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Houston Rejects Anti-Trans Petition Due To Bigot's Embarrassing Blunder


Last week we told you how anti-LGBT Houston activist Dave Wilson wants to enshrine a transgender bathroom ban in the city charter.

Earlier today, Wilson turned in his petition seeking to repeal transgender protections in both the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Mayor Annise Parker's 2012 executive order covering city employees.

But apparently Wilson misread the rules for amending the city charter. He was under the impression that he needed only 17,200 signatures on the petition for his proposal to appear on the ballot. However, Texas law clearly states that he needed 20,000 signatures. As a result, the city rejected Wilson's petition. 


Parker.Annise4"On its face, there's no reason to count them," said Mayor Annise Parker. "And I have no clue what he thought he might achieve by turning in an insufficient number of petitions, other than to show that he couldn't collect enough petitions."

Wilson later conceded he hadn't turned in enough signatures because he misread the arcane rules surrounding petition drives.

He confused the city's requirements for repealing an ordinance with the state's rules for amending city charters. Wilson said he collected roughly 19,700 signatures, but the state's local government code requires at least 20,000.

Wilson — who infamously got elected to the Houston Community College board by pretending to be black — plans to collect the additional 300 required signatures. However, Parker said it's too late — he's already turned in the petition. Besides, the mayor said, because Wilson's petition aims to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, it needed to be turned in within 30 days of the law's passage last May: 

"We're going to stack 'em up and put 'em on a shelf someplace," Parker said of the petitions. "And we're not going to process them."

The city also rejected a separate petition to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance, saying it didn't have enough valid signatures due to problems such as rampant forgery. Anti-LGBT activists sued the city over the decision, and a judge is expected to issue a ruling soon. 

At some point, you'd think these folks would learn not to mess with Parker. 

Dallas-Area Firefighters Arrested For Using Sausage To Sexually Assault New Recruit


Five volunteer firefighters in a Dallas suburb are charged with aggravated sexual assault after they forcibly inserted a sausage into a new recruit's anus, according to police. 

A sixth person was arrested for videotaping the incident, which occurred in January at a volunteer fire station in Waxahachie, about 30 miles south of Dallas. 

The firefighters initially planned to use a broomstick to assault the victim, but instead decided on a "chorizo" — a Spanish pork sausage.

After the victim came forward on March 31, Texas Rangers arrested Keith Wisakowsky, 26; Casey Stafford, 30; Alec Miller, 28; Blake Tucker, 19; Preston Peyrot; and Brittany Leanne Parten, 23. 

The Dallas Observer reports: 

SausageWisakowsky retrieved the sausage, and the trainee was bent over the couch while Tucker and Stafford held him down and the sausage was inserted into his anus, the Rangers say. Then Wisakowsky cut the sausage out of the package and attempted to reinsert it, but the sausage broke up.

The trainee told the Rangers he was then released and he crawled into the nearby restroom with "smashed up sausage still between his butt cheeks." He removed the sausage, threw up and took a shower to clean up. While he was showering, he says, someone took his clothes from the restroom. He came out of the restroom in a towel to look for his clothes. When he did, he says, Tucker took his towel. The man covered his genitals with his hands and ran to his truck to get some shorts, he says.

Watch a report from WFAA-TV here

GetEQUAL Rallies Against Anti-LGBT #HateOutBreak In Texas, Florida, North Carolina


GetEQUAL is staging rallies across the country in response to anti-LGBT legislation similar to Indiana's "religious freedom" law.

From the website for the group's #HateOutbreak campaign:  

HateAcross the country, religious extremists are introducing bills in state legislatures that would give carte blanche privileges to legally discriminate against anyone -- simply by invoking one's religion as the reason. 

We've all seen the negative response to Indiana's right to discriminate law but this #HateOutbreak is bigger than the Hoosier state. The surge in legislation aimed at legalizing discrimination, disguised as religious freedom, has many asking what can we do to fight back. 

On Saturday, nearly 100 people gathered at the Texas Capitol to protest a record number of anti-LGBT bills in the state Legislature. Among the speakers was Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who warned that Indiana-style legislation could threaten the city's booming economy. From the Texas Observer

“Apple is here, Google is here, because the people who work for Apple and Google, they want to live here,” Adler said. “It’s real important that we not go down that path, and it is scary to me that our state Legislature right now is considering doing that.”

The Austin rally was one of three planned in Texas over the weekend. Rallies were also planned in Gainesville, Fla., and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Monday. 

Watch video of openly gay former Texas state Rep. Glen Maxey speaking at Saturday's rally in Austin, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "GetEQUAL Rallies Against Anti-LGBT #HateOutBreak In Texas, Florida, North Carolina" »

Trans Man Settles Discrimination Claim Against AT&T, Despite San Antonio's 'Broken' LGBT Protections


A transgender man has settled his 15-month-old discrimination claim against AT&T Inc., despite what his attorney calls "broken" LGBT protections in San Antonio.  

In January 2014, Mathew Hileman (above) filed the first complaint under the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which was approved amid controversy in 2013. Hileman alleged he was fired by Resource Global Professionals, an IT consulting firm and AT&T contractor, based on his gender identity. 

When Hileman overheard two co-workers threatening violence against trans people if they were found in the bathroom, he reported it, only to later find a "no fags" sign on his chair. When Hileman told supervisors he feared for his safety, they said he was being reassigned but actually terminated him. 

Hileman's complaint immediately revealed problems with the newly passed ordinance. The City Council never established a process for implementing the law, and it doesn't cover employment citywide. The complaint was filed against AT&T based on the fact that the company is a city contractor. 

AT&T, a strong corporate LGBT ally, fought Hileman's complaint bitterly. But Hileman's attorney, Justin Nichols, announced this week the claim was finally settled. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In addition to the city, Hileman filed a complaint against AT&T with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Out In SA reports: 

Nichols told Out In SA that the settlement with AT&T owed nothing to the nondiscrimination ordinance which he said offered no remedy to claimants that they didn’t already have before it was was approved by the City Council.

“The NDO is broken and does not offer any protection for contract employees,” Nichols said. He added that Mayor Ivy Taylor’s office showed no interest in helping Hileman work through his claim.

“I don’t mean to diminish the efforts of those who passed the NDO,” says Nichols. “It was a valiant and important effort. What I want to convey is the NDO needs fixing, and under the current mayoral administration, there is no effort to improve and implement the NDO, rendering it wholly ineffective.”

If the NDO still isn't being implemented properly, it wouldn't be terribly surprising given that interim Mayor Ivy Taylor voted against the law and recently called it a "a political stunt."

Taylor, who was appointed to serve the remainder of Julian Castro's term after he was named HUD secretary, faces two formidable LGBT-friendly candidates in the May election, former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and former Rep. Mike Villarreal, both Latino Democrats.

Hopefully, the winner will make it a priority to fix the ordinance, assuming that the state Legislature doesn't gut it before then

An Epic Debate Over Abstinence, HIV/AIDS Prevention Erupts On The Texas House Floor: WATCH


Republican Texas state Rep. Stuart Spitzer (shown above with Sen. Ted Cruz) says he didn't get laid until he was 29 — with his wife.

And while that's admirable — to each his own, right? — the trouble is now Spitzer thinks everyone else should refrain from sex before marriage, too. Not only that, but Spitzer is willing to sacrifice precious HIV and STD prevention dollars to promote his abstinence-only ideology. 

Unfortunately, abstinence education is unrealistic and doesn't work. Case in point: Texas receives the most federal abstinence dollars of any state, but has the third-most HIV/AIDS cases and the fifth-highest teen pregnancy rate. Coincidentally, some of the higher teen pregnancy rates are in Spitzer's district

Spitzer, a physician, even admitted on the House floor this week that abstinence education "may not be working well." Nevertheless, he managed to convince his colleagues to divert $3 million from HIV and STD prevention into abstinence education. But that was not before Spitzer took a rather epic grilling from some Democrats. One asked Spitzer whether his wife was the first person he asked to have sex, and another flatly refuted his assertion that STDs can only be contracted through sex, suggesting he may be in need of the prevention education he aims to cut. 

Watch the debate in two parts, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "An Epic Debate Over Abstinence, HIV/AIDS Prevention Erupts On The Texas House Floor: WATCH" »

Anti-LGBT Houston Activist Wants To Enshrine Transgender Bathroom Ban In City Charter: VIDEO


An anti-LGBT Houston activist says he has enough signatures to force a public vote on a charter amendment that would ban transgender protections in the city. 

Dave Wilson (above), of Houstonians For Family Values, led efforts to pass a charter amendment prohibiting domestic partner benefits in 2001. He also made headlines in 2013 when he deceived voters into thinking he was black to get elected to the Houston Community College board.

Now, Wilson wants to repeal transgender protections in both the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and Mayor Annise Parker's 2012 executive order covering city employees.     

From KHOU.com

"Whatever you're born with you have to live with, that's what this is basically saying," said Dave Wilson, a HCC Trustee. ... 

"What I'm talking about doing is a charter amendment change, which permanently codifies into the city charter the fact that men cannot use the women's bathroom," said Wilson.

Last May, the Houston City Council passed an Equal Rights Ordinance that includes transgender protections. However, opponents of the ordinance sued the city after officials rejected their petition to repeal it. The case is still pending, but Wilson says the effort to repeal the Equal Rights Ordinance isn't enough. From the mailer that accompanies Wilson's petition: 

"The current lawsuit against the Mayor's bathroom ordinance will not stop her. We must change the City Charter to prohibit her (or any future mayor) from passing Executive Orders or Ordinances. An amendment to the City Charter is the only permanent solution. What happens to the citizens of Houston and their City government when both have largely forgotten God and instead worship pleasure over principle and elevate lust over love? If you feel that getting involved in politics and signing the enclosed petition is beneath your dignity because you want to focus on worshipping and not politics, you better think again! Your religious freedom will evaporate in the absence of political freedom." 

According to the website of Houstonians For Family Values, the charter amendment would read as follows: 

"Except as required by State or Federal law, the City of Houston shall only define 'Gender Identity' as an Individual's Innate Identification, as either male or female, which Is assigned at birth. Perceived gender identification Is not allowed In defining 'Gender Identity.' Furthermore, the City of Houston shall require entities doing business with the city to adopt the same definition of 'Gender Identity.'" 

According to Texas state law, the proposed charter amendment would need 20,000 signatures to be placed on the ballot. In the case of the Equal Rights Ordinance, the city said opponents failed to gather the required 17,269 signatures. 

Wilson told KHOU he has enough signatures to put the charter amendment on the ballot and plans to turn them in next week. Even assuming that's true, the real question will be, how many of them are actually valid?

Watch KHOU's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Anti-LGBT Houston Activist Wants To Enshrine Transgender Bathroom Ban In City Charter: VIDEO" »


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