Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 6 of 68
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Omni confirms DP benefits at convention center hotel
Hotel, set to open Nov. 11, will be
owned by city and is expected to
employ up to 800 people
JOHN WRIGHT I Senior Political Writer
A spokeswoman for Omni Hotels confirmed
this week that the company will offer domestic
partner benefits to its employees at Dallas' con-
vention center hotel, slated to open next month.
It marked the first time a representative from
Irving-based Omni Hotels has stated directly
that the company plans to offer DP benefits at
the city-owned facility.
Omni, which operates 50 luxury hotels in
North America, is one of the few major lodging
chains that doesn't offer DP benefits across the
board. However, Omni spokeswoman Caryn
Kboudi said the company opted to do so at the
convention center hotel because the facility is
owned by the city, which has offered DP bene-
fits to its employees since 2004.
"We're pleased to do it, and it's in keeping
with the city of Dallas' practices," Kboudi said.
Kboudi said the convention center hotel,
■Slated to open Nov. 11, will initially employ 600-
650 people, about 80 percent of whom will be
full time and eligible for benefits. At "peak per-
formance," the hotel could employ up to 800
people, she said. ROOMS WITH VIEWS | Workers put the finishing touches on the outdoor pool deck this week at Dallas' convention center hotel, as the downtown skyline looms
■ OMNI, Page 18 behind them. The hotel is scheduled to open Nov. 11, (John Wright/Dallas Voice)
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Anti-gay tirade ruins family's State Fair outing
STATE UNFAIR | Dondi Morse, left, and Latisha Pennington say they
attended the State Fair of Texas with their seven-year-old daughter and
were verbally attacked by one vendor.
Haltom City lesbians say vendor's verbal
gay-bashing left their 7-year-old daughter in tears
DAVID TAFFET I Staff Writer
When Latisha Pennington and Dondi Morse of Haltom City took
their 7-year-old daughter to the Texas State Fair last weekend, they
just wanted to have a fun day seeing the animals and trying out the
fair's famed array of fried treats.
But the women said this week their plans were ruined when one
vendor verbally gay-bashed them in front of their daughter, leaving
the little girl in tears and forcing the family to cut their outing short.
Although Pennington acknowledges that it isn't hard to look at
her and know she is a lesbian, that same isn't true for her partner.
And the two of them weren't doing anything that day to attract at-
tention; they weren't holding hands and they certainly weren't kiss-
ing or engaging in any kind of public displays of affection.
"We were just there to have fun with our daughter," Pennington
said, adding that PDAs "just aren't our style."
But that wasn't enough to ward off some unwanted attention
from the men at the booth for the Full Gospel Business Men's Fel-
lowship in America.
Pennington said she and Morse and their daughter had just left
one of the animal buildings when she heard a man call out to them.
He said, she recalled, "Hey come here, come here. I got something
for you. Got a couple of questions."
The women noticed that the man was one of several at the booth
that were giving away T-shirts and visors so they decided to go over
and see what was being offered.
Each man in the booth was holding a sign that said, "What would
you take for $1 million?" And the man who called them over did in-
deed have a question for them: "Would you take $1 million for your
Pennington said she closed one eye, and the man asked her what
she was doing. She told him she was just checking to See how well
she could see out of one eve before she answered.
She said the man laughed at her answer. But his next question
was no laughing matter: "Would you take $1 million for your soul?"
That's when Morse jumped into the conversation, telling the man
that if he was trying to engage them in a religious debate, they
weren't interested in going further.
Pennington said the man assured them he wasn't interested in a
religious debate either. But his next statement proved otherwise.
That's when the encounter began to turn ugly
Pennington said he asked them, "What do you think will happen
to your soul when you die?" Then he answered his own question
with, "1 know what's going to happen to your soul. You're going to
■ STATE FAIR, Page 17
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011, newspaper, October 7, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239188/m1/6/: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.