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Annise Parker Hub



04/19/2007


Tuesday Speed Read: Supreme Court, Nebraska, Chai Feldblum, Peter TerVeer, Annise Parker

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

SUPREME REJECTION:

ElanephotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to review a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court that said the state human rights law does not violate the free speech rights of a wedding photographer who refused services to a same-sex couple. By not taking the case, Elane v. Willock, the Supreme Court leaves intact the state court ruling that said businesses that “choose to be public accommodations must comply” with the non-discrimination law. The photographer had claimed that she had religious beliefs that compelled her to refuse accommodations to the lesbian couple, and the case was viewed as one of many disputes heading to the U.S. high court that pitted religious beliefs against non-discrimination laws. But the case was never pitched as a free exercise case and that may be why the Supreme Court didn’t take it, said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jenny Pizer. Tobias Wolff, an attorney helping represent the lesbian couple, said, “No court in the United States has ever found that a business selling commercial services to the general public has a First Amendment right to turn away customers on a discriminatory basis.”

NEBRASKA COMES CLOSE:

NebraskaNebraska’s unicameral legislature voted 26 to 22 Monday to move a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity to the floor. Unfortunately, supporters of the measure needed 33 votes to break the filibuster. The legislative session ends this week and local papers give little chance that the bill’s supporters might get the bill to the floor this year. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln, vowed to continue the push even though the state’s term limits won’t enable her to come back next session.

EEOC ON THE JOB:

FeldblumChai Feldblum, the openly lesbian member of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), told National Public Radio April 2 that the commission has “about 200 or so pending investigations right now that have been brought to us by LGBT people, and we're looking into those charges.” Feldblum noted the EEOC used to turn away LGBT complaints because there is no federal law prohibiting such discrimination. But she said the Commission is now looking into the complaints as forms of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by federal law. Whether the EEOC has authority to do so, she noted, will probably be determined at the U.S. Supreme Court.

SPEAKING OF SEX DISCRIMINATION:

A U.S. district court judge in Washington, D.C., entered a preliminary ruling April 4 in favor of a man who alleges he was fired from his federal job because he is gay. The order says the man, Library of Congress employee Peter TerVeer, can sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act –the title that, among other things, prohibits sex discrimination. The government’s brief in the case, Terveer v. Billington, is due June 3.

HOUSTON’S PARKER GETS HEAT:

ParkerHouston Mayor Annise Parker is being criticized for preparing to propose a human rights ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and public accommodations but not in private employment. In her annual State of the City address April 3, Parker noted that Houston is “the only major city in the nation without civil rights protections for its residents.” She is expected to introduce the bill in May, and LoneStarQ says LGBT leaders expect the bill will not prohibit discrimination in private employers, as a way to ensure the bill passes city council. The head of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus told the Texas LGBT paper the omission amounts to “siding with the right of employers to discriminate.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Anti-Gay GOP Chair Who Attacked and Sued Houston Mayor Annise Parker Loses Re-Election Bid

Jared Woodfill, the anti-gay Harris County GOP Chair who sued the city of Houston and Mayor Annise Parker over Parker's decision to extend health and life insurance benefits to gay married spouses, lost his bid for reelection on Tuesday, LoneStarQ reports:

WoodfillWoodfill, a 12-year incumbent, lost to challenger Paul Simpson by a margin of 53 percent to 37 percent, with third-place finisher Wendy McPherson Berry capturing 10 percent.

Woodfill campaigned heavily on social issues, staging a “Stand for Marriage” press conference a day before the primary in response to a federal judge’s decision striking down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. The press conference was billed as a rally against “sodomite” marriage and a “would-be dictator” judge.

Woodfill also attacked Parker for marrying her partner in Palm Springs.

Said Parker of the attacks:

"Mr. Woodfill is a little like a windup doll. I say something and he goes on TV and says this is something I planned. It’s part of my grand agenda to promote gay rights...You don't commit 23 years of your life to someone to make a political statement...I took four days off. I had to leave my home state and make a little wedge of time to marry the woman I love. They can get over it."


Texas GOP State Senator Dan Patrick: 'Marriage= One Man & One Man'

Tweet_patrick

In his haste to post a homophobic tweet in response to a federal judge's ruling striking down Texas' ban on gay marriage this afternoon, GOP state Senator Dan Patrick made the perfect typo:

Patrick"MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE MAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!"

Patrick is a candidate for lieutenant governor.

He immediately deleted the tweet and spent the rest of the afternoon clarifying what a big homophobe he is.

"Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period," he insisted in a later tweet.

An hour later, he tweeted out what he had meant to say: "MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!

An hour after that, he added: "oops! #twittertypo. We have a new job opening on our campaign: social media intern. Send resume to contact (at) http://danpatrick.org ... I want to re-emphasize my long held position: Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Period."

You may recall that Patrick recently attacked Houston Mayor Annise Parker for marrying her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs.

Said Patrick at the time:

“I am not shocked that Mayor Parker decided to elope to California for a marriage that is unconstitutional in Texas. This is obviously part of a larger strategy of hers to turn Texas into California.”

Well, given the ruling today, I guess Parker's strategy is working!


Gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker Rips GOP Attacks on Her Marriage: 'Get Over It' —VIDEO

A_parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker was attacked by several Republicans for leaving Texas last week to marry her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs. The Republicans said her marriage is politically motivated, KHOU reports.

Said State Senator Dan Patrick of Parker's nuptials:

“I am not shocked that Mayor Parker decided to elope to California for a marriage that is unconstitutional in Texas. This is obviously part of a larger strategy of hers to turn Texas into California.”

WoodfillHarris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill (right) made similar accusations.

Parker blasted the criticism:

"Dan Patrick’s running a political campaign. And he wants to make the gay community a whipping boy in that political campaign. And he thought I was an appropriate target. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. And I don’t think that’s unusual....

Said Parker of Woodfill (not in clip): "Mr. Woodfill is a little like a windup doll. I say something and he goes on TV and says this is something I planned. It’s part of my grand agenda to promote gay rights."

Parker is not having the criticism, nor should she:

"You don't commit 23 years of your life to someone to make a political statement...I took four days off. I had to leave my home state and make a little wedge of time to marry the woman I love. They can get over it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Parker

Continue reading "Gay Houston Mayor Annise Parker Rips GOP Attacks on Her Marriage: 'Get Over It' —VIDEO" »


Houston Mayor Annise Parker Marries Longtime Partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs

Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker married her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in a sunset ceremony in Palm Springs, California Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reports:

The ceremony, held at sunset at a private home, was attended by a small group of family and friends of the couple, including Parker's mother and Hubbard's sister, according to a statement from Parker's office.

"This is a very happy day for us," said Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. "We have had to wait a very long time to formalize our commitment to each other. Kathy has been by my side for more than two decades, helping to raise a family, nurture my political career and all of the other ups and down and life events that come with a committed relationship."

Tweeted Parker:

I am privileged to now be the wife of the woman I have loved for more than 2 decades. I couldn't be happier. We said our vows today.-A

The vows were performed by Rev. Paul Fromberg, a friend and the partner of Parker's political consultant Grant Martin.

Though Parker had previously said that she wouldn't marry until it was legal in Texas, she changed her mind. It was reported in late December that she would marry in California.

Watch KXAN's and KHOU's report on the nuptials, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Houston Mayor Annise Parker Marries Longtime Partner Kathy Hubbard in Palm Springs" »


Federal Judge Denies Request to Halt Spousal Benefits for Gay Houston City Employees

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request for a stay that would have halted spousal benefits for gay Houston city employees, Lone Star Q reports:

ParkerU.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal considered the request after the case was moved from state court to federal court by the defendants — Mayor Annise Parker and the city of Houston.

Harris County GOP Chair Jared Woodfill, on behalf of taxpayers Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks, sued Parker and the city in December after she extended benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees who are legally married in other states.

State District Judge Lisa Millard, a Republican, issued a restraining order halting the benefits, before the city moved the case to federal court, where Woodfill sought another restraining order. Following a lengthy hearing on Thursday afternoon in Houston, Rosenthal denied the request.

In related news, Parker called for an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in her inaugural address on Tuesday.


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