Texas governor gives first clear support for ‘bathroom bill’

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for the first time Tuesday endorsed a “bathroom bill” and breathed new life into North Carolina-style efforts that businesses and LGBT rights groups hoped had stalled with time running out to sign into law.

Abbott’s sudden public support following months of silence is significant. By now calling on the Republican-controlled Legislature to send him a bill before the end of May, Texas is thrust closer to joining North Carolina as the only states in the U.S. with so-called “bathroom bills” that critics condemn as discriminatory.

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Texas bill lets officials deny issuing same-sex marriage licenses

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP)- A bill allowing county judges and other officials to refuse to issue licenses for same-sex marriages because of religious objections is headed to the full Texas Senate.

Sen. Brian Birdwell’s proposal only applies in cases where other officials without any objection can step in and issue marriage documents.

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Gay candidate launches bid for Texas congressional seat

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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A gay HIV/AIDS activist has launched a bid for a Texas congressional seat currently held by a 16-term Republican member of Congress who recently gained notoriety for instructing a constituent to “shut up” during a town hall meeting.

Currently the compliance officer at Prism Health North Texas, the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization in the area, John W. Duncan declared in a statement Monday his intention to seek the Democratic nomination to run for the seat representing Texas’ 6th congressional district.

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Transgender boy moves within one win of girls Texas title

By : Wire Report
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CYPRESS, Texas (AP) – Mack Beggs had just won a state wrestling title Feb. 25 in a category he didn’t want to be in.

But instead of wallowing in a debate about what should or should not have happened this weekend at the Texas state girls wrestling tournament, the 17-year-old transgender boy simply decided to be a good teammate.

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Texas governor slams NFL over ‘bathroom bill’ criticism

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is slamming the NFL for criticizing a bill in his state’s Legislature that would prohibit transgender people from using the public restroom of their choice.

In an appearance Thursday on Fox News, the Republican said that if the league punishes Texas over the “bathroom bill,” “I might just pass a bill” requiring all players to stand and place their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem.

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Texas ‘bathroom bill’ may pose big test for sports leagues

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas knows how to throw a party, and for the Super Bowl in Houston, a new 29-story luxury hotel with a rooftop pool shaped like a meandering “lazy river” is the kind of glitzy welcome mat that keeps big events coming back. But that status may soon be put to the test.

Undaunted by the NCAA and NBA punishing North Carolina over bathroom laws that target transgender persons, powerful Texas Republican lawmakers are pushing to pass similar measures by June, and in doing so are daring leagues to boycott some of the biggest cities and stadiums in the U.S.

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Texas Supreme Court hearing case to limit same-sex marriage legalization

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas Supreme Court agreed Jan. 20 to hear a Houston case that top conservatives hope will provide an opening to challenge the landmark 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Reversing its previous ruling, the state’s highest civil court set arguments for March in a lawsuit seeking to halt same-sex spousal benefits that America’s fourth-largest city offers its municipal employees. The nine Republican justices had ruled in September not to hear the case in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling from the previous summer that same-sex marriage was constitutional nationwide.

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Family Research Council says State Department employees who promote LGBTQ-rights causes abroad should be “ferreted out”

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — After a string of major victories in recent years, LGBT activists are bracing for a different task in 2017 — trying to prevent Republicans in Congress and state legislatures from undermining those gains.

They view President-elect Donald Trump and many of his Cabinet selections as disinterested — and in some cases hostile — when it comes to the various issues of civil rights and anti-discrimination protections that concern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

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Government appeals temporary block on transgender rules

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The government is appealing a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools nationwide.

A one-page filing Oct. 26 asks the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a preliminary injunction issued in August by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth.

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Texas prison records show more than 330 transgender inmates

By : Wire Report
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AUSTIN (AP) — Texas prison system records show the number of inmates identifying themselves as transgender is at an all-time high amid greater awareness of gender issues and criminal justice reforms.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sept. 28 that 333 inmates currently identify themselves as transgender. Texas Department of Criminal Justice records show that compares to 67 inmates identifying themselves as transgender in September 2014.

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Creep of the Week: Trans, Texas and Attorney General Ken Paxton

By : D’Anne Witkowski
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DanneWitkowskiMugLGBT people have heard the phrase, “Come out, come out, wherever you are” over and over again for decades now. The idea, of course, is that coming out of the closet is the only way to change hearts and minds about who and what LGBT people are. After all, it’s hard to hate, say, lesbians, if you find out that your favorite aunt or your sister or your favorite coworker is playing for Team Lez. You’ve got to at least take a step back and rethink all of the terrible assumptions you’ve made and ideas you’ve had about lesbians, right?

Ideally, yes. And truth be told, the fact that the closet door is no longer the major barrier it once was for so many people (but not all people—we’ve got a long way still to go) has been key in advances in LGBT rights, especially over the last five to 10 years.

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Former Texas Senator Wendy Davis on the importance of joining forces between the LGBT and women’s rights communities

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – When former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood strong against a state and a Republican Party that maligned her until the witching hour, she actually stood strong, on her feet, for 11 hours on June 25, 2013. She filibustered. At issue were the rights of women, the closing of Planned Parenthood clinics in her state, human rights at large. It would lead to a national media storm and failed campaign for governor.

“I definitely feel like I came out stronger from that, but much more important than that, I feel like people who support reproductive freedoms came out stronger,” Davis told Watermark just before a Sept. 9 Hillary Clinton campaign appearance at the University of Central Florida with congressional hopeful Stephanie Murphy.

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