Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, May 18, 2012 Page: 4 of 40
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Openly gay councilman re-elected
Scott Sherman was re-elected to the Pearland
City Council on Saturday, May 12, keeping the num-
ber of openly LGBT city council members in Texas at
three. Sherman, a 37-year-old attorney who special-
izes in commercial litiga-
tion, was elected to a
second three-year term
in an at-large seat rep-
resenting the entire city.
"pear-land," like the fruit)
is a fast-growing suburb
near the Gulf Coast
south of Houston that
has a population of
more than 90,000.
In 2009, Sherman
won the seat by just 30
votes in a runoff. This year, he was unopposed,
which he called "an amazing thing" given the close
race three years ago.
:,l think for the last three years I've shown the resi-
dents that I'm a hard worker, that I'm looking out for
them, and I've kind of proven myself on being re-
sponsive to all the residents, so it paid off," Sherman
The other two out city council members in Texas
are Fort Worth's Joel Burns and Houston's Mike
Laster, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Sherman said he's heard there was a whisper
campaign against him during the runoff in 2009, but
other than that his sexual orientation hasn't been an
issue. "We have a very diverse city and I kind of credit
our diversity to some of the reason why it's never
been an issue," he said.
This year, Sherman was endorsed by the Victory
Fund. Asked why he chooses to run as an out candi-
date, Sherman said: "It's important to me for kids out
there who are not out to realize that you can do
whatever you want and you shouldn't be ashamed
and you shouldn't have to hide, and if you can be a
community leader and you want to put yourself be-
fore the voters, then you should do that. And I think
we lead by example."
— John Wright
El Paso gay kiss lawsuit settled
An El Paso discrimination case that began three
years ago with two men kissing in a restaurant has
come to an end after a settlement calling for diversity
training for the city's police officers was reached.
The settlement with the city was announced Mon-
day, May 14, by Carlos Diaz de Leon and his lawyers
at City Hall, ABC-7 in El Paso reports.
The agreement calls for the city to fund annual po-
lice diversity training on LGBT issues. The security
company that works at the restaurant will also train
its employees on diversity and sensitivity.
Diaz de Leon, along with four other unnamed
men, filed a lawsuit in 2010 against the city, Chico's
Taco and a security company after they were thrown
out by security in June 2009 when two of the men
kissed in the restaurant. They were also threatened
WET 'N' WILD | A dancer works the pole Wednesday, May 16, during 'Wet n' Wild Wednesday,' a
fundraiser for the Red Party Foundation at BJ's NXS in Dallas. For more photos from the event, go to
DallasVoice.com/category/Photos. (Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice)
with charges under Texas' sodomy statute by E!
Paso police who were misinformed that the statute
was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme
Court in 2003.
The case spurred a response by the El Paso City
Council, which had already approved an ordinance
banning discrimination based on sexual orientation
by businesses in 2003. Later in 2009 the council ap-
proved domestic partner benefits for unmarried gay
and straight couples, but they were overturned in a
ballot measure led by El Paso Pastor Tom Brown in
The council voted to restore the benefits in 2011,
prompting Brown to start a recall effort. A county
judge ruled in Brown's favor in a battle with El Paso
Mayor John Cook but a c&urt of appeals overturned
the decision in February. Brown then appealed to the
Texas Supreme Court.
Police later admitted to making a mistake in
threatening charges, citing police officer Israel Ro-
driguez-Aceves' rookie status for his misguided
threats. Rodriguez-Aceves later wrote an apology let-
ter as part of the case. Released Monday, it reads: "I
am writing you to state that I regret the way the situa-
tion was handled that evening. From this point oh, as
a police officer, I will enforce the city's anti-discrimina-
— Anna Waugh
Red, Yellow or
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Wright, John. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, May 18, 2012, newspaper, May 18, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239220/m1/4/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.