Marriage Equality's Bringing Us Up, Income Inequality's Bringing Us Down.

Welcome to D-Rated, in which we try to determine if the quality of life in Dallas and its surrounding areas is moving up or down by arbitrarily assigning point values to current events.

Equality Now: After years of lawsuits, the Supreme Court finally announced its decision: Gay couples have just as much right to get married as anyone else. It was the end of a domino effect, as Texas was one of only 14 states that hadn’t effectively legalized it. And now it’s the law of the land. The big announcement found its big beautiful moment in the union of Jack Evans and George Harris, the first gay couple married in Dallas County. Sure, officials in some counties (and a certain Attorney General) are being dicks about it, but the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has cleared all that up now. Plus 10.

Extra Baggage: JetBlue announced that passengers buying its cheapest tickets would have to pay for their first checked bag. That makes Southwest Airlines, which already has low fares and the most efficient boarding process, the only airline not charging for checked bags. And now they fly pretty much everywhere from Dallas Love Field. So, y'know, suck it, other airlines. Plus 1.

Courting Jordan: Please, let it be true. Now that Tyson Chandler has departed for Phoenix, the Mavs really, really, really need a big man. And DeAndre Jordan, currently a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers, is shopping around. Sources say he liked what he saw after a formal meeting and several dinners with Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban. Listen: This probably won’t happen since other teams are in a position to offer more money — and, let's not forget, things almost never work out for the Mavs besides that incredible 2011 run — but we can keep hoping. And hoping is nice. Update: It looks like this is happening! Plus 1.

For Once, It's Not Florida Man: At the intersection of funny and sad, you’ll find Thomas McManus. In June, police found this discombobulated local wearing only his socks in the closet of his home office. When the cops roused him, he reportedly asked, “How the hell did I end up in a closet naked?” Now, McManus is facing charges of child endangerment since his 5-year-old son was out wandering his neighborhood while Dad was passed out. There was also an easily accessible gun that the boy thankfully didn't get to. Minus 1.

D's Nuts: I'm not here to trash other local publications. That’s not what we're about. But I gotta call out some unethical bullshit when I read about it. Here's the gist. In 2013, D Magazine published an anonymously-penned article about a Park Cities woman on government assistance — but they named “The Park Cities Welfare Queen” at the center of the story, accusing Janay Bender Rosenthal of welfare fraud. That's pretty unfortunate to begin with, but it gets worse. When Health and Human Services concluded its investigation, it determined that Rosenthal actually did need the assistance. Now, here's the thing: Why'd D print her name? Names of people receiving government assistance isn't part of the public record. Rosenthal and her attorneys are wondering the same thing these days, which is why they've taken the magazine's publisher to court. Rosenthal's got a good case to make: Printing a story that anonymously shames someone who's not a public official and accuses them of breaking the law is a cowardly and distasteful thing. It's an act that fulfills the worst stereotypes of Dallas, and it's gross. Minus 3.

Get in My Belly: Whataburger, creator of such glorious sustenance as the A-1 Thick & Hearty Burger and the Monterey Melt, is offering up a new burger, and it sounds glorious. Behold the Sweet & Spicy Bacon Burger, which contains two patties, two slices of cheese, bacon, grilled onions and a new sauce. It almost sounds too good to be true — but you can bet I'll be ordering one next time I seek out the orange and white stripes. Plus 1.

Big D Has a Problem: In news that's not entirely surprising but disheartening nonetheless, the Urban Institute (a D.C. think tank) has determined that the Dallas-Fort Worth region has the worst income inequality by neighborhood in the states. Yes, we’re even worse than Baltimore. Looking around, it's fairly obvious that cities like McKinney, Frisco and Keller have only gotten wealthier in the last 10 years, while parts of Dallas, Azle and Mesquite have gotten poorer. In 2007, the Dallas Morning News launched a tremendous, Pulitzer Prize-wining series on “The North-South Gap” — but, unfortunately, nothing much has improved in the years since. Minus 5.

This Week's Count: Plus 4. All loving couples in Texas can now get legally married (or have their marriages finally recognized), which is awesome. But Dallas still has some judgmental attitudes and income gaps to deal with.
Last Week's Total: Plus 9.
Running Total: Plus 7.

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