While some Texas legislators and far-right groups continue to push measures to block the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples, a new Gallup poll shows their views are shared by a steadily shrinking minority of people across the country.

The poll released today shows that a record-high 60 percent of Americans say that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognized and have the same rights as traditional marriages. Just 37 percent said they oppose same-sex marriage.

Back in early 2009, when Barack Obama became president, support for same-sex marriage stood at just 40 percent. It stood at just 37 percent in 2005, the year after President George W. Bush promoted a federal constitutional amendment banning such unions during his re-election campaign. That was the same year Texas voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Now, however, support for same-sex marriage has reached new highs among Democrats, Independents and even Republicans nationwide, Gallup says. Todays’ poll showed that 76 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Independents and 37 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriage were more likely to insist that any political candidates they support share their views on the issue.

Texas is just one of… Read More

We’re hearing that state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, is expected to offer a dangerous religious-refusal amendment during the debate on SB 206 in the House later today.

The amendment (which is almost identical to HB 3864) would permit discrimination against LGBT children and families in adoption, foster care and child welfare placements. Also, the broad language of this bill would allow private agencies to discriminate against single or divorced people, interfaith couples, as well as people with different faiths than the agency. All of these could potentially be turned away from providing homes to children.

Call your state representative and tell them to vote against the Sanford amendment permitting discrimination in Texas’ child welfare system.… Read More

While over in the Texas House of Representatives many, many bills met their fate when a key deadline passed Thursday night, lawmakers in the lower chamber did accomplish a few things, including, unfortunately, passing even more abortion restrictions.

And with those bills now approved in the House, the debate over that legislation now shifts to the Senate, and we need your help to fight back against these proposals by coming to the Capitol on Monday.

One bill, HB 3994 by state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, makes it harder for minors seeking an abortion to obtain what’s know as a judicial bypass. This, from the Texas Observer:

A parental notification law requires that Texans under the age of 18 get their parents’ consent before having an abortion. However, minors can turn to the courts to seek a legal, confidential judicial bypass when they fear they’ll be abused at home because of their pregnancy, or don’t have a parent to consent.

HB 3994 by state Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), among many things, increases the burden of proof on the minor from a “preponderance of evidence” to “clear and convincing” evidence, a change House Democrats took issue with early in… Read More

The clock may have run out on one of the worst of the anti-LGBT bills in the Texas House Thursday night, but that bill’s supporters are still looking for other opportunities to enshrine discrimination in Texas law before the legislative session ends.

So on Monday Texas Freedom Network Kathy Miller will talk with SiriusXM radio host Michelangelo Signorile about our efforts fighting for LGBT equality at the Texas Capitol. Signorile is bringing his program to Austin for two days — May 18-19 — to talk about that battle.

Signorile’s show airs 2-5 p.m. Central time/3-6 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays on SiriusXM’s Channel 127. Right now Kathy is slated to be on the program at 3:35 Central time on Monday. But make sure also to tune in both days for the other discussions over the more than 20 anti-LGBT bills filed in the Texas Legislature this year.

Signorile will also be speaking and signing copies of his new book, It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality, at BookPeople in Austin on May 18. Click here for more on that event.Read More

We saw a huge win for equality in Texas at midnight last night when the clock ran out on efforts in the Texas House of Representatives to pass a bill, HB 4105, barring state and local officials from issuing or recognizing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the freedom to marry this summer. We’re still watching very closely for any effort to amend anti-LGBT bills onto other legislation. But let’s take a minute to celebrate an important victory over efforts by religious-right groups to enshrine discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families into law.

And that victory is due in part because of people from across the state who called and wrote legislators in opposition to this reckless and discriminatory bill. As the press release below notes, calls and emails flooded legislative offices all week. Businesses also called on lawmakers to stop the attack on LGBT Texans. And bill opponents in the House did a great job making sure the clock ran out before the bill could be brought to a vote. Here’s the press release we sent out at midnight:

GROUPS HAIL FAILURE OF TEXAS HOUSE TO… Read More