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Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage’

Kirkland for Supreme Court

Good. Houston State District Court Judge Steven Kirkland has announced his candidacy for a seat on the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay candidate to run for the state’s highest civil court. Kirkland, a Democrat, is seeking Place 2 on the court, which is currently held by Justice Don Willett. Willett […]

Judgmental

The only bench this guy should be allowed on is a park bench. Jeff Mateer, a high-ranking official in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office who President Donald Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship, said in speeches in 2015 that transgender children are part of “Satan’s plan” and argued same-sex marriage would open the […]

City goes to SCOTUS over same-sex spousal benefits

Good. The City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner filed a petition Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that came down earlier this summer, concluding that states did not have to provide publicly funded benefits to same-sex couples, according to a news release from the city. The decision in Pidgeon v. […]

Pastoral malignancy

Know your enemy. A day before the Texas Legislature ended its special session this week, a session that included a high-profile fight over a “bathroom bill” that appeared almost certainly dead, David Welch had a message for Gov. Greg Abbott: call lawmakers back to Austin. Again. For years, Welch, executive director of the Texas Pastor […]

Houston city employees file their own lawsuit (again) on spousal benefits

A shame it’s had to come to this, but this is where we are. On Thursday, three married couples from Houston filed a lawsuit in federal court aimed at forcing the city to preserve health coverage and other benefits for same-sex spouses of city employees. That’s because, despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell […]

OutSmart talks to Kim Ogg

Another good read about our new DA, one that goes into her personal background in some depth. John Wright: Your father, Jack Ogg, was a longtime Texas state legislator, and your late mother was well-known for her charity work. What it was like coming out to your parents? Kim Ogg: It was traumatic. My parents […]

Anti-spousal benefits plaintiffs ask for injunction

Ridiculous. Conservative activists are seeking an injunction blocking Houston from paying same-sex spousal benefits to its municipal employees, after Texas’ Supreme Court ruled last week that gay couples may not be entitled to them. Attorneys filed a motion Friday in District Court in Harris County, which includes Houston. They also want to recover public funds […]

Supreme Court sends same-sex marriage benefits question back to lower court

Unbelievable. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lower court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized same-sex marriage benefits. The state’s highest civil court ordered a trial court to reconsider the case. As part of a case challenging Houston’s benefits policy, the Supreme Court suggested […]

Attorney’s fees awarded to same sex marriage plaintiffs

Justice. Texas is on the hook for more than $600,000 in fees associated with its unsuccessful fight to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Affirming a lower court ruling on the fees, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week shot down Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s challenge to the award amount granted […]

“Strongly held religious beliefs” do not justify discrimination

This is a very bad idea. Legislation that would allow county clerks in Texas to decline to issue same-sex marriage licenses if it conflicts with their religious beliefs was tentatively approved Tuesday by the Texas Senate. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Granbury Republican who authored the measure, said the Senate Bill 522 would allow clerks […]

Let the clerks out of it

I approve of this. The state’s leading LGBT advocacy group has thrown its support behind a bill that would accommodate county clerks with religious objections to same-sex marriage. Under Senate Bill 911, by state Senator Joan Huffman, R-Sugar Land, marriage licenses in Texas would no longer specify the names of clerks who issue them, instead […]

Supreme Court hears ridiculous same-sex marriage appeal

Was this trip really necessary? Same-sex couples are entitled to the same treatment as opposite-sex couples, a lawyer for the city of Houston argued before the Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case challenging the city’s benefits policy for married same-sex couples. As part of Texas Republicans’ ongoing fight against same-sex marriage, justices of the […]

State Supreme Court hears same sex marriage appeal today

Gird your loins. Almost two years after same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, Texas Republicans are still fighting the ruling — and they’re getting another day in court. The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on Wednesday in a Houston case challenging the city’s benefits policy for married same-sex couples. Though such policies […]

There’s more than SB6 to watch out for

Keep an eye out for other anti-LGBT bills, because any of them might pass even if SB6 goes down. With the media seemingly preoccupied by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill, three Republican state senators have quietly introduced a sweeping anti-LGBT “religious freedom” measure. Senate Bill 651, filed last week, would bar state agencies that […]

SB6 will hurt people

It will hurt transgender people, who despite what Dan Patrick would have you think, are people like you and me. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said his so-called bathroom bill isn’t discriminatory because transgender people can update their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. However, statistics obtained by the Observer from the Department of […]

State Supreme Court will take up same sex marriage appeal

Somehow, this wasn’t the worst thing that happened yesterday. After pressure from Texas GOP leadership, the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed course and agreed to take up a same-sex marriage case. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the state’s highest civil court will reconsider a Houston case challenging […]

It’s bill-filing season

And they’re off. Today is the first day of early filing in the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate may begin filing the bills that will be discussed when the legislature convenes in January 10, 2017. So how does that work and what does it mean? For the most part bills are […]

Republicans take their desperate shot at limiting same sex marriage

Pathetic. After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed an amicus […]

Republicans join Woodfill’s ridiculous anti-spousal benefits crusade

Shoveling sand against the tide. Fifty Republican members of the Texas Legislature have signed a court brief arguing that the same-sex spouses of government employees shouldn’t be entitled to health insurance and other benefits. The “friend-of-the-court” brief was submitted Friday in a lawsuit brought by anti-LGBT activists against the city of Houston in response to […]

Jared Woodfill never stops never stopping

Here we go again. Fifteen months after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, anti-LGBT groups in Texas are still fighting the decision. Jonathan Saenz, president of the right-wing lobby group Texas Values, and Houston anti-LGBT activist Jared Woodfill announced Tuesday that they’re again asking the Texas Supreme Court to […]

More on Mississippi’s anti-LGBT law and the effect in Texas

Doesn’t look like we’re going to learn anything from the Mississippi experience. Reeves’ ruling isn’t likely to deter Texas Republicans who have stated adamantly that Christians and others with sincerely held religious beliefs need extra protection when following their faith, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court last year allowed gay marriage and the Obama administration […]

From the “You can dish it out but you sure can’t take it” files

Poor baby. After years of Texas trying to lure businesses away from other states, New York has struck back — with an ad that paints the Lone Star State as unwelcoming and discriminatory to the LGBT community. The two-minute ad released by New York’s chief economic development agency highlights the Empire State’s principles of inclusion […]

Mississippi anti-LGBT law struck down

This definitely has consequences for Texas. A federal judge stopped Mississippi’s controversial “religious freedom” law Thursday night, minutes before it was set to take effect. In a opinion that cited scripture and Mississippi’s segregationist past, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves said House Bill 1523, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant in April, was another unfortunate […]

Republicans gear up for full blown gay panic in 2017

You have been warned. Still angry about the Supreme Court’s mandate, some conservative lawmakers hope that it is someday overturned. In the meantime, they expect to propose a series of what they call religious liberty bills to blunt its impact. Those efforts worry liberal advocacy groups — Steve Rudner, with Equality Texas, called them “backlash” […]

On Dan Patrick’s hostility to the LGBT community

Ross Ramsey sums up the Dan Patrick tweetorrhea situation and tries to make sense of it. Lately, the lieutenant governor has been focused on transgender Texans and which bathrooms they should use — those of their identity or those of the gender listed on their birth certificates. His argument is that perverts — men, to […]

Paxton sues over Obama directive on transgender bathroom access

A more transparent publicity stunt you would be hard-pressed to find. Texas, joined by 10 other states, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop a federal directive instructing school districts to let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday. Calling the Obama administration guidelines “outside the […]

Supreme Court dismisses effort to dissolve state’s first same-sex marriage

I could be wrong, but I believe this closes the books on all the same-sex marriage litigation from last year. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday tossed out Attorney General Ken Paxton’s effort to undo the union of the first gay couple to legally wed in Texas. The court-ordered same-sex marriage of two Austin women had occurred months before such unions were legalized by […]

I now pronounce you man and machine

Yeah, no. Chris Sevier says he’s being denied his right to marry – his computer. The persistent Tennessee lawyer – who has carried his challenge to same-sex marriage to courthouses across the nation – has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston saying he and his 2011 MacBook were rejected for a marriage license […]

Once again with “religious freedom” legislation

I have three things to say about this. State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, says he plans to re-file legislation next session that would supplement the state’s existing law to allow business owners to refuse services to people whose lifestyles clash with their religious beliefs. “Nobody should be forced to go against their conscience or […]

Paxton’s hack hire

What else do you expect? When Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton named Jeff Mateer as his new first assistant earlier this month, conservatives lauded him for a legal background that’s highlighted by his work on religious-liberty cases. But Mateer’s background is drawing fire from those who champion gay rights and church-state separation, particularly since the […]

One State Bar complaint against Paxton dismissed

A little bit of good news for our embattled AG, but not much. The State Bar of Texas has dismissed one of two pending complaints against Attorney General Ken Paxton. The dismissed complaint, filed in February by attorney and blogger Ty Clevenger, requested that the bar investigate and penalize Paxton for his failure to register […]

SCOTUS upholds same-sex adoption rights

Awesome. The U.S. Supreme Court in a victory for gay rights ruled Monday that states must honor adoptions by same-sex parents who move across state lines. Citing the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, the justices in a unanimous opinion rebuked the Alabama Supreme Court for denying a lesbian’s right to visit the three children […]

Get ready for more “religious freedom” bills

Gird your loins. The next Texas legislative session is almost a year away, but Senate Republicans are already zeroing in on proposals to bolster legal protections for religious opponents of same-sex marriage after its legalization by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. At a hearing of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, some Republicans […]

Paxton finds another way to be in trouble

Like fleas to a dog, trouble just follows this guy around. Remember that historic Supreme Court ruling last year? The one that ended decades of discrimination against same-sex couples who wanted to get married? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton surely does because it’s probably still causing him headaches, in addition to his legal woes. The […]