by Donalevan Maines
In March 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, by which they would decide whether the Texas sodomy statute violated gay citizens’ constitutional rights of privacy and equal protection under the law. In OutSmart, Mitchell Katine, attorney for petitioners John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, explained the lower-court history of the landmark civil rights case and outlined important legal issues that would be decided by the Court. Katine wrote, “As a new father, I feel as if I’m doing my part in order to try to make the country and world a better place for my children and the children of other people.”
The Houston chapter of the Human Rights Campaign honored U.S. Rep. Chris Bell at its sixth annual black-tie event at Houston Intercontinental Hotel.
Leslie Townsend, transgender model and performer, signed copies of her autobiography Hidden in Plain Sight at Borders River Oaks.
Mr. Gay Houston Ricci Alan and Miss Gay Houston Kara Dion crowned their successors in an unusual combined pageant at Rich’s that honored the late Miss Gay Texas Dyan Michaels.
At its March 15 “reunion dance,” Mede Cardenas remembered Kindred Spirits as “a magnificent bar that gave lesbians a sense of pride to call their own.”
Melanie Ashcraft, Randy Christian, Danny Gonzalez, Bryan Hopkins, Craig Stanfield, and Kevin Tobin traveled to Fort Worth to represent Houston at the Cowtown Rodeo presented by Texas Gay Rodeo Association.
Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child appeared at the 5-kilometer AIDS Walk Houston, which benefited 14 local HIV/AIDS service organizations.
Kingwood College’s production of The Laramie Project, directed by Ron Jones, drew protests from Kansas preacher Fred Phelps and his following at Westboro Baptist Church.
Randall White portrayed a lesbian addressing an AA meeting, along with 10 other characters, in his one-man show Normal at DiverseWorks.
And behind the bar at Mary’s, John Benavides helped play host to Friday-night registration for the Houston Council of Clubs’ 30th anniversary LUEY (Let Us Entertain You) Weekend.
Donalevan Maines also writes about the Academy Awards in this issue of OutSmart.