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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Plaintiffs respond to Abbott’s brief in same sex marriage appeal

They give it the respect it deserves. Lawyers for two same-sex couples who are trying to overturn Texas’ gay marriage ban said Tuesday that the state’s attempt to defend its prohibition has defied both logic and a stream of recent judicial rulings. “As numerous courts already concluded, no conceivable basis exists to deny same-sex couples […]

All married city employees may continue to receive spousal benefits for now

Good news. Married same-sex couples will continue to receive health and life insurance benefits from the city of Houston, a federal judge ruled Friday, pending the outcome of an appeal in a separate lawsuit. [...] [Mayor Annise] Parker’s policy change spurred two lawsuits. The first lawsuit came from conservatives, who argued the policy change violates […]

Lawsuit over same sex benefits for city employees moved back to state court

The passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and the efforts to put a repeal referendum on the ballot have been one of the big local stories this year, but you may recall that before we were all talking about HERO there was another big story relating to equality in Houston. Last November, Mayor Parker […]

HERO repealers try their luck with the Supreme Court

Because sure, why not? Opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance have asked the Texas Supreme Court to force the city secretary to certify the signatures on a petition they submitted seeking to trigger a repeal referendum on the law. Houston’s 14th Court of Appeals denied a similar request on Aug. 15, ruling that the emergency […]

SCOTUS halts Virginia same-sex marriages for now

Everyone’s waiting for them to tackle the bigger question. The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped Virginia officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, putting on hold a lower court ruling that said the unions could start on Thursday. The court stayed a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the […]

HERO repeal petition lawsuit set for January

There will be no HERO repeal referendum on the ballot this year, but depending on how the trial (and likely appeal) goes, there could be one next year. Opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance dropped their request for a temporary injunction Friday that could have triggered a process to set a repeal referendum this November. […]

The case against tossing the HERO repeal petitions

Jerad Najvar makes a constitutional argument that the city of Houston should have accepted the HERO repeal petitions even though many of the petition pages fell short of the requirements laid out in the city charter. While we lack clarity as to exact numbers, it appears that given a blatant constitutional infirmity with part of […]

HERO repeal lawsuit moves back to state court

Are we dizzy yet? Conservative activists seeking to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance trumpeted a small victory Thursday when a court hearing resulted in the ordinance being suspended pending an Aug. 15 hearing. Mayor Annise Parker, anticipating a lawsuit, had already said she would not enforce the ordinance until there was more legal clarity, […]

Lots of same sex marriage appeals about to happen

Busy times in the federal appeals courts. Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If the appeals judges continue the unbroken eight-month streak of rulings in favor of gay marriage, […]

HERO repeal lawsuit moved to federal court

And the bad guys are very unhappy about it. Conservative activists seeking to repeal Houston’s equal rights ordinance accused the city of stalling the issue Wednesday after city lawyers moved the opponents’ lawsuit over rejected ballot petitions from state to federal court. Opponents blasted the move, calling it a delay tactic aimed at keeping the […]

Remember Ray Jones

So now that the HERO-haters’ petitions have been rejected by the city for not having enough valid signatures after all of the petition pages that were not compliant with the requirements of the city charter were thrown out, the story shifts to the courthouse. We don’t know exactly what the antis are going to claim […]

HERO repeal effort falls short

Too bad, so sad (not really). Opponents of Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance did not get enough valid signatures to force a November repeal referendum, Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman announced Monday. “With respect to the referendum petition filed to repeal the ‘HERO’ ordinance, there are simply too many documents with irregularities and […]

Decision on validity of HERO-repeal petitions coming today

Get ready for the fireworks. City of Houston officials plan to announce Monday whether a petition submitted by opponents of the city’s new nondiscrimination ordinance contains enough valid signatures to force a vote on repealing the measure this November. Opponents claimed to have gathered and verified 31,000 names, but City Attorney David Feldman said Friday […]

Marriage equality’s legal winning streak may be on the line this week

And it’s not even the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that might bring a halt, however temporary, to the march of progress. Marriage equality has had a very good run in the federal courts ever since the Supreme Court declared the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in 2013. Every single federal court to consider […]

I’m not the only one who thought Abbott’s same sex marriage appellate brief was ridiculous

Of course, his arguments were ridiculous, so I shouldn’t be the only one who thinks so. Attorney General Greg Abbott is defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban using a widely rejected “responsible procreation” argument, bolstering gay rights advocates’ hopes and raising questions about his chances of success. “None of the arguments (against gay marriage) have […]

Abbott’s appellate brief on same sex marriage is a complete loser

How weak does your case have to be to have to rely on this? Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an appeal with the U.S. 5th Circuit Monday regarding the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in February. According to the brief, Abbott said Texas can ban same-sex marriage […]

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds marriage equality

That’s two federal appeals courts, to go along with however many federal district courts and state courts. Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional on Monday in the first such decision by a federal appellate court in the South. “We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not […]

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 […]

HERO repeal petitions announcement today

Today’s the day we find out what happens. The city’s controversial HERO ordinance prohibits discrimination based on federally recognized groups such as race and age, but also extends those rights to sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents of the ordinance led a petition drive to bring the issue to a public vote. It now appears […]

July finance reports for Harris County candidates

All of the July finance reports for Harris County candidates are in. You know what that means. County Judge Ed Emmett Ahmad Hassan Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ================================================== Emmett 312,885 177,017 0 532,257 Hassan 0 0 0 0 Judge Emmett is the big dog, and he has the finance report to show it. […]

Ivy Taylor named interim SA Mayor

Congratulations, Madam Mayor. The City Council appointed Councilwoman Ivy Taylor to become San Antonio’s next mayor. She did not win a majority of the council vote, as her colleagues split 5-3 over her and Councilman Ray Lopez. Lopez then withdrew from consideration, saying that it was important for the city to move forward. Mayor Julián […]

When is that appeal of the Texas same sex marriage ruling going to happen?

A little later than originally planned. It’s been five months since a federal judge struck down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. But Attorney General Greg Abbott says he needs more time to file a brief appealing U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s February decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court. Abbott’s brief was initially to the […]

It really is about more than just marriage

Jo Ann Santangelo writes for the Observer about what it means to be in a same-sex marriage that isn’t recognized as legal by the state of Texas. In 2012, my wife, Kate, and I traveled more than 3,400 miles from Austin and back to marry legally in New York City. Seven years earlier, in November […]

Believing in – and lying about – monsters

This Chron editorial about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and the frenzied, fanatical opposition to it gets right to the heart of the matter. On its face, there is nothing controversial in the NDO. One could even claim that it is rather conservative, in the sense that this policy has been tested elsewhere time and […]

Utah will take same sex marriage fight to SCOTUS

This could be the ballgame. The Utah attorney general’s office announced Wednesday that it will appeal the 10th Circuit Court’s decision last month upholding same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wednesday was the deadline for the state to seek a full-court review by all 12 judges of the 10th Circuit Court, but, according to […]

One point of perspective on the repeal petitions

Here’s the Chron story about the HERO-haters turning in their repeal petitions. Opponents of Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance Thursday turned in well more than the minimum number of signatures needed to trigger a November vote on whether to repeal the measure. Staff in the City Secretary’s office will have 30 days to verify that the […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

Get ready to defend the HERO

From the inbox: Surrounded by members of the community who are impacted by the ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker announced today that the City will mount a vigorous effort to defend Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance from being repealed. “The Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic […]

Petition deadline coming

Scott Braddock takes a look at the petition effort to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which must turn in its homework this week. Opponents led by longtime – and now former because he was recently ousted – Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill are working to turn in at least 17,000 signatures of […]

Tenth Circuit upholds same-sex marriage

A huge step forward. A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that states outlawing same-sex marriage are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. By upholding a Utah judge’s decision, the a three-member panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver became the first appeals court to rule on the issue, setting a historic precedent […]

Equality is about more than marriage

It’s about families, and lots of other things, too. Joe Riggs and Jason Hanna never expected to make national news after a surrogate mom gave birth to their twins. Riggs, 33, and Hanna, 37, have been together almost four years. They’re best known in the community for collecting teddy bears at Christmas for Children’s Hospital […]

Dave Wilson reminds us again why elections matter

Because now when he does crap like this, it’s as an elected official and not just a yahoo crank of long standing. Dave Wilson, an anti-gay activist who won a contested race for a seat on the Houston Community College board last November, wants HCC to cancel its plans to sponsor a float in this […]

More talk about bathrooms

The HOUEquality webpage returns to a familiar topic. 1.) Over 180 cities and municipalities across the country have implemented nondiscrimination ordinances, some have been in place for decades. There are no reports of incidents of sexual assault or rape causally related or attributed to the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or […]

The Mayoral succession process starts in San Antonio

With the confirmation as Housing Secretary seemingly in the bag for San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the process of naming an interim Mayor has begun. Not too surprisingly, there’s some conflict about this, though the issue at the root of the conflict may not be what you expected. City Council is set to approve Thursday […]