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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Texas Freedom Network student activists are hard at work getting young voters to the polls for the November 3 election, particularly in support of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. We just sent out the following press release:

Members of the Texas Freedom Network chapter at the University of Houston-Downtown will join student government and other groups at the school on Oct. 29 in a joint effort to get young people to the polls for the November 3 election.

 “Walk 2 Vote” is an annual event sponsored by UHD’s Student Government Association and designed to boost voter turnout among students. Voters this year will be deciding city government races as well as whether to approve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and other ballot propositions.

HERO protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, age, gender, orientation, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and other characteristics.

“Young people as a group are among the least likely to vote in Texas,” said Ali Gorczynski, TFN’s outreach and field coordinator in Houston. “But our votes could be critical in deciding whether Houston remains the only major city in Texas without a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that… Read More

It’s been clear for a long time now that the pro-discrimination activists trying to kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) simply can’t be trusted to tell the truth. Their deceitful campaign has been filled with wild distortions and mistruths. So we’re not really surprised that Bob McNair, owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans, just announced that he is asking the anti-HERO campaign to return his recent donation to them. McNair released the following statement (emphasis added by TFN):

I recently made a personal contribution to Campaign for Houston because my thorough review of the HERO ordinance led me to believe that a thoughtful rewrite would provide a better ordinance that would provide strong non-discrimination protections for all Houstonians, which I would support, and would be less divisive of our city.

It was on these principles that I made my personal contribution to Campaign for Houston. To my great dismay, Campaign for Houston made numerous unauthorized statements about my opposition to HERO in print, broadcast and social media – including attributing certain statements of belief to me. Their actions and statements were never discussed with nor approved by me. Therefore I instructed the Campaign to… Read More

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

The organized opposition to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance has spent months spreading fear and misinformation. In fact, the Houston Chronicle editorial board, in endorsing a “Yes” vote on the ordinance, recently referred to the group as “mendacious, deceitful and irresponsible in the extreme.” Yikes.

Last night, it was Houston TV station KTRK’s turn to cut through the spin and take an objective look at the ordinance and, in the process, reporter Ted Oberg debunked the absurd claims and scare tactics of HERO opponents.

Watch the full report below. And if you’re a Houstonian, support HERO by voting YES on Proposition 1 on November 3.

Read More

Achieving Together TX

ICYMI new blog post this week: "HIV Prevention Begins with Comprehensive Sex-Ed" by the wonderful Melissa Pintor Carnagey w/ great quotes from the folks at @TFN w/ their #teachthetruth campaign. #HIV #SexEd #SexPositive #ThursdayThoughts achievingtogethertx.… pic.twitter.com/4A7f…