Gay Marriage

Austin
8:49 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Photos: Austin Rallies For and Against Gay Marriage Promote Same Goal - Family

Attendees at two opposite rallies at the Texas State Capitol Tuesday both sought the strengthening of families.
Tyler Pratt for KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court continues its examination of same-sex marriage today, taking up arguments in one part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Yesterday, as the court took a look at Proposition 8 – the constitutional ban on gay marriage in California– two rallies hit the Texas State Capitol: one to promote traditional values and another to support same-sex marriage.

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Politics
6:56 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Day 1 Didn't Tell Us Too Much About Day 2 Of Same-Sex Marriage Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene inside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 10:22 am

As we wait for the Supreme Court to convene again at 10 a.m. ET and begin the second of two historic days of oral arguments focusing on legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage, there's a natural question:

Did Day 1 — a case about California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage — tell us much about how the justices will tackle Wednesday's case?

NPR's Nina Totenberg told us Tuesday that the short answer is no.

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gay marriage
10:25 am
Tue March 26, 2013

At First Of Gay-Marriage Cases, Skepticism About Whether Court Should Weigh In

The line was long Tuesday outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as spectators came to hear the oral arguments about California's Proposition 8.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:45 pm

(Our most recent update was at 12:50 p.m. ET.)

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gay marriage
6:18 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Shift In Gay Marriage Support Mirrors A Changing America

Same-sex marriage advocates protest outside the county clerk's office in San Francisco on Feb. 14.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:42 am

When Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman recently reversed his stance on gay marriage after his son came out as gay, he joined a tidal wave of Americans who have altered their views on the subject.

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Politics
2:35 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Equality Texas Lobbies Lawmakers at Capitol

Rep. Mary Gonzalez speaks to LGBTQ advocates at Equality Texas' lobby day on Monday.
Bobby Blanchard KUT News

Members and supports of Equality Texas, a lobbying group that advocates for LGBTQ rights in Texas, are spending their Monday lobbying at the state Capitol.

More than 20 anti-discrimination and pro-LGBTQ bills have been filed in the 83rd Legislative Session, and more than 500 advocates spent their Monday having “face-to-face” conversations with lawmakers about these bills and the rights they would guarantee.

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Politics
3:05 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Poll: More Texans Now Support Gay Marriage Than Oppose It

According to a new survey, more Texans support gay marriage than oppose it.
flickr.com/sigmaration

New data from Equality Texas, a lobbying organization that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ issues, shows there are now more Texans who support gay marriage than oppose it.

According to the new numbers, 47.9 percent of Texas voters polled support gay marriage and 47.5 percent are opposed to it. The support is up from a prior Equality Texas survey from 2010 that showed 42.7 percent of Texans supported gay marriage and 52.7 percent opposed it.

Chuck Smith, the executive director of Equality Texas, said this is the first survey that, to his knowledge, has found more Texans in support of gay marriage than against it.

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Politics
6:45 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Administration Asks Supreme Court To End Calif. Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:47 am

The Obama administration has filed a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on gay marriage as a denial of "equal protection under the law." But the brief does not call for the abolition of all state bans on same-sex marriage.

The case now before the high court tests the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum narrowly passed by voters in 2008 that reinstituted a ban on gay marriage.

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Education
12:10 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Friendships of Gay Men, Straight Women Examined in UT Study

A new study has found the reasoning for gay men and straight women's close friendship is because of a mutual trustworthiness regarding relationship advice.
flickr.com/mr-pi

While it is no secret gay men and straight women get along and form close friendships, a new study from the University of Texas has looked into why that might be.

Eric Russell, the lead author on the study called "Friends with Benefits, but Without the Sex: Straight Women and Gay Men Exchange Trustworthy Mating Advice", said the study found a possible source of straight women and gay men's friendship is their trust in each other's unbiased relationship and mating advice.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Introduced to Legalize Gay Marriage in Texas

Same-sex unions are gaining acceptance but not quickly in Texas.
Owen Parry/Texas Tribune

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, has filed a bill that would authorize same-sex marriage in Texas. The bill would also recognize civil unions made in other states.

An October 2012 UT /Texas Tribune poll found 69 percent of Texans support some form of recognition for same-sex relationships.

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Texas
5:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Fort Hood Community Reacts to Expansion of Same-Sex Benefits

Fort Hood Soldiers in 2009. Same-sex Partners of Soldiers will start Receiving Certain Benefits later this Year.
Photo by KUT News

The Pentagon says it will extend some benefits to same-sex domestic partners of military servicemembers. This comes a year and a half after the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.

Outside the visitor’s center at Fort Hood, men and women in camouflage stream into the building, paperwork in hand. Paul Eagen, of nearby Copperas Cove, spent ten years working at Fort Hood.

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LGBT
2:01 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Obama Team To Make Important, If Symbolic, Choice On Gay Marriage

People wait in line to enter the Supreme Court as the term began in October.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:09 pm

The Obama administration faces tricky political and legal questions on the subject of gay marriage. By the end of this month, the federal government is expected to file not just one but two briefs in a pair of same-sex marriage cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.

But it is the Proposition 8 case from California that poses the thornier questions for the administration — questions so difficult that the president himself is expected to make the final decision on what arguments the Justice Department will make in the Supreme Court.

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LGBT
5:27 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas?

flickr.com/weho

In recent weeks, same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington have gotten the right to marry. That's after voters in each of those states approved ballot measures clearing the way for them.

That has some people wondering: Will same-sex couples in Texas be allowed to marry?

A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court expected later this year has some in Texas thinking it could be possible.

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Politics
9:47 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Pflugerville ISD Extends Domestic Partner Benefits to Employees

Same sex couples welcomed the announcement from PISD.
flickr.com/jdhancock

Last night, Pflugerville ISD voted to approve insurance benefits for domestic partners. This makes Pflugerville the first school district in Texas to offer domestic partner health benefits.

The school board voted 5 to 1 to uphold the district’s October decision. The district now joins the cities of Austin, San Antonio and El Paso, along with Dallas County, in offering domestic partner benefits for its employees. But State Senator Dan Patrick has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to issue an opinion on whether these policies are valid.

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LGBT
2:35 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Supreme Court Will Review Two Gay Marriage Cases In 2013

Same-sex marriage proponent Kat McGuckin of Oaklyn, N.J., holds a gay marriage pride flag in front of the Supreme Court Nov. 30, 2012. The court says it will review two cases related to same-sex marriage in 2013.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:05 pm

The Supreme Court has decided to take up cases involving California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, and a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The justices' rulings on the cases are likely to be announced next June, after arguments are heard in the spring. Advocates on both sides of the issue were welcoming the news.

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Courts
1:36 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Second Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

Edith Windsor, whose case led to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 4:57 pm

The Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against same-sex couples, a second federal appeals court has ruled.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that it took the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York less than a month to come to its decision. As he tells our Newscast Desk:

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Politics
1:42 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

This West Texas Attack Ad Has Pictures of Jesus, a Baby and Two Men Kissing

Jesus, a baby and two men kissing asre depicted in this mailer from the Canseco campaign.
Pete Gallego campaign, via Huffington Post

A Congressional race in West Texas is getting ugly: Republican U.S. Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco is running for re-election against Democratic State Rep. Pete Gallego, and using some scorched-earth campaign tactics. 

The Canseco campaign has been sending out mailers that accuse Gallego of:

  • Saying “no to God” – a reference to controversy ginned up regarding the Democratic Party’s national platform, which does indeed reference God;
  • Promoting abortion for young girls – supposedly in reference to abortion-rights group NARAL’s support of Gallego, and
  • Pushing for “marriage to be between man and man.”

The accompanying imagery features a picture of Jesus, a baby and two men kissing.

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Politics
10:44 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Austin Supports Gay Marriage. So What Happens Next?

Gay rights advocates in Texas say federal action - not the Texas Legislature - is the best hope for legalizing same-sex marriage.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Proponents of gay marriage in Texas scored a symbolic victory this week when Austin City Council became the first in the state to adopt a resolution supporting same-sex marriage. But what does that actually mean for gay rights in a place that – as Gov. Rick Perry claims – is “the most conservative state in America.”

Gay rights activists believe their best hope for legalizing same-sex weddings in Texas will come in the form of a Congressional action or a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to declare prohibitions of gay marriage unconstitutional. Texas voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2005 that defines marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” (Travis County was the only county statewide to vote against it.)

But same-sex advocates see political opportunities in seeking smaller legislative successes. Equality Texas – the gay rights lobby group – has identified two priorities: making it illegal to fire someone because they’re gay, and allowing gay parents to adopt children as a couple.

Right now, state law doesn’t prohibit employers from firing people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Gay couples who adopt children must do so as a single person, and only one of them can be listed on the birth certificate as the parent.

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Austin
12:47 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

First in Texas: Austin City Council Declares Support for Same Sex Marriage

A same sex couple married in California showed off their wedding rings ahead of this morning's council vote.
Hady Karl Mawajdeh

Today Austin became the first city in Texas to pass a resolution in support of same sex marriage. 

The measure passed the City Council unanimously this morning.

Before the vote, local civil rights groups declared their support for the resolution, which was sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole and co-sponsored by Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council member Laura Morrison.

At a press conference, Mayor Pro Tem Cole spoke about the evolution of rights in Texas, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King: “… Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Whatever afflicts once directly also afflicts one indirectly.”

Council member Morrison acknowledged the progress made within the Austin community, when it comes to civil rights, but said there was still a ways to go.  Morrison pointed to practicality when making her point.

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City Council
9:01 am
Thu September 27, 2012

City Council Preview: Gay Marriage Equality, Incentives for HID Global, More SH 45 Drama

A full agenda for the Austin City Council today. It's their first meeting since approving the city budget earlier this month.
flickr.com/atmtx

The Austin City Council meets today. Among the items it’s expected to approve: a resolution supporting marriage equality for gay couples, the first such measure from a Texas city.

The city’s draft resolution reads in part:

WHEREAS, all couples in loving and committed relationships should be given the opportunity to create stronger and more successful families through civil marriage; and 

WHEREAS, it is the intent of civil rights organizations in the State of Texas including Equality Texas, the Human Rights Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (etc…) to end discrimination in marriage based on gender and sexual orientation in Texas, to ensure that all persons in this state may enjoy the freedom to marry on equal terms;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

That we support marriage equality in the State of Texas.

The resolution is expected to pass unanimously; Mayor Lee Leffingwell previously joined dozens of other U.S. mayors in calling for marriage equality.

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City Council
9:38 am
Tue September 25, 2012

City Council Considers Same-Sex Marriage Resolution

Council members will consider a resolution supporting 'marriage equality' in Texas.
flickr.com/weho

The Austin City Council is scheduled to discuss a few hot-button issues at its work session today.

Council members will discuss a resolution that would declare the City Council’s intent to support what the agenda refers to as “marriage equality” or same-sex marriage in the state.

The council will also consider filing a legal document that shows their support for area school districts who have filed school finance lawsuits in Travis County.

Council members will also consider a request to the city manager to seek more information on two types of salamanders that could be placed on the Endangered Species list.

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