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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

What about LGBT asylum seekers?

Good question. As millions waited this week for a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, dozens of LGBT immigrants sat in American detention centers after fleeing what they say is persecution in their homelands because of their sexual orientation. Now, a coalition of attorneys, lawmakers and immigrant rights groups are calling on the […]

Texas throws in the towel with the Fifth Circuit

Hallelujah. The 5th Circuit should affirm a lower court ruling that overturned Texas’ long-standing ban on same-sex marriage, Scott Keller, the state’s solicitor general, wrote in a letter to the appellate court. That letter was in response to the appellate court’s request that the state and the plaintiffs advise the court on the next steps […]

On to the benefits

Now that same sex marriage is the law of the land, Texas employers need to make sure that the spousal benefits they offer apply to all spouses. “If an employer provides benefits to anyone who is currently married, they must now treat gay and lesbian employees the same and offer them the exact same benefits,” […]

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 […]

More counties issuing same sex marriage licenses

Montgomery County: Montgomery County Clerk Mark Turnbull said he turned one same-sex couple away on Friday who requested a marriage license, but wound up issuing the license after regular hours on Saturday. He initially refused because he was waiting for clarification from the state on what form to use, but after the courthouse closed Friday […]

Where same sex marriage is still functionally illegal in Texas

Smith County: After a historic Supreme Court ruling, making same sex marriage legal in all fifty states, couples across the country flocked to courthouses to be legally married. Despite the ruling, an East Texas County Court will not be issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips said they first […]

Cruz keeps on trolling along

For a guy who’s supposed to be so freaking brilliant, Ted Cruz sure says a lot of stupid things. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday said county clerks in Texas should “absolutely” be able to opt out of issuing same-sex marriage licenses if they have religious objections. “Ours is a country that was built by […]

Moving on to the benefits issue

And as we move on to other fights, the terrain changes. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opened the door for state agencies to withhold benefits from same-sex couples Friday, hours after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In a letter released Friday afternoon, Abbott ordered heads of state agencies to prioritize religious freedom, writing that […]

And we begin the next fight

It’s always going to be something. In a somber and defiant statement, Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed his next battlefront would be in defense of religious liberty. “The truth is that the debate over the issue of marriage has increasingly devolved into personal and economic aggression against people of faith who have sought to live […]

SCOTUS rules for marriage equality

Boom. Handing gay rights advocates a monumental victory, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that marriages between couples of the same sex are constitutional, a decision that overrides Texas’ long-standing ban on gay marriage. In a 5-4 ruling, the high court found that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and that states […]

Remember, don’t rush to get married in Harris County just yet

The Harris County Clerk isn’t ready for you and won’t be for at least a little while. Should the U.S. Supreme court decide to strike down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, a decision that could come as soon as Thursday, county clerks in all but one of Texas’ biggest counties are ready to begin issuing marriage […]

Wilson thwarted again

Dave Wilson’s latest troll job: applying for a spot in the annual Pride parade. It did not go well. Wilson told me he received preliminary approval to appear in the parade, and paid $805 in fees. He said he crossed out portions of the contract that said he supports LGBT equality. He planned to drive […]

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 […]

The next steps for equality advocates

Marriage equality will be a huge step, but there are many more steps to be taken. The newly launched Texas Wins campaign—a multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort—aims to increase the number of LGBT Texans protected by local nondiscrimination ordinances. “We want to take the momentum for LGBT equality coming out of the session, build on it, and […]

It always was about animus towards gays

TPM reviews the history of anti-gay marriage laws and constitutional amendments now that they’re on the verge of being thrown out. Opponents of marriage equality have been claiming that these laws were not enacted with any animus intended towards same-sex couples, but the arguments made at the time these laws were being debated clearly says […]

Pointless pastor protest

Where to even begin? Some prominent Houston church leaders put their names on a full-page open letter to the U.S. Supreme Court in major U.S. newspapers, promising to defy the court should it decide same-sex marriage is a civil right. Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church, Pastor Dave Welch of the U.S. Pastor […]

Texas Supreme Court rules against AG in Austin gay divorce case

One small step, even if it was on a technicality. As Texas waits on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage, the state’s highest civil court ruled Friday that the Texas attorney general tried too late to stop the divorce of a Texas couple married in Massachusetts. Five members of the Texas Supreme […]

Lawsuit for same sex benefits for state employees filed

It’s all about being proactive. Sensing that state officials will be reluctant to comply with a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, an LGBT civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to force Texas to provide equal benefits to the same-sex spouses of public employees. Lambda Legal filed the […]

No more LGBT liaison at the Sheriff’s office

So according to the Houston Press, it would seem our new Sheriff is not exactly comfortable with gay people. First, he told to his surprise at a Republican club meeting that the HCSO website has a small rainbow flag tucked into a corner: Needless to say, that rainbow flag is now gone. What’s more worrisome […]

What happens if SCOTUS does not uphold marriage equality?

Nothing good, that’s for sure. Gay and lesbian couples could face legal chaos if the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage in the next few weeks. Same-sex weddings could come to a halt in many states, depending on a confusing mix of lower-court decisions and the sometimes-contradictory views of state and local officials. Among the […]

No special session on same sex marriage

Sorry, wingnuts. Gov. Greg Abbott apparently really meant it when he said last week he will not call a special session of the Legislature. In an interview with San Antonio’s WOAI-AM on Monday, Abbott said calls for a session on same-sex marriage haven’t changed his mind about bringing back the lawmakers who left town last […]

Don’t expect the Harris County Clerk to be ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

The Press follows up on a question that we have examined before. [Harris County Clerk Stan] Stanart isn’t planning on staying open later or doing anything to prepare to handle an influx of same-sex couples should the Supremes decide in favor of gay marriage, and he doesn’t seem concerned about getting the right application forms […]

Getting ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

Travis County is prepped and raring to go. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have the right to marry, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir plans to be ready. The clerk’s office, which issues and records marriage licenses from its location at 5501 Airport Blvd., plans to offer extended evening and weekend hours […]

The new closet

From this Observer story about how Democrats finally managed to put a stake through Rep. Cecil Bell’s awful anti-same-sex-marriage-license bill, comes word of the legislative preference that dare not speak its name: [Rep. Jason] Villalba’s statements were a clear reminder that it wasn’t just Democrats who killed anti-LGBT proposals. And they were another sign 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, […]

House chubfest kills several bad bills

Some good news, though as always at the end of a session, the outcome isn’t clean and the details are very murky. As the clock struck midnight, the failure of an anti-abortion initiative — dear to the hearts of the far right — marked the end of a tumultuous day on the floor of the […]

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 […]

Ireland votes to approve same sex marriage

As the old song goes, when Irish eyes are smiling, all the world seems bright and gay. Irish voters have resoundingly backed amending the constitution to legalize gay marriage, leaders on both sides of the Irish referendum declared Saturday after the world’s first national vote on the issue. As the official ballot counting continued, the […]

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 […]

Pointless “pastor protection” bill comes to the House

From the Observer. Rep. Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia) said Wednesday he doesn’t plan to introduce an anti-gay marriage amendment to the so-called Pastor Protection Act scheduled for a House vote Thursday. However, with 12 days remaining in the session, Bell said he continues to look for another means of resurrecting House Bill 4105, which was designed […]

No expedited appeal for HERO opponents

From HOUEquality, on May 13: Today the 14th Court of Appeals denied HERO opponents’ request to force a trial in less than 30 days. The trial will proceed, but at a regular pace. This is another setback for opponents, but the case will still be heard by the Court of Appeals. HERO opponents filed their […]

Bell’s anti-marriage bill goes down

From the inbox, a celebration of victory: Civil liberties and LGBT rights groups tonight are hailing the failure by the Texas House of Representatives to pass HB 4105, which would bar the state from granting, enforcing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state bans on such […]