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Posts Tagged ‘Equality Texas’

Ready to engage in the next fight

No rest for the righteous. On Monday, national and state gay rights leaders and the plaintiffs who sued for marriage equality convened in front of the Texas Capitol to make a different kind of vow: The fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is not over. The next frontier, they said, is pushing for […]

One more holdout concedes

Hood County and its outspoken County Clerk bow to the inevitable. A Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections. Some counties in other socially conservative states such as Kentucky have declined to issue such licenses since the […]

No response necessary

Unless it’s “We will respect and fully comply with the court’s ruling”. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as this week whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. For supporters of same-sex marriage, it’s an emotional waiting game. “People are literally on pins and needles,” said Chuck Smith, executive director of […]

Moving equality forward in San Antonio

From the Rivard Report: Members of San Antonio’s lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community want the city’s next mayor to follow the lead of Dallas and Houston and expand the 2013 non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) to include private companies. The NDO now extends to city employment, public accommodations (restaurants, stores, public events), public housing, […]

Bell’s anti-same sex marriage license bill lives again

WTF? A Democratic state senator has dredged up anti-gay marriage legislation that advocates thought was dead this session, attaching the language to an uncontroversial county affairs bill under the noses of his fellow Democrats. While gay rights advocates decried the move, the bill’s original sponsor in the House said he would never let his legislation […]

There’s still time for bad bills to be passed

Bad bill #1: After four hours of debate and more than a dozen failed amendments offered by Democrats, the Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to far-reaching restrictions on minors seeking abortions in Texas without parental consent. On a 21-10 vote, the upper chamber signed off on House Bill 3994 by Republican state Rep. Geanie […]

Pointless “pastor protection” bill passes House

Whatever. The House tentatively approved Thursday a bill saying that Texas pastors, churches and religious institutions can’t be sued by private parties or penalized by government for spurning gay weddings. Many clergy, especially Southern Baptist ministers opposed to gay marriage, have testified they very much need the legal shield. “Maybe pastors won’t be sued. But […]

Here comes that anti-gay marriage bill

Ready or not. “Texas is pioneering a legislative effort to subvert a potential Supreme Court ruling on marriage and lock in discrimination against gay and transgender people and their families,” Kathy Miller, president of the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network, told reporters in a conference call Monday morning. “If successful, the strategy could spread to other […]

I repeat, no one will be forced to perform a same sex wedding

This really is a huge waste of time. For some gay rights advocates, a bill in the Texas Legislature that would allow clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples would be acceptable if it just included four more words. As the Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday morning on Senate Bill 2065 by Sen. […]

No one is going to be forced to perform a same sex wedding

Would someone please reassure Dan Patrick of this before he wets himself? Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, said he sponsored Senate Bill 2065 at the urging of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The Senate suspended its rules to allow the bill to be introduced on Tuesday, weeks past the session’s filing deadlines. The legislation would allow […]

Not a good session for equality

I know, duh, right? Texas lawmakers have filed at least 20 anti-LGBT proposals this year—likely the most in the history of any state. It’s the type of onslaught that was widely expected among LGBT advocates, due to backlash over the spread of same-sex marriage. Daniel Williams, legislative specialist for Equality Texas, said the group is […]

Discrimination is bad for business

Good for TAB. The Texas Association of Business has come out against two religious freedom resolutions that critics say would enshrine a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people in the Texas Constitution. TAB, which is the state’s powerful chamber of commerce, unanimously adopted a resolution last month opposing House Joint Resolution 55 and Senate Joint […]

Another judge finds Texas’ ban on same sex marriage to be unconstitutional

This ruling is a bit more narrow, however. A Travis County judge ruled Tuesday that the Texas ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but there was no rush to the altar after county officials — scrambling to assess the impact of the judge’s 3 p.m. order — declined to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex […]

The situation in Plano is complicated

I had not realized this. The nation’s largest LGBT political advocacy group indicated this week it is unlikely to help defend a nondiscrimination ordinance in Plano due to exemptions affecting the transgender community. The announcement from the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign could amount to a costly setback for supporters of the ordinance, as the […]

Shoveling sand against the same sex marriage tide

Rep. Cecil Bell is threatening to hold his breath till he turns purple if those nasty federal courts give the go ahead to same sex marriage in Texas. State or local government employees giving out same-sex marriage licenses would stop receiving their salaries under a bill filed Wednesday for the 84th legislative session. Titled the […]

Working for progress on LGBT issues

I’m always a little wary when I see a phrase like “chipping away” in a story about LGBT issues, but in this case it refers to obstacles, not hard-won victories, so it’s OK. The rights and interests of homosexual Texans will be in the spotlight like never before next year, as the state’s same-sex marriage […]

Villalba gets defensive about his pro-discrimination bill

I don’t know if Rep. Jason Villalba is willfully dense or just confused, but either way this is a big pile of BS. State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) remains adamant that a proposed constitutional amendment he filed earlier this month isn’t intended to undermine local ordinances prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination. But Villalba also continues to tout […]

Republicans will push pro-discrimination bills

I have three things to say about this. Two days after the Plano City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, a Texas legislator filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the ability of cities to enforce such laws. On Wednesday, Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) filed House Joint Resolution 55, which is […]

Texas woman denied driver’s license over same-sex marriage

That’s the headline of this Observer story, and it’s just as infuriating as you think it is. A woman who recently relocated from California says the Texas Department of Public Safety refused to issue her an accurate driver’s license because her last name was changed through a same-sex marriage. After Connie Wilson married her partner […]

The marriage equality economic boost

From Equality Texas: The Williams Institute released a report today estimating that marriage for same-sex couples in Texas would add $181.6 million to the state and local economy over a three-year period. The report predicts that 23,000 Texas couples would marry, spending an average of more than $6,000 per wedding. Up to 1,500 jobs would […]

State court rules gay marriage ban is unconstitutional

That’s two rulings in Texas, with this one referencing the federal ruling from February. In a move that follows suit with a federal ruling issued in February, a state district judge has deemed Texas’ restrictions on same-sex marriage unconstitutional – paving the way for a San Antonio couple’s divorce proceedings and subsequent child custody battle […]

Pushing marriage equality into new frontiers

I love the idea behind this. Less than two weeks after a federal judge declared Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, a new effort has been launched in the South seeking to build wider acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the hope of overturning similar bans across the region. The $1 million effort will […]

Federal judge strikes down Texas’ anti-same sex marriage law

Wow. A federal judge in San Antonio ruled Wednesday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutionally deprives some citizens of due process and equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and treating them differently from opposite-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia cited recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as having trumped Texas’ moves […]

Endorsement watch: Kim Ogg for DA

The Chronicle gives a ringing endorsement to Kim Ogg in the Democratic primary for District Attorney. Ogg has experience as a board-certified felony prosecutor, but she also has the broad view that comes from serving as director of Houston’s first anti-gang task force. After overseeing a 40 percent drop in gang violence, Ogg went to […]

Endorsement watch: EQTx for Davis

Sarah Davis, that is. A gay rights group Tuesday backed its first Texas Republican in a primary election, for better or worse. State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, will find out in March if the endorsement, from Equality Texas, a gay rights advocacy group, will help or hurt her re-election bid. The announcement marks […]

Utah appeals to SCOTUS

This was inevitable. Utah took its fight against gay marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the high court to suspend same-sex unions that became legal when a judge struck down the state’s voter-approved ban. The heavily Mormon state wants the marriages to stop while it appeals a judge’s decision, which said banninggay […]

Second lawsuit filed against Texas Double Secret Illegal Anti-Gay Marriage amendment

From San Antonio. A federal lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of gay couples challenges the state’s constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and seeks to bar Texas officials from enforcing it. “In Texas, Plaintiffs cannot legally marry their partner before family, friends, and society — a right enjoyed by citizens who wish to marry a person […]

Waco equality update

From the Dallas Voice: Waco’s LGBT city employees may soon be protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. With four of six members present, the city’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend to the city manager that the protections be added to the city’s EEO policy. LGBT […]

First lawsuit filed against Texas Double Secret Illegal Anti-Gay Marriage amendment

Probably not a game-changer, however. A Galveston man filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging a provision of the Texas Constitution defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Domenico Nuckols, 60, said he believes he will prevail because of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage […]

Equality Texas’ best and worst legislators for 2013

Two good lists to peruse while you wait for the Texas Monthly “Best and Worst” lists. It was a good session for Equality Texas with a record 31 endorsed bills in our Legislative Agenda, including multiple pieces of legislation that were filed for the first time ever, bills that advanced out of committee for the […]

Some last minute good news from the Lege

From Equality Texas: On May 15th, the Texas House passed an amendment by Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth that would prohibit state universities from requiring officially-recognized student organizations to abide by campus non-discrimination policies. The official vote on the Krause amendment to SB 215 was close, with 78 voting in favor and 67 opposed. To see […]

Legislative quick hits

This is the time of the session where there’s lots happening, and there isn’t always the time or space to stay on top of it all. So here are a few quick updates on things that are happening in an attempt to at least not be too far behind. A bill to give Tesla Motors […]

Romeo and Romeo and Juliet and Juliet

This is a small step forward, but it’s an important step. In a state where attempts to expand gay rights have hit a wall of conservative Republicans, a Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill to provide a new legal protection for sexually active gay teens. Under Senate Bill 1316, gay and lesbian teens who […]

The Equality 2013 Poll

From Equality Texas: The Equality Texas Foundation envisions a state where all Texans are treated equally, with dignity and respect. Equal rights for all are fundamental to our society and are long overdue. Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, deserves to be treated fairly and equally. Many of these equal rights issues are […]