State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, is serving in his sixth session of the Texas Legislature and had never made a personal privilege speech. Until yesterday.

Anchia went on the House floor to speak about a bill he’s filed in several sessions. It’s a reasonable bill that simply removes the requirement that supplemental birth certificates for adopted children must list a man and a woman as parents. But the parents of some adopted children are same-sex couples. So this small change would, for example, allow such adopted children to face one less headache when acquiring a passport or to obtain benefits if a parent dies. Rep. Anchia makes this point very clearly in the video clip below.

The bill is pro-family legislation that is opposed by the purportedly pro-family group Texas Values, which Anchia called out (though not by name) for spreading lies about the bill.

The bill is languishing in committee, prompting Anchia’s speech. Note at the end of the video clip that state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, the chair of the committee considering Anchia’s bill, reaffirms his support of the legislation.

Watch the speech:

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State lawmakers typically don’t take too kindly to outsiders coming to Texas and telling them what to do. Except, of course, if we’re talking about keeping equal rights away from LGBT individuals. Then some lawmakers these days are all ears.

Dozens of elected officials stood outside the Capitol earlier today to welcome Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore for what organizers billed as a rally in defense of Texas’ discriminatory same-sex marriage ban, a prohibition that seems destined to be overturned and ruled unconstitutional by the federal courts.

A brief history on Moore. He first rose to national prominence in the early 2000s when, under the cover of night, he unilaterally ordered the installation of a Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama state judicial building. Talk about an activist judge. Anyway, church-state separation groups sued and won, but Moore ignored a federal order to remove the monument. The monument was eventually removed, along with Moore, who was booted from the bench.

In 2012, Moore returned to the bench when Alabama voters again elected him as the state’s top judge. In recent weeks Moore has once again earned notoriety for ordering state judges in Alabama to ignore another federal court order, this one bringing… Read More


What: Faith Advocacy Day When: Feb. 17, 1pm (begin gathering at 12:45pm) Where: North steps of the Capitol in Austin

Same-sex marriage became legal in Alabama this morning, the 37th state where such is the case.

Overnight many of the headlines have centered around Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who has ordered the state’s probate judges to defy a federal court order by continuing to uphold Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages. Some probate judges are siding with Moore. Still, as we type, committed same-sex couples are marrying all over Alabama.

For now, let’s not focus on Moore. Instead, let’s focus on the positive and say a quick word about Rev. Dr. Ellin Jimmerson, and we’d also like to extend an invitation to you.

Jimmerson, a 63-year-old Baptist pastor from Huntsville, told the Los Angeles Times that she sees same-sex marriage as part of the civil rights struggle and was scheduled to perform a same-sex wedding this morning. Per the Times:

“I grew up in the civil rights movement; my parents were civil rights activists. I’m white in the Deep South, and it just seemed… Read More

The leaders of the venomously anti-gay Houston Area Pastor Council want to make something perfectly clear: if you disagree with them, then you are an enemy of God.

In an email to supporters last week promoting another pro-discrimination public event, the HAPC explained why it wants to repeal Houston’s new Equal Rights Ordinance. HERO bars discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, military status and other characteristics. But HAPC’s leaders think equality is anti-God:

Houston is being closely observed across the nation because of our boldness and unfaltering resilience in facing the enemies of our God to restore justice and Godly morals in government! Remember, we are fighting this ordinance because we collectively failed to elect a mayor and council majority who respect God’s law or even have a guiding moral compass. Never again on our watch…!

The anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people really have the folks at HAPC upset. But don’t forget that at least some of them think discriminating against anyone — including Jews — in public life should be legal if it’s done for personal religious reasons.… Read More

Rafael Cruz, a right-wing evangelical Texas minister and the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, has some peculiar, offensive and absurdly inaccurate things to say on race and American political history. Speaking at a Western Williamson County Republican Club meeting near Austin on Aug. 21, Rafael Cruz argued that black people “need to be educated” about Democrats and that “the average black does not” understand that the minimum wage is bad, BuzzFeed reported on Tuesday.

The suggestion that African Americans are ignorant, especially if they disagree with right-wing dogma, is bad enough. But it gets worse. According to BuzzFeed, Cruz illustrated his points by recounting a conversation he supposedly had with a black pastor in California:

“I said, as a matter of fact, ‘Did you know that Civil Rights legislation was passed by Republicans? It was passed by a Republican Senate under the threat of a filibuster by the Democrats,’” Cruz said. “‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’ And then I said, ‘Did you know that every member of the Ku Klux Klan were Democrats from the South?’ ‘Oh I didn’t know that.’ You know, they need to be educated.”

Almost none of what he said there is true. The Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960 and 1964… Read More