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marriage equality

Rick Perry and Texas GOP Now Answering for a Decade of War on the LGBTQ-munity

by: Joe Deshotel

Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:14 PM CDT

This week a national group of conservatives met at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority to address what they see as a  "War on Christianity." It was attended by some of the top names floating around for the GOP's 2016 nomination, including Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  

For more than a decade Republicans have used the emotional charge of social issues to fire up their base and win at the ballot box. They never banked on it backfiring the way it has with the Tea Party turning its sights on "moderate" GOP politicians instead of focusing on liberals and Democrats as it was intended.

Now as America becomes more tolerant and Texas follows, Governor Rick Perry and state GOP Chair Steve Munisteri have had the awkward pleasure of explaining why the state GOP platform includes things like gay conversion therapy. They have the monumental task of trying not to seem like they are giving ground to the "mainstream media" or trampling conservative values while not turning off contemporary voters by such puritanical views.

Perry's answer? See below the jump...

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Equality Texas and Progress Texas Team Up To Support Marriage Equality In Texas

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Republican leaders Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, David Dewhurst, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz will all be in the same room tomorrow, speaking against marriage equality at the Texas Republican Party's "Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally."

Equality Texas and Progress Texas are teaming up to show that, in fact, a growing plurality of Texas voters actually support every Texan's right to marry the person they love. And support for marriage equality only keeps growing.

Tell Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Dan Patrick, John Cornyn, and Ken Paxton that you support marriage equality by adding your name to the organizations' petition here.

More below the jump.

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GOP Lt. Gov. Candidate Todd Staples Attacks Travis County Judges for Supporting Marriage Equality

by: Katie Singh

Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

For the past 25 years, it has been an Austin tradition to hold free courthouse weddings on Valentine's Day. This year, Travis County Judge Judge John Lipscombe and his wife retired Judge Jan Breland, who were officiating the ceremonies, decided to make the tradition a little more inclusive. The judges offered to perform free commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples, inviting them to share in the loving spirit of the day.

Unfortunately, this didn't sit well with some people, including current Agriculture Commissioner and Republican canididate for Lieutenant Governor Todd Staples. Staples sponsored the amendment to the Texas Constitution that defined marriage as between one man and one woman that was approved by voters in 2005. In the Lt. Gov. race, the amendment has become an important part of Staples' conservative credentials.

Not one to pass up an opportunity to rile up his conservative base before early voting, Staples condemned the Travis County judges' effort to make this Valentine's Day more equal.

Read what Todd Staples had to say about marriage equality after the jump.

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Texas Values President: Rep. Mary Gonzalez Wants to End LGBT Discrimination "Because She is Gay"

by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:00 AM CST

Texas Values' President Jonathan Saenz is no stranger to levying attacks on openly gay politicians but he went too far when he suggested that state Representative Mary Gonzalez supports scrubbing antiquated laws from the books, requiring public sex education courses to falsely teach that homosexual behavior is "criminal activity," because she is not heterosexual.

Saenz, an avid Greg Abbott supporter, told the San Antonio Express News that, "It should be no surprise that she wants the state to ban students from learning that homosexual conduct is not safe for school-age children and it's sexual conduct that should be discouraged and not promoted in public school." Saenz seems to struggle with the concept of age-appropriate sex education and somehow confuse it with pornographic instruction.

State laws on the books in Texas still mandate public sex education courses teach students that homosexual behavior is "not acceptable" and is "criminal activity." The latter has been false since a 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas struck down laws against sodomy as unconstitutional.

More below the jump...

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Wendy Davis Comes Out For Marriage Equality, Greg Abbott Defends State's Ban

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:00 PM CST

Photo: Lone Star Q
On Thursday Wendy Davis told the San Antonio Express News editorial board that she supports marriage equality and that her chief Gubernatorial opponent and the state's current Atty. General Greg Abbott should stop defending the state's ban.

Davis said, "It's my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation."

There is no compelling government interest to target a minority group for discrimination yet Abbott is currently defending a state constitutional ban that was passed in 2005, just two years after the US Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on sodomy.

Since that time Americans' and more importantly Texans' ideas have shifted on this issue. According to a 2013 poll by Equality Texas a majority of Texans support the state's recognition of same-sex marriages made in state's where it is legal, and over 64% support at least Civil Unions for same-sex couples in Texas.

See what Abbott's response is below the jump...

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Texas Values: Greg Abbott "Stands Up Against Lesbian Mayor" Annise Parker

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

UPDATED This post has been updated as of 11:45am to include the response of Mayor Parker to attacks on her marriage.

When I read the tweet, "@TxValues: AG @GregAbbott_TX stands up against lesbian Houston Mayor in briefs," the first thing I thought was, "put some pants on Greg!" But, of course there is so much more wrong with this. It clearly uses the term "lesbian" as a pejorative, otherwise Texas Values would have referred to, "heterosexual AG Greg Abbott," or simply and respectfully referred to Parker as Mayor.

Marriage equality has made tremendous progress in the past year and it, dare I say, threatens to come to Texas. Abbott hasn't had the best of luck in the courtroom lately against the federal government, so this time he is arguing that it doesn't even have jurisdiction to hear these cases.

Mayor Parker has pushed for the City of Houston to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states for purposes of spousal benefits. Suggesting she did this simply because she is "an open lesbian," is not only crude but ignores the fact that most Texans support, by a large margin, extending benefits to same-sex partners of government employees. According to a poll taken last year by Equality Texas, "65.7% of voters support extending domestic partnership benefits to government/public university employees; an increase of 3.4%" over a similar poll taken in 2010. The poll also found a 5.2% increase in support for full marriage equality; transforming a 52% majority against into a 47.9% plurality for.

See more on Abbott's continued assault on local control and the response from Mayor Parker below the jump...

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Dan Patrick Criticized Houston Mayor Annise Parker For Marrying Partner In California

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) criticized Houston Mayor Annise Parker because she and her now wife Kathy Hubbard "eloped" to California to get married while gay marriage remains against the Texas Constitution. "This is obviously part of a larger strategy of hers to turn Texas into California," he said in a press release. Parker had previously stated that she and her longtime partner would wait until Texas legalized gay marriage but Parker told ABC13 that, "The world is changing around us, and hearts can't wait at some point."

Patrick also criticized Parker for waiting, "until after her November election to decree that the City of Houston will recognize same-sex marriages from other states." He concluded by saying, "I fully support the lawsuit challenging Parker's edict and look forward to protecting conservative values as the next Lt. Governor."

See below the jump why Patrick may have spoken too soon...

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Louie Gohmert And Michele Bachmann Share Strange Remarks Over Marriage Equality

by: Omar Araiza

Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:00 PM CST

Louie Gohmert shared some rather strange views concerning the recent judges that have ruled in favor of marriage equality in cases brought up challenging several state's marriage bans, most recently in Oklahoma. Gohmert spoke as part of the monthly event, "Conversations with Conservatives," hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

As a fervent opponent of marriage equality (and reason, logic, among other things), Gohmert believes these judges have simply been abusing their power and their interpretation of the law.

Michele Bachmann was also there to share her views on marriage equality.

Read more about their remarks below the jump.

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Same-Sex Marriage Recognition Coming To The High Plains Of Texas

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM CDT

B&W Pantex, which operates the Pantex Plant near Amarillo for the Department of Energy, will begin offering benefits to all legally-married employees on January 1, 2014.

B&W Pantex employs 3,200 personnel at the Texas Panhandle facility. The facility serves to disassemble and maintain the country's nuclear weapons stockpile.

The company has removed the term "opposite sex" from their HR policy. This will expand their benefits plan for legally-married same-sex couples. While same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Texas, employees can present a legal marriage license from areas where marriage equality has been recognized.

Read more on how Texans have evolved on LGBT rights below the jump.

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Redefining "Tolerance" Can't Make GOP Out To Be Victim In Marriage Discrimination

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT

A new bill proposed by Republicans in Congress will give legal protections to individuals who morally object to marriage equality on the basis of "religious liberty."

Congressional Republicans and state Republicans in Texas have employed a scorched earth policy in the culture wars towards anything resembling a progressive agenda item by the Obama Administration, but in the wake of the apocalyptic rhetoric their harsh stance against marriage-equality threatens any chance to sway a crucial voting bloc -- Millennials.

This is a problem for Republicans for the same reason that Millennials are also the most highly-prized target for advertisers. Why? Because they are opinion makers and trendsetters, and they have the polls to prove it. A Pew Research tracking poll shows that millennials support marriage equality at a rate of 66% and growing, and that pattern of increased support was mimicked by prior generations. The poll also reveals that support for marriage equality is also growing with in the Republican Party and Independents are right in line with Democrats at 57%.

Find out below the jump how Republicans and others like the Heritage Foundation are attempting to redefine the word "tolerance"...

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