Houston

...now browsing by category

Houston LGBT rights and marriage equality news

 

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.

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Imagine That Pix, Houston, Texas

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Imagine That Pix

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

For the passed 10+ years, Imagine That Pix has provided the high quality portraits you crave at a reasonable and affordable cost. We have always done so, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or SES. We will continue to do so, and are pleased to hear the SCOTUS ruling! Come see why we are the top of our field, and let us provide you with the images you crave!

See the Imagine That Pix Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Texas

Why Houston’s Pastor Subpoenas Have Nothing To Do With Religious Liberty

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Texas mapThere has been a new clash this week in the fight over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a law that would protect LGBT individuals and other targeted groups from discrimination. The latest hubbub involves the city subpoenaing five pastors for their sermons, which has prompted conservatives to claim that religious liberty is under attack and that the subpoenas are a form of intimidation.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was on Fox News last night claiming that Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D) is “taking a bulldozer to that wall of separation [of church and state]” and trying to “dictate what pastors preach.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted that the subpoenas constitute a “march against our freedoms.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called the subpoenas a “grotesque abuse of power.” And Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R) wrote to the Houston City Attorney that the subpoenas should be unilaterally withdrawn because they reflect “hostility to religious beliefs.”

Assessing the veracity of these claims and the epic campaign conservatives are now launching in defense of the “Houston Five” requires an examination of how opponents are challenging HERO, what facts are material to their current lawsuit, and what exactly the city is asking for in its subpoenas of the pastors.

Authored By Zack Ford – See the Full Story at Think Progress

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston LGBT Rights Ordinance Challenge May Fall Short

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Texas mapThe city is close to finishing a validation of the signatures turned in by opponents of the new Houston LGBT rights ordinance.

Joe.My.God reports:

From JMG reader Mike Craig of Out & Equal Houston: When the Houston Area Pastors Council turned in 7 boxes of petitions to the City on July 3rd, they boasted of gathering more than 31,000 valid signatures. An independent group of concerned citizens has spent the last three weeks independently reviewing each page of that repeal petition in an effort to provide additional accountability to the referendum process. This was a grass-roots effort involving more than 100 volunteers who communicated via social media and participated in a crowd-sourced effort that uncovered fatal flaws with what was turned in. Having finished this exhaustive review, the HERO Petition Review Working Group concluded that the petitioners did not, in fact, turn in enough valid signatures in order to place this issue on the ballot… Based on these simple criteria, this independent review showed only 16,499 valid signatures were turned in. Additional scrutiny can only lower that number further. A full report detailing these findings has been provided to the City Secretary, City Attorney and Mayor. While it is our hope that the City’s own determination will come to a similar conclusion, we understand that it is ultimately the legal & statutory responsibility of the City Secretary and we will abide by that office’s findings.

The official report has not yet been released, so we have to wait and see if the repeal does quality for the ballot. If not? Expect a lawsuit.

Cases like this make it really clear. It was never really about the word “marriage”. It’s about preventing the granting of any right at all to LGBT citizens.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston Gay Rights Opponents Turn in Signatures to Repeal LGBT Rights Ordinance

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

houston-petitions

It looks like opponents of the new LGBT rights ordinance in Houston have turned in more than enough signatures to force a public vote in November.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Opponents of Houston’s new LGBT-inclusive equal rights ordinance on Thursday delivered what they say are thousands of voters’ signatures requesting that it be repealed. The group, consisting of pastors and faith-based organizations, said they had collected more than 50,000 signatures calling for a ballot referendum aimed at repealing the measure; a total of 17,269 valid signatures are required to place the issue on the November ballot. They say they want the public to have a chance to vote on the anti-discrimination ordinance, and not just city council members.

It’s amazing to me that these folks hate us enough to want to block even employment and housing protections for the LGBT community. Remember how they always used to tell us it was just about the word “marriage”?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Houston LGBT Rights Ordinance Passes 11-6

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Houston Mayor Annise ParkerHouston LGBT rights took a step forward yesterday, passing a bill sponsored by lesbian Mayor Annise Parker.

The Dallas Voice reports:

After nearly nine hours of chanting and tears from seas of opponents and supporters in color-coded T-shirts, Houston City Council passed an ordinance on Wednesday extending equal rights protections to gay and transgender residents, The Houston Chronicle reported. Despite weeks of discussion and dissent over the measure, the final vote was 11-6, a count that matched guesses made months ago, when Mayor Annise Parker– the first openly lesbian mayor of a major American city — said she planned to bring forward such a measure. The approval was greeted with thunderous applause from the audience, largely full of supporters, and chants of “HERO,” for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Unfortunately, they were only able to pass the bill after removing a section that protected transgender people using public bathrooms.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

USA, Texas: Mayor Parker Gets Benefits Case Moved to Federal Court

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Houston Mayor Annise ParkerLooks like the Houston Mayor pulled a little sleight of hand and got the lawsuit against the city’s domestic partner benefits ordinance moved to a Federal court.

Towleroad.com reports:

But City Attorney David Feldman has just gotten the case moved out of Millard’s district court and into a federal court.

Lone Star Q has more: The notice of removal also brings light of how Republican Judge Lisa Millard failed to notify Mayor Annise Parker and the city of Houston before holding a hearing the exact same day Republicans filed the lawsuit, and then immediately signing a temporary restraining order halting the new same-sex benefits policy enacted by Parker in November… The notice of removal has now automatically moved the lawsuit case into federal court. Republicans are going to have to ask a federal judge to remand their case in order to get it back to state court.

The ball’s now in another court. :::grin:::

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

USA, Texas: Houston Mayor Wants City to Pass Anti Discrimination Law

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Houston Mayor Annise ParkerOpenly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker wants Houston to join San Antonio and pass a non discrimination ordinance for its LGBT citizens.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

“It is absolutely something we should do, and the majority of council members have publicly stated they are in support of a nondiscrimination ordinance,” said Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. “But this is an issue that requires all of council to be engaged and agree it is time to move it forward. When it happens, we will do that.” Unlike other Texas municipalities, Houston has a charter amendment that makes the council unable to pass an ordinance without voter approval.

Small steps…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Texas, USA: Houston’s Marriage Equality Support Grows, Survey Says

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

titleA new survey finds that Houston’s support for gay marriage has reached 52%. Melanie Nathan at GayUSA reports:

Support for gay rights has grown consistently and significantly in recent years, Klineberg said. Today more than half of all Houstonians (52 percent) believe that “homosexuality is something people cannot change” rather than “something people choose.” This view was held by 44 percent of the survey participants in 2011 and 39 percent in 2009. In addition, support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high, with nearly half the population (46 percent) now in favor, compared with 43 percent in 2009 and 32 percent in 1997. “Increasingly, homosexuality is coming to be seen as a part of the natural variation in the human condition and not so much as a personal choice subject to moral censure,” Klineberg said.

Now if the rest of Texas would just follow suit…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.