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San Antonio Focus

From ex-gay to self acceptance

S.A. free speech advocates will appear before U.S. Court of Appeals

Man arrested for assault at Heat nightclub

Police Chief and Deputy Chief meet with SAGA

Stonewall Dems announce ‘friendly incumbent’ endorsements

Fire damages Hope Action Care facility

Activists hold candlelight vigil for hate crime victims

HRC visits Congressman Rodriguez’ office

Men’s Choral announces 23rd season

Lesbian beaten and robbed outside her apartment

Elena Guajardo on the stump for Annise Parker

Local attorney completes Victory Fund training

SAGA to be honored by social work organization

Mayor says there are no second class citizens in San Antonio

Photos -- Walk for Life nets over $50k

Foster care foundation to screen film about gay discussion in schools

Matt Foreman to speak at Stonewall awards dinner

Nine SAPD officers named in federal lawsuit by lesbian couple

Activists conduct gay sensitivity training at SAPD Academy

League of Women Voters to roast Sheryl "King Anchovy" Sculley

‘God Hates Fags’ church pickets Temple Beth-El

Court dates set for lesbians arrested for kissing at Rolling Oaks Mall

Bible College students arrested outside Bonham Exchange

Eric Alva: Now is the time to end "don’t ask, don’t tell"

Thousands line Main Street for Pride Parade spectacular

Kate Clinton: Gay visibility requires gay action

Hagee agrees to meet with GLBT activists at his S.A. church

Diablos bring gay flag football to San Antonio

Activists march on Alamo in support of same-sex marriage

The long road to recognition for GSA at St. Mary’s University

Focus on the Family in row with Express-News over rejected ad

Bexar County Sheriff appoints GLBT liaison

Cab driver disputes gay man’s claim of being beaten

Lawyer slams City Manager on job protection for gay city employees

SAPD will not investigate gay tourist’s claim of mistreatment

East Side church backs off on name change for Gay Boulevard

Special Focus

Story Archives | Stonewall Democrats | San Antonio Police | GLBT Chamber of Commerce

Alamo City Men's Chorale | HRC S.A. | Equality Texas | San Antonio AIDS Foundation

On the Town | 2007 Protests against Chief McManus | H-E-B 2006 Pickets | Happy Foundation

2006 Year in Review | 2007 Year in Review | 2008 Year In Review | City Manager Sculley

Pride 07 Photos | Pride 08 Photos | MCCSA | Prop 8 S.A. Stories

From ex-gay to self acceptance
QSanAntonio.com, April 30, 2010

Marc Adams, the founder of HeartStrong, grew up as the gay son of a fundamentalist minister and was an ex-gay student at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University before he finally came out. Today he is an author and a speaker and, through HeartStrong, works to give moral support to GLBT students who attend religious private schools.

Adams will be in New Braunfels on May 5 to tell his story at the Unitarian Universalist Center.
"Growing up the son of a fundamentalist Baptist minister is tough enough. Growing up gay in an environment where your parents, teachers and peers deem evangelical Christians like Jerry Falwell as leftwing liberals is an entirely different experience," Adams writes on his web site.

"Marc Adams grew up in such a home. In an effort to save his own life, he decided at age 16 to rebel against his parents and attend Liberty University where he thought he could find a way to change his behavior from homosexual to heterosexual. His experience there changed his life and jump-started his journey to self-acceptance and personal freedom. Adams became a UU in 1999."

Adams is a widely respected for the ground breaking work he’s initiated with his nonprofit, HeartStrong, a social justice organization that provides guidance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who are persecuted in religious educational institutions and educates the public about the persecution of GLBT’s in these institutions.

Adams has authored nine books including "The Preacher‘s Son" and "Do’s & Don‘ts of Dealing with the Religious Right." His newest book, "Understanding Coming Out & Self-Acceptance," deals compassionately with the issue of disclosure reaction.

A description of Adams’ presentation is offered on his web site: "Marc Adams’ presentation covers an often dark side of life. He bridges the serious and dark discussion with humor and all-encompassing human compassion. People from all walks of life who have heard Marc Adams speak find themselves enlightened, uplifted and inspired."

Marc Adams of the Heartstrong Foundation presents "Hope Needs Only Hands and Hearts." Sponsored by Unitarian Universalists of Comal County. Wednesday, May 5, 7 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Center, 135 Alves Lane, New Braunfels, TX 78130. For more information on HeartStrong: www.heartstrong.org

S.A. free speech advocates will appear before U.S. Court of Appeals
QSanAntonio.com, April 23, 2010

On Tuesday, April 27, the International Woman’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee, and the S.A. Free Speech Coalition will present an oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The two groups brought a federal lawsuit against the city, alleging that its policy that requires some marching permit applicants to pay thousands of dollars for traffic control while waiving all costs for other select permit holders is unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Xavier Rodriguez initially enjoined the city from enforcing this policy, but in March 2009, Judge Fred Biery dissolved the injunction and in June, entered Summary Judgment for the city, without addressing or deciding any of the legal issues raised by the lawsuit.

The two groups have appealed the Summary Judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The oral argument on this appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeals on April 27, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in New Orleans.

"It is good news that the Court set the case for oral argument, because the city opposed our oral argument request, and a case is set for oral argument only when the Court determines that it presents substantial legal issues," writes attorney Amy Kastely in a recent issue of La Voz de Esperanza.

"Less than 20 percent of the cases filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals are set for oral argument," writes Kastely.

Fire damages Hope Action Care facility
QSanAntonio.com, January 14, 2010

The Hope Action care facility on West Grayson Street experienced severe damage on January 10 after a fire started by a homeless person in an abandoned building next door spread out of control.

Robert Herrera, HAC’s CEO, says that the insurance company estimated the damages between $100, 000 and $200,000. "My office, the Doris Neal Conference Room and an upstairs workroom were heavily damaged along with the contents."

Herrera says that HAC will rebuild. In the meantime, the agency is open for business as usual.

"Programmatically none of our projects are affected and we continue to offer free HIV and syphilis testing, substance and mental health services, and programs for homeless women and their children at our office at 1711 Guadalupe Street."

Photos -- Classic Chassis Car Club Show
Photos by Ron Clarke, QSanAntonio.com, October 12, 2009
The San Antonio chapter of the Classic Chassis Car Club hosted the 21st Annual Golden Girls Texas Car Show in the parking lot of Luther’s Cafe on October 10. The show was part of a weekend of socializing for car owners who came from all over the state. According to organizers, it was one of the largest shows in terms of entries with 42 members participating. Click here for more photos.

Bexar County Sheriff appoints GLBT liaison
QSanAntonio.com, April 2, 2009

Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz has appointed Deputy Ino Badillo as the agency’s liaison to the GLBT community. Badillo will work with activists in improving relations with the department and assist GLBT citizens with issues and complaints.

Sheriff Ortiz’ appointment of Badillo is the result of meetings he’s had with Lynne Armstrong and Roberto Flores of the Stonewall Democrats’ Peace Officers Liaison Committee. In addition to appointing Badillo, Ortiz OK’d GLBT sensitivity training which is planned to begin later this year at the Sheriff’s Academy.

Deputy Badillo is a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s department where he currently serves as Public Information Officer. His experience includes assisting with Child Protective Services case files, working as a hostage negotiator and instructing cadets at the Sheriff’s Academy. He is the recipient of the Hidalgo Award, Bexar County’s highest award issued by County Commissioners. He is also active in the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County Union.

In his community, Badillo volunteers in various capacities at St. Luke’s Catholic Church and School. He is a past Vice President of the school’s PTA and a Catholic Youth Organization coach who’s worked with student soccer, basketball, baseball and track teams. He is an active board member of St. Luke’s Capital Campaign Committee and serves as a Eucharistic Minister at the church.

Badillo told QSanAntonio that when Sheriff Ortiz first considered appointing him liaison to the GLBT community, he asked him if he had any objections to the assignment. Badillo says he replied, "I have absolutely no problem with this."

Deputy Badillo can be reached by email at: ibadillo@bexar.org.

East Side church backs off on name change for Gay Boulevard
QSanAntonio, August 8

The Second Baptist Church in San Antonio backed off on its request to the City Council to change the name of Gay Boulevard, a street which runs adjacent to the church’s property at 3310 E. Commerce, to Second Baptist Way.

Speaking at the City Council meeting on August 7, District 2 Councilwoman Shiela D. McNeil said that the church had decided "not to do this now." McNeil said the request had received a lot of publicity and media attention. She added that she had met with the church and the community and the consensus was not to go ahead.

Since the item was already on the City Council’s agenda, Councilwoman McNeil asked her fellow Council members to deny the request. It was voted down without further discussion.

The news of the church’s attempt to change the name of the street spread quickly through the Internet. Locally, KENS-TV carried the story and on Thursday afternoon, WOAI-TV was looking for gay community leaders who might want to comment on the record for their newscast. Scores of gay blogs across the country were carrying the story.

According to reports, church officials said the change had nothing to do with sexual preference. However, the news story by KENS-TV quoted a neighborhood resident as saying, "First of all, Gay Street, that’s not a proper name because I’m, anti-gay."

Public hearings on the name change were held on June 3 and June 16 and attended by members of the neighborhood association and other at-large community members. Most who attended those hearings were in favor of the change. There are 15 residential and two commercial properties along the six blocks of Gay Boulevard, although none of those properties has an address on that street.

The church was planning to pay a $500 application fee to the city to change the name and pay for about $800 worth of new street signs.

The Second Baptist Church has been located on East Commerce for over 127 years. Its current pastor is Rev. Robert L. Jemerson. According to supporting documents provided to the City Council, the church wanted the name change to "provide immediate identification for the church's location to all who may be seeking its services."

In it’s petition to the City Council the church argued, "Changing the street's name to Second Baptist Way would honor the Church's forefather's, including, Reverend Doctor S.H. James, who once served on the City Council as a District 2 representative."

Councilwoman McNeil said that the church was going to try to come up with another way to bolster its visibility and name recognition within the East Side community.