Gay Marriage

4:11 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Texas National Guard Won't Process Benefits for Same-Sex Couples (Update)

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard participate in a parade in Laredo earlier this year. The Texas National Guard won’t process benefits for same-sex couples despite a Pentagon directive.

Update: Sixteen Democratic state lawmakers have signed a letter asking the head of Texas Military Forces to process benefits claims for same-sex spouses.

“We call on you to respect Texas’ military families, to reconsider your position, and to follow the lead of virtually every other Adjutant General for the National Guard of the United States by, without further delay, enrolling all eligible spouses of National Guard service members at facilities operated by Texas Military Force,” the letter reads.

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San Antonio
3:47 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

San Antonio Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Tyler Pratt/KUT News

A citywide debate over whether lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals should be included in San Antonio’s non-discrimination policy came to a fiery end on Thursday.

Before a crowd of hundreds at City Hall, the San Antonio City Council adopted an ordinance aimed at preventing discrimination against people because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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12:31 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

DOMA Struck Down: What’s Next for Same-Sex Couples in Texas?

A rally at the Texas Capitol in May, when the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.
Tyler Pratt, KUT News

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on two same-sex marriage cases today means those unions will now be recognized by the federal government. In separate cases, the court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the state of California can now resume efforts to legalize same sex marriage.

But neither of these rulings will directly affect Texas residents. 

“The ruling today was limited in the sense it didn’t extend to strike down defense of marriage acts that exist on state level," says Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas.

Texas’ own Defense Against Marriage Act will remain on the books. Gov. Rick Perry signed the law in 2003.  In 2005, the state legislature also passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. If that amendment were repealed, it would need two-thirds approval by the state House and Senate. It would then go to voters for final approval. 

Same sex marriage is legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia. 

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Supreme Court
12:21 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

No Decisions Yet On The Most-Anticipated Supreme Court Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene during a U.S. Supreme Court hearing earlier this year.
Art Lien Reuters / Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 9:32 am

There's no big news again today from the U.S. Supreme Court — which is sort-of big news in itself because it means we're still waiting for the justices' decisions on these major cases:

-- Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

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gay marriage
10:33 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Votes May Be There To Strike Down DOMA, But There's A Big 'If'

Demonstrators gathered again outside the Supreme Court Wednesday as the time approached for another case to be heard about issues related to same-sex marriage.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:52 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)

There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.

But there's a big "if."

As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.

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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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5:27 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Could Same-Sex Marriage Come to Texas?

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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9:47 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Pflugerville ISD Extends Domestic Partner Benefits to Employees

Same sex couples welcomed the announcement from PISD.

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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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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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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