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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Promote equality, promote the economy

It’s a simple enough formula. When the courts finally declare Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage illegal, which most people think they will, it could mean a boost for the wedding and hospitality industry as 23,200 couples tie the knot, according to a new interactive by the Williams Insititute at UCLA and Credit Suisse. Whether or […]

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 […]

Same sex marriage will have to wait for the Fifth Circuit

Bummer. A federal judge has refused to permit immediate same-sex marriages in Texas, saying he expects they will be allowed some day but he doesn’t want to act precipitously. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia on Friday rebuffed a request by same-sex couples Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano and Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole […]

Houston pastors to fight against the Plano equal rights ordinance

Of course they will. When Houston passed its Equal Rights Ordinance earlier this year, the Texas Pastor Council came out strongly in opposition of the law. Now the Houston-based group is challenging the nondiscrimination ordinance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents of Plano. Director Dave Welch says the group will work with pastors in […]

Plano passes equal rights ordinance

How about that? In a split vote Monday, the Plano City Council passed the controversial Equal Rights Policy over the objections of many residents in the standing-room-only crowd. The amendment to the city’s 1989 anti-discrimination policy extends protections from housing, employment and public accommodation discrimination to include sexual orientation, gender identity and other categories. “Providing […]

Texas’ first same-sex marriage

Fascinating story. More than 40 years ago in a small chapel off the Gulf Freeway, a hulking ex-tackle from Brownsville slid a ring onto the finger of his partner, transforming the slight man wearing a blond bouffant wig standing opposite him into his husband. In their hands they clasped the first marriage license ever given […]

There will be charter referenda next year

Details are pending, but one way or another we’ll get to vote on some charter changes next November. City Council members on Thursday agreed that any city charter reforms, including changes to term limits, should go to voters in November rather than May next year, but they kicked most substantive discussion of those issues to […]

What will the clerks do?

Some of Texas’ county clerks are making plans to accommodate same-sex marriage license applicants in the event that federal judge Orlando Garcia lifts the stay on his ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials. Some other clerks are planning to be jerks about it. Jeff Nicholson, chief deputy for Tarrant County Clerk […]

Abbott responds to motion to lift same-sex marriage ruling

He’s against it. Try not to be surprised. Texas officials want a federal judge to uphold the state’s same-sex marriage ban, calling a request by gay couples to be allowed to immediately marry “untimely” and “out of order.” “The plaintiffs offer no explanation for why they waited so long to file their motion,”Attorney General Greg […]

Fifth Circuit sets their schedule

Mark your calendars. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions on Jan. 7. The law passed in 2013, known as House Bill 2, banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, placed heavy new restrictions on clinics and doctors who perform the procedure and […]

Texas same-sex marriage plaintiffs ask for stay to be lifted

I wish them luck. Two same-sex couples have asked U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio to allow gay marriages to begin taking place immediately in Texas. On Monday, couples Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano and Nicole Dimetman and Cleopatra De Leon asked Garcia to lift a stay he imposed this winter […]

Yet another lawsuit against Texas’ ban on same sex marriage

And then there were ten. Texas now has at least 10 pending lawsuits challenging the state’s bans on same-sex marriage — believed to be the most of any state. An Austin lesbian widow is the latest to challenge the marriage bans after her late partner’s family sought to exclude her from the estate — an […]

Texas For Marriage

This. Law enforcement officials, state legislators, faith leaders and a great-grandmother are among those lending their voices to a new campaign to bring marriage equality to Texas. The national group Freedom to Marry plans to spend $200,000 on the campaign launched Tuesday, in advance of oral arguments before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals […]

Diego Bernal to run for HD123

Good. Diego Bernal, a civil rights attorney elected to the District 1 City Council seat in 2011, will leave the office on Tuesday to run in a yet-to-be-called special election for the Texas House of Representatives. “I’m stepping down,” Bernal told the San Antonio Express-News, “because there’s going to be a vacancy in House District […]

Legislation to overturn same sex marriage ban filed

Someone’s gotta do it, and you know it won’t be Republicans. Kriselda Hinojosa recalls how she unintentionally came out to her father in sixth grade. “He actually saw me kissing my girlfriend at the time,” Hinojosa said. “So he caught me, but he didn’t get upset. He never yelled at me or anything. He was […]

Sixth Circuit stands up for inequality

It was bound to happen eventually. Remember the big no-decision decision the Supreme Court issued on same-sex marriage just a month ago? The justices were asked — in five separate cases no less — to weigh in on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage. The Supreme Court demurred on the question, which […]

Woodfill gets another injunction

WTF? A state district judge on Wednesday ordered the city of Houston to stop offering health and life insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of married employees, but city attorneys say they plan an immediate appeal that, once filed, could leave the benefits in place. Days after being elected to her third and final term […]

UT/Trib poll says Texans would be fine with same sex marriage

A result of interest from the most recent UT/Trib poll: Registered Texas voters narrowly oppose same-sex marriage, but a large majority is open to allowing either marriage or civil unions to gays and lesbians, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Asked whether those couples should be allowed to marry, 42 percent say […]

Jared Woodfill sues again

Dude is obsessed. Former Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill isn’t giving up on his fight to block the city of Houston from providing benefits to the same-sex spouses of employees. After Mayor Annise Parker extended benefits to same-sex spouses last year, Woodfill sued on behalf of two Republican taxpayers seeking to halt them. But […]

The Fifth Circuit is in no hurry to rule on same sex marriage

Such a show of courage on their part. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively has scheduled oral arguments in the Texas and Louisiana gay marriage cases for early January, disappointing local advocates and possibly delaying until 2016 a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas gay marriage advocates were disappointed with the Monday announcement. […]

Parker orders withdrawal of pastor subpoenas

They got what they wanted. With local pastors standing with her, Mayor Annise Parker has told the City Legal Department to withdraw the subpoenas filed against five local pastors who have identified themselves as the leaders of the petition drive to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). “This is an issue that has weighed […]

Lies are worse than missteps

But you know what we’re going to hear more about. Conservative outrage over the Parker administration’s admittedly bungled subpoena of five pastors’ sermons last week marked just the latest episode in a messy political saga surrounding the city’s equal rights ordinance, with both critics and supporters making significant blunders. For example, a recently leaked deposition […]

It shouldn’t be this hard to get a driver’s license

And for most people it isn’t that hard. But for some people, it is. Daniela Parker has two mothers, a circumstance that turned a typically routine matter – scheduling a road test for a Texas driver’s license – into a lengthy hassle. Parker, Mayor Annise Parker’s daughter, was turned away from taking the road test […]

Suing for same-sex death benefits

Married people receive death benefits when their spouses die. Unless your marriage isn’t recognized as legal by the state you live in. That’s the basis of this lawsuit. An Austin woman filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt the Social Security Administration’s practice of withholding spousal benefits from gay couples who reside in states, […]

On Greg Abbott and who gets to get married

As you may have heard, Peggy Fikac got to ask Greg Abbott the obvious question about how exactly the state’s law against same-sex marriage, which Abbott is diligently defending in court, differs from the old laws that once banned interracial marriage, and would he have defended those as well since he claims he’s just doing […]

City files amended petitions

From the inbox: As follow up to a promise made earlier in the week, the City of Houston has revised its subpoenas in the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) repeal petition case. The disputed request has been narrowed to focus solely on communications related to HERO and the petition gathering process. There is no mention […]

The outrage machine is fully engaged

We’ll see how long they can keep it up. A legal battle between the city of Houston and religious leaders has erupted into a national debate this week about religious liberty and freedom of speech, even as Mayor Annise Parker argued the controversy was based on a misunderstanding. Conservative lawmakers and activists expressed outrage upon […]

Subpoenaing sermons

Not sure about this. Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance took another legal turn this week when it surfaced that city attorneys, in an unusual step, subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors who oppose the law and are tied to the conservative Christian activists who have sued the city. Opponents of the equal rights ordinance are […]

Abbott’s appellate response brief is the same old junk

Pathetic. Attorney General Greg Abbott says Texas’ same-sex marriage ban should remain in place because legalizing it would do little or nothing to encourage heterosexual couples to get married and have children. Writing in a brief filed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Abbott said the state was not obligated to […]

Chartering

There will be more than just the Mayor’s race going on in 2015. Houston is guaranteed a frantic 2015 political season with an open mayor’s race on the ballot, but it could get busier still with growing talk of placing the city charter before voters for possible changes to term limits, the city revenue cap […]

Other AGs for same sex marriage

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone like one of these 15 Attorneys General representing Texas? A majority of the states that have legalized same-sex marriage are throwing their support behind two couples fighting Texas’ ban, arguing their own experiences show only positive effects from expanding the right to gays and lesbians. [Last] Monday, the […]

Texas same sex marriage plaintiffs want the get oral arguments scheduled

They would like to get on with their lives, if it’s not too much trouble to Greg Abbott and the Fifth Circuit. Austin lawyer Nicole Dimetman is pregnant and expects to give birth for the first time on March 15, lawyers trying to overturn Texas’ gay-marriage ban announced Sunday. “The need for justice and equality […]

Law enforcement for same sex marriage

Bravo, y’all. The Democratic sheriffs of Texas’ two most populous counties have signed on with more than 60 other Texas law enforcement officials and first responders saying the state’s ban on same sex marriage not only disrespects but endangers front-line public safety officers. Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia lent […]

Endorsement watch: The clerks

Two more endorsements from the Chron, one of which may be the least enthusiastic endorsement they’ve ever given. District Clerk: Chris Daniel The Harris County district clerk’s office runs behind the scenes in our judicial system. It maintains records for district and county courts at law, accounts for legal fees and deposits and administers the […]