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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Interview with Richard Carlbom

This week’s interviews are going to be about the referendum for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which the Supreme Court ordered to be on the ballot. It is City of Houston Proposition 1, with a Yes vote being in favor of keeping the ordinance, which as a reminder prohibits discrimination in city employment and city […]

How much do you hate same sex marriage?

Not as much as this guy does. Ammon J. Taylor of San Antonio is so vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage that he took the unusual step of forming a federal super PAC to fight it. The 27-year-old salesman is taking a seldom-tried — some would say improbable — approach. He wants to muster a convention […]

Endorsement watch: A bad call

I’m sorry, I don’t get this at all. The race for the At-Large 4 City Council seat offers two of the most capable candidates running this fall. Amanda Edwards, a municipal finance attorney with Bracewell & Guiliani, and Laurie Robinson, a government oversight contracting auditor who runs her own consulting firm, are thoughtful and knowledgeable […]

Bad choice, Lance

Very disappointing. Lance Berkman, former Houston Astros star and Texas native, has waded into the fight for LGBT protections, sharing his views in a new ad campaign this week. At the center of Berkman’s concern is Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a nondiscrimination law similar to those on the books in cities across the country […]

Endorsement watch: HERO ain’t everything

I predicted that the Chron would endorse CM Kubosh, so I can’t say that I’m surprised that they endorsed him. That said, their logic is always a sight to behold. At a City Hall filled with lawyers, urban planners and technocrats, Kubosh stands out as an elected official who tries to put the will of […]

GOP versus Hall

Pass the popcorn. The Harris County Republican Party released a flyer Monday attacking Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall for his Democratic ties and previous support for a nondiscrimination ordinance. Among top-tier mayoral candidates, Hall, a Democrat, is the most ardent critic of the city’s equal rights ordinance, known as HERO. The law is set to […]

We’re (about to be) Number 3!

In population. By the year 2025. Suck it, Chicago! Hidden in the haze of the petrochemical plants and beyond the seemingly endless traffic jams, a Texas city has grown so large that it is poised to pass Chicago as the third biggest in the United States in the next decade. Houston has been one of […]

Endorsement watch: What needs to be said

The Chron’s endorsement of HERO is both the most obvious call they’ll make and a pleasant surprise in terms of how they did it. Let’s be frank: The organized opposition to Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance is mendacious, deceitful and irresponsible in the extreme. Attorney Jared Woodfill and his opposition cohorts know that nothing in […]

Business groups get into the HERO campaign

Welcome to the table, fellas. Three major local business and hospitality groups are warning voters that the city’s economy could take a hit if Houston’s embattled equal rights ordinance is repealed in November, boosting supporters’ attempts to cast the law as not only a moral issue but also a practical one. The Greater Houston Partnership, […]

Hickman’s “plan” for an LGBT policy

It’s sort of something, I guess. Lou Weaver grew up respecting the badge. His father was a cop. His father’s friends were cops. And so Weaver never feared the police. That changed when Weaver, who is transgender, was pulled over several years ago on a traffic stop. The officer’s reaction to Weaver explaining that he […]

Paxton loses again on same sex marriage

Good. Turning aside objections from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Travis County judge approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday that recognizes the eight-year relationship of two Austin women as a common-law marriage. The settlement accepted by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ended an estate fight between Sonemaly Phrasavath and family members of the woman […]

A broader overview of the Mayor’s race

The TL;dr version of this is basically “meh, not much happening”. With a bevy of candidates and midyear fundraising that collectively topped $7 million, Houston’s 2015 mayoral race has been poised to be a blockbuster. Yet, just five weeks before the start of early voting, the race has remained relatively stagnant. For the most part, […]

Chron Mayoral profile: Ben Hall

This is the fourth in a series of profiles on the top candidates running for mayor in Houston. His dedication to accomplish whatever he sets out to do – regardless of public reaction – has jumped out for friend and foe during [Ben] Hall’s second mayoral run, as he vies to break in with the […]

Paxton still fighting same sex marriage

Some things never change. Despite his recent pledge to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, Attorney General Ken Paxton is already seeking to prevent the decision from being applied in an Austin estate case. Paxton’s office filed a motion August 25 in Travis County’s probate court aimed at blocking an Austin woman […]

State gets the bill for fighting same sex marriage

Please pay promptly. The attorneys for same-sex couples who successfully challenged Texas’ gay marriage ban in federal court are seeking nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in fees and costs from the state. In a 27-page motion filed Friday, attorneys from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in San Antonio asked U.S. District Judge Orlando […]

Paxton’s contempt saga officially ends

I’m sure he’s so relieved. A federal judge has canceled next week’s contempt-of-court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton, saying it is not needed because Texas government agencies have begun acknowledging same-sex marriages. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia had ordered Paxton and a state health official to appear in his San Antonio courtroom last month […]

Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity can influence the political process of ousting a sitting elected official. A San Antonio congregation, […]

Houston Unites’ first ad

Not bad: The story: Supporters of Houston’s equal rights ordinance released their first official radio ad Friday, countering opponents’ claim that the law presents a public safety threat and seeking to reframe the debate before voters consider the issue in November. The ad, airing on seven local stations during the next two weeks, features Servants […]

The anti-HERO horde

There’s a lot of them out there, though many of them claim their mostly last-minute filings didn’t really have to do with HERO. Members of the anti-HERO campaign and other prominent conservative activists disputed suggestions of a widely-coordinated effort, saying the candidates ended up on the ballot for a variety of reasons. “We have been […]

Does your JP still do marriages?

Some do and some don’t. Last Wednesday, Judge Dale Gorczynski, a justice of the peace in Harris County, heard 19 eviction cases, sent 147 traffic and misdemeanor cases to trial and presided over five weddings: Three for same-sex couples and two for heterosexual couples. It was the first time gay couples outnumbered straight ones in […]

Wilson denied by Supreme Court

Some good news that came in late Friday. Anti-gay activist Dave Wilson’s attempt to amend City Charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms will likely not appear on the November ballot after the Texas Supreme Court on Friday denied his request for emergency action. Instead, Wilson’s legal […]

HERO ballot language set

Here we go. City Council on Wednesday approved the language that will appear on the November ballot for voters to decide the fate of Houston’s equal rights ordinance, one week after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the original wording was incorrect. Earlier this month, City Council signed off on a ballot item that would […]

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 […]