Austin Hub




Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Speaks At Anti-Gay Rally In Texas: VIDEO

Sign

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says if he didn't speak out against same-sex marriage, he'd be guilty of treason. 

Moore also says the definition of marriage comes from God and that homosexuality should still be illegal. And he seems to agree with his troubled son — who said his recent arrest for drug possession was an attempt by his father's critics to destroy their family. 

Justice Moore took his show on the road Monday, speaking to hundreds at an anti-gay rally at the Texas Capitol. From The Texas Observer

Moore.RoyAt a rally against same-sex marriage on the south steps of the Texas Capitol on Monday, Moore invoked Col. William Barret Travis, the namesake of Travis County, an Alabama native who came to Texas “to draw a line in the sand at the Alamo.”

“He took a stand in the face of an enemy that was far more numerous,” Moore told a crowd of hundreds, including dozens of Republican state lawmakers. “But he knew that he had to make a statement for the people of Texas, and that he would give his life. I hope I don’t give my life, but I’m going to tell you this is a very serious matter. … If we fail to stand up today, we will dishonor the memory, not only of Col. Travis, but all those who’ve died in the history of this great state. ... 

“No court has any authority to redefine what God proposed in Genesis,” Moore said. “The definition of marriage, you want it by man, it doesn’t come by man, it comes from God.”

Also speaking at the rally were anti-gay Pastor Rick Scarborough, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. Cecil Bell and Sen. Charles Perry. Perry (no relation to former Gov. Rick Perry) called his pastor, David Wilson, to the stage. From the Observer

“If humans invented marriage, then polygamy, the taking of several wives, polyandry, the sharing of a wife by several husbands, same-sex marriage, marriage between an adult and a child, marriage between relatives, might seem normal and acceptable,” Wilson said. “But if man created marriage, then monogamy, the lifelong union of one man to one woman, would have no more intrinsic value than any other type of marriage. But marriage is not human invention, it is God’s design.”

One counterprotester carried a sign (above) pointing out that GOP Rep. Tony Tinderholt, who recently filed an ethics complaint against a Texas judge who struck down the state's marriage ban, has been married five times: 

“I’m just wondering what gay marriage destroyed his previous four marriages,” said Gary Campbell of Austin.

Watch video of speeches by Moore, Scarborough, Paxton and Patrick, as well as an interview with Moore, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Speaks At Anti-Gay Rally In Texas: VIDEO" »


Texas Attorney General, Lt. Governor To Join Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore At Anti-Gay Hate Rally

Paxton.Patrick2

Texas' attorney general and lieutenant governor will join Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for an anti-gay rally at the Capitol on Monday afternoon. 

The US Pastor Council reports that Attorney General Ken Paxton (above right) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (above left), both Republicans, will speak at the event, called the "Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally." 

Moore.RoyIn addition to Moore, other speakers will include anti-gay pastors Rick Scarborough and David Wilson, as well as GOP Rep. Cecil Bell and Sen. Charles Perry, who've both filed legislation seeking to prevent Texas from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. 

Paxton's participation is hardly a surprise, considering that he's suing the Obama administration to prevent gay employees from taking unpaid leave to care for sick spouses, and seeking to void the marriage of a 30-year lesbian couple — one of whom has ovarian cancer. 

Patrick, meanwhile, believes God speaks through Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," and has slammed Houston Mayor Annise Parker for traveling to California to marry her partner of 23 years.  

The rally is the second anti-marriage rally at the Texas Capitol in as many months. In February, anti-gay lawmakers cut hate cake to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the state's marriage amendment (even though it didn't pass until November 2005). 

The Austin American-Statesman notes that today's rally is scheduled for the same day as Equality Texas' Family Advocacy Day:

“There will be people outside screaming about biblical marriage. Inside, we’ll have real Texas families having a conversation with lawmakers about how current policy affects people’s lives,” said Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas.  


Texas Republican Lawmaker Smacks Down Witness From Anti-Gay Hate Group: VIDEO

Cook

The other day we told you how Texas lawmakers have set a record this year for the most anti-LGBT bills in the history of any state. 

As it turns out, more pro-LGBT bills have also been filed in Texas than ever before, and one of them was heard in committee this week. 

House Bill 537 would allow same-sex parents to have both names on the birth certificates of adopted children, which currently can only include the name of one female, the mother, and one male, the father. As a result, more than 9,000 adopted children in Texas who are being raised by same-sex parents don't have accurate birth certificates. 

During Wednesday's hearing, the bill found some unlikely support from a Republican, Rep. Byron Cook (above), who chairs the House Committee on State Affairs. Cook, who has an adopted child, smacked down a witness from the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values. 

The Texas Observer reports: 

DrennerJulie Drenner (right), of Texas Values, claimed the bill would lead to threesomes adopting, affect all birth certificates and require the state to revise more than 20 forms.

But Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), chairman of the House Committee on State Affairs, told Drenner he was “struggling” with those arguments, and suggested that same-sex couples have been more willing to adopt special-needs children than “the traditional community.”

“That’s a terrible indictment on one group, to be honest with you,” Cook told Drenner. “In regards to your issue that you have to change the forms, so what? I really don’t understand that argument at all. Right now in Texas, we are struggling. We do not have enough parents who are willing to adopt. Thank goodness for people that will adopt children and give them loving homes.”

The bill's author, Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia, later noted that a fact-checking service found Texas Values' claims about the bill to be "mostly false."

Cook left the bill pending but plans to call it back up for a vote, saying the state owes it to the adopted children of same-sex parents to give them "peace of mind." 

Watch Cook's smackdown of Drenner, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Texas Republican Lawmaker Smacks Down Witness From Anti-Gay Hate Group: VIDEO" »


Gallup Survey Confirms San Francisco Is The Nation's Gayest City (#7 May Surprise You Though)

Sf
(via babson.edu)

Not surprisingly, San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT people of any city in the US, at 6.2 percent, according to a new Gallup survey

However, there are some surprises on the list, including Salt Lake City, which is ranked No. 7.

From The New York Times:

Gallup1It might seem surprising at first that the city most associated with the Mormon Church — which believes that sex and marriage should occur between only a man and a woman — has the seventh-highest share of L.G.B.T. people, at 4.7 percent.

But another aspect of the Mormon culture — the importance of community and family — goes a long way toward explaining the pattern, people in Salt Lake City say.

Though many gay people who were raised Mormon (or L.D.S., an acronym for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) describe feeling expelled from the community, a large number still choose to stay close to their families and culture. “If you grow up L.D.S. like I did, you still have these deep Mormon values that are embedded in your DNA,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, an L.G.B.T. advocacy group.

The Gallup survey includes the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas and is believed to contain the most detailed estimates yet about where LGBT people live. 

Birmingham, Alabama, has the lowest concentration of LGBT people, at 2.6 percent, but according to Gallup, the overall margin is small:  

The distribution of LGBT identity across the largest metro areas in the U.S. is relatively narrow, with a range of 3.6 percentage points from the highest to the lowest MSA among the top 50. This mirrors previous analyses of the distribution of the LGBT population across states, which show similarly fairly even distribution, at least in comparison to the many other pronounced geographic differences found on race, ethnic, political and ideological variables.

The lack of sharp distinctions could reflect in part that the geographic MSAs used in this research are large, and for most areas, include significant suburban populations around center cities. The sample sizes involved do not allow for an analysis of center cities per se, but perhaps the LGBT percentage is larger in these areas than in the metropolitan area as a whole.

Gallup2


Texas Attorney General Wants To Prevent Gay Workers From Caring For Sick Spouses

Paxton

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (above with Sen. Ted Cruz) doesn't want gay employees to be able to take time off from work to care for their ailing spouses.

Paxton, a tea partier, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration over a new rule extending the Family & Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples who live in states that don't recognize their marriages. 

Paxton is also advising state agencies — which employ 310,000 people — not to follow the new FMLA rule. 

“This lawsuit is about defending the sovereignty of our state, and we will continue to protect Texas from the unlawful overreach of the federal government," Paxton said in a statement. "The newly revised definition of ‘spouse’ under the FMLA is in direct violation of state and federal laws and U.S. Constitution. Texans have clearly defined the institution of marriage in our state, and attempts by the Obama Administration to disregard the will of our citizens through the use of new federal rules is unconstitutional and an affront to the foundations of federalism.”

Some background from The Washington Blade

After the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, the Obama administration sought to extend the federal benefits of marriage to the furthest extent possible under the law.

But FMLA by regulation looked to the state of residence, not the state of celebration, to determine whether a couple is married, so for a time married same-sex couples in non-marriage equality states were ineligible for benefits under that law, which enables an individual to take time off from work to care for a spouse.

The new rule, made final by the Labor Department last month and set to take effect March 27, changes the regulatory framework to ensure these benefits are available to married same-sex couples regardless of their state of residence. 

It's worth noting that the FMLA doesn't require employers to give workers paid time off to care for sick spouses. It merely guarantees their health insurance will continue and grants them 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year "to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition." 

Paxton's lawsuit seeks to prevent the new rule from taking effect not only in Texas, but in all 12 states where same-sex marriage is still banned. However, because the lawsuit is based on the marriage bans, it would be presumably be nullified if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes them down. 

Paxton also recently sought to void the marriage of a 30-year lesbian couple, one of whom has ovarian cancer. 

Daniel Williams, legislative director for Equality Texas, told The Texas Tribune: “I think there are a lot of people who would like to know why the attorney general cares if loving, committed couples are recognized as loving, committed couples."

Read the full complaint, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "Texas Attorney General Wants To Prevent Gay Workers From Caring For Sick Spouses" »


Texas Lawmakers May Have Set A Record For The Most Anti-LGBT Bills In The History Of Any State

Cake

Jon Stewart was dead on last night when he said Texas lawmakers are munching on some serious hate cake

The Texas Observer reports today that they've now apparently set a record for the most anti-LGBT legislation in the history of any state. 

At least 20 anti-LGBT measures were introduced prior to last week's filing deadline. That's more than what is believed to be the previous record of 16 in Oklahoma this year. 

But in the Sooner State, 15 of those bills have already died, and LGBT advocates in Texas say they're confident they'll have similar results. 

From the Observer

EqTxDaniel Williams, legislative specialist for Equality Texas, said the group is “well-positioned” to defeat every piece of anti-LGBT legislation. Williams called it the worst session for LGBT rights since 2005—when the state’s marriage amendment passed and a proposal to ban gay foster parents was defeated on the House floor.

“What’s different about this Legislature than 2005 is that Texas, like most of the nation, has evolved on LGBT issues, and that mainstream voice is emerging and is being heard in the Texas Legislature,” Williams said. “It damages the Texas brand, and I think that’s why you’re seeing so many business voices get involved. … We also know how this process works better than our opposition does.”

Bell.CecilThe anti-LGBT legislation in Texas ranges from proposals targeting same-sex marriage, to religious freedom "license to discriminate" amendments, to bans on local LGBT protections, to bills that would criminalize transgender bathroom use.

GOP Rep. Cecil Bell (right), who's leading the charge with four anti-LGBT bills, told the Observer

“Unfortunately, I think it gets couched as ‘anti.’ It’s not about ‘anti.’ It’s about being pro-states’ rights. It’s about being pro-traditional values,” Bell said. “We’re seeing the results of a federal court system that doesn’t seem to be respecting the rights, the sovereignty, of the states and of the people. Because of that, you see the state legislatures pushing back.”

Pena.GilbertAnd GOP Rep. Gilbert Pena (right), the author of two of the four transgender bathroom criminalization bills, said this:

“This bill really is trying to establish the students’ rights to privacy,” said Rep. Gilbert Pena (R-Pasadena), who wants to make schools liable for damages if they allow transgender students to use restrooms based on how they identify. “How many girls in our high schools are going to be willing to allow some transgender male into their bathroom? Would you allow that for your daughter? I would not allow it for my daughter.”

Apparently, Pena doesn't quite understand the concept of transgender, since his bill would actually require transgender males to use the restroom alongside his daughter. 

Ahh, Texas. 


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged