New & Noteworthy:

Texas

Local News: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio

Marriage Equality: A constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and recognition of other forms of same-sex partnership solemnized in other jurisdictions, was approved by voters in November 2005. The constitutional ban is currently being challenged in federal court in three separate cases: De Leon v. Perry, McNosky v. Perry, and Zahrn v. Perry.

For information on state laws relating to LGBT rights, discrimination, hate crimes and adoption, click here.

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Judge schedules hearing on Houston LGBT ordinance, no vote in November

Friday, August 15, 2014
Houston, Texas
HOUSTON -- A judge in Houston has scheduled a hearing for next January in a challenge over the city's LGBT-inclusive equal rights ordinance, squashing opponents' efforts to put the measure on the ballot in November in hopes voters would repeal the law. State District Judge Robert Schaffer on Friday ruled that the ordinance should not be enforced prior to the trial...

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Wife of anti-gay Texas Values president left him for another woman

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Jonathan Saenz
Just months before becoming president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, Jonathan Saenz' wife left him for another woman, according to divorce records filed in Hays County, Texas. The revelation could help explain Saenz’s seemingly abrupt transformation from socially conservative lobbyist to homophobic firebrand.

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Texas’ claim of a rational, vested state interest in procreation is a step too far

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Attorney General Greg   Abbott (R-Texas)
Attorney General Greg Abbott often makes the point that government should tread lightly in matters of personal liberty. Yet in a legal brief defending Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, the GOP candidate for governor treads heavily. Abbott is appealing a federal judge's ruling that found Texas' voter-approved ban in 2005 on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional....

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Opponents of Houston LGBT ordinance sue city after failed referendum attempt

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Houston mayor Annise Parker announces that opponents of an LGBT-inclusive equal right ordinance did not submit enough valid signature to force a ballot referendum.
HOUSTON — Opponents of Houston's new protections for LGBT residents have sued the city after failing to collect enough votes for a repeal referendum. The Houston Chronicle reports the lawsuit filed late Tuesday contests how signatures were counted for the referendum petition. It claims City Attorney David Feldman illegally verified the signatures.

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63 Texas lawmakers compare same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, polygamy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Texas state capitol in Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- More than 60 Texas lawmakers have signed on to a legal brief comparing same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy. Lone Star Q reports that 63 legislators — members of the Texas Conservative Coalition — signed the brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Firth Circuit to uphold Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

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Federal appeals courts prepare to hear slew of same-sex marriage cases

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse in Cincinnati is the home of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The court heard arguments in six same-sex marriage cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. A ruling in those cases is pending.
CINCINNATI -- Federal appeals courts covering nearly half the United States will soon hear arguments on whether gay and lesbian couples have a right to marry, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If the appeals courts continue the unbroken eight-month streak of rulings in favor of gay marriage, that could make...

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Opponents of Houston equal rights ordinance fail to qualify for ballot

Monday, August 4, 2014
Houston
HOUSTON -- Opponents of Houston's LGBT-inclusive Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) fell short of qualifying for a ballot referendum, Mayor Annise Parker announced Monday afternoon. The petition needed at least 17,269 valid signatures from registered Houston voters to put a repeal of the ordinance before voters in November.

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Opponents of Houston LGBT ordinance may fall short of qualifying for ballot

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Opponents of Houston's equal rights ordinance deliver boxes to the City Secretary containing thousands of signature calling for a ballot referendum.
Houston city officials say they will announce Monday whether opponents of the city's new LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance have obtained enough valid petition signatures to force a ballot referendum aimed at repealing the measure. But already, City Attorney David Feldman is hinting that many of the petitions submitted don't meet legal...

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Texas attorney general says same-sex marriage ban best supports children

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R-Texas)
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas' ban on same-sex marriage allows the state to promote the birth and upbringing of children in "stable, lasting relationships," the state's attorney general argued Tuesday while asking a federal appeals court to reinstate the ban. Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor, said the views of ban opponents could be considered "rational."

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Gay children’s home worker fired for ‘lifestyle choices’

Monday, July 28, 2014
Casey-Stegall
LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas man has been fired from his job at the Children’s Home of Lubbock for his “lifestyle choices” after introducing kids to his fiancé during a day trip earlier this month. Casey Stegall, an openly gay human development and family studies major at Texas Tech University, says he “got fired just for me being who I am,” reports the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

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