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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

First anti-HERO radio ad airs

Here it comes. In the ad, a young woman talks about the perceived threat to public safety the ordinance presents. Critics have long asserted that the broad non-discrimination law, which includes protections for gay and transgender residents, would allow male sexual predators dressed in drag to enter women’s restrooms. A heated legal battle between opponents […]

Supreme Court requires HERO ballot language change

Whatever. The Texas Supreme Court has again overruled Mayor Annise Parker’s administration in connection with the legal fight over her signature nondiscrimination ordinance, ruling Wednesday that the mayor and City Council erred in choosing the language that will appear on the November ballot when the ordinance faces possible repeal. The justices, writing in “yet another […]

The cost of defying the law on same sex marriage

Nearly $44K in attorneys’ fees, and it could have been worse. It has been a month since Joe Stapleton and Jim Cato finally got the marriage license Hood County Clerk Katie Lang denied them because of her religious beliefs. It only took a federal lawsuit to get it. Today that suit was settled, and according […]

The contours of the HERO fight

We’ll see how this goes. When City Council sent Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance to the November ballot two weeks ago, the vote raised the curtain on dueling campaigns that had been bracing in the wings for a political showdown more than a year in the making. Council’s 12-5 vote to affirm the ordinance and […]

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

Houston Unites

The pro-HERO campaign has been launched. Supporters of Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance launched a formal campaign Wednesday urging voters to defend the measure this November. ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke urged Houstonians to “send a message that this is a city that doesn’t discriminate.” Businessman Bobby Singh, invoking the threat of losing sporting events […]

City appeals Wilson petition order

No surprise. The verdict on whether anti-gay activist Dave Wilson collected enough valid signatures to force a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will have to wait. On Friday evening, the city appealed District Court Judge Brent Gamble’s order to count […]

And now we have a lawsuit over HERO repeal ballot language

Oh, for crying out loud. Last month the Texas Supreme Court suspended the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, more commonly known as HERO, and ordered City Council to either repeal the non-discrimination measure or put it up for a public vote. On Wednesday council voted 12-5 for the latter, and in November Houston voters will be […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]

HERO affirmed by Council

It’s official – HERO will be on the ballot this fall. City Council voted to affirm Houston’s equal rights ordinance Wednesday, a move that will send the law to voters in November per a Texas Supreme Court ruling. City Council voted 12-5 to leave the law in place, with Councilmen Dave Martin, Oliver Pennington, Michael […]

There’s more to complying with SCOTUS than issuing marriage licenses

Looks like Ken Paxton may get to learn that the hard way. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. And U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and […]

Pastors file a lawsuit over HERO

I have three things to say about this. Organizers of the anti-Houston Equal Rights Ordinance petition have filed suit against Mayor Annise Parker, saying she and unnamed “conspirators” unconstitutionally rejected valid petition signatures and “smothered the Citizen Referendum Petition in the crib.” (Gotta love a lawsuit whose opening salvo includes infanticide imagery!). Filed by four […]

Defending HERO

It’s a big job, but we can get it done. “We’re going to do everything we can to win HERO at the ballot box,” [Houston GLBT Political Caucus] president Maverick Welsh said. It would be Houstonians’ third time voting on protections or benefits for gays, which they rejected in 1985 and again in 2001. Then, […]

Hall for all the haters again

Enjoy the attention while it lasts, dude. Already a staunch opponent of the nondiscrimination law, Hall has become more vocal in the wake of last week’s Texas Supreme Court ruling that City Council must repeal the ordinance, known as HERO, or place it on November’s ballot. From Twitter to television, Hall is using his criticism […]

Bridal Extravaganza happily adjusts to a same-sex marriage world

Love is love, and business is business. Vendors in the industry, from florists to caterers, are seeing a bumper crop of same-sex Texas weddings. “I think there’s going to be some pent-up demand, and that’s exciting,” said Laurette Veres, Bridal Extravaganza producer. In Texas, same-sex weddings could generate at least $182 million in total spending […]

Harris County will have a bond issue on the ballot

More things to vote on this November. Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday to put four bond measures totaling $848 million on the November ballot to address tremendous population growth in Harris County during the past two decades. “When you consider that Harris County has more people than 24 states, it really isn’t that much,” County […]

If HERO then no other ballot items

Makes sense. With her signature nondiscrimination law likely to appear on the November ballot, Mayor Annise Parker left in doubt Wednesday whether she will ask City Council to also place before voters long-discussed changes to term limits and the city’s revenue cap. Parker said she has no interest in putting the latter two items to […]

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 […]