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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Homosexuality is a year-round obsession for the far right in America. So there's no surprise that some of the most ignorant and vitriolic quotes from the right in 2010 targeted gays and lesbians. Tragically, even elected officials bowed to anti-gay prejudice of the most vile kind. Click here, here, here and here for earlier posts on what the far right had to say in 2010. “[B]eing a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that s--- to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves [sic]. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant [sic] procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids [sic] and die.” -- Clint McCance, a board member in a northern Arkansas school district who has since resigned his seat, writing on his Facebook page that he wants LGBT students to kill themselves, Advocate, October 26, 2010 "There is still a land of opportunity, friends — it’s called Texas. We’re creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?" -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking last month on the campaign trail, Texas Tribune, August 30, 2010 (audio here) “Not since Adolf Hitler prepared a generation of German and Austrian youth for war has so grand a strategy been attempted.” -- James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and its Canadian branch, warning Canadians that a cabal of gay activists have drafted a sinister plot against North American schools, The Tyee (Canada), July 19, 2010 Read More

The Associated Press notes that the religious right is preparing to use the November elections to push a radical legislative agenda in states across the country starting in January. The religious right's hit list includes women's reproductive rights, embryonic stem cell research, divorce laws and equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. The Texas Freedom Network has already identified other likely battles coming when the legislative session opens in Austin in January, including reform of the State Board of Education and responsible sex education in public schools. You can help stop the religious right's radical agenda in Texas by signing up for a TFN Rapid Response Team. TFN will keep Rapid Response Team members updated on critical legislation as it moves through the state House and Senate. We will also provide the tools you need to take action to top attacks on religious freedom, equal rights and public education. But how does the Associated Press see the religious right's legislative agenda shaping up across the country? Read on. Read More

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

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