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

The Latest on LGBTQ Rights

Today the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released results from a statewide survey of what Texans think about the intersection of politics and religion with public schools. We released results from two questions back in May. One showed overwhelming support for putting teachers and scholars, instead of politicians on the State Board of Education, in charge of writing curriculum and textbook requirements. Another revealed that nearly 7 in 10 Texans agree that separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution. Today we released the full results of the public survey. You can read highlights of the report in the press release below and read the full report here. But this is the key point: Texans are fed up with politicians dragging our children public schools into unnecessary and divisive culture war battles that promote personal and political agendas of state board members. They want the state board and our public schools to just educate Texas students and prepare them to succeed in college and their future careers. You can help reform the state board and protect the education of Texas schoolchildren by joining our Just Educate campaign today. Below is the press release we sent out today. A new statewide survey shows Texans overwhelmingly support reforming the way the state sets requirements for curriculum and textbooks in public schools and reject key “culture war” positions the right has taken regarding public education. Read More

The head of the fringe-right Houston Area Pastor Council has just published a new screed attacking politicians and others who support equal rights for gay people. But Dave Welch -- who isn't shy about promoting his ties to elected state officials, including the governor -- reserves his most vile rhetoric for politicians and other people who are gay, and his contempt for Houston Mayor Annise Parker is especially clear. The subject of Welch's new diatribe was this past weekend's Pride Parade in Houston. That annual event in cities across the country marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, which sparked the modern gay rights movement. Welch's hit piece includes heated criticism of candidates, elected officials and representatives of the Houston police and fire departments who participated in the city's Pride Parade. Addressing "pastors and Christian men of greater Houston," Welch highlights the participation of Parker, the city's openly lesbian mayor elected by voters last fall: "It was OUR failure to stand in the gap that allowed the election of a sodomite who has now proven (remember cross dressing men in the women’s restrooms?) that her lifestyle IS her public policy agenda. It is not OUR duty to see that we redress this grievance by assuring we choose leaders of faith, character and virtue to provide moral leadership rather than amoral depravity." Read More

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

Texas Civil Rights Project

We're learning about trends in the Texas electorate and how municipal elections in the state are changing from Val Benavidez of @TFN! Most notably: we have a big opportunity to increase voter turnout for youth and people of color! #TakeBackTheVote pic.twitter.com/sORj…