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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.

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Universal Heart Ministry, Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday, December 1st, 2014

RevChristopher-FULL-Color-no-background-copy6-207x300Periodically 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.

Gay Wedding Officiants in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Having been an active ally and advocate for the GLBT community for over 20 years, Rev. Christopher is genuinely honored to create and perform the wedding ceremony you’ve always dreamed of and one which truly reflects your non-religious, religious or uniquely spiritual selves and the profound love you share with one another. Ceremonies are custom written and personalized. We provide five star quality service without the five star price tag and will travel anywhere.

See the Universal Heart Ministry Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Utah

USA, Utah: Rally in Salt Lake City for Marriage Equality on 4/10

Monday, April 7th, 2014

MEUSA LogoOn 10 April 2014, the 10th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Utah marriage equality case, Kitchen v. Herbert. Marriage Equality USA will be sponsoring a Community Rally in Utah and a national Community Call open to the public that evening.

“This hearing is the first federal appellate court hearing on the freedom to marry since last summer’s landmark Supreme Court decision overturning section 3 of DOMA,” said MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva. “All eyes will be on the 10th Circuit as unprecedented momentum for marriage equality continues nationwide.”

“Since the hearing will take place in Denver and many Utahns won’t be able to attend, Marriage Equality USA is hosting a local community rally in Salt Lake City that evening to keep the momentum going!” said MEUSA Utah Organizers Colleen and Jolene Mewing. “Over 1,000 Utah couples who are now legally married, just like us, are looking to the court to say ‘I Do’ to marriage so that all loving couples in Utah can once again exchange vows.”

EVENT: Community Rally in Support of Marriage Equality for Utah
WHEN: Thursday, 10 April 2014
TIME: 5:30-6:30pm MDT
WHERE: Salt Lake City and County Building, 451 S State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. Meet on the north side of the Salt Lake City and County Building.
PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS: Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah
FACEBOOK EVENT

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Utah.

UT: Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce Calls for LGBT Protections

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Utah Gay RightsThe Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is now calling for a statewide law banning employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, saying that they would be good for business in Utah.

The Chamber’s president, Lane Beattie, explained that “it’s an unwise policy” to limit nondiscrimination policies just to the 13 Utah cities that have passed them so far.

Full Story from Think Progress

Click here for gay wedding resources in Utah.

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Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–USA, IL, Chicago: 11/03, Fall Wine Tasting – Equality IL Fundraiser, Sidetrack, 6-9 PM.
–USA, MA, Boston: 11/02, MassEquality’s Decision 2010 Party, Club Cafe, 7:30-11:30 PM.
–USA, ME, Portland: 11/03, Sing 4 Equality, FLASK, 6 PM.
–USA, NY, New York: 11/03, MENY General Meeting, LGBT Center, 6:30-7:30 PM.
–USA, OR, Bend: 11/03, Winning the Freedom to Marry, Old Stone Church, 7 PM.
–USA, OR, Portland: 11/02, Winning the Freedom to Marry, Portland State Univ, 6 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 11/02, Panel on Gay Marriage, USU Taggert Student Ctr, 1-3 PM.
–USA, WA, Seattle: 11/03, Phonebanking for Pro-Equality Candidates, Equal Rights WA Offc, 6-8 PM.

Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–USA, MA, Boston: 11/02, MassEquality’s Decision 2010 Party, Club Cafe, 7:30-11:30 PM.
–USA, OR, Portland: 11/02, Winning the Freedom to Marry, Portland State Univ, 6 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 11/02, Panel on Gay Marriage, USU Taggert Student Ctr, 1-3 PM.

Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/30, Equality Happy Hour, Hamburger Mary’s, 4-7 PM.
–USA, DC, Washington: 10/30, Meetup w/gay blogger Joe Jervis, Green Lantern, 8 PM.
–USA, DC, Washington: 10/30, Collect Signatures for Marriage Equality Petition w/Equal Rights Washington, Rally to Restore Sanity, 9 AM-12 PM.
–USA, NY, Rochester: 10/31, Civil Rights Front Rochester, Equal Grounds, 5 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 10/30, Equality Utah Walk Day, TBD, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM.

Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–Australia, QLD, Cairns: 10/30, The Outing: Largest Same Sex Commitment Ceremony, 12 AM – 12 AM.
–Ireland, Dublin: 10/30, Claiming Our Future Event, RDS Industries Hall, 9 AM-5:30 PM.
–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/30, Equality Happy Hour, Hamburger Mary’s, 4-7 PM.
–USA, DC, Washington: 10/30, Meetup w/gay blogger Joe Jervis, Green Lantern, 8 PM.
–USA, DC, Washington: 10/30, Collect Signatures for Marriage Equality Petition w/Equal Rights Washington, Rally to Restore Sanity, 9 AM-12 PM.
–USA, MA, Boston: 10/29, Get Out The Vote Phone Bank, Mass Equality Offices, 5-9 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 10/30, Equality Utah Walk Day, TBD, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM.

Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/23, Equality Happy Hour, Hamburger Mary’s, 4-7 PM.
–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/23, 2010 Palm Springs Equality Awards, Riviera Resort & Spa.
–USA, MA, Boston: 10/23, Phone Bank for Marriage Equality in RI, Mass Equality Offices, 12-5 PM.
–USA, NJ, Nutley: 10/23, Live at the Moulin Rouge – GSE Fundraiser, Starlight Ballroom, 7:30 PM.
–USA, NY, New York: 10/24, Alan Cumming & Friends – benefit for Fight Back NY, Joe’s Pub, 11:59 PM.
–USA, NY, Rochester: 10/24, Civil Rights Front Rochester, Equal Grounds, 5 PM.
–USA, RI, Providence: 10/24, John Abernathy for “Love and Marriage” Equality Fundraiser – $20, Hi-Hat, 7 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 10/23, Equality Utah Walk Day, TBD, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM.

Gay Marriage Events Today/Tomorrow

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Gay Marriage Events(Full Events List & Details: http://www.purpleunions.com/mn/gay-marriage-events-list.html):

–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/23, Equality Happy Hour, Hamburger Mary’s, 4-7 PM.
–USA, CA, Palm Springs: 10/23, 2010 Palm Springs Equality Awards, Riviera Resort & Spa.
–USA, NJ, Nutley: 10/23, Live at the Moulin Rouge – GSE Fundraiser, Starlight Ballroom, 7:30 PM.
–USA, UT, Salt Lake City: 10/23, Equality Utah Walk Day, TBD, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM.