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Gay Bartender Attacked Leaving Oilcan Harry's in Austin, TX: VIDEO

Benoit

A bartender at Austin, Texas gay bar Oilcan Harry's was attacked by two men after leaving work on Saturday night, KVUE reports:

Steven Benoit says he began walking home from the bar around 3:15 a.m. when he noticed the men following him. He says one of the men punched him in the back of the head so hard his glasses fell off his face. He says the men chased him for several blocks through downtown before he jumped into a taxi and waited for police. "I don't know if it's because they saw me leaving a bar, they thought I was gay and they were going to attack me, or they thought I had money," said Benoit.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

A similar attack on two of Benoit's gay softball teammates last year inspired a massive march against hate in Austin.

Continue reading "Gay Bartender Attacked Leaving Oilcan Harry's in Austin, TX: VIDEO" »


UPDATED: Texas Man Kills Daughter's Girlfriend and Her Mother Over Lesbian Relationship

UPDATED: Austin PD presser, AFTER THE JUMP...

An Austin, Texas man upset that his daughter was in a lesbian relationship has been arrested for the murder of his daughter's girlfriend and the girlfriend's mother, the Austin Statesman reports:

Hurtado

Jose Alfonso Aviles, 45 , went to the house in the 7100 block of Dixie Drive where Norma Hurtado, 24, lived with her mother and shot both women after knocking on the door, officials said Tuesday. He has been charged with capital murder and could receive life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Police said they are looking for a second unidentified man who witnesses said fled the scene with Aviles in a green sport utility vehicle.

Aviles' daughter, who was in the home at the time, found Norma Hurtado and her mother, 57-year-old Maria Hurtado , after they were shot, according to police and court documents.

The daughter's "family was quite upset over this relationship," Austin police Lt. Gena Curtis said Tuesday. "This had been an ongoing dispute between these families and it turned tragic, into a horrific act of violence with the death of two individuals."

The daughter told police that she and Norma Hurtado had been involved in a lesbian relationship, which her father did not approve of, and that there had been disturbances between Aviles and Norma Hurtado, according to an arrest affidavit.

Authorities have not determined whether the murder will be classified a hate crime.

I've posted the press conference from the Austin Police Department, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "UPDATED: Texas Man Kills Daughter's Girlfriend and Her Mother Over Lesbian Relationship" »


12-Year Old Creates Pillow Project, Auction for Marriage Equality

Pillow

12-year-old Augusta 'Gus' Dexheimer is one of those young activists who gives you hope about the future of this country and for the future of LGBT equality.

I'll let her explain, from her Facebook page: Gus

Hello all! Gus Dexheimer here. Would you like to help me overturn Proposition 8, which is the law that keeps gay marriage illegal in California? If you or any of your friends can’t get married—which is unconstitutional—you might be interested in raising some money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, by making a wedding pillow. I will now explain.

In February, I will have my Bat Mitzvah for which I am required to do a service project. When I first heard that gay marriage was illegal, I was nine. I was simply appalled. I don’t know how old I was when I learned about gay and lesbian relationships but it was never something to hide in my family. My sister is straight, I am straight, my parents are straight, but that never has and never will matter. So when my Bat Mitzvah rolled around and I had met still more gay and lesbian people, I began to think about what I could do for them.

The Pillow Project is this:

Because I know so many artists and crafty people, I am asking you to make pillows for a silent auction in January. I bet you’re familiar with the normal wedding pillow. It has two rings on it and a little boy carries it down the aisle looking cute. 

My pillows will be much more creative and exciting and they can be made out of anything. (See FAQ) They will honor same-sex marriage. I am going to give the money we raise to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, because I think that they will actually use it to make a change.

In response, more than 50 people have created pillows for Gus' benefit.

You can check out, and bid on, all the pillows that folks have created for the project, HERE.

Here's Gus' Facebook page for the event.

The live auction is this Sunday at 1211 Ravine Drive in Austin, TX from 3:00-5:00 pm. The online auction is ongoing now but ends this Sunday as well. I encourage you to give it your support.


Texas Appeals Court Upholds Divorce of Lesbian Couple

Attorney General Greg Abbott does not have jurisdiction to appeal the divorce of a lesbian couple in Austin last year, a Texas state appeals court has ruled.

The Dallas Voice reports: Abbott

A Travis County district judge had granted the divorce to lesbian couple Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly last February. Naylor and Daly married in Massachusetts in 2004 before returning to Texas and adopting a child. Abbott’s office appealed their divorce, arguing that judges in Texas cannot grant same-sex divorces because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

Abbott won an appeal last year challenging another same-sex divorce in Dallas, where the 5th District Court of Appeals ruled in his favor.

Apparently the court ruled the way it did because the AG intervened after the divorce was granted, and neither party challenged the state constitution or Family Code.


Watch: Anti-Gay Assault Victims Say Police Didn't Care

Austin

Yesterday I posted about a weekend gay bashing in downtown Austin, Texas in which two men were attacked while, they claim, many witnesses looked on without helping them. In a new interview with Austin's KXAN, the men say that when police did arrive, they told them there was nothing they could do.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Anti-Gay Assault Victims Say Police Didn't Care" »


Witnesses Stand by as Gay Men are Attacked in Downtown Austin, TX

The Dallas Voice reports that a local activist and his friend were attacked early Sunday morning in downtown Austin, Texas:

Bobby Beltran said he and his friend had just left Rain, a gay bar, at about 1:30 a.m. When they hugged each other goodbye on the sidewalk, some men in a passing vehicle yelled, “F**king faggots, stop that queer shit!”

Beltran After Beltran yelled at the men to “get out of here,” all five of them jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him and his friend. Beltran said he fought back but suffered cuts and bruises and a black eye. His friend may have suffered a broken jaw. The attackers quickly jumped back in the vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the street, and drove off.

The attack against Beltran was the third anti-gay attack reported in Austin this year, according to the paper, but what upset Beltran as much as the attack was the fact that many witnesses were reluctant to help:

He said the attack lasted for about three minutes and was witnessed by at least 20 people, but none of them tried to help. Beltran said he yelled out the license plate of the vehicle as he ran after the attackers, but no one wrote it down and he doesn’t remember it.

“It was the most unsafe I’ve ever felt in my entire life, knowing that not even my community stood up,” Beltran said. “I’m so afraid to go back down there.”


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