Valentine's Day has passed, but that didn't stop Cherry party organizer Julie Wheeler from focusing this month's LGBT cocktail and burlesque soiree on love or the lack thereof.
"No matter what your relationship status, Valentine's month can be super tricky. There is so much pressure if you have a sweetheart. And if you're single, the incessant media blitz of ads for giant teddy bears and flower arrangements can be so annoying.The only pressure you'll feel at Cherry is that of glass to lips, honey. And anything else you want to touch with your lips is totally up to you," Wheeler writes in her description for the February Cherry party.
This month's event will be held at Side Street Grill on Saturday, February 22nd. There will be two burlesque shows, one at 9:30 p.m. and another at 10:30, starring LadyDoo Moi Requi, Emma Foxy Fairmont, Vixen Vega, and others.
Cover is $10. Doors open at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, February 23rd, 16 teams will pit their gumbo recipes against one another in Tennessee Equality Project's fourth annual Mardi Gras Party and Gumbo Contest.
They'll be vying for both the People's Choice Award (voted on by attendees) and the Judges' Choice Award (judged by a panel of made up of Memphis Police officer Virginia Awkward, Chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris, Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., former State Senator Beverly Kay Marrero, and Chef Gary Williams of DeJavu Restaurant). A $25 ticket allows patrons to sample and vote for their favorite gumbo. High Cotton Brewing Company and Yazoo Brewing Company will provide craft brew for sale, and the Mighty Souls Brass Band will play New Orleans jazz.
Pat McCooter, Queen of Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis, will act as Mistress of Ceremonies.
Call 901-301-3306 or visit http://tepgumbocontest.blogspot.com/ for tickets.
Full disclosure: I'll be competing in the gumbo contest this year.
Senate Bill 2566, the bill designed to protect persons or religious organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) that choose to deny services or goods in conjunction with a civil union, domestic partnership, or gay marriage, has been shelved.
The bill was being sponsored by Senator Mike Bell after Germantown Senator Brian Kelsey pulled his sponsorship last week. Kelsey originally introduced the bill two weeks ago, and it has since made national headlines and even prompted Memphis chef Kelly English to proclaim on Facebook that he'd host a political fund-raiser for anyone who wanted to run against Kelsey in the next election.
The bill was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, but Bell told the committee that he was sending it to a subcommittee and will not try to pass the bill this year. The bill can still be called back up at any time though.
Less than a week after State Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown filed his bill designed to protect persons or religious organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) that choose to deny services or goods in conjunction with a civil union, domestic partnership, or gay marriage, he has pulled his sponsorship.
In the last few days, the bill has made national headlines and evoked a backlash from equality advocates who have dubbed SB2566 the "Turn the Gays Away" Bill. The bill is moving forward though with a new Senate sponsor, State Senator Mike Bell of Riceville in East Tennessee. On the House side, the bill is sponsored by Representative Bill Dunn of Knoxville.
The bill has been placed on the judicial committee calendar, which Kelsey chairs.
This morning, Restaurant Iris and Second Line owner/chef Kelly English made an offer that anyone with political ambitions in District 31 might not be able to refuse. English posted that he'll host a political fund-raiser for whoever opposes Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown in the next election.
Kelly's offer was a response to Kelsey's bill (SB2566) that would protect religious organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) that choose to deny services or goods in conjunction with a civil union, domestic partnership, or gay marriage. The Tennessee Equality Project has dubbed the bill the "Turn Away the Gays" bill, while Kelsey calls it the "Religious Freedom Act."
When contacted by the Flyer for a comment on why he's offering to support Kelsey's opponent, English said the following: "This is past politics. This is more a point of decency and rights as a human. I can not fathom someone who thinks this is okay to represent myself or our community. I will proudly support any good person opposing this way of thinking."
Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown is sponsoring a bill in the Tennessee General Assembly aimed at protecting religious organizations that choose to deny services in conjunction with a civil union, domestic partnership, or gay marriage.
Kelsey's SB2566 "permits persons and religious or denominational organizations, based on sincere religious belief, to refuse to provide services or goods in furtherance of a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by the Tennessee Constitution." It's being co-sponsored in the House by Representative Bill Dunn of Knoxville.
It's not clear how far religious organizations could take this, if passed. But a post on the Tennessee Equality Project's website poses the question of whether or not medical institutions run by religious organizations could refuse medical services to someone in a same-sex relationship.
The bill was filed on February 5th, and so far, there has been no further movement with the bill.