Gay Marriage

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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Higher Education
8:28 am
Thu August 30, 2012

UT Drops Investigation of Controversial Gay Parenting Study

UT associate professor Mark Regnerus' work on gay parenting will not be subject to an academic investigation.
University of Texas

The University of Texas announced yesterday that it will not launch a formal investigation into a controversial study on gay parenting.

The study, written by associate professor Mark Regnerus and published in the journal Social Science Research, questioned the parenting abilities of gay couples. An internal audit by Social Science Research found the study was “severely flawed.” Others seized upon the fact that the research was funded by the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, two socially conservative groups.

But UT-Austin says a four-member advisory panel composed of senior faculty members concluded there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation.

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Politics
3:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day Brings Out Crowds

The line stretched into the parking lot today at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wichita, Kan.
Travis Heying / Wichita Eagle MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:13 pm

The call from conservatives such as former Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to short support for Chick-fil-A and company President Dan Cathy's stand against same-sex marriage has produced long lines at the fast-food chain's restaurants today, judging from news reports:

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Politics
4:41 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Could Be Official Democratic Stance

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 8:45 am

Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.

The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.

Frank recently married his partner.

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Higher Education
2:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Audit: UT Gay Parenting Study 'Severely Flawed'

UT researcher Mark Regnerus' paper on gay marriage has been refuted by a panel at the same journal that initially published his work.
University of Texas

A study by University of Texas researcher Mark Regnerus that questioned the parenting abilities of gay couples is “severely flawed,” according to an internal audit by the scientific journal that published it, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The highly critical audit, a draft of which was provided to The Chronicle by the journal’s editor, also cites conflicts of interest among the reviewers, and states that “scholars who should have known better failed to recuse themselves from the review process.”

The study was published in the journal Social Science Research.  A member of the journal’s editorial board, Southern Illinois University sociology professor Darren Sherkat, was assigned to examine the peer review process. His assessment was blunt.

“It’s bulls**t,” Sherkat told the Chronicle of Higher Education, adding that the study should never have been published. 

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Religion
8:45 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Episcopal Church OKs Same-Sex Blessings; Largest U.S. Denomination to Do So

The rings of Michael Johnson and Michael Roberts of New York City stood ready before their marriage ceremony at the Manhattan City Clerk's Office in July 2011.
Craig Ruttle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 10:54 am

With a vote Tuesday evening by its House of Deputies, the Episcopal Church became the largest U.S. denomination so far "to officially sanction same-sex relationships," as CNN's Belief blog writes.

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Politics
11:11 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Defense of Marriage Act is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 11:05 am

"A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court," The Associated Press reports from Boston.

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Politics
10:30 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Polls Show Obama's Support For Gay Marriage Influencing Blacks

President Obama is seen on a monitor in the White House briefing room May 9. In an interview with ABC, he said he supports gay marriage.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 10:27 am

In this space earlier this month, I wrote about whether President Obama would face a backlash from African-Americans for his endorsement of same-sex marriage. (He hasn't.) I made mention of a random field experiment in which 285 black people in Cook County, Ill., were polled about gay marriage.

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Opinion
8:49 am
Fri May 11, 2012

New Republic: On Gay Marriage There's no Downside

A supporter of President Barack Obama holds a placard on May 10, 2012 near a private residence where Obama was attending a campaign fundraiser in Seattle. Obama voiced his support of gay marriage May 9, 2012 during an interview.
Mandel Ngan AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:09 am

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and editor of America's New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West.

Will Obama's Wednesday embrace of same-sex marriage equality hurt him in November? The short answer is: possible, but not likely.

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Politics
5:19 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Protest Against Texas' Gay Marriage Ban Leads to Arrests

County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir addresses a same-sex couple seeking a marriage license this Valentine's Day.
Photo courtesy Kit O'Connell

Three people were arrested today at the Travis County Clerk’s office while protesting Texas' prohibition on gay marriage. 

After numerous gay and lesbian couples applied for marriage licensees in protest, three activists locked arms and refused to leave, leading to their arrest.

The incident was one of several statewide actions coordinated by GetEqual TX this Valentine’s Day. “Our mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and our allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way,” the organization writes on its website. The protest also had local support from Occupy Austin.

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Opinion
3:44 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

The Nation: The Romantic-Industrial Complex

Syrian demonstrators hold up a balloon for Valentine's Day in front of a portrait of President Assad, during a rally to show their support for their leader Damascus on Feb. 14, 2012. In the U.S., some fear that Valentine's Day has become serious business.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:35 am

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is the Executive Editor of Feministing.com and the author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life.

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Austin
1:45 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Mayor Leffingwell Speaks Out in Support of Gay Marriage

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has joined nearly 80 mayors from across the country in supporting same-sex marriage.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/hippie

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has joined dozens of mayors in support for same-sex marriage.

“I’m proud to stand with the gay and lesbian community and defend their right to equal marriage,” Leffingwell says in a press release. “The tide is changing in America and I hope that by joining this loud chorus, I can play a small role in helping set us on a path to full marriage equality in our country in my lifetime.”

Leffingwell is one of several officials listed among the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. An offshoot of the broader Freedom to Marry campaign, founded in 2003 by Evan Wolfson, some 80 American mayors have signed a pledge in support of gay marriage. Houston Mayor Annise Parker is one of the five mayors comprising the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry board. She’s joined by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Los Angeles Mayor  Antonio Villaraigosa .

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