The San Antonio Express-News reports that the Texas Republican Convention has officially closed, and endorsed a new platform that is even scarier than the one before it. While the previous stone-age planks in the platform, such as the repudiation of critical thinking or urging the rescinding of no-fault divorce laws, were approved by the body once more, language involving immigration became even harsher. Support of a guest-worker program was nixed. Additionally, the platform called for a blanket prohibition on sanctuary cities and the end of the Texas Dream act, which allows for in-State tuition to be given to undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children.
Furthermore, a plank was inserted that endorsed “gay conversion therapy,” a universally condemned and cruel practice to change the sexual orientation of gay people. In a small semblance of humanity, the language referring to homosexuality as a condition that “tears at the fabric of society” was axed. However, given the recent flareup about the Log Cabin Republicans being denied representation at the convention, this is truly not all that surprising. Within the small subsection of the community who frequents the Texas GOP convention, a nearly unanimous disgust with LGBT people is not all that surprising.
Click here to read about the full debate on immigration!
The more important matter is whether or not this poll, commissioned by Texas Tech University, is worth its weight in paper. Hardcore Republicans will, no doubt, point to this result as evidence that the gubernatorial election is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a competitive contest. Hardcore Democrats will undoubtedly explain that the poll oversampled GOP participants, while also pointing to the 4.8% margin of error.
The poll, which contacted a few hundred people by telephone, pegged the gubernatorial election as Greg Abbott (R) at 54% and a mere 25% to Wendy Davis (D). A whopping 29-point lead for Abbott is leaps and bounds above any other poll result he has gotten thus far in the campaign. Astute readers of my opinion will be quite familiar with my cynicism, though even I would not say Abbott will get over two-thirds of the vote. PPP, long regarded by myself as the most reliable pollster, has long estimated the race at about a 14/15 point for Abbott. That being said, this poll looks rather legitimate, which should give the Davis campaign pause.
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Via Lone Star Q: a question is asked of the recent non-discrimination ordinance proposal floating around the corridors of City Hall. A few days ago, I noted that trusted sources had confided in me that seven Councilmembers, plus the Mayor, support a comprehensive ordinance that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in not only public employment and public accommodations, but by private employment as well. Simply put, not only would a store no longer be allowed to deny service to a gay patron, it could similarly no longer fire a lesbian employee themselves. Lone Star Q picked up the story the next day, noting that “Horwitz’s list is accurate.”
That brings us to today. John Wright, the author of all the LSQ articles, now ponders why the number of Councilmembers supporting private employment decisions is not a slam duck majority. Specifically, he takes aim at four Councilmembers (C.O. Bradford, Jack Christie, Jerry Davis and Larry Green) who had represented to the GLBT Caucus their support for a comprehensive NDO (including private employment protections). As many will recall, in preparation for the 2013 Municipal elections, all of these men were endorsed by the GLBT Caucus, following conciliatory questionnaire replies.
Click here to read analysis of each of these current undecideds!
The Texas Tribune reports that Federal Judge in San Antonio has struck down Texas’ constitutional ban on gay marriage. The decision, written by Judge Orlando Garcia (an appointee of President Clinton), found the provision inconsistent with the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which mandates equal protection and due process under law. Judge Garcia has served on the Federal Judiciary since 1994, and previously served both as a Justice on the State Court of Appeals (1991 to 1994) and as a member of the Texas House of Representatives (1983 to 1991). Both were elected offices he held as a Democrat.
Judge Garcia also stayed his own ruling, pending appeal. Attorney General Greg Abbott, one of the key defendants in this case, released a somewhat brief statement on the subject, wherein he declared his intention to appeal the case to the Federal Appeals Court. Of note is just how lightly Attorney General Abbott tread on the subject. Among his quotes were that there were “good, well meaning people” on either side of the issue. In my opinion, that was the most telling tidbit on the subject, to see hard-right Republicans such as Abbott realize and accept the inevitable, that this issue is not going away.
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Over the past few weeks, state Sen. Wendy Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, has clarified her position on a number of issues, including the question of same-sex marriage. Almost nonchalantly, Davis lent her full support to the issue on Feb. 13.
“It’s my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Davis told the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News. Immediately, Davis’ liberal supporters celebrated her newly expressed support for what many call the new civil rights movement of our generation.
However, what is far more impressive than Davis’ support itself is how normal it all seems. In this day and age, the only Democratic officials who still oppose same-sex marriage are holdover Dixiecrats (the colloquialism for close-minded Southern Democrats who stood in opposition to the Civil Rights Act) with fiercely conservative social views, such as Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AK) or Joe Manchin (D-WV). This is an amazing transformation from four — or even two — years ago, when Democrats, particularly in Texas, were enormously cautious on the subject. While many other Democratic gubernatorial candidates over the years have been unabashedly progressive on other gay rights issues, Davis is the first to lend full support to marriage equality on the campaign trail.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT THE DAILY TEXAN!
The San Antonio Express-News reports that, earlier today while addressing the paper’s editorial board, State Senator Wendy Davis (the presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor) explicitly announced her support for gay marriage for the first time. Further, she expressed her opposition to continued support of Texas’ Defense of Marriage Act against suits in Federal Courts and called on her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, to stop defending what she called an unconstitutional law.
“It’s my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Davis told the paper. “I think it’s important, and I think that people across this country are evolving on [gay marriage] and moving in a direction that demonstrates support for it, so I think it is time to re-open that conversation and ask Texans where they are on it to see if that’s something that we might change legislatively if it doesn’t happen constitutionally.”
The news quickly reached back to Abbott’s campaign, who were very keen to criticize the Davis campaign. A spokesperson called support for gay marriage “the latest whim of the day,” and blasted Davis for instituting “Obama-style” approach to politics. For better or for worse, the idea of state officials picking not a defend state laws or provisions is a tradition that has recently been explicitly condoned by the Supreme Court, specifically in the 2013 case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, wherein both the Governor and Attorney General of California declined to defend the constitutionality of Prop 8.
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Someone’s personal life is not an especially newsworthy occurrence. I wish it was not such a big deal, but it still is. Obviously, I wish Mayor Parker and the First Lady an everlasting and happy marriage.
As for Jared Woodfill, the Chairman of the HCRP who went on TV last night to berate the Mayor, I only have this to say. For what it is worth, Parker’s wife has her own health insurance, meaning the couple will not benefit from the recent rule change.
Brains & Eggs, Off the Kuff and Texas Leftist have more.