The freedom to marry became the law of the land, even here in Texas, in June of 2015. But the fight for equality didn’t end there. Texas remains a state where LGBTQ individuals can be fired from their job, denied a place to live or refused service at a business simply because of who they are or whom they love.  Far-right activists and politicians continue to work to preserve the right to discriminate and roll back gains made by the LGBTQ community at the local level.

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The Latest on LGBTQ Rights

Rafael Cruz, the far-right evangelical and father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, clearly has nothing but contempt for Houston voters and their mayor, Annise Parker. Here is Rafael speaking at an event two weeks ago for the political action committee trying to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO):

“If the righteous are not running for office, if the righteous are not even voting, what is left? The wicked electing the wicked. And we get what we deserve. I’ll tell you what. It is appalling that in a city like Houston, right in the middle of the Bible Belt, we had a homosexual mayor. Why? Because too many people have been sitting in their pews or sitting at home with this business about ‘separation of church and state.’ Did you know separation of church and state is not in the Constitution or in the Declaration [of Independence]? It’s a lie.”

The video is from our friends at Right Wing Watch, which has more information about Cruz speaking at the event here.

Houston voters go to the polls on November 3 to decide whether to repeal HERO. The ordinance ensures that a broad range of hardworking Houstonians – regardless of race,… Read More

Today Houston Unites launched its first TV ad of the campaign in support of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). In the ad, Pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus, with Rev. Brandon Peete and his family, make clear what HERO is all about: treating everyone fairly and equally under the law.

Take a stand for equality. Vote “YES” on Proposition 1 on November 3.

Click here to share the ad and pitch in to keep it on the air.Read More

Religious-right activists and politicians like Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz have been scrambling over each other to proclaim their support for Kim Davis. But a new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the Kentucky clerk’s refusal, on religious grounds, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Released this morning, the ABC News/Washington Post poll includes a couple of key questions on religion and  marriage. The verdict: most Americans say one’s individual religious beliefs aren’t more important than equality under the law for all.

In general, when there’s a conflict between (someone’s religious beliefs) and (the need to treat everyone equally under the law), which do you think is more important?

Religious beliefs: 19% Equal under the law: 74% No opinion: 6%

As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry. Nonetheless a county clerk in Kentucky has refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, saying she objects on religious grounds. Do you think this county clerk should or should not be required to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples?

Required to issue: 63% Not required to issue: 33%… Read More

Even before the Houston City Council passed the Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in May of last year, opponents claimed — without a shred of evidence — that the anti-discrimination measure would allow sexual predators into public restrooms to assault women and children. That cynical and deeply disingenuous claim is the central argument HERO opponents are making in their campaign to repeal the ordinance in the November 3 election. In case you missed it, the Houston Chronicle last week published a sharp editorial that takes what the newspaper calls the “bathroom bogeyman” argument head-on.

None of the states and municipalities that have passed similar anti-discrimination measures, including Minnesota more than 20 years ago, have reported any evidence that sexual predators are using the laws to invade restrooms and harm people, the Chronicle points out:

The fact is, [HERO opponents] are not concerned that men dressing up as women are just waiting for HERO to pass … so they can don skirts, blouses and high heels and assault women and girls in public bathrooms. Their aim is to defeat an ordinance that partially benefits gay and transgendered Houstonians, people whose lives they can’t accept. If they can stir up the general public with scare tactics that border on the absurd, then so be it; they will… Read More

When it comes to Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk now in jail for refusing to federal obey a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even some of the folks at Fox News are getting it right. Here is commentator Gregg Jarrett speaking in a Fox News panel discussion he hosted on Monday:

“When she took the job she swore to uphold the law. We rely on government officials to do that. They can’t just pick and choose what laws they like and which ones they don’t. If they were allowed to do that, wouldn’t that lead to chaos, anarchy and so forth?”

Speaking on the same program, criminal defense attorney Sharon Liko dismissed the argument by a lawyer for Davis that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the constitutional authority to enforce its ruling on same-sex marriages:

“It’s just a ridiculously stupid statement. The Supreme Court does just that. They determine the constitutionality of issues; they resolve these kinds of disputes.”

(We should note that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, has filed a proposed constitutional amendment and separate legislation that would roll back the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of theRead More

Tx Freedom Network

The House State Affairs hearing today has been moved to room E2.028. #txlege

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