Organizers Want This Year's Gay Pride Parade to Be Nudity-Free, Angering LGBT Activists

Categories: Events

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Jay Barker
The Dallas Pride Parade, 2012.
In years past, the organizers of Dallas Pride have accepted the idea that the outpouring of joy and solidarity that fuels the annual gay pride parade also occasionally leads to the revealing of a bit more skin than might technically allowed under state law. This year, they won't be so accommodating.

Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, which organizes the event, says that organizers and police will patrol the staging area to make sure all parade participants are properly clothed. If they aren't, they could be removed from the parade, or their group may be blacklisted from next year's celebration.

"Just because it's a day of celebration for our community doesn't mean we are exempt from the law," he told Unfair Park on Tuesday.

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It's Texas Heterosexual Awareness Month, Whatever That Means

Categories: Events

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Amidst the buzz this summer about same-sex marriage and gay pride, it's easy to lose track of the unsung victims of all these equal rights. So to bring attention to heterosexual Americans and the struggle they face, like having to see gay characters on television and not having VIP federal marriage benefits, July has been declared "Heterosexual Awareness Month," or HAM. And one website is trying really hard to get Texas on board.

HAM is bold, and not just because it's borrowing ideas from neo-Nazi message boards. Saturday was Straight Pride Day. All heterosexual enthusiasts were encouraged to show their support by wearing black, which is not only the color of mourning but also the opposite of rainbows.

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A "Grope Crew" Was Trolling AKON This Weekend

Categories: Events
This weekend, thousands of anime aficionados, a large percentage of them in remarkably elaborate costume, descended on the Hilton Anatole for A-Kon 24. It was, as always, a lighthearted celebration of geekdom -- at least it was until the Grope Crew showed up.

For the record, the Grope Crew doesn't actually seem to have done any groping, at least none that was reported. (The only police report from the weekend describes a 23-year-old man, possibly named Bobby, being found lying face-down at the entry to the hotel on Sunday afternoon.) They simply threatened female convention-goers with sexual assault on Twitter using the #gropecrew hashtag, making a lot of people extremely uncomfortable.

See also
The 51 Best Costumes from A-Kon 24


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Two Protesters Wearing Giant Bush-Cheney Masks Were Arrested Outside SMU Today (Updated with Video)

Categories: Crime, Events, News

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Occupy Dallas
The men and women who gathered alongside Central Expressway this morning to protest the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center were mostly well-behaved. They marched by peacefully by in their Jason-esque hockey masks, Guantanamo prison garb and comically oversize papier mache heads.

But then something went wrong. A Dallas policewoman tweeted a while ago that three protesters were arrested. Police have provided no other detail, but the Morning News' Scott Goldstein brings us this important piece of news:

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Your George W. Bush Presidential Center Live Stream and Open Thread

Categories: Events, Politics

At 10 a.m. today, the tweets and media reports previewing the George W. Bush Presidential Center in increasingly granular detail will reach a crescendo as the center is dedicated. Every media outlet in the known universe is there, which explains your exploding Twitter feed. Unfair Park is the exception. The Secret Service cavity search wasn't worth being stuck behind a giant riser and snapping photos of famous people.

Instead, we'll be kicking back and watching the dedication on the center's live video feed, which you'll find above. We suggest you do the same. Feel free to share your Bush-era memories in the comments. We'll be jumping in occasionally with ours.

Bill Cosby Will Deliver the Commencement Address at Paul Quinn College (Updated)

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Six years ago, wooing a high-profile commencement speaker was the last thing on Paul Quinn College's to-do list. The southern Dallas school, the city's only historically black college, was in disrepair, physically and academically, after years of mismanagement. With its accreditation set to be revoked, the entire institution was about to collapse.

What happened next was detailed in Greg Howard's cover story last year. The Cliff Notes version is that Michael Sorrell, a Chicago-born, Duke-trained lawyer, took the job as president and set about resurrecting the school.

His approach was unconventional, a self-conscious effort to jolt the school's mostly black and Hispanic students out of an educational malaise. That's why he turned the football field into a working farm, banned pork from campus, and helped organized protests against the city's plan to dump trash nearby.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Bush Center/Library/Theater/Museum/Thing

Categories: Events

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Journalists across the globe have been busy churning out copy about the looming Thursday dedication of the Bush Presidential Center at SMU. Some of the pieces wrestle with the Bush legacy, some describe the center itself. Others explore the practical effect that a massive ceremony featuring five presidents and innumerable other dignitaries will have on your commute.

We've mostly avoided the coverage in favor of more important endeavors, like debating alt-country acts and talking about pizza. We're finally wading through the mass of information and have assembled this road map to everything you need to know, and probably some things you don't, about the center's opening.

The Guest List: The dedication will be one of the almost unprecedented moments when all five living U.S. presidents -- Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Dubya, and Barack Obama -- will gather in the same place.

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Confederate Group Shuns Memphis, Moves Convention to Civil War Hotbed Richardson

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scv.org
There's been a bit of a fuss lately over the Memphis City Council's decision to change the name of three city parks, scrubbing them clean of any reference to the Confederacy in hopes of making them more inviting to residents who may not exactly have felt welcome in early-1860s Tennessee.

Gone are Jefferson Davis Park, named for the CSA's first president; Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, honoring a Confederate lieutenant general and the Klan's first grand wizard; and the straightforward Confederate Park. Temporarily at least, they'll be Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park and Health Sciences Park.

The switch has inspired a backlash from groups that celebrate Confederate heritage. Like the Ku Klux Klan.

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Riders Still Waiting on Refunds from Phantom Central Expressway Bike Ride

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When a planned Downtown Dallas-to-McKinney bike tour was abruptly cancelled last month -- this the one that would shut down 30 miles of Central Expressway -- riders who had paid their registration for the race were promised a prompt and full refund, assuming they didn't want to take a free pass to a replacement race in Oklahoma City.

Somehow, prompt refunds seemed unlikely. The plan was far-fetched to begin with, and organizer Gary Lacara had already proven willing to play a bit loose with the facts. Take his claim when the ride was announced that he had buy-in from TxDOT as well as each of the cities along the route. Or his claim that it was Plano's obstructionism that killed the race. As we've detailed here before, neither was true.

So it's not at all surprising that CBS 11 reported Wednesday evening that riders do not seem to have received their promised refund. "I've asked him three times and never got a response back after I asked him," John Denman, a McKinney cyclist who dropped $120, told the station.

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At the Mayor's Rally Against Domestic Violence, Big Promises and Some Mixed Messages

Categories: City Hall, Events

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Photo by Bianca Montes
The couple started arguing on Saturday, around 3 in the morning, in a house near Fair Park. The man told the woman he hadn't forgotten their past arguments, all the times she had "disrespected" him. He shoved his palm hard against her face and forced her down against a desk. She fought him, pushing his hand away from her face. He struck her with the heel of his hand, hitting her hard in the ear. She managed to get away and ran out the door. She stopped outside and lit a cigarette to calm herself. A moment later, he appeared with a bag in his hand.

"If you're going to leave, don't come back," she told him, according to the police report. "Because I'm not going to deal with you putting your hands on me. I'm the mother of your unborn child."

In response, he put both of his hands on her shoulders and shoved her hard to the ground. He ground his foot against her cheek for a moment, then took it away and walked off, stopping in the middle of the street. She followed him. He turned around and punched her in the face. She demanded her phone back. He dropped it to the ground, stomped it to pieces, and ran. He was long gone by the time police arrived.

A few hours later, on a drizzly gray morning, on a temporary stage in the shadow of City Hall, Mayor Mike Rawlings surveyed the huge crowd before him.

"This is amazing," he said, "that the men of Dallas are this excited about something that's not about sports. Major things are happening behind closed doors, and we're here to say, enough is enough."

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