Postedon Feb 03, 2010 at 01:40 pm
February 3, 2010
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, begins Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. The conference is estimated to attract over 2,000 LGBT advocates from across the country including the newly-expanded team from Freedom to Marry. [Link]
Postedon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:51 am
January 29, 2010
Bryan Dickenson and Bill Sugg have been together for 30 years. After Sugg suffered a debilitating stroke in September, Dickinson requested time off from his job at AT&T under the federal Family Medical Leave Act to care for his partner. But AT&T is refusing to grant Dickenson the 12 weeks of leave that would be afforded to a heterosexual spouse under the act. [Link]
Postedon Jan 27, 2010 at 09:36 am
January 26, 2010
A same-sex wedding ceremony and protest for the rights that are denied to Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) couples will take place on Friday before Valentines Day, February 12 beginning at noon. The ceremony will begin in the Historical Plaza, outside the Records Building at 509 Main St. in downtown Dallas followed by the newlyweds proceeding to the marriage license office with the crowd in tow to demand a license that recognizes their union. Freedom to Marry Day is being co-sponsored by Equality March Texas. [Link]
Get involved and learn about Freedom to Marry Week here, and let us know about events planned in your area!
Postedon Jan 05, 2010 at 12:27 pm
January 4, 2010
Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Monday her election to lead the nation's fourth-largest city marked a milestone for LGBT people but was just ''one step toward a tomorrow of greater justice.'' [Link]
Postedon Dec 31, 2009 at 10:24 am
December 28, 2009
Recent high-profile setbacks to marriage equality in places perceived to be liberal (New York, Maine) has been countered by the election of an openly gay woman to the mayorship of Houston, Texas. Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson says, "The fact that an openly gay candidate wins for mayor in the nation’s fourth largest city, in the South, in Texas, shows that when Americans get to know gay people as people, not as stereotypes, their resistance to treating gay people equally reduces." [Link]
Postedon Dec 15, 2009 at 10:00 am
Annise Parker is the first openly gay mayor of Houston, Texas, the fourth most populous city in the U.S.
"...Texas lost marriage a few years ago. I really take the long view. We lose battles, but we're winning the hearts and minds of this war. And we just have to keep chipping away, coming out, being visible, integrating our concerns into the issues of our society at all levels, and we're going to get there."
Postedon Dec 14, 2009 at 06:15 pm
December 13, 2009
Annise Parker was elected the first openly gay mayor of Houston on Saturday in a runoff race against Gene Locke. Parker: "It's a historic election for my community, and I believe an election that will change some people's minds about the city of Houston. It's a diverse, international city that welcomes everyone." [Link]
Postedon Dec 09, 2009 at 10:40 am
December 8, 2009
The El Paso City Council has decided to uphold its decision to extend medical benefits to the gay and unwed partners of city employees. Opponents of the decision must collect 1,548 signatures in order to put the issue on the ballot in May 2010. [Link]
Postedon Dec 09, 2009 at 10:35 am
December 8, 2009
Adam Bink posts an interview he conducted with Annise Parker, the openly lesbian Houston mayoral candidate. When asked her opinion on recent setbacks in LGBT equality ballot measures and legislation, Parker said, "We just have to keep chipping away, coming out, being visible, integrating our concerns into the issues of our society at all levels, and we're going to get there." An excerpt from the interview:
The Houston election is on Saturday. You can contribute here. If you are in the area or know folks who are, they also need help getting out the vote. You can also join the campaign on Facebook to stay up to date in the final stretch. [Link]
Adam: I’m interested to know what you think of the recent losses on marriage equality in California, Maine, and yesterday in New York State. There’s a lot of discouragement and debate about where to go from here.
Annise: It’s frustrating. I’ve been an out, gay activist since the 70s. I helped found the gay student organization at my university. I was, for a decade in the 80s, arguably the most visible lesbian activist in Houston for a very long time. Texas lost marriage a few years ago. I really take the long view. We lose battles, but we’re winning the hearts and minds of this war. And we just have to keep chipping away, coming out, being visible, integrating our concerns into the issues of our society at all levels, and we’re going to get there.
Adam: There has been a lot of discussion about shifting strategy and resources from marriage equality to domestic partnership benefits. While I know Houston is “a blue island in a sea of red”, I’m curious what you think of that coming from a more conservative state.Annise: Because I have been doing this kind of work for more than 30 years, and I do tend to take the longview, but I’ve also been in a lot of negotiations, and you don’t start a negotiation from your bottom line. You start from where you’d like to be, and you settle for your bottom line. Full marriage equality is where we want to be. But we have to be pragmatic as we move forward, and I would remind folks, when I started in public office, we were only talking about domestic partner benefits. When we shifted to marriage, domestic partnership started popping up lots of places, and people would say, “please leave marriage alone! You can have domestic partnership benefits!” Marriage is a cultural institution that provokes a visceral reaction. Domestic partnership benefits is something you can have a discussion with folks on its merits. Soon as you talk about marriage, you tap into collective, subconscious issues for a lot of us. You don’t abandon marriage, but you take the pragmatic course when there’s an opportunity to advance.