lgbt

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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LGBT
4:27 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Study: Transgender Texans Face High Levels of Discrimination

A rainbow flag flies high at Austin Pride, but a report says transgendered Texans are fighting high rates of discrimination.
http://www.flickr.com/asaustin

According to research from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, people who are transgender and/or gender non-conforming experience widespread discrimination across the country.

Now, new Texas-focused research released by Equality Texas and the Transgender Education Network of Texas shows that 79 percent of transgender Texans have reported harassment or mistreatment in the workplace.

The new research also stated that respondents identifying as transgender or gender non-conforming while in grade school (K-12) reported a physical assault rate of 46 percent.

“This report graphically demonstrates the discrimination faced by Transgender Texans,” Equality Texas interim executive director Chuck Smith says in a press release. “In our state, where the right of self-determination is so valued, it is unconscionable that anyone would be denied the ability to earn a living, to live where they choose or to be educated.

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LGBT
12:50 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Teenage Boy Scout Denied Organization's Top Rank Because He's Gay

Ryan Andresen
Karen Andresen via Change.org

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:53 pm

Ryan Andresen spent 12 years as a Boy Scout. Now that he's 17 and about to graduate from high school, he completed the final requirement to receive the Eagle Scout award, which signifies the highest rank in the organization.

Except, according to his mother, Karen, when he submitted the paperwork, the scoutmaster for Troop 212 in the San Francisco Bay Area told him he could not give him the Eagle Scout honor because Andresen is gay.

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Austin
11:31 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Austin PRIDE Weekend Outlook

Austin PRIDE celebrants in 2008. The Austin celebration is in its second decade.
flickr.alexander_shenka

“YOUnify and Celebrate” is the tagline for this year’s Austin PRIDE day—an opportunity to support and connect the area’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

Events include a parade and a festival that features what organizers call an unparalleled lineup of live music acts.

The Austin PRIDE celebration is in its 21st year. Austin PRIDE President Paul Huddleston says the festival keeps getting bigger and that they’ve sold tickets to people from 28 states and 8 countries.

“The festival is for everyone. We’ve got activities and attractions for kids all the way up to the adults," Huddleston says.

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LGBT
10:38 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban On Open Gays; Call It 'Absolutely The Best Policy'

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

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:56 am

"After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America has emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said the 11-member committee decided that is "absolutely the best policy" for the organization.

The Boy Scouts' policy states that:

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2012 Presidential Election
9:21 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Gay Donors Open Wallets on Both Sides of the Aisle

President Obama is introduced by singer Ricky Martin at a fundraiser hosted by Martin and the LGBT Leadership Council at the Rubin Museum of Art on May 14 in New York.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 7:26 am

In politics, money talks. And money from gay and lesbian donors is talking louder than ever in this election cycle.

That's partly a result of President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage, and it's partly because Republicans are starting to see contributions as well.

That's a huge change from just a few decades ago.

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Texas
4:28 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Austin Vigil for Lesbian Teens Shot in Portland, Texas

Kristene Chapa (left) and Mollie Olgin (right).
getequal.org

Recent high school graduates Mollie Olgin, 19, and Kristene Chapa, 18, were recently shot in the head while walking through a community park in Portland, Texas – a tragedy that has set off a nationwide series of vigils.

The lesbian couple was found Saturday morning by park visitors, with wounds to their heads from a large caliber weapon. Olgin died at the scene of the crime; Chapa is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.

An Austin vigil for Olgin and Chapa, organized by grassroots LGBT advocacy group GetEQUAL, is happening tonight.

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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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