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Texas Moving To Ban County Clerks From Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages: VIDEO

Cecil Bell Jr

As we've previously reported, Texas State Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. is not happy with the idea of gay marriage coming to his state and wants to move to punish any county clerks that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples by revoking their pay via House Bill 623. Bell spoke at the Texas Faith and Family Day event in Austin on Tuesday, an event organized by grassroots campaigns like Texas Values, Texas Pastor's Council and Texas Right to Life. During his speech, he said:

In Texas, our tax dollars cannot be used to recognize the issue or otherwise address marriage any other way than what's in the Texas constitution which is one man, one woman.

AbbottGovernor Greg Abbott (pictured right) put in his two conservative cents in as well:

I support traditional marriage, it's what I defended as attorney general. Marriage is an issue reserved to the states.

At least until the Supreme Court rules otherwise

In a move of supremely malicious mockery, organizers celebrated Texas' 10-year ban on gay marriage by bringing wedding cake to the event.

You can watch KVUE's news report on the event AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Texas Moving To Ban County Clerks From Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages: VIDEO" »


Texas Lawmaker Wants To Throw Transgender People in Jail for Using Public Restrooms

Riddle

A Texas state legislator has filed a bill that would make it a crime for transgender people to use public restrooms according to their gender identity. 

The proposal from GOP Rep. Debbie Riddle (above) would make it a class-A misdemeanor — punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine — for transgender people to use "a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender."

Riddle's HB 1748 would also make it a state jail felony — punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine — for a building manager to "repeatedly allow" a transgender person to use such a facility according to their gender identity. 

Here's how the bill defines gender: 

Riddle

Riddle's bill is similar to one filed earlier this month in Florida. 

In Texas, anti-LGBT groups have recently used the issue of transgender restroom use to attack Equal Rights Ordinances in Houston and Plano

Read the full text of Riddle's bill, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Petition to Repeal Plano's LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance Declared Invalid

Plano

A petition to repeal an LGBT nondiscriimination ordinance in Plano, Texas has been declared invalid, The Dallas Morning News reports:

The petitions stated: “Also under this policy, biological males who declare their ‘gender identity’ as female MAY BE ALLOWED to enter women’s restrooms!”

The ordinance specifically excludes public restrooms, showers, locker rooms and dressing rooms. It states that it is not illegal to “deny the opposite sex access to facilities inside a public accommodation segregated on the basis of sex for privacy.”

By making this false representation, the petition asked residents to repeal an ordinance that didn’t exist, city officials said.

They also said the petitions failed to comply with the Texas Election Code which requires petitions in cities located in two counties to include a column for the signer’s county or voter registration number.

In addition, the petitions failed to include a copy of the ordinance, as required by the Plano City Charter, officials said.

Plano City Attorney Paige Mims said the city contacted the organizing groups three weeks before the petition deadline, alerting them to the problems and providing links to the city charter, Texas Election Code and the secretary of state’s website.

After the email was sent, some information, such as the statement about restrooms, was removed from the petitions. But other omissions were not corrected, Mims said.

The City Council in Plano approved the ordinance 5-3 on December 8 amid intense opposition from anti-LGBT groups and local Republican lawmakers. The ordinance also faces opposition from transgender activists over an exemption for restrooms, nonprofits and educational institutions.

The anti-gay Liberty Institute reacted to the news with the following statement:

“While we are shocked that the City has so little regard for its citizens, we remain committed to advancing religious liberty and challenging this ordinance that clearly violates laws protecting religious freedom.”


Texas Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order Blocking Gay Marriages

Austin
(twitter)

Following the wedding of Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant this morning in Austin, Texas, the Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order blocking all future gay marriages. Goodfriend and Bryant were issued the license after a District judge ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to grant it.

The AP reports on the order from the Texas Supreme Court:

Thursday's ruling doesn't invalidate the marriage of the two women who were allowed to marry hours earlier based on a one-time court order issued for health reasons. One of the women has cancer.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says he is seeking to void the marriage license through other means, though he didn't provide details.

Paxton requested a stay from the Texas Supreme Court shortly after the marriage took place this morning.


Texas AG Ken Paxton Blasts 'Misguided' Gay Marriage Ruling, Requests Stay from State Supreme Court

PaxtonTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued a statement blasting Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman's Tuesday ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. 

Herman's ruling opened the door for the first same-sex marriage in Texas to take place earlier today in Travis County. 

Said Paxton:

“Texas law is clear on the definition of marriage, and I will fight to protect this sacred institution and uphold the will of Texans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of a constitutional amendment defining the union as between one man and one woman. The probate judge’s misguided ruling does not change Texas law or allow the issuance of a marriage license to anyone other than one man and one woman.”

No response yet from U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn or Gov. Greg Abbott. Or ex-Governor Rick Perry. 

Stay tuned.


First Same-Sex Marriage License Issued in Texas

Texas
(twitter)

A couple in Austin have just obtained the first same-sex marriage license in Texas, The Austin American Statesman reports:

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, together almost 31 years, said their vows before Rabbi Kerry Baker while standing in front of the Travis County Clerk’s Office sign on Airport Boulevard.

The couple was denied a license in the same office building eight years ago.

But on Thursday morning, state District Judge David Wahlberg, petitioned by a lawyer for Goodfriend and Bryant, ordered Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to grant the couple a marriage license.

The ceremony was a mix of personal – with friends and their teenage daughters, Dawn and Ting, standing nearby – and public statement, with photos of their vows in front of the county sign.

“It’s very exciting,” Bryant said before the wedding. “My little one was worried about missing her history class. I said we’ll be making history.”

The news comes two days after a Travis County probate judge issued a ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. A federal judge struck down the ban last February - a decision that is currently before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

It appears this may be the only same-sex marriage performed in the state at the moment:

Watch Goodfriend and Bryant's emotional reaction to the federal judge's ruling last February, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay). We've also included Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir's interview with local radio station KUT on the circumstances surrounding the license.

Developing...

Continue reading "First Same-Sex Marriage License Issued in Texas" »


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