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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Dan Patrick supports potty package check legislation

Of course he does. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, weighing into a national controversy over transgender restrooms, said Tuesday he supports keeping men out of women’s restrooms, even if it takes legislation to do so. Since the issue erupted into controversy nationally, some Texas lawmakers have said they will support a state law for single-sex restrooms, […]

Why North Carolina and not Houston?

John Nova Lomax asks why Houston has not suffered the same backlash as North Carolina after the repeal of HERO last November. In the aftermath of the repeal of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance in November, the bill’s proponents predicted dire economic consequences. Then-Mayor Annise Parker predicted a “direct, economic backlash” for the Bayou City. A #boycotthouston campaign […]

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 […]

Strategizing for the next HERO fight

Good move. Stung by setbacks related to their access to public restrooms, transgender Americans are taking steps to play a more prominent and vocal role in a nationwide campaign to curtail discrimination against them. Two such initiatives are being launched this week — evidence of how transgender rights has supplanted same-sex marriage as the most […]

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 […]

What will the business lobby do to prevent a North Carolina anti-equality law being passed in Texas?

That’s the question that needs to be asked. Texas business leaders and LGBT advocates hope economic backlash over an anti-LGBT bill in North Carolina will deter lawmakers from taking up similar legislation next year in Austin. More than 100 CEOs and business leaders, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, sent a letter this week to […]

Lawsuit filed against North Carolina anti-equality law

That was fast. It took only one day for North Carolina’s legislature to pass the country’s most sweeping anti-LGBT bill (HB2), and only four days after that for Lambda Legal and the ACLU of North Carolina to file a lawsuit challenging it. The suit takes direct aim at the law’s ban on transgender people using […]

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 […]

North Carolina takes a big step backwards on equality

Shameful. Wednesday was a whirlwind day in North Carolina’s government. The legislature convened a special session, a complicated multi-part bill was introduced, it passed through the House and Senate — both Republican controlled — and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed it into law. Just like that, North Carolina became the state with the most hostile […]

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 […]

Texas Monthly long read on transgender issues

Mostly about someone I know, as it happens. Boy. Girl. Man. Woman. These terms reflect a binary view of gender. Our language doesn’t allow for the in-between. And yet there are girly girls and tomboys; fey men and macho ones. As the trans community has become more visible, it has become clear that gender, like […]

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 […]

Hotze gets official hater status

Congratulations, I guess. After more than 30 years of anti-gay activism, Steven Hotze picked up the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Wednesday. The Alabama civil rights group labeled Hotze’s Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT) an anti-LGBT hate group in its annual report on extremist organizations. Hotze, […]

Checking in on Garcia v Green

An update on how the biggest primary fight in the county is going. U.S. Congressman Gene Green has taken Texas’ 29th District Democratic primary to television, leveraging his substantial financial advantage over challenger Adrian Garcia to pour more than $240,000 into network and cable advertising over the next three weeks. Green’s English- and Spanish-language ads […]

Transgender people can now get correct birth certificates

Excellent news. Last week, Texas began giving trans people the option of sealing their old birth certificates and issuing new ones, according to Dallas attorney Katie Sprinkle. Previously, Texas issued amended certificates and those were only issued with a surgeon’s letter. Now, Texas is sealing old records and issuing new birth certificates with a court […]

The challenges transgender children face

At least now we’re starting to talk about those challenges openly. One month after voters in Houston rejected an equal rights ordinance that proponents say would have protected transgender people from discrimination, Ben and his parents, Ann and Jim Elder of Friendswood, are among families nationwide challenging their communities to respect the identities of kids […]

Interview with Mayor Annise Parker

We are in the last few days of the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. Having served three terms each as Council member and Controller, she is finishing up eighteen years as an elected official in the city of Houston. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to her one last time before she heads […]

More HERO public information requests

The bullying continues. Does President Barack Obama regularly drop a line to Houston City Council members? Probably not, but we could soon find out, thanks to a public records request that opponents of the city’s equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, filed this week. It’s a response to a public records request that a nonprofit […]

Garcia to challenge Green in CD29

This will be interesting to watch. Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is challenging 23-year Democratic Congressman Gene Green in the 29th district, he told the Chronicle Monday, a risky intra-party challenge of a popular incumbent. The move comes less than two months after Garcia’s third-place finish in the Houston mayor’s race, which already had […]

Council members complain about open records requests

Oh, please. Councilmen Michael Kubosh and Dave Martin on Tuesday blasted a records request from a D.C.-based nonprofit to those council members who voted against the Houston equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, last year. The Campaign for Accountability’s request seeks communication between prominent local anti-HERO activists as well as anti-LGBT groups, such as the […]

Just leave already

Seriously. State GOP leaders, in a predictable but closely watched vote, have defeated a proposal to ask Texas voters whether they favor secession. In a voice vote Saturday afternoon, the State Republican Executive Committee rejected a measure that would have put the issue on the March 1 primary ballot. The ballot language would have been […]

A new HERO will be up to the next Mayor

As it should be, whether we like it or not. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who championed the city’s ill-fated equal rights ordinance, HERO, said she no longer plans to try to revive it before leaving office at the end of the year. In the aftermath of HERO’s resounding defeat at the polls November 3, Parker […]

Leave a new HERO to the next Mayor

I hate having to say this. Opponents of Houston’s repealed equal rights ordinance haved placed 300,000 calls and will release a new TV ad next week warning about a possible City Council revival of the controversial non-discrimination law. All that despite no certainty that Mayor Annise Parker will find the political will and, most importantly, […]

Precinct analysis: Did HERO hurt Juliet Stipeche?

It’s one theory. In the Houston Independent School District, trustee Juliet Stipeche on Tuesday became the first sitting HISD board member to lose since 1997. At that time, retired educator Larry Marshall defeated Clyde Lemon, a supporter of then-Superintendent Rod Paige. Stipeche, one of Superintendent Terry Grier’s most outspoken critics, fell to Diana Davila, who […]

The Dallas Equal Rights Ordinance

Buckle up. Chapter 46 of the Dallas City Code, which was passed in May 2002, makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation. The ordinance, which applies to everything from employment to housing, has defined sexual orientation as “an individual’s real or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual or an individual’s […]

Precinct analysis: City propositions

Not really much to see here, but here’s what things look like for Prop 1. Dist Yes No Yes% No% ======================================= A 6,271 13,110 32.36% 67.64% B 6,265 14,435 30.27% 69.73% C 26,781 19,544 57.81% 42.19% D 9,871 16,775 37.04% 62.96% E 8,211 24,713 24.94% 75.06% F 4,553 7,074 39.16% 60.84% G 13,358 26,555 33.47% […]

Back to the business angle

I’m sure we’ll hear more of this in the next few weeks. Business and tourism leaders worried Wednesday that voters’ rejection of a citywide anti-discrimination ordinance has hurt what had been one of their best recruiting tools: Houston’s emerging reputation as a diverse metropolis that supported an openly gay mayor and welcomes young talent looking […]

Weekend HERO reading

Just a few links of interest on matters pertaining to HERO. Read ’em as you see fit. From Think Progress, a reminder that the past is never dead: Four decades ago, the Equal Rights Amendment — which would have required courts to treat laws that engage in sex discrimination with the same high level of […]

What next for HERO?

Before I get into some thoughts about how to approach a second attempt at passing a non-discrimination ordinance for Houston, let me begin by dispensing with this. 2. HERO Will Be Back The lopsided defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) will send the next mayor and city council back to the drawing board […]

Initial day-after-election thoughts

– We now have two cycles’ worth of data to suggest that having more good candidates in a Council race does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Following in the footsteps of At Large #3 in 2013, a handful of Democratic candidates in At Large #1 split the vote with sufficient closeness to keep them […]

Omnibus election results post

I’m going to take the easy way out here, because it’s been a long day/week/month and I’m hoping to get some sleep tonight, and just hit the highlights. There will be plenty of time for deeper analysis later, and of course we are now officially in runoff season. There’s absolutely no rest for the political […]

Election Day: Get yourself to the polls

From County Clerk Stan Stanart: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart strongly encourages citizens who plan to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 3 to be prepared before voting on Election Day. “It is very important for voters to know the answers to Where, When, Who and What before heading to the polls on Election Day,” said Stanart, […]

Day 12 EV 2015 totals: Final turnout projections

The last day was another big one: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2015 164,104 29,859 193,963 43,280 2013 87,944 21,426 109,370 30,572 The running 2015 totals are here, the full 2013 totals are here, and for completeness the full 2009 totals are here. Before I go on, let me note that the numbers noted […]

The pessimism of the poli-sci profs

A trio of academic pundits thinks things aren’t going well for the pro-HERO forces. Turnout is up sharply from previous Houston municipal elections, with the largest increases occurring in predominantly Republican and African-American precincts, where a majority of voters are likely to oppose HERO, according to Bob Stein, a political scientist at Rice University. “I’ve […]