Well this is a bit of a surprise.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, speaking to Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith on Friday, pretty much said that if Kim Davis or someone like her doesn’t want to do her job, she can quit. In yet another surprise, Patrick added that, though he disagrees with it, the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing same-sex marriages is now the law of the land. The comments are a departure from his fellow Texas religious-righters who have spent months calling the ruling “lawless” and cheering for Davis to both keep her taxpayer-funded paycheck and the right to discriminate against committed same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses from her taxpayer-funded office.

Applause for the the lieutenant guv? Hold on. It may be he only said so because he painted himself into a rhetorical corner. Here’s how it went down.

Patrick’s comments came during a long conversation with Smith at the start of this year’s TribFest. The two were chatting about a law going into effect next year that will allow concealed handguns on the state’s college campuses. Smith pointed out that some professors have expressed opposition to the law. Here, according to the Austin American-Statesman,… Read More

Religious-right groups have use increasingly extreme and even incendiary attacks in their cynical and deeply deceitful campaign against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Now voters can take a stand against hate and discrimination.

Today is the first day for early voting for the November 3 elections, including for Proposition 1 — the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. TFN supports a YES vote for Proposition 1.

But no matter where you live, you can support this critical nondiscrimination ordinance in the state’s largest city.

If you live in Houston, make sure you head to the polls to cast your ballot for equality. Click here for important voting information, including the locations for early voting. Whether you live in Houston or outside the city, the Houston Unites campaign provides a variety of other ways to help — including how to help spread the word to friends and family (especially eligible voters in Houston).

No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love. HERO protects everyone against discrimination based on race, age, pregnancy, religion, military status, sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics. That’s a core value we all share. Vote YES on Proposition 1.… Read More

Here’s what you need to know about voting in Houston and the most important measure on the ballot. Click here to find an early voting location!

View 2015 Houston early voting locations in a full screen map… Read More

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

Crushing disappointment for those of us who were excitedly awaiting the Republican primary duel between two of the most wackadoodle right-wingers in Texas — Terri Leo, R-Spring, announced Tuesday that she is dropping her challenge to state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball in next year’s election.

Leo posted the announcement on her Facebook page, explaining that she hadn’t been aware that the Texas Constitution bars her from serving in the Legislature while she is an employee for a public school district. She works as a school counselor.

The civil war between very conservative “establishment” Republicans and the even more fervently anti-government arsonists in the GOP was the catalyst for Leo’s now-aborted challenge to Riddle. Riddle, one of the most right-wing Republicans in the Legislature, apparently had angered the even-more-extreme firebreathers in her party for some reason or another this year. So they turned to Leo, who embarrassed Texas as a member of the State Board of Education for a decade through 2012.

As we noted last month, Riddle’s extreme political positions include considering public education an idea “straight out of the pit of hell.”  Leo was a leading member of the education board’s hard-right faction. In addition to attacking instruction on the science of evolution, sex education and Islam in textbooks,… Read More

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