaunts
Funky: The littlest Land Rover around
This year, a new two-door SE3 Freelander
joins its larger, four-door cousins. There are
plenty of less-expensive mini-SUVs out there,
but few offer as much off-road technology
This includes Hill Descent Control to prevent
free-fall sliding and permanent all-wheel drive. All
Freelanders come with a frcylinder engine, but
decreased weight on the SE3 gives it a bit more zip.
Disappointments include no side or
head-curtain airbags and low ground clearance,
so forget trekking through Tibet with
Richard Gere. But the Land Rover nameplate
will always connote style — sometimes
over substance, but style nonetheless.
Price: $13,500 • MPG: 34
Fun: Cute yet muscular subcompact
Funky: Rad design inside and out
Toyota built Lexus for luxury. Scion is
Toyota’s new nameplate for the burgeoning
16- to 24-year-old crowd.
The first Scion—the crouching xA five-door
sedan—is powered by a capable 108-horsepow-er
4-oylinder. The interior has faux-metal trim,
black-on-white gauges, gobs of storage bins and
hidden cargo space under the floor.
Standard features on both the xA and its larger
xB brethren include power steering/locks/
mirrors, A/C, antilock brakes and a first aid kit
Each Scion rolls off the assembly line without a
stereo or wheel covers. Buyers then choose from
several options to personalize the car.
Price: $14,500 • MPG: 32
Fun: Looks like a refrigerator on wheels
Funky: More like a living room on wheels
The xB shares the same engine, transmission
and standard features as the xA But this hip, vanlike
vehicle—an oxymoron if ever there was one
—is full of flat panels and 9frdegree angles.
It’s also quite nimble. With large door openings
and a lowered suspension, there’s sprawling
head and legroom. Surprising, considering the xB
is about a foot shorter than Toyota’s tiny Echo.
In front, there are sport seats and a big,
upright windshield. Removable rear seats help
create a large, flat floor for hauling or just
chilling out — a roving rec room, as it were.
The xB also features stability control and
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out on the town johnny hooks
Opera sung in English
a perfect production to draw
new fans of all ages
little Prince' soars
HELLO FELLOW HOUSTONIANS —
welcome to June, an entire month officially
dedicated to Pride in all its many colors,
shapes and sizes! I would be remiss in my
duties if I did not mention just a few things
that should be on your radar, before I get to
the rest of this column.
The Amazing Race - Richen and Chip:
The Amazing Race is my preferred reality
show. The show’s 12 teams are comprised of
two people who have a previous relationship.
When teams are identified on-screen, they
have tags like: Dating 12 years/Virgins, Best
Friends/Clowns etc. Richen and Chip have
Married as their tag! CBS is sending wonderful
message with its acceptance and, dare
I say, promotion of a male/male couple as
“normal.” Log on to CBS.com/Amazing Race
link and vote FOR Richen and Chip! Check
out the chat; my favorite post was: “I don’t
have any problem with their sexuality, my
question is are there any pudgy gay guys?”
CBS: Thursday’s, 7 p.m. Houston
ON TO OUR TOWN, AND WHAT TO DO
with my lil’ homo self.
I decided that for this column I would
choose the road less traveled, or perhaps forgotten
is a better word.
The following words were written in 1942
in Northport, Long Island, by French aviator
Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
“One sees clearly only with the heart.
Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
In 1943, this phrase became the heart of the
children’s book “The Little Prince;” the words
beloved and timeless are not exaggerations here.
Translated into more than 230 languages, The
Little Prince is the culmination of many recurring
themes within the author’s works: what is
happiness, how do you recognize a true friend,
how does one trust, life includes loss, and most
importantly: love is eternal, illusive yet perfect.
Houston Grand Opera has always been a
leader when it comes to commission of new
opera; Meredith Monk’s transcendent “Atlas,”
the classic “Little Women,” the groundbreaking
“Nixon in China” and the pathos and joy
of “Harvey Milk” come to mind. “The Little
Prince,” the 27th HGO world premiere, is yet
another dazzling feather in their very full cap.
Rarely does one see grown men and the
children at their side weeping during an opera,
although for different reasons. Ah... but that is
the heart of the whole story, is it not? “The
Little Prince” uses allegorical characters and
situations that seem childlike in nature, but
are actually reflections on how adults lose the
abflity to dream and beheve in things unseen.
AUTHOR SAINT-EXUBERY KEENLY
addresses materialism, greed, alcoholism,
love, death, friendship and more in his brilliant
fable about a pilot who crashes into the
The Prince (Nathaniel Irvin, right) tells the Pilot
(Teddy Tahu Rhodes, left) about his endangered
Rose in 'The Little Prince.' (Photo by George Hixson)
desert and soon meets the mysterious Little
Prince. The production on this “Pop-Opera”
is flawless. I use the phrase pop-opera with
absolute respect, though I realize many fans
of traditional opera do not. There is no
other way to convey the broad strokes of
color the entire production is bathed in.
The costumes and set by the late Maria
Bjornson, were the last project she worked
on prior to her untimely death in December
2002. As I sat drinking in each new element
of Bjornson’s vision of the worlds that
encompass the story, I thought this is Steven
Spielberg’s entire repertoire (nearly) come
to life. The iconic image of the first sunset,
a chorus of paper airplanes (the author was
one of the first men to fly at night in
attempts to establish international mail
service, so images of mail figure in frequently),
an actual airplane, the beautiful
rose, and, of course, the dreaded baobab
trees, all make for gorgeous theater.
The film references are largely due to
Academy Award winner Rachael Portman’s
score. The lush and rich scores Portman is
known for parallel what she has created for
HGO. Often when “new” operas are commissioned,
composers tend to equate new with
stark, ala Phiflip Glass. Portman’s music soars,
as one would expect when your lead character
is flying to and fro within the universe.
“THE LITTLE PRINCE” IS THE PERFECT
introduction for children to the world of
theater. Act 1 and 2 run an hour each with a
20-minute intermission in between. The
lobby is full of Little Prince merchandise (I
scooped up a Christmas ornament, the book
“A guide for Grownups” and had my eye on
a large Little Prince doll before my partner
Brian restrained me) that is sure to delight
kids who are in the know.
Take a short flight on the wings of a poet
and his childlike alter ego — “The Little
Prince” awaits you until June 22 at The
Wortham Center. Call 713.228.OPERA or
1.800.62.0PERA for tickets.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
| community calendar
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
Classic Chassis Car Club. Pool party at the home of Leo and Dave
Walling. 713-797-8615. www.classicchassiscarclub.org.
Houston Buyers Club. Free BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
the first two Saturdays of the month. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Houston
Buyers Club, 3400 Montrose Blvd., Suite 604.713-520-5288.
Houston Outdoor Group. Weekend Guadalupe River Rafting trip, following by
camping. For more information, call Ed B, 713-522 HOGIine: 713-KAMROUT.
All-Spanish Worship Service/Noche Espiritual. 6 p.m. Resurrection Metropolitan
Community Church, 2026 W. 11th. 713-303-3409 or 713-861-9149.
After Hours. KPFT 90.1 FM. 1-4 a.m.
Dignity mass. 7:30 p.m. for gay Catholics. 713-880-2872.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic 11 pm-2 am. at Viviana's. 713-830-3000.
Gay & Lesbian Breakfast Club. 9:30 am. 281-437-0636.
Houston Wrestling Club. Practice. 1:30 p.m. 713-453-7406.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 11:30 a.m. Eye Opener Group,
8 p.m. Saturday Night Live, 9:30 p.m. Willing Ones Group. 1201W.
Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
Montrose Soccer Club. 10 a.m. practice. Woodrow Wilson School,
Fairview and Yupon. New players welcome, but beginners not currently
being admitted. 713-862-9491 http://geocities.com/montros-esoccer.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes. 930 p.m.
Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
St Stephen's Episcopal Church. Rosary 8 am. 1805 W. Alabama.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, noon-5 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
MONDAY, JUNE 16
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 9 am.-noon at Joseph-
Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25™ St 713-526-0555, ext 231 227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 p.m. at Bricks, 617 Fairview.
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Gay Bowling Leagues. Women's league. 6:45 p.m. Dynamic Lanes,
6121 Tarnef Drive. 713-861-1187.
Gay Fathers/Fathers First Support group. 8-9:30 p.m.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Tom, 713-726-8736.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 p.m.
aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.
936-646-7214. E-mail: email@example.com
Grief & Divorce Support Groups. 7 p.m. Bering. 713-526-1017, ext 208.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For
more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Kolbe Project Eucharist 7:30 p.m. 713-861-1800.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 8 p.m. Beginners' Group. 1201
W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
Montrose Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and bisexual
men with HIV. Spanish speaking group meets, 630 p.m. 215 Westheimer.
713-830-3050. Grupo de Apoyo para Latinos gay y bisexuales VIH positives.
Lunes 630. Para mas informacion llama al 713-830-3025.
Queer Voices Radio Show. 8-10 p.m. KPFT 90.1.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 p.m. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
SUNDAY, JUNE 15
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Services at 830 & 10:50
a.m. Sunday school 9:45 a.m. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Services at 11 a.m„ for children at 10:50
a.m. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808. The center also has commitment
ceremonies, metaphysical bookstore and classes.
Community Gospel. Service at 11 a.m. & 7 p.m. Sunday School for
children 10 a.m. 713-880-9235 or www.communitygospel.org.
Community of Kindred Spirits in Beaumont Worship at 6 pm 1575 Spindietop
Ave., Beaumont, Texas. 409-813-2055. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covenant Church, Ecumenical, Liberal Baptist Service 9:30 am. &
education hour 11 am. 713-668-8830.
Emerson Unitarian Church. Adult education, 10 am. Service, 11 am.
Lunch at noon, www.emersonhou.org.
First Congregational Church (Memorial). Service at 10 am. Christian
Education, 11:30 am.. 713-468-9543 or fcc-houston.org.
First Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:30 & 11:30 am.
Brunch at 10:30 a.m. 713-526-5200. email@example.com.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 9 pm.-midnight at Club Inergy.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 7 pm Palace Lanes, 4191 Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187
Gay Catholics of St Anne's-Houston. 5 p.m. worship service. Dinner
and social. alexcam@wtnet 713-623-0930.
GLOBAL Gay Lesbian Or Bisexual Alliance. University of Houston
GLBT student group meeting. 2 pm. at the Houston Lesbian & Gay
Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
www.uh.edu/-global. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 11 am.
service. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-646-7214. E-mail:
Grace Lutheran Church. Sunday school for all ages 9 am. Service
10:30 am. 713-528-3269.
HAT.C.H. Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals meets 6-9 p.m.
For meeting infonnation, call 713-529-3590. www.hatchyouth.org.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 4-6 pm. For more
information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 9 am.-noon. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous 930 am Came to Believe Group.
1201W. Clay. 713-521-1243 or 713-528-9772. www.lambdahouston.org.
Maranatha Fellowship Metropolitan Church. 10 am. service. 3333
Fannin, Suite 106.713-528-6756.
Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 9:45 & 11:15
am. Sunday school 9:45 am. 281-298-2780.
Resurrection MCC. Services, 9 and 11 am. Children and Youth
Sunday School, 10 am. Children's service, 11 am. 713-861-9149.
St Patrick's Reformed Catholic Mission. Sunday Mass at noon. Holy
Unions available. Group meets at the Hair Express, 3310 Delaware,
Beaumont Texas 77703.409-781-8152. E-mail: bwatsonl@gtRR.com.
St Stephen's Episcopal Church. Holy Eucharist, Rite 1,7:45 am.; Holy
Eucharist Rite II, 8:55 am.; Education hour, 10 am.; Choral
Eucharist, 11 am. 713-528-6665.
Sunday Brunch. For HIV-positive men. 11 am. Riva's, 1117 Missouri
St Paul, 713-880-0690. e-mail: PoznBuff@aol.com.
The Women's Group. Meeting and discussion. 10:45 am. 713-529-8571.
Thoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Adult discussion, 9 am.
Service, 11:15 am. 281-277-8882. www.tuuc.org.
Unitarian Fellowship of Galveston County. 502 Church St. Service,
1030 am. 409-765-8330.
Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. Adult forum, 10 am. Service, 11
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-6 pm. • GLBT Community
Church with Rev. Melissa Wood: Bible study, 10-10:45 am, worship 11 am.
www.geocities.com/glbtcc • BABBLE support group, 4 pm • GLOBAL
meeting, 6 pm. • STAG (Some Transgenders Art Guys) meeting, 7 pm. •
3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.hoirstonglbtceiiter.org.
TUESDAY, JUNE 17
Center for AIDS. Men’s mixer, 7 p.m. 1407 Hawthorne. 713-527-8210.
Houston Area Bears. Dineout at Skewers. 6:30 pm. 713-867-9123.
Bering Support Network. Lunch Bunch Gang, 11 am. 713-526-1017.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St. 713-526-0555, ext 231,
227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 pm.-midnight at Club Houston.
Also 4-8 p.m. at 611 Club, 611 Hyde Park. 713-830-3000.
GLBT Pentecostals. Bible study, prayer, 7 p.m. in the Heights.
For info: 936-931-3761; e-mail: www.Wgbl947@cs.com.
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary.
Practice, 6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Introduction to Buddhism. All welcome at 634 W. Temple in the
Heights. 7 p.m. Carlton, 713-862-8129.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. Brazos River Bottom.
No partner needed. Beginner 2 Step, Waltz, Shuffle & Swing.
8:30 pm. 713-528-9192.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 p.m. • Lesbian Coming
Out Group, 7 pm. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.;
SOM Discussion & Exploration, 7 pm. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). 8:15 pm. meeting. Montrose
Counseling Center, 701 Richmond Ave., Room 15.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Support Network Pot
Luck Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Various support groups, 7 p.m. 713-526-1017.
Bible Study. Noon & 6:30 pm. St Stephen's Episcopal. 713-526-6665.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 pm. at Mary's, 1100 Westheimer
9 pm.-midnight at Ripcord, 715 Fairview; 10 pm.-l am. at Ed's, 2517
Ralph; 10 p.m.-l am. at Midtowne Spa 3100 Fannin. 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 a.m.-l p.m. 2015 Thomas
St. OraSure method. Call for appointment Sharon, 713-873-4157
Gay Bowling Leagues. 6:30 pm. Palace Lanes, 4191 Bellaire Blvd.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation.
7 pm. aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.
936-646-7214. E-mail: email@example.com
Houston Pride Band. Open rehearsal 730-930 pm. 1307 Yale. 713862-1488.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 630-8:30 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Spiritual Uplift service. 7 pm. Resurrection MCC. 713-861-9149.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-9 p.m. • Free HIV testing,
counseling, 6-9 pm. • S&M Night (Snacks and Movies), 7 pm. •
Houston Pride Band rehearsal, 7:30 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.
THURSDAY, JUNE 19
BiNet Houston. Group for bisexuals; everyone welcome. 7:30 pm. Hobbit
Cafe, 2240 Portsmouth, www.flash.net/-bihouse. 713-467-4380.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Community Gospel. Service. 7:30 p.m. 713-880-9235.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 am.-2 pm.
at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25™ St. Also 11 am.-3:30 pm. at
Gallery Medical Clinic, 5900 North Freeway, and Club Toyz from 9
pm.-midnight 713-526-0555, ext 231,227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 pm.- midnight at Brazos River
Bottom (BRB), 2400 Brazos, and Cousins, 817 Fairview. 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. 7-9 p.m. at All Star News, 3415 Katy Freeway.
Health clinic with free testing for HIV and syphilis. 713-869-7878.
FrontRunners. Running club. 6:30 pm. 713-522-8021.
Web site: http://home.swbell.net/larathon/houfr.htm.
Gay Bowling Leagues. Luci Duos. 9 p.m. Dynamic Lanes, 6121 Tarnef
GLOBAL Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Alliance at the University of
Houston-Central Campus. Weekly meeting, 6 p.m. e-mail:
Hep C Recovery. Support group. 630 pm. Bering. 713-526-1017, Ext 211
Houston Women's Rugby Team. No experience necessary. Practice,
6:30-8:30. Westland YMCA. Kay, 713-208-1529.
Lake Livingston GLBT Support Group. 7 pm. dinner and discussion.
Grace Assembly Church, 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.
936-646-7214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lambda Skating Club. 8 p.m. Tradewinds Skating Rink.
Montrose.Clinic. Offers weekly peer support groups for gay and
bisexual men with HIV. English speaking group meets, 6:30 p.m. 215
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. No partner required.
Brazos River Bottom. 8:30 pm. 713-528-9192.
Recovery From Food Addiction (RFA). Meeting for 12-step program
open to all. Noon-1 p.m. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 1805 W.
Alabama St RFA: 713-673-2848. www.geocities.com/rfa77235/. E-mail:
Spanish Charia Conversation Group. Cafe Agora, 7 pm. E-mail char-lahouston@
Women's Clinic. Montrose Clinic. 713-830-3000.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop in 2-9 pm. • Center board of
directors meeting, 7 pm. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818.
FRIDAY, JUNE 20
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 am.-l pm.
6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 10 p.m.-2 am. at The Meatrack, 2915
San Jacinto; 10 p.m.-l am. at EJ’s and at Midtowne Spa 713-830-3000.
Free HIV Testing. Thomas Street Clinic. 9 a.m.-l p.m. 2015 Thomas
St OraSure method. Call for appointment. Sharon, 713-873-4157
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000.
Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 pm. aerobics
class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-646-
7214. E-mail: email@example.com.
HAT.C-H. Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals meets 7-10 pm.
For meeting information, call 713-529-3590. www.hatchyouth.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis
Kolbe Project Morning prayer, 10 am. 713-861-1800.
Mishpachat Alizim. GLBT Jewish congregation. Sabbath services at
8 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at Baby Barnabys, 602
Fairview. Monthly study groups with Congregation Beth Israel, 5600
North Braeswood. Mishpachat Alizim, P.O. Box 980136, Houston, TX
77098.866-841-9139, ext 1834.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes.
930 pm. Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 pm. • 3400
Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
ECHOS. This non-profit ministry of the Episcopal Church of the
Epiphany is dedicated to helping people access health and social
service systems. Free medical services include HIV, STD and hepatitis
testing. Call for dates and times of services. 9610 S. Gessner.
713-270-0369. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gay & Lesbian Switchboard Houston. Volunteers offer a friendly ear
to callers in need of information, nonjudgmental support and anonymous
counseling to the GLBT community. 713-529-3211.
HoP-ON. Anyone can join this non-profit moderated e-mail
announcement list that helps facilitate advocacy work and organizing
efforts for gay Houstonians. Quantity of postings is strictly limited.
Postings include press releases and action alerts from national,
state and local gay and allied organizations. For info or to join,
Houston GLBT Community Center. Volunteers perform a variety of
critical tasks which include staffing the information desk during
drop-in hours; helping with center programming and events; working
on community outreach efforts, fund-raising and publicity. Card players,
writers and artists in particular are needed. 713-524-3818.
Peer Listening Line. Youth only. Staffed by GLBT youth for gay, lesbian,
bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. 5-10 pm. Monday-
Pride Committee of Houston. Volunteers sought for Pride 2003
activities this month, www.pridehouston.org. E-mail:
To list an event, call 713-529-8490, fax
-at 713-529-9531, or e-mail editor®
houstonvoice.com. Deadline is Monday at 5 p.m.
JUNE 13, 2003 21
a weekly guide to arts & entertainment
activities for gay Houstonians
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
"Jocks in Dresses" is Montrose Softball League's
annual premier fund-raising event Proceeds benefit
MSL's chosen charitable organizations. Tickets:
$5 pre-sale, $8 at the door. 7:30 p.m. Rich's, 2401
San Jacinto, www.montrosesoftballleague.com.
SUNDAY, JUNE 15
"Thanks for the Memories" is
the Houston Ballet's tribute to
artistic director Ben
Stevenson. In honor of the
man who built the organization
into an international force,
this is a one-night only performance
from some of his most popular
works. Tickets: $1150 and up.
7 p.m. Wortham Theater
Center, Brown Theater, 501
Texas Ave. 713-5-BALLET. www.houstonballet.org.
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
"An Evening in the 80s: The Power of Poppers" is a
fund-raiser hosted by Imperial Court of Houston's
Space City Empire and Apollo 1 Sean Carter.
Proceeds benefit AIDS Foundation Houston Camp
Hope and AssistHers. 830 p.m. EJ's, 2517 Ralph.
"Alice in Wonderland"
is presented this weekend
by the Houston
Ballet. Ben Stevenson
choreographs the performances,
by Joseph Horowitz
and designs by Nadine
Baylis in this story
based on Lewis
Carroll's infamous 1856
novel. Tickets: $11.50
and up. 7:30 p.m. June
13 and 14.2 p.m. June
14 and 15. Wortham
Theater Center, Brown
Theater, 501 Texas Ave.
Houston Ballet presents
’Alice in Wonderland'
through this weekend.
"Kasimer Malevich: Suprematism" is the first exhibition
ever to focus exclusively on the defining
moment of the career of this artist, who long has
been celebrated as one of the seminal founders of
non-objective art in the 20^ century. Free admission.
Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. 713-525-
Gulf Coast Archives & Museum of GLBT History
Satellite Exhibition. The first exhibition from the
GCAM collection presented at the Houston GLBT
Community Center honors the NAMES Project
Houston. Community Center, 3400 Montrose,
Positive Art Workshop Photography Exhibition.
Artists living with HIV/AIDS created these pictures
with accompanying text Houston GLBT
Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.
22 JUNE 13, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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Send cover letter & resume to: General Manager, The Houston
Voice, 500 Lovett, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006. Fax: (713)
529-9531. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARPENTER & CARPENTER'S Assist wanted. Call Larry @
Lawrence Construction, (936) 760-5531.
TURN TRAVEL INTO PROFIT! Business opportunities in 5
TRILLION dollar industry! Work from home & earn commissions/
bonuses/travel perks. For more info call (713) 545-4918 or
GARDEN SUITES BED & BREAKFAST In the center of
Motnrose. Call Dennis (713) 528-2302.
THE LOVETT1nN Distinctive lodging & catering accommoda-tions.
Corporate meeting rooms, banquet facilities,. jacuzzi
suites, pool & hot tubs. Near downtown, museums & medical
center. (713) 522-5224 or (800) 779-5224. View our website at
GOING ON VACATION?
CHECK THE VOICE 1ST
for the best spots & deals!! Call Lavell, to place your ad! (877)
863-1885 ext 260.
HILTON HEAD, SC Planning to relocate? Need a vacation?
Make your plans now to come to beautiful beaches of Hilton
Head, South Carolina. Long term rentals or limited short term
rentals. See some of our property listings at
http://homelistings.tripod.com/. Fee! free to send inquiries to
LOST RIVER/wEsTvIRGINIA The Guest House at Lost River.
2 hrs Beltway. Premium accommodations in a cozy countrystyle
B&B setting. Quietly secluded, private & bordering the million-
acre George Washington National Forest, this mini-resort
offers a continuous atmosphere of tranquility & absolute peace
while in a luxurious setting. Our main lodge, w/ over 4,000 sq
ft of common area, is constructed of log & cedar w/ an enormous
19-foot tall stone fireplace. Guest will always find a nook
or cranny to enjoy a cozy place to cuddle, relax & enjoy the
space to yourself. Amenities incl.: heated pool; outdoor jacuzzi,
indoor subterranean stone & tile grotto w/ 10 person spa & 8-
person steam room, new fitness center, ACE-Certified Personal
Trainer by appt, massage therapy room, licensed therapist on
staff, facials & tanning. Dinner Saturdays. (304) 897-5707. E-mail:
Web page: www.guesthouseatlostriver.com
MOOSE MEADOW LODGE Vermont log home Waterbury.
Gay-owned, luxurious Adirondack-style B&B on 86 acres. Premier
site for civil unions & romantic getaways. (802) 244-5378.
PROVINCETOWN'S largest selection of condo, house & guest
house rentals. (800) 677-8696. www.intownreservations.com
PROVINCETOWN / CAPE COD Rent time in paradise! Condos
& homes. Wkly or more. (800) 838-4005 or
BOYS FROM BRAZIL - Complete vacations to Rio &
REHOBETH QUAINT SUMMER COTTAGE 4 BR, 2 BA,
walk 2 blk to guarded beach. Huge screened
porch. Outdoor shower. Sleeps up to 16. Plenty
of prkg. ($750-1,400) weeks in June, July, August
s^ll avail. Email: email@example.com. or (301)
REHOBOTH GUEST HOUSE Better than P-Town!! The best
location, the best value, the best rates. Now open all year.
REHOBOTH THE MALLARD GUESTHOUSE. WE ARE
STILL OPEN!! Spring fling...3 for 2 special. Rooms
from $50. Voted "Best at the Beach." Just steps to
the boardwalk, heart-of-town location. Fine furnishings
& antiques. Priv BAs, jacuzzi tubs, outdoor
spa, CATV. Open year-round. Call today! (888) 872-
0644 or (302) 226-3448;
www.themallard.com. Our e-mail address:
ROSELAND GUESTHOUSE & CAMPGROUD America's Scenic
Resort. Located 32 miles south of Wheeling, WVA. Offering
B&B style guest rooms, barracks, cabins, trailer sites & tent
camping. Pool, 2 hot tubs, 10 miles of hiking trails, food service,
convenience store, recreation hall, deluxe bath facilities,
theme weekends, scenic views. Catering to Gay Men, Clothing
Optional. Gay owned & operated, www.rcv.net/roseland.
TRAVEL LIKE THE PROS! Full service travel agency offers
gay friendly discounted travel + business opportunities in
commission! For more info call (888) 231-0009 or
FORT LAUDERDALE Beach Bungalows tastefully appointed,
spacious great room, queen bedded room, fully equipped kit,
heated pool. Ideally located near beach & bars. $500/wk
through 12/15. (888) 541-5151 or www.bellegrae.com (Ft.
FT LAUDERDALE BLUE DOLPHIN Mens Resort. Season specials
now in effect. Save Now! Call (800) 893-2583 or visit our
website at: www.bluedolphinhotel.com
KEY WEST Call me For best deal on renting a luxury townhouse
in gated community in old town. (202) 607-4178.
RENTAL TIME SHARE Rent 1/5th of this Galveston 4/2 historic
Spanish Colonial. Every Sth wk its yours. All bill paid.
www.ssptexas.com or (713) 256-7146.
SOUTH BEACH, FL ISLAND HOUSE. Be in the middle of the
sexiest strip at SoBe's largest gay guesthouse. Rooms/studios.
Complimentary breakfast & weekend happy hour! Walk to gay
beach, hot nightlife, the finest shopping & dining. 1428 Collins
Ave. (800) 382-2422.
EROTIC MALE MAGAZINE Huge collection. Some originally
up to $20 each. Discounted individually or will sell in bulk w/
minimum purchase. (713) 747-9341.
BOOKS WANTED Now buying complete libraries; special
interest in Gay & Lesbian books & magazines. (713) 659-5266.
ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE ^^^7^0^^
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com JUNE 13, 2003 23
RUN IT 'TILL YOU SELL IT. Take advantage of our
new "Run it 'till you sell it" promotional. Place an
ad to sell your car and email a photo of the car
and run the ad until it sells. It's only $39.99. Call
our friendly staff toll free today! (877) 863-1885.
PET SITTING BY LOYAL Let your pets relax at home so you
can relax on vacation. I provide in-home TLC, daily walks & play
for your pets to keep them happy while .you are gone. Plan
ahead for a stress-free summer vacation! Call (713) 942-8816
ARE YOU TRYING TO START FRESH FINANCIALLY?
Need a loan & no one will help.? We provide mortgage loans,
commercial business loans, personal & debt loans. Bad credit is
not a problem. Fast approval! No application fees. Toll free,
Fresh Start Financial Group. Starting Fresh in the World. (866)
AMERICAN CONSUMER CREDIT COUNSElTnG-ACCCIs
dedicated to helping consumers regain control of their personal
finances. Take the next step in fighting your debt battle. As our
partner you can be assured that we will do our best to reduce
your interest rates, reduce your monthly payments & reduce the
time required to pay off your debt. Call now for a free no obligation
consultation. (800) 867;3407 or
BANKRUPTCY Free initial consultation. Rogena Jan Atkinson,
Attorney at Law. Call’ (713) 862-1700.
LINKED VITAL BENEFITS The opportunity for selling your
life insurance policy has reopened. All stages of HIV/AIDS may
qualify & any type of policy (Individual, Group, FEGLI, VGLI) is
considered. Please call us today for a free consultation. Gay
owned & operated. Call 1-800-275-3090.
SCHMERLER AGENCY Great car insurance! Also great for
home, renters, life, health, business insurance & much more.
Call (713) 661-7700 or www.SchmerlerAgency.com.
YOU BUILD HOMES...
I BUILD ADS FOR YOUR SUCCESS! Call me, Rodney, to place
your Home Improvement ad with Houston Voice Classifieds
(877) 863-1885 ext 247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RECONSTRUCT CaiTfoTa free estimate for all your remodeling
needs. (713) 545-7452. No job too small.
NEED A MAID? Call Terry's Home Services. Over 1000 residencies
cleaned. 10 yrs experience. Weekly / bi-weekly. (281)
894-6639 / pager: (713) 200-3125.
CLEANRITE IS BACK? Offices, homes, apts, condos. Call
John (713) 524-2772. $ 12.50/hr. 10% donated to AFH.
FRENCH'S MOVING SERVICE Local & Sate Wide.
www.ahoustonmover.com. (713) 861-1212.
MASSAGE BY KEN Experience stress relief. Convenient Montrose
location. By appt only. 11am-8pm. RMT #028519. KEN
CLAUDE. (713) 240-9598.
PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE At it's best!! (MT #7796) Mi-chael
BODY MAGIC Swedish, sports, deep tissue. Montrose. In/out.
lOam-IOpm. Dan (713) 529-8787 or (713) 857-1009.
DEEP TISSUE I SPORTS MASSAGE David Crawford. RMT
located in the Heights, professional only. Pager (281) 262-
SWEDISH MASSAGE BY PATRICK Relaxation, Myotherapy,
deep tissue. $60/1.Shrs; $50/hr. (RMT
#024589) (713) 739-0087. (713) 501-9852,
RYAN FUGATE Therapeutic Massage & bodywork; RMT.NMT.
Gift certificates avail! (713) 269-7926.
MASSAGE BY BILL All Knotted Up Massage. Incalls/outcalls.
8am-10pm. 7-days/wk. Excellent rates. Call Bill (281) 530-
COUNSEUIUG / SUPPORT
JON-PAUL HAMILTON Board certified Psychiatrist. Spe-cializes
in Psychotherapy & medication management for adolescents
& adults. New office in Montrose w/ immediate appointments
avail. Sliding scale fees to those who qualify. Call
ROPY & SOOL
MEN'S BODY GROOMING Waxing & clipping. Dale. Priv location
in Montrose. Call (713) 529-5952 for appt.
KARAN STONE Professional psychic providing individual consultation,
making accurate predictions about your future...
Will achieve results in all emergency situations. Nothing is beyond
your reach with Karan Stone! Toll Free 1-866-491-
WITH A NEW LOW PRICE!
HOT HEALTHY HANDS! When you are ready for a grown-up.
Full body massage...(713) 659-5266.
PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD NOW! ■
CALL 877 8631885
OR PLACE YOUR AD ONLINE AT I
DAVID LEWIS IMAGES Events, headshots, portraits. New
studio location. (713) 240-5503 or
1. Tolerates hairy guys?
6. Juicy job for a fruit?
10. Mon in a skirt, perhaps
14. "There's a single runner" to
15. «Bread for Madonna's ancestors
16. Where Bertrand Delanoe often
17. He wrote about two guys living
together on an island
18. Went down (on)
20. Early epithet for a butch lesbian
23. Home of T. Bankhead
26. Press package from HRC
27. The I's of Sappho
28. One that can bite you in the sack
30. Errol Flynn movie "The Sun
32. '50s name for a gay activist
34. Clive Barker movies do this
39. Words that come after "come"
40. You can wrap it around your
42. First man to say to a man,
"You slay me!"?
43. Charges at the Black Tulip
45. Dated word for on effeminate man
47. Part of a vacuum that sucks
49. "Keep your pants on!"
50. Beginning to come?
53. Lupino of "Women's Prison"
54. Where they shoot "Will & Grace"
55. Antiquated psychological term for
a gay person
59. Queer mannerisms
60.1963 movie role for Liz
61. Honks' award for "Philadelphia"
65. Poems of Sappho
66. It makes gelatin get hard
67. Talk-show doctor who riles gays
69. Suffix for "bi"?
70. Miller's Willy
1. Muscle Mary's pride
2. London to Amsterdam direction
3. U.S. soldiers, in 1917
4. Panic place for Jodie
5. Come from behind
6. Man-eater in "Little Shop of
7. Taylor of "Gaudi Afternoon"
8. Creator of Sal Mineo's "Exodus"
9. "What Will Mary Say" singer
10. You wait for him to come on stage
11. It arouses two body openings
12. "Streetcor"director and namesakes
13. "Just As I Am" novelist
E._ _ _ Hams
21. Robert Chesley's"_ _ _ Sweat"
22. Puts the moves on
23. Can't stomach
24. "The Queen of Mean"
25. Word on a Broadway ticket