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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

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 […]

Texas woman denied driver’s license over same-sex marriage

That’s the headline of this Observer story, and it’s just as infuriating as you think it is. A woman who recently relocated from California says the Texas Department of Public Safety refused to issue her an accurate driver’s license because her last name was changed through a same-sex marriage. After Connie Wilson married her partner […]

The LGBT Wedding Expo

I love stories like this. The Houston LGBT Wedding Expo at the Galleria-area JW Marriott, which was hosted by the North Carolina-based Rainbow Wedding Network, showcased venues and companies marketing to the growing number of same-sex couples. With the LGBT community gaining visibility and gay-marriage bans toppling in several states, wedding events and services for […]

Steven Hotze in his own words

Media Matters sat in on a conference call of professional haters, and, well, see for yourself. Fox News hero and prominent Texas conservative Dr. Steven Hotze warned supporters during a conference call that gay activists want to overturn laws prohibiting pedophilia, calling gay people “perverted and deviant.” On September 10, Conservative Republicans of Texas leader […]

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, […]