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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Judge rules Wilson petitions must be counted

Thanks, Supreme Court. Thanks a hell of a lot. City of Houston officials must count the signatures on a petition filed by anti-gay activist Dave Wilson, who is seeking a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms, a judge ruled Tuesday. State […]

Woodfill is still pursuing his anti-same-sex benefits lawsuit

From the inbox and the febrile mind of Jared Woodfill: Last year Houston Judge Lisa Millard granted a temporary injunction and ordered Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the City of Houston to immediately stop recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ and stop providing benefits to the same-sex couples married in other states. Judge Millard stated, “This court does […]

TOP/SEIU Mayoral forum report

From David Ortez: After the dust settled, the forum commenced with the hosts explaining the four pillars of their platform. It boiled down to: 1) Good Jobs; 2) Neighborhoods of Opportunity; 3) Infrastructure; and 4) Immigrant Rights. At the end of the forum, all the candidates would be asked to endorse this platform by signing […]

Hall for all the haters

He is who we thought he was. Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall said Thursday he signed a petition seeking to define gender identity and prevent men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms because he wants to protect the right to vote. Hall’s press conference at his Montrose law firm comes […]

Supreme Court rules HERO must be repealed or voted on

Ugh. The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that Houston City Council must repeal the city’s equal rights ordinance or place it on the November ballot. The ruling comes three months after a state district judge ruled that opponents of Houston’s contentious non-discrimination ordinance passed last year failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a […]

Paxton concedes FMLA lawsuit

Excellent. Almost a month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples. Paxton and the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska filed a voluntary dismissal on Friday with […]

We don’t want to share marriage with those icky gay people

Ed Kilgore detects a new trend. Now that the Christian Right has been reduced to the sputtering defiance of Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal or to the sullen silence of many others, one can hope that conservative acceptance of same-sex marriage will follow as rapidly as it did for the public as a whole. But […]

Boy Scouts rescind ban on gay adults

About time. The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously approved a resolution that would end the organization’s blanket ban on gay adult leaders and let individual Scout units set their own policy on the long-divisive issue. Units sponsored by churches opposed to the change could maintain the ban if they choose. […]

Revisiting birth certificates

This is one of those next steps that needs to be taken. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, some gay and lesbian couples in Texas have raised questions about another legal document – birth certificates. They want Texas birth certificates to list two parents’ names, even if a child has two moms or […]

Rusk County Clerk sets an example

I respect this. The Rusk County Commissioners Court on Monday formally accepted the resignation of County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle, apparently the first Texas elected official to quit office rather than abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. “Before taking office, I was required to take an oath to uphold the laws of […]

There will be more lawsuits

The lawsuit filed in Hood County to force County Clerk Katie Lang to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple won’t be the last one like it. “We hope and expect that county clerks across Texas and the country will take a look at what happened [in Hood County] and do the right […]

Dave Wilson will never go away

What’s that definition of insanity again? Opponents of Houston’s equal rights ordinance have once again submitted petitions calling for a voter referendum to put a gender identity issue on the ballot in November, but the mayor says it’s not going to happen. Anti-gay activist Dave Wilson showed up at Houston City Hall Thursday with boxes […]

Prepare for your time in the spotlight, Irion County

It’s coming. No same-sex couples have sought a marriage license in Irion County, but if or when they do the county clerk is willing to fight it in court. County Clerk Molly Criner has vowed to stand for “natural marriage” and refuses to issue licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit that says […]

Paxton drops another same sex marriage appeal

Another step forward. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to dismiss an appeal challenging a Travis County judge’s February ruling that found the state’s ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision declaring gay couples have a fundamental right to marry left no legal controversy to be decided by […]

Federal lawsuit filed in Hood County

That sound you hear is the rubber meeting the road. The motion for a temporary injunction and temporary restraining order was filed this morning in Fort Worth federal court on behalf of Soifer’s clients, Jim Cato and Joe Stapleton, who’ve been together for 27 years. The couple has been trying to get a marriage license […]

And the battle moves to Irion County

“Where the heck is Irion County?” I hear you cry. Just the home of the next County Clerk that needs to be schooled on the Constitution, and not her dime store “understanding” of it. The county clerk in tiny Irion County is standing firm on her decision to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, […]

Here come the lawyers

I don’t see how the squadron of anti-equality attorneys has a case in the wake of Obergfell, but they’re gonna try their best to muck things up anyway. Now, conservative attorneys are gearing up to defend [government employees who refuse to recognize gay marriage because of religious objections], saying they are confident existing laws will […]

The wedding industry is rubbing its hands with glee

Nothing like having your market dramatically expanded overnight. Within hours after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in Texas and across the country, local wedding businesses and venues already began getting orders and bookings from same-sex couples. Those in the wedding industry said they expect a surge of gay couples who were hoping to marry […]

Lawsuit threatened in Hood County over clerk’s refusal to issue marriage license

I was beginning to think that none of Texas’ 254 County Clerks were going to attempt to martyr themselves in the name of their “religious freedom” to not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I shouldn’t have worried. Attorneys for a same-sex couple are preparing to sue Hood County Clerk Katie Lang after the couple […]

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 […]