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Houston Destroys HERO; LGBT Candidates Fare Better

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

The election news is in, and it’s pretty bad. But LGBT candidates won a number of races across the country.

Houston HERO

The LA Times reports on the fall of HERO in Houston:

Houston voters rejected a controversial ordinance Tuesday that would have barred discrimination against gays and transgender people, an outcome that came after an 18-month battle pitting gay rights advocates against those who believed they were defending religious liberty. The vote had been expected to be close. But with nearly 94% of precincts reporting, the measure was failing by a wide margin, 61% to 39%. Opponents of the measure celebrated, while one of its leading supporters, Mayor Annise Parker, predicted that the city’s reputation would suffer.

Opponents of the LGBT rights law won dirty. Keen News reports:

But opponents of the measure, the Campaign for Houston, portrayed the ordinance as “The Bathroom Bill” and pounded the airwaves with an ad showing a man following a young girl into a public bathroom stall. The voiceover warned that a vote for HERO would mean “any man at any time could enter a woman’s bathroom by simply by claiming to be a woman that day. Even registered sex offenders could follow women or young girls into the bathroom and, if a business tried to stop them, they’d be fined,” said the ad.

Openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker lamented the vote:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is blaming the rejection of an ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people on “fear mongering” and “deliberate lies” by opponents. The openly gay mayor told more than 100 people at an election night watch party in downtown Houston that the opponents’ campaign was part of an effort to demonize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The GOP wave also threatened to take out Parker’s democratic replacement:

The Houston mayoral race appears to be headed to a run-off between Democrat and state Rep. Sylvester Turner, a LGBT ally, and Bill King, a former Kemah, mayor who has mixed feelings on the ordinance.

Voters gave a number of reasons for rejecting the ordinance:

Susan Hunter said she doesn’t know why anyone would think that men going into a women’s bathroom or swimming pool, locker room would be a good idea. Hunter said it’s not safe and people need to find another solution. Another voter, Randal Hankla, rejected the measure saying the tactics were being used to frighten people. Hankla says there’s already an ordinance in place for discrimination, so why pile on another rule or law? Jeff Jansen, who also voted against the proposal, said it was pushing a social agenda that he doesn’t agree with.

The folks over at the far-right wing site Breitbart are dancing:

This is a national game changer. Today’s vote is a massive victory for common sense, safety, and religious freedom, not just in Houston, but for all of Texas. The eyes of the nation were on Houston, and the people sent a clear message and soundly rejected this intentionally deceptive and dangerous ordinance. Millions of dollars pouring in from national LGBT extremists, an out-of-control Mayor, and a sustained media onslaught could not overcome the tireless efforts of Houston pastors and people of faith standing for common sense, safety, and liberty. I was born and raised in Houston, and I had faith Houstonians would do the right thing, and they did. This vote will impact the nation and shows, once again, that the people still support common sense Texas values.

In Kentucky, Matt Bevin, the tea party favorite, won the Governor’s race in a come-from-behind victory riding the coattails of the Davis fiasco:

Republican Matt Bevin, who exploited Kim Davis to order to galvanize evangelicals, decisively won Kentucky’s gubernatorial race tonight, defeating Attorney General Jack Conway, who had refused to defend his state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Bevin’s candidacy was heavily supported across Teabagistan.

There was a little ray of light in Utah, where it looks like there may now be an openly lesbian mayor:

Jackie Biskupski (above), a former state legislator, was leading incumbent Mayor Ralph Becker 52 percent to 48 percent by an unofficial count Tuesday, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Both are Democrats; the mayor’s race is nonpartisan. No further results will be released until after a November 17 canvass.

Also in Utah, marriage equality plaintiff Derek Kitchen was elected to city council:

Thank you! Thank you to my family for standing next to me through this campaign, for my volunteers for putting in countless hours knocking on doors, making calls, and talking to their friends. Thank you to all my supporters, your enthusiasm, donations, and moral cheers really kept me going. This has been such a positive experience for me as a first time candidate for public office. I’m happy to say that we ran a clean campaign focused on the issues and the residents of this great city. I feel honored that the residents of District 4 have put their faith in me to represent them and make important decisions on their behalf. I’m energized and excited to get to work on the salt lake city council as your next representative!

And overall, LGBT candidates themselves had a decent night:

There were anti-gay smear campaigns and surprise victories in conservative strongholds, as 30 of 48 openly LGBT candidates won election Tuesday night.

2014: A big year for UK marriage equality

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Keep calm and support marriage equality2014 was a big year for marriage equality in the UK.

Same-sex marriage is now possible in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland. As marriage law is devolved to the governments of each country in the Union, the status of same-sex marriage is different in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Click to continue »

Want Marriage Equality? Don’t Sit out These Elections

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

VoteWhen you read the New York Times headline, “SCOTUS Rules 5-4 against Marriage Equality,” will you think back to September 2014 and wish you had done more?

As a gay man who has spent the last decade working to advance marriage equality, I cheer “yaaaas” with each new marriage victory. And yet, I know that our momentum will quickly be stunted if we sit out the November elections.

Two years ago, both the Windsor and Perry cases were decided on a 5-4 vote. While I hope that The Notorious R.B.G. stays on the court for years, three of those five justices are over 75 years old. If Republicans win six seats in November and take the US Senate majority, they will have a larger role in picking the next Supreme Court justice. And I’m not eager to hear who de facto Senate Majority Leader Cruz wants for a lifetime appointment.

With 64 days until the election, I offer these six numbers to inspire you to mobilize equality supporters, starting today:

6 (of 10) – If we register six of 10 unregistered African American, Hispanic, and Asian voters, we can turn Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas blue. Democrats have the numbers advantage – but only if we register voters and get them to the polls. (Why do you think Republicans are so eager to pass those voter restriction laws?)

Authored By Chris Cormier- See the Full Story at The Huffington Post

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Maine May Fine National Organization for Marriage $50K for Election Law Abuses

Monday, May 19th, 2014

NOM LogoEthics investigators are recommending a hefty fine against the National Organization for Marriage for its efforts to hide its donors in 2009.

Joe.My.God reports:

Maine ethics investigators are recommending more than $50,000 in fines for a national anti-gay-marriage organization for failing to register and disclose its activities in Maine’s 2009 same-sex marriage referendum. That year, an effort to legalize same-sex marriage — approved by the Legislature and signed by then-Gov. John Baldacci — was repealed at the ballot box with 53 percent of the vote. National Organization for Marriage was the largest contributor to the ’09 anti-gay-marriage campaign, and dumped roughly $2 million into the state.

Who thinks they will just ignore the fine, as they have basically ignored every charge brought against them on the issue?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Activists Should Go Ahead With Oregon Marriage Equality Vote

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageAn Oregon federal judge is likely to declare that Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. We wholeheartedly agree with that outcome, but the final say on this legal issue belongs to the U.S. Supreme Court. When the Supreme Court rules (likely in June 2015), it may disagree that the federal constitution prohibits same-sex marriage bans. Or it may agree that the ban is invalid.

Oregonians, however, need not wait another year for certainty on marriage equality. We are ready, willing and able to strike down the same-sex marriage ban this November. Oregon United for Marriage (OUM) has gathered the signatures for a ballot initiative. But, surprisingly, OUM is considering giving up just short of the finish line and trusting the U.S. Supreme Court to finish the job for them. They shouldn’t. Even if the federal court’s ruling allows same-sex couples to start marrying in Oregon immediately, there are compelling reasons OUM should still put marriage equality on the November ballot.

1. The U.S. Supreme Court cannot be taken for granted. If Oregon’s constitutional ban remains, and the Supreme Court disagrees that it violates the federal Constitution, future same-sex marriages will stop until Oregon passes the marriage equality ballot initiative in November, 2016 at the earliest. And marriages that take place between now and June, 2015 could be in legal jeopardy.

Authored By Andrew Altschul – See the Full Story at Oregon Live

Find more Oregon Marriage Equality articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality Policy and Legal Updates – October 28-November 3

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Marriage Equality USA closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and updates its website with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week.

You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

See this week’s updates on the MEUSA news blog…

Marriage Equality Policy and Legal Update – October 21-27, 2013

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Marriage Equality USA closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and updates its website with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week.

You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

See this week’s updates on the MEUSA news blog…

USA, Iowa: Anti-Gay Activists Spent $466K Trying to Oust Marriage Equality Judge

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

IowaIt’s amazing the lengths these right-wing groups will go to in order to get their way.

LGBTQ nation reports:

Activist organizations spent $833,000 in Iowa last year trying to influence voters to decide whether to keep an Iowa Supreme Court judge who supported same-sex marriage, according to a new report that analyzed spending by special-interest groups and political parties. The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, the National Institute on Money in State Politics and Justice at Stake released the report Thursday. In it, they concluded outside influence has turned judicial elections into a special-interest battleground and contributes to the perception that justice is for sale, The Des Moines Register reported.

And they still lost.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Iowa.

Marriage Equality Policy and Legal Update – October 14-20, 2013

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Marriage Equality USA closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and updates its website with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week.

You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

See this week’s updates on the MEUSA news blog…

Marriage Equality Policy and Legal Update – October 7-13, 2013

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Marriage Equality USA closely monitors marriage equality polls, ballots, laws, and lawsuits nationwide, and updates its website with changes in these areas on a near-daily basis. Every Monday we update you with policy and legal updates covering the preceding week.

You may always find the most up-to-date information, including changes that have taken place between these weekly posts, on the Current Policy & Legal Status page on the MEUSA website.

See this week’s updates on the MEUSA news blog…