Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 25, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, March 20, 2009 Page: 1 of 92
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NATIONAL TAX INEQUITIES COSTLY FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES I LOCAL BLACK TIE NAMES 2009 BENEFICIARIES I PLUS VIEWPOINTS I CALENDAR I SCENE
VOLUME 25 I ISSUE 44
mean big turnout
for GLBT Job Expo
on April 1 at SMU.
The best of
LGBT Dallas is
at your fingertips
for the fourth
MARCH I 20 I 2009
rio takes on athedral
Church revokes memberships in
first use of bylaw enacted
following 2003 controversy
By John Wright News Editor
The Cathedral of Hope has revoked the
memberships of three people for allegedly
spreading false, defamatory information about
senior church leaders.
The Rev. Michael Piazza, dean of the 3,900-
member Cathedral, said it marks the first time
since he joined the congregation in the late
1980s that members have been expelled.
Piazza said the decision by the church's
board of directors reflects a change in how the
Cathedral, known as the world's largest gay
church, will deal with situations like the one
that arose in 2003. That's when a small group
of congregants took allegations against church
leaders to the media, resulting in a controversy
that cost the Cathedral hundreds of members
and prompted it to leave its former denomina-
The three members — Blake Ashlock, Harris
"Gene" Yarbrough HI and Bob Politano —
were expelled under a church bylaw enacted
shortly after the 2003 controversy, which
allows the Cathedral to revoke memberships
on the grounds of "disloyalty or unbecoming
"Christ teaches unending, relentless forgive-
ness, and that's absolutely what's got to be
extended," Piazza said this week. "However, if
a person is in an abusive relationship or is
being abused by a family member, forgiveness
is one thing, but letting the abuse continue is
another.... This time, the board decided to act
much more proactively and aggressively."
Ashlock, Yarbrough and Politano received
letters dated Feb. 19 from Ron Boson, secretary
of the board, informing them of the decision.
They also received letters dated the same day
from a law firm retained by the church,
Gardere Wynne Sewell, demanding that they
"cease and desist" or face legal action.
Ashlock, 44, a member since 2006 who once
led the Cathedral's singles ministry, said he
was "crushed" by the church's decision to
revoke his membership. The letter from Boson
said the three men had "actively sought to do
damage to this part of the Body of Christ."
"I've done nothing but help this church,"
JOHim -Mm< •:-*
Bob Politano, from left, Blake Ashlock and Harris "Gene" Yarbrough III are shown near the church Monday, March 16.
ing titled, "Disgrace at the Cathedral of Hope
in Dallas, TX: Document of Hope."
The document lists more than 30 grievances
and calls for the resignation of Piazza, Senior
Pastor Jo Hudson, and several members of the
Ashlock said he later e-mailed the document
to more than 100 people.
See CATHEDRAL on PAGE 16
said Ashlock, who also served on the board of
a church ministry led by Piazza, Hope for
Peace and Justice. "This was really, really hurt-
"This has nothing to do with the congrega-
tion," Ashlock added of the group's allega-
tions. "This has to do with the leadership."
Ashlock and Politano said they attempted to
distribute a document at a Feb. 16 board meet-
FRI Partly Sunny
This weather is for the bears! And they shouldn't get too sweaty
this weekend during the Texas Bear Roundup, at least not from
the heat. A chance of rain returns to the forecast Sunday night
Barista Gilbert Guardiola
serves a fresh cup of
Texas pecan blend —
making Buli the best bet
for java in the Dallas
Voice Readers Voice
Awards. PAGE 40.
Sakura roll with dyna-
mite sauce helped Zen
Sushi get the Japanese
food shout-out in the
Readers Voice Awards.
THE PREMIER SOURCE FOR LGBT DALLAS/FORT WORTH
half of new
Overall number of infections up
slightly in Dallas County in 2008;
other STDs see larger increases
By John Wright News Editor
For the first time ever, African-Americans
accounted for more than half of new
HIV/AIDS cases in Dallas County in 2008,
according to previously unreleased statistics
obtained by Dallas Voice this week.
The statistics show that the total number of
new HTV/AIDS cases countywide remained
relatively steady, going from 953 in 2007 to 961
However, the county saw significant increas-
es in other sexually transmitted diseases last
year, including a
44 percent spike AIDS rally Saturday
in the number of The Campaign To End
new syphilis AlDS-Dallas will host a rally
cases. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Blacks. who Saturday, March 21 at the
make up only Martin Luther King Center,
about 20 percent 2922 Martin Luther Kin§
£ ,i , , Blvd. The rally will demand
of the countys . . .. ..
„ \ a comprehensive citywide
overall popula- p,an to addressthe needs of
tion, accounted pe0ple with HIV/AIDS. For
for 482 of the 961 information, call Herbert
new HIV/AIDS Hodge at 972-513-7435 or
cases in the coun- e-mail email@example.com.
ty in 2008, or just
over 50 percent, according to the data from the
Texas Department of State Health Services. In
2007, blacks accounted for 46 percent of new
HIV/ AIDS cases in Dallas County.
"Every year we say people should be
alarmed by the numbers in the African-
American community," said Raeline Nobles,
executive director of AIDS Arms Inc., a service
provider based in South Dallas. "They keep
growing and the trend keeps increasing and
now they've reached over 50 percent for the
first time. This definitely is a major wakeup call
See HIV on PAGE 17
Dude, you tried really
hard but still didn't win
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Rush on Wednesday. It
is Big D's hottest ama-
teur strip-oft contest.
Here’s what’s next.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 25, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, March 20, 2009, newspaper, March 20, 2009; Dallas, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239056/m1/1/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.