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

Nearly every effort to extend equal and civil rights protections to gay and lesbian Americans is met with a familiar criticism from the religious right: "They'll want to get married next!" That's what we heard when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws. We've heard it about legislation ending employment discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Now we're told that ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy against openly gay servicemembers will open the door to gay marriage. Apparently, religious-right groups think throwing the spectre "gay marriage" into just about any debate is a winning strategy. Case in point: Read More

As we have suggested in numerous posts about the Tea Party movement, hardcore Tea Partiers in Texas appear increasingly linked to the religious right. A new survey from the University of Washington's Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality also shows that hardcore Tea Partiers in Washington state -- identified in the survey as "true believers" who strongly approve of the Tea Party -- are significantly more conservative than voters generally. And it's not that they are more conservative just on issues such as opposing taxes and "big government." The survey shows that Tea Partiers are just fine with intrusive government so long as government is doing what they want. Read More

It didn't take long for the far right to launch a coordinated attack on President Obama's new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan -- and one of the right's primary weapons is the suggestion that Kagan is a lesbian. Currently the U.S. solicitor general, Kagan is a highly respected legal scholar, served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Conservative critics note that she has not served as a judge, but neither did many past Supreme Court justices. In any case, some far-right groups have decided that the most relevant question for her nomination debate revolves around rumors that she's gay. Read More

Religious-righters in Houston are still foaming at the mouth over the election last fall of an openly gay candidate, then-city controller Annise Parker, as mayor. As reported last fall, religious extremists disingenuously claimed Parker had made her sexual orientation “a central part of her campaign” and warned that her election would be “destructive to the family.”

Among those behind the anti-Parker smear campaign was Dave Welch, head of the far-right Houston Area Pastor Council. Now the Pastor Council is denouncing two executive orders Parker signed last week protecting city employees from harassment or discrimination in hiring, promotion and contracting based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They also allow transgendered city employees — but not nonemployees — to use restroom facilities in city-owned buildings for the gender with which they identify.

In a press release today, the Pastor Council’s spokespeople warned of “cross-dressing men invading” women’s restrooms as a result. And Pastor Hernan Castano, senior pastor of Iglesia Rios de Aceite, argued that the orders were too broad:

“There are currently no legal boundaries of either of these two new categories of minority status, unlike the color of a person’s skin, their biological gender or religious… Read More

by Dan Quinn

Didn't think the curriculum battle in Texas could get any loonier? Guess again. Now right-wingers have decided that the controversy over social studies standards in Texas is part of a big homosexual conspiracy to undermine the education of young people. That's the gist of a new e-mail screed sent out by Donna Garner, the right-wing gadfly who last year circulated an e-mail suggesting that Jeffrey Dahmer became a serial murderer because he believed in the science of evolution. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

@SIECUS @kmillertfn @TXCapTonight This campaign for medically accurate, comprehensive and inclusive #SexEducation will stretch into next year when the TX State Board of Education is scheduled to make a decision. Find the TFN and SEICUS recs and ways to get involved at: tfn.org/sex-ed #TeachTheTruth pic.twitter.com/eoMv…