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04/19/2007


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Says He'll Appeal Federal Court Ruling Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban

AbbottTexas Attorney General Greg Abbott released a statement this afternoon announcing he'll appeal today's ruling by federal judge Orlando Garcia striking down the state's gay marriage ban:

“This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides. And, as the lower court acknowledged today, it’s an issue that will ultimately be resolved by a higher court. Texas will begin that process by appealing today’s ruling to the Fifth Circuit. Because the judge has stayed his own decision, his ruling has no immediate practical effect. Instead, the ultimate decision about Texas law will be made by the Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage. The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman. If the Fifth Circuit honors those precedents, then today’s decision should be overturned and the Texas Constitution will be upheld.”


Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO

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At a press conference on Monday, Freedom to Marry is expected to announce a new $1 million television ad campaign in Southern states in the hopes of swaying public opinion and the judges who will decide the fate of state bans on gay unions. As it stands, there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on gay marriage that are pending before state and federal courts in Southern states. The Washington Post reports:

“Freedom to Marry’s national strategy has always been to build a critical mass of states and support to create the climate for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. We don’t have to win within every state, but we have to win enough states,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.13.09 AMAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join the group at its Monday press conference. The group will also try to tie same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, by featuring Rep. John Lewis [right], the longtime Georgia Democrat who ran the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a testimonial.

“I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population and one group of people and not for everybody,” Lewis says in the video.

Watch Lewis' video for the new campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Co-chairs of the new initiative will include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), as well as Mark McKinnon, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync singer.

Continue reading "Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


19-year-old Charged with Hate Crime in Brutal Labor Day Beating of Gay Texas Man

Arron keahey

19-year-old Brice Johnson [pictured below] of Springtown in north Texas has been charged with “willfully causing bodily injury to a person because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation” following the savage beating of 24-year-old Arron Keahey on Labor Day last year. WFAA reports:

Brice johnsonAccording to the criminal complaint filed last week in Fort Worth, as well as the WFAA-Channel 8 account from September, early on the morning of September 2 last year Keahey and Johnson connected via the cellphone app for MeetMe.com, which bills itself as “the public market leader for social discovery.”

Keahey’s profile stated quite clearly that he’s gay, says the FBI, while Johnson’s page indicated he was not. Keahey would later say he thought Johnson was either gay or bisexual, according to Channel 8′s account. The FBI says Johnson gave Keahy his cell number and home address, and the two men “exchanged text messages planning their sexual activity.”

But federal authorities allege that Johnson clearly had other plans: Keahey was attacked the moment he arrived at Johnson’s house, says the FBI — beaten, bound and then put in the trunk of his own car, after which, the FBI says, Johnson drove him to a friend’s house, where occupants told Johnson to take Keahey to the hospital or else they’d call police. Johnson complied, and Keahey wound up hospitalized for 10 days at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where doctors tended to his myriad skull and facial fractures.

The investigation also revealed that on the night of the incident, Johnson saved Keahey’s cell phone using a gay slur as a contact name. Johnson made his initial appearance in court Thursday, where he has yet to be formally indicted. If convicted of the hate crime charge, Johnson could face a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. 


Ted Cruz: Obama’s Administration the 'Most Hostile to Traditional Marriage’ in History: AUDIO

On a media tour of conservative radio shows to help plug his anti-gay State Marriage Defense Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lamented the ‘sad trend’ of attacks on ‘traditional marriage’ laws by advocacy groups and the Obama administration, which Cruz labeled “the most hostile-to-traditional-marriage administration this country has ever seen.” Politico reports:

Ted-Cruz-2Cruz cited the administration’s decision to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah before a Supreme Court order halted gay marriage in the state once more.

“The administration has been using the authority of the federal government to try to force states, to force federal recognition of marriages that state law prohibits,” Cruz said. “The Obama administration came into Utah and said, ‘We’re not going to listen to what the U.S. Supreme Court said. We, the federal government, are going to recognize marriages in the state of Utah and Utah state law explicitly does not recognize as marriage’ and that was really, in my view, an abuse of power.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cruz’s State Marriage Defense Act, which would require the federal government to respect state laws defining marriage between a man and a woman, has a companion bill that was introduced in the House by Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) back in January. With such a 'hostile' leader in the White House and with a ruiling in the lawsuit challenging Texas' ban on same-sex marriage coming sometime in the near future, however, it seems these bills offer little more than lip service to conservative voters here in Texas. 

Still, its nice knowing that Lone Star lawmakers are trying their darndest to keep gays in a second-class status nationwide.

Listen to the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ted Cruz: Obama’s Administration the 'Most Hostile to Traditional Marriage’ in History: AUDIO" »


Ted Cruz (R-TX) Introduces Anti-gay Bill ‘Defending’ States’ Right to Regulate Marriage

With a ruling in the lawsuit challenging Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage “forthcoming at some time,” Senator Ted Cruz is making sure voters in the Lone Star State know his crystal-clear position on the whole issue. On Thursday, Cruz introduced a bill that defends states’ right to regulate marriage and “protects states from the federal government’s efforts to force any other definition upon them.”

From the Senator’s statement on the bill’s introduction:

Ted cruz“I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens,” said Sen. Cruz. “The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington. This bill will safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for its residents.”

In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court improperly held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court's reasoning requires the federal government to respect the primacy of the states in defining marriage.

Unfortunately, since the Windsor decision, the Obama Administration’s agenda to force same-sex marriage has led both to the violation of these principles and to the rise of inconsistencies among several federal agencies that either look to the law of the state where an individual lives to determine eligibility for marital benefits or recognize marriages based solely on the law of the state where a marriage ceremony was held.

The bill is similar to one introduced by Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) in January.

Back in a July interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Cruz warned of the dangerous consequences of gay right, saying they would lead to Christianity being defined as “hate speech” and would force pastors to perform same-sex nuptials.

[via The HuffPost]


Wendy Davis Endorses Marriage Equality, Calls on Texas AG to Stop Defending Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO

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Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator whose 11 hour filibuster of a abortion bill last summer gained her national headlines and a platform for a gubernatorial run, has come out publicly for marriage equality and has urged Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop defending the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The San Antonio Express-News reports:

“It's my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Davis told the Express-News editorial board.

Davis, D-Fort Worth, said she is “pleased” that the state's constitutional definition of marriage, as being between a man and a woman, is under challenge in federal court.

“I think that what we see happening at the federal level in terms of constitutional interpretations on that provide some hope that it may be found unconstitutional,” she said.

AbbottGreg Abbott, who is Davis's presumed general-election opponent in the race for governor later this year, scoffed at her request to stop defending the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Said a spokesman for the Abbott campaign:

“Unlike Senator Davis' positions on the issues, the Texas constitution is not subject to change on the latest whims of the day. Senator Davis' comment suggesting the Attorney General not enforce the Constitution mimics an Obama-style approach to government, and Texans deserve better,” 

Watch Davis' announcement and call to the Attorney General, AFTER THE JUMP...

Davis’ campaign for governor is seen as the first real test for Battleground Texas, the Political Action Committee founded by top political strategists, campaign operatives, and field directors from the Obama 2012 campaign. The PAC’s long-term goal is turning Texas into a presidential swing state, something that Republicans in the state are increasingly worried about.

Abbot, to his credit, realizes that Texas’ 38 electoral votes are “the last line of defense” in keeping Republicans electorally competitive in presidential elections. So naturally, he’s already on record saying that Battleground Texas represents a greater threat than North Korea.

Continue reading "Wendy Davis Endorses Marriage Equality, Calls on Texas AG to Stop Defending Gay Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


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