Candidates for office in Carrollton and Lewisville were asked to complete questionnaires on issues of importance to the LGBT community. GALA North Texas, and it's predecessor organization the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance (CCGLA) have been surveying candidates for 11 years. Click on the link to the left to download the candidate responses.
Meet Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss -- plantiffs in Texas Marriage Equality case -- at GALA's Third Thursday Happy Hour on March 20th at Bonnie Ruth's Bistro @ Watters Creek in Allen.
Texas Judge Strikes Down Marriage Ban
District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on marriage last summer trumps Texas's state constitutional amendment, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2005.
“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order, The Dallas Morning News reports. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.” The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by two couples, Cleo DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman, and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss.
Garcia stayed his ruling from taking effect until the case goes through the appeal process, so same-sex couples in Texas cannot being marrying immediately. He said the case or one of 23 other pending state-level marriage challenges would probably head to the Supreme Court for a ruling.
According to the report, Texas attorney general and gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott is likely to appeal the ruling. Abbott strongly opposes marriage equality, as does the other four Republicans who are running against him in the primary election.
The ruling is stayed, pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, so same-sex couples will still be unable to marry in Texas. But Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director of the ACLU of Texas, says the ruling is still one step closer to the "inevitable end of official discrimination by the state of Texas. Gay and lesbian couples want the same thing as other loving couples -- to stand before family and friends and declare their lifetime commitment to each other, and to enjoy the same recognition and protection for their families that only marriage can bring. We applaud the judge’s preliminary ruling, but we also recognize that there is a great deal of hard work to do to bring full equality to every Texan.”
Gov. Rick Perry, shortly after the ruling, reiterated that the constitutional amendment should be upheld because it was approved by voters.
"Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens," he said on Wednesday afternoon. "The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state."
GALA North Texas Vice President Jeanne Rubin to be honored by League of Women Voters with 2014 Spirit of Community Leadership Award
Jeanne is one of six recipients of the 2014 Spirit of Community Leadership Award. This award recognizes women who have envisioned ways to improve their community through sustained commitment to participation in nongovernmental organizations in Collin County.
"Everyone at GALA North Texas knows how dedicated Jeanne is to advancing LGBT equality and I couldn't be more proud of her receiving this award" said Bob Shimmin, President of GALA NTX.
Details on the awards luncheon are available on the League of Women Voters website.
GALA NTX raised $888 for Jonathan’s Place, an emergency shelter for children who’ve been abused, abandoned or neglected. In addition, donations and supplies for the shelter’s “Needs List” were collected at the GALA holiday party in January. Despite being delayed by the ice storm in December, the holiday party was a strong showing of community support.
GALA Vice President Jeanne Rubin said “I’m so excited for 2014, we are going to keep growing and continue our efforts to bring LGBT equality to north Texas workplaces, schools and communities.”
GALA North Texas Begins 2014 Fighting For Equality and Helping Abused Children
NORTH TEXAS – The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas (GALA NTX) has put together a free educational forum for those who have questions about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Many wonder what it means for them.
* Will Texas State laws pose obstacles for legally married couples? * Can an employee cover partner on health insurance? * How will this affect retirement plans? * Can couples file IRS Taxes together?
Experts will be on hand to answer these questions and many more.
What: After DOMA, What about Texas?
When: 7p.m. January 29, 2014 (refreshments at 6:30pm)
Where: Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church 1641 W. Hebron Parkway, Carrollton, TX