Greg Abbott Hub




Texas AG Greg Abbott Doesn't Know If He Would've Defended Bans on Interracial Marriage 50 Years Ago

AbbottIn an interview with the San Antonio Express-News, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott failed to give a concrete answer when asked whether he would have defended a prohibition on interracial marriage had he been in office 50 years ago. 

Abbott, who is running for governor this year, filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit earlier this month asserting that his state's ban on same-sex marriage should remain in place because it reduces out-of-wedlock births

Lone Star Q reports:

“Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott told the San Antonio Express-News editorial board.  “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”

When Express-News’ Peggy Fikac told Abbott his answer was unclear, Abbott replied:

“Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.”

Back in February, Abbott's Democratic opponent, state senator Wendy Davis, told the paper she supported marriage equality and called on Abbott to stop defending the unconstitutional ban on gay marriage.  


Texas AG Greg Abbott: Gay Marriage Bans Reduce Out-of-Wedlock Births

AbbottIn a brief filed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asserted the state's ban on same-sex marriage should remain in place because it reduces out-of-wedlock births.

"Texas's marriage laws are rationally related to the State's interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births. By channeling procreative heterosexual intercourse into marriage, Texas's marriage laws reduce unplanned out-of-wedlock births and the costs that those births impose on society," the brief read. "Recognizing same-sex marriage does not advance this interest because same-sex unions do not result in pregnancy. At the very least, one could rationally believe that opposite-sex marriages will do more to advance the State's interest in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births than same-sex marriages will."

The brief went on to state:

"Same-sex marriage may very well produce other societal benefits - such as increasing household wealth or providing a stable environment for children raised by same-sex couples - but that does not establish that Texas's marriage laws lack a rational relation to the State's interests in reducing unplanned out-of-wedlock births and encouraging the creation of new offspring."

On Thursday, we reported the Fifth Circuit had agreed to expedite oral arguments in the case challenging Texas's ban on same-sex marriage - with plaintiffs hopeful the case will be heard within "the next month or two."

Read Abbott's full brief below:


AT&T Responds to Criticism Over Its $75,000 Contribution to Anti-gay Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

AbbottDallas-based AT&T Inc has responded to criticism over its Texas Political Action Committee's recent $75,000 contribution to anti-gay Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott's campaign for governor this November, Lone Star Q reports.

Abbott, who is defending the state's gay marriage ban in court, filed a brief last month stating that defending the ban "increases the likelihood that children will be born into stable environments where they are raised by their mother and their father."

“The PAC supports a variety of candidates for a variety of reasons,” AT&T spokesman Marty Richter said in an email to Lone Star Q, in response to an inquiry about the contributions to Abbott. “The PAC does not comment on reasons for contributions, but publicly discloses contributions consistent with state requirements.

“Diversity and inclusion are part of AT&T’s culture and operations, and we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in this area,” Richter added. “DiversityInc recently named AT&T No. 1 on its 2014 Top 10 Employers for LGBT Employees. And every year since 2004 we’ve received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for our fair treatment of our LGBTQ employees, including protection against discrimination, parity of health care benefits for domestic partners and other criteria.”

Earlier this month, Facebook Inc. came under similar fire for a $10,000 contribution to Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' reelection campaign - the same man who vowed to "spend whatever it takes" to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in his state.

Last October, AT&T launched a new campaign for LGBT History Month called 'Love is Changing History' and pledged to donate up to $100,000 to the Trevor Project. 

I guess in their eyes that makes everything right?


Texas AG Greg Abbott Files Brief Defending State's Gay Marriage Ban

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a brief on Monday defending the state's gay marriage ban, LoneStarQ reports:

AbbottAbbott’s office filed its initial brief Monday appealing U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s February decision, which found that Texas’ marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Abbott’s appeal was filed on the same day that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court struck down Virginia’s ban as unconstitutional, becoming the third federal appeals court to rule in favor of marriage equality. In its 42-page brief filed Monday, Abbott’s office argues that the issue should be settled by voters and state legislatures, not the courts.

The American Statesman reports on the filing, which focused on the thus-far failed conservative argument that marriage's purpose is procreation:

“By recognizing and encouraging the lifelong commitment between a man and woman — even when they do not produce offspring — the state encourages others who will procreate to enter into the marriage relationship,” Abbott said in the state’s first brief, filed late Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Promoting opposite-sex marriages “increases the likelihood that children will be born into stable environments where they are raised by their mother and their father,” Abbott argued.

Such family structures are good for the children’s well being and good for the state because they increase the likelihood that parents, not society, “will bear the cost of raising these children,” the brief said.

“Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” Abbott said.

LoneStarQ also notes that "Abbott’s office rejected the delivery of 5,200 petitions calling for him to stop defending Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage."

Read the brief below:

14-50196 #14288


Texas Judge Rejects State's Motion to Intervene in Gay Divorce Case

Texas State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe has rejected a motion from Attorney General Greg Abbott to intervene in a divorce and child custody case involving a gay couple. Nellermoe became the third Texas judge to declare the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional when she ruled in late April.

NellermoeThe AP reports:

The Texas Attorney General's office argued Wednesday before State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe that it has an interest in defending Texas' ban on same-sex marriages.
    
Nellermoe refused to allow the state to intervene in the case. She previously ruled Texas restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
    
The San Antonio Express-News reports state attorneys have said they'll appeal the decision.


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Gay Friend Face Off in Marriage Battle

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is defending the state's gay marriage ban (which was struck down this week) in court, has a personal connection to the case in that he went to law school with Mark Phariss (second from left), one of the plaintiffs, and considers him a friend, the AP reports:

AbbottAfter leaving Vanderbilt, Abbott was crushed by a falling tree in Houston while out jogging. He was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, and upon hearing the news, Phariss flew to the hospital and spent two days with Abbott. He bought books to help him pass the time and kept Abbott's wife and mother company. A year later, Phariss said Abbott helped line up a job offer for him.

In the 1990s, when Abbott entered politics and was elected a state judge and later a Texas Supreme Court justice, he flew to San Antonio for a campaign stop. Phariss picked him up at the airport and drove him to meetings and a fundraiser.

Phariss, now 58 and an attorney near Dallas, said he was not openly gay at Vanderbilt. He dated girls and didn't ask out men, and didn't publicly reveal he was gay until his mid-30s.

Phariss apparently never came out to Abbott:

"If I was only friends with the people I agreed with, particularly in Texas, I wouldn't have many friends," Phariss told The Associated Press.

The AP adds:

Abbott made clear at a campaign stop Friday he doesn't approve of Phariss' quest to wed his longtime partner. He also expressed no sympathy at the thought of refusing his old friend the right to marry his partner of 16 years, Victor Holmes, an Air Force veteran.

"When the constitution is upheld, we're all winners," Abbott said.

The two haven't spoken for 10 years.

 


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