lgbt

2013 Legislative Session
6:57 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Gay Rights Groups Say Measure Lets Texas Colleges Discriminate Against LGBT Student Groups

An amendment in a bill regulating the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board could contain a provision that some say would exclude GLBT students from campus groups
flickr.com/alexander_shenkar

Today, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board bypassed a potential legislative sunset, meaning state legislators will not shutter the group’s doors under the Sunset Act.

That bill, however, also contains a contentious little provision in the form of an amendment – a provision that some say would allow college groups to discriminate on the basis of sexual preference and religion.

The amendment from Rep. Matt Krause, R- Fort Worth, would allow officially recognized, religious college organizations the right to ban those who “demonstrate opposition to the organization’s stated beliefs and purposes,” according to language in the amendment.

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Texas
11:59 am
Tue April 30, 2013

AG Greg Abbott: City & ISD Domestic Partner Benefits Unconstitutional (Update)

Update: More signs from the City of Austin that Attorney General Greg Abbott's opinion won't mean any changes for now: a memo from City Manager Marc Ott on the matter. It reads, in part: 

While we will continue to evaluate the Attorney General’s opinion, it continues to be our belief that the City’s domestic partner group benefits program is not prohibited by the Texas Marriage Amendment, and that the Texas Legislature did not intend the Amendment to have that effect when it was placed before the voters in 2005.

The Attorney General’s opinion does not require the City to take any specific action, and we do not intend to change domestic partner eligibility for our benefits program at this time. 

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Sports
12:19 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

NBA's Jason Collins Is First Active Player To Come Out As Gay

Jason Collins (left), then of the Washington Wizards, during a game this month against the Chicago Bulls.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:39 pm

"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," National Basketball Association center Jason Collins writes in a Sports Illustrated essay posted Monday, "but since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation."

With that, the 34-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons and six pro teams becomes the first active player in the four major American team sports to come out.

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Education
2:58 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

A&M "Religious Funding" Bill Vetoed

http://www.flickr.com/photos/-marlith-/

A bill passed in the Texas A&M student senate died Friday after the university faced public criticism.

Texas A&M student body president John Claybrook vetoed the "Religious Funding Exemption Bill,” which would have allowed students to opt-out of funding the campus’ Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Center.

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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

  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: If the court strikes down DOMA, what would be the grounds?
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: An interesting exchange about the 'power' of DOMA opponents.
  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.

(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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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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Education
4:01 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

AISD Expands Health Insurance Benefits to Same-Sex Couples, Unmarried Domestic Partners

The Austin Independent School District is expanding health care benefits to same-sex couples and unmarried domestic partners.
Credit KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is extending health insurance benefits to same-sex couples and unmarried domestic partners within the year. 

The decision comes after Pflugerville became the first Texas school district to offer health benefits for its employees with same sex partners last fall.

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gay marriage
10:25 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Happening Now: Supreme Court Hears 1st of 2 Gay-Marriage Cases

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

  • NPR's Nina Totenberg: Three key points about Tuesday's court hearing

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

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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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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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Arts and Culture
10:33 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Frank Ocean's Big Year, and What Hasn't Changed in Hip-Hop

Frank Ocean performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2012.
Kevin Mazur WireImage

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 11:11 am

Frank Ocean is set to take a victory lap at this year's Grammys. He's up for six awards for his album Channel Orange, including best new artist, and he'll be performing as well. But just a few months ago, Frank Ocean's music wasn't the story — his sexuality was.

To review: After a listening party for Channel Orange last July, a BBC journalist pointed out that a few of the love songs referenced a "him" where you might have expected to hear "her."

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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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Education
11:18 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Take Stance on Gays Joining Boy Scouts (Updated)

The Boy Scouts of Amercia, one of the largest private youth organizations in the U.S., has prohibited gays from joining.
flickr.com/imcomkorea

Update: The Boy Scouts of America board delayed its vote on whether to end a ban on gay membership until May. 

Original Story (8:13 a.m.):More than 40 elected officials from across Texas have signed an open letter encouraging the Boy Scouts of America to maintain its current membership policy—which doesn’t allow gay members or scout masters.

Gov. Rick Perry made his stance on the issue clear last weekend. Now, lawmakers including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Stapes are signing on to show their opposition to a change to the policy. A rally and prayer vigil at the Boy Scouts National headquarters in Irving has also been scheduled for this morning.

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LGBT
9:39 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Boy Scouts Delay Decision About Gays; Pentagon May Extend Some Benefits

A statue outside the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:48 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Kathy Lohr on the Boy Scouts' debate

(We updated the top of this post at 10:45 a.m. ET.)

The Boy Scouts of America now intends to vote in May about whether its troops should be allowed to accept gay members and leaders, a spokesman says.

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Austin
7:54 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Austin Boy Scout Troops Would Likely Have Different Sexual Orientation Policies

The Boy Scouts of America is considering a change to its membership policy.
flickr.com/imcomkorea

Boy Scout troops across the country could soon be able to decide for themselves whether to admit scout masters and troop members of all sexual orientations.

If the Boy Scouts of America leaves the decision up to individual troops, Austin could have troops with a variety of policies.

A search of troops in the Austin area shows many are sponsored by churches. A couple of the scout masters for those troops said they couldn’t talk about extending membership to boys and men of all sexual orientations until they got the okay from their sponsoring churches.

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
3:46 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bill Would Allow Same-Sex Parents on Birth Certificates

Brian Stephens, left, and Andy Miller with their son, Clark, on Jan. 21, 2013, in Austin.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

Andy Miller and Brian Stephens fell in love 12 years ago while they were training for a marathon on the trails around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. As they began talking about starting a family, they knew of only one same-sex couple who had successfully adopted.

“There weren’t a lot of role models,” Miller said. 

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LGBT
2:17 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Boy Scouts Considering Lifting Ban On Gay Scouts, Leaders

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.
Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting a national ban on gay scouts and leaders, the organizations spokesman announced.

USA Today reports:

"If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting at their scheduled meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts' decade's old national policy banning homosexuals.

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LGBT
2:15 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Bills Protect Gays In Employment Discrimination

Owen Parry/Texas Tribune

When Meghan Stabler first revealed her plans for a medical and physical transition from male to female to a co-worker in 2002, she was nervous and fearful. 

“I worked with Human Resources to explain my story [to the company], a secret I had lived with since I was five years old,” that she identified as a woman, not as a man, she said Thursday. "Over a 12 month period, I had conversations with other executives, my department and [company] lawyers, and it was finally OK." In 2006, as an executive at BMC Software, Stabler had surgery to become a female, with the support of her employer. 

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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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LGBT
11:59 am
Tue November 13, 2012

UPS Ends Boy Scouts Funding Over Scouts' Policy Toward Gays

A former scout leader at at protest in New York.
flickr.com/photos/paul_lowry

The charity arm of shipping company UPS says it will no longer offer grants to the Boy Scouts of America as long as BSA leadership continue to exclude gays and lesbians from being scouts or scout leaders.

UPS made the change after an online petition protesting the foundation's annual grants to the Boy Scouts attracted more than 80,000 signatures.

The UPS Foundation donated $150,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2010, but it’s isn’t clear how much they gave in 2011.

UPS and several other corporations have been subject to protest for their donations to the BSA. UPS’ about-face occurred after Iowa-resident Zach Wahls created a petition on Change.org urging the company to reverse course.

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