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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


Gay Texas Foster Children Caretaker Fired For PDA With His Fiance: VIDEO

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A caretaker for foster children in Lubbock, Texas, was fired recently after he introduced some teenage clients to his fiance during an outing at a water park on the Fourth of July, reports Lone Star Q.

Officials at the Children’s Home of Lubbock, which is affiliated with a Christian church, accused Casey Stegall of engaging in a public display of affection with another man.  

Speaking to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Children’s Home president Lynn Harms said:

“When you are implementing life training and so forth — particularly with children — to put a confused message out there is counterproductive. If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well. I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”

Harms also said that gay employees who “fly under the radar” are accepted but that other gay employees have been fired because of “how they conduct their business.”

Devastated by his termination, Stegall has since contacted attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

Although cities around the U.S., including Houston, have introduced municipal ordinances banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, Lubbock has not done so.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination by private employers, remains stalled in the U.S. House. However, last week the Washington Blade reported that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for (ENDA).

Watch a video of Stegall discussing the termination of his contract, AFTER THE JUMP...

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The Heterosexuality Experiment: VIDEO

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Youtuber Joseph Costello has conducted what he calls a "heterosexuality experiment" wherein he made his way around Austin, Texas asking people if they would vote for a heterosexual president. In doing so, he discovered that there are homophobes in that city who don't even know the definition of the word "heterosexuality."

Watch Costello's ignorant interviewees (some more disturbing than others) give their answers, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "The Heterosexuality Experiment: VIDEO" »


Dallas Methodist Pastor Commits Suicide To Make Statement About Homophobia, Racism, Social Injustice

A retired Methodist pastor committed suicide in Dallas on June 23rd to make a statement about racial injustice, homophobia and the death penalty, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Rev-charles-moore-327x388-1Reverend Charles Moore left a number of notes that cited as reasons for his suicide the Methodist Church’s refusal to marry same-sex couples, the death penalty and cuts to social programs.

Moore died in a strip-mall parking lot in Grand Saline, Texas, by self-immolation.  One suicide note suggests that the 75-year-old chose Grand Saline because he was troubled by his hometown’s history of prejudice he witnessed there as a boy.

In one of the notes, he wrote:

“I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others, but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service.”

Moore had a history of supporting equal rights. In the 1950s and 1960s he supported the civil rights movement. In 1995, he went on a hunger strike to protest the Methodist Church’s treatment of gays and lesbians.

However, although Moore had intended his act to be a grand gesture in the manner of Buddhist monks, his suicide drew little notice, notes The Dallas News:

“A report in the Grand Saline Sun described him as an elderly man who seemed troubled. An article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph asked if he was a ‘madman or a martyr.’”


Gay Journalist and Immigration Activist Jose Antonio Vargas Detained by Border Patrol in Texas

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Jose Antonio Vargas, the openly gay Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who came out as an “undocumented immigrant” in a high-profile piece in the New York Times back in June 2011, was detained earlier this morning by U.S. Boarder Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas.

The Washington Post reports:

Jose Antonio VargasDefine American, the nonprofit U.S. immigration-reform campaign founded by Vargas, announced the detainment. In a statement Tuesday, Define American campaign director Ryan Eller said: “This morning, Mr. Vargas attempted to board a plane to Los Angeles, where we are scheduled to screen our film ‘Documented.’ Mr. Vargas did not make it through security at the airport. Our understanding is that he is currently being questioned by border patrol. The community leaders standing with me work with constituents and live this reality each and every day.”

Eller called on President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson “to exercise prosecutorial discretion and immediately release Jose Antonio Vargas from Customs and Border Protection custody.”

White House and U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesmen declined to discuss the detention further however. 

The Post adds:

Last week, shortly after his film, “Documented,” aired for the first time on CNN, Vargas wrote in a Politico magazine piece that he’d gone to the U.S.-Mexico border “to visit a shelter for unaccompanied Central American refugees and participate in a vigil in their honor.” He wrote: “I realize that, for an undocumented immigrant like me, getting out of a border town in Texas — by plane or by land — won’t be easy. It might, in fact, be impossible.”

Vargas was held for 8 hours, according to the Washington Post. He was ordered to appear before an immigration judge.

[photo via Twitter]


President Obama Fist Bumps Gay Comedian in Texas

By night, Daniel Rugg Webb is an aspiring comedian based out of Austin, Texas. By day, he’s a cashier at Franklin Barbecue: the same Franklin Barbecue President Obama dropped by last Thursday as a part of his brief tour through Texas.

"If Rick Perry would've walked in, I would have lost my job. Webb told the Austin Chronicle. “I would've taken that old queen to town."

Fist_obamaInstead, Webb met face to face with the President, and, ever the performer, still managed to find a choice set of words, as he recounted to Buzzfeed:

“Equal rights for gay people!” he exclaimed.

Obama reacted without missing a beat. “Are you gay?”

Taken aback by the directness of the question, he said, Webb responded, “Only when I’m having sex!”

The president laughed, then, realizing there was a group of children near the two, said, “Not in front of the kids!”

Webb, more than mere taking the opportunity to banter with the Commander-in-Chief, saw the exchange as a chance to take a pointed stand against current governor Rick Perry.

“We are an anti-gay state. We are a state with a whole bunch of hungry children and sick old people, and [Rick Perry is] grandstanding on things that will get him a better election,” Webb explained. “I would like to see Rick Perry negatively influenced by any kind of attention. Even Obama laughing at something as, hopefully, acceptable as sexuality can show the difference.”

Watch a clip of Webb’s standup at the Austin Encyclopedia Show AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "President Obama Fist Bumps Gay Comedian in Texas" »


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