voice ‘Father of
Houston's own Joe Watts continues
to lead the way in helping gay plays
make the stage in the Bayou City.
ISSUE 1174_____________ WWW.HOUSTONVOICE.COM ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE._________ APRIL 25, 2003
Presbyterian Rev. Stephen Van
Kuiken this week was handed
down a mixed verdict on anti-gay
charges against him.
President Bush has nominated
Alabama Attorney General Bill
Pryor, who in 1996 defended
an anti-gay ballot initiative to
the U.S. Supreme Court, to
serve as an appeals judge.
Renee Fleming excels in
Houston Grand Opera's
staging of 'La Traviata.'
TX House panel considers
anti-gay foster care bill
changes wording of measure
to target 'homosexual
or bisexual' Texans
By PENNY WEAVER
AUSTIN — Gay rights activists who
have said for months that a Texas bill filed
by a Pasadena lawmaker is directly aimed
at gays were proven right during state
committee hearings this week.
Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena) on
Tuesday presented substitute language for
his House Bill 1911, which would prohibit
unmarried Texans from serving as foster
parents. Originally, the bill stated that the
state should “prevent the placement of a
child in a foster home with any unmarried
As the House State Affairs Committee
heard testimony regarding the bill, Talton
substituted the phrase “unmarried individuals”
with “homosexual or bisexual.”
“Foster parents should be assessed on
their ability to provide love, support, stability
and guidance, not on arbitrary restrictions,”
said Randall Ellis, executive director
of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas.
LGRL has called H.B. 1911 “one of the most
serious and potentially damaging bills” of
the current Texas Legislature’s 78th session.
“Robert Talton wasted a good portion of
not only his constituents’ time but the taxpayers
of Texas by filing such legislation...
that has no merit to it at all. He failed to
present one witness to support the claims
he made,” Ellis said. “He had no idea what
Please see FOSTER CARE BILL on Page 3
his House Bill
Original text of the bill was to prevent 'unmarried
individuals' from serving as foster parents. An
extended committee hearing was held on H.B. 1911
on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the mea'sure likely
will be voted on by the panel next week.
GOP leader compares gay sex to incest
Santorum says comments
not 'statement on
individual lifestyles' as
critics call for resignation
By LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate’s
third-highest ranking Republican issued a
statement Tuesday charging that an
Associated Press article was “misleading”
when it quoted him comparing consensual
gay sex to incest.
The move did little to placate most gay
groups, including Log Cabin Republicans,
which demanded Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)
either “fully apologize” or step down
from his leadership post. But the
Republican Unity Coalition, a group that
hills itself for “gay and straight ‘Big Tent’
Republicans,” issued a statement that takes
issue with some criticism of Santorum.
“My comments should not be misconstrued
in any way as a statement on individual
lifestyles,” Santorum said, one day
after the AP published an article quoting
him urging the U.S. Supreme Court to
uphold the Texas state law banning homosexual
“If the Supreme Court says that you
have the right to consensual [gayl sex within
your home, then you have the right to
bigamy, you have the right to polygamy,
you have the right to incest, you have the
right to adultery. You have the right to anything,”
Santorum said in the interview,
taped April 7 and published April 21.
“All of those things are antithetical to a
healthy, stable, traditional family,”
Santorum said. “And that’s sort of where
we are in today’s world, unfortunately. It
all comes from, I would argue, this right to
privacy that doesn’t exist, in my opinion,
in the United States Constitution.”
Santorum chairs the Senate Republican
Conference, placing him third in his
party’s leadership, behind Majority
Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Assistant
Please see PULITZER on Page 4
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), chair of the Senate
Republican Conference, told the Associated Press
he has 'no problem with homosexuality,' but he
does 'have a problem with homosexual acts.' (Photo
by Susan Walsh/AP)
2 APRIL 25, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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| local news
Dozens testify on behalf of gay foster parents
FOSTER CARE BILL, continued from Page 1
effect, nor did he care, it would have on our
already overburdened system.”
A number of gay rights advocates and
social workers Tuesday denounced
Talton’s proposed legislation, calling it
cruel and crazy.
There aren’t enough foster homes as it
is, said opponents, who have contended
since the bill was filed that it is an attempt
to prevent gays and lesbians from providing
Talton refused to comment to news
reporters. He shoved away the hand and
microphone of a television journalist in a
“I think the committee was impressed
by the showing on our side,” Ellis said. But
he urged gay Texans to speak out and monitor
the progress of H.B. 1911.
“It’s very much still a threat,” he said.
“They have until May 12 to report that bill
out of committee and send it to the House
floor, and that leaves it plenty of time to
make it out of the system.”
According to the LGRL, testimony on
H.B. 1911 did not begin until very late, but
many families stayed until the committee
adjourned at 3:30 a.m. Testimony was overwhelmingly
against the bill, with fewer
than five people testifying for the bill and
nearly 300 people signing in against it.
The testimony included powerful statements
from gay and lesbian families, as
well as expert testimony from a variety of
witnesses including economists, family law
attorneys, and representatives of child welfare
agencies, according to LGRL officials.
LGRL contends that, if passed, the bill
would have “a devastating effect” on children
by dramatically reducing the pool of
eligible foster parents
Testimony did not conclude by the time
the panel adjourned, so committee members
re-convened Wednesday to finish the
hearing. The bill now is pending in committee
as its members weigh the testimony.
A vote on H.B. 1911 could come as early as
If the committee approves the measure,
it goes before the full Texas House of
Representatives for a vote.
“We accomplished our objectives, and
we made our point,” Ellis said of those
O MORE INFO
Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents
9955 S. Post Oak Road, PMB#263
Houston, TX 77096
Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of'Texas
P.0. Box 2340
Austin, TX 78768
David Peavy of Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents said
there is still time for people to contact members of
the House State Affairs Committee and voice opposition
to the anti-gay House Bill 1911.
who spoke to the committee in opposition
to H.B. 1911. “LGBT Texans represent a
significant resource that the Texas foster
care system cannot afford to do without.”
Others who spoke out against the bill
included Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston),
who noted the cost of the bill
during a legislative session in which lawmakers
face a state budget crisis.
“This bill has a multi-million dollar
price tag,” Coleman said. “At a time when
the state of Teas is facing one of its worst
budget shortfalls in history, this bill is not
only insulting to a huge segment of the population,
but it is financially and potentially
dangerous to the children of our state.”
Pro-gay bill considered
Also this week, the House State Affairs
Committee heard testimony on H.B. 1136,
filed by Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San
Antonio). That measure would prohibit discrimination
based on sexual orientation
and gender identity in employment decisions,
housing, and public accommodations.
The committee hearings on Tuesday
began on a positive note, with the testimony
on Villarreal’s 1136 coming before the
session on the anti-gay H.B. 1911.
According to the LGRL, every witness
for H.B. 1136 testified in favor of it, and no
one signed in against the bill.
Ellis emphasized that the strong
response from gay Texans to fight H.B.
1911 needs to continue in opposition to
anti-gay bills and in support of positive
measures in the Legislature.
“The community ahs been fantastic in
terms of the response,” Ellis said. “We
need to be prepared to continue to do that.
“We need to focus on calling our representatives
and making sure that they are
going to represent their constituency,” he
added. “I want the community to watch
how those people vote. We still have a battle
ahead with this bill. It’s not over until
the session is over.”
on State Affairs
Kenny Marchant, R-Carrollton
Jerry Madden, R-Plano
John Davis, R-Clear Lake
Gary Elkins, R-Houston
Toby Goodman, R-Arlington
Byron Cook, D-Corsicana
Dan Gattis, D-Georgetown
Glenn Lewis, D-Fort Worth
Michael Villarreal, D-San Antonio
To send committee members a letter, address
The Honorable (insert name of representative)
Texas House of Representatives
P.0. Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910
APRIL 25, 2003 3
NATIONAL NEWS.......................................... 6
OUT ON THE BAYOU..................................... 15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR............................. 19
Q PUZZLE..................................................... 21
MY STARS......... ..........................................26
CONVICTED: Rev. Steve Van Kuiken sat with his
wife Debbie as Presbyterian church officials convicted
him on one count and acquitted him on
another because he has shunned the church's ban
on gay marriages. Page 6.
ANTI-GAY NOMINEE: President George W. Bush
has nominated for judgeship more candidates
with anti-gay records. Page 5.
VIEWPOINT: Columnist J.D. Cerna learns a lesson
on living from a neighbor's suicide. Page 11.
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4 APRIL 25, 2003______________________________
I national news
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Comments should cost Santorum GOP leader post, gay groups say
SANTORUM SPEAKS, continued from Page 1
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).
His remarks sparked a predictable
firestorm of criticism from Democrats
and gay rights groups on both sides of the
political aisle, but have so far generated
little comment from Republican Party
“We are expecting an apology, and a full
one, and expect that and his dedication to
moving forward will allow Sen. Santorum
to stay in the party leadership,” Patrick
Guerriero, executive director of the national
gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans,
told Houston Voice after Santorum issued
his clarification statement.
“If he does not [fully apologize], we
would ask for him to step down,”
Santorum told Fox News Tuesday night
that he has nothing for which to apologize.
“I do not need to give an apology,” he
said. “I think this is a legitimate public policy
Meanwhile, the Republican Unity
Coalition, a group formed by gay
Republicans with ties to the president,
issued a statement on Wednesday that criticized
Santorum’s views as “flat-out
wrong” but “well within bounds of speech
The statement, released by RUC leader
Charles Francis, a gay Texan who has been
described as close to President Bush, said
it was “false and harmful” for Santorum to
compare gay sex to bigamy, incest and
polygamy, but added, “There is a difference
between being wrong and being accused of
all kinds of bigotry.”
“Good people with animus toward no
one can and will disagree,” concludes the
Silence from GOP leaders
As furor over Santorum’s remarks
grew early this week, critics compared his
comments to those of Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.),
who lost his post as Senate majority
leader after appearing to support racial
“T want to say this about my state:
When Strom Thurmond ran for president,
we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if
the rest of the country had followed our
lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems
over all these years, either,” Lott said
at a Dec. 5 event celebrating the 100th
birthday of retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond
(R-S.C.), who ran for president in 1948 representing
the segregationist Dixiecrat
“Santorum’s statements mark the second
time in recent months that a
Republican leader has made comments
O MORE INFO
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)
120 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the national
gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, said Sen. Rick
Santorum (R-Pa.) needs to either Tully apologize' or
lose his leadership post (Photo by R.0. Youngblood)
marginalizing or attacking an entire segment
of the population,” the Human
Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay
political group, said in a statement condemning
Santorum’s “deeply discriminatory”
HRC called on Republican leaders “to
take quick and decisive action to repudiate
Sen. Santorum’s remarks.”
Yet GOP officials had little to say about
The White House did not respond to
interview requests on the issue by press
Asked at an April 22 press briefing
whether President Bush agrees with
Santorum’s comments, White House
spokesperson Ari Fleischer demurred.
“I have not seen the entire context of
the interview, and two, I haven’t talked to
the president about it. So I really don’t
have anything to offer beyond that,”
Another senior White House official
praised Santorum in the original
Associated Press article that included the
White House Political Director Ken
Mehlman called Santorum “one of the
original compassionate conservatives.”
“The people of Pennsylvania, no matter
who they are or where they’re from, understand
how hard he’s working for them,
understand that he has a philosophy that is
good for them, and that will help improve
“There is nobody who works as hard as
he does in getting his message out,”
When Lott made his controversial
racial remarks, Bush publicly spoke out
against the senator’s sentiments a week
later, but only two days after the controversy
hit the national press.
Lott made his comments. Dec. 5; they
were first reported in the New York Times
on Dec. 10.
The White House initially said it
accepted Lott’s apology, but in a public
speech Dec. 12, Bush said Lott’s comment
“do not reflect the spirit of our country.”
Fleischer said later the same day that
Bush “doesn’t think Trent Lott needs to
resign,” yet the Mississippi senator — who
had also compared gays to alcoholics and
kleptomaniacs in 1998 —gave up his leadership
post on Dec. 21.
Santorum should be given time to correct
his comments before the president
steps in, Log Cabin leaders said.
“I think the White House is showing
appropriate political and professional
courtesy in giving him 48 hours to respond
himself,” Guerriero said. “It shouldn’t take
the White House to have to scold United
States senators about staying within
decent parameters in their public comments.”
Other leading Republicans have also
declined to criticize Santorum.
A spokesperson for Frist, who became
Senate Majority Leader in the wake of
Lott’s resignation, initially refused comment
on Santorum’s statements to the AR
A day later, Frist called Santorum “a
consistent voice for inclusion and compassion
in the Republican Party and in
“To suggest otherwise is just politics,”
Frist told the Associated Press.
Santorum, currently serving his second
term as a senator from Pennsylvania after
four years in the House of Representatives,
has a reputation for focusing on so-called
“family” issues like banning late-term
abortions and tax exemptions for donations
to religious charities.
But he has also reached out to gay
“I met with him as recently as earlier
this year to discuss the president’s global
and domestic HIV/AIDS initiatives,”
Guerriero said. “He has also met with Log
Cabin Republican members as a group
during our last convention in Washington,
D.C., to discuss hate crimes, taxation and
other issues he was working with.”
Kevin Ivers, who served as public
affairs director at Log Cabin before leaving
the group last summer to form his own
public relations firm, said Santorum’s
staff repeatedly reached out to the gay
GOP group for support in winning
approval for President Bush’s judicial
Last spring, Ivers said Santorum met
with about a dozen Log Cabin leaders.
During the meeting, Ivers said he asked
Santorum to support a hate crimes bill
pushed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
The Hatch bill is viewed as a competing
measure to a hate crimes bill proposed by
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). Kennedy’s
bill would add categories of sexual orientation,
gender and disability to existing
federal hate crime law and expand the federal
government’s ability to prosecute
Hatch has said that he supports parts of
Kennedy’s bill that authorize federal prosecution
of anti-gay hate crimes, but criticized
Kennedy’s bill for going too far in
allowing federal intervention in cases
where state or local law enforcement officials
prosecute hate crimes.
During the meeting with Log Cabin,
according to Ivers, Santorum said he
agreed with Hatch’s strategy on the bill —
a point of view Ivers said Santorum contradicts
in his latest statements.
“In the hate crimes debate, Hatch’s
whole argument was all about restricting
federal power,” Ivers said. “For Santorum
to agree with that, and now be making
arguments about preserving [government]
power to bust down the bedroom door and
arrest people, is just ridiculous.”
Last month, HRC praised Santorum,
the leading Senate backer for President
Bush’s faith-based initiative, for agreeing
to an amendment that the group said will
reduce the chance for groups receiving
public funding to discriminate based on
religion — a common excuse for bias based
on sexual orientation.
Still, Santorum rated only 14 out of 100
on HRC’s last congressional score card on
gay issues. He has not co-sponsored bills
to add sexual orientation to federal hate
crimes laws or ban anti-gay job discrimination,
and he earned points on only one
issue: voluntarily agreeing to a sexual orientation
non-discrimination policy for his
Nevertheless, Santorum said in his
clarification statement that he is “a firm
believer that all are equal under the
“When discussing the pending
Supreme Court Case Lawrence v. Texas,
my comments were specific to the right to
privacy and the broader implications of a
ruling on other state privacy laws,” he
“In the interview, I expressed the same
concern as many constitutional scholars,
and discussed arguments put forward by
the State of Texas, as well as Supreme
Court justices. If such a law restricting
personal conduct is held unconstitutional,
so could other existing state laws.’
Guerriero called Santorum’s statement
“Sen. Santorum has a leadership role in
coalition building as the Senate GOP conference
chairman. You don’t build coalitions
by divisive and mean spirited statements,”
the Log Cabin leader said in a
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to
rule this summer in Lawrence v. Texas, a
challenge to the Texas sodomy law that
could have broad implications for gay
Battle lines drawn
Along with Log Cabin and HRC„other
gay rights groups quickly condemned
Santorum’s remarks, while groups on
the far right rushed to defend the embattled
The Family Research Council
denounced HRC and Log Cabin’s “smear
tactics.” The gay groups are “attacking”
Santorum in order to “intimidate defenders
of marriage and silence critics of the
Please see SANTORUM SPEAKS on Page 5
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com__________
| national news
APRIL 25, 2003 5
Bush nominates three judges with anti-gay views
Candidate for post with jurisdiction
over Ga. supported anti-gay
ballot measure, sodomy laws
By LOU CHIBBARO JR.
WASHINGTON — Less than a month
after winning Senate confirmation for a
federal appeals court judge who compared
homosexuality to cockfighting and bestiality,
President Bush nominated three more
judges with anti-gay views, according to a
judicial watchdog group.
One of the nominees petitioned the U.S.
Supreme Court to uphold sodomy laws in
1 Georgia and Texas. Another said same-sex
relationships could never be as legitimate
as a heterosexual marriage and that a wife
“is to subordinate herself to the husband.”
The third, who is expected to be formally
nominated next month, is a former law
clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court who lobbied
behind the scenes to uphold Georgia’s
anti-gay sodomy law in the landmark 1986
case Bowers v. Hardwick.
Officials at Alliance for Justice, a gayfriendly
group that monitors presidential
appointments of judges, said the latest nomi:
nees bring to seven the number of Bush’s federal
judicial appointees who are considered to
have records hostile to gay civil rights. The
Senate so far has confirmed two of the seven.
On April 9, Bush nominated Alabama
Attorney General Bill Pryor to a seat on the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit,
which has jurisdiction over Alabama,
Georgia and Florida. In 1996, in his capacity
as Alabama’s then-deputy attorney general,
Pryor co-authored a friend of the court brief
supporting Colorado’s anti-gay ballot initiative
in the U.S. Supreme Court case of
Roemer v. Evans.
The ballot measure, which the high
court declared unconstitutional, amended
the Colorado Constitution to prohibit local
governments in the state from passing laws
protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination.
Last year, Pryor successfully
defended an Alabama law banning sodomy
between unmarried adults in a challenge to
the law before the state’s court system. A
short time later, he wrote a strongly worded
amicus brief declaring Alabama’s support
for the Texas sodomy law in the Supreme
Court case Lawrence v. Texas, which the
court is expected to decide in June or July.
The Texas law “does not criminalize petitioners’
sexual orientation, which may or may
not be a matter of choice,” Pryor wrote in his
brief. “Rather, the Texas anti-sodomy statute
criminalizes petitioner’s sexual activity,
which is indisputably a matter of choice.”
Granting a constitutional right to
President Bush earlier this month nominated Bill Pryor,
Alabama Attorney General, to a seat on the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which includes Georgia Pryor
said sexual orientation is a choice and compared it to
necrophilia and bestiality in a brief he filed supporting an
anti-gay sodomy law in Texas. (Photo by AP)
choose one’s partner and whether or how
to “connect sexually,” Pryor wrote, “must
logically extend to activities like prostitution,
adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession
of child pornography, and even
incest and pedophilia (if the child should
credibly claim to be ‘willing).”
The president submitted Pryor’s nomination
to the Senate on April 9, eight days after
the Senate confirmed Bush appeals court
nominee Timothy Tymkovich, the former
solicitor general of Colorado. Tymkovich has
compared homosexuality to cockfighting,
bestiality prostitution and suicide.
Bush is also poised to nominate Michael
Mosman to the U.S. District Court in Oregon.
Mosman is a former Supreme Court law
clerk to the late Justice Lewis Powell.
According to two authoritative books on the
Supreme Court, one by lesbian journalists
Deb Price and Joyce Murdoch, Mosman
wrote a series of strongly worded memos to
Powell in 1986 urging Powell to vote to
uphold the Georgia sodomy law, which The
Supreme Court did in a 5-4 decision.
Bush nominated his' third appointee,
James Leon Holmes, earlier this year to
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Arkansas.
Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice president,
stated in an April 25 letter to the
Senate Judiciary Committee that Holmes
is a “zealous” advocate for doing away with
a woman’s right to choose an abortion and
has made “extreme statements” on the
issue of separation of church and state,
gay rights and gender equality.
Aron pointed to a joint article Holmes
wrote with his wife asserting that same-sex
relationships should not be regarded
as having “equal legitimacy with heterosexual
Senator's remarks draws
criticism from key Democrats
SANTORUM SPEAKS, continued from Page 4
homosexual political agenda,” said FRC
President Ken Connor.
Leaders with LLEGO, the National
Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Organization, took the opposite
side, sending a letter to Frist and
Congressional Hispanic Conference Chair
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) calling for
Santorum’s removal as a party leader.
His comments “are an affront to the
growing number of same-sex families raising
children in loving and caring homes,”
wrote Martin Ornelas-Quintero, LLEGO
Smelling the possibility of political blood
in the water, prominent Democrats —
including the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee and at least four 2004
presidential candidates — also denounced
Santorum’s remarks and called on
Republicans to remove him from leadership.
“The silence with which President
Bush and the Republican Party leadership
have greeted Sen. Santorum’s remarks is
deafening,” said Howard Dean, one of a
crowded field of Democrats vying to challenge
Bush in 2004.
Dean, who as Vermont governor signed
a bill into law creating civil unions for gay
couples, said the silence “implicitly condones
a policy of domestic divisiveness, a
policy that seeks to divide Americans
again and again on the basis of race, gender,
class, and sexual orientation.”
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), another
Democrat running for president, also used
Santorum’s remarks — which he said “take
us backwards in America” — as an opportunity
to criticize Republican leadership.
“The White House speaks the rhetoric
of compassionate conservatism, but
they’re silent while their chief lieutenants
make divisive and hurtful comments that
have no place in our politics,” Kerry said.
Democratic presidential contender Sen.
John Edwards (R-N.C.) issued a statement
calling the comments “disturbing and
“It is unfortunate that this prejudice
still exists in this country,” he said.
Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) said he was
“disappointed with the Republican leadership’s
insensitivity and blatant disregard
for the rights of millions of Americans.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign
Committee also called on Sen. Arlen
Specter (R-Pa.), the state’s senior senator, to
denounce Santorum, but Specter declined.
“I have known Rick Santorum for the
better part of two’ decades and I can say
with certainty he is not a bigot,” Specter
said in a statement.
The KOLBE Project
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Houston, TX 77008
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"Harry Potter and the
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Morning Prayer 10am
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6 APRIL 25, 2003_____________________________
| national news
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Church court tells pastor to stop marrying gays
Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken
found guilty for performing
same-sex unions, acquitted
for ordaining gays
By CHRISTOPHER SEELY
BLUE ASH, Ohio —The permanent judicial
commission of the presbytery of
Cincinnati found Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken, of
Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, guilty
April 21 on a count of marrying same-sex couples
and not guiltyTor ordaining non-celibate
gay men and lesbians as elders and deacons.
The guilty verdict required votes from at
least five out of seven members of the commission.
The vote on both charges was. 6-1.
Van Kuiken could have been permanently
excluded from the office of minister
for marrying gay men and lesbians, but he
received the mildest form of rebuke available
to the judicial commission, said
Martha Sexton, judicial commission chair.
“You are directed to perform marriage ceremonies
only for a man and a woman,” said
the commission in its written statement of
censure. Same-sex “holy unions” cannot contain
“specific liturgical forms from Christian
marriage,” according to the statement.
The rebuke told Van Kuiken what he
already knew, and he will appeal the guilty
verdict to the regional permanent judicial
commission that oversees Presbyterian
churches in Michigan and Ohio, he said in
a written statement. Van Kuiken has 30
days from the announcement of his verdict
“The [permanent judicial commission]
already knows that this is not a position
from which I will be rehabilitated,” Van
The court could have done more in its
statement to “make a stand” against the
code forbidding gay marriage, he said in
an interview with Southern Voice.
“Even with a guilty verdict, they could
have criticized or raised concerns about
the law itself,” he said. “I make the point
that just enforcing the law is never an
excuse. We always have the option. We
always have the choice.”
But the cut-and-dry ruling statement
reflects the limited powers granted to the
judicial commission, said Charles Brown,
an elder at Wyoming Presbyterian Church
in suburban Cincinnati.
Brown was the only member of the
commission who voted to convict Van
Kuiken for ordaining non-celibate gay men
and lesbians, and he dissented on the gay
marriage vote, calling in a written statement
for a harsher punishment to prevent
Van Kuiken from performing gay marriages.
Brown suggested temporary exclu-
Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken sits with his wife Debbie at
the Blue Ash Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, as his
verdict is read April 21. (Photo by David Kohl/AP)
sion from the office of minister.
“We can’t determine that the constitution
is right or wrong,” Brown said in an
interview. “We are required and bound to
interpret the constitution as it now stands.”
Currently, Presbyterian ministers may
bless same-sex couples, but not marry them.
“It doesn’t matter if we agree with the
law of the church,” she said. “All we can do
is assess the law and issue punishment.”
Constitutional changes can only be
made by appeal or through legislation at
the church’s national General Assembly
level, but past attempts to amend the constitution
with gay-friendly legislation have
not passed, Sexton said.
The commission did let Van Kuiken off
the hook for ordaining non-celibate gay men
and lesbians, but it did not change the constitution
to give the green light for gay men
and lesbians who have sex to be ordained.
Van Kuiken was found riot guilty
because the commission voted that ordination
is a matter that falls under the jurisdiction
of a church’s session of elected
elders, not the church’s minister. The minister
is only to “officiate” at the ordination
ceremony as a ceremonial figure, according
to the commission’s ruling.
The next time the General Assembly can
alter the constitution with gay-friendly legislation
is next year, Van Kuiken said. This year’s
assembly convenes May 24-31 in Denver, and
gay issues are not slated for discussion.
“All I’m saying is that there ought to be
an option for gay people if they are in the
church and they want to view their relationship
the same way that some straight
people view their relationship,” he said.
Brown said that there is “absolutely” a
place for gay men and lesbians in the church
membership, but declined to reveal his personal
views on gay marriage or ordination.
“The constitution says what it says,” he
said. “As an elder, I took a vow to follow the
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HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 25, 2003 7
Anti-gay shareholder resolution fizzles at Coca-Cola
ATLANTA — One shareholder’s attempt to get Atlantabased
soft drink giant Coca-Cola to drop sexual orientation
from its non-discrimination statement fizzled when
he didn’t appear at last week’s annual meeting to support
it. Hou-Yin Chang, a South Carolina resident who
owns 49 shares of Coke stock, proposed the measure
asking Coca-Cola to end its support for “the homosexual
lifestyle and other deviant lifestyle behaviors.” The
Coca-Cola Company held its annual meeting April 16 in
Houston. “Neither Mr. Chang nor his proxy was on
hand to present his proposal, and a vote can only be held
for a shareowner proposal if it is properly presented at
the meeting,” said Racquel White, spokesperson for the
company, which recommended that stock holders vote
against the measure. Chang cannot submit any more
resolutions for two years, she said. Meanwhile, pro-gay
Resolutions pushed by shareholders at J.C. Penney and
FedEx prompted those companies to announce plans to
amend their non-discrimination statements to include
sexual orientation, according to New York City
Comptroller William C. Thompson, who filed the resolutions
on behalf of city pension funds. The city’s five
pension funds hold $23.3 million in J.C. Penney stock
and $60.6 million in FedEx stock.
Hou-Yin Chang proposed a shareholder
resolution asking Coca-Cola to rescind
policies that 'support the homosexual
lifestyle,’ but did not attend the meeting
to bring the measure to a vote.
(Photo courtesy of Chang's Web site)
Family of slain Tenn, activist
files wrongful death lawsuit
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The family of a
Knoxville gay activist strangled by someone
he met at a local gay bar sued the man
who admitted killing him, the Knoxville
News-Sentinel reported. In the wrongful
death lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit
Court, Joseph Camber’s family seeks $2
million in damages from Chad Allen
Conyers. Camber, who co-chaired
Knoxville Pride, was last seen April 20,
2002, leaving the Carousel II, the Knoxville
gay bar where he worked as a bartender.
His body was found early the next morning.
Conyers was sentenced to 15 years probation
after pleading guilty March 21 to
voluntary manslaughter. During sentencing,
Conyers apologized for the killing, but
offered no explanation for how it happened.
Under a procedure known as judicial
diversion, if Conyers does not violate
his probation, his record will be cleared.
Sirius launches first
24-hour gay satellite radio
NEW YORK — Satellite radio broadcaster
Sirius announced April 15 the launch of
OutQ, providing around-the-clock “complete
news and entertainment programming
for the gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender
community,” the company said in a
statement. Jay Clark, Sirius vice president
of entertainment and information programming,
noted that the company already
offers other specialized material, including
conservative shows. “When you have 100
streams of programming, you can step out
a little bit,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
The gay service will broadcast live shows
weekdays from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m., with hourly
news breaks, as well as replays and “best-of
” programming. OutQ is available to all of
Sirius’ subscribers, who pay $12.95 per
month, as well as on the company’s Web
site, www.sirius.com. Current hosts include
Wayne Besen, John McMullen,
Michelangelo Signorile, Derek Hartley and
Romaine Patterson. Sirius cited some 30,000
subscribers last year, according to the New
York Times. Competitor XM cites 500,000.
Cincinnati hate crime
law faces legal fight
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Equal Rights Not
Special Rights, a group opposing gay-inclusive
legislation, asked the Hamilton County
Common Pleas Court for an injunction
April 9 to stop the city’s new hate crimes
law from taking effect, the Plain Dealer
reported. The group, which includes state
Rep. Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati), contends
the law violates the city’s one-of-a-kind
charter amendment banning laws
based on sexual orientation. The amendment,
approved in 1993 by 63 percent of voters,
bars the City Council from enacting or
enforcing laws that give gays “any claim of
minority or protected status, quota preference
or other preferential treatment.” The
city’s new hate crimes law, passed two
months ago in the wake of an anti-gay
murder, says that crimes against the elderly,
disabled or gays can lead to six months
in jail and a $1,000 fine. “The city is going
out of its way to protect people based on
sexual behavior,” said David R. Langdon,
attorney for the gay rights opponents.
Ky. gay-straight club
can meet in high school
ASHLAND, Ky (AP) —U.S. District Judge
David Bunning ruled April 18 that the Boyd
County school district must allow the Gay-
Straight Alliance to meet on campus and
treat it no differently than the Bible club.
Bunning granted a request from the ACLU,
representing students who filed suit against
the school district, for an injunction to give
equal access to the Gay-Straight Alliance.
The school district banned all school clubs in
the wake of controversy over the gay group,
but Bunning concluded from two days of testimony
that some student groups, including
the Bible club and drama club, continued to
meet on campus despite the ban.
From staff and wire reports
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www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
AIDS agencies pan federal HIV proposal
Health officials want improved
access to HIV testing, greater
use of rapid test
By JENNIFER J. SMITH
ATLANTA — Concern over the removal
of counseling from HIV testing in a proposal
from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control &
Prevention led officials with some prominent
AIDS agencies to greet the new guidelines
with a lukewarm response.
But in calling current AIDS prevention
efforts “a disappointment,” Dr. Julie Gerberdjng,
the CDC’s director, said “it is time for physicians
to screen HIV in the same way they do for other
conditions” and urged for routine testing of people
at risk for the disease.
Gerberding unveiled the $35 million proposal
for voluntary guidelines during an April
17 press conference in Atlanta, the CDC’s headquarters.
The guidelines call for doctors and
health care workers to question patients about
HTV testing, an “opt-out approach,” instead of
waiting for them to ask, Gerberding said.
The guidelines also call for increased use of
the recently-approved rapid HTV test, which can
rule out infection in 20 minutes, though positive
results require additional testing, she said.
The proposal also advocates for the creation
Saying current prevention efforts 'have really stalled,'
CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding unveiled a new HIV
initiative last week that was quickly criticized by
some AIDS agencies. (Photo by AP)
of new models for diagnosing HIV infections outside
medical settings, such as prisons and other
institutions, working with people diagnosed with
HIV and their partners, and incorporating HIV
testing in the routine battery of prenatal tests.
The CDC has “removed the requirement...
that there be education as part of testing,”
“It works, but in a medical environment it’s
a barrier because medical personnel don’t have
the time for preventative counseling,” she said.
The new strategies will be forwarded to
states, which will ultimately decide how to
“We want to eliminate access to the medical
system as a barrier to testing,” Gerberding said.
Each year, about 40,000 new HIV cases are
diagnosed in the United States. More than
800,000 people live with HIV and a quarter of
those people don’t know they have been infected.
The CDC proposals drew a strong, quick
response from AIDS agencies.
“We have grave concerns about this specific
proposal,” said Ana Oliveira, executive director
of tiie Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York.
“This proposal relies on a healthcare system
that historically has not reached those communities
that are most at-risk and most underserved,
particularly communities of color.”
Mark Ishaug, executive director of the
AIDS Foundation of Chicago, portrayed the
new initiative as both exciting and troubling.
“While the CDC is right to redouble efforts
helping HIV-positive people receive needed
medical care and support in new infections,
its apparent retreat on counseling and riskreduction
services — such as condom distribution
and outreach programs — represent a
significant step backwards,” he said.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the
National Institute of Allergy & Infectious
Diseases, defended the CDC proposal, arguing
that by removing current barriers to testing,
more people will find out if they are HIV-positive.
“We know that most people, when they
know they’re infected, are more careful with
their sexual partners,” Fauci said.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s
largest gay political group, praised the CDC proposal,
but urged counseling to continue to be a
part of HIV testing, according to Winnie
Stachelberg, the organization’s political director.
“We maintain that HIV/AIDS testing should
be accompanied by the appropriate counseling,
both before and after diagnosis,” she said.
Some AIDS agencies, including Florida AIDS
Action, criticized the CDC for not consulting AIDS
organizations in the development of its proposal.
“We have concerns over how these initiatives
will be implemented and regret that the
CDC did not consult the community while
developing these strategies,” said Gene Copello,
executive director of Florida AIDS Action.
But several conservative groups are
applauding the CDC’s effort.
Former US. Rep. Tom Cobum, an Oklahoma
Republican who has advocated for abstinence education
over condom usage as a member of the
Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS,
praised “the Bush administration’s new HIV prevention
initiative” a day before CDC even released it
“For too long the CDC’s policies have protected
the virus rather than the public,” Coburn
said in a statement. “This new initiative will
work to stop HIV in its tracks by identifying
those who are infected earlier and empowering
those individuals to protect their own health
and prevent passing the virus onto others.”
Sandy Rios, president of the Concerned
Women for America, a well-known conservative
force, characterized the initiative as lifesaving.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
BY HORTON FOOTE
APRIL 11 - MAY 10 LARGE STAGE
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Dee Macike in The Trip to Bountiful photo by T. Charles Erickson.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 25, 2003 9
Body of gay Boston University professor found in river
BOSTON (AP) — A body found floating in the Charles River
was identified April 15 as John Daverio, a gay Boston
University professor and chair of the musicology department
whose disappearance a month ago baffled investigators and
the university community. While an autopsy determined the
cause of death was drowning, the circumstances of Daverio’s
death were still unknown, said Emily LaGrassa, a spokesperson
for the Middlesex County district attorney’s office.
Daverio was last seen on March 16 around 8:40 p.m. Daverio,
49, was one of the world’s leading scholars on the work of
composer Robert Schumann. He recently published a book
called “Crossing Paths: Schubert, Schumann & Brahms,”
which explored the link between art and life in the work of the
three musicians. At the end of a 1994 review in Current
Musicology magazine, Daverio wrote that he was gay, according
to the Boston Globe. In the article, he asked whether, as a
gay Italian-American musicologist, he was betraying his
background by concentrating on a straight, Germanic composer
like Schumann, according to the newspaper. “I intend
neither to be flippant, nor to allow my epilogue to degenerate
into a Personals Ad, but only to say that I am a long way from
resolving these questions,” he wrote.
The Boston University rowing
team discovered the
body of John Daverio, a professor
and musicologist, in
the Charles River near campus.
Police said he drowned.
(Photo by AP/courtesy
Fla. man gets house arrest
in hate crime beating
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Three men beaten as
they left a gay pride party last year are
angry after their attacker was sentenced to
two years of house arrest followed by four-years
probation. Devin Scott Angus, 21,
had faced up to 30 years in prison. He
pleaded guilty earlier this month to
charges of aggravated battery and battery
with evidence of prejudice, a hate crime.
Prosecutors wanted a four-year prison sentence
from Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe,
while Angus’s attorney asked for a two-year
prison sentence. “I hope this judge
isn’t involved in any other discrimination
cases, because evidently he doesn’t know
how to handle these,” said Steven Hair, 26,
who has been to the dentist 20 times to
repair teeth knocked out by the beating he
took from Angus. The assault happened
July 7, on the last day of PrideFest, a six-day
Tampa and St. Petersburg event. The
victims were leaving a party at the Florida
Aquarium when Angus confronted them
in a parking garage.
Three charged in death
of bisexual Calif, man
SALINAS, Calif. — One of three people
charged with the murder of a bisexual
man blamed her two co-defendants for the
crime during interviews with the Salinas
Police Department, according to the
Californian. Jeanne Soja, 29, said she was
present during the assault on Robert Alan
Maricle, 30, last December but denied taking
part in his death, according to her
attorney, Tom Washington. “She gave a
fairly detailed statement to them,”
Washington said. Police charged Soja and
her boyfriend, Dominique Daniel England,
19, and his friend, Daymen Douglas
Schrock, 20, with murder. A police account
says the trio kidnapped, tortured and
killed Maricle and he was last seen alive at
Soja’s apartment on Dec. 14, according to
the newspaper. Maricle’s remains were
found April 8. Soja, England and Schrock
were arrested April 9-10. “What you have is
an incomplete account by one defendant,”
Monterey County Assistant District
Attorney Berkley Brannon told the newspaper.
“I can tell you that a lot of people
Philadelphia gay group wants
to investigate trans homicide
PHILADELPHIA — Members of Racial
Unity, an African-American gay group,
are so frustrated with the police investigation
into the death of Mizah Morris
that they are launching their own probe
of her Dec. 24 death and offering a $1,000
reward for information that leads to an
arrest in the case, according to the
Philadelphia Daily News. “We have to go
down on a grassroots level and find out
what happened,” Asa Khalif, president of
Racial Unity, told the newspaper. Morris,
who was African-American and transgendered,
was struck in the head on Dec.
22 and died two days later. Police ruled
her death a homicide, but no witnesses
or clues have been unearthed. Gay
activists said police haven’t investigated
properly. Two weeks ago, the district
attorney’s office said it would conduct a
Gay retreat in La. hit by
vandals for second time
POLLACK, La. (AP) - A gay rustic retreat
was attacked by vandals for the second
time since February, the camp’s owners
reported. Joe Gary and Skip Ward said
that in late March a gate and fence, built to
replace another gate and fence destroyed
by vandals in February, were torn down.
Gary, 40, runs the camp each year from
mid-March to mid-November with his
partner, Ward, 82. No one has been arrested.
Grant Parish sheriff’s deputies said
they are investigating. “Why are they
bothering me? I think it’s simply hatred
and homophobia,” Ward said. The acts of
vandalism will cost about $1,500 to fix,
From staff and wire reports
April 25 • 3rd Annual Gala, 7 PM,
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“How Quickly We Forget!
Rev. Janet Parker
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Please Join Us For
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That Maranatha Fellowship
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3333 Fannin, Suite 106, at 10AM
Church office 713-528-6756 • E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Noche Espiritual Worship Celebration
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Rev. David Pettitt (Pastor of ICM Monterrey Mexico) will offer the
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30th Anniversary Worship Service
aturday, April 26 - 8am
METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH
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Sunday, April 27 - 1pm
Rev Elder Troy Perry will offer the Spiritual Encouragement at 9am & 1 lam.
Join us for a Pot-Luck lunch after the 1 lam service.
Masque Ball & Dinner • Friday, April 25 - 8pm
Doubletree Hotel Downtown
Scramble Golf Tournanri
STAFF rOrtini HOUSTON VOICE
APRIL 25, 2003
EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION
Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN
Editor PENNY WEAVER
Production BONNIE NAUGLE, JOEY CAROLING
Correspondents: LOU CHIBBARO JR., LAURA
DOUGLAS-BROWN, MIKE FLEMING, MATTHEW
HENNIE, BRIAN MOYLAN, KEVIN NAFF, JENNIFER
SMITH, RHONDA SMITH, STEVE WEINSTEIN
Contributors RICH ARENSCHIELDT, LEE DAVIS,
KAY Y.DAYUS, JOHNNY HOOKS
Photographers DALTON DEHART,
Webmaster JED DEMPSEY
SALES & ADMINISTRATION
General Manager DANIEL EMERICK
BRETT CULLUM - email@example.com
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National Advertising Representative
Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc.
Tough times for
Sen. Santorum's anti-gay remarks and Bush's parade
of conservative judicial nominees calls into question
the lobbying effectiveness of Log Cabin Republicans.
Publisher- WINDOW MEDIA LLC
President- WILUAM WAYBOURN
Editorial Director- CHRIS CRAIN
Corporate Controller- BARNETTE HOLSTON
Art Director-ROB BOEGER
General Manager- MICHAEL KITCHENS
Marketing Manager- DAN GARRIOTT
the greater houston gjbt chamber of commerce
Established 1974 as the Montrose Star.
500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77006
Contents copyright 2003
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To submit a letter
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All material in Houston Voice is protected by federal
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any submission. All rights revert to authors
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By KEVIN NAFF
HOSE POOR FELLAS AT
the Log Cabin Republicans sure
get a lot of practice in damage
control. From Trent Lott’s
recent racist remarks to
President Bush’s endless
stream of anti-gay judicial nominees, it’s
becoming increasingly difficult for gays
to announce with a straight face that they
And now comes Pennsylvania Sen.
Rick Santorum, who stunned many with
his comments in an AP interview this
week that likened homosexuality to,
among other things, incest.
Santorum, a second-term Republican
and chair of the GOP conference in the
Senate, is the third-ranking member of
his party’s leadership. He told AP, “If
the Supreme Court says that you have
the right to consensual [gay] sex within
your home, then you have the right to
bigamy, you have the right to polygamy,
you have the right to incest, you have
the right to adultery. You have the right
Anything? Equating consensual gay
sex with all-out anarchy is a bit of a
stretch, even for a Republican.
Of course, there have been the usual
half-hearted apologies and “you-took-it-out-
of-context” excuses, but this latest
gaffe illustrates just how beholden the
GOP remains to the ultra-conservative
right-wing and, further, hist how ineffective
LCR has been in chahging minds and
attitudes of its party leaders with regard
to gay rights.
THIS SHOULD BE LCR’S HEYDAY,
with a popular Republican president
and control of both houses of
Congress and a majority of state governorships
in GOP hands. Yet each
week brings a new round of attacks on
gay rights and verbal assaults from the-
These hostile and bigoted Republicans
are emboldened by a president who has
fostered a fundamentalist Christian
atmosphere in the White House, and
whose campaign pledge of “compassionate
conservatism” is clearly just a hollow,
Just last week, the Defense
Department brought in Rev. Franklin
Graham to preside over a Good Friday
service at the Pentagon, despite objections
from Muslim employees offended by
the evangelist’s earlier statements that
Islam is a “very evil and wicked religion”
intent on “world domination.”
Last month, Bush’s education secretary,
Rodney Paige, told the Baptist
Press, “I would prefer to have a child in
a school that has a strong appreciation
for the values of the Christian community,
where a child is taught to have a
strong faith — where a child is taught
that there is a source of strength
greater than themselves.”
Someone needs to remind Paige that
he’s not running a Catholic school in
Peoria. He’s in charge of public education
for the country’s young people — all of
them, not just the Christian ones.
In addition, Bush has nominated — or
is planning to nominate — a total of
seven men to federal judgeships who have
records that are hostile to gay rights
issues, according to judicial watchdog
group Alliance for Justice.
James Leon Holmes, for example,
wrote in an article that, same-sex relationships
should not be regarded as
having “equal legitimacy with heterosexual
marriage.” He also noted that,
“the wife is to subordinate herself to
the husband,... and the woman is to
place herself under the authority
of the man.”
This is clearly not the kind of person
we want sitting in judgment of women,
gays or anyone else with a gender, skin
color or sexual orientation that Holmes
BUT THE PROBLEMS AREN’T UNIQUE
to Washington and Bush’s administration;
in fact, Republicans are actively obstructing
gay rights initiatives all over the
country. The Texas state Senate gave final
approval last week to a bill that bans
Texas from recognizing same-sex civil
unions or marriages. It was sponsored by
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Vermont
have introduced the “Marriage
Restoration Act,” which would repeal
the state’s historic civil unions law and
void the 5,000 unions performed since
July 2000. The bill was introduced in
the House with 16 cosponsors — all of
And Minnesota state Rep. Arion
Lindner recently questioned on the House
floor whether gays were persecuted in the
Nazi Holocaust. You guessed it, Lindner is
These insults and persistent attacks
on issues important to lesbians and gay
men beg the question: Why is LCR such
an impotent and ineffective voice for
change within the Republican Party?
As the organization’s motto notes,
“inclusion wins.” Obviously, the GOP
under Bush isn’t looking to include gay
men and lesbians in a meaningful or
LCR officials have some serious soul
searching to do as they convene their
national convention on May 8. Their leaders
must begin to exert some real influence
in Washington and demonstrate to
their dues-paying members that the organization
has a purpose and strength that
goes beyond issuing anemic press releases
each time a Republican leader bashes
Without evidence of effective lobbying
and tangible change during the remainder
of Bush’s first term, LCR members
ought to question the purpose of the organization.
If LCR’s leaders can’t exert
some influence over a popular “compassionate”
president whose party also controls
Congress, then the organization is
As for the GOP and President Bush, we
can hope they win kick Santorum out of
his party leadership role, just as they did
to former Senate Majority Leader Lott for
making racist comments. It remains to be
seen if the GOP is more tolerant of gay
bashing than it is of racism.
©Kevin C. Naff is
news editor of
Blade, sister publication
to this newspaper, and
can be reached at
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 25, 2003 11
Suicide isn't so painless
point J.D. CERNA
It took watching a 67-year-old woman
leap to her death for me to realize
the value of friends and little pink pills
you can turn to for help.
ONE DAY, I WATCHED SOMEONE LEAP
to their death on purpose.
It was February I was sitting in my apartment,
A116, unemployed and trying to write.
“No! Don’t do it!” someone was screaming
from somewhere outside.
I went to my balcony and looked up.
Seven stories directly above my head was a
67-year-old woman, from A816, climbing onto
her balcony’s railing.
Neighbors were sticking their heads out of
windows, screaming at her, “No! Don’t do it!”
It reminded me of that ‘60s TV show “Laugh-
In,” when the celebrities would poke their
heads out of little windows and tell jokes.
I started screaming it, too. “Nooo! Don’t
I immediately climbed up the railing like
a suicide-stopping Spiderman. I had barely
gotten a hold on the upper railing when she
threw her head back, stretched her arms
out, and let her body fall.
The last thing she said was, “I can’t take
She came at me, all 100-and-lots of pounds of
her. I jumped down and ran back inside. I must
have done that pretty fast, because I saw her fat
body drop past the balcony from Up to Down.
* Part of me couldn’t bear to look, but the
other part of me did. Her body was bloating on
the lawn under my apartment. She — it — was
purple. Her internal organs were exploding.
She looked like a giant, dying, purple grape.
THAT NIGHT I WENT TO A PARTY I’D
been invited to. I was this ball of energy, a
supernova. I struck up conversations with
people; I cared about every word they
uttered. I was fascinated with language; it
was a miracle we could communicate with
each other. I was in awe of everything.
A boy at the party smiled at me, and I
gave him my number. I didn’t give a shit what
people thought about anything I did. It was as
if I were dead (as “It” was by then) and was
now a ghost. I could leave earth anytime, and
in the meantime, I was gonna have a blast
and ask boys out without an ounce of fear.
A week later the anxiety came. I stopped
calling the boy. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t
eating because I wasn’t sleeping.
A guy at my gym asked me how I had
acquired such “great abs.”
I told him, “Lack of sleep has caused
lack of appetite and that’s why I have great
abs.” When you don’t sleep there are no new
days, just one that goes on forever.
I finally went to a doctor. She told me I
had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Oh, so
that’s what it was. She prescribed Paxil.
Two nights later I found I couldn’t ejaculate
on Paxil. That was bad, because
orgasms were something I prescribed for
2003 AIDs Grant
Gay - Trans
would step down from the railing, call my
friends, and tell them, “I was gonna kill
myself but I thought how awful it would be
to wreck the community we’ve created over
all these years. Let’s go play a game of pool
and get really passionate about everything
from abs to coffee to God to zebras and see
all of it for the miracle it fucking is and
never take any of it for granted, ever.”
They’ll ask what drug I’m on, but they’ll
know where I’m coming from.
What’s ironic about suicide is that your
death is a great way to find out how much
you really did matter to people. Better to
find it out while you’re still alive, I figure.
J.D. Cerna is a writer and actor in
Washington, D.C. and can be reached at
The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of ETHAN GREEN by ErlcOrnor
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myself regularly to relieve anxiety.
After Paxil, the doc moved me to Celexa.
My orgasms were back, like old friends.
Celexa’s color is pink. I love that. I can just
see the lab guy, on the day they invented
Celexa and seeing that it was gray, saying,
“This is an anti-depressant, girls. We really
ought to make this pink.”
Celexa allowed me to sleep and further
helped decrease the anxiety, though I did
have this nagging feeling I was supposed to
be anxious about something.
I DECIDED TO FACE THE TRAUMA HEAD-on.
I became determined to take something positive
from watching a woman jump to her death.
At her age of 67,1 vowed, I will be so
close to my friends that were I to feel as
though I “just couldn’t take it anymore,” I
12 APRIL 25, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
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| on the record
“In every society, the definition of
marriage has not ever to my knowledge
included homosexuality. That’s not to pick
on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man
on child, man on dog, or whatever the case
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), in an
April 22 interview with Associated Press,
commenting on the Texas sodomy case pending
before the U.S. Supreme Court
(Transcript, released April 23)
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was going to
talk about ‘man on dog’ with a United
States senator, it’s sort of freaking me out.”
Associated Press reporter Lara Jakes
Jordan, reacting during an interview with
Santorum to his remarks on homosexuality
and marriage (Interview transcript, released
“Gay bashing is not a legitimate public
policy discussion; it is immoral. Rick
Santorum’s failure to recognize that attacking
people because of who they are is morally
wrong makes him unfit for a leadership
position in the United States Senate. Today I
call on Rick Santorum to resign from his
post as Republican Conference chairman.”
Democratic presidential candidate
Howard Dean, the governor of Vermont,
reacting to Santorum’s AP interview and
subsequent refusal to retract his statement
“Las Vegas was built as a sexy alternative
for a vacation. It was always meant to
be a place where you could go and do those
naughty things. Here, you can let your hair
down, and that’s what makes the city successful.
We’re hoping to turn this into a
Josh Hessling, the 37-year-old owner of Blue Moon
first gay resort off the casino district in Las Vegas (Sunday Herald, Glasgow, Scotland,
“The RUC believes there is a difference between being wrong and being accused of
all kinds of bigotry.... We believe it is well within bounds of speech and propriety for
Senator Santorum to support the state of Texas. Good people with animus toward no-one
can and will disagree on Lawrence vs. Texas, just ds they do on many contentious
cases that come before the Court.”
Charles Francis, gay Texan andfriCnd of President Bush, defending Santorum on
behalf of the Republican Unity Coalition, a
group for “gay anfstraight ‘Big Tent’
Republicans” (April 23)
Resort, which bills itself as the
“I don’t do anything political. I never
have, even though I’m considered a political
person. People know I’m gay now,
and that’s it.... That’s where it ends.”
Lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres,
promoting the DC. date of her current
stand-up tour, in an interview with the
city’s anti-gay, ultra-conservative newspaper;
she declined interviews with the
local gay press (Washington Times,
“We’re all here, and we all have our
differences, but we all have one thing in
common: We’re all gay.... That was my
obligatory gay reference. I have to do it
or else people will leave here and say,
‘She didn’t do anything gay. She’s not
our leader. Where’s our leader?”’
DeGeneres, in her April 16
appearance at Lisner Auditorium in
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 25, 2003 13
The virus is under control. My HIV therapy is still working.
And KALETRA is helping to make a difference.
-------J/' Individual results may vary.
■ ■- A Zi r 'Based or IMS HEALTH Nationa Presen pticr AjO ‘ Pjs
WT - < ■ k-VirOlOgy for Protease ln<oitor C ass. July 2002-Feb<ja7 2003 1-866-KALETRA (52
From Research io Reality
©2003 Abbott Laboratories
taking protease inhibitors, increased bleeding (in patients with hemophilia) and
diabetes/high blood sugar have occurred. Changes in body fat have been
seen in some patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. Some patients receiving
KALETRA have had large increases in triglycerides and cholesterol.
In clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effects of moderate or
severe intensity were: abdominal pain, abnormal bowel movements, diarrhea,
feeling weak or tired, headache, and nausea. This is not a complete list of
reported side effects.
KALETRA oral solution contains alcohol.
KALETRA does not cure HIV infection or AIDS and does not reduce the
risk of passing of HIV to others.
Please see adjacent page for Patient Information.
03B-036-7193-3 March 2003 Printed in USA
KALETRA is indicated for the treatment of HIV infection in combination
with other antiretroviral agents.
KALETRA should not be taken with Halcion®, Hismanal®, Orap®, Propulsid®,
Rythmol®, Seldane®, Tambocor™, Versed®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®, Rifater®,
Rifamate®, Mevacor®, Zocor®, ergot derivatives or products containing
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). Discuss all medicines, including
those without a prescription, and herbal preparations you are taking or plan to
take with your doctor or pharmacist. KALETRA should not be taken if you
have had an allergic reaction to KALETRA or any of its ingredients.
Pancreatitis and liver problems, which can be fatal, have been reported. Tell
your doctor if you have or have had liver disease such as hepatitis. In patients a Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Park, IL 60064
APRIL 25, 2003
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
(lopinavir/ritonavir) capsules (lopinavir/ritonavir) oral solution ALERT: Find out about medicines that should NOT be taken with KALETRA. Please also read the section
“MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH KALETRA.”
Patient Information KALETRA® (kuh-LEE-tra)
Generic Name: lopinavir/ritonavir (lop-IN-uh-veer/rit-ON-uh-veer)
Read this leaflet carefully before you start taking KALETRA. Also, read it each time you get your KALETRA prescription refilled, in case something has changed. This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor when you start this medicine and at check ups. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about KALETRA.
What is KALETRA and how does it work?
KALETRA is a combination of two medicines. They are lopinavir and ritonavir. KALETRA is a type of medicine called an HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) protease (PRO-tee-ase) inhibitor. KALETRA is always used in combination with other anti-HIV medicines to treat people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. KALETRA is for adults and for children age 6 months and older.
HIV infection destroys CDi (T) cells, which are important to the immune system. After a large number of T cells are destroyed, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) develops.
KALETRA blocks HIV protease, a chemical which is needed for HIV to multiply. KALETRA reduces the amount of HIV in your blood and increases the number of T cells. Reducing the amount of HIV in the blood reduces the chance of death or infections that happen when your immune system is weak (opportunistic infections).
Does KALETRA cure HIV or AIDS?
KALETRA does not cure HIV infection or AIDS. The long-term effects of KALETRA are not known at this time. People taking KALETRA may still get opportunistic infections or other conditions that happen with HIV infection. Some of these conditions are pneumonia, herpes virus infections, and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infections.
Does KALETRA reduce the risk of passing HIV to others?
KALETRA does not reduce the risk of passing HTV.to others through sexual contact or blood contamination. Continue to practice safe sex and do not use or share dirty needles.
How should I take KALETRA?
You should stay under a doctor’s care when taking KALETRA. Do not change your treatment or stop treatment without first talking with your doctor.
You must take KALETRA every day exactly as your doctor prescribed it. The dose of KALETRA may be different for you than for other patients. Follow the directions from your doctor, exactly as written on the label.
Dosing in adults (including children 12 years of age and older): The usual dose for adults is 3 capsules (400/100 mg) or 5.0 mL of the oral solution twice a day (morning and night), in combination with other anti-HIV medicines.
Dosing in children from 6 months to 12 years of age: Children from 6 months to 12 years of age can also take KALETRA. The child's doctor will decide the right dose based on the child’s weight.
Take KALETRA with food to help it work better.
Do not change your dose or stop taking KALETRA without first talking with your doctor.
When your KALETRA supply starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to KALETRA and become harder to treat.
Be sure to set up a schedule and follow it carefully.
Only take medicine that has been prescribed specifically for you. Do not give KALETRA to others or take medicine prescribed for someone else.
What should I do if I miss a dose of KALETRA?
It is important that you do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of KALETRA. take it as soon as possible and then take your next scheduled dose at its regular time. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not double the next dose.
What happens if I take too much KALETRA?
If you suspect that you took more than the prescribed dose of this medicine, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
As with all prescription medicines, KALETRA should be kept out of the reach of young children. KALETRA liquid contains a large amount of alcohol. If a toddler or young child accidentally drinks more than the recommended dose of KALETRA, it could make him/her sick from too much alcohol. Contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately if this happens.
Who should not take KALETRA?
Together with your doctor, you need to decide whether KALETRA is right for you.
Do not take KALETRA if you are taking certain medicines. These could cause, serious side effects that could cause death. Before you take KALETRA, you must tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking or are planning to take. These include other prescription and nonprescription medicines and herbal supplements.
For more information about medicines you should not take with KALETRA, please read the section titled “MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH KALEfRA.'’
Do not take KALETRA if you have an allergy to KALETRA or any of its ingredients, including ritonavir or lopinavir.
Can I take KALETRA with other medications?*
KALETRA may interact with other medicines, including those you take without a prescription. You must tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking or planning to take before you take KALETRA.
MEDICINES YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE WITH KALETRA:
Do not take the following medicines with KALETRA because they can cause serious problems or death if taken with KALETRA.
Dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine and methylergonovine such as Cafergot®, Migranal®, D.H.E. 45®, Ergotrate Maleate, Methergine, and others
Halcion® (triazolam) y
Do not take KALETRA with rifampin, also known as Rimactane®, Rifadin®, Rifatei®, or Rifamate®. Rifampin may lower the amount of
KALETRA in your blood and make it less effective.
Do not take KALETRA with St. John’s wort (hypericum perforatum), an herbal product sold as a dietary supplement, or products containing St. John’s wort. Talk with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take St. John’s wort. Taking St. John’s wort may decrease KALETRA levels and lead to increased viral load and possible resistance to KALETRA or cross-resistance to other anti-HIV medicines.
Do not take KALETRA with the cholesterol-lowering medicines Mevacot® (lovastatin) or Zocoi® (simvastatin) because of possible serious reactions. There is also an increased risk of drug interactions between KALETRA and Lipitor® (atorvastatin); talk to your doctor before you take any of these cholesterol-reducing medicines with KALETRA. '
Medicines that require dosage adjustments:
It is possible that your doctor may need to increase or decrease the dose of other medicines when you are also taking KALETRA. Remember to tell your doctor all medicines you are taking or plan to take.
Before you take Viagra® (sildenafil) with KALETRA, talk to your doctor about problems these two medicines can cause when taken together. You may get increased side effects of VIAGRA, such as low blood pressure, vision changes, and penis erection lasting more than 4 hours. If an erection lasts longer than 4 hours, get medical help right away to avoid permanent damage to your penis. Your doctor can explain these symptoms to you.
If you are taking oral contraceptives ("the pill") to prevent pregnancy, you should use an additional or different type of contraception since KALETRA may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Efavirenz (Sustiva™) or nevirapine (Viramune®) may lower the amount of KALETRA in your blood. Your doctor may increase your dose of KALETRA if you are also taking efavirenz or nevirapine.
If you are taking Mycobutin® (rifabutin), your doctor will lower the doseofMycobutin.
A change in therapy should be considered if you are taking KALETRA with:
Phenytoin (Dilantin® and others)
Carbamazepine (Tegretol® and others)
These medicines may lower the amount of KALETRA in your blood and make it less effective.
Other Special Considerations:
KALETRA oral solution contains alcohol. Talk with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take metronidazole or disulfiram. Severe nausea and vomiting can occur.
If you are taking both didanosine (Videx®) and KALETRA: Didanosine (Videx®) should be taken one hour before or two hours
What are the possible side effects of KALETRA?
This list of side effects is not complete. If you have questions about side effects, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. You should report any new or continuing symptoms to your doctor right away. Your doctor may be able to help you manage these side effects.
The most commonly reported side effects of moderate severity that are thought to be drug related are: abdominal pain, abnormal stools (bowel movements), diarrhea, feeling weak/tired, headache, and nausea. Children taking KALETRA may sometimes get a skin rash.
Blood tests in patients taking KALETRA may show possible liver problems. People with liver disease such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C who take KALETRA may have worsening liver disease. Liver problems including death have occurred in patients taking KALETRA. In studies, it is unclear if KALETRA caused these liver problems because some patients had other illnesses or were taking other medicines.
Some patients taking KALETRA can develop serious problems-with their pancreas (pancreatitis), which may cause death. You have a higher chance of having pancreatitis if you have had it before. Tell your doctor if you have nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. These may be signs of pancreatitis.
Some patients have large increases in triglycerides and cholesterol. The long-term chance of getting complications such as heart attacks or stroke due to increases in triglycerides and cholesterol caused by protease inhibitors is not known at this time.
Diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occur in patients taking protease inhibitors such as KALETRA. Some patients had diabetes before starting protease inhibitors, others did not. Some patients need changes in their diabetes medicine. Others needed new diabetes medicine.
Changes in body fat have been seen in some patients taking antiretroviral therapy. These changes may include increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck ("buffalo hump"), breast, and around the, trunk. Ix)ss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also happen. The cause and long term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time.
Some patients with hemophilia have increased bleeding with protease inhibitors.
There have been other side effects in patients taking KALETRA. However, these side effects may have been due to other medicines that patients were, taking or to the illness itself. Some of these side effects can be serious.
What should I tell my doctor before taking KALETRA?
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant: The effects of KALETRA on pregnant women or their unborn babies are not known.
If you are breast-feeding: Do not breast-feed if you are taking KALETRA. You should not breast-feed if you have HIV. If you are a woman who has or will have a baby, talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby. You should be aware that if your baby does not already have HIV, there is a chance that HIV can be transmitted through breast-feeding.
If you have liver problems: If you have liver problems or are infected with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, you should tell your doctor before taking KALETRA.
If you have diabetes: Some people taking protease inhibitors develop new or more serious diabetes or high blood suggr. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes or an increase in thirst or frequent urination.
If you have hemophilia: Patients taking KALETRA may have increased bleeding.
How do I store KALETRA?
Keep KALETRA and all other medicines out of the reach of children.
Refrigerated KALETRA capsules and oral solution remain stable until the expiration date printed on the label. If stored at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C), KALETRA capsules and oral solution should be used within 2 months.
Avoid exposure to excessive heat.
Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. Be sure that if you throw any medicine away, it is out of the reach of children. General advice about prescription medicines:
Talk to your doctor or other health care provider if you have any questions about this medicine or your condition. Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information Leaflet. If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you information about this medicine that was written for health care professionals. Do not use this medicine for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not share this medicine with other people.
The brands listed are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of Abbott Laboratories. The makers of these brands are not affiliated with and do not endorse Abbott Laboratories or its products. Ref.: 03-5239-R8
Revised: January, 2003
a ABBOTT LABORATORIES 03B-036-7193-3
NORTH CHKAGO. L 60064. U.S.A. PRINTED IN U.S.A.
ISPORTS: Gay Houstonians are among the winners from the Houston I OPERA: Houston Grand Opera's entire cast and
Classic XIV, hosted by the Lone Star Volleyball Association. Page 18. I production take 'La Traviata' to new heights. Page 16.
>irt on the Bayoui .
When it comes to gay plays in Houston,
all signs point to Joe Watts and Theatre New West
By KAY Y. DAYUS
WHILE NOT EXACTLY THRIVING,
gay theater in Houston is alive and
well thanks in no small part to actor,
director, producer and general theater
dogsbody, Joe Watts, who works out of
and practically lives in Theatre New
West in the heart of the Montrose.
His latest production, “The Altruists,” written by Nicky
Silver and directed by Joe Angel Babb, opened last weekend to
favorable reviews. Watts says the production is “politically correct”
because it features two lesbians, two gay men and two heterosexuals,
none of whom ever get out of bed during the play
That explains the three unmade beds on the stage and
the rest of the jumble in the theater when Watts was interviewed
by the Voice. It was the last-minute clutter that signals
the opening of a new production — the usual chaos
before the order when the play opens.
Watts is clearly comfortable and happy in this setting and
he’s easy to interview — he likes to talk. And when he talks,
he is animated. His hands move constantly, expressive hands
at that, and he sort of shifts around in his chair. Obviously he
loves the theater, the drama and everything involved with it.
Watts is one of the few producers in Houston still consistently
staging gay-themed plays and revues. Others that have come
and gone include The Little Room Downstairs
Theatre, which folded a couple of years ago.
Also gone is The Ashland Street Theatre Co.,
which, while not a gay company launched several
shows that included gay characters.
Unhinged Productions, located in Atomic
Cafe in downtown Houston, still produces
gay theater. Theatre LaB Houston, Stages
Repertory Theatre and Diverse Works all feature
some gay- or lesbian-themed works.
Bienvenue, apparently soon-to-be renamed Stargazer,
produces racier material such as “Naked Boys Singing.”
Watts isn’t too keen on the nude theater productions. “It’s
sad that you have to put a naked body on stage to make
money,” he says. But make money it does.
Having given his view of naked theater; Watts announces that
there is some nudity in his next production, “ Jerker,” and he’s
frank about why “Nudity sells. I need a cash cow to bring in some
money so I can run these two theaters,” he says with an ironic grin.
“The play is about two men, two beds and two phones.
They never meet one another the whole play — they are
always on the phone,” Watts explains. “It’s very funny.”
He has just finished taking auditions for the parts and
seems pretty sure he’s found the right men for the roles,
which he says can be difficult in Houston.
“There’s not an abundance of good-looking male actors between
20 and 40 in this town. There are more in Dallas and even in
Austin,” he says. Watts likens the phenomenon to what he sees as
the lack of continuity and solidarity in Houston’s gay community
Wait a minute: He has two theaters? Yes, Watts has just
acquired another space in his current location, a building that
also houses 1415 Bar and Grill (formerly Sonoma Restaurant).
With seating for around 75, the new theater, dubbed “Theatre
New West Too,” is smaller and more intimate than the original
125-seat space. He plans to use both settings.
WATT HAS BEEN DUBBED THE “FATHER OF GAY
theater in Houston,” or grandfather as he laughingly calls
himself, referring to his age. He’s come a long way since
those early days.
In the early ’80s, with fellow actor John David Etheridge,
he began his odyssey into the world of gay theater, with the
founding of Diversity Theatre. The “homeless” theater put
on plays wherever the troupe could. The first, an all-male
cast of Noel Coward’s “Private Lives,” was staged in the long
gone Pink Elephant, a gay club billed as the oldest in Texas.
Several more were produced there, including perhaps Watts
personal favorite, Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band.”
The company folded after a couple of years and Etheridge
left for Florida, but Watts had not had his fill of theater. He
formed The Group (Theater Workshop), a theatrical workshop
that held meetings featuring guest speakers, improvisation
and stage training and readings of works by local playwrights.
He stopped the workshops in 1985 when he produced Jeff
Hagedorn’s “One,” the first-ever play about AIDS. This one-man
play about a man with AIDS made its debut at the First
Unitarian Church’s Channing Hall and proceeds went to the
then-newly formed AIDS Foundation Houston.
Watts would stage shows to coincide with
Pride Week and went on to produce plays such
as “Franny,” “The Queen of Provincetown,”
“Gulp!”, and two AIDS-related plays. These
were staged at the Galleria-area Kindred
Spirits, a now defunct upscale lesbian bar, a
place fondly remembered by many of the
older lesbians in Houston and celebrated
annually with the Kindred Spirits Reunion.
In 1988, Watts took his gay theater into Houston’s mainstream
when he staged ‘A Dance Against Darkness” at Main Street
Theater. Watts said in a Houston Post article written by William
Albright at the time that he wanted “to take AIDS theater out of
gay bars and into mainstream or legit theater spaces.” He also
said that too few straight people attended his bar shows. Wright
wrote, “and though the Houston Post has consistently covered
his productions, the Houston Chronicle has from the beginning
refused to cover them because, Watt said, its theater critic told
him the shows are too special-interest-oriented.”
OBVIOUSLY, WATTS AND GAY THEATER HAVE COME
a long way — his latest production, “The Altruists,” was
reviewed by the Houston Chronicle, and favorably at that.
In fact, all his productions are now reviewed by the mainstream
press and well as by gay and lesbian publications.
Watts did all this while continuing his full job with
KRTS for more than 40 years. He began his foray into theater
as an actor and appeared in several venues including
the Alley Theatre. His favorite role was as Michael in
“Boys in the Band,” staged by, of all places, Baytown Little
Theatre New West artistic director
Joe Watts says a love of gay theater
keeps him motivated. 'Tin not going
anywhere. Other theaters come and
go, but old Joe trudges along.'
(Photo by Penny Weaver)
Theater. Through Diversity Theatre, Watts was fortunate
enough to direct his own version of “Boys in the Band.” It
was possibly his favorite play and the first he directed. .
“I was hooked. I didn’t know I could do it,” he says of directing.
He’s not done much acting since—he ‘loves the control
and the power” of directing. “It’s like giving birth to a group of
actors and to look on as a proud parent,” Watts explains.
The Chicago musical revue “Fairy Tales” was Watts’ first
production at Theatre New West in June of 2000, and it opened
to “rave” reviews. He likes to do revues because he has more leeway
in his directing. “I don’t have a story line that I have to stick
to and you can make every song a different story” he explains.
Besides, he says, it’s hard to get the rights to plays
because many are on hold for the big theaters like the
Alley Theatre. “Bigger theaters get first dibbs. I get frustrated
that I can’t always get the better things.”
Still, he’s not done too badly in all these years. He’s staged
“The Greatest Story Ever Told,” voted by the Houston Press as
the Best Gay-Themed Show of 2002. And there’s the must-see-to-understand-
its-title play “One Tit, A Dyke & Gin.” He was even
the first male director and producer of “Dos Lesbos.” He had to
get special dispensation from the playwright to do the play
since the script specifies it can only be produced by women.
Yes, Joe Watts has come a long way, even though he was
diagnosed HIV positive around 10 years ago. “I wear the
crown. I’m not ashamed. The cocktail of pills literally
saved me,” he says. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”
This self-named “odd duck or old theater queen” is not
getting rich either. Is he at least earning a living?
“So far, not really. But I hope it’s going to get better
with the new space,” Watts says. “It’s been rough for me
personally for the last three years (when he lost his job at
KRTS), but I’m not giving up. I’m not going anywhere.
Other theaters come and go, but old Joe trudges along.”
His philosophy is that, “Every good play should be like
a roller coaster ride where we should feel all the emotions
in one evening.”
The theater is Joe Watts’ personal passion and all signs
are favorable that he will continue the roller coaster ride
for quite some time yet.
16 APRIL 25, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
THE Health Club for IDontrose
1/2 OH Guaranteed Renewal Rate
4040 111 am St. Houston
Between Richmond 6 fllabama in IDontrose
O MORE INFO
Houston Grand Opera • 713-228-OPERA
opera rich arenschieldt
Diva flawless in
of difficult role
'La Traviata' excels
YOU COULD FEEL THE ANTICIPATION
in the hall. Well-known to Houston audiences,
she came out on stage and
launched into a completely new chapter
in her stunning career without so much
as the blink of an eye. Her signature platinum
blonde coif, black leather...Oh, wait
a minute... this review isn’t supposed to
be about Annie Lennox, but, rather, about
the other diva to hit the boards this past
weekend, soprano Renee Fleming in her
much-awaited debut as “Violetta” in
Houston Grand Opera’s “La Traviata.”
That said, the previous paragraph still
applies (minus the platinum hair and leather)
to Fleming, who rocked the Wortham Center
in a Verdi different sort of way
“Traviata” is the signature piece for any
soprano. Its vocal demands straddle three
completely different singing styles: coloratura
(requiring a passenger seat on a Lear Jet),
dramatic (requiring requisite vocal outrage)
and lyric (requiring a very Jack Korvorkian-esque
approach to vocal production). It’s full
of pitfalls and trap doors requiring those
lucky enough to sing the role have to sit on a
high “C” while supine on a sofa or lying in a
bed covered with quilts. Many less-than-suc-cessful
Violettas resort to the “screech and
reach” technique whereby the soprano
thinks that if she sings loud enough, the
note will happen on its own — something
particularly debilitating for the listener.
Fleming had none of that and, unlike any
previous Violetta I’ve heard, brought her
characteristic warmth to almost every note.
There was much anticipation and some
consternation over the way in which
Fleming’s Violetta came to Houston. This
project has been in the works for a while
with an original debut at the Met some years
ago that never materialized. Some of
Fleming’s own comments regarding her
debuting this role in Houston were viewed as
less than flattering. In this case, New York’s
loss is Houston’s gain. This “Traviata” is the
result of careful career planning on the part
of a very savvy musician.
Many of Fleming’s important debuts
have happened here and she attributes
HGO as having a major influence in propelling
her career, beginning in 1988 with
her role as the countess in Mozart’s
“Marriage of Figaro.” Houston was lucky
enough to see her first Arabella and her
first Marschallin in a magical 1995 production
“Der Rosenkavalier.” Fleming has been
working closely with HGO Music Director
Patrick Summers to bring Violetta to death.
“Traviata” is an easy opera to like; it’s
got all the goods: glamour, amour and morte.
One of the most efficient synopses reads
this way: “Violetta, a consumptive courtesan,
falls madly in love with Alfredo.
Alfredo’s father convinces Violetta that she
must leave Alfredo to preserve his family’s
honor. Alfredo publicly insults Violetta at a
party The guests are shocked. Violetta dies.”
The original title for the wort was ‘ Amore
et morte” (love and death) but Verdi, in keeping
with a mid-19th century movement toward
artistic realism, renamed it “La Traviata” (the
fallen woman). This era was full of cads:
noblemen who used women, wrecked their
lives and then married “respectfully”
“Traviata” is frequently oversung and
overflung. Volume is often substituted for
musical intensity Dramatic excess is peddled
instead of realism. Under the guidance
of conductor Summers and director Frank
Corsaro, this production reflects an attitude
of careful musical and emotional control.
This Violetta doesn’t cough like she’s hacking
up a hairball, nor is she insane with
desire for her Alfredo. In this production,
it’s as if she’s known the ending of her life
from the very beginning of it.
Paul Charles Clark’s portrayal of
Alfredo is a wonderful match to Fleming’s
Violetta. For two artists that have never
worked together, they possess wonderful
vocal synergy Clark’s warm tone was the
perfect counterpart, offering his musical
line with ease and assurance. Bruno
Caproni as Alfredo’s blustery father is a
classic Verdi baritone, rounding out an
excellent trio in this “Traviata.”
This dark and sumptuous production
with sets and costumes by Tony Award-winning
Brit Desmond Heeley mirrors
Violetta’s tenuous world perfectly The opening
scene foreshadows what’s ahead without
sacrificing any opulence. This courtesan’s
salon reflects a lady at the height of her
seductive power. The costumes are equally
radiant. Of special note was the one worn
by the hunky dancing matador. An audible
separation of fabric was heard by those
seated in the first few rows as his derriere
(discreetly covered by white tights) made its
inadvertent operatic debut. To his credit, the
guy was a champ and didn’t miss a step.
When creating the role of Violetta, composer
Giuseppi Verdi told the director of
the theater in Venice that he needed a
“woman in the prime of her strength.”
HGO is a long way from Venice or New
York, but Fleming and company possess
what both locales would want had they premiered
this excellently conceived and executed
interpretation of this operatic classic.
Though Annie Lennox has left Houston in
her slinky silver tour bus, Renee Fleming
can be seen expiring now through May 4.
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com APRIL 25, 2003 17
out on the town johnny hooks
Festival this year focuses
on our neighbor to the south
Get out, Mexican style
HELLO HOUSTON. MY NAME IS
Johnny Hooks and this new bi-weekly column
is called “Out on the Town.” I am a
longtime resident of Houston, though I
have also been lucky enough to call San
Francisco and New York City home. I am
in a long-term relationship, his name is
Brian and we live in the Woodland
Heights with our four cats: Halle, Mika,
Sally and Emma.
Now I know you’re asking yourself:
Why should you, the GLBT and S (straight)
community, listen to moi? Why look to my
column for advice on what to do when you
and yours go “out on the town”? Well, I’ve
had my share of adventures in this town:
the night Rich’s opened, the night Heaven
burned down, the opening of the Wortham
Center, too many fund-raisers to count
(ha ha!), including one with our man Bill,
and so on.
My previous columns in other pubs
dealt with entertainment, queer media,
and the many queer scenes of our community.
Out on the Town challenges me to
focus my unique vision on our local scene
and see what comes into view. The main
direction I have is that the focus be “gay,”
whatever^ choose to highlight. Well my
dears, this started me thinking: What sort
of things would qualify as “gay” (for the
sake of peace within our community, in
this column unless specifically addressed,
“GAY” will represent all GLBT persons).
Hmmmm. We are a very diverse and
large group, no longer confined to one
area, say the Montrose, as was the case
when I first came out. Many of us have
families now, and dare I say it, traditional
home lives - it’s not just about bars and
tricks and such anymore.
So I took a look around town and
asked myself: “What do I spy with my gay
APRIL 25-MAY 4
WHY: The 32nd annual iFest draws
more than 500,000 people to the heart of
downtown and spotlights Mexico this
year. Whether you and your friends walk,
bike or drive, it’s worth the effort to experience
Houston’s largest festival. Of note
to our womyn sisters and their families is
the Chase Plaza de Mexico on the grounds
of the Julia Idelson Library. Check out
Frida’s Cantina, a whimsical replica of
artist Frida Kahlo’s famous studio/home
Casa Azul. Look for live entertainment,
food and beverages (including beer), all
hosted by Frida look-a-likes! There’s an
interactive photo booth, bullfighting
exhibit and Mexican film site as well. Plus
the Blind Boys of Alabama and Ballet de
Folklorico perform at other sites during
the two-week run of iFest.
For more information, call
713-654-8808 or visit the official Web site
WHO NEEDS A REASON TO SHOP?
Nobody I know, but for added value, how
about a charity shopping day where some
items are only a dollar!
Look no further. Buffalo Exchange presents
the annual Dollar Day Sale, which
benefits the Buffalo Field Campaign, a
non-profit org that works to raise awareness
to our Native American free-range
buffalo. I picked up a T-shirt and a faux
Burberry cowboy hat at last year’s sale
that I wore all summer for only $2! Don’t
miss this chance to own clothes you gave
up for resale years ago.
For more information, go to www.buf-faloexchange.
MUSIC: Madonna’s “American Life.”
The beyond-iconic Madonna returns with
her 10th studio album offers an exercise in
reflection that highlights her burgeoning
guitar prowess and techno artist Mirwais’
future production. The only mega-artist
from the ’80s to retain her power and influence
(sorry Michael!), this album will speak
to you and your life no matter where you
are. Plus as a gay man, I have to love it!
WEB: I know all of you want to know
what America’s most conservative and outspoken
right-wing gay columnist is up to, and
so you can with his own Web site. Be you Log
Cabin Republican or hardcore Democrat, this
site is sure to have you forwarding articles
TV: I’m torn between these two television
events to recommend, so I’ll mention
All My Children — The big kiss (the
first lesbian kiss on daytime) between
Bianca (Erica Kane’s daughter!) and girltoy
Lena takes place on April 28, but just
like a soap the effects will continue to be
felt, so set your VCR! Always remember to
catch up: see the Friday or Monday show!
Eloise at the Plaza — Every queen I
know grew up wanting to be the bratty yet
lovable Eloise, of the famous book series,
and finally someone has gotten around to
putting these classic tales on film. Check it
out on 4.27.03 on ABC channel .13 at 7 p.m.
See you next time here at Out on the
Johnny Hooks may be reached via e-mail through
MARGOT KIDDER joins
Amy J. Carle &? Starla Benford
FINAL HOUSTON ENGAGEMENT
THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES
EVAEB 0EHN1FSIDLEE R PHENOMENON.
fflE NEW VIIW TIMES
SPREAD THE HORD
WORTHAM THEATER CENTER
KUHF TICKETS ON SALE NOW
ggEM ticketmaster Public Radio
Special Group Rates:
Fiesta - Foley’s - Wherehouse Music
18 APRIL 25, 2003 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
April 16th thru May 24th Previews April 16th & 17th,
riday and Saturday evenings April 1 Sth thru May 24th,
* Saturday Matinees May 10th & 24th
Evening pdrtorrfian^ at 8:00PM. l«l§tineeS 2:00pm
Previews-$10, Saturdaj^Ktingfes $15,
Friday &*Satur-day Svenings $20
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sports LEE DAVIS
Houstonians take honors in Lone Star volleyball
tourney and prepare for busy summer
Sports action flies
FORGET SPRING! IT SEEMS SUMMER IS
approaching without a chance for spring.
Gay sports look to be in full swing as we
dust off our cleats and ready for another
fun-filled, action-packed summer of events.
The Houston Roughnecks invite you to
join them, as a player or a supporter.
Recently, our own Roughnecks smeared
the Dallas Diablos 20-0. You know how I like
for anything Dallas to be beaten. The club is
actively seeking sponsors for their upcoming
season, and they accept in-kind and cash
sponsorships. They offer different levels of
sponsorship and ways to gain visibility in
the rugby and Houston community.
For more information, contact the
Houston Roughnecks at
Bricks still kickin’!
The Independent Billiard League of
Houston (IBL) requests that teams call in scores
to 713-942-0781 by 8 p.m. Friday following play
After Week 8 of play, Bricks Kicks is
sporting a perfect 8-0 record^ The Bandits,
Ebony, Ivory, Jaded and BRB Sidewinders
are tied with 6-2 records. B. Hunter has a 18-
3 record, with V Henry, C. Bateman, R.
Hines and R. Chew following closely with 18-
6,15-6 and 15-6 record, respectively.
Congratulations to R. Chew for the Break
& Run win in Week 7 and to B. Brehm for
the Rack & Run title in the same week.
For more information, contact the IBL
on the Web at http://iblhouston.com.
Goals for everyone
The Montrose Soccer Club of Houston is
open to men and women who have experience
The only requirements for membership
are that potential recruits be team players,
know the rules of soccer and have the basic
skills (you don’t have to be a pro, just played
before). New members don’t even have to be
gay, just willing to be mistaken for gay.
For more information, send an e-mail to
MontroseSC@soccer.com or go to www.geoci-ties.
com/MontroseSoccer, or log on to other
sites such as the international Gay & Lesbian
Football Association, Oak Lawn Soccer Club,
or West Hollywood Soccer Club. If you have
the international flair, contact the Munich
Elves (yeah, in Germany).
The Houston Tennis Club meets on
Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7:30 to 9
p.m. Can’t make it during the week? Look for
them on Sunday from 9 a.m. until noon. For
more information, contact the group at 713-692-
2701 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lone Star Classic
The Montrose Softball League announces
its Memorial Day Weekend Lone Star Classic
Softball Tournament is May 23-26 this year.
Registration is on Friday, May 23, for Division
B, C, and D. Early registration postmarked by
May 3 is $300 with a fee of $350 for those who
register between May 3 and May 17. The host
hotel is the Houston Renaissance Hotel.
This tournament attracts teams from
all over the United States and Canada.
Participants and spectators alike will have
a chance to meet and greet people and
show them what Texas — more specifically,
Houston — hospitality is all about.
For more info, contact MSL at
Keep the full-court press going on this
issue. Many people have an interest, as I’m
getting lots of response. For those who
missed it before: Anyone interested in a gay
basketball league? Keep your inquiries coming
to me via email@example.com.
World Series Softball
The NAGAAA (North American Gay
Amateur Athletic Association) announces
its 27th annual tournament to be held in
... George Bush’s back yard? Close, but
better yet, in Washington D.C., beginning
Aug. 17, 2003.
Rooms are expected to fill up fast, so contact
the organizers of this popular tournament
via e-mail at information@Series2003.org/ or
The Lone Star Volleyball Association
held its Houston Classic XIV Tournament
from April 17-19.
Tournament results were:
A Division - San Antonio Killer Instinct
in 1st, San Antonio Greek Gods 2nd and San
Antonio Piranhas in 3rd. Looks they were
intent on getting home to Fiesta with lots of
extra medals. The A Division All-Stars were
Andrew Scott, Loreno McFarland, Carlos
Mendoza, Jeff Gonzales, Jesse Sandoval and
Steve Sandoval, all from San Antonio.
Congratulations to Steve Sandoval, voted
the tournament Most Valuable Player.
B Division - Dallas Get-U-Sum won 1st,
with Houston House of Volley and Houston
Locker Boys at 2nd and 3rd, respectively. All-
Star honors went to Kevin Thibodeau of
Austin, Justin Burris and Chris Cacioppo of
Houston, and Darnell Williams and Daniel
Bokor of Dallas. Nick Sehr was honored with
Most Valuable Player kudos in that division.
C Division - New Orleans Twenty
Somethin’ came in 1st, Houston Lightning
took 2nd and Houston Eight Isn’t Enough
nabbed 3rd. The All-Stars were David
Delgado and Jose Polendo from Houston,
Ryan Flint and Jonathan Robles from
Dallas, and Erich Sollenberger from New
Orleans. Rick Talley from New Orleans was
honored as the Most Valuable Player.
Congratulations to the Lone Star
Volleyball gang on hosting another great
HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
APRIL 25, 2003 19
SATURDAY, APRIL 26
Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents. Parents' Night Out at Pappasito’s. www.hglp.org.
Men's Gathering of Houston. Dialogue meeting, 6:30-9:30 p.m. "Black MSMs (MSM - Men who have Sex with Men): A Look at their Mind, Sexual Behavior and Consequences." Special guests will be Monica Goffney and Gloria Sanchez of the Harris County Health Department. First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, 5200 Fannin. Church phone: 713-526-5200. Men’s Gathering of Houston: 713-528-4461.
Alt-Spanish Worship Service/Noche Espiritual. 6 pan Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2026 W. nth. 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. 1130 am. 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.
Q-Patrol. Volunteers walk the streets to help prevent hate crimes. 9:30 p.m. Convene at community center. 713-528-SAFE.
St Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Rosary 8 am. 1805 W. Alabama. 713-528-6665.
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, noon-5 p.m. • CATS (Community Awareness for Transgender Support), 2 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
SUNDAY, APRIL 27
BFLAG. Blind Friends & Family of Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders, and Bisexuals meet at 2p.m. at 4202. For more information, call 713-526- 6526 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
PFLAG presentation. "Coming Out" is the title of a "Welcoming Congregation" discussion to be led by PFLAG members at Henry David Thoreau Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 3945 Greenbiar, Stafford, TX. 9 a.m. 281-277-8882. www.tuuc.org.
Integrity. GLBT Episcopalians & Friends group meets every fourth Sunday. 12:30 p.m. brunch. Maria Selma Restaurant, 1619 Richmond.
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 p.m. 1575 Spindietop Ave., Beaumont, Texas. 409-813-2055.
Covenant Church, Ecumenical, Liberal Baptist Service 930 a.m. & education hour 11 am. 713-668-8830.
Emerson Unitarian Church Adult education, 10 am. Service, 11 a.m. Lunch at noon, www.emersonhou.org.
First Congregational Church (Memorial). Service at 10 am. Christian Education, 11:30 a.m. 713-468-9543 or fcc-houston.org.
First Unitarian Universalist Church. Services at 930 & 11:30 am. Brunch at 10:30 am. 713-526-5200. email@example.com.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 9 p.m.-midnight at Club Inergy. 713-830-3000.
Gay Bowling Leagues. 7 p.m. Palace Lanes, 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 p.m. 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 a.m. service. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 77351.936-646-7214. E-mail: email@example.com.
Grace Lutheran Church. Sunday school for all ages 9 a.m. Service 10:30 a.m. 713-528-3269.
HAT.C.H. Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals meets 6-9 p.m. at Montrose Counseling Center, 701 Richmond Ave. 713-529- '3590. www.hatchyouth.org.
Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 4-6 p.m. For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 9 a.m.-noon. Memorial Park at the Tennis
. Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 a.m. Children's service, 11 am. 713-861-9149.
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, 10:30 am. 409-765-8330.
Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. Adult forum, 10 am. Service, 11 am. 713-686-5876.
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 • STAG (Some Transgenders Are Guys), 7 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207. 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
MONDAY, APRIL 28 EVERY MONDAY
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l pm. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 9 a.m.-noon at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St 713-526-0555, ext. 231, 227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 pm.-midnight Keys West. 713-830-3000.
Frost Eye Clinic. Free eye exams for people with HIV. 713-830-3000. Gay Bowling Leagues. 9 p.m. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187. Gay Fathers/Fathers First Support group. 8-9:30 p.m. Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Tom, 713-726-8736. wwwgeoci- ties.com/gaydadshouston/
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 pm.
For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Kolbe Project Eucharist 7:30 p.m. 713-861-1800.
Lambda Center. Alcoholics Anonymous. 8 pm. 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 pm. 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 901
Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in 2-9 p.m. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207 713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org. TUESDAY, APRIL 29
Houston Outdoor Group. General meeting and newsletter mailout Don and Ray's: 713-522-7809. HOGIine: 713-KAMP-OUT. EVERY TUESDAY
Bering Support Network. Lunch Bunch Gang, 11 am. 713-526-1017 Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l pm. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808.
Free HIV Testing. Houston AreaOommunity Services. 10 am.-2 pm. at Joseph-Hines Qinic, 1710 West 25tl1 St 713-526-0555, ext 231,227 or 226 Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 8 p.m.-midnight at Club Houston. Also 4-8 p.m. at 611 Club, 611 Hyde Park. 713-830-3000.
Gay youth. New program for young gay males, ages 18-29.7 pm. 614 Avondale. 713-533-9786.
GLBT Pentecostals. Bible study, prayer, 7 pm. 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 pm. Carlton, 713-862-8129.
Rainbow Ranglers. Free C&W dance lessons. Brazos River Bottom. No partner needed. Beginner 2 Step, Waltz, Shuffle & Swing. 830 p.m. 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. www.houstonglbtcenter.org.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30
Houston Gay & Lesbian Parents. Newsletter mailout at Buffet Express. www.hglp.org.
Center for Spiritual Living. Meditation (drop-in), 11:30 a.m.-l p.m.; SOM Discussion & Exploration, 7 p.m. 6610 Harwin. 713-339-1808. Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). 8:15 p.m. meeting. Montrose Counseling Center, 701 Richmond Ave., Room 15.
Bering Memorial United Methodist Church. Support Network Pot Luck Dinner, 630 pm. Various support groups, 7 p.m. 713-526-1017
Bible Study. Noon & 630 pm. St. Stephen's Episcopal. 713-526-6665. Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 pm. at Mary's; 9 p.m.-midnight at Ripcord; 10 pm-l am. at EJs; 10 pm-l am at Midtowne Spa 713-830-3000 Free HIV Testing. Diomas Street Clinic. 9 a.m.-l p.m. 2015 Thomas St OraSure method. Call for appointment Sharon, 713-873-4157 Gay Bowling Leagues. 630 p.m. Palace Lanes, Bellaire Blvd. 713-861-1187 Grace Assembly Church. Gay/gay-affirming congregation. 7 p.m. aerobics class. 567 Cedar Grove, Livingston, Texas, 7735L 936-646-7214. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston Pride Band. Open rehearsal, 7-9 p.m 1307 Yale. 713-528-4379. Houston Roughnecks Rugby Club. Practice from 6:30-830 pm. For more information, log on to www.roughnecksrugby.org.
Houston Tennis Club. 7:00-9 p.m. Memorial Park at the Tennis Center, email@example.com
Spiritual Uplift service. 7 p.m. Resurrection MCC. 713-861-9149. Houston GLBT Community Center. Drop-in, 2-9 p.m. • Free HIV testing, counseling, 6-9 p.m. • Houston Pride Band rehearsal, 730 pm. • 3400 Montrose, Suite 207.713-524-3818. www.houstonglbtcenter.org. THURSDAY, MAY 1 EVERY THURSDAY
BiNet Houston. Group for bisexuals; everyone welcome. 730 p.m. Hobbit Cate, 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 pm. 713-880-9235. www.communitygospel.org.
Free HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services. 10 a.m.-2 pm. at Joseph-Hines Clinic, 1710 West 25th St Also 11 am.-330 pm. at Gallery Medical Clinic, 5900 North Freeway, and Club Toyz from 9 p.m.-midnight. 713-526-0555, ext 231 227 or 226.
Free HIV Testing. Montrose Clinic. 4-8 p.m. at The Outpost; 8 p.m.- midnight at Brazos River Bottom and Cousins; 10 p.m.-l am. at Toyz Disco. 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. 630 p.m. 713-522-8021 Web site: httpy/home.swbell.neVlarathon/houfr.htm. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org G