Texas Hub




5th Circuit Court of Appeals Schedules Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage For Week of January 5

5thThe U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced yesterday it would consider arguments in cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Texas and Louisiana for the week of January 5, 2015. The Times-Picayune reports: 

The cases from the two states remain separate, but have been put on parallel schedules with the court. A district court judge in Austin in February struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage, while U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in August upheld Louisiana's ban.

Feldman's ruling marked the first time opponents of gay marriage have successfully defended a ban in federal court since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Windsor struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

The judges who will hear the cases will not be announced until closer to the hearing date, but the 5th Circuit is one of four appellate jurisdictions in the U.S. with more judges appointed by Republicans than by Democrats.

A three-judge panel in the conservative 6th Circuit in Cincinnati seemed hostile to lawyers challenging Ohio's same-sex marriage ban in August, but has yet to issue a ruling.

The 5th Circuit previously agreed to a request to fast track its consideration of Texas' same-sex marriage ban.

You can read the 5th Circuit's announcement for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "5th Circuit Court of Appeals Schedules Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage For Week of January 5" »


Michael Sam Cut From Dallas Cowboys' Practice Squad

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d0632b9d970c-500wi

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, has been cut from the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, ESPN reports:

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam from their practice squad and signed linebacker Troy Davis...

Coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli praised Sam's work in practice.

"Comes to work every day and practices hard," Garrett said last week. "One of 10 practice roster guys that we have, so he's working on his skills, trying to develop, but also doing a lot of other things. Playing offense, defense, playing the kicking game, that's what a lot of those guys do."

The Cowboys (6-1) have just seven sacks this season, but they never seriously considered calling up Sam to the active roster. 

Sam signed with the Cowboys' practice squad after being cut from the St. Louis Rams during their final round of cuts prior to the season officially getting underway. Sam today tweeted out,

I want to thank the Jones family and the entire Cowboys organization for this opportunity, as well as my friends, family, teammates, and fans for their support. While this is disappointing, I will take the lessons I learned here in Dallas and continue to fight for an opportunity to prove that I can play every Sunday.


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.  


Mike Huckabee Wants to Send Houston Mayor 'Thousands' of Bibles to Stop Her 'Political Genocide' Against Christians: VIDEO

Huckabee

Continuing the right-wing uproar over Houston's subpoena of local anti-gay pastors tied to a lawsuit against the city's LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance, Mike Huckabee directed "every pastor in America" to send their sermons to mayor Annise Parker and every viewer to send her a Bible. 

Said Huckabee on his Fox News program:

The Houston case reminds us how rapidly our country is being taken over by intolerant despots who will unleash a form of political genocide against Christians who still cling to their Bibles and refuse to bow their knee to the false gods of hate and religious bigotry. The Houston mayor and her ilk, like mayors in Chicago and Boston who tried to prevent businesses opening in their city because the business owners were bible believing Christians, well she needs to apologize and start respecting all citizens - or at least have the integrity to resign. They shouldn't expect taxpayers to fund hate-filled, gestapo-like tactics to openly attempt ot shut down the free exercise of religion and attempt to establish a religion of godless secularism. 

Watch Huckabee's rant and call to arms, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t The Daily Signal]

Continue reading "Mike Huckabee Wants to Send Houston Mayor 'Thousands' of Bibles to Stop Her 'Political Genocide' Against Christians: VIDEO" »


Dallas Health Care Worker Tests Positive for Ebola

Hospital

A Texas nurse who provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric (now deceased) has tested positive for the virus but is in stable condition according to health officials, the AP reports:

Dr. Daniel Varga, of the Texas Health Resources, said during a news conference Sunday that the worker wore a gown, gloves, mask and shield when they provided care to Thomas Eric Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Varga did not identify the worker and says the family of the worker has "requested total privacy."

Varga says the health care worker reported a fever Friday night as part of a self-monitoring regimen required by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said another person also remains in isolation, and the hospital has stopped accepting new emergency room patients.

CBS News adds:

CDC Director Thomas Frieden told CBS' "Face The Nation" in an interview airing Sunday morning that the case is troubling "because clearly there was a breach in protocol."

"We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients," Frieden said.

Frieden said that despite the safety protocols, "even a single breach can result in contamination."

Health officials have begun interviewing the patient and are identifying individuals who may have come in contact with the nurse and been exposed to the virus.  


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:


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged