LGBTQ Rights

 

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.

Resources

Texans Equal Under Law

How Did the Tea Party/Religious Right Lose So Badly on LGBT Discrimination in the Texas Legislature? http://bit.ly/1Nq22Sj

New Poll Shows Long List of Proposed Texas Bills Promoting Anti-LGBT Discrimination Contradicts What Voters Want

Distressingly, a recent survey shows that many Americans give low marks to places of worship when it comes to dealing with homosexuality. According to the poll from the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service, 18 percent of Americans gave religious organizations in general a "D" and 24 percent gave them an "F." On the other hand, nearly half of Americans gave their own places of worship high marks (an "A" or a "B"). Says Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute: "The survey shows that a significant number of Americans are aware of and concerned about the negative impact of messages about homosexuality from places of worship, particularly with regard to gay and lesbian youth. Notably, despite the negative evaluations of places of worship in general, Americans are more likely to give their own places of worship high marks; nearly half Americans give their own place of worship either an 'A' (28%) or a 'B' (17%) on their handling of this issue." Read More

Dave Welch, the extremist who runs an outfit called the Houston Area Pastor Council, is now claiming that a federal judge who recently ruled against the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against gay military servicemembers is a “domestic enemy” guilty of treason. From his screed at the right-wing, conspiracy-peddling website World Net Daily:

“U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips fired a judicial IED [improvised explosive device] directly into the effectiveness, readiness and moral of our military in a time of war makes this, in my non-legal opinion, an act of treason. . . . She has proven herself not only unfit for judgeship but is in fact a ‘domestic enemy’ of the very kind our military members take an oath to defend against.”

Portraying the ruling from Judge Phillips an example of “tyranny,” Welch claims her decision represents a “complete and utter rejection of the U.S. Constitution, the separation of powers and rule by the ‘consent of the governed.'” Of course, Judge Phillips sees the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a violation of servicemembers’ constitutional rights to due process, freedom of speech and the right to petition the government. Yet Welch says the judge should be impeached… Read More

The research compiled by the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University in San Marcos is heartbreaking: since 2004, at least six Texas teens have been so tormented by bullying and  abuse at school that they have taken their own lives. Another attempted suicide by jumping from a  two-and-a-half-story balcony.

Some of the students were gay or lesbian (or perceived to be their tormentors). Others weren’t. One Rockdale student shot herself after constant bullying over her weight and physical appearance. A transgender teen from the same town hung herself just the next month. A high school student in Cleburne, harassed repeatedly because of facial scars and a hearing impairment, was reportedly told: “If I had a face like yours, I’d shoot myself.” He went home and did just that.

Today more and more adults are standing up to say, “Enough.” They are calling on lawmakers to pass anti-bullying legislation that helps protect all children from this abuse. And they are appealing to young people — gay and straight — to keep the hope that life gets better. We were especially moved by this video of an openly gay Fort Worth City Council member, Joel Burns,… Read More

The message from Texans was loud and clear in the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s statewide survey last spring: 88 percent of likely voters said they support “requiring public schools to protect all children from bullying, harassment, and discrimination in school, including the children of gay and lesbian parents or teenagers who are gay.”

Far-right pressure groups like Focus on the Family, however, seem to believe promoting their anti-gay hate agenda is more important than protecting children — even after the recent suicides of three teenage boys (including one from the Houston area) who had been bullied severely and repeatedly by classmates. Two teens, one 13 and the other 15, hanged themselves. The Houston-area teen, 13, shot himself. But Focus on the Family says laws that seek to protect gay and lesbian students from bullying simply “promote homosexuality to kids.” Focus and other far-right pressure groups have also launched a full-scale media assault on the Safe Schools Improvement Act in Congress.

The Texas Legislature has refused to pass anti-bullying legislation in previous sessions. Last year, Focus on the Family’s Texas affiliate, Liberty Institute, dishonestly attacked an anti-bullying bill (

Last weekend offered two prime examples of how the political right's treatment of gay and lesbian Americans is increasingly incoherent. As we reported last month, Texas Senator John Cornyn agreed to speak at a September 21 national fundraising event for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), an organization of gay Republicans. LCR has been working to overturn the policy barring openly gay and lesbian military servicemembers, Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). Cornyn, who is chairman of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, showed up to speak at the LCR event the day after he and fellow Senate Republicans successfully blocked repeal of DADT. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

.@pastors4txkids are incredible advocates for public schools. Definitely recommend a follow! twitter.com/pastors4…