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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
File 004
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Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 004. 2003-04-18. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16656.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-04-18). Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 004. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16656

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003 - File 004, 2003-04-18, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/16682/show/16656.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1173, April 18, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
Publisher Window Media
Date April 18, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 004
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com APRIL 18, 2003 | local nevus House panel already has OK'd its own DOMA TX DOMA, continued from Page 1 Dewhurst, according to Ellis. That was a strategic move to allow the bill to be assigned a lower number, indicating a higher priority, Ellis said. Wentworth has said S.B. 7 is essential to clarify existing law. Texas currently limits the issue of marriage licenses to people of the opposite sex but the state does not specifically address other "civil unions," the senator said. "I believe Texas should adopt as its public policy that traditional marriage is between one man and one woman, and that this state should not recognize civil unions entered into in Vermont and possibly other states in the future," Wentworth told the Houston Chronicle. Vermont is the only state that recognizes same-sex civil unions. Since Vermont approved its bill in 2000, lawmakers in five states — California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Washington — have introduced civil union legislation, according to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. On the other hand, 36 states across the country have enacted laws in recent years that limit legal recognition of marriages to heterosexual couples. "Clearly the point of the bill is to encourage and protect the institution that is fundamental to our whole society and that is traditional marriage," Wentworth said. "People talk about discrimination as though it were a bad thing," he said in defending the bill. "It is something we do all the time." Wentworth said the bill does not diminish "my feeling of respect and even love for friends and acquaintances and people that I know who are gay. I have great respect for those people," he said. "This bill has nothing to do with that." Two other senators challenged Wentworth, the Chronicle reported. "Some people would say this is just mean- spirited," said Sen. John Whitmire, D- Houston, the newspaper reported. "It's directed at elements of our society that most of whom just want to be left alone, go to work, Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, said bills such as the state Defense of Marriage Act show that Texas discriminates.' Texas Senators Gonzalo Barrientos (left), D-Austin, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, challenged the Senates DOMA. Barrientos said, 'Because of little ol' Vermont, big of Texas has to pass this piece of legislation?' Texas Senators Rodney Ellis (left) and Mario Gallegos, both Democrats and both from Houston, were among those who voted against the DOMA approved by the state Senate this week. pay taxes and not create problems for anyone. "You've introduced legislation that speaks to their lifestyle, tries to change a law that doesn't need changing," he added. Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, said, "Because of little ol' Vermont, big ol' Texas has to pass this piece of legislation?" the Chronicle reported. Whitmire pointed out that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, citing existing law, recently persuaded a Beaumont judge to reverse his decision granting a divorce to two men who had been joined in a Vermont civil union. Abbott argued that Texas law "does [not] recognize civil unions established in other jurisdictions." "Your law is not necessary," Whitmire told Wentworth, the Chronicle reported. But Wentworth argued that the attorney general does not write state law. "Only the Legislature may do that, and that's what this bill does," Wentworth said, according to the Chronicle. "It sets state policy" The Senate DOMA passed on a vote of 22-7, with "no" votes cast by Democrats Whitmire, Barrientos, Rodney Ellis and Mario Gallegos of Houston, Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, Royce West of Dallas and Judish Zaffirini of Laredo. • Federal legislation already allows states to refuse to honor same-sex unions. Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 to prohibit federal recognition of gay marriages. DOMA also purports to grant states the right not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The federal law also creates a definition of marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." Last session, a Texas Defense of Marriage Act was passed out of the Senate, but failed to make it out of committee in the House, LGRL officials noted. Lobbyists contend that the shift in the balance of power in the House after the November elections increases the possibility of this session's bill passing both chambers of the Legislature. S.B. 7's House companion, House Bill 38, already has been approved by the House Committee on State Affairs. Authored by Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, H.B. 38 soon will be scheduled for a vote by the full Texas House of Representatives. Ellis said he has doubts whether the Texas DOMA would hold up to U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny in the coming years if it did become law, according to a LGRL press release. "In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that prohibited interracial marriages, because they deprived individuals of the fundamental right to marry," Ellis said. "This bill clearly violates the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians." The Associated Press contributed to this story. A MORE INFO Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas P.O. Box 2340 Austin, TX 78768 512-474-5475 www.lgrl.org inside ISSUE 1173 LOCAL NEWS NATIONAL NEWS FORUM _ 3 .4 12 OUT ON THE BAYOU COMMUNITY CALENDAR 15 .„21 APPOINTMENTS CLASSIFIEDS 21 22 Q PUZZLE 23 MY STARS 26 RAVE ACT: President George W. Bush has said he will sign an anti-drug bill that gay events promoters say could curb popular circuit parties. Page 4. UNDER FIRE: Rev. Steve Van Kuiken is on trial for shunning Presbyterian ban on gay marriages. Page 6. VIEWPOINT: Columnist Mubarak Dahir says regime change in Irag does not necessarily translate to greater freedom for gays. Page 12. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006. Houston Voice is published weekly, on Friday, by Window Media LLC. Subscriptions are $92/year for 52 issues (only $1.77 per issue).
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