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Equality news round-up: News from Michigan and Texas

LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials Transgender Rights

– On November 4, an ACLU challenge to a Michigan policy making it harder for transgender people to change their gender markers on their IDs heads into court.

– Yesterday, the US Supreme Court denied review in a case in which a Michigan lawyer was sued by a student who is gay. The student was stalked and defamed by the lawyer and won the lawsuit. The Court denied the lawyer’s appeal.

– The New York Times is urging the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.


  • 1. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Doea anybody know when are we going to have an estimation at least of the result of the vote in Houston ? Polls close at 7 PM local time…

  • 2. tx64jm  |  November 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Early voting results …

    Against 62.5%
    For 37.5%

  • 3. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Yeah allow me not to believe a troll like you dude. Plus thats just early voting which did not go well anyway.

  • 4. flyerguy1977  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    It' s prop 8 type All over again

  • 5. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Unfortunately tx64jm is correct.

    Houston Unites did not do it well!

  • 6. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Apparently, in order to deflate this phony "potty panic" scenario, voters need to be told as bluntly as possible:

    "Look, some women are born with dicks, and some men are born with pussies. It happens. Get used to it. They know who they are, and they know which bathroom to use. Besides, we're not doing gender confirmation inspections at the entrances to satisfy your idle curiosity. And remember, assault is still assault, so men going into the ladies' room to assault women is still a criminal offense. Period."

  • 7. A_Jayne  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

    What infuriates me about this – and kinda gives me hope for the future at the same time – is that for every adult who cannot see the truth of transgender existence, so voted against the ordinance, there are multiple youngsters who already know it is no big deal – oftentimes, those voters' very own children.

    Why can't adults be as open to difference as children manage to be?

  • 8. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Live Houston election results from the Houston Chronicle: Get live results from the Houston-area elections

  • 9. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Live Houston election results from KHOU (local CBS TV affiliate): Election 2015 Local Election Results

  • 10. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Live Houston election results from KTRK (ABC): Texas Elections

  • 11. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Live Houston election results from KPRC (NBC): City of Houston – Proposition 1 – Equal Rights Ordinance

  • 12. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    The Associated Press is now officially calling the election as a HERO defeat: AP: Houston Prop 1 HERO fails to win approval

  • 13. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Alabama: State Still Obsessively Fighting Marriage Battle Fees

    On 26 October 2015, Alabama Attorney-General Luther Strange filed an objection to paying the “excessive” $200,000 in legal fees demanded by the attorneys in "Searcy v. Strange" who won same-sex marriage in his state. reports:

    Instead, Mobile attorneys Christine Hernandez and David Kennedy, who sought a $275 hourly rate, according to the filing, should be reimbursed about $50,000. The state’s figure factors in a $150 hourly fee that it claims is more “reasonable” for lesser-experienced attorneys working in a smaller practice. According to the filing, the lower hourly rate is justified because the two attorneys “did not have to reinvent the wheel.”

    “The legal issues presented here may have been novel to this state, but they were not novel to the law, and Alabama’s marriage laws presented no unique issues that were not present in the marriage laws of other states,” the filing states.

    Subsequently, on 28 October 2015, Kennedy wrote a scathing response that puts the burden of some of the costs on Strange’s office:

    “After causing the litigation to be lengthier, fiercer, and ultimately more costly than necessary, Strange now asserts that Plaintiff’s counsel spent too much time working on this case,” Kennedy wrote in the response filing. “In other words, the losing party is criticizing how much time it took undersigned counsel to redress the unconstitutional discrimination against the Plaintiffs.”

    Kennedy also notes that the state’s own lawyers have presented a bill for $345,000,– despite losing the case.

    Open note to Luther Strange:

    Alabama is still Alabama. You've got more county probate judges in your state alone, v. the entire remainder of the USA, who refuse to follow the "Obergefell" ruling, despite having been told, all of whom have been encouraged and abetted to continue with their intransigence by the asshats-in-charge, yourself included.

    Just yesterday, 2 November 2015, the district judge in Ohio, Judge Black, tacked on a 50% enhancement to the requested 1.1 MILLION for attorney fees and expenses in the two marriage cases from that state, thus upping the total award granted to $1.5 MILLION. Given your snarky intransigence and belittling attitude, directed specifically toward the plaintiffs' attorneys, who incidentally, WON the case, Judge Granade should thus do the same with the award to be granted in the difficult, protracted case, "Searcy v. Strange," one which you personally appealed, thus wasting time and causing further expense.

  • 14. Mike_Baltimore  |  November 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    The link to the report is:

    ('s headline is 'Legal fees in Alabama's landmark gay marriage case excessive, state says')

    The link to the article titled 'ALABAMA: State Fights Marriage Battle Fees' is at Joe. My. God., at:

  • 15. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks Mike!

    And of course, the headline to the article immediately above:

    "Alabama: State Still Obsessively Fighting Marriage Battle Fees"

    is my own embellished invention, given that I've added in some specifics (like exact dates, and even the name of the case in question), and then went off on my tangential vent, giving extra context to the matter at hand, as the quoted AL.Com article all by itself seemed to give too much credit to Luther Strange's point of view.

    Also, if one looks carefully, this matter is not actually new news, but rather, recent news, as Luther Strange's original snarkiness was filed with the court on 26 October 2015, and then re-posted here (and other places) immediately thereafter. Instead, the actual news is the plaintiffs' attorneys' sharp rebuttal (a point which I felt was not sufficiently highlighted in the AL.Com article),– along with my extended rant in total agreement with the plaintiffs' attorneys (everything after the link notation), giving particulars of yesterday's settlement in the Ohio marriage cases, and drawing the obvious comparison.

    It just occurred to me: Given the manner in which Luther Strange belittled the efforts and the competency of the plaintiffs' attorneys, I refrained from pointing out that Strange is admitting, based on his own haughty perspective, that he lost the case to a couple of bungling greenhorns who were completely out of their league.

  • 16. 1grod  |  November 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Rick and Mike: Kennedy's reply brief:
    While I would like all AL's 9 reluctant probate judges to read this reply brief, I would also urge Elmore County's probate judge John Enslen read it. Judge Enslen has requested the AL Supreme Court to protect the embattled probate judge who wish to refuse to issue licenses by instructing them to just ignore the Supreme Court's June 26 decision [Obergefell]….

  • 17. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Graeme, this is another reason why it would behoove Judge Granade to embellish the plaintiffs' attorneys' monetary award in "Searcy v. Strange," as a 50% embellishment is perfectly legal. She need not go any further than citing the same embellishment granted yesterday to the legal team who brought the "Obergefell" case in Ohio.

  • 18. davepCA  |  November 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    So the states rationale for why the plaintiffs lawyers should get paid less is because it was such an easy task for the plaintiffs lawyers to show that the state's ban on same sex marriage was clearly and obviously unconstitutional. Okay……

  • 19. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    …. thus logically explaining, as well, why the haughty Luther Strange lost the case to a couple of bungling greenhorns who were completely out of their league, and who thus do not deserve to be paid "real" legal fees and expenses. The case was just soooooo easy, even an idiot could see the clear unconstitutionality of it all.

    Plus, to re-iterate:

    $1,300,000.00 – the settlement figure in the Ohio cases, with embellishment
    $–200,000.00 – request amount in "Searcy v. Strange"
    $—50,000.00 – Luther Strange's suggested amount for the bumbling fools who staggered through such an obviously slam-dunk case.
    $–300,000.00 – what Judge Granade could/should award, with embellishment

  • 20. allan120102  |  November 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Sadly ally Jack Conway lost the election. Looks like Matt Bevin will turn things messy in KY in terms of marriage, He supports Kim so what might we expect.I am sad that the People of KY vote for him. Such a shame.

  • 21. Zack12  |  November 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Our base didn't turn out, and Republicans win when that happens.

  • 22. Fortguy  |  November 3, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Sigh, Scottie didn't close the HTML italics tag after "New York Times" in his post.

  • 23. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    And unfortunately with 6 % of today's votes + early voting I think we have to declare HERO dead possibly by a big margin…Things will be bad for Houston as businnesses will run away but they will be even worse for LGBT people accross the country..The bathroom lie seems ready to stomp all over any anti discrimination law and the next target is the Anchorage ordinance recently passed – bigots there were looking on how this one would turn out to get a referendum campaign going.
    We have to protect any ordinances we have now, we play defense.
    And in Kentucky things will be even worse with Kim Davis now having the governor on her side.

  • 24. tx64jm  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    With 30% of the votes in, the tally is 60% against 40% for.

  • 25. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Yes we get it, dont you have some bigoted celebration to attend now troll ?

  • 26. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Kentucky: Gay Couple Who Made Kim Davis Globally Infamous Gets Married

    The Kentucky couple whose livid videotaped confrontation with Kim Davis catapulted the renegade clerk to global infamy has gotten married. The student newspaper of Morehead State University reports:

    Two months ago, an infuriated David Moore pounded his fist on a counter in the Rowan County Clerk’s office as he pleaded for the right to marry his partner, David Ermold. Now “the Davids” are legally bound. Moore and Ermold planned to marry last summer when the US Supreme Court decided same-sex couples deserved the right. But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to comply with the federal court decision. In a viral video posted by Moore, more than 1 million people watched Davis tell the couple, “No.” On Saturday, 31 October 2015, Moore and Ermold told one another, “Yes.”

  • 27. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    And the irony is Bevin may as well contest the validity of their licenses now..

  • 28. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:08 am

    I don't think so. Their party line now is that the licenses are valid lest Davis be found guilty of the contempt she has so manifestly shown and returned to jail.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Given that I do not expect the case to be ruled upon in the 6th circuit before the beginning of 2016 when Bevin takes office though, I expect more complications – the challenges raised against the governor will be moot now that she has the governor on her side. And the whole case may be moot if Bevin issues an executive order saying clerks do not have to issue licenses at all if it "violates their beliefs".
    Among others Davis is celebrating yesterday's results.

  • 30. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:08 am

    If Bevin issues an executive order saying clerks do not have to issue licenses at all if it "violates their beliefs," that will not moot the case. Such an executive order would itself be illegal unless it also provides that the licenses have to be issued by assistants to clerks or others. Davis got into trouble by not allowing her assistants to issue the licenses. Had she not done that, there probably would not have been a case against her in the first place. Her continuing to violate the Judge's order is what is going to keep her in contempt and the governor can't do much about that. Whatever they do, and however much they demagogue the issue, the federal judiciary is not going to allow them to deny gay people their constitutional right to marry.

  • 31. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:29 am

    I do not trust crazies like Bevin or most judges on the 6th but lets hope you are right..

  • 32. VIRick  |  November 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    "Davis got into trouble by not allowing her assistants to issue the licenses. Had she not done that, there probably would not have been a case against her in the first place."

    Jay, precisely. Katie Lang, the elected head clerk of Hood County TX, also originally got herself into the same trouble when she attempted to impose her own belief standard onto her assistant clerks, and refused to allow any of them to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. In that instance, though, the matter was resolved after she crawled back under her rock, and allowed her assistants to proceed. Still, her snit-fit, and associated antics, cost Hood County TX $43,000.00 in legal expenses and punitive damages in settlement.

    The current anti-gay governor of Texas, Abbott, was not the least bit involved in this case. If Bevin has any sense at all, he will follow this example.

    (In re-reading this missive, I never thought I'd ever find occasion to cite Texas' anti-gay governor, Abbott, as an example for others to follow, never mind the specific context).

  • 33. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    New Rule Allows Refugees to Bring Same-Sex Partners to USA

    Refugees and asylees from 23 countries can now ask to bring their same-sex partners with them to the USA, even if they are not legally married. In a 1 October 2015 letter to Congress the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration notes it will “allow a qualifying individual” to request their same-sex partner receive refugee or asylee status under a provision of the US Refugee Assistance Program known as P-3 that specifically deals with family reunification. The new provision requires the petitioner to file an affidavit proving he or she has been in a relationship with their same-sex partner for at least a year outside the US before submitting their application. The petitioner also needs to consider “that person to be his/her spouse or life partner, and that relationship is ongoing.” The petitioner must also prove that “legal marriage” to their partner “was not an obtainable option due to social and/or legal prohibitions.”

    Only refugees or asylees in the US who are originally from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cuba, North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Uzbekistan can access the P-3 program. The program allows a family member in the U.S. to apply “for a same-sex spouse if a legal marriage was conducted and documented.” The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in its letter to Congress further notes that same-sex marriage “is not legal in the vast majority of refugee-producing and refugee-hosting countries.”

    “The legal definition of ‘spouse’ remains unchanged,” State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau stated. “However, due to the administration’s recognition that marriage is not a legally-viable option in many refugees’ countries of origin, we have granted access to the P-3 refugee family reunification process to the same-sex partners of LGBT individuals who do not have legal access to the institution of marriage in their home countries, provided that the refugee’s partner is otherwise admissible.”

    – See more at:

  • 34. allan120102  |  November 3, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Not really surprise of seeing Honduras, Guatemala amd El Salvador as they are three most conservative countries in the region of CA compare to the others with the exception of Belize.Guatemala is the most conservative of the 6 follow by Honduras and then El salvador. El salvador have at least elect openly gay mayors.

  • 35. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I agree with your observations here, but at the same time, I can not provide an explanation as to how these 23 nations specifically qualified, while others did not. The list is already being criticized for certain omissions, namely in omitting Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda, Jamaica, Belarus, Russia, and an assortment of Central Asian "stans." Even from Latin America, I was surprised to see Colombia on the list, while Venezuela, Guyana, Belize, and the Dominican Republic were not.

  • 36. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I don't know how to appropriately express my frustration with the people of Houston, I know in my heart that most of you are good people. I don't want to paint with a wide brush. You have allowed a few vile bigots to make bigots of all of you. My apologies to those of you who are not bigots.

    NFL you need to weigh in early. Deal appropriately with your bigoted owner severely just as you did in LA. No lessor action is acceptable.

    Houston must not have Super bowl 2017.

    I am 78 years old. If you are LGBT come out to your friends it really helps. In 1974 I came out to a very scary group. I was active duty military. A group of straight bikers wanted me to be part of who they were; I said if you want me to part of who you are, you need to know that I am gay. Their response was: We already know that. Forty years later those still alive are still my dear friends.

    I post this for what it is worth.

  • 37. guitaristbl  |  November 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing that last paragraph. I may not live in Houston but I almost broke in tears when I saw the bigots behind the repeal campaign celebrating, hugging and smiling over the fact that they stripped thousands of citizens of basic legal protections…
    This was such a high profile vote that it will slow down if not reverse the momentum on anti discrimination laws. And on top of that we have a bigot elected governor of Kentucky that will definately make sure to cause trouble in the whole Kim Davis saga..
    A true disaster…I just cannot comprehend how LGBT campaigners in Houston will find the courage to keep fighting..I would give up and move…..

  • 38. Fortguy  |  November 4, 2015 at 12:19 am

    I understand everyone's sorrows, but let's please keep things in perspective. Tomorrow, we will have a better grasp of how well we did in the Houston election, but nothing will be definitive until the runoff. The good news is that Turner is, not only in the runoff, but that the votes between King and the only other HERO hater Hall are combined just a single percentage point ahead of Turner. Remember that all other candidates supported HERO.

    Whether we end up with a progressive city council again depends upon the runoff, although I look forward to tomorrow's reporting of how we stand. HERO has already failed and will not be on the runoff ballot, but it will still be an issue.

    If we end up with a progressive majority, expect the council to adopt a weaker HERO 0.5 instead of HERO 1.0. Much has been made about Houston being the only large city in the state without an ERO, but most of the other cities provide either weak or ambiguous protections for transgender people while strongly protecting gay and lesbians. If we are lucky and end up with a strongly progressive council, I say pass HERO again and challenge the haters to repeal it in a high-turnout presidential election year. Make sure you cross your Ts and dot your Is this time around to prevent court challenges.

    The largest cities in the state now without ERO's are Arlington (not any time soon) and Corpus Christi (very doable). We've gotta make the discussion begin.

    Meanwhile, our opponents have now found a successful electoral strategy for denying our civil rights and disrespecting our citizenship. They hate the fact that gay people and their personal and family relationships are increasingly recognized by the courts, and that mainstream America now sides with us. They no longer attempt to demonize gays, but ignore gays completely because everyone now knows lots of uncloseted gays and no longer hold irrational fears of them. Instead, they now target the transgender community. They are much fewer in number, much less likely to express themselves openly for fear of discrimination or outright violence even within their own families, and are so susceptible to being painted with slanderous brushes due to their low visibility.

    We could easily call their bluff and demand gay rights while throwing the transgender under the bus, but to do so would deny our own struggles to be treated equally as citizens and afforded our own dignity as human beings over the past half century. We must continue to fight for, not only our own rights, but those of everyone else.

    HERO is only a beginning for the right. They will take the politics of potty panic nationwide. Mark my words.

    Alan Greenblatt, Governing: How Bathrooms Became a Political Battleground

    This is a must read.

  • 39. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Of course they will take it nationwide. Soon the ordinance recently voted in Anchorage will fall as well. They were watching closely the bigots there in order to adopt the same bathroom scare tactics if they were succesful. Now I am certain another repeal is imminent..
    You want perspective ? An absolute disaster. A weaker HERO ? Like what ? Throwing trans people under the bus as you said ? The anti gay momentum will only pick up nationwide now, we can see many ordinances especially in conservative states repealed even if they were there for years in some cases. And what are the chances to have a progressive council in a runoff that attracts even lower turnout ?

    What discussion ? What rational conversatiom can beat the fear the bathroom propaganda instills ?

    I am afraid the only way for Houston to have an ordinance now is to be ruined financially from the backlash generated by HERO's repeal. I hope businesses act swiftly and decisively.

  • 40. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:14 am

    My frustration is less with the people in Houston than with Houston Unites, which ran a stupid campaign that was both dishonest and doomed to fail. We KNOW that when we try to pretend that ordinances like this are really about something else than gay rights, we lose. We KNOW that when we keep gay and trans people invisible, we lose. We KN OW that when we fail to call out bigots for what they are, we lose.

    Our campaign was well funded, and they produced many videos and ads, but not a single video actually featured gay people or trans people. The deception we tried to spread was that the ordinance really wasn't about us. Rather, it was about people who might be discriminated against on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, veterans status, etc. (all of whom are already protected under state or federal law.) We allowed the bigots to portray us as bathroom predators. No wonder we lost.

  • 41. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I agree that the campaign should be more focused but what can beat irrational fear ?
    I dont really know what way can we proceed now to state the obvious and speak common sense against the bathroom frenzy ? How can that incredibly stupid argument be beaten without leaving trans people behind ? They are the new favourite target of the far right.
    If stating the obvious, that these laws of course do not allow sexual preditors in bathrooms, does not have an impact how will you convice the low information voter ?
    More than half the people out there who voted actually did not know this ordinance was about discrimination, they all literally thought the whole ordinance said "do you think men should be allowed to women's bathrooms ?'
    What can you do with sheep that cannot even READ the ordinance before them ? Unless we shield such laws from referendums soon, the amount of anti discrimination ordinances will drop significantly in the US soon and we may even have to defend state laws in liberal states against the bathroom frenzy.

    First we say goodbye to the Anchorage ordinance recently passed soon enough. Then who knows which one will follow ? Austin ? Atlanta ? Miami ? Birmingham ? New Orleans ? San Antonio ? They could all fall now the opponents feel emboldened.

    I fear after a big win in June LGBT rights are about to receive huge drawbacks in the future after yesterday's vote.

  • 42. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:56 am

    We win by telling the truth. That trans people are frequently bullied and even murdered. They need access to public accommodations. That gay people can legally be fired simply because they are gay. That the bigots are lying when they describe us as predators and incite fear that children are going to be molested by trans people using the bathroom. We point out that none of these scenarios promoted by the bigots have actually taken place in any of the hundreds of cities that provide equal rights ordinances. We win by not dissembling about the need for equal rights protection.

    The ordinances in Austin, Atlanta, Miami, San Antonio, and New Orleans are not in danger. In the first place, these cities are much more dependent on tourism than Houston and their voters are less conservative generally.

    The vote in Houston should not be considered a harbinger of things to come except that the bigots will continue to try to use bathroom panic in their campaigns just as they used to try to use the fact the kids might be taught about gay marriage. Such tactics will work only as long as we let them. When we fight honestly, we will. When we ignore the issues raised, especially the fear mongering, we lose.

    The real tragedy is that the ordinance in Houston could have been won. Our side pissed this away. Heads should roll over this. The result was entirely predictable. When we dissemble and attempt to keep gay people invisible by waging stealth campaigns, we lose.

  • 43. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I wonder what the truth is truly worth when you have such aggresive lies perpetuated..We could trult be at a post-factual era where irrational hysteria is morr convincing than proper and factually supported argumentation..

  • 44. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Well, a lot of people are gullible and uneducated and stupid. But this is not the first time we have been at this rodeo. We know what works. We did it in 2012 in Washington, Maine, Minnesota, and Maryland, as well in some local referenda. That is what makes me so angry at this campaign in Houston. We should know better at this point. It is as though the people running the HERO campaign were taking lessons from those who ran our campaign against Prop 8 or the miserable North Carolina campaign instead of those who ran our successful campaigns. We have to learn that in campaigns such as these we must educate the voters and we must stand up to bullies and liars.

  • 45. Elihu_Bystander  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I concur in full. What do you suggest should be our response to this complete disaster?

    I do know from personal experience that since I have been willing to be open as to who I am, I have changed the hearts and minds of some anti-gay persons. I;m sure part of this change of heart in those people is that they had their unfounded fear of gay people resolved. They realized that their hopes and dreams were indeed the same as mine. Then along life's journey we could actually help each other achieve those similar goals. We were stronger together than either one of as individuals. Creating allies is important, even one heart at a time.

  • 46. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Virginia: Long-Haired Homosexual Men In Warehouses Defeat Anti-Gay Crackpot Eugene Delgaudio

    “Dear Joe, this is the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. Tonight, the Homosexual Lobby, led by furtive, long-haired men in warehouses, conspired to rob me of my Jesus-ordained seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. But I remain strong and will continue to fight the Gay Bill Of Special Rights. Won’t you please send me $10, $25, …blah, blah, blah.

    Yay for the voters in Loudoun County VA! They finally woke up.

  • 47. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Virginia: Anti-LGBT Fairfax County School Board Member Loses Re-Election Bid

    On Tuesday, 3 November 2015, an incumbent Fairfax County School Board member who voted against a pro-LGBT measure lost to her Democratic challenger. Dalia Palchik, a teacher who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, defeated Republican Patty Reed by a 58-41 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    – See more at:

    Yay for voters in Fairfax County VA! They finally woke up, as well.

  • 48. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    More Virginia Election Results

    Republicans on Tuesday narrowly retained control of the Virginia Senate with state Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudoun County) defeating Democrat Jill McCabe by a 52-47 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    Glen Sturtevant, a member of the Richmond School Board, defeated Democratic Chesterfield County Supervisor Daniel Gecker by a 50-47 percent margin in the race to succeed retiring state Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan County).

    Democrat Jeremy McPike defeated Hal Parrish by a 54-46 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    Gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) easily won re-election.

    State Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County), who came out as gay last year, defeated Republican Anna Urman by a 63-33 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    Mark Levine, a gay rights attorney and former congressional staffer, will succeed outgoing state Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria) in the Virginia House of Delegates.

    Anti-LGBT state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) (the perennial ass-hat, par excellence, of trans-vaginal ultra-sound fame, and whose wife elected to stop having sex with him in protest) defeated Democrat Donald Shaw by a 56-44 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

    – See more at:

    Note to remember: Whenever the voters in Prince William County finally wake up, the entire northern tier of Virginia even remotely abutting DC will be solidly Democratic.

  • 49. TheVirginian722  |  November 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    "Anti-LGBT state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) (the perennial ass-hat, par excellence, of trans-vaginal ultra-sound fame, and whose wife elected to stop having sex with him in protest) defeated Democrat Donald Shaw by a 56-44 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting."

    Yes, Bob Marshall is our local over-the-top antigay zealot, but I'm afraid his wife Cathy fully shares his views. You are confusing him with Del. David Albo (R-Fairfax County) whose wife was displeased with his ultrasound vote. Albo gained a few moments of fame by revealing this in a tasteless performance on the floor of the House of Delegates. (You can see the three-minute Albo presentation by searching for "Albo ultrasound" on Youtube.)

    As bad as re-electing Marshall was Prince William County's re-election of Clerk of Court Michele McQuigg. When Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring declined to defend Virginia's unconstitutional marriage ban, McQuigg eagerly volunteered to take up the law's defense with representation from the notorious Alliance Defending Freedom. She is basically Kim Davis with a haircut and store-bought clothes. McQuigg won a new eight-year term over Jacqueline Smith (D) by a vote of 38,413 to 35,404 (52% to 48%).

  • 50. VIRick  |  November 3, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Gay Republican Makes History in Maryland

    Michael Estève, chapter leader of the Log Cabin Republicans of Maryland, on Tuesday became the first openly gay Republican candidate ever elected to public office in the state with his victory in his Bowie City Council race.

    Preliminary results indicate College Park City Councilmember Patrick Wojahn will become the city’s first openly gay mayor after defeating Denise Mitchell by a 1,236-846 vote margin. Out Councilmember P.J. Brennan is ahead of Monroe Dennis in the District 2 race by a 25 vote margin.

    – See more at:

  • 51. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Ok so right now does Houstom have ANY anti discrimination law in place with HERO repealed ? According to wikipedia it does protect LGBT people from discrimination in various categories from public employment and accomodations but it may not be updated yet…Whats the legal status now in Houston ?

  • 52. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:28 am

    The protections that Houston offers are protections extended by executive action and affect public employment and access to government services. I suspect that there is no protection at all from discrimination in "public accommodations" as that term is usually understood–i.e., private businesses serving the public.

  • 53. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Wikipedia tells a different story :

    I am kind of confused right now honestly.

  • 54. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:59 am

    The Wikipedia article you cite is assuming that the HERO ordinance is in effect. After the vote yesterday, it is no longer in effect. The only protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity that remain are those issued by executive action and that cover government services.

  • 55. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:19 am

    But the ordinance was not in effect for as long as it was litigated all this time.

  • 56. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Yes, but the Wikipedia article assumes that it is in effect. The link they have re the Houston block leads to the ordinance that was repealed.

  • 57. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Ok I see…

  • 58. tx64jm  |  November 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Actually, Jay, the Houston City Charter states:

    If . . . a petition signed and verified, as required in section 2(a) hereof, by the qualified voters equal in number to [the required amount] . . . shall be filed with the City Secretary, protesting against the enactment or enforcement of such ordinance or resolution, it shall be suspended from taking effect and no action theretofore taken under such ordinance or resolution shall be legal and valid. Immediately upon the filing of such petition the City Secretary shall do all things required by section 2(b) of this Article. Thereupon the Council shall immediately reconsider such ordinance or resolution and, if it does not entirely repeal the same, shall submit it to popular vote at the next city general election, or the Council may, in its discretion, call a special election for that purpose; and such ordinance or resolution shall not take effect unless a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon at such election shall vote in favor thereof.
    Houston, Tex., Charter, art. VII-b, § 3

    Thus, HERO never had legal status as an ordinance of the City Of Houston, because it never took effect.

  • 59. FredDorner  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Since the referenda proponents failed to get enough legitimate signatures, I presume HERO was in effect until the state supreme court improperly interfered.

  • 60. tx64jm  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    The City Secretary certified there were enough legitimate signatures on the petition. Thats all it takes.

    "(b) On or before the thirtieth day after the date of filing of the petition the City Secretary shall certify to the City Council (a) the greatest total vote cast for Mayor at any city general election held within three years next preceding the date of the filing of such petition, and (b) the number of valid signatures on said petition, and shall present such petition and certificate to the Council."

  • 61. scream4ever  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Many of the signatures were then found to be invalid, and it was retracted. The Texas Supreme Court then stirred the pot.

  • 62. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:25 am

    In some good news: Salt Lake City has elected its first gay mayor! Jackie Biskupski will become Utah’s first openly gay mayor and only the second female top executive in the capital city. Biskupski received 52.19 percent of the vote to two-term Mayor Ralph Becker’s 47.81 percent.

    Same-sex marriage plaintiff Derek Kitchen (of Kitchen v. Herbert, which brought same-sex marriage to Utah briefly in December 2013 and permanently in Utah and neighboring states when it was upheld by the Tenth Circuit in June 2014) won a seat on the Salt Lake City Council.

    HOUSTON, note well: when gay people present themselves honestly and unapologetically, we win.

  • 63. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Mayor Parker reacts to the HERO loss by calling out the lies and bigotry of our opponents. Read more here and watch the embedded video:

    But this should have been done during the campaign. For some reason, we don't seem to want to offend our enemies and we consequently let them get away with spouting nonsense. We need to remember that religious nuts are themselves not very popular. According to polls, more people are willing to vote for an openly gay presidential candidate than they are for an "Evangelical Christian."

  • 64. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:35 am

    She is indeed very honest and does not munch her worda. She is bold enough to call them the religionist right. Would it have worked if she has done that during the campaign ? I am not sure..

  • 65. JayJonson  |  November 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Whether it would have worked or not, it would have been telling the truth and would have served notice that we will fight back. But I think it would have worked in Houston, which is not a backwater like Kentucky or Alabama.

  • 66. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I have my doubts abou Houston being much better than those places now personally and I am definately not visiting any time soon.

    I may be a bad person but the thought of Houston experiencing the financial backlash Indiana did by losing investments, sporting events, conferences etc is truly satisfying even if along the 60 % of the 25 % that turned out to vote every other Houstonian will unfortunately suffer…

  • 67. jpmassar  |  November 4, 2015 at 10:58 am


    LJUBLJANA: Slovenian lawmakers Wednesday voted to hold a referendum in December on whether to implement legislation allowing gay marriage, an issue that has divided the central European nation.

    The ballot will take place Dec. 20, after the 90-seat parliament voted 60 to 11 in support of the motion, with three abstentions.

    The constitutional court last month gave the go-ahead for the referendum after a conservative group – close to the center-right opposition Slovenian Democratic Party and backed by the Catholic Church – gathered sufficient signatures to trigger a plebiscite.

    The petition was filed in response to a parliamentary bill adopted in March granting same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.

    Lawmakers had tried to halt the conservative initiative in its tracks, claiming it was unconstitutional given that marriage — heterosexual or gay – is a basic right.

    However, under Slovenian law, any group that within a month garners 40,000 signatures in the nation of two million can seek a referendum on the new legislation.

    The March law will be scrapped if more than 20 percent of the electorate take part in the referendum and if a majority of participants vote against it.

  • 68. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    The last paragraph is incorrect. The law will be repealed if 20 % of the electorate votes to repeal the law, not if a majority of a 20 % turnout does.
    Anyhow it is 5 days beforr christmas..I expect big turnout from bigots and a majority to repeal it..The only hope is that they wont get 20 % of the electorate to vote against this..

  • 69. itscoldoutside  |  November 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Yes, the government proposed January 10h for the referendum but the bigots screamed in unison. So now we get Sunday, December 20th, just before their precious holiday.
    They will have plenty to celebrate come Christmas day.

    Honestly, I don't even care about the new law as I'll emigrate soon. It's the smugness on the haters' faces that I can't stand. They're rotten to their very core.

  • 70. guitaristbl  |  November 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Oh here comes the fucking pessimism again…Dude like you have more than a month to organize and lobby for the desired result.
    Just get out there, form a campaign, do something !

  • 71. itscoldoutside  |  November 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    We don't do emotional campaigns like in US or Ireland. Everyone's mind is already made up so why bother, really. A waste of money that could be better spent on the refugee crisis.

    The Constitutional Court was our last hope. Now it's just about stoically waiting for December 20th to pass.

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