Opponents of marriage equality keep trotting out the same tired arguments in an attempt to justify legalized discrimination against LGBT families. In state after state, federal courts keep knocking those arguments down. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott makes essentially the same already-rejected arguments anyway in a new court brief defending the Texas ban on same-sex marriage.

From the Texas Tribune:

The brief was filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the state is appealing a state district court judge’s February ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. …

Abbott’s office contends that a same-sex marriage ban meets the Equal Protection Clause’s prescription that laws “be rationally related to a legitimate state interest.” The state argues that promoting opposite-sex marriage encourages the birth of children “in the context of stable, lasting relationships” in a way that same-sex marriage could not.

More fundamentally, the brief says, the courts should not overrule Texas voters’ decision in 2005 to define marriage in the state constitution as “solely the union of one man and one woman.”

Regardless of the court’s legal authority to strike down same-sex marriage bans, the attorney general argues, democracy would be better… Read More

The First Amendment might protect the right of Americans “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” but some Texans found out today that it doesn’t bar elected officials from insulting people who exercise that right.

Today Equality Texas tried to deliver to the office of state Attorney General Greg Abbott thousands of petitions from Texans asking Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry to stop defending the state’s unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But Abbott, who opposes marriage equality, decided to be petty about it and had the folks delivering those petitions turned away in the lobby. From an Equality Texas email earlier today:

Equality Texas and several same-sex couples and their families had planned to deliver over 5,200 petitions to Attorney General Greg Abbott urging that he and Governor Rick Perry drop their defense of the state’s hurtful and discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Despite the plans prearranged last week in which a staff member would meet us in the lobby and take possession of the petitions, the Attorney General’s office said they would only accept the petitions if they were mailed via an acceptable ground carrier.

Not to be deterred, the families trucked the wagon down the street to… Read More

Just how extreme is Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor this year? This week Abbott called pre-K education — which predominantly helps low-income and minority kids — a “waste” while citing in his education plan a man the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “white nationalist.” From Burnt Orange Report:

Universal pre-K will most directly benefit low income and disadvantaged students to better prepare them for K-12 education. The policy has been shown to improve graduation rates, and produce persistent gains on achievement test scores. The benefits are long-term: students who go to pre-K find higher paying jobs and are less likely to end up in jail.

Currently, Latino children do not attend pre-school at the same rates as their white counterparts. Universal pre-K is not merely sensible, but arguably critical for the future success of the Texas economy. In refusing to support a policy that will best prepare our population to learn and succeed, Abbott demonstrates that he’s not ready to govern the state of Texas.

Now, Abbott has followed up on his implication that preparing poor and minority kids for success is a “waste” by citing a white supremacist, Charles Murray, in… Read More

When it comes to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, at least one thing has become abundantly clear: he doesn’t have a problem sharing the stage with some of the nation’s most extreme, divisive and hateful figures. That conclusion is underscored by the news that Abbott will be a featured speaker next month at a Texas Renewal Project event that includes a virtual “who’s who” of religious and political extremists.

Last year Abbott — now the Republican nominee for Texas governor — accepted an award from a Houston organization whose executive director calls his city’s mayor a “sodomite,” compares President Obama and Democratic leaders to Nazis and attacks the religious faith of clergy with whom he disagrees, calling them “chimpanzees,” “pathetic” and “pitiful.” Earlier this year Abbott campaigned with rocker Ted Nugent, who has called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and brags about bedding underage teen girls.

Now at the Texas Renewal Project event scheduled for April 3-4 in Austin, Abbott will be joining a list of speakers who have a history of incendiary, hateful and divisive rhetoric. Among them:… Read More

In 2005 the Texas Restoration Project hosted a series of events to recruit pastors in support of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign the following year. Essentially the same group of religious-right leaders — now organized as the Texas Renewal Project — is preparing to do the same thing in support Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign to replace Perry as governor in this year’s elections.

The Texas Renewal Project plans a “Rediscovering God in America” Pastors’ Policy Briefing for April 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin. Lodging and meals will be free for pastors who attend. The Texas Restoration Project spent more than $1 million in 2005 to host pastors at six “briefings” featuring Gov. Perry in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Speakers encouraged the thousands of pastors and their spouses attending those events to return home and politicize their congregations. Then in the final days of the 2006 election campaign, the pastors on the Texas Restoration Project’s contact list were invited to participate in a conference call in which religious-right leaders and Republican activists urged pastors to get out the vote.

Some of the speeches at the 2005 “Pastors’ Policy Briefings” featured especially incendiary and even… Read More